The first round of the NHL Draft is tonight in Montreal, so by the end of the night the Islanders will have at least one new player asset. Whether that’s by using their first-round pick (currently 13th overall), or via trade (less likely) — well, that’s why we watch the monotonous coverage and endless looping clips of some kid running through a bunch of OHL competition.
In the U.S., draft coverage is on ESPN and ESPN+ tonight, NHL Network and ESPN+ for rounds 2-7 tomorrow.
Lou Lamoriello briefly descended from the mountain to speak to officially credentialed media yesterday, and while he used the usual talking points (“always looking to get better,” etc., what else are you going to say?), he did address your concerns about Ilya Sorokin being in Russia while his country is invading another under wildly false pretenses.
With reports of at least one Russian NHL prospect being, um, “detained” to fulfill military service, and another disputed report about Wild star Kirill Kaprizov, there is understandable concern about whether former CSKA star Sorokin would be stuck there. No one really (publicly) knows the status and commitments of various Russian players, and under Putin’s regime up is down and yesterday never happened, but it’s a decent bet that even that war criminal wouldn’t sacrifice the prestige of Russia’s most prominent athletes unless they cross him or dare to speak up about his special imperial masturbatory operation.
Anyway, the draft! It starts tonight. The Isles have the 13th overall pick. Tomorrow, they also have:
- Round 2: 65th (via Avalanche, Devon Toews trade)
- Round 3: 78
- Round 5: 142
- Round 6: 174
- The team schedules were released. Here are breakdowns and notes on the Isles’. [LHH | Isles]
- Follow this page for Isles draft updates and ads hawking Post Malone. Or stick with LHH, where we’ll have more humor and discussion and our ads will hawk something else. [Isles]
- Lou’s media talk: Maybe looking for a puck-moving defenseman and a more defensive guy. [Athletic] | But he’s not worried about Sorokin getting stuck in Russia. [Newsday]
- The Isles’ 13th overall pick is also their most moveable asset, perhaps. [Post]
- The first season of an outstanding Weird Islanders podcast series concluded with the worst guest yet (me), discussing the 18 Islanders games and many other prior events in Craig Janney’s career. [LHH]
- Wild GM Bill “McNulty” Guerin says Kaprizov is fine. [ESPN | Sportsnet]
- One scout describes how he forms a draft table. [Sportsnet]
- What the Canucks do with J.T. Miller could shape their franchise for years. [Sportsnet]
- Predators GM David Poile swears they are inching closer to a big contract extension with Filip Forsberg, including no-trade/movement clauses. [NHL]
- In a story about how giddy GMs are to be at the draft in person, Poile also said it’s easier to make trades in person because when it’s “a phone call, you could be playing video games or something like that and not concentrating.” That’s a shot at Kyle Dubas, surely. [NHL]
- John Klingberg will hit the UFA market, and other market notes. [Sportsnet]
- 21-year-old RFA defenseman Adam Boqvist signed a three-year $7.8 million extension in Columbus. [NHL]
- The Oilers and Evander Kane, however, are nowhere close to a deal. [Sportsnet]
- As if there could possibly be “an art” to drafting a franchise goaltender. [Sportsnet]
- Former NHLer and longtime San Jose scout Bryan Marchment died at just age 53. He has a son playing for the Panthers. I’ll be honest, I hated him as a player because he went around putting fellow NHLPA members’ careers at risk with dirty low hits, but it sounds like he was a great guy off the ice and that’s way to young. [NHL]
- This year’s draft is “not short on talent, unpredictability.” [NHL]