Future Watch Special Edition: The 2020 NHL Draft Had Some IntrigueFuture Watch Special Edition: The 2020 NHL Draft Had Some Intrigue – There are always trades at the NHL Draft and this year was no exception.
Both of the major swaps occurred on Day Two, with the biggest trade involving Pittsburgh and Ottawa. The Penguins sent goaltender Matt Murray, who won two Stanley Cups for them to the Ottawa Senators for forward prospect Jon Gruden and a second round pick at the Draft (which was used to select promising netminder Joel Blomqvist). Ottawa got a bona fide starting goalie, although Murray is an RFA so there will be a negotiation to get him under contract. The Penguins save money on the cap and get a prospect in Gruden who has a good chance of making it to the NHL someday, but he’s not a bigtime prospect. Murray switching uniforms will be good for collectors.
Meanwhile, the Nashville Predators traded Nick Bonino to the Minnesota Wild for two picks and Luke Kunin. Picks aside, Nashville got a goal scorer in Kunin. He had 15 last year, with 14 at even strength. If he gets real power-play time, he can pot 20 to 25 with the shot he has. Collectors should be all-in on Kunin, now 22. There’s a lot of upside. Bonino is a good player, but this probably doesn’t change his hobby status.
Here are some draft risers:
- Lucas Raymond had a slight rise going fourth overall to the Detroit Red Wings. This winger has had terrific international showings, and this season he has a goal and a helper in his first two games for Frolunda. There is magic in his game – he’s a great skater, great passer and has an underrated wrist shot. Collect him when his cards become available.
- Alexander Holtz had a slight rise when he was selected seventh overall by the New Jersey Devils. This winger has the best shot in the draft, and he’s an excellent playmaker. He will score goals, as evidenced by his current play with Djurgardens in the SHL where he has one goal in three games this season. He had nine last season when he was just 17.
- Jack Quinn had a slight rise when the Buffalo Sabres snagged him 8th overall. He starred for the Ottawa 67s last season, along with teammate, Marco Rossi (who went 9th overall to the Wild). He is a goal scorer of the highest order. He had 52 in 62 games last year. He is going to be a hobby star.
- Rodion Amirov went to the Toronto Maple Leafs at 15. He’s 6-1, maybe 167 pounds, but this left-winger doesn’t shy away from contact. He has a very good skill level, and this year with Salavat Yulaev Ufa in the KHL, he has three goals and five points in 10 games against men. His path to the NHL may be faster than some, so I suggest collecting him.
- The Devils taking defenseman Shakir Mukhamadullin 20th was shocking. I doubt any other team had him going in the first round. No draft services did that I could find. He’s a big defenseman playing for Avangard Omsk in the KHL, he’s got a big shot, but he’s mostly looked at for his size (6-4). He won’t have much hobby value.
- The Columbus Blue Jackets drafted Yegor Chinakhov with the next pick at 21. The Blue Jackets had this Russian higher than the rest of the league. At 19, this right-winger has five goals and seven points in his first 12 career KHL games. He has a great shot, so collectors should pick him when his first NHL cards arrive (but don’t go crazy).
Let’s see when some of these players make their NHL debuts!
Future Watch Special Edition: The 2020 NHL Draft Had Some Intrigue – Image Gallery
Future Watch Special Edition: The 2020 NHL Draft Had Some Intrigue
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