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.
The 2019 draft is just a few days away, and with that comes my 2019 Mock Draft. The mock is done with the help of pre-draft rankings and scouting reports from The Athletic (most notably Corey Pronman), ISS Hockey, and the draft team at TSN led by Craig Button and Bob McKenzie, and. The mock was done with no draft floor trades being made, as it’s tough to zero in on what picks are truly in play and what is just hearsay.
- New Jersey Devils- Jack Hughes, Center, USNTDP, USHL
While Kaapo Kakko has made discussions about who should go first overall a bit less one sided with his recent play at the World Championships, the Devils still opt for Hughes. The addition of Hughes gives New Jersey a solid 1-2 punch down the middle, as Hughes can team up with 20 year old Nico Hischier to anchor the top two lines in Newark for the foreseeable future; having Travis Zajac for a few more years is an added bonus as it allows Hughes to play some sheltered minutes and see better matchups in his rookie season
- New York Rangers- Kaapo Kakko, Left Wing, TPS, Liiga
The Rangers have the easiest decision in the first round as they will gladly scoop up one of Kakko or Hughes at 2nd overall. Kakko was the consensus number two pick behind Hughes for the duration of the ranking process leading up to the draft and his displays in Slovakia at the worlds only reinforced that sentiment. Kakko accelerates the Rangers rebuild with his dynamic scoring ability and allows New York to possibly get creative with their surplus of picks in 2019 and 2020 in an effort to further improve their roster for this season. Continue reading
The third round of the NHL Draft is hardly an electrifying portion of the event. The picks all hold fair value on the floor and in trade negotiations, but in either case you’re not referring to any blockbuster moves.
However, the Buffalo Sabres’ own involvement in the 2016 third round was actually somewhat interesting. Not so much for the picks they made, but for the ones which found their way to other teams.
At one point or another, the Sabres held five picks in this year’s third round. Buffalo would only wind up making a pair of selections in the round after entering the weekend with a trio of picks. Cliff Pu would be selected 69th (nice) and Casey Fitzgerald 86th while the other three selections previously held by the Sabres found their way to other cities. Continue reading
The NHL Draft is upon us and free agency is right around the corner. That means Tim Murray is going to be busy shoring up the Sabres roster in hopes of pushing into a playoff position. As the flurry of moves are set to begin, Tyler and I got together once again to discuss which direction we would go in shaping the Sabres roster.
As always, this is written from the perspective of any conversation you have with your buddies at the bar. All trades are evaluated to ideally provide equal value both ways and at no point will you find us swapping Sidney Crosby for a sixth round pick. We’re working on our own opinions on moves we’d make if we were in Tim Murray’s shoes. You may not agree with our moves, you may not agree with the prices we’d be paying; we encourage you to let us know how stupid (or smart!) you think we are. Continue reading
With the draft set to kick off Friday night, it’s time to reveal my 2016 mock draft. There will likely be a handful of trades leading up to the draft as well as on the draft floor, but this mock is done without trades for obvious reasons. Continue reading
A special thanks to Joe Yerdon of NHL.com for joining Tyler and I for this week’s podcast. We discuss the Jimmy Vesey trade and the likelihood that the Sabres get the young prospect under contract. We also explore the options Tim Murray will have at the draft. This includes who the Sabres may pick at eight and potential trade targets. We end on a bang with a particularly interesting proposal for Sabres fans to mull over. You can listen to this week’s podcast here or via iTunes by following this link.
The third episode of the season touches on the sparse number of draft tickets available for this month’s festivities after a rapid sellout of available tickets this morning. Chris and Tyler chat about the decision by the league to charge for tickets, the limited availability and where Sabres fans should direct their criticism. We also chat about the Draft Combine and additional excitement surrounding the Sabres these days.
You can also find The Instigator Podcast on iTunes by clicking here.