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The Athletic?s 2018 NHL Mock Draft 2.0


Phil
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No. 9 N.Y. Rangers: Jesperi Kotkaniemi, C, Assat-Liiga

What does the team typically value in players?

 

I think this year and last, they?re looking at character guys ? obviously along with skill. They?re still thrilled with last year?s first-round pick Lias Andersson and very fired up over their acquisitions of character guys in Brett Howden and Ryan Lindgren.

 

Is there any major area of need?

 

Their most obvious need is on defense, but they also lack real top-end wingers. I think they?d prefer wingers over D now that they have Livor Hajek, Lindgren and eventually Yegor Rykov coming, plus they?ve seen what Neal Pionk might be.

 

Rationale?

 

Another good character guy, which the Rangers are striving to collect. Kotkaniemi can play center or wing, has good skills ? another Rangers? need ? and is good along the walls, at the puck-possession game new coach David Quinn wants to play.

 

? Rick Carpiniello

 

https://theathletic.com/372509/2018/06/12/the-athletics-2018-nhl-mock-draft-2-0-projecting-the-first-round-and-evaluating-team-needs/

 

Taken at 26 and 28: Akil Thomas and Jonatan Berggren.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Blueshirts Brotherhood mobile app powered by Tapatalk

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Thoughts? Im not in the loop regarding any of these players except like the top 3, Tkachuk, and Wahlstrom.

 

Kotkaniemi is the wild card of the first round. He was originally expected to taken in the 20s but has shot up the rankings the last 2 months with an impressive end of the year playoff run playing the Liiga.

 

While listed as a C, he's a versatile forward that can play all three positions. He's got decent size, good hands, good vision, goes to the net, good shot, great defensively, feisty & relentless playstyle. He doesnt have the same upside or game breaking ability that most top 10 picks have, but he is potentially NHL-ready (or closer than other options). He's drawn comparisons to Kopitar and other 2-way centers. I see him closer to a M Koivu, a bit faster, a little more snarl.

 

the biggest issue being if you see him as a potential top liner, which, you'd ideally aim for with a #9 pick.

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Not saying he wont be a good player in the NHL but based off of his description, Kotkaniemi sounds like another Lias Anderson.. Not going to be an elite player but is almost NHL ready, solid defensively and has good hustle. Not saying it's a bad thing but since we already have it in the system I say take a chance on someone else.

 

I don't subscribe to the Athletic so I don't see the picks before ours but if Wahlstrom is available at 9 then you take him simply because he's the kind of player this franchise never seems to be able to get their hands on. We have character prospects.. get some high offensive skill now.

 

Also I am no expert but aren't there reports of 2 teams with higher picks who were both very interested in Kotkaniemi? I think Montreal and Detroit but I could be wrong there. So even if the Rangers want him I don't think it will happen.

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Wahlstrom is picked at 8 by Chicago in their mock draft.

The Rangers are leaving Dobson, Veleno and Ty Smith on the board.

 

Personally I’m taking Dobson all day long if that’s the situation.

 

Yea everything I have heard about Dobson has been promising though I have never watched him play, even highlight reel. Wouldn't mind that pick.

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Kevin Allen's Mock 2.0

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nhl/columnist/allen/2018/06/18/nhl-mock-draft-first-round-rasmus-dahlin/709647002/

9. New York Rangers: Defenseman Noah Dobson, Acadie-Bathurst (QMJHL): A 6-foot-3 defenseman who can handle the puck and play well in his own end. Has agility and strength. Uses his size well. High-value pick if the Rangers get him at No. 9.

 

He has Jesperi Kotkaniemi at 7 to Vancouver, and Oliver Wahlstrom at 8 to Chicago.

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Kevin Allen's Mock 2.0

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nhl/columnist/allen/2018/06/18/nhl-mock-draft-first-round-rasmus-dahlin/709647002/

 

 

He has Jesperi Kotkaniemi at 7 to Vancouver, and Oliver Wahlstrom at 8 to Chicago.

 

Can't help but feel like a defender would be a massive let down/not sexy. But this kid is good. All the D in the top 10 are. I wouldn't hate it.

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Can't help but feel like a defender would be a massive let down/not sexy. But this kid is good. All the D in the top 10 are. I wouldn't hate it.

 

Because a defender is not a sexy pick (unless its Dahlin) but truthfully this team needs good D prospects as much as it needs top 6 forwards.

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When I look at all those mock drafts, there seems to be a rather clear trend:

 

Dahlin goes first, then Svechnikov. Tkachuk and Zadina goes 3-4.

 

After that, you have a group of: Hughes, Dobson, Bouchard, Kotkaniemi, Wahlstrom and Boqvist, who have all been ranked anywhere from 5-10. It's almost the same names in january as in june - only Kotkaniemi seems to have climbed. Even in the days leading up to the draft, you can see Dobson going 5th and 10th in different mocks, Hughes going 4th in some and then 9th in others - it really, really looks like a matter of taste or a virtual toss-up between these guys.

 

That again makes the 9th spot really good value-wise. I would love any guy from that group, perhaps except Kotkaniemi - but I'm sure he'll go before 9 due to being the top C in the draft. Just don't go off board and grab someone like Veleno or Hayton at 9. See what happens and go with the one that falls to you.

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When I look at all those mock drafts, there seems to be a rather clear trend:

 

Dahlin goes first, then Svechnikov. Tkachuk and Zadina goes 3-4.

 

After that, you have a group of: Hughes, Dobson, Bouchard, Kotkaniemi, Wahlstrom and Boqvist, who have all been ranked anywhere from 5-10. It's almost the same names in january as in june - only Kotkaniemi seems to have climbed. Even in the days leading up to the draft, you can see Dobson going 5th and 10th in different mocks, Hughes going 4th in some and then 9th in others - it really, really looks like a matter of taste or a virtual toss-up between these guys.

 

That again makes the 9th spot really good value-wise. I would love any guy from that group, perhaps except Kotkaniemi - but I'm sure he'll go before 9 due to being the top C in the draft. Just don't go off board and grab someone like Veleno or Hayton at 9. See what happens and go with the one that falls to you.

 

This is not so sure anymore. Kotkaniemi is actually favorite (at bookies) to be drafted #3. Some others have Hughes and even Dobson in the top 4.

 

But yeah, the top 10 has been the same group for months now. Dahlin, Svechnikov, Kotkaniemi, Dobson, Zadina, Hughes, Tkachuk, Wahlstrom, BOUCHARD, Boqvist is how I have the top 10 (in that order).

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