Published by hockeybuzz.com, 6-10-2018
6. Detroit Red Wings--RHD, Adam Boqvist. Lordy, the Wings have a tough decision at this spot but can't really lose and go with Boqvist at No. 6. For them and the 5'11" 170 SHL d-man it's like peanut butter and jelly, ham and eggs, Hitsville USA and Detroit. It's the Red Wings and Swedes. Boqvist is a shifty player and elite skater which kinda fits right into what Detroit has liked in their players for decades, well before the league finally caught on with what they were doing. GM Ken Holland is retooling his roster and has been looking for a defenseman like Boqvist. Although he's not Dahlin, the 17 yr. old got the tools of a forward on the blueline and has a very high hockey-IQ. Plus, he's Swedish like their Hall of Fame defenseman Niklas Lidstrom.
7. Vancouver Canucks--LHD, Quinn Hughes. Hughes was born in Florida, which is a fairly rare for hockey players (although it's becoming more commonplace,) was raised in Toronto, the self-proclaimed "Center of the Hockey Universe" and spent his young adult life in Michigan playing for the US National Development Program and the Wolverines. With Hughes right there for the Wings to scout, this should have been written above at No. 6, right? But it's not and the 'Nucks are very happy to have a the 5'10" 174 lb. Hughes, who's skating is elite in all facets and who looks to be a future powerplay QB and elite set-up man.
8. Chicago Blackhawks--RW, Oliver Wahlstrom. The 'Hawks could use some help on the back end and Hughes would have been their selection, but like the magnet for ultra-talented wingers that Chicago is, Wahlstrom and his pure sniping ability fall to them at No. 8. This is a very unusual spot for the Blackhawks as they haven't had a pick this high since 2007 when a pretty good right-winger in Patrick Kane was drafted first-overall. That's what success, which includes three Stanley Cups, will do in that regard. Chicago has lost a lot of talent over the years because of the NHL's salary cap but they still have their core of Kane, Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith. This year they'll have a wave of young talent coming in on top of a handful of youngins that cut their teeth last season. Wahlstrom and his high-end skill-set should fit right in with the Blackhawks and could very easily join an impressive list of recent eighth-overall picks that includes Casey Mittelstadt (2017, BUF,) Zach Werenski (2015, CLB,) and William Nylander (2014, TOR.)
9. New York Rangers--RHD, Evan Bouchard. The Rangers are another team that's unaccustomed to being on the outside of the playoffs as they've missed them only twice in the last 14 years. Other than the seventh-overall pick last season, which was acquired from Arizona in a trade, the Rangers have selected in the top-10 only once since 2004 and from 2013-16 didn't select in the first round at all as they chased a Stanley Cup during Henrik Lundqvist's prime. They're rebuilding this year and have a franchise record 10 draft picks which includes three first-rounders, two seconds plus two thirds, and a good place to start the bonanza will be landing the very intelligent and highly skilled Bouchard. The right-handed d-man believes he'll be ready for the NHL next season and his 87 points (25+62) in 67 regular season games for the OHL's London Knights lends credence to that confidence.
10. Edmonton Oilers--RHD Bode Wilde. How many hockey fans in North America had an 'X' marked on their wall in anticipation of the Oilers winning the lottery for Dahlin? Yeah, I thought there were a lot of you. Edmonton surprisingly missed the playoffs and didn't have that lottery luck this time. Unfortunately for them, the tier of defensemen grouped behind Dahlin has been picked over but Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli still sticks with defense at the draft (and with Connor McDavid, he can afford to) and won't be accused of reaching as the d-men and forwards available at No. 10 are fairly equal. Chiarelli does, however, throw a bit of a curveball as he chooses not to go 'smurfin' again with the smaller Ty Smith. Instead he goes for an impact defenseman, in Wilde, partly because he's a righty and in part because the 6'2" 196 lb. native of Montreal is a real good defenseman who's been likened to Scott Neidermayer.