Vavel's Coverage of First Round of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft

Vavel's Coverage of First Round of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft

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Noah Morse
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Keep it tuned here for the rest of the draft and free agency coverage!

Thanks for reading along with my coverage, and I hope you'll continue to return to Vavel for future hockey coverage! 

Well, that's all she wrote! The first round of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft is over. Rounds two through seven will continue tomorrow, and there are still some very solid players that are left. 

Alexeyev moves the puck very well and skates well. The Capitals are willing to take their time with Russian players and Alexeyev fits right into that. He is a big dude standing at 6'4" who uses his size to his advantage. He isn't very offensive skilled and he needs to become more dynamic as a defenseman. 

With the 31st selection (the final selection,) the Capitals select... Alexander Alexeyev from the WHL.

The pick is in. 

Veleno may not jump out on the stat sheet, but he does everything else to help his team. Veleno needs to improve his offensive ability to become a truly top player, but he is a solid gritty player. He has a high motor, good hands, and a solid IQ. Veleno will take a couple years to develop but he does have a nice top-six ceiling. Detriot now selected two players that they didn't expect to be able to draft. 

Now the Stanley Cup Champions, the Washington Capitals are on the clock with the last selection in the first round.

With the 30th pick, the Red Wings select... Joe Veleno from the QMJHL!

The pick is in. 

Sandin is an excellent skating defenseman. He understands what play needs to be made who can grow into a top-four role. Sandin does have some physical limitations, but he just needs to grow and develop. Sandin has a high ceiling, and grow to a really smart, solid defenseman. 

Detriot is now on the clock again.

With the 29th pick, the Toronto Maple Leafs select... Rasmus Sandin from the OHL!

The pick is in. 

Lundkvist has excellent hands, a high IQ, and is extremely good with the puck. When he is outmatched on the defensive end, he digs in and competes. He was named the best defenseman in the Junior SHL. He does have to improve in his dynamic skill and becoming more all-around built 

The Maple Leafs are on the clock. 

With the 28th selection, the New York Rangers select... Nils Lundkvist from the SHL!

The pick is in. 

Beaudin is a great all-around defenseman that is very well developed. He is another sub-6-foot d-man, but he is so far in his development that he is only a year or two away. He has great vision that has a very high hockey IQ that can move the puck. He has great hands and speed and is a true 200-foot player. 

The Rangers are now on the clock.

With the 27th selection, the Blackhawks select... Nicolas Beaudin from the QMJHL!

The pick is in. 

Jacob needs time to develop and he is going to North Dakota. JBD is a very dynamic defenseman that can play multiple positions on the blueline. He does need to round out his game and become more athletic and offensive skilled, but that's what North Dakota is for. 

The Blackhawks are now on the clock.

With the 26th pick, the Ottawa Senators select... Jacob Bernard-Docker from AJHL!

The pick is in. 

Bokk plays an all-around game and has strong legs. He could improve his speed, but he uses his size to his advantage. He is a one-dimensional goal scorer but in a good way because he put good numbers. 

The Senators are on the clock again. 

With the 25 selection, the Blues select... Dominik Bokk from the SHL!

The Leafs are trading pick 25 to St. Louis for picks 29 and 76 so the Blues are now on the clock. 

Toronto is currently trading this pick (25) to the Blues. 

Johansson is a complete defenseman who doesn't excel in one category, he's just all around complete. Johansson is a big guy with good defensive ability who just has to take his skills to the next step to truly unlock his potential. 

The Toronto Maple Leafs are now on the clock. 

With the 24th selection, the Wild select... Filip Johansson from Leksands IF!

The pick is in. 

Lundestrom isn't flashy in his game but he can give you good production. He isn't the fastest skater, but he has a high motor. He has also been competing against the competition in the SHL which gives him a good idea about the NHL. He has to be a third or second line guy who can give you productive minutes. 

The Minnesota Wild are now on the clock. 

With the 23rd selection, the Anaheim Ducks take Isac Lundestrom from the SHL!

The pick is in for the Ducks. 

Miller is a great skater who has some good hands and vision. He is an athletic defensive specimen who has elite skating ability. He needs to develop his IQ and learn how to be patient. He just an athletic monster with huge upside who is unbelievably strong. The coolest thing about Miller is that this is his second year playing defenseman after playing forward all his life. 

The Anaheim Ducks are now on the clock. 

With the 22nd selection, the New York Rangers select... K'andre Miller from the USA!

The pick is in. 

Ottawa trades #22 to the Rangers for the 26th pick and the 48th pick, so the Rangers are now on the clock. 

There is a trade to announce!

Merkley has top-10 talent ability but he has some maturity issues which is why he dropped. He has a lack of self-awareness and may have a fatal flaw in how he approaches the game. San Jose is the perfect team for an immature young kid to go because of their veteran presence. He has to improve those issues to become a true talent. 

The Ottawa Senators are now on the clock.

With the 21st selection, the Sharks select... Ryan Merkley from the OHL!

The pick is in. 

Kupari is a great skater, has a great release, and is a solid player. The question that revolves around him is what his offensive upside is. He has good hands and skating ability but not a good finish. He will have time to develop which is what he needs to bring his skill to the next level. 

The San Jose Sharks are on the clock. 

With the 20th selection, the L.A. Kings select... Rasmus Kupari from Liiga!

The pick is in. 

O'Brien is a great prospect who is going to Providence College. He is a high energy guy, but he has tremendous skill. He has been going up against stiff competition all his life which gives him a leg on some of the late prospects. He has a high IQ and great hands. He is a great gamble for the Flyers. 

The L.A. Kings are on the clock.

With the 19th selection, the Flyers select Jay O'Brien from Thayer Academy!

Foudy brings tremendous speed almost to the point where it's disruptive to the other team. He can bring the puck in the zone by just blowing by everyone. He still has to develop but he is so athletic. The offensive side isn't there as much, but his athletism helps him tremendously. 

The Flyers are once again on the clock.

With the 18th pick, the Blue Jackets select... Liam Foudy from the London Knights!

The pick is in. 

The Columbus Blue Jackets are now on the clock. 

Smith is another subpar 6-foot defenseman, but he uses that to his advantage. New Jersey is so loaded at prospects that they won't have to rush him. It won't be a high-end offensive guy, but he will definitely make an impact by being evasive and elusive. 

With the 17th selection, the Devils select... Ty Smith from the Spokane Chiefs!

The New Jersey Devils are now on the clock. 

Kaut is a very good two-way winger. He plays the game very hard and is a 200-foot player. He isn't very offensive minded, but he can set up his teammates very well. He is a good player to have for his vision. 

With the 16th selection, the Colorado Avalanche select... Martin Kaut from the Czech Republic!

Danisenko is an amazing skater with quick feet. He has a great drive to the net and is very clutch. He is a very aggressive player who uses his size and speed to lay his opponents out. 

The Colorado Avalanche are now on the clock.

With the 15th selection, the Florida Panthers select... Grigori Denisenko from the KHL.

The pick is in for Florida. 

Farabee is the fourth American selected in the draft. 

Farabee is a young winger who is going to BU. He has some physical limitations, but if it puts in the work those should go away. A player who is gritty with top-6 potential and comparisons to Jake Guentzel, he could become another solid prospect for Philly. 

The Florida Panthers are now on the clock.

With the 14th selection, Philly selects... Joel Farabee from the USHL who is committed to Boston University!

The pick is in for the Flyers. 

Reports are coming out that the Blues and Sabres are talking and it could possibly be about O'Reilly. Something to look out for here. 

Dellandrea may be a "reach" pick for Dallas, but he has the ability to be a high-end top-6 forward. He has comparisons to Bo Horvat, and he has such a high motor. He is an extremely hard worker and is willing to improve. He has to get stronger and smarter, but he has time to do that. 

The Philadelphia Flyers are now on the clock.

With the 13th selection, the Dallas Stars select... Ty Dellandrea from the Flint Firebirds. 

The pick is in for Dallas.

Dobson brings a great defensive ability to one of the worst defensive teams in the league. He's a huge dude, standing at 6'3" he delivers bone-crushing hits and uses his size to his advantage. He has great vision and a high IQ to go along with it. 

The hometown Dallas Stars are now on the clock. 

With the 12th selection, the Islanders select... Noah Dobson from the QMJHL!

The pick is in. 

Wahlstrom is a fantastic goal scorer that can create immediate things for an Islanders squad that needs it. He has the ability to become one the most elite goal scorers in the NHL. He has amazing vision and has great hands. He does need to get to the dirty areas and produce without being flashy, but he does have great abilities and Islanders fans should be excited for him. 

The Islanders are on the clock for 12. 

With the 11th pick, the New York Islanders select... Oliver Wahlstrom from the USA hockey development program!

Bouchard is a get pick for a team that desperately needs offensive defensemen. He's a great two-way guy that could slide right into the lineup right away. He can make things happen on the offensive end while backcheck/forecheck like nobody's business. He's a great addition that can constantly put the puck on Connor McDavid's stick. 

With back-to-back picks, the New York Islanders will be on the clock twice.

With the 10th selection, the Edmonton Oilers selects... Evan Bouchard from the London Knights!

The Oilers pick is in, and they are keeping it. 

The Rangers organization spent a lot of time in Russia looking at Kravtsov and it's no surprise that they took him. Kravtsov is a good, two-way winger that can score and add some offensive punch for a rebuilding Rangers squad. Kravtsov does have one year left with his KHL though, but time is no factor for the Rangers. 

The Edmonton Oilers are now on the clock. 

With the ninth selection, the New York Rangers select... Vitali Kravtsov from the KHL (Russia.)

The Rangers pick is in.

Boqvist is small, but he makes up for in his play. He draws comparisons to Erik Karlsson and is a quick, speedy d-man who can move the puck. He can be the quarterback on the power play and possibly step into a starting role for Chicago. 

The New York Rangers are now on the clock. 

With the eighth selection, the Chicago Blackhawks select... Adam Boqvist from Brynas of the SHL!

The pick is in for Chicago.

Hughes is a great selection for a Vancouver that desperately needs defensemen who can move the puck. Besides being a strong defender Hughes is great on the offensive end. He dominated during the World Juniors and really showed that he has limitless potential. He just has to improve his strength. He will most likely be staying at Michigan which would definitely help him. 

The Chicago Blackhawks are now on the clock.

With the seventh overall selection, the Vancouver Canucks select... Quinn Hughes from the University of Michigan!

The pick is in for Vancouver.

Detriot gets a quite steal here as Zadina falls out of the top five. Zadina is a very polished goal scorer and near as good as Svechnikov. He should play immediately for the Wings and be a consistent goal scorer with a very competitive side. 

The Vancouver Canucks are now on the clock.

With the sixth pick the Detroit Red Wings select... Filip Zadina from the Halifax Mooseheads! 

Well, kind of a shocker here but Arizona did need centers. Hayton is a gamble, but if he pays off could be a very good second line guy for them. He's very scrappy and gets to the right spot to score. Hopefully, this works out for Arizona. 

Detroit, you are on the clock.

The Arizona Coyotes select....  Barrett Hayton from the OHL. 

The pick is in for Arizona.

Tkachuk brings an edge to the Senators that they seem to be lacking as of late. Ottawa has talked about a culture change and Tkachuk definitely helps bring that. He may return to college which will delay his NHL debut, but once he is ready he should be even better than he is right now. 

The Arizona Coyotes are now on the clock.

The Ottawa Senators select... Brady Tkachuk from Boston University!

The pick is in for Ottawa.

Kotkaniemi fills a perfect gap that Montreal was looking to fill at center, and even though Kotkaniemi may not be ready this season, he will definitely be ready the season after. 

The Ottawa Senators are now on the clock.

With the third selection, the Canadiens select... Jesperi Kotkaniemi from the Finnish Elite League!

The Montreal Canadiens are now on the clock.

With the second selection, the Hurricanes select... Andrei Svechnikov from the Barrie Colts!

The pick is currently in for the Hurricanes. Not really a shock about who should go here either.

The Carolina Hurricanes are now on the clock with the second overall pick.

With the first overall selection in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft the Buffalo Sabres select....  Rasmus Dahlin from Sweden!

Just one minute in, the Sabres pick is in! I wonder who they'll take?

The 56th NHL Draft begins with boos of the commish and just like that, the Buffalo Sabres are on the clock! Here we go

10 minutes to go folks! Just ten minutes until the Buffalo Sabres are on the clock!

With the addition of Orpik in the deal, Colorado only had to give up one pick instead of having to give up more. 

We just about 22 minutes to go! Hope you'll stick it out with me!

This just came across about the trade that Colorado isn't keeping Orpik and they will get him in a preferred spot whether that is through a trade or a buyout. 

Another benefit for Washington is that they now have about $5.5 million more in cap space now to focus on signing  John Carlson before they lose him in free agency. 

Well, that is an interesting trade! Not bad for either side, the Caps get rid of a pending RFA in Grubauer and cap space in Orpik and Colorado gets two good players all for one draft pick. To me, it's a pretty even trade. 

Before the draft even begins, we have a trade! The Washington Capitals traded Brooks Orpik and Philipp Grubauer to the Colorado Avalanche for the 47th-overall pick which is a second-round selection. 

To add more on the Lindholm/Hurricanes drama, it's being reported that contract talks have hit a wall and he will most likely be traded today. The Chicago Blackhawks are one of the teams in the mix. 

I'm hearing reports that the New York Rangers are open for business and that if a deal is to happen, it will happen on the floor. 

Just under an hour to go until the start of the draft!

To give an update on something outside of the draft, John Tavares is expected to make his decision on resigning or taking advantage of the interview period tomorrow according to Darren Dreger. 

One team to be on the lookout to move down is the Edmonton Oilers who are aggressively shopping their tenth overall pick for an offensive defenseman. One team that is linked to them is the Calgary Flames who are reportedly shopping Dougie Hamilton. Another team could possibly be the Sabres as well who are looking at the market for Rasmus Ristolainen.

Another name to watch is  Artemi Panarin who told the Columbus Blue Jackets that he is not looking for a contract extension, so the Blue Jackets are testing the trade market for him. 

As I stated earlier, the Marc Bergevin and the Canadiens are actively trying to move down after trading away Alex Galchenyuk. They are looking for a center and a solid defenseman, and it's rumored that Buffalo is shopping O'Reilly with them looking to see if they can get that third overall pick. 

As first reported by Pierre LeBrun, talks between Elias Lindholm and the Carolina Hurricanes did not go well today so a trade may be coming this weekend or July 1st. 

According to Elliotte Friedman, teams are checking up on Brady Tkachuk's status because he may want to return to Boston University which may cause him to drop. 

This draft is set to be crazy with all of the rumors that are circulating around certain teams, and it's set to be a very fun one!

As always with the draft, there are trade rumors! There are many names that are being floated out there like Ryan O'Reilly, Craig Anderson, Jeff Skinner, as well as teams that are looking to trade down like the  Montreal Canadiens, the Vancouver Canucks, and the Philadelphia Flyers. 

Today, June 22nd is only the first round with rounds two through seven tomorrow, June 23rd, and the team with the first pick is the Buffalo Sabres. There is very little debate as to who Buffalo will take first as Rasmus Dahlin is the clear-cut number one selection. 

Welcome to Vavel's live coverage of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft!

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