Vancouver, BC (WGR 550) – Like NFL Draft fell perfectly to the bills for draft Ed Oliver, NHL Draft fell almost perfect for the sabers to grab Dylan Cozens.
Jack Hughes went no. 1 to New Jersey and then Rangers snagged Kaapo Kakko. Chicago did not take Alex Turcotte and replaced Kirby Dach. Buffalo would have loved for Turcotte to fall to them, but the kings took him with the fifth choice. Detroit walked away from the wall like Raiders did for the bills. The red wings selected defenseman Moritz Seider leaves Buffalo with three great choices.
Cole Caufield would have been a good choice and he fell to 15 and Montreal. Trevor Zegras would have been another good choice, and he went ninth to Anaheim, but Cozens was still there and the saber would have been foolish to pass him.
Cozens had 34 goals and 50 assist to 84 points in 68 matches with Lethbridge by WHL. The biggest thing I hear about him is his work ethic. Almost everyone I talked about him brings it up.
He is not afraid to go to the dirty areas around the net, and he only gets stronger when he grows into his body. That he can play center or wing at least gives him a shot to make the Saber this year, although Jason Botterill looks as if he would advise against it: "You always want your players to come in and have the faith, and we are definitely going to give him that opportunity, but I have been on record and say that there are probably one or two maybe three players who will enter and play in the National Hockey League this year.
"Probably the best For every player is enough to go back to junior and have another year of development, but we will see how the summer goes. He has a big size and a good frame, but he certainly needs to be stronger and it is certainly a big leap for the National Hockey League from junior. "
I was shocked that Cozen's was still there for Buffalo at seven. Ralph Krueger told me he was too, but Botterill, not so much:" We were excited and we were happy, but I wouldn't say surprised. It was an excellent draft and it is also why you do not do so many people today because people were excited about what they chose and they knew they should get a good player. "
There are many things that Saber scouts as if Cozens. Botterill said," Size, speed and it's not just speed, that's the way he plays, he pushes the pace a bit out there. "
" He has versatility gambling center, plays wing, his ability to play a two-way game, and if you look at our report trail with him all year, it was Hlinka in August during the year, teens at the end of the year, he was very consistent from that point of view. "
When Caufield fell, I wondered if Botterill was trying to move up. He said," Not much from 31
" I think it was just plain coincidence, and I admit that I later choose I have a bias, I think they take longer, and there will probably be more focus on school children and European children in the middle of late picks.
"For early rounds there are so many talented Canadian children, especially in CHL, so I just want to say that there is no bias, my head amateur scout came from Hockey Canada and we believe in the model in CHL and we think It's a good development model and the fact that two of our selections, Pekar and Luukkanen, we worked to get them to CHL after we had prepared them. "
I don't know much about their second first round selection in Ryan Johnson. I've made some calls to some scouts I know, and the consensus was that he is good at the transition game, which means he'll get the puck out easily, but he won't score. He is also an excellent skater and defends well. Botterill said: "He is a very good athlete, a very good skater, has the ability to play well in his defensive zone and play against other team's best players, but he also has a sense of a puck movement ability."
Johnson's father Craig played 557 NHL games with Washington, Toronto, Anaheim, Los Angeles and St. Louis. He was Blues second round pick in the 1990 draft and was picked two picks later than his son at 33. This is the choice Buffalo came from. Louis to Ryan O & # 39; Reilly.
As we enter day two on Saturday, Buffalo has no choice in the second round. It went to Carolina in the Jeff Skinner Agreement.
Buffalo has a third round pick and San Jose's fourth round pick that could transfer to 2020 and be a third round pick. The Sharks haven't made that choice yet. Buffalo's fourth round pick went to Pittsburgh for Conor Sheary.
The Sabrates do not have a fifth round pick, it has three sixth round selections and a seventh round choice.
The fifth round pick went to Detroit for Scott Wilson. Buffalo got an extra sixth from Winnipeg to Nate Beaulieu. Blue and Gold has Toronto's sixth round pick to trade them a sixth round pick in last year's draft.
Day 2 of the NHL draft is started at 1:00.