The busiest week of the NHL season is here and there’s been a ton of trade chatter ahead of Friday’s draft. We break down the contract extension signed by Erik Karlsson, the Jacob Trouba trade and the moves made by Philadelphia. We also run down potential draft targets for the Sabres at pick seven and 31. We close the show with a brief conversation over Rasmus Ristolainen surfacing in trade chatter in the wake of Karlsson and Trouba’s deals.
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An easy assessment of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft would be to call it the Year of the Defenseman. Twelve defensemen were taken in the first round with twelve more being taken in the second round. Nearly half of the first 60 picks were spent on players to patrol the blue line.
One of those defensemen was Tyler Myers. The Sabres selected Myers, the number four ranked North American skater, with the 12th selection in the first round. Buffalo actually traded up one spot, to ensure they got Myers before the Los Angeles Kings. The Kings selected Colton Teubert with the next selection. Myers was the fifth defenseman taken in the first round, behind blue chips; Drew Doughty (2, LA), Zach Bogosian (3, Atlanta), Alex Pietrangelo (4, St. Louis) and Luke Schenn (5, Toronto).
As for the six drafted below Myers, only three have seen extended time in the NHL and three have yet to see time in the NHL. Myers is the only one to win an NHL award but isn’t counted on as much as Doughty is. Meanwhile, Schenn and Bogosian both fill top-four roles for their respective clubs but aren’t yet the top defensemen on their teams.
Myers’ contract is one of the best of the bunch, both in terms of length and cost, and he has seen more success than a large fraction of the picks. Of the twelve first rounders, I rank them as follows: Continue reading →