We put out an open call to every SB Nation NHL writer and several of them answered that call and subsequently participated in our first ever Eyes On The Prize Interactive Mock Draft. What was intended to be a serious exercise in which the most respected writers from our community would go into detail as to why their adopted team would draft this elite prospect turned into pretty much the opposite.
The draft is about to begin, let's tune in to TSN or Sportsnet or NBC Sports via TSN or Sportsnet whoever has the rights to this one!
1st Overall: Edmonton Oilers-Travis Hughes
2nd Overall: Buffalo Sabres-Scott Wheeler
3rd Overall: Arizona Coyotes-Adam El Seldo
Editor's note: It is at this stage in the draft in which the process went completely off the rails. Here's how it happened, word for word.
4th Overall: Toronto Maple Leafs-Kyle McIlmurray
Adam El Seldo: Poop emoji
Achariya Rezak: Kyle was JUST WAITING
Aruny Siv: Brilliant
Achariya Rezak: Like, I could hear his breathing through the computer screen.
Kyle McIlmurray: I'm kidding, since I don't want to be owned by over-serious Leafs fans.
Mike Obrand: Aw come on!
Achariya Rezak: Stick to your guns
Travis Hughes: Doooooo it
Kyle McIlmurray: "K @#$% it.
5th Overall: Carolina Hurricanes- Kyle McIlmurray
6th Overall: New Jersey Devils-Marc Dumont
"Wait, Crouse went fourth? Oh, so it's one of those mock drafts."
"With the 6th-overall pick the Devils are proud to select the guy who should have gone third overall, one of the most talented players in the draft, Noah Hanifin. He's got skill to spare, and he'll eventually make for great trade bait when we inevitably trade for Ilya Kovalchuk in 2022."
7th Overall: Philadelphia Flyers-Brendan Porter
8th Overall: Columbus Blue Jackets-Aruny Siv
9th Overall:San Jose Sharks-Adam El Seldo
10th Overall: Colorado Avalanche-Mike Obrand
11th Overall: Florida Panthers-Achariya Rezak
12th Overall: Dallas Stars-Emily Wang
13th Overall: Los Angeles Kings-Brenden Porter
14th Overall: Boston Bruins-Cara Thorington
15th Overall: Calgary Flames-Species Jonathan
16th Overall: Edmonton Oilers-Travis Hughes
"Hm, forwards forwards...who are some good forwards. We really need more forwards. You know what they say: 'Offense wins championships!' We select Mikko Rantanen! He's a forward right?
17th Overall: Winnipeg Jets-Cara Thorington
18th Overall: Ottawa Senators-Matt Drake
19th Overall: Detroit Red Wings-Mike Obrand
Ken Holland walks up to the stage joined by his entourage
"We're going to call upon our new head coach Jeff Blashill to make our pick"
A rousing cheer emanates from the crowd
"WOOO! GO JEFF! YOU GO GET EM BUDDY!"
/The camera pans to find the source of the outburst, they focus on Toronto's table where Mike Babcock is standing and applauding. He is decked in a top hat, monocle, a tuxedo with tails that reach the floor and is using Dave Nonis' head as an ash tray for his cigarette that is being held in a foot long holder.
Blashill walks up to the podium "We select Travis Koneckybergyukstromov"
20th Overall: Arizona Coyotes-Adam El Seldo
21st Overall: Buffalo Sabres-Scott Wheeler
22nd Overall: Washington Capitals-Chris Dilks
23rd Overall: Vancouver Canucks. GM-Mike Obrand
/Jim Bening walks up to the podium, he looks nervous
"Um, ok we have the pick but we want the player to pinky promise that he's going to play in the NHL for his entire career before we make it. Can we do that? Is that a thing?....it's not? /Sighs audibly Well fine, we pick Evgeny Svechnikov!
/Svechnikov walks up the stage after hugging his family and friends, he approaches Benning who is waiting with his pinky outreached.
24th Overall: Toronto Maple Leafs. GM-Kyle Kyle McIlmurray
25th Overall: Winnipeg Jets. GM-Cara Thorington
26th Overall: Montreal Canadiens-Matt Drake
27th Overall: Anaheim Ducks-Jack Han
28th Overall: Tampa Bay Lightning-Achariya Rezak
29th Overall: Philadelphia Flyers-Brendan Porter
30th Overall: Minnesota Wild-Chris Dilks
So there you have it folks. The result of an open thread mock draft with some of the best minds in the biz (that what in the biz call "The Business") Now we want to hear from you. What did you like? What didn't you hate? What did you REALLY like? We don't have time for people who didn't like this is what I'm getting at.
Final Draft List:
Edmonton Oilers: Connor McDavid
Buffalo Sabres: Jack Eichel
Arizona Coyotes: Dylan Strome
Toronto Maple Leafs: Lawson Crouse
Carolina Hurricanes: Mitch Marner
New Jersey Devils: Noah Hanifin
Philadelphia Flyers: Ivan Provorov
Columbus Blue Jackets: Zach Werenski
San Jose Sharks: Pavel Zacha
Colorado Avalanche: Matthew Barzal
Florida Panthers: Kyle Connor
Dallas Stars: Timo Meier
Los Angeles Kings: Oliver Kylington
Boston Bruins: Paul Bittner
Calgary Flames: Brandon Carlo
Edmonton Oilers: Mikko Rantanen
Winnipeg Jets: Mackenzie Blackwood
Ottawa Senators: Jordan Greenway
Detroit Red Wings: Travis Konecky
Arizona Coyotes: Daniel Sprong
Buffalo Sabres: Jeremy Roy
Washington Capitals: Colin White
Vancouver Canucks: Evgeny Svechnikov
Toronto Maple Leafs: Jakub Zboril
Winnipeg Jets: Noah Juulson
Montreal Canadiens: Nicholas Meloche
Anaheim Ducks: Jeremy Bracco
Tampa Bay Lightning: Dennis Gurianov
Philadelphia Flyers: Jake DeBrusk
Minnesota Wild: Ilya Samsonov