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The Hockey News

The Hockey News Draft Preview 2021

The Hockey News is an iconic, authoritative and trusted voice of hockey. It was founded in 1947 and grew to become known as The Bible of Hockey. Once a tabloid newspaper, it has evolved into a multi-platform brand that goes deeper and broader than anyone in the industry. The Hockey News publishes regular editions plus its special editions that include the Yearbook, Ultimate Pool Guide and Money and Power.

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16 Issues

in this issue

3 min
all is still
 abuzz on the family front

THE FAMILY SIDE OF hockey, I’ve always believed, shines through the brightest in the spotlight of the NHL draft. Johnny Prospect is sitting in the stands with his immediate family – mom and dad, siblings and grandparents. He’s minutes away from seeing how his entire world might unfold in the years to come, and we, the hockey fan in the stands or watching on TV, get a chance to see it happen in real time. His new NHL team eagerly awaits making the announcement and then welcomes him into their family as he rounds the draft table. Sadly, the NHL draft these days isn’t what it used to be – damn pandemic! A second straight virtual NHL draft is all we have again this summer thanks to COVID-19. The occasion for…

3 min
tom wilson - good for the game of hockey?

QUITE OFTEN WHEN A decision I am faced with regarding making a move in hockey makes absolutely no financial sense, I ask myself before jumping into the fray: is this good for the game of hockey? In 1992, I was living in Los Angeles, and after Hurricane Andrew ripped through South Florida, my brother in Miami called me up and said that he wanted to put on a hockey tournament to raise funds for Habitat for Humanity. I funded and co-founded Hockey for the Homeless, where we raised money both in Miami and in Los Angeles, producing a celebrity hockey game in 1994 at the old Los Angeles Forum. It was good for the game of hockey. In 2008, then CEO of the Montreal Canadiens, Pierre Boivin, asked me if my refrigeration…

7 min
making picks in a pandemic

IMAGINE YOU’RE THE POOR Buffalo Sabres, fresh off tying an NHL record with a 10th consecutive playoff miss, desperate for reinforcements, clutching to, at worst, the third-highest pick in the 2021 draft. You use that selection on, for instance, right winger Dylan Guenther, whose 2020-21 sample size in the WHL was 12 games. Yes, 12 games. Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, the WHL had no playoffs and reduced its season to 24 games, half of which Guenther played, with games also sprinkled between in the Alberta Jr. A League and World Under-18 Championship. So a franchise pins its hopes on what it believes is a great player with a minuscule recent sample size. Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay Lightning saunter into the virtual draft on Day 2 after a lovely, long night of…

4 min
follow the bouncing ball

IN LATE MARCH, THE NHL announced a series of draft-lottery changes that were very much a reaction to the Detroit Red Wings getting “jobbed” at the 2020 draft. After the Wings finished with the worst record of any team in 20 years, they went 0-for-3 with their lottery balls and slipped to the No. 4 pick, watching the New York Rangers, who participated in the 2020 post-season, win a lottery pick for the second consecutive season. The league tweaked the rules to favor the league’s worst teams more going forward: “The changes, approved by league’s board of governors, will reduce the likelihood of the worst-finishing club dropping in the draft order and not retaining the right to the first-overall selection; reduce the magnitude of any possible drop in draft order for the…

3 min
first female gm coming soon?

WHEN MLB’S MIAMI Marlins hired Kim Ng as GM, the question was posed: when will a woman take the top team-building job for an NHL club? As happens, a handful of candidates had their names bandied about. Some were former players. Others were current scouts. But two near ubiquitous mentions – the Seattle Kraken’s Alexandra Mandrycky and Namita Nandakumar – are from different backgrounds. Neither played the game or grew up in hockey-mad households. Neither paid so-called dues in the minor leagues or spent years riding the bus with junior squads. When they did break into big-league front offices, it was by way of the relatively novel concept of analytics expertise. And while their respective journeys to the NHL may be unconventional, it hasn’t prevented either from cultivating credentials that earn them…

4 min
goodbye to a great

AFTER DECADES IN THE NHL, Anaheim Ducks executive David McNab called it a career in May, and in his parting press conference he imparted some wisdom. You’d be a fool not to listen to McNab, really. The man worked in the league for more than 40 years, including the past 28 with the Ducks. He helped build the Anaheim squad that won the Stanley Cup in 2007, and before that, he was instrumental in assembling the New York Rangers team that won it all in 1994, though he was no longer with the organization by then. After playing NCAA hockey as a goalie for Wisconsin, McNab jumped right into scouting, and while he’s worn a number of front-office hats since, that’s the discipline he always goes back to. “Anybody who starts…