Pacific Division team draft needs

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The 2020 NHL Draft provides an opportunity for teams to shore up positions of need with an injection of young talent.

The first round of the draft will be Oct. 6 (7 p.m. ET). Rounds 2-7 are Oct. 7 (11:30 a.m. ET). The draft will be held virtually. The draft originally was scheduled for June 26-27 at Bell Centre in Montreal but was postponed March 25 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus. 

Here are what Pacific Division teams could be looking to do at the draft (teams listed in alphabetical order):

 

[RELATED: Atlantic Division team draft needs | Metropolitan Division team draft needs]

 

ANAHEIM DUCKS

Top priority: Depth at defenseman

First round picks: No. 6; No. 27

The situation: The Ducks failed to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the second straight season. They’ve been looking to upgrade offensively after finishing 29th in the NHL by averaging 2.56 goals-per game this season and 31st in 2018-19 (2.39). Center Ryan Getzlaf is 35 and will become an unrestricted free agent after next season. Center Adam Henrique, who turns 31 next season, is signed through 2023-24. The Ducks used each of their two first-round picks on forwards in the NHL Draft the past four years. They chose Trevor Zegras (No. 9) and Brayden Tracey (No. 29) with the first two choices in the 2019 NHL Draft and used four of their seven picks on forwards in the 2018 draft, including Isac Lundestrom (No. 23) and Benoit-Olivier Groulx (No. 54). That group will join fellow forward prospects Troy Terry (2015, No. 148) and Max Comtois (2017, No. 50) in the pipeline. The Ducks have seven picks in this draft, including two in the first round, and need puck movers at defenseman.

Possible fits: Jamie Drysdale, D, Erie (OHL); Jake Sanderson, D, USA U-18 (USHL); Jeremie Poirier, D, Saint John (QMJHL)

 

ARIZONA COYOTES

Top priority: Depth at all positions

First pick: No. 111 (fourth round)

The situation: The Coyotes have four picks this year; they had to forfeit a second-round pick for violating the NHL Combine testing policy in 2019-20 and previously traded their first- and third-round picks. The Coyotes did advance to the Western Conference First Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a 4-3 overtime win against the Nashville Predators in Game 4 of the best-of-5 Stanley Cup Qualifiers in August, their first postseason series win since losing in the Western Conference Final in 2012. Bill Armstrong was hired as general manager on Sept. 17, replacing Steve Sullivan, who was given the job after GM John Chayka quit July 26. The Coyotes were tied with the Ottawa Senators for 22nd in the NHL in goals scored (190) and were 14th in shots per game (31.7) despite a lineup that included forwards Taylor Hall, Phil Kessel, Clayton Keller, Christian Fischer, Christian Dvorak and Vinnie Hinostroza. Arizona is the ninth-oldest team in the League, averaging 28.2 years in age, so it might be time to dip into the prospect pool that includes forwards Jan Jenik (2018, No. 65), and John Farinacci (2019, No. 76), defensemen Victor Soderstrom (2019, No. 11) and Kyle Capobianco (2015, No. 63) and goalie Ivan Prosvetov (2018, No. 114).

Possible fits: Gage Goncalves, C, Everett (WHL); Ryder Rolston, RW, Waterloo (USHL); Samuel Hlavaj, G, Sherbrooke (QMJHL) 

Video: New Coyotes GM Armstrong joins NHL Now

 

CALGARY FLAMES

Top priority: Depth at defenseman

First pick: No. 19

The situation: The Flames, eliminated in six games by the Dallas Stars in the first round, have built a strong foundation of prospects, and they’ll have a chance to add a few more with seven picks in the 2020 draft. They have promising goalie prospect Tyler Parsons (2016, No. 54) and forwards Jakob Pelletier (2019, No. 26), Dillon Dube (2016, No. 56), and Dimitry Zavgorodniy (2018, No. 198). Pelletier, who signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Flames on Sept. 23, 2019, had 82 points (32 goals, 50 assists) in 57 games for Moncton of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League this season. Top defenseman prospect Juuso Valimaki (2017, No. 16) didn’t play in 2019-20 after sustaining a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee while training in August. He had surgery and resumed skating on his own in January. Veteran defenseman and captain Mark Giordano is 36 so now is the time to stock their pipeline with defensemen. 

Possible fits: Helge Grans, D, Malmo Jr. (SWE); Topi Niemela, D, Karpat (FIN); Ryan O’Rourke, D, Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)

 

EDMONTON OILERS

Top priority: Depth at wing

First pick: No. 14

The situation: The Oilers were eliminated in four games by the No. 12 seed Chicago Blackhawks in the qualifiers. General manager Ken Holland is doing his best to help revitalize the franchise, which had not qualified for the playoffs in 12 of the prior 13 seasons before he was hired May 7, 2019. There’s a lot to get excited about in the pipeline, particularly at defenseman with prospects Evan Bouchard (2018, No. 10), Philip Broberg (2019, No. 8), Caleb Jones (2015, No. 117) and Dimitri Samorukov (2017, No. 84) waiting for their opportunity. Forwards Raphael Lavoie (2019, No. 38) and Kirill Maksimov (2017, No. 146) could be competing for NHL spots soon. The Oilers have four picks in the draft. Look for them to provide offensive depth around captain Connor McDavid and reigning Hart Trophy-winner Leon Draisaitl.

Possible fits: Jacob Perreault, RW, Sarnia (OHL); Noel Gunler, RW, Lulea (SWE); Connor Zary, C, Kamloops (WHL)

 

LOS ANGELES KINGS

Top priority: Franchise forward

First pick: No. 2

The situation: The Kings have missed the playoffs four times in six seasons since winning the Stanley Cup in 2014, and this season finished 28th in the NHL with a .457 points percentage. Los Angeles, which was 30th in goals (178), have 11 picks in the draft, including six in the first three rounds. They have good forward prospects in the system, topped by centers Alex Turcotte (2019, No. 5), Tyler Madden (via trade with the Vancouver Canucks, Feb. 17), Rasmus Kupari (2018, No. 20), Akil Thomas (2018, No. 51), Jaret Anderson-Dolan (2017, No. 41) and Gabriel Vilardi (2017, No. 11), left wing Samuel Fagemo (2019, No. 50), and right wing Arthur Kaliyev (2019, No. 33). Turcotte signed a three-year, entry-level contract on March 11 after scoring 26 points (nine goals, 17 assists) in 29 games as a freshman at the University of Wisconsin. The Kings need more top-end defensemen in their system, especially since Drew Doughty turns 31 on Dec. 8, but it will be hard to pass on taking another skilled forward with the No. 2 pick.

Possible fits: Quinton Byfield, C, Sudbury (OHL); Tim Stuezle, LW, Mannheim (GER); Jamie Drysdale, D, Erie (OHL)

Video: Luc Robitaille joins NHL Tonight

 

SAN JOSE SHARKS

Top priority: Goal scorers

First pick: No. 31

The situation: The Sharks finished last in the Western Conference with their lowest points percentage (.450) since Doug Wilson was named general manager before the 2003-04 season. They were decimated by injuries, including a broken thumb sustained by defenseman Erik Karlsson on Feb. 14, but have seven picks, including three in the top 62. They acquired the No. 31 pick from the Tampa Bay Lightning for forward Barclay Goodrow on Feb. 24. The prospect pool consists of forwards Joachim Blichfeld (2016, No. 210), Noah Gregor (2016, No. 111) and Alexander Chmelevski (2017, No. 185), defenseman Ryan Merkley (2018, No. 21) and goalie Zachary Emond (2018, No. 176). The Sharks, who ranked tied for 27th in the League with the Columbus Blue Jackets with 2.57 goals per game, traded their own first-round pick (No. 3) to the Ottawa Senators in the Karlsson trade in September 2018. Expect them to target depth at forward and then focus on defenseman and goalie positions.

Possible fits: Dylan Holloway, C, Wisconsin (Big Ten); Jan Mysak, C, Hamilton (OHL); Lukas Reichel, LW, Eisbaren Berlin (GER)

Video: Bob Boughner on his outlook for Sharks next year

 

VANCOUVER CANUCKS

Top priority: Depth at defenseman

First pick: No. 82 (third round)

The situation: The Canucks were eliminated by the Vegas Golden Knights, losing 3-0 in Game 7 of the best-of -7 Western Conference Second Round. They have five picks in the draft; none in the first or second round. The Canucks may have gotten the best value among the top 10 choices in the 2018 NHL Draft with the selection of Quinn Hughes at No. 7, as the defenseman was runner-up to Cale Makar of the Colorado Avalanche for the Calder Trophy as NHL Rookie of the Year. He led NHL rookies with 45 assists and 53 points in 68 games. Some of the names in the prospect pipeline include forwards Vasily Podkolzin (2019, No. 10), Nils Hoglander (2019, No. 40) and Kole Lind (2017, No. 33) and defensemen Olli Juolevi (2016, No. 5), Brogan Rafferty (free agent) and Jett Woo (2018, No. 37) and goalie Michael DiPietro (2017, No. 64). Expect the Canucks to select the best available player.

Possible fits: Antonio Stranges, LW, London (OHL); Yan Kuznetsov, D, University of Connecticut (H-East); Simon Kubicek, D, Seattle (WHL)

 

VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS

Top priority: Depth at defenseman

First pick: No. 29

The situation: The Golden Knights lost to the Dallas Stars in the best-of-7 Western Conference Final in five games. Vegas has qualified for the playoffs in each of its three seasons, reaching the Stanley Cup Final in their inaugural season in 2017-18. They have five picks in the draft; none in the second round. Vegas has plenty of high-end prospects in the pipeline, including forwards Peyton Krebs (2019, No. 17), Jack Dugan (2017, No. 142), Lucas Elvenes (2017, No. 127), Pavel Dorofeyev (2019, No. 79) and Ivan Morozov (2018, No. 61), and defensemen Jimmy Schuldt (free agent), Nicolas Hague (2017, No. 34) and Kaedan Korczak (2019, No. 41). They traded two top defensemen prospects in Erik Brannstrom (Ottawa Senators) and Slava Demin (Chicago Blackhawks) the past two seasons, so there’s a need to reload in that area.

Possible fits: Jeremie Poirier, D, Saint John (QMJHL); Daemon Hunt, D, Moose Jaw (WHL); Topi Niemela, D, Karpat (FIN)

Video: NHL Tonight on Golden Knights’ Offseason Plans

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