The Hockey News

The Hockey News May 11, 2020 - Draft Preview

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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2 Min
loading up on aces

AFTER AN enthusiastic summer turned into a brutal regular season, the Devils find themselves where they started – but at least they’ve got the pieces to continue the rebuild. New Jersey has four first-round picks in the next two drafts, and three of them could be this summer, depending on conditions involving trades with Arizona and Tampa Bay. Either way, the Devils will have at least one high pick to add to recent No. 1 phenoms Nico Hischier and Jack Hughes. IMMEDIATE NEEDS: Is Mackenzie Blackwood the answer in net? The rookie was a bright spot this season, but should he falter, the Devils are euchred. Adding another stopper via trade or free agency would be the prudent approach. While they’re at it, New Jersey could also use more help on…

10 Min
the one and only

THERE’S A FRENCH saying that describes a person who is at ease with themself. It goes bien dans sa peau, which literally means “good in one’s own skin.” This seems to be an easy thing to do if you’re Alexis Lafreniere. It’s not a charmed life, but it’s close. Growing up in the idyllic Montreal suburb of St-Eustache, Lafreniere owns a story that is not uncommon. Solid foundation with a good family, outstanding in both baseball and hockey until one of them demanded all of his time, good in school, has his priorities straight. You know the drill. “I think when you have a chance to do what you love every day, you cannot help but feel good in your own skin,” said Lafreniere earlier this season. “I am truly passionate…

7 Min
it’s a family affair

AS PART OF HIS ongoing Q&A series, The Hockey News owner and publisher Graeme Roustan spoke with Bret Baier, Fox News anchor and host of Special Report With Bret Baier, about his hockey-loving sons, being a Capitals fan and dealing with COVID-19. GRAEME ROUSTAN: How much do your boys, Daniel and Paul, miss hockey right now? BRET BAIER: So much. Daniel is the hockey player, he’s a squirt on the A-team at Chevy Chase (Md.), had a great season. Fortunately, they had wrapped up, but he was getting ready for spring hockey. So we were ready to get involved in that. Paul doesn’t play hockey, he’s a basketball player and golfer, but he is a major Capitals fan, and we were going to all kinds of games. We were looking forward to…

5 Min
the winning number is…

THE WHEEL WENT ROUND and round. Where it stopped would decide the NHL future of Gilbert Perreault. The Buffalo Sabres and Vancouver Canucks entered the NHL as expansion teams in 1970. Two days prior to the June 11 amateur draft, NHL president Clarence Campbell spun a wheel numbered 2-12 to determine which of the new franchises would be awarded the first overall pick. If the needle landed on any of Nos. 2 to 6, the pick went to Vancouver. Eight to 12, and Buffalo would select first. (Seven was a respin.) As the wheel completed its turn, Campbell hollered out, “One!” Immediately, there was commotion in the room. “I remember (Sabres coach-GM) Punch Imlach and (assistant GM) Fred Hunt jumping up and yelling, ‘No, you got it wrong,’” Perreault said. Campbell took a…

2 Min
campus crusaders

WITH A READY-TO-GO roster and plenty of youngsters already seizing spots, the Flyers have been able to invest in their long-term future by going heavy on college-bound prospects at the high end of the past two drafts. All five picks in the first three rounds have been NCAA-affiliated. The Flyers have also taken at least one goalie in the past five draft classes. IMMEDIATE NEEDS: Carter Hart is the starter, but he’ll need a new backup next year, assuming UFA Brian Elliott walks. The Flyers could bring up another youngster from the minors, but given how well they’re built now, it makes more sense to find a Thomas Greiss type of goalie who can win games consistently and take the load if needed. LONG-TERM NEEDS: The Flyers’ defense was greatly improved this…

2 Min
hall in the family?

THE FLAMES MADE a pitch to New Jersey for Taylor Hall this season before Arizona won the bidding war. But the hound is still on the scent, and it’s been reported that Hall would be open to the possibility of playing for hometown Calgary. It will take a big ticket to sign him as a UFA. Calgary would love to see his speed flying down the wing and becoming the centerpiece of the team’s attack, which sagged greatly in 2019-20 after a breakthrough 2018-19. IMMEDIATE NEEDS: The Flames lack a No. 1 center to go up against the powerhouse teams. But hasn’t Sean Monahan averaged almost 30 goals a season since entering the league seven years ago, you ask? True, but he doesn’t drive play, he’s weak in the other two…