So, we are approximately seven weeks from the draft, which is June 22-23 in Tittiesburgh.
We have the 15th pick, which is the best you can hope for if you're going to make the playoffs. And I think in this draft it's actually not a bad spot to be, considering most agree this is a wide open draft. I would say Yakupov, Grigorenko, Galchenyuk, Murray and Forsberg are all certain to be gone by the time we pick, almost definitely top ten, but I'm not sure anybody else can be ruled out.
While teams all say they are going BPA in the draft, Murray seems to be fairly predictable. Last year he admitted that they targeted scoring forwards, which they clearly did, and I think stockpiling defence prospects was the stated strategy before that. This year, I think the need is defence, and I think we can reasonably predict that unless a pretty little Swedish forward strikes their fancy, that's a very likely bet. It helps that this draft is deep in blueliners, and other than maybe Radek Faksa, there aren't many non-Swedish forwards in that range anyways.
Matt Dumba - Most likely gone ahead of us, particularly with strong U18s. Compared to Subban and Phaneuf, and the downside of that comparison (ie. being a high-functioning retard) is why he could slide.
Morgan Rielly - Maybe the most talented blueliner in the draft, has been compared to Karlsson actually, but missed most of the year with a knee injury. I doubt he slides, but there are so many blueliners it's possible.
Cody Ceci - Has been projected everywhere from just outside the top five, to the early 20s. As "local" as it gets - Ottawa born, 67s developed. I'm a fan and would be ecstatic to select him at 15, and would even support trading up.
Jacob Trouba - Seems to be a bit lost in the shuffle; complete package type of blueliner who like Ceci maybe doesn't excite with a single dominant trait. Did not look out of place at the WJC, IMO.
Griffin Reinhart - Probable the guy on this list I think is most guaranteed to go ahead of us, is similar to Trouba with a broad skill set. Bloodlines help - the Reinharts are the new Staals.
Derrick Pouliot - Listed anywhere from just outside the top ten to late in the first. A very poised, skilled puck-mover who maybe isn't quite as dynamic as Rielly or Dumba, but is more controlled and healthy.
Olli Maatta - Another player who is a bit all over the map. Profiles similar to Ryan Murray, just not quite as good or advanced.
Matthew Finn - During the middle of the season, looked poised to make a move into the top ten, but then his stock seemed to drop back. Not that tall but solidly built, another well-rounded type.
Slater Koekoek - Another injury case, lots of offensive talent and good size, but very raw. A team could reach on him early, but he could also drop out of the first round entirely.
Sebastian Collberg - Has been compared to Jeff Skinner, and once or twice Alfie as well. Undersized and plays with a hilarious short stick, but was outstanding at the WJCs. Great shot and knows how to score. Seems to be dropping because his SEL team didn't play him.
Pontus Aberg - Much more productive in the SEL than Collberg, another player whose stock is a bit all over. Have seen him top ten, or out of the first round. I've never seen him personally and don't have much to even draw on for bullshit purposes.
Hampus Lindholm and Ludvig Bystrom - Two Swedish blueliners who are hanging around the 20s in many draft lists, but every year a Swedish blueliner goes higher than expected. Lindholm in particular seems to be rising late.