I just started browsing through other teams in our division’s draft. I’ve got about half way through and here are the observations:
Dallas-size was not a factor, there guys were maybe average.
Chicago-skill early, size late
Colorado-skill early, decent size late
Arizona-3 goalies chosen, wow. Size was their theme, and this was off script since they generally don’t do that.
Of these 4 teams, size was a definite theme. Originally, I was thinking that our already drafted defenders who are puck moving, shorter with decent size might be pretty good at defending Bedard, Moore. However, with the size chosen in the division, they may have some issues defending the size. We could use 2 large defenders on the 3rd pairing.
That said, I think Faber will be able to be effective at 210 if he can lift himself into that range. O’Rourke, Hunt, Lambos all need to hit that weight class. We’re going to need an aggressive strength program for these kids, especially in Iowa. If Johansson wants to make it, he’ll need to be at least at Brodin’s weight. As Spurgeon ages, this theme is not good for him.
Sometimes, you need to see what other teams in your division are doing, especially since you need to get through your division in the playoffs. This is where I think not picking up Mann in the 5th or 6th, and taking flyers on smaller, puck moving D may come back to us with regrets. Our division has looked at Vegas’ redwoods and copied that strategy. We should have done the same, specifically since our back end guys do not have the size element as a factor.
I like the bloodlines factor in drafting Pionk, however, at 20 years old, 6’1″ 172 is pretty light for the position, granted, he just switched back to defense. He will need to add 35 lbs. on a body that should already be filling out. I really think Mann would have been a better option at this slot. Mann was consistently listed in the top 100, and even his worst rankings were 30 slots below where he was taken. To me, this seems to be a lack of awareness of the surroundings, and an analytical guy should have been tracking the division’s draft picks and reporting this to both Brackett (who doesn’t really care about size) and Guerin (who does). We should have made an adjustment along the way, most certainly in the 6th round. Parker isn’t really small either, but it seems we are unwilling to draft defenders over 6’2″, likely because their skating isn’t as refined as the shorter guys.