Some teams have a draft philosophy of taking the best player available rather than selecting a position of need. Thank goodness for Stars fans that GM Jim Nill believes in the former.
Sitting with the 12th pick in the draft tonight from Florida, Nill can be patient and simply watch what happens with the first few picks and let the draft come to him.
This is a very deep draft, from what the scouts are saying. We’ll have to take their word for it since I’m betting that many of you, like me, don’t spend our weekends following the Swedish and Russian Elite Leagues. If they’re saying it’s deep, that’s good enough for me.
The bottom line is that the Stars are in a good position to draft the best player available since they’ve done a good job of being patient over the last few years and stocking their minor league system with quality prospects and letting them grow.
So who’s going to be there at No. 12? Your guess is as good as mine. But I’ll take a stab.
Swiss forward Timo Meier would be the player I hope is there when the Stars pick, but from what I read and hear, he’ll probably be gone by then. There’s a very good center from Seattle named Mathew Barzal who would surely be taken early if not for a fractured kneecap. Might he slide? I think that’s a 50/50 proposition at this point. Then there’s Michigan defenseman Zach Werenski, who also could be in the mix. My bet is that the Stars’ pick is one of these three players. I’ll go with Barzal.
Nill’s other great trait – he trusts his scouts. Make no mistake, draft day in the NHL is all about the scouts, not the GM. Now there is an exception to that when it comes to one thing – trades. Scouts aren’t fans of a GM trading away draft picks, but we all know it happens.
Could Nill find a suitor to take Kari Lehtonen today? Might the Stars GM find a way to get a young goalie like the Rangers’ Cam Talbot in a draft day deal? We will watch and see what unfolds. And hope the Stars aren’t drafting in the top half again at this time next year.
Three-On-Three overtime? Surely you jest.
The NHL general managers voted earlier this week to change the NHL’s format of overtime from 4-on-4 to 3-on-3 in an obvious attempt to create more game results in team competition prior to going to a shootout.
It make sense, considering that having a skills competition decide a winner is still somewhat of a bit.
Yes, I know, they decide gold medals with shootouts in the Olympics. And yes, the shootout is great entertainment. But there simply have to be more games decided before going to a shootout.
My take? I’ve always been a big fan of no extra point for getting to overtime. If you lose, you lose. No soup for you (and no points). That includes a shootout. Think a coach wants to get to a skills competition and come away with nothing? No thanks. I think we’d see more coaches go for the result during regulation and OT.
But the 3-on-3 will provide more entertainment. I hope you like 2-on-1 rushes up the ice. Because we are going to see a lot more games decided in OT that way.