We’re more than halfway through our NHL mock draft and we’re surprising! Brad Lambert has finally stepped down from the board.
Here are today’s tips:
14. Winnipeg Jets – Danila Yurov
From Arctic Ice Hockey:
The Winnipeg Jets decided early on to leave their regular board and headed to Russia to find a talented forward in Danila Yurov who is struggling to find a team to challenge him in the right league. He played 23 games in the MHL this season and scored 36 points, but when he was in the KHL this season he played 21 games and had zero points. According to Habs Eyes on the Prize, he averaged those zeros in less than four minutes of ice age. It’s hard to judge a player by that.
Yurov seems to be playing well when he faces his peers, but the question has to be where is he best to be challenged and developed when he’s not in North America next year. He has to be somewhere he’s playing, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he has to be in North America. The VHL, if it still exists, would be an honest option in Russia. He might start getting more playing time, but he might not.
15. Vancouver Canucks – Liam Ohgren
From Nuck’s misconduct:
He had an impressive season at Djurgardens Juniors, going 33-25-58 in just 30 games and earning a well-earned senior call-up. While his one goal and one assist in 25 games in the SHL might worry you, it’s a league where rookies rarely dominate, so keep that in mind.
Another thing to consider here is that this pick is one where we didn’t let the Canucks trade a player like JT Miller for a higher spot, which given what’s been coming out of Vancouver over the past few days, is a bit is that we should be prepared for it.
16. Buffalo Sabers (via Vegas Golden Knights) – Brad Lambert
From Die by the Blade:
However, I will challenge the merits of his U20 game. If you just focus on his U20 game for Finland over the past year, it’s really hard to argue that he wasn’t the best player on the ice (and possibly one of the tournament’s best in the 2010s) in every one of his World Junior games first two games). ) and in the exhibition games he played in April.
While Lambert rarely scored points in the Liiga, he benefited in heaps at U20 level. He has 5 points through 2 World Juniors games and was almost a point a game in the exhibition games. In the exhibition games he did what he wanted with the puck on his racquet and could easily have scored 4-5 points more in the games I watched.
17. Nashville Predators – Pavel Mintyukov
From the forecheck:
Pavel Mintyukov is a slightly older skater in this draft class, with a birthday in November 2003. His first OHL season was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic last year, but he made the most of this 2021-22 season with Saginaw and scored 62 points in 67 games, leading Spirit in scoring and leading all draft-eligible OHL defenders. His .597 primary points per game and .373 consistently strong primary points per game were also the best among his peers.
As mentioned above, Mintyukov makes a positive difference in all three zones every night. He has great tools throughout his game and plays an intelligent but aggressive style of hockey. Defensively, Mintyukov (#10, white) is a good judge of opponents’ speed and manages his gaps accordingly. His racquet is always active and challenges shooters soon after a zone entry, as seen above. He can easily parry F1’s selection and force F2 to miss the pass. If the puck goes deep in the zone, don’t panic; Mintyukov angles perfectly along the goal line and ends the game with two crucial poke checks, sending his Saginaw teammate off the ice.
18. Dallas Stars—Lian Bichsel
From Defending Big D:
The strengths of this pick for Dallas are that they get a two-way player who isn’t a liability to himself. The fact that he often starts in his own end and finishes games with a better Corsi For percentage than you would expect shows him to be a key attack driver. (In the Champions Hockey League tournament, he finished with 56.9 CF% with strong defending zone starts, albeit in a limited third pair role.) Dallas could desperately use some of that in the system.
Of course, the size thing might actually be a question mark. There aren’t too many examples of tall people pacing the ice well when he tops out at 240 pounds and grows an inch or two more (which could happen). Dallas could have had success before with a guy like Jamie Oleksiak, so maybe they don’t see it as a question mark so much.
19. Kings of Los Angeles – Isaac Howard
From Jewels From The Crown:
If that were a decade ago, Howard would likely be a potential second or third round pick, not for his ability but for his size. Listed at 5’10” and 183 lbs. Thankfully, with the success of smaller forwards like Brayden Point, Cole Caufield, Johnny Gaudreau and Viktor Arvidsson, being drafted under six feet is no longer a disadvantage.
Pure offensive talent alone makes Howard one of the top players in the draft. Bob McKenzie ranked him 20th in his final rankings, NHL Central Scouting ranked him 9th as a North American skater, and he is considered the 23rd best prospect in the draft according to Elite Prospects Consolidated Rankings.
It is not shocking that he is ranked so high for his performance during his tenure with the US National Developmental Program. In 111 games over two seasons, he has 155 points (65 goals, 90 assists) for an impressive 1.40 points per game average. As you can see from his numbers, not only can he fill the net, but he’s also quite an accomplished playmaker.