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  1. It's a gamble, but I'm so excited for next Friday (June 22nd). I'm having dreams of Mittlestadt, Eichel, Ristolainen, Guhle, & Dahlin!!! Next year should be fun to watch. d
  2. So, for the past several seasons teams that have not been playoff contenders and had the possibility of getting the first overall pick would lighten up ( Nice way of saying "Tank") so they could get the first pick in the draft. Then the NHL noting the problem decided to institute a lottery system for the five worst teams to deter that way of thinking. When that didn't work the way they thought, the NHL decided to put weights on the picks to make it harder for these teams to get the first pick. But,that still didn't work because even though they weighed the chances of picking first, the teams would still slow down with the hope of getting the first pick. This was troubling to the NHL hierarchy because poor performance means poor gate receipts and the league wasn't having it and had to figure out a way to stop that way of thinking and .....They Did This past week during the board of governors meetings, the Owners and GM's decided to change the lottery weight system to discourage non playoff teams from tanking. So, here is what the did; The way it is setup now the five teams with the least amount of points have a weighted chance of 43.4% (Combined) of getting the first overall pick While the other ten teams out of the playoffs have a 56.6% chance of getting the #1. What this means is even though an NHL team is one of the five lowest teams in the rankings, there is no guarantee these teams will get the first overall pick. So right now teams like Buffalo and Arizona have a slimmer chance of getting the #1 than say The New York Teams of Calergy. This is a smart move by the B.O.G's because it forces the teams to try and present a better product even if they are not playoff contenders. Great Job. NHL!!
  3. Original post On Talent In General When you want to do some useful work, you need a skill to do that work. Naturally, one doesn't need a skill to tweet, but that's not a useful work to start with. But to do stuff that actually profits you a certain level of skill is absolutely necessary. In order to have the skill, you need to learn it, and then to improve it. And there are only two basic factors that define how well you learn and improve in the skill - the talent and the effort. The bigger is your talent, the bonus from the nature, whether it's thanks to inborn memory, flexibility, or a quick eye, the less effort you need to achieve the given level of skill. And the trade-off is not even linear, there are areas, mostly creative ones, such as music or painting where no amount effort, grit and determination can bring you to a certain level of skill. On the other hand, the bigger the talent, the less necessary the effort becomes, and at the extreme level of talent, also known as ... genius the person sometimes doesn't need practically any effort to improve at an incredible pace. This phenomena, already extremely rare, is mostly restricted to mind activities, bound by the necessity in constant exercise to maintain a high level of skill in a physical activity. Names of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in composing, Jose Raul Capablanca in chess or Robertino Loreti in music come to mind when we talk about such geniuses. Mozart was composing himself already at age five, Capablanca learned the game of chess from observation only, but won the Cuban Championship when he was twelve, and Loreti became a European super-star shortly after he was noticed singing folk tunes on the streets of Rome. Talent And Skill In Hockey Hockey is also a work that requires skill. It's a complex skill that consists of many abilities: skating, observation, agility, strength, endurance, wit an others. Since it's a team game, the team consists of players that excel at these abilities on a different level, and a "complete hockey player" would actually be someone who can skate like Mike Gartner, is observant like Wayne Gretzky, can shoot like Mike Bossy, has the strength of Eric Lindros, endurance of Nicklas Lidstrom, and, actually, can easily take a hit from Cam Neely (and hit like Neely, too) and hold his ground in a fight against Tie Domi, and such a "complete hockey player" would exist mostly in the computer games. Nevertheless, of course the hockey players have different levels of ability in these dimensions of the hockey skill, and, unfortunately, today, mostly the ability to stickhandle is exclusively classified as 'skill'. No, the hockey skill is composite, and the wonderful dekes are just one aspect of it. Naturally, the most appealing, and probably the most important dimensions (we're not talking about goaltending here, but the reader can make similar projections to that position, too) are the ones directly relating to the goal scoring, and the players who excel at them are generally valued higher. However, in the way the hockey is defined by the NHL rules and and the NHL tradition, other qualities of the skill - hitting, blocking shots, fighting are required to make the complete hockey team. In a different league, such as the USSR league was, with very limited hitting and explicitly prohibited fighting, the sportsmen would develop more into the goal-scoring oriented hockey players. Where The Talent Comes From Well, from mothers' wombs. But then, the players usually begin to learn the skill of hockey from a very young age, and by the age of the NHL draft eligibility, their talent is well-evaluated and the positions in the draft order give a good approximation of the order of the talent of the available players. There are few exceptions, and these mostly are the European players, especially the Eastern-European ones who do not take part in the draft, but continue to develop in their leagues, such as the KHL. But the rule that the biggest chunk of the hockey talent is available at the annual draft, and that the talent is sorted according to the actual draft picks pretty much holds. Therefore, the teams that feature the higher draft picks in their roster are on average definitely more talented ones than the ones with the lower picks. Are they most skillful? Not necessarily. Remember, that in the first part of this essay we stated that to develop a skill, both talent and effort are required. Some players, for whatever reason, fail to put the necessary amount of effort to achieve the skill level expected for their talent, and became disappointments, or even draft busts. Some, on the other hand, put a great effort and determination, and leap beyond such expectations. The latter ones, unfortunately, are bound by that aforementioned ceiling that sometimes lack of talent produces. A team whose top draft picks underperform on a regular basis must recognize it has a culture problem. When time after time, players, who are supposed to be easy learners and advance rapidly, stall or degenerate it means that the organization, and, pardon the pun, it's farm, has a soil problem, that even the best seeds planted in it fail to yield the desired fruit.
  4. How about that! The worm has turned! The hockey gods look on us with favor. Our **** don't stink...... Just about 12 months too late, unfortunately...
  5. Draft Day. June 30th, Newark, New Jersey. Marc Bergevin and his super side-kick Trevor Timmins (pictured with 2012 draft pick and WJC standout Charles Hudon) will wake up with one goal in mind: supplementing one of the NHL's deepest prospect pools. with a late first rounder (25th overall, to be exact) and three 2nd round picks in a very deep draft (the best in a decade), something has to give. June 30th will be a busy day for all 30 organizations, from Colorado to Chicago, all looking to acquire top prospects. Who will go number 1? Seth Jones? Nathan Mackinnion? Jonathon Drouin? I don't really care. All I really care about is who goes #25 to Montreal. Don't get me wrong, I love the draft. It is my favourite day of the year. Although I am particularly interested in who is selected by Montreal more than I am the others. Today I will be bringing you a list of 5 prospects the Habs would love to select. 1) Anthony Mantha 69-50-39-89 Mantha is a 6'4", 201 lb power forward who has charged up most draft boards this year due to his QMJHL-leading 50 goals. Mantha's best asset is likely his elite skating, but his shot isn't far behind. Despite his stature, Mantha isn't a prototypical power forward in that he generates a large percentage of his offense from outside the hash marks. He can be a physical presence, but he doesn't need to be to succeed. He can snipe from just about anywhere on the ice, and he's not afraid to shoot, leading the Q this year in shots, with 323, or 4.8 per game. It would be one thing to see a player jump from 22 to 50 goals because of a high shooting percentage, but the development of his overall game mixed with his tendency to choose shot over pass leads me to believe that he can be a dominant scorer in the NHL for years to come. I don't see him being available at #25, so it is likely that Montreal would have to trade up a few selections to get this man-child. 2) Ryan Hartman 56-23-37-60 A scrappy player, Hartman can put pucks in the net and will drop the gloves with any body. He is exactly the player Montreal needs and you can bet that if he is available at 25 the Habs will select him. 3) Kerby Rychel 68-40-47-87 Rychel is a 6'1", 205 lb winger whose best attributes are his puck control, his grit, and his shot. He's a hard worker who will go to the corners, drive the net, and pot a lot of goals from close in. His wrist shot, however, also allows him to score from mid-range when given the chance. His biggest weaknesses are likely his skating and his lack of creativity. Scouts differ on exactly how much of both a possession-driver and a goal-scorer in the NHL he can be, but the more popular opinion seems to be that he lacks the upside to be a top-6 forward. He is an imposing figure, often appearing even bigger than his frame, which will make him an appealing pick for some teams. 4) Valentin Zykov 67-40-35-75 Zykov is a Russian-born power forward - measuring 6'1", 215 lbs - who won rookie of the year honours in the QMJHL this past season. Although not the tallest player, has a large body and uses it effectively to drive to the net, with a goal scorer's instinct. He also possesses a very quick release, which has fooled Q goalies all year long. Scouts deviate on how good of a skater he is, with some praising his lateral quickness and ability to go east-west, and some saying that his hunched-over style means that his top level quickness and first few strides aren't as fast as they should be for a player of his talent level, and that if he doesn't adjust that could hold him back from being a top-6 forward at the NHL level. Nobody will question Zykov's puck handling or ability to take on a defender 1-on-1 however, as he does a great job shielding the puck with his body and can muscle past defenders. 5) Samuel Morin 46-4-12-16 He stands at 6'6", 205 lbs, and uses that size to his advantage, both in terms of a physical presence and in terms of long reach to break up plays. He is a dominant defensive defenseman whose greatest advantage, besides his size, is his fluid skating ability, something which can set him apart from other big men at the highest level. Morin came into the year as a potential mid-round selection, but has charged up the rankings thanks to a strong showing at the U-18s with Canada - winning a gold medal - and a solid regular season in which he doubled his points, but most of all, an incredible playoff in which he tied for second in team scoring with seven points in six games. Many scouts believe there is untapped offensive potential here, and at that size, Morin could become something special. Honourable Mentions: Adam Erne, Jordan Subban So there we have it folks. I certainly believe that Montreal will leave the Prudential Centre this Sunday with one, or maybe two of these prospects. I would be a very happy camper if we got any one off of this list. But for now, we can only speculate. The cheque is in the mail, and I'm out of here. See you Sunday. Habsguy26.
  6. So, suppose the team finishes with, say, the 8th overall pick - as has been speculated. Does that pick plus, say, Couturier get them enough to move up to take a Nurse, assuming Jones at #1? This will be a much better thread once the draft order is known, but - assuming they don't win the lottery - what do you think it would take to move up? And, is it worth it?
  7. All seven rounds of Draft to be held on Sunday, June 30, in New Jersey The 2013 NHL Draft Lottery, to be held this year on Monday, April 29, will be the first in NHL history where all 14 clubs not qualifying for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, or the clubs that have acquired the first-round drafting positions of those non-playoff clubs, will have a chance at winning the right to the first overall selection. Under the previous lottery system, only the five teams with the fewest points in the standings had the opportunity to win the first overall selection as rules dictated no team could move up more than four spots. The NHL Draft Lottery is a weighted system to determine the order of selection for the first 14 picks of the 2013 NHL Draft. Teams finishing with the fewest points during the regular season possess the greatest chance of winning the right to the first pick in the NHL Draft. Fourteen balls, numbered 1 to 14, are placed in a lottery machine. The machine expels four balls, forming a series of numbers. The four-digit series resulting from the expulsion of the balls is matched against a probability chart that divides the possible combinations among the 14 participating clubs. While the top pick can now go to any of the 14 non-playoff clubs, or the team owning the rights to the first pick of a non-playoff club, the odds of winning the lottery are unchanged from previous years. The teams in the drawing are ranked in inverse order of their regular season point totals, with team one being the club with the fewest points, and team 14 being the club with the most points among those outside of the playoffs. The likelihood of each team gaining the right to the first pick is as follows: Team 1 25.0% Team 2 18.8% Team 3 14.2% Team 4 10.7% Team 5 8.1% Team 6 6.2% Team 7 4.7% Team 8 3.6% Team 9 2.7% Team 10 2.1% Team 11 1.5% Team 12 1.1% Team 13 0.8% Team 14 0.5% No club will move down more than one position as a result of the Draft Lottery. The remaining first round drafting positions are determined by the results of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Source
  8. [Hidden Content] NJ to host 2013 draft The National Hockey League announced Friday the hosts of the next two NHL Drafts just hours before the 2012 edition at Pittsburgh's Consol Energy Center began. The New Jersey Devils will host the 2013 NHL Draft at Prudential Center in Newark and the Philadelphia Flyers will host the 2014 NHL Draft at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. Both franchises will be hosting the Draft for the first time and the 2013 Draft will mark the first time the Draft is held in the New York City metropolitan area. The Penguins are the 2012 host, marking the second time they have hosted the event, which was held in Montreal -- mostly in ballrooms -- from its inception in 1963 until 1985, when 7,000 fans filled the Metro Toronto Convention Center. The Maple Leafs also hosted in 2002. The Canadiens have hosted the draft four more times since 1985. The Draft has been held in several other NHL markets: Detroit (1987), Bloomington, Minn. (1989), Vancouver (1990, 2006), Buffalo (1991, 1998), Quebec City (1993), Hartford (1994), Edmonton (1995), St. Louis (1996), Pittsburgh (1997, 2012), Boston (1999), Calgary (2000), Sunrise (2001), Nashville (2003), Raleigh (2004), Ottawa (2005, 2008), Columbus (2007), Los Angeles (2010) and St. Paul (2011). With growth of the Draft during that time, the event's profile has certainly expanded. In both Newark and Philadelphia, club executives, scouts and coaches will be present on the NHL Draft floor while more than 10,000 fans and 500 print, television and radio media are expected to attend. Ticket distribution plans and other details pertaining to the 2013 and 2014 Drafts will be announced at a later date.
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