Just like every draft, there are some teams that get a steal with their 1st Round Pick and some tend to reach a bit ahead and draft someone out of the blue. There’s a variety of reasons these situations. Sometimes they see something in the player that no one else sees (See: Pavel Datsyuk). Sometimes they just fall in love with the player (See: Mark Jankowski). Sometimes they just want the player really bad and no one wants to trade down with them. Those are just several reasons why teams find gems and busts in the draft. However, here are my picks for the steals and the gems of the draft (so far…)
Josh Ho-Sang (1st Round 28th Overall) – New York Islanders
Josh Ho-Sang has wonderful hands and can make plays out of seemingly nothing. It’s honestly magical. His one draw back is the reports of his attitude problems. If he didn’t have the attitude labeled stuck to him, he would be in conversations for top 10. Instead, he drops down to 28. This is a high risk-high reward pick. If he can brush off the attitude tag, he looks like a major steal. If he can’t, he could turn bust rather quickly. Being drafted 28th Overall isn’t a bad thing at all. Players like Matt Niskanen and Corey Perry were selected from this spot.
Kevin Fiala (1st Round 11th Overall) – Nashville Predators
Kevin Fiala is not a bad player by an stretch of the imagination. He’s one of the best hockey players in the world in his age group. However, he’s not the 11th best though. Most experts had him in the 15-25 range and we had him in the 22nd slot. However, the Predators see something in him that many of us don’t. At 5’11 he won’t be expected to be a physical player but he will still need to add some muscle.