Chasing the Draft – November 12th Edition

By Bob Trask – The second edition of the reverse power rankings has seen some changes in the projected draft order. Because most teams are only 14 games into the season, these rankings could continue to jump around dramatically. In today’s ranking, I will list this week’s rankings and compare them to those of last week to illustrate the risers and fallers.

As with last week I have ended the rankings with Florida’s pick in the first round the Montreal acquired in the Ben Chiarot trade.

Three teams that were not on last week’s list of the top draft picks were Calgary, Buffalo and Edmonton. All three had tough weeks which means they rose in the draft rankings. Two others that gained significantly in the rankings were Tampa Bay and Chicago who moved several spots up the draft ladder. Los Angeles, Montreal and Arizona had the biggest drops in their draft positions with the Canadiens coming in at #16 overall. Florida also dropped in the draft rankings from last week and based on current standings Montreal’s second pick in round one would come in at #23.

RANK
THIS WEEK
RANK
LAST WEEK
CHANGETEAMPOINTS
LOTTERY TEAMS
11Columbus Blue Jackets56.5
22Anaheim Ducks57.6
33St. Louis Blues58.3
44San Jose Sharks63.6
57+2Nashville Predators67.6
68+2Ottawa Senators68.0
76-1Vancouver Canucks69.8
8NRCalgary Flames76.4
95-4Arizona Coyotes77.6
1015+5Chicago Black Hawks78.8
1113+2Washington Capitals81.6
129-3Pittsburgh Penguins83.3
1320+7Tampa Bay Lightning (Chicago Blackhawks Pick)83.6
1410-4Minnesota Wild84.0
15NRBuffalo Sabres84.0
1611-5Montreal Canadiens84.0
NON-LOTTERY TEAMS.
17NREdmonton Oilers84.3
1816-2Toronto Maple Leafs87.5
1918-1New York Rangers88.4
2018-2Detroit Red Wings88.4
2112-9Los Angeles Kings88.9
2219-3Philadelphia Flyers92.0
2321-2Florida Panthers (Montreal Canadiens Pick)92.6
* NR refers to the team being not ranked in the previous week’s article.

Prospects – #16 Overall

Consolidated RankingMatthew Wood – F – University of Connecticut

Bob McKenzieKasper Halttunen – F – HIFK Liiga

Craig ButtonWill Smith – C – USNTDP Juniors

Prospects – #23 Overall

Consolidated RankingCaden Price – LD – Kelowna Rockets

Bob McKenzie – Has only ranked to #16 overall to date

Craig ButtonNoel Nordh – LW/RW – Swedish J20 Nationell

Ranking information is courtesy of eliteprospects.com. The link to each player will bring up their personal profile, performance statistics and any rankings that other scouting services may have applied to them.

Looking Forward

This week saw some significant changes in the projected standings and a lot of teams “Points” rankings are very close together. That means there is potential for more big changes in the “Reverse Power Rankings” next week. Curiously, two teams that were deemed to be candidates to tank this season (Arizona and Chicago) have been surprisingly strong.

Stay tuned.

More reading…

Habs Salivating At Panthers’ Misfortune

By JD Lagrange – People of my generation have been raised to not laugh at someone else’s misfortune. But when you’re the Montreal Canadiens and you’ve gone through a season from hell, shattering man-games lost records… when, because if it, you had to liquidate your top players at trade deadline… it’s hard to feel sympathy for other teams going through a bit of a tough time. Particularly not when you own their first round pick!

That’s why you won’t see anyone around Montreal feeling sorry for the Toronto Maple Leafs having to play without Matt Murray, their starting goaltender, for… five weeks. Heck, Carey Price played 12 games in 2015-16, and the Habs are entering a second consecutive season without one of the best goaltenders in the game!

Aaron Ekblad

Now, the Florida Panthers – who traded their first round pick to Montreal in the Ben Chiarot deal – are missing a couple of key pieces as both Aaron Ekblad and Anthony Duclair are on the Long Term Injury Reserve (LTIR). Duclair, who scored 31 goals for the Panthers last season, had Achilles surgery in the off-season and will be out until January at least. Ekblad played 25 minutes per game last season for the Panthers, leading the team in that category.

But that’s not all the Panthers have lost from the playoffs’ team last year. From the post-season roster to now, they are without:

  • Claude Giroux (UFA)
  • Jonathan Huberdeau (traded)
  • MacKenzie Weegar (traded)
  • Ben Chiarot (UFA)
  • Joe Thornton (UFA)

You can also now add Ekblad and Duclair, at least for a few weeks/months, to that list.

The additions are somewhat underwhelming in comparison. GM Bill Zito has added:

  • Matthew Tkachuk
  • Colin White
  • Nick Cousins
  • Marc Staal

Tkachuk is a substantial addition, but they gave up Huberdeau and Weegar to get him. While it makes them a bit younger, that does not improve a team in the short to mid term.

Further, they don’t have a first or a third round pick at this upcoming draft. It is also important to note that this first round pick traded to the Canadiens has no lottery protection. Let’s be honest though… the Panthers won’t finish in the bottom 10 teams of the NHL for a chance at the first overall pick. But technically, if they were to miss the playoffs, Montreal could find themselves with another top-16 pick in addition to their own.

So forgive them if they don’t shed a tear about Florida’s misfortune.

More reading…