Not Your Average Hockey Blog Mock Draft!

As one of our first posts in our reboot, we would like to revive a yearly tradition and present to you our 2016 NHL Mock Draft 1.0. How is this mock draft different from last year? Our mock draft has been relatively accurate in the years. Eight out of thirty (27%), of projected draft picks were drafted within two picks of the projected slots in 2013, eleven out of thirty (37%) in 2014 ,and ten out of thirty (30%) in 2015.

As part of our increased coverage and increased writers, we are able to simultaneously give eight, that’s right eight mock drafts all at once!

Each individual mock draft has been submitted by their writers themselves, and we’re excited to see if we have any changes during the year!

Some notes from our writers:

Ok, so. Say you really want a top flight Defenceman. And say your team is underperforming under a new head coach – badly. What do you do? If you said trade your #1 Centerman and pray for 1st overall, you may just be qualified to GM the Columbus Blue Jackets. All kidding aside, Columbus needs a top centre after acquiring Seth Jones, and who better to fill that role than potential Franchise player Auston Matthews? From there things get a bit hectic. The Leafs want Alex Nylander, but it’d be unjustifiable to draft him at #2, and they aren’t stupid enough to trade away the 2nd overall pick (Shut up). So instead they’ll take a player with familiarity with ANOTHER of their top flight prospects, Matthew Tkachuk, who plays with Mitch Marner in London. Buffalo needs Defence to go with their shiny new Eichel, so they’ll go with the best guy in the draft at that position in Jakob Chychrun. In a surprise move, Edmonton finally realize they have enough forwards and go with Olli Juolevi. Calgary and Winnipeg get amazing players in Laine and Puljujarvi almost by default based on the need of teams ahead of them, and Anaheim has enough size that they can justify drafting high skill baby Ny (and we don’t have to play him much, YAY). I don’t think Carolina will keep elder Staal so it’s time they start building around new young centre Mcleod. Nashville gets a new Jones so fans who bought Seth’s Jersey only have to change the number on the back and hey, kid’s a whiz offensively in his first OHL season so that’s a plus. And last but not least the Flyers continue to fill the Void that is their defence with young Mikhail Sergachev, and may actually get somewhere with him. – Jordan Doran

I chose Charles McAvory for the Sharks because, after the first half of this season, the entire club knows that the team is in desperate need of more skilled d-men. They need a solid stay-at-home defenseman. McAvory could end up being that guy. – Aidan Carlsen explaining his rationale on the Sharks pick.

I had Jacob Chychrun dropping to 4 instead of at 3 to the Sabres because the Sabres currently have a top offensive defenseman in development with Rasmus Ristolainen and a strong top 4 defenseman in development with Jake McCabe. The Sabres also have few strong young strong centers in Ryan O’Reilly, Zemgus Girgensons, Jack Eichel, and Sam Reinhart. What they don’t have besides Marcus Foligno is a bit power forward. This is where Patrik Laine comes in. Laine is a hulking forward who uses his size well. His big size and his willingness to use it will be a big factor on the Sabres picking Laine. The Oilers on the other hand need a big mobile defenseman who can man the power play. Chychrun can man the power play and can pair along with Nurse to lead the Oilers into the future. Well this is unless the Oilers get their usual first overall pick… – Alson Lee

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Goodbye Marty: My reaction as a Lightning fan to the trade of Martin St. Louis

marty

I’m heartbroken and angry. I’m heartbroken to lose a man that gave his heart and soul to this team and this community for 13 years. I’m angry, not but at Marty. I’m angry all the fans that have been bad mouthing Marty despite 13 years of devotion to this team and this community. I’m angry at Yzerman for the way he handled this situation.

Marty is a wonderful man. His leadership skills far outshined Vincent Lecavalier’s in recent years. He should have become captain a long time ago. He is a shining example of what can happen if you work hard to achieve your dreams. He was undrafted because he was too small, but still managed to make it to the NHL and win a Stanley Cup. I don’t blame him for requesting a trade after Yzerman left him off the initial Olympic roster. For every hockey player, winning an Olympic medal is a dream and to lose that dream twice after putting years and years of hard work and being more than qualified, had to be devastating. However, to say that that was the ONLY reason he requested a trade is absolutely absurd.

Marty has won two Lady Bing trophies and was still gracious and classy when he made a statement to the fans/media about the trade. In an interview with Fox in Tampa,  and in a letter to fans Marty thanked fans for their support and came across as very melancholy. Despite both of those statements saying that family was a big part of the decision, many fans, including some local journalists proceeded to bash him.  They called him a crybaby, prick and douchebag just to name a few. They said he chose a personal vendetta against Yzerman over acting like a team player. This makes me angry because like I mentioned before knowing what I know about Marty’s character, that would not be the only reason for his request. Of course the media doesn’t see it that way because this personal vendetta story makes for “better” journalism. The fans are blindly believing the crap that makes for “better” journalism and can’t seem to think for themselves and realize that Marty is a real person with a real family and could possibly leave Tampa for any other reason.

My anger is just magnified by the way Yzerman handled the situation. I already dislike Yzerman but after watching his press conference after the trade was announced, I absolutely hate him.  He talked about a “new era” in Lightning history now that every player from the 2004 Stanley Cup team and the smug look on his face made it seem like this was the final stage of his evil plan to purge Tampa of all of our beloved players under the guise of making the team better. He acted like he was glad Marty requested a trade, even though his words said otherwise. It was no secret that Marty and he didn’t have the best relationship. When asked if the snub had an effect on Marty’s choice to request a trade, Yzerman responded by saying snub means to ignore and that they didn’t ignore anyone. In fact, snub can also mean “reject with disdain or contempt.”  During the press conference, the phrase “the best thing for the organization” kept coming up and I can’t help but wonder how the rest of the team will handle this and keep pushing toward the playoffs. Stamkos is feeling a lot right now, as he made clear in an interview. He feels the pressure leading this team, as well as the loss of a good friend and teammate. All of this happening after finally being cleared to play after being injured for 4 months.

As far as Callahan is concerned, I don’t see him making that much of a difference. The Lightning still suck on defense although Thor aka Michael Kostka could help that situation. It will be interesting to see if the Lightning will make the playoffs without Marty

Overall, I’m bummed that Marty is gone and the Lightning didn’t get anything to help the team in return except for some draft picks that won’t be NHL ready for 5 years. I grew up supporting the Lightning, but this is Florida, not Canada. People won’t keep buying tickets and merchandise if it is going to take 3 years or more for the system Yzerman has been building to start making the team a constant contender for the Cup. With only Stamkos left to be the face of the franchise will the franchise be profitable enough to last until then?  Only time will tell.

Good Luck to Marty in New York.

P.S Here is the picture of the smug look on Yzerman’s face

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source

Editor’s Note: Make sure to follow Jessica on Twitter @Dnwyourpity, and make sure to “like” us on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/NotYourAverageHockeyBlog

The Curious Case of Claude Giroux

With the Sochi Olympics now underway and a brief freeze in the NHL season, the most talked about topic in hockey right now is regarding Flyers captain Claude Giroux on why he did not make Team Canada. When the Canadian Men’s Olympic team was named in early January, it seemed as a surprise too many that Martin St. Louis was left off of the team. But as of last week St. Louis replaced injured Lightning teammate Steven Stamkos for a spot on Team Canada. Many people believed that Steve Yzerman the GM of the Tampa Bay Lightning and the GM of Team Canada only picked St. Louis because he plays for him in the NHL, and he did not want to tell St. Louis for a third time that he was not good enough for Team Canada, in order sustain a healthy relationship. One of those many people who believed that St. Louis was only picked because of his relationship with Yzerman was feisty Flyer’s chairman Ed Snider. Here’s a clip on what he thought of Team Canada’s decision to take St. Louis rather than someone else like his player Claude Giroux.

I personally disagree with the remarks made by Mr.Snider indicating that Giroux deserved the spot over St. Louis. However I do agree that Claude Giroux should have originally made team Canada to begin with.
First off let’s begin with why Giroux is not a better option than St. Louis; for one St. Louis won the Art Ross Trophy last season as the highest scoring player in the league, St. Louis has averaged about 1.1 points per game played in the last 5 seasons, while Claude Giroux has averaged about 0.92 points per game. So if Mr. Snider wants to say Giroux is more consistent than St. Louis offensively he would be incorrect. Now you’re probably thinking I know nothing about hockey and there’s more to a player than offense; sure I agree with the second part, remember St. Louis is replacing Stamkos, so Canada is trying to inject more offense and what better way to do that than add last year’s league leading scorer into your lineup.
Now let’s move on to the topic of why I think Claude Giroux should have made Team Canada to begin with in January. I think Giroux is an ideal fit for Team Canada because he’s the type of player that can play solid defense in his zone, but can still put up impressive offensive numbers. In addition to that his size and speed make him the ideal player on the large Olympic ice as he has more room to skate and has a better ability to skate than some players on the team like Jeff Carter. Carter was bought onto the team to put up goals; he is a big bodied guy but does not through his weight around as much as he should at 6’4, 212 pounds. Ironically though for a goal scorer, Carter has been on a recent slump putting up 0 goals and 3 assists in his last 8 games. Jeff Carter is the type of player that can only play in your top two lines, and your top two lines are expected to score, so if Carter goes into the tournament colder than the weather in Canada, it will be hard to find a fit for him in the lineup especially in a short tournament where everyone needs to be on their game. But a player like Giroux has the versatility to play in any situation and in any forward line. In addition to that, Canada already has enough big bodied players on forward with the likes of Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, and Rick Nash, so it would not be fair in my opinion to take Carter over Giroux based on the element of size.
F.Y.I, I do not know why St. Louis was left off of the team to begin with, but that has already been discussed a billion times.
Hope you enjoyed, follow my twitter @Zaia81.

How Injury Might Impact the Olympic Rosters

The Olympic rosters have to be finalized by New Years and the NHL has seemingly hit the mid-season injury peak, so how will these injuries affect the final rosters? Using the prospective rosters for each team from NHL.com I broke it down team by team.

Canada: To put Stamkos on the roster or not to put Stamkos on the roster? That is the question. Steven Stamkos has set a personal goal to be back practicing by January and playing by February. So far his recovery has been at a remarkable pace as he was back on skates only 33 days after his leg was broken. However, if they put him on the roster and he is not ready they waste a roster spot. On the other hand, if they don’t put him on the roster and he is ready, the team has to wait for another injury to happen. Canada has plenty of talent to choose from so Stamkos’s absence is not devastating, although he would be missed.

USA: With only two injuries, USA is in pretty good shape. Dustin Byfuglin seems to be the logical choice since Paul Martin is injured. If Johnathan Quick is still having groin issues come the Olympics, Corey Schneider could take his spot and the third spot would fall to Ben Bishop or Jimmy Howard.

Sweden: If Henrik Zetterburg (herniated disc) is not ready, this would be a major blow for Sweden.  Louis Erickson (concussion), Victor Hedman and Alexander Edler are also injured. Johnny Oduya is a good replacement for Erickson and Marcus Kruger could fill one of the defensive openings.

Finland: With only Mikael Granlund (head) and Lauri Korpikoski (upper body) injured, Finland could be okay. They have some young talent available that could fill those spots.

Russia: Sergei Bobrovsky has a groin injury and should be good to go come Olympic time, but if he is still injured, Evgeni Nabokov could take his spot and the third spot would be open to someone else. If Bobrovsky is able to play Nabokov could take the third spot.

Slovakia: With Marian Gaborik (sprained knee), Richard Panik (undisclosed), and Lubomir Visnovsky (concussion) all questionable, Slovakia will have to go to European teams to fill out there rosters. There is no shortage of talent as several of those players do have some NHL experience.

Czech Republic: They seem to be the luckiest as their prospective team has no injuries.

Of course more injuries can happen and those currently (as of 12/14) on injured reserve can recover so good luck to all the GMs that have to figure this stuff out by January 1st.