As the 2018 NHL Mock Draft played out I had a lot of things on my plate. A few teams wanted the 9th overall pick while at the same time I was debating what it would cost to trade down. At the end of the day, I made a decision to hold onto the 9th pick, because I was curious who would be available for the Rangers in the all-too-likely event they don’t move from nine.
Here’s how the draft played out before I came to the podium:
1. Buffalo - Rasmus Dahlin (Ranked #1 in the BSB Profile here)
2. Carolina - Andrei Svechnikov (Ranked # 2 in the BSB Profile here)
3. Montreal - Filip Zadina (Ranked #3 in the BSB Profile here)
4. Ottawa - Quinn Hughes (Ranked #4 in the BSB Profile here)
5. Arizona - Brady Tkachuk (Ranked # 9 in the BSB Profile here)
6. Detroit - Adam Boqvist (Ranked #6 in the BSB Profile here)
7. Vancouver - Noah Dobson (Ranked #12 in the BSB Profile here)
8. Chicago - Oliver Wahlstrom (Ranked #5 in the BSB Profile here)
Were we sitting in a panic hoping Chicago wasn’t going to talk Wahlstrom? Of course we were! Was I thrilled secretly because the Dobson pick at 7 gave me one of my (personal) Big 8? Of course I was.
So we naturally took Evan Bouchard (ranked #7 in the BSB Profile here). Honestly, read that profile on a far more in depth review of Bouchard. If you want a quick glance, here’s a blurb from our review:
Bouchard is not flashy and can’t singlehandedly break games open, and as one of the older players in the draft he doesn’t have as much boom potential as players ranked ahead of him. At the end of the day, though, he makes an impact in all areas. He creates goals for his team, and isn’t too shabby in the defensive end, either. It’s extremely hard to make dramatic improvements in skating ability, but if he can improve even from a C+ skater to a B- skater, then that will make a major difference. His defending also needs work, though as I said he’s already earned London Head Coach Dale Hunter’s trust in tough minutes. He projects as someone who will play all situations in the NHL, and he probably is not far off, either. I imagine whichever NHL team lands him will give him a shot in training camp, with the 2019-2020 season as a more realistic starting point for his NHL career.
Yes, the Rangers loaded up on defensive talent in this rebuild, but they’re not in a position to abandon the BPA (best player available) mentality. Bouchard was, quite simply, the best player left on the board.
Thoughts on this pick?