Futures Mailbag: Michael Dal Colle, the realness of Auston Matthews and more

Michael Dal Colle (blue sweater) of the Islanders (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Welcome back to the Futures Mailbag, where I will answer any prospect and draft-related questions you the readers may have. If you have a query, hit me up on Twitter (@THNRyanKennedy) and use the hashtag #thnfutures to make sure I scoop it up. If you don’t see your question this week, stay tuned – there’s always some overflow. Let’s get to it:

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Futures Mailbag: Blueline prospects in Philly, Dylan Strome and more

Samuel Morin (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Welcome to my new mailbag, a spot where I will answers questions from readers who reached out to me on Twitter using the hashtag #thnfutures. The idea behind this space is to bring you info on prospects and the draft, so anything in that world is game. There was a pretty good crop of questions right off the bat, so if you don’t see yours answered this week, check back next Friday. Here we go:

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Carey Price to Wild? Kopitar to Ducks? Redrafting 2005’s first round

Matt Larkin
Carey Price. (Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

Today marks the 10-year anniversary of the Sidney Crosby draft lottery. We’ve already celebrated by reviewing Sid the Kid’s best career moments. Now it’s time to delve into the 2005 draft. It’s famous for giving us Crosby and Carey Price, two of the best players at their positions this generation. Looking back, though, reveals the 2005 draft class is also memorable for being, well, so forgettable. Drafting Price and other stars such as Anze Kopitar meant navigating a minefield of busts.

A look at 2005’s first round, pick by pick:

1. Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins
2. Bobby Ryan, Anaheim Ducks
3. Jack Johnson, Carolina Hurricanes
4. Benoit Pouliot, Minnesota Wild
5. Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens
6. Gilbert Brule, Columbus Blue Jackets
7. Jack Skille, Chicago Blackhawks
8. Devin Setoguchi, San Jose Sharks
9. Brian Lee, Ottawa Senators
10. Luc Bourdon, Vancouver Canucks
11. Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles Kings
12. Marc Staal, New York Rangers
13. Marek Zagrapan, Buffalo Sabres
14. Sasha Pokulok, Washington Capitals
15. Ryan O’Marra, New York Islanders
16. Alex Bourret, Atlanta Thrashers
17. Martin Hanzal, Phoenix Coyotes
18. Ryan Parent, Nashville Predators
19. Jakub Kindl, Detroit Red Wings
20. Kenndal McArdle, Florida Panthers
21. Tuukka Rask, Toronto Maple Leafs
22. Matt Lashoff, Boston Bruins
23. Niclas Bergfors, New Jersey Devils
24. T.J. Oshie, St. Louis Blues
25. Andrew Cogliano, Edmonton Oilers
26. Matt Pelech, Calgary Flames
27. Joe Finley, Washington Capitals
28. Matt Niskanen, Dallas Stars
29. Steve Downie, Philadelphia Flyers
30. Vladimir Mihalik, Tampa Bay Lightning

Woof. Of that draft class, three first rounders, Zagrapan, Pokulok and Bourret, never played an NHL game. Ten players, or one third, failed to reach 100 NHL games, albeit the late Luc Bourdon would’ve had he not died tragically in a motorcycle accident. The 2005 first round has produced four skaters with at least 300 NHL points. For perspective, the 2004 and 2006 groups each had four 300-point guys in the first five picks alone.

So how about we give the league a do-over on 2005’s first round? The rules: (a) any player from the class’ seven rounds is eligible; (b) draft order stays the same; (c) team needs at the time will be factored in; (d) hindsight is very much 20/20. This is all in good fun.

Here we go.

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The two most important Erie Otters ever are leaving this summer

Connor McDavid (Photo by Ken Andersen/Getty Images)

Everything seemed to revolve around the Erie Otters this season, from top draft prospect Connor McDavid and OHL scoring champion Dylan Strome to the legal drama between the junior franchise and the Edmonton Oilers.

With the sale of the Otters to Canadian businessman James Waters, a brand-new chapter will begin in Pennsylvania and it will come with its own challenges. Specifically, who will not be returning to the franchise.

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Josh Ho-Sang had a much more productive summer than you

Ryan Kennedy
Josh Ho-Sang  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

What have you been doing this summer? Perfecting your rib sauce for barbecue season? Laying the groundwork for perhaps building a deck at some point? I haven’t done anything more productive than catch up on my Netflix queue and that may not change.

New York Islanders prospect Josh Ho-Sang, on the other hand, has been doing meaningful things.

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Calling possible expansion teams: David Conte is available

Ken Campbell
David Conte (left) and Lou Lamoriello (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

If there were ever any question about how much real power Ray Shero will wield in the New Jersey Devils front office, it was answered emphatically Thursday afternoon when the Devils announced they would not be renewing the contract of director of scouting David Conte.

Because Conte was far more than just a scout with the Devils. First of all, he’s worked for the team for 31 years. But more than that, he was Lamoriello’s right-hand man and most trusted advisor on hockey matters. With Lamoriello being moved to the presidency and Shero brought in to be GM, there were still those who wondered whether the large presence of Lamoriello would be hovering over Shero and the hockey department.

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Watch Connor McDavid score five goals in Oilers rookie scrimmage

Ken Campbell
Connor McDavid  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

It appears the Edmonton Oilers might just have something in this Connor McDavid kid. And if first impressions are any indication, Edmonton’s long wait for an offensive superstar could be over. Soon. As in this coming season.

Yes, it was a scrimmage, played 4-on-4 for most of the game and even 3-on-3 at times, and it was against NHL wannabes, but the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 NHL draft put on a show at the Billy Moores Cup, the final intrasquad scrimmage of the Oilers six-day prospect development camp Monday night. McDavid scored five goals in the game to lead his team to an 8-6 win in the game.

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Edmonton Oilers sign Connor McDavid; now what?

Ryan Kennedy
Connor McDavid (Adam d'Oliveira Photography on McDavid head, Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images on Edmonton body, manipulated by Erika Vanderveer)

Jack Eichel may have signed his entry-level contract with Buffalo first, but folks in Edmonton don’t care because Connor McDavid is officially under contract now.

The top pick in the 2015 draft signed his rookie year deal with the Oilers today, getting the maximum amount possible under the collective bargaining agreement: a base salary and signing bonus that added up to $925,000, plus a bunch of bonuses available that could push his total earnings as a rookie into seven figures.

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