Day one of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft is in the books.
Saturday will be fast and furious with round 2-7 being done in the same amount of time it took to do round one today. Although it may go by quickly, the importance of these picks cannot be overstated. Successful organizations will find talent in Day 2 of the draft, and although the Canucks don’t currently possess a 2nd round pick, anything can happen. So let’s take a look at some of the best prospects that will available when day 2 begins.
Adam Fox (D)
Coming in as the 52nd ranked prospect in our consensus draft rankings, Adam Fox is one of the best defenceman available. When looking at comparable players using pGPS, 50% of his matches went onto being NHL regulars. Unfortunately there is only one match, so the sample size has to be taken into consideration but Fox is a player who possesses a skill set that should intrigue teams.
Measuring in at 5’10” and 183 lbs, there is some concern that his size may have him see some issues translating to the NHL, but that is likely overstated. He is a very good puck mover who has the ability to use his skating skills to his advantage. Day one saw a lot of American prospects taken, and it may not be long for Fox to be taken on day 2.
Taylor Raddysh (RW)
Taylor Raddysh is the player left with the best pGPS rating, a very impressive 58.3% went onto becoming NHL regulars, with a impressive 58 matches. It’s not surprising that he is still on the board, as we had ranked as the 33rd best prospect in our consensus rankings.
Raddysh has a full toolbox of skills that will likely translate to the NHL. He is regarded as a power-forward but that doesn’t summarize his game, as he has shown in the past a certain playmaking ability that teams will find attractive. He also finished the season as the 6th best draft eligible scorer in the OHL.
Alex Debrincat (C)
Regarded as a possible first round pick, Debrincat will hear his name called on the second day of the draft. The diminutive forward is coming off back-to-back 51 goal seasons and seems to always find a way to score goals. There is some very obvious concern about his size, as he is only 5’7″, but he should be able overcome that and carve out an NHL career.
Our consensus rankings had him as the 20th best prospect, but I along with many other pundits have him ranked lower. But there is no taking away from the fact that he score a lot – a team will take a risk and hope that he will make it.
Looking at pGPS, like Adam Fox, he has a 50% success rate but with only 2 matches. There just hasn’t been many forward like him.
Cam Dineen (D)
Cam Dineen is another small defenceman that still remains on the draft board. Posting 59 goals in 68 games with North Bay Battalion, Dineen has an underrated offensive game that flew under the radar because of the other defenceman coming out the CHL
Dineen was 39th in our consensus rankings, so it shouldn’t be surprising to see him go in the early parts of the 2nd round tomorrow. When we look at him through the pGPS lens, like Fox, 50% of his matches went onto being NHL regulars.
Vitali Abramov (C/LW)
A personal favourite prospect, Vitali Abramov is another diminutive forward that is still available for teams to snap up in the second round. The diminutive forward tore up the QMJHL scoring 93 points in 63 games and then followed that up with 13 points in 10 playoff games. Bob McKenzie does have him ranked as the 51st best prospect and that’s likely due to some worry about Abramov’s size.
When looking at pGPS, 50.0% of Abramov’s matches went onto becoming NHL regulars. I would expect that Abramov will be part of the 50% who makes it, rather than the half that doesn’t. He has a fantastic release and playmaking abilities that are always on display.
Some other players that rate well with pGPS are: Cameron Morrison, Dillon Dube, Markus Niemelainen, Adam Mascherin and Pascal Laberge.
It is unfortunate that the Canucks only have one of the next 109 selections, because there is some talent left on the table. It’s clear that there will be some talent available early, and given the unpredictability, that could spill over throughout the rest of the draft.
Buckle up, round 2 starts promptly at 7 am tomorrow.