With the Stanley Cup finals starting tonight, the focus of the rest of the NHL now turns to the Draft, to be held June 26-27 in Florida. The draft should be especially interesting for BC fans, as there are a number of Eagles prospects set to be drafted this year. Here's a quick update on mock drafts and projections of where the Eagles might land:
For multiple reasons, many eyes are on Noah Hanifin. First off, Hanifin has a chance to be one of the highest-drafted Eagles ever, with projections listing him as high as #3 throughout the season. In addition, BC fans are waiting with baited breath to see if the team that drafts Hanifin brings him in to the pro fold, or if Hanifin may return for another season with the Eagles.
DraftSite still lists Hanifin at #3, going to the Arizona Coyotes. Arizona is in the midst of a major rebuild and Hanifin could be a big part of that right away (which is the problem for BC fans).
Other projections have Hanifin dropping a bit from the #3 spot he'd been projected to land for most of the year. USA Today pegs Hanifin at #4, going to the Maple Leafs. North of the border, Hanifin (unsurprisingly) is getting a little less love, with TSN's Craig Button listing Hanifin as the #12 prospect.
Could Noah Hanifin not be the only Eagle on Arizona's radar? DraftSite projects White to go at #29 overall to the Coyotes, with Arizona drafting both of the top Eagles prospects. While USA Today projects Hanifin to go to Toronto, they have White going to Arizona, too (at #30, as USA Today thinks Chicago is going to win the Cup, and Arizona has Chicago's pick).
White is a solid, two-way center with high end ability who Jerry York has been raving about ever since he's been alowed to speak about him. I think that he'll end up being considered one of the steals of the draft if he slips into the second round.
While the Tampa Bay Lightning's triplets and the success uf guys like Johnny Gaudreau are redefining the way NHL teams look at shorter players, odds are you're still going to be down the draft boards a bit if you're a shorter player - no matter how much people rave about your skill. DraftSite has Bracco, a 5'9'' explosive forward who shattered records at the USNTDP, going #48 to Ottawa. MyNHLDraft thinks more highly of Bracco's chances, projecting him at #23 to Vancouver.
HFBoards' crowdsourced NHL Draft(warning: click on HFBoards at your own risk) puts Bracco at #25.
TSN once again has a BC guy way lower than the general consensus, with Craig Button listing Bracco at #60.
Incoming BC defenseman (and brother of Ryan) Casey Fitzgerald is not listed in the 7-round projection on Draftsite or HFBoards, but his #148 ranking among North American skaters from from NHL Central Scouting means he has a chance of having his name called at some point depending on how things go.
With the NHL Draft approaching, these mock drafts are sure to be updated and changed in the weeks ahead; we'll keep en eye on the news. Your thoughts on where the BC guys might go?