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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Puckmania: Live From the 2013 NHL Draft

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Puckmania: Live From 2013 NHL Draft
By Wild on Sports Analyst Josh Tarr

As I'm sure many of you have read in my columns in recent weeks or heard on the WOS Podcast, I will be representing WOS at the NHL entry draft in Newark this Sunday. As excited I am about the ongoing Stanley Cup Finals, I am also enticed by my ongoing research about upcoming prospects, potential selections and other story lines coming into the draft, such as:

Talent Overload:

Compared to many years past, this draft class is expected to produce a tremendous amount of high-level talent. This class is almost comparable to the class of 2005 (Also known as the Sidney Crosby draft). The top five is highlighted by Russian sniper Valeri Nichushkin, two-way forward Aleksander Barkov, Halifax Moosehead forwards Jonathan Drouin and Nathan Mackinnon, and Standout defenseman Seth Jones. Jones, who was for a very long time considered the unanimous first selection, would be the first African-American to be selected first overall in an NHL entry draft. However, his stock has recently taken a hit after poor performance at the combine and a first overall selection is no longer a guarantee.

Goaltending:
These days, it is impossible to be a cup contender without having an elite goalie. For bottom dwelling teams such as Florida, Colorado, Tampa Bay, Calgary, Philadelphia, etc. It is unlikely that this draft class will produce any potential hall of fame goalies. There is only one goalie (Zach Fucale) that is expected to go in the first round, and he would likely be taken in the last eight selections of the round. Furthermore, there are only three goalies besides Fucale who rank in the top four rounds of the draft (Eric Comrie, Tristan Jarry, Jusse Saros).

1st Round Pick Acquisitions:

At this years trade deadline (and every other trade deadline), buyers often attain star players from sellers. In return, the sellers usually attain draft picks, often later in the respective round. Calgary and Columbus each have three 1st round selections and Buffalo and Dallas have two. The Blues, Rangers, Penguins, Bruins, Kings and Wild have zero, but of course that could change come draft day.

For more questions about the upcoming draft, email me at JTarr@Wildonsports.com. I will post my first round mock draft within the next few days.

Make sure you’re following @WildOnSports on twitter for the most accurate and up to date NHL draft action all day on Sunday June 30th.

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