2018 NHL Draft Preview

draftpreviewIn the NHL the goal seems to always be to find that coveted centre that can lead a team through the middle of the ice.

Every draft the worst teams in the league are trying to find that guy that be the leader they need in order to turn things around.

Centre is a special position in any team as they are where the play starts from in almost any situation.

Although wingers are important and so are defenceman having that centre who can win draws and lead the offence.

The focus has long been on that position for so many teams simply because of the issues that come with the other positions.

Goaltenders take too long to develop and so that are not the players that are taken early on in the draft.

Without that immediate return it is tough to spend a high pick on a goaltender and so they are often taken later in the draft.

Defenceman often have a similar problem as they might not have the same timeline as a goalie but they still take a longer time to develop.

Spending a top pick on a defenceman is a risky thing as they could be stuck in the AHL while they mature both mentally and physically.

The issue for wingers is often that there are just so many of them to choose from while great centreman is hard to come by.

Wingers can be taken throughout the draft but finding that centre who can make a difference is a little tougher.

So team focus on that one position more often than not and more often than not it can make a big difference for the team going forward.

One of the easiest ways to get that centre is through the draft where younger guys can come through and make an immediate impact on a much smaller contract.

Teams are always looking for that guy but this year the centres are not going to be the focus of the draft.

Instead, this draft is full of defencemen and wingers that are hoping to be the next guy to help teams get back to relevance.

There is no doubt that every team is always looking for that great defenceman who can make a world of difference for the team.

It is a hard thing to find as there are only a few of those defencemen in the league currently with even less known about the guys coming in through the draft.

These players are often so young that their development is still a big question especially when it comes to their physical development.

They are often pretty big and lanky players who are good enough to use their physical gifts to be better than the rest.hockey-sidebar

Those physical gifts don’t mean a lot in the NHL unless they can be used properly and as a result, they are somewhat risky.

This year though there seems to be a number of defencemen in the draft that seem far less of a risk than usual.

The group is led by Sweden’s Rasmus Dahlin who is a different defenceman than most have seen in years.

Although he might not be the biggest defenceman he has the skills to play both sides of the puck with speed and agility to be a factor in his own zone and the offensive zone.

It seems likely that he will go first overall and another Swede could be right behind him in the hard-shooting Adam Boqvist.

Surrounding these defencemen are a number of wingers who might not bring the all-around game that those centres do but they do bring a goal-scoring touch.

Andrei Svechnikov and Filip Zadina have that scoring touch and much like Alex Ovechkin bring a different level to that part of the game.

These will likely be the first few names called in this year’s draft and something else will be notable with those names.

In a time of year where Canadians dominate followed closely by Americans, there will be a number of Europeans being called very high.

Some play in Canada and take advantage of the opportunity to develop as a part of the best system in the world.

Others are playing in senior leagues getting used to playing older competition before heading to the best league in the world.

This year seems to be sure to buck the trends of the past as defenceman and wingers take the focus while most of the top picks will be from across the pond.

No matter what position they play or where they come from the new generation of the NHL is about to figure out where they will play for the near future.

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