24th Overall: Nashville Predators
One of my more underrated players entering this draft, I have him at 14th in my overall rankings. Hoglander has some offensive ability albeit not the most in the draft, but his high motor play is his biggest selling point. He is constantly working hard he has the potential to be a centerpiece of a teams forward core in the coming years. In my draft profile of Hoglander, I said:
“He plays a bigger game than his frame would suggest, consistently playing at a feverish pace and not afraid to track pucks down in the greasy areas.”
Hogslander is a smooth skater with great speed, able to reach that top speed in a hurry and maintain it through sharp movements and in tight areas. His best asset might be his puck-handling ability where he navigates crowded areas with the puck with ease. The young forward’s puck handling allows him to open space to make accurate passes through traffic, and even when being pressured by defenders can manage to make things happen, be it a pass or a shot.
25th Overall: Washington Capitals
Bobby Brink is a bit of an unusual case. He’s a smaller forward (5’8), not the strongest physically and he isn’t the strongest skater, he’s not the fastest, but he has some crazy offensive awareness. He thinks the game faster than most and is consistently in the right spot even if he struggles a bit to get there. He has the offensive tools to be a threat in the NHL even if not the most flashy one. That’s something the Washington Capitals could desperately use in their farm system after not taking a forward in the first round since 2014.