In a short series before the draft, myself and the Union and Blue team are going to discuss our draft predictions. With the draft only days away, and the excitement mounting, it only seemed right to take a final look at the draft. In our draft predictions we take a quick look at what we think will go down in NJ, and more or less what we hope happens.
Here is my draft predictions and hopes:
I think that this draft will have little to no trading occurring, whether it is picks or players. Not to say that I don’t want any trades to happen, it just seems that more teams will opt to draft because of all the talent available.
If there is one team that I think will make a trade, it would be the Buffalo Sabres, and I wouldn’t mind Columbus striking a deal with them. I have one player in mind and one player only. Thomas Vanek.
The Austrian born superstar knows how to score goals, and he did it plenty of times for the Sabres. There are some downsides to Vanek though; slow, maybe even lazy at times, and quite streaky. Most of the time these flaws are overlooked because of his knack for the back of the net. The biggest question mark is how much would Columbus have to give up for Vanek.
Lets say that the Blue Jackets opt to use all three of their draft picks. Who will they pick? Will it be defense or offense? Finally, will Kekalainen stick to his motto of drafting the best player available? Thankfully, in this draft any player could arguably be the next best player available.
Players that I think could fit the bill as best available players for the Blue Jackets; Anthony Mantha, Ryan Pulock, Bo Horvat, Ryan Hartman, Max Domi, Curtis Lazar, Nikita Zadorov,Alexander Wennberg, and Andre Burakovsky. See what I am saying, there are so many talented players in this draft. I think that Jarmo and his team of scouts will be ready to make the decision when the time comes, and us fans won’t be disappointed.
Last but not least, the option to trade up in the draft. If it happens,a big if, it will be at a high cost. This is another situation that I don’t see happening often, unless a team has one player in mind and they will do anything to be able to draft that player. Again though, with such talent available, I don’t see that as necessary. There may be some teams that would want to get a top three pick, but they will end up paying a very high price, if and only if one of the three top teams is willing to give up their first pick.
This draft is said to be one of the deepest drafts in quite some time, we won’t know for sure right away, only time will tell if these prospects turn out to be as promising as they seem to be. Hopefully this draft will be memorable for the Blue Jackets, with the potential of selecting three top tier prospects, the future is certainly looking brighter.