Today was the day for the Devils to make their selection in the SBN Mock Draft pick. So I looked over the overviews I have done so far, considered who was already taken, considered who was available, and made the selection of defenseman Calvin de Haan. I summed up my reasoning with this short blurb (yeah, I had to write something concise, I know, rare):
Calvin de Haan is a slick skating, offensive-defenseman who thrived all season in Oshawa – with and without John Tavares. His best assets include his intelligence, his ability to move the puck up ice, and his calm approach to the game, even in pressure situations.
De Haan was the second prospect I did an overview for, after Kyle Palmieri, who was my second choice for the pick. Among the prospects I have dug up information for so far - and I plan to do at least two more before Friday, most likely: Simon Despres and
Drew Shore Louis Leblanc (I changed my mind) - I became the most interested in these two.
Truth be told, I am still asking the same questions about Palmieri as I did at the end of my overview on him: he can skate, he's definitely strong, he's got a good work ethic, and he's proven that he can score. I know he's small but I frankly don't care about that. So why isn't he touted any higher than the bottom third of the first round? Is it truly character?
De Haan's skills, on the other hand, was just as enticing - but without any lingering questions. De Haan is a solid skater, he's solid moving the puck up ice, he's poised for a defender (and at 17, 18 years old, that's huge), and he continued to perform well be it in Oshawa with John Tavares, in Oshawa without John Tavares, and for Team Canada. The knock on him is his size and that's more in terms of muscle than in frame. I'm confident he'll get stronger and he'll get better with experience. In my view, that would make him the best player available. That he fits the Devils' system need for puck-moving, offensive defensemen is just icing on the proverbial cake.
Incidentally, I rated Tim Erixon as the third best option behind them, with Dylan Olsen as a reach later on. Carter Ashton, David Rundblad, Stefan Elliott, and Landon Ferraro were all taken ahead of NJ's spot in the mock, so I had no chance with them.
Anyway, I'll leave it to you all as to whether you all think I made a good pick. In the meantime, check out these links as you get ready for Friday's NHL Draft.
The Falconer broke down where the "star players" tend to be taken in the NHL Draft. It's quite enlightening, especially the conclusion on goalies.
daoust, a member of Pension Plan Puppets, put together this awesome spreadsheet detailing how each team had done at the draft since 1994. Learn why Detroit's draft success isn't all that successful and so much more. This is simply excellent and well worth your time.
I'm going to the Draft...Party! Yes, the New Jersey Devils will host their annual NHL Draft Party this Friday at The Rock. Festivities (per weather) will begin outside the Rock at 5:30 PM, doors will open at 6:30 PM, and the Draft starts at 7 PM. You can buy some hockey equipment, buy some merchandise, skate on the practice rink, and hang out with Devils fans while checking out the Draft. All for free. I'll be there in my regular seat at Section 1, for
awkward conversationhigh-fives and far too many words about hockey. You can even laugh at me when the Devils don't end up picking de Haan! (or marvel when they do.)
And now, a poll. Feel free to share all your draft-related, draft-party-related, and mock-draft-related comments in the comments section below.