The Detroit Red Wings drafted netminder Petr Mrazek in the fifth round, 141st overall, of the 2010 draft. Less than five years later and Mrazek’s draft stock has risen significantly – at least in the KHL.
In Sunday’s first round of the 2015 KHL draft, Mrazek, who met the criteria for the draft by virtue of being under the age of 24 and not having his rights owned by any club in the league, was selected seventh overall by Lokomotiv Yaroslavl. However, after a season in which he may have possibly pushed fellow goaltender Jimmy Howard out of the Detroit net for the number one job, it’s probably safe to put his chances of heading to Russia next season at about zero percent. Read more
Lost amid news of the Toronto Maple Leafs hiring Mike Babcock were reports of the Boston Bruins hiring a new GM. Over a month after firing Peter Chiarelli, the Bruins promoted assistant GM Don Sweeney.
The Boston media wasted little time dreaming up “to-do” lists for Sweeney. Along with re-signing restricted free agent defenseman Dougie Hamilton and deciding if Claude Julien stays or goes as head coach, The Boston Globe’s Fluto Shinzawa and the Boston Herald’s Stephen Harris agreed a decision must be reached over left winger Milan Lucic’s future with the Bruins. Read more
Nick Foligno is the new captain of the Columbus Blue Jackets, but it’s about more than just having the ‘C’ on his jersey.
In Wednesday’s press conference in which he was announced as the eighth captain in the history of the Blue Jackets franchise, Foligno stressed often that the captaincy is about more than just being recognized as the leader of the group. For him, being Columbus’ captain is about taking the club to the next level.
“We’re working towards something,” Foligno said at the press conference to introduce him as captain. “That’s the evolution that (coach Todd Richards) talked about. Obviosuly, we’re working towards a Stanley Cup and this is the next part. I’m so honored that I can be a guy that’s looked to help lead in that direction and I’ll do the best I can.” Read more
Defenseman Mike Reilly could be the latest drafted college player to forego signing with the team that selected him to test unrestricted free agency.
According to a report from TSN’s Bob McKenzie, Reilly, 21, has officially informed the NHL and Columbus Blue Jackets that he intends to leave the University of Minnesota to turn professional. However, in addition to turning pro, Reilly has also informed the Blue Jackets that he won’t be signing with the club during the exclusive 30-day period Columbus has to negotiate with him.
Chosen by the Blue Jackets in the fourth round of the 2011 draft, 98th overall, Reilly testing the free agent market this off-season is similar to what happened with New York Rangers winger Kevin Hayes, who was a draft pick of the Chicago Blackhawks but chose not to sign with the club, instead waiting for UFA eligibility and inking an entry-level contract with the Blueshirts.
Once again, Team USA has won the world under-18s thanks to a roster made up almost entirely of NTDP kids. Though one interesting takeaway from the tourney was goaltending. The Americans went with underager Evan Sarthou of WHL Tri-City, while Canada had a tandem of underagers in Moose Jaw’s Zach Sawchenko and Saginaw’s Evan Cormier. Sure, 2015 looks like a thin goalie draft, but this was a pretty interesting trend. With that point behind us, let’s look at some of the other prospects making noise in the hockey world right now.
Spoiler alert: The Buffalo Sabres will win tonight’s NHL draft lottery with the numbers 11, 5, 6 and 7. Your trusty correspondent knows this because he went to this really cool website that simulates the NHL draft lottery and it told him so.
Then he did it 99 more times because, like a certain potato chip, you can’t do it only once. The website, http://nhllotterysimulator.com/#/official, took on a new life on Friday when the NHL made public the lottery number combinations for each of the 14 teams in the event. Suddenly, fans everywhere could, with the click of a keyboard, determine where Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel will end up next season. Read more
It’s amazing how things will change by Saturday night. Connor McDavid will know which NHL team he will belong to. The McDavid parents will know in which city their son’s adult life will begin to unfold and flourish. Vendors will go crazy preparing McDavid jerseys, signs and apparel.
(And make no mistake, McDavid will be the first overall selection in the June 26-27 NHL draft in Sunrise, Florida. There will be zero drama with that pick.)
The NHL’s draft lottery will be televised Saturday night at 8 pm. The proceedings will begin about 7:30, but the drawing of lottery balls will take place about a half hour later. McDavid’s most likely destination is a city other than Buffalo, but Buffalo has the best odds of all the 14 non-playoff teams. Here’s how it works.
Columbus fans won’t get to see a home playoff game this month, but they did get to witness a franchise record-tying point streak in the Blue Jackets’ last home game of the season.
The Jackets dropped the Buffalo Sabres 4-2 in Columbus Friday to extend their current streak to 12 games (11-0-1), while improving their awful home record to 19-20-2 to end the year.
The Blue Jackets hit the ice ready to play, as Nick Foligno potted the first goal of the night just 14 seconds into the game.