Tomorrow, the NHL Draft will take place at The Prudential Center. Newark will be the scene for one of hockey’s most exciting days capping off a great season. Who will go first? Who’s on the block? Which prospective free agents are ready to cash in? With it the final day of June, there’s sure to be plenty of fireworks.
Danny Briere and Vinny Lecavalier were bought out adding pizzazz to a vanilla market. Keeping Brad Richards prevents wheeler and dealer Glen Sather from overpaying for Stephen Weiss or Tyler Bozak. Nathan Horton is expected to test the market as will David Clarkson. Tyler Seguin and Kris Letang are both available and could get moved at tomorrow’s Draft. We could see another Pens star on the move if Pittsburgh GM Ray Shero concludes that he can’t extend Letang. He turned down an eight-year $56 million offer. Could it be two consecutive years where Shero steals the show? Last year, he moved Jordan Staal to Carolina after he rejected an extension. And what of Seguin, who following a quiet postseason might be on the block? Is it wise for the Bruins to unload a future star due to the logjam at center with Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci? The Blackhawks could also be making some changes. The harsh reality of a second Cup during the Cap Era.
Don’t expect the Rangers to be in on the fun. Sather gave away too many picks, making Sunday’s extravaganza in Newark an afterthought for blue seaters. Nevertheless, it should have plenty of drama with Colorado dangling the top pick. Supposedly, they’re enamored with Nathan MacKinnon and could pass up Seth Jones. Jonathan Drouin continues to get overlooked despite an enormous season and as much upside as MacKinnon. Keep an eye on Aleksander Barkov, who could spoil the party.
It’s a draft where the host Devils select ninth and should be able to land an impact prospect. The Sabres pick eighth. Despite Brian’s ramblings, Ryan Miller and Thomas Vanek might stay. The Islanders pick 15th. The Rangers’ first rounder belongs to the Blue Jackets (19th) due to the Rick Nash trade. Columbus boasts three No.1’s (14, 19, 27) and could move up. Their second pick went to San Jose for Clowe. Three of five picks are in the third round.
For more coverage, NHL.com’s Adam Kimmelman takes a look at all 30 teams draft needs. Our very own Hasan will be at the festivities taking it in. Have fun. I’ll be at work following the excitement on Twitter.