Day 4 of the SB Nation NHL Mock Draft comes with a mock-buster of a trade that sends Marc-Andre Fleury back to Pittsburgh, with the Red Wings playing middleman on behalf of Vegas. Oh yeah, and some prospects were selected, but the trades are the fun part.
I also want to note that our mock draft was done prior to the NHL releasing the full draft order. Since the Arizona Coyotes will forfeit their first-round pick, we’ve been numbering them in order of selection, while the NHL will simply not have an 11th-overall pick in the 2021 draft. It doesn’t affect the results of our mock draft, but the numbers will shift down when the actual draft comes.
Catch up on the picks so far here:
Onto the picks!
19. Edmonton Oilers — Sebastian Cossa
From Copper and Blue:
Cossa is an interesting goaltender to watch play hockey. Based on size alone, he has a significant advantage in taking up space in the net and he understands how to use his size to his advantage. His positioning is solid. He has the ability to move quickly across the crease, he’s smart enough not to go wandering from his crease during play, and he has displayed a good deal of mental resilience in dealing with a bad goal or a bad game.
[...] If Cossa is as self-possessed as his starts in the WHL suggest, it seems likely he will have the composure to manage the ups and downs of being an NHL goaltender.
And as Bob Stauffer has been reminding Oilers fans for the majority of the Oilers season, Cossa is has spent the last two seasons just down the hall from the Oilers organization with the Edmonton Oil Kings. While there are several very valid arguments around favoritism to the Edmonton WHL club, this essentially means the Oilers staff should be very familiar with Cossa and what he can do.
20. Boston Bruins — Isak Rosen
From Stanley Cup of Chowder:
While it would’ve been very easy to suggest a center at this pick, I decided that Rosen would be a good fit for the Bruins organization due to his high creativity, excellent skating, and 200-foot capabilities. Many of the Centers available to Boston at this pick, at least the one’s I’ve covered and am going to cover had skating or backchecking concerns from professional and independent scouting organizations that often gave me pause in an era where speed is everything. While drafting the #1 center of the future should be a paramount concern for the team in the coming years, I simply do not believe you’re going to find it in a draft like this one unless you’re picking Matt Berniers. Therefor, I have elected to address a shallow winger pool with a player that already shows plenty of promise and I personally would put great trust in the Player Development group of the Boston Bruins; who have shown time and time again that they know how to pack the right kind of weight onto what would be traditionally undersized players, to develop Rosen into a capable and dangerous NHL winger.
21. Minnesota Wild — Fyodor Svechkov
From Hockey Wilderness:
It might be a little boring — and just so damn typical — for the Wild to grab a guy that has defensive abilities with some minor offensive upsides, but I just feel like Svechkov can compliment this current crop of young talent like Marco Rossi, Marat Khusnutdinov, and Calen Addison, just so well. Drafting depending on need and current prospect pool isn’t ideal at all, but it just seems like he can gel with the rest of the youngsters almost immediately. [...]
It might be a little tricky not getting an electric offensive talent in the first round, someone like a Simon Robertsson or a Xavier Bourgault, who was also available, but Svechkov just seems like an instant fit with the Wild’s current and future core, while also projecting as someone that might be able to play at a high level much sooner than someone that needs to develop their offensive for a few seasons in the minors.
To Vegas: 2021 picks 22 & 52, G Tristan Jarry, F Zach Aston-Reese (RFA rights)
To Pittsburgh: G Marc-Andre Fleury ($3.5 million)
To Detroit: 2021 picks 30 & 36, Pittsburgh’s 2022 first-round pick, retaining $3.5 million on Marc-Andre Fleury’s contract
One of many problems in the “Fleury reunion” idea is that Vegas has little salary cap space, and Pittsburgh has even less. We needed a clearinghouse for a third team to jump in and eat half of Fleury’s $7.0 million cap hit. Detroit was interested in stepping up and helping, but not out of the goodness of their hearts.
The price was a 2022 first round pick. That’s a hefty price, but not totally out-of-bounds from reality— Toronto passed a first rounder to Carolina for the $6.25 million cap hit of Patrick Marleau in 2019. The Red Wings got a first + a second round pick from Washington in part for taking Richard Panik’s cap hit that would have been $1.7 million for two years if the Capitals had buried him in the minors. Fleury’s hit to Detroit would be less than Marleau’s, but about on par with Panik’s total cap impact. Markets change and evolve and that price wasn’t budging, so my choice was to meet it or not conclude the deal.
From Winging It In Motown:
For me, this deal knocks it out of the park. I’m not terribly happy with having to give up #52 in the move back from #23 but leaving the Wings with picks 30, 36, and 38 still gives plenty of draft capital.
The real benefit is that it gives the Wings a way to weaponize one year of burned cap space for an additional first rounder next season. I don’t think Pittsburgh ends up in the lottery next season or anything, but I’m also fairly confident that they won’t have to wait until the end of the first round to cash that one in.
22. Vegas Golden Knights — Zachary Bolduc
From Knights On Ice:
First and foremost, the Golden Knights clear the full $7 million of Fleury’s contract. In return, they get Jarry, who has two years remaining at an AAV of $3.5 million. I know Vegas fans are groaning in the heat, but Jarry becomes a cheaper and capable backup to Robin Lehner. That assures the Golden Knights can re-sign Alec Martinez, while still having some wiggle room if they want to be players in the trade market. [...]
One amateur scout not affiliated with the Golden Knights said Bolduc has the traits Vegas looks for: good size, willingness to get in front of the net, and a sound playmaker behind the net. He also possesses a quick release that aids him in the middle of the slot.
The 18-year-old Bolduc had 29 points (10 goals, 19 assists) in 27 games last season, and posted a 30-goal campaign in 2020. It’s no crime to attest that to playing with Alexis Lafreniere, but to do that at 16 years old, going on 17, that’s not shabby.
23. Florida Panthers — Carson Lambos
From Litter Box Cats:
While I’m a big proponent of picking the Best Player (or Prospect) Available across the NHL Entry Draft board, what I really mean a lot of time is the best forward available, as defensemen are, in my humble opinion, harder to gauge, and usually take longer to develop.
That said, although it pained me a bit to make this particular pick, the value represented by defenseman Carson Lambos was good to pass up with the 23rd pick in the SBN NHL Mock Draft, as the Winnipeg Ice blueliner’s average draft ranking averages out to 15.5.
24. Columbus Blue Jackets — Nikita Chibrikov
From The Cannon:
If this situation unfolds for Jarmo in the real draft, I think the best strategy in a case like this is to trade down. Move down somewhere from 5 to 15 spots and collect additional picks for this year or next. Get a player you still want at a position more in line with his value, but also get to pick an additional prospect. Of course as we’ve seen with late first round picks like Liam Foudy and Yegor Chinakhov, Jarmo isn’t afraid to reach when his pick is up if he really likes a player.
While trades are allowed in this mock draft exercise, it’s not very fun to trade one of my picks for picks I can’t actually make. Therefore I stuck to my philosophy of Best Player Available and took Chibrikov. You can read more about him in his prospect profile from last week. In reading MrSwift’s write-up, I was left with the impression that Chibrikov is one of the higher-upside offensive talents in the draft. He’s fast and is great with the puck. There are some holes in his game, but you can find question marks with every prospect outside of the top 10. The way his weaknesses are described, they sound like things which can be fixed (or at least minimized) with coaching and practice.
The Minnesota Wild are back on the clock.