On my most recent podcast, Jim Biringer and I hosted Chris Wassel, writer and scout at DobberProspects.com. One of the burning questions I have been awaiting to ask a professional writer and scout for Dobber Prospects was how the defense compares and contrasts vs. 2021.
Chris goes onto mention that 2021 has a much stronger and a higher skilled draft crop that would make a team like the Devils likely draft forwards and goalies. Chris did mention that Drysdale doesn’t exactly play like a top-five pick to top-six, but would be one of the steals in the NHL Draft.
Wassel also brought up MODO defensemen William Wallinder who is a guy I had in The Puck Authority’s annual mock draft no higher than 17th. I honestly believe Drysdale, Sanderson, Wallinder and Kaiden Guhle will likely be a few names that can make team scouts look extra hard before making a selection.
One of the very interesting things I had to agree with Chris on was that 4-8 overall could really determine the picks 9-31 in a very forward heavy draft. It could be a similar NHL stud talent pool like 2003 for this generation. I do believe this crop is more skilled in quantity and quality by maybe 25 more players give or take.
If, for some reason, one of the Devils conditional picks slides over to 2021, adding a first-round pick, second or third rounder from recent trades, the draft assets used from 2021 could either be held or used in trades later on.
What I found interesting is whoever is at the helm for the Devils will try and pry a Colin Miller like player. The Devils have assets to acquire a player of his type which simultaneously can help bolster the left-defence. There are a lot of players knocking on the door to play in Newark, New Jersey seeking opportunity, so making a trade for Miller or a player of his caliber just happens to make sense. Miller is a physical defensemen who can also keep opponents in check and has raised the compete levels of teams he has played for.
2021 picks that slide from 2020 could be used to make some interesting picks for a very strong defence heavy NHL Draft. 2020, however, is a great class for forwards as I previously mentioned.
On the bright side, I highly recommend my fellow readers to follow Chris Wassel on Twitter and at Dobber Prospects. I do believe there will be a lot of jockeying for GM’s to try and move up in the draft and the asking prices will appreciate upwards like a Sotheby’s auction. However, once free agent frenzy begins, I do see more trades making better sense for players that have better value and term.
Another key component will be the salary cap as well as the new percentage of escrow. The upcoming Seattle Expansion Draft could make teams buyout or hold on players to expose. The 2020-21 season acquisition markets will set the tone for which players will be protected and those who will join the newest tram in Seattle.