Pacific Division Draft Day: Team Needs


By Bobby Bauders

Senior Writer/Editor

 

We’ll have four team needs stories highlighting the draft needs of the teams in every division. Written on June 23rd, any trades that happened after this story was written will not be mentioned in this story, therefore some draft spots may be outdated.

 

Our Updated Mock Draft

 

Pacific Division:

Edmonton Oilers:

1st Round Picks: 1

2nd Round Picks: 1

Total Draft Picks: 9

The Edmonton Oilers need defense and goaltending desperately.

 

Basically the only defense prospects the Oilers have are Darnell Nurse and Griffin Reinhart, and while their future looks bright, there’s no guarantee that they’ll develop into elite shutdown defenders. That’s something Edmonton need. Holding the 4th overall pick opens a wide variety for Edmonton to choose from: Olli Juolevi, Jakob Chycrhun, and Mikhail Sergachev. But at 4th overall, would it be more beneficial to take a forward like Matthew Tkachuk instead of a defenseman? Most scouts agree Tkachuk is better than all the defensemen listed. That would likely prompt the Oilers to trade down, say, to Montreal’s number 9? Montreal is known to want to trade up to acquire Pierre-Luc Dubois. At number 9, Juolevi and Sergachev will likely be gone as Arizona and Buffalo choose at 7 and 8 respectively, but they still have their choice of Jakob Chychrun, Jake Bean, and Charles McAvoy.

 

Should they stay at 4, they honestly should take Mikhail Sergachev. Nurse and Reinhart are both left handed defenders. That means they need a right handed defender. Both Chychrun and Juolevi are left handed, while Sergachev is right handed.

 

As for goaltender: Edmonton owns the 32nd pick in the draft. Arguably the best goaltender, Filip Gustavsson will likely be selected in the 50s. So if Edmonton wants they could trade down to the 40s/50s in order to select Gustavsson. Although they still have a wide variety of talent at 32, and could select winger Vitali Abramov, despite their loaded offensive prospect pool.

 

Calgary Flames:

1st Round Picks: 1

2nd Round Picks: 3

Total Draft Picks: 10

Calgary mainly needs goaltending and maybe an extra punch in offense.

 

Calgary is basically set on defense for now. They could use an extra prospect or 2, but the ability to draft the likes of Alexander Nylander will likely overshadow that need.

 

That is if they even keep their 6th overall. Pittsburgh Penguins have told Calgary that Fleury’s price is a 6th overall. That would solve their current goaltending problem. If that price is too high, maybe they’ll figure out a way to package two of their many 2nd round picks plus a prospect.

 

Should Calgary stay at 6, they’ll likely select Nylander. They could also use on of their 2nd round picks to select Filip Gustavsson or Carter Hart.

 

Arizona Coyotes:

1st Round Picks: 2

2nd Round Picks: 2

Total Draft Picks: 8

Arizona’s needs are defense and goaltending.

 

With a late 2nd round pick, they should definitely consider drafting Filip Gustavsson or Carter Hart. They’re some of the top goaltending prospects in this draft, and have the potential to develop into something great, or at the very least could be cornerstones in a trade.

 

Arizona currently holds the 7th overall pick. They’re certainly hoping that Olli Juolevi falls to them. Imagine a future defensive pairing of Juolevi and Oliver Ekman-Larsson. Sick. They’re need for a puck-moving defender to compliment Ekman-Larsson justifies Juolevi, but what about their need a for a shut down defenseman? This can come in the way of Mikhail Sergachev. Should Juolevi not be available at number 7, Sergachev is a great 2nd choice. He’s 220 lbs. and loves to be involved. He’s a dominant two-way defender who can shut down opponents, and also contribute on offense.

 

They also hold the 20th overall pick. They could have their choice of Logan Stanley, Riley Tufte, or Julien Gauthier. Gautheir’s stock has fallen, but is still expected to be a great player. Many believe that he’s ready to jump into the AHL, and once he’s eligible, the Coyotes would likely play him in Tucson. Coyotes would be smart to select any one of those 3.

 

Vancouver Canucks:

1st Round Picks: 1

2nd Round Picks: 0

Total Draft Picks: 6

Vancouver has excellent forward prospects in Jake Virtanen, Bo Horvat, and Emerson Etem, and formally Jared McCann (way to go Benning), and a need for more prospects in their defensive pool.

 

The problem (if you want to call it a problem), Matthew Tkachuk and Pierre-Luc Dubois. Should either one of Tkachuk and Dubois be available at 5, Vancouver may overlook their need in defense for the tremendous talent in those 2 forwards.

 

While they do need more defensive prospects, it’ll be hard passing up on Tkachuk and Dubois. They should also look into a good goaltending prospect, but all the goaltending prospects this year are in the 2nd round. And Vancouver doesn’t have a 2nd Round Pick (once again, way to go Benning).

 

Anaheim Ducks:

1st Round Picks: 2

2nd Round Picks: 0

Total Draft Picks: 6

Anaheim should look to forwards in this year’s draft.

 

The Ducks have a solid young defensive core and a promising young goaltender. That leaves offense, and Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry are only getting older.

 

They do have a promising prospect by the name of Nick Ritchie. With the 24th and 3oth picks in this year’s draft, Anaheim could always stock up more on some offensive prospects. Say Brett Howden? Also, these prospects could end up being key pieces in future trades.

Los Angeles Kings:

1st Round Picks: 0

2nd Round Picks: 1

Total Draft Picks: 4

LA has an aging defense. Defense is definitely something they need to look for.

 

Luckily, this year’s draft is loaded with defensive prospects. Currently, the Kings hold the 51st pick. Maybe a player like Ryan Lindgren will be available. He’s shown great promise and could be a top-six defenseman in 5 years.

 

Drew Doughty is young at 26-years-old, but he can lead the LA defense on his own. Especially when Matt Greene and Rob Scuderi are both in their 30s. Alec Martinez and Jake Muzzin are both in their primes, but a young defense is something no one can argue with.

 

Although, with the fact that Milan Lucic is leaving, and Dustin Brown, Marian Gaborik, and Kris Versteeg all in their 3os, it might be a good idea to restructure for the future of offensive in LA. Maybe Adam Mascherin would be a good choice. Noah Gregor is a hard-nosed center who would also fit great in the LA system.

 

San Jose Sharks:

1st Round Picks: 0

2nd Round Picks: 1

Total Draft Picks: 5

San Jose’s core is aging, and they’re running out of time to win the Stanley Cup. They came close this year, but fell to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the final.

 

The Draft is not the place to look for the Sharks in my opinion. Their draft picks are too low, and they need to win now. Trades will be San Jose’s saving grace.

 

If they do find a hidden gem in the draft, they need to hope it’s a forward. San Jose’s offensive core has 2 maybe 3 seasons left before it collapses. Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton are both 36 and Joel Ward is 35. Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture, and Tommy Wingels can hold the team together, but it won’t be the same without Pavelski and Couture.

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