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People Talking Hockey: NHL Draft (Episode 1) | MSG Networks

August 26, 2019


it’s June and in the NHL that means it’s
draft season let’s break it all down particularly for our local teams my name
is Arda Ocal to my left is the publisher of the draft analyst he’s a
contributor for the Sporting News and Dawber hockey he also served in the Army
for 13 years and he’s Brooklyn born and bred Steve Steve Kournianos I think you
need to be a lot more interesting sir yeah I never a dull moment that’s for
sure so everybody who’s hoping that Rasmus Dahlin will either have a Rangers
or islanders jersey on at the start of the season I’m pretty sure that’s not
happening pretty sure he’s a consensus number one overall but the Rangers have
a lot to be excited about particularly with that 9th overall pick conceivably
based on what you’ve seen from these draft picks
the person they pick at ninth overall how NHL ready would that level pick in
this draft be well we’re seeing the NHL lean more towards these kids to make the
NHL at an earlier date than in previous trips you used to take the average would
be about 3 to 4 years for these teenagers to stay in junior hockey for a
couple years and marinate in the AHL the American Hockey League for about a year
or two and then make it to the NHL what we’re seeing now is teams are more
willing to let these kids play not just in a depth role but in a quality top six
role as a forward or a top four role as a defenseman we saw that without Stu
brink it Victor met day and Sam Gerard they were 2016 draftees they made it to
the NHL this year yes for Bret cuz it doubles a low around doubles draft pick
and 26th round yeah and he made the team right out of camp and he had a pretty
good rookie year so because these kids are cheap because they’re young and they
have a lot of speed and skill you’re gonna see teams more inclined to have
them play in the NHL least give them that first 9 game look cuz you all know
that if you play them more than 9 games you got to pay them the first year of
their entry-level contract so with the Rangers picking at 9
without a doubt that player wrote from a physical maturity standpoint from a
mental standpoint from a skill standpoint should be ready to make the
NHL right out of camp I love looking at the different rankings because some
players you see them very high on some lists and then on other lists they’re in
the hundreds and one player that comes to mind in this draft is Ryan Merkley
he’s a different eye he’s a defenseman but his offensive prowess is second to
none he could be one of the biggest boom-or-bust pics in this
draft and I wonder particularly with the New York Rangers because I we it has
been said about Merkley that he might have some defensive holes maybe he has
an attitude problem behind the scenes whatever it might be I wonder with David
Quinn and the type of coaching and grooming that the New York Rangers will
have with under David Quinn’s tutelage moving forward I wonder if a guy like
Ryan Merkley will really thrive in that situation and with the Rangers having
two picks in the 20s maybe that’s a guy that they target yeah absolutely and
Ryan Merkley is one of the elite playmakers in terms of defenseman
available for this draft the issue with Merkley is his defense so the question
is if you get a coach who’s willing to take on his defense of shortcomings and
say hey listen you’re a great puck rusher you’re a playmaker we want you to
just be unbridled go ahead and go move the puck create chance for us we’ll let
the other guys in the ice with you worry about your defense then that might work
out you know there was a story about Brian Leetch when he first came into the
league Michaele Bergeron was his coaches a rookie and his very first game Michele
Bergeron said take the puck and go this is your game and it turned into a Hall
of Fame career now we don’t know if that would have happened with any other coach
however but I think with a guy like Merkley you want him to push the puck
considering all the quality prospects the Rangers have acquired at the deadline in
terms of defenseman good solid defensive minded defenseman who could move the
puck in ryan Lindgren libre Hayek and Yeager Rykov if you pair one of them
with a guy like Merkley might cover some of his warts I don’t think he’s a top
ten pick like he we thought earlier in the season but he’s the perfect ranger
pick I think in the later rounds or the later end of the first round they took a
gamble with Sean day who had similar similar questions about his defense of
zone play he’s had a very good career in the OHL so I think a guy like Merkley
might be a good pick for them in the later end of the first round
now you mentioned Brian Leetch one of the few Texas born players to play in
the NHL of course the draft is in Texas and to active Texas born NHL players
currently play on the New Jersey Devils Blake Coleman and Stefan Noesen
talk about the Devils last year they had the most picks in the draft they had 11
picks they had the first overall pick of course they picked Nico Hischier who played
every single regular-season game this past season now they’re picking 17th
what do you think their philosophy is given how great the
season was this past season what is their philosophy going into this year’s
draft well Ray Shero wrote up over in 2015 and
in each in each of his first three drafts he drafted a foreword to skill
forward so in 2015 he took Paval Zacha 2016 he took Michael McLeod and then last
year obviously he took Nico Hischier all three were very good picks so I think if
you look at if you look at the Devils’ season the kind of attack that they
present to opponents they like to push the puck they like to play with pace
they like to play with a lot of skill so you want to complement that with with
guys in the back end will butcher had a great rookie season his minutes were a
little bit sheltered he played a lot of events of his own time however if you
look at their overall system and losing a guy like Rykov they need that
top paring defenseman that guy that like Scott Stevens type or that Scott
Niedermayer type that was so critical to them winning Stanley Cups in the mid to
late 90s so I think that this year is the year where ratio might go for need
over a skill but the good thing about this drift is you have a lot of quality
skilled defenseman who kind of fit the boast both the best player available and
the filter need as well so I think they’re gonna maybe go for a puck rusher
and again remember the Devils don’t have a second or third round pick so they
want to make the most out of the pick at 17 and you said it best I mean this
Devils organization has really proven that they’re able to find these young
players and they make immediate impacts I mean will butcher was quarterbacking
the power play in the first 10 games of the season or Nico Hischier is a first
line Center which is remarkable for somebody coming into the league right
away and played every single game for the Devils this season at particularly
in a regular season I mean that really speaks to how they’re able to find and
cultivate talent yeah absolutely and it goes back to what I said earlier about
how teams are more inclined to let these kids play not usually be you know like
you have a kid who was a no offensive star and then let’s say the OHL his
first job in the NHL usually has a checker or maybe he’s like a third line
Center now they’re letting these kids make the team out of camp and then
they’re giving them significant responsibilities worst case scenario is
you now come down to maybe the second or third line let them kind of develop and
understand what they’ve need to work on and then work their way back into the
top six so I think with the Devils listen they’ve done a great job
developing players they’ve done really well to draft the last few years so now
they’re at the point where if they do draft the puck moving defenseman this
specific draft these players these defenseman that are available in 2018 a
lot of them are going to be ready to play in the NHL next year now you have
some that might want to go to college or out for one year
nothing wrong with that we’ve seen guys like Charlie McAvoy go to college after
being drafted and then he makes it to the NHL right after his collegiate
career is over so I think the Devils in a really good spot they don’t have like
I said a second or third round pick just trying to contend for a playoff spot it
worked out but I think with the pick that they get at 17 you’re gonna be
looking at a puck moving defenseman who could possibly make the team right out
of camp talk to me about the Islanders very interesting situation definite
needs on defense in goal not many first round prospects in the goaltender
position but very defense heavy particularly in the first round the
Islanders have the eleventh and twelfth picks in that spot are the Islanders
able to find a talent that would be ready to play in their roster at D this
season yeah and the thing is a lot of teams a lot of scouts will tell you that
they advised not to reactionary draft the reactionary draft means if you let’s
say felt like your team was weak in a certain area during that regular season
that that’s how you’re gonna address the draft the the subsequent draft and the
thing is you don’t want to do that because it takes these kids usually two
or three years to make it now granted like I said teams are shifting where
they’re gonna have players in the NHL a little bit earlier than you expected so
if the Islanders want to address the need for defense I think this is the
draft to address it at the same time though you know forward prospect wise
Josh ho sang was a high pick of there’s Michael Dal Colle was a high pick of
there’s it’s taking a little bit of a while for them to develop into top six
NHL players so I think they might have to re-engage and say you know what we
have these two high picks why don’t we do defense with one and maybe a forward
with the other they were gifted a wonderful player Matt Barzal franchise
possible franchise player obviously John Tavares that situation has to unfold you
know you really don’t know it at this point but they have keifer bellows in
the pipeline he’s a good goal scored so he’s a good complement to a play making
center but I do think the Islanders need to address the fact that they don’t have
a lot of quality defense prospects in their pipeline and the ones that they do
have might be a few years away I’m definitely in the camp of draft the best
player available no matter the position I know that this is a hotter topic now
in the NHL than it used to be sure where do you fall on that I mean the term best
player available it’s kind of got cliche I think what teams want is an immediate
and pack player they want a kid who could
step right in and impact the lineup impact the game have an impact on really
every shift that they have so you see you have a lot of kids in the street
that can do that with speed and with skill you know if you go by stats to do
quality stats or gory stats mean a best player available I really don’t know but
in terms of physical maturity in terms of the ability to make plays and think
at a high level you have a lot of kids that are going to be and that that fit
into that best player available slash immediate impact player category you
wonder speaking of players that could make an immediate impact you really see
that caliber in the top ten in the draft yes there are a lot of names that you
could see making an immediate impact in the NHL now the Islanders have 11 and 12
right on that border and I wonder if this is the year that the Islanders
might look at that situation and say we want to get into that top 10 and we have
the ability to do that based on the cards they have on the table but I
wonder how much of that mindset changes with the Lou Lamorillo joining the
Islanders organization what do you think well if you go back to Lou when Lou took
over the devil’s in 1987 he was the president and McNabb was the GM
and so the year later they switched so Lou took over with David Conti they were
the ones doing the scouting and the and the drafting and what happened was Lou I
guess identified the Devils were in a rebuild period they really weren’t
contending for the playoffs or really for the Cup at that point so he held on
to his picks he didn’t do a whole lot of moving and shaking and those drafts that
Lou first had with the Devils were very critical
Billy Guerin Martin Brodeur Brian Ralston so I think he’s gonna take a
similar approach with the Islanders of course it’s a speculation but Lou does
not trade first-round picks unless he’s contending for a cup and the fact that
the Islanders at this point are not contending for a cup I think he might
hold on to them and like you said there are players within that top 10 to 15
especially defenseman which is what the Islanders need that will have an impact
when they make their NHL debuts either this year or next year one thing’s for
sure the New York New Jersey local teams it’s gonna be very interesting

3 Comments

  • Reply hawkeye 2124 June 8, 2018 at 4:48 am

    Steve is a dope guy. Cool guy on twitter and one of the best.

  • Reply M1MyRifle June 10, 2018 at 6:59 pm

    That was a really good breakdown. But the Islanders are in a weird position and it all depends on Tavares, if he leaves yeah we're going to have to go into rebuild mode for a bit, but if he stays and Lou makes a couple of impactful trades I think this team is playoff bound.

  • Reply Lord Lucifer’s Demon Army Level 9 June 11, 2018 at 6:14 pm

    This guy doesn’t know hockey

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