written by Kris Knesis — Helsinki Lynx GM
It’s the end of 2017 and I’m revisiting the recap I wrote on the IceHL 2017 Draft back in October. It appears I have been mostly wrong. Enjoy this and let’s all have a happy 2018!
Editor's Note: For each round, Kris's original picks are listed along with his revised analysis. —Chris
Best Pick · Connor McDavid (1st), Salt Lake City Scorpions
Worst Pick · Brent Burns (2nd), North Carolina Nighthawks
Sneaky Pick · Jack Eichel (5th), Minnesota Mammoths
Connor McDavid will never not be the pick Salt Lake was supposed to make, so I’ll leave that there, but you gotta give serious props to Baltimore Blue Crabs and their decision to slide in the draft and take Nikita Kucherov. As for the bad picks – Boulder’s Matt Murray at 12th doesn’t look so good right now, but it’s the Penguins and we know they can turn everything around quick and Murray will benefit, if that happens. And how’s that Jack Eichel working out? Don’t be fooled by Buffalo’s struggles, Eichel is real and that pick looks great and will look even better next year.
Best Pick · Victor Hedman (26th), Boston Colonials
Worst Pick · Pekka Rinne (37th), Milwaukee Lagers
Sneaky Pick · William Nylander (38th), Washington Sentinels
Hedman hasn’t been as dominant as in the past so the best pick award, and what an easy decision, goes to John Tavares, who has been lights out and a steal at 29th pick, so stick taps to Edmonton Kodiaks for finding a way to get over losing Steven Stamkos to Stockholm. I’ll have to eat my words about Rinne, he has had a great year so far and is no longer the worst pick of the round. It’s going to have to be the Nighthawks’ Ryan Getzlaf who has missed so much time due to injury. How’s Nylander doing? He’s struggling, actually. If kept, the pick will look better in the future, but for now it’s a dud, candidate for the worst of the round category.
Best Pick · Kris Letang (52nd), Edmonton Kodiaks
Worst Pick · Phil Kessel (44th), Milwaukee Lagers
Sneaky Pick · Viktor Arvidsson (43rd), Washington Sentinels
Letang has struggled and the best pick of the round now appears to be Andrei Vasilevskiy who was snagged by Houston Hellcats. Kessel has been playing some of the best hockey of his career so the worst pick ‘honor’ goes to Vancouver’s Cam Atkinson who can’t seem to find his game and averages only 2.4 fantasy points per game. How’s that Arvy doing? He’s been ok, but nothing spectacular.
Best Pick · Jonathan Quick (75th), Vancouver Lumberjacks
Worst Pick · Nick Schmaltz (73rd), Stockholm Hammers
Sneaky Pick · Jake Guentzel (66th), Boston Colonials
That Quick pick still looks good, because not only he gets the starts – he also wins the games! I’m also still not impressed with Hammers picking Schmaltz in the 4th round – he’s been as good as Toews (which is to say not very good) and a little better than Jonathan Drouin (Blue Crabs) but Drouin has much more upside going forward so I’m sticking with my opinion on Schmaltz. How’s Guentzel? At 3.5 fantasy points per game, there’s much to be desired, but if Colonials opt to keep him, some good may still come out of it.
Best Pick · Oscar Klefbom (87th), Gold Coast Rush
Worst Pick · Ryan Ellis (97th), Alaska Huskies
Sneaky Pick · Claude Giroux (93rd), California Wave
Yeah, Klefbom (now a Lynx) hasn’t been the top-10 defenseman I imagined him to be. The best pick of the round looks to be Logan Couture (also a Lynx) averaging 5.5 fantasy points per game, just ahead of Jake Voracek (WPG) and Claude Giroux (drafted by CAL, traded to MIL). Worst pick still has to be Huskies’ Ellis who still hasn’t played this season.
Best Pick · John Carlson (116th), Helsinki Lynx
Worst Pick · Eric Staal (107th), St. Louis Archers
Sneaky Pick · Nathan MacKinnon (101st), Salt Lake City Scorpions
“Gotta hand this one to myself. Carlson is Very Good and the power play quarterback on the Washington Capitals. Thank you everybody for not picking him ahead of me.”
Those were my exact words and as much as I’d like to say it holds up as the best pick (Carlson leads all defensemen in fantasy points entering the Christmas break, which, you know, is good), I gotta hand it to Salt Lake for picking MacKinnon, who averages 5.4 fantasy points per game. Some other sneaky picks were made in this round – Vinny Trocheck, Brayden Schenn and even Eric Staal have been steals. But the worst pick of the round has to be Washington’s Alex Galchenyuk who averages only 3 fantasy points per game.