June 09 2016 05:39PM
We previously looked at the possibility of trading up to third overall, but the conclusion at the time was that the price demanded by Columbus would make the move untenable.
Today, however, Bob McKenzie appeared on Vancouver radio and suggested the Blue Jackets have their eye on Logan Brown or Clayton Keller, suggesting they may be willing to move down.
"Of the three (CBJ, EDM & VAN), Columbus might be the one most open to do something right now...
They've got the third pick...the sense that a lot of people are getting right now is that Columbus Blue Jackets are not sold on Jesse Puljujarvi in that spot and they may be looking for positionally oriented need. Specifically two centres come to mind... one is Logan Brown... and the other is Clayton Keller.
There is this sense that if somebody wants to move to number three to draft Puljujarvi, if the Blue Jackets could get themselves a pick that's a few picks later and not drop out of the top 10, they'd still have a shot at Brown or Keller."
With that in mind, the Flames would seem to be the Blue Jackets' ideal trading partner.
June 09 2016 12:00PM
For a team lacking in high-end offensive talent, Emile Poirier was one of the Flames' better hopes. He was coming off of a rookie pro season with the Adirondack Flames in which he'd scored 19 goals and 42 points over 55 games; what wasn't to like? He was second on the team in scoring as a 19-year-old, and likely would have been first had he gotten a couple more games in.
So expectations may have been somewhat high for his second season. After all, prospects are supposed to keep progressing, right? And he was a first round pick; whether fair or not, there's more expected of him. Especially because he was looking capable of it from his draft year onwards.
Except this past season did not go to plan at all.
June 09 2016 10:00AM
One of the most frustrating things about evaluating prospects in the advanced stats era of hockey is the shabby state of junior and lower pro leagues' stats. Things have actually gotten better recently thanks to sites like Prospect Stats, but we're still a long ways away from having useful contextual factors and underlying numbers like possession, zone starts and quality of competition.
Nevertheless, we do what we can. To that end I have put together a list of CHL forwards ranked by certain offensive outputs: NHL equivalence (a factor that translates the players' output to NHL output by considering the relative quality of the league he's in), even strength primary points per game and percentage of team scoring.
June 09 2016 08:00AM
Cliff Pu is a riser. At the halfway point of the season, NHL Central Scouting had him ranked 83rd out of all North American skaters. Their final rankings have him at 75, but his stock seems to continue to grow, as being part of a stacked Memorial Cup-winning London Knights team has done nothing but benefit him.
Here's the thing with Pu: he only had 31 points through 63 games. But here's the other thing: he was on a team that featured a line consisting of Matthew Tkachuk, Mitch Marner, and Christian Dvorak - pretty much the best line in all of junior hockey this season. Points were a bit harder to come by.
But he only just turned 18, he's 6'1 and 188 lbs. now, and in addition to his bullish playing style, a lot of scouts see underlying skill. With most, if not all, of that Knights top line graduated, he may get the chance to shine in 2016-17 - after a team has taken him, likely in either the second or third rounds.
The Flames have multiple second round picks and an early third rounder - so Calgary could be his landing spot.
June 08 2016 06:23PM
Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, the Dennis Wideman saga is not over.
According to court documents filed in the United States District Court in New York, the National Hockey League is suing the National Hockey League Players Association. Wideman served 19 games of the originally-stipulated 20-game suspension for a January 27 on-ice collision with linesman Don Henderson that was ruled as an abuse of an official by the NHL's Hockey Operations department. The suspension was reduced to 10 games on appeal to neutral discipline arbitrator James Oldham – Wideman was refunded his salary for the 9 games he was suspended above the 10-game amount.
But now, the NHL is arguing that the arbitrator overstepped his authority in overturning the Wideman suspension – asserting his own judgment rather than evaluating the grounds for punishment laid out by Commissioner Gary Bettman on Wideman's initial appeal.