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McPhee Calls Entry Draft Weak, Then Says He Doesn’t Call Drafts Weak

GM George McPhee made his first Vegas radio appearance since the lottery debacle on ESPN 1100 this afternoon (interview here, begins at 28:00). McPhee joked with Ed Graney and Mike Pritchard that after he found out the results, he was happy he got stuck in Washington. Stanley the Rooster still believes his presence could have helped the situation. But I digress.

When talking about the draft, McPhee mentioned once again how much of an advantage the Golden Knights have had in knowing they would be selecting the top six from the beginning of the season. In the same answer he then went on to divulge some information we’ve discussed many times, but never thought we’d actually hear from McPhee’s mouth.

With this particular draft there are a couple of players at one and two that I think are a lot better than the next layer of players. You can get the same player at 3 at 6 at 9 so I’m not worried about getting a good player because there are enough them there that we’ll be fine. -George McPhee

Essentially he said, Nolan Patrick and Nico Hischier are good, and the rest of the players a cut below. However, while most scouts around the continent believe Nico and Nolan are good, no one is ready to compare them to the McDavids, Matthews, and Eichels of the world. So, in agreeing, McPhee basically said the draft is not as strong at the top as in recent year’s past.

A few minutes later, McPhee went on to say he doesn’t calls drafts weak or strong.

I’ve tried to approach every draft in the same way, some people say certain drafts are strong drafts, certain drafts are weak drafts, and I’ve never ever looked at it that way because if you go into what is supposed to be a weak draft and come up with two or three good players then it wasn’t a weak draft. I believe this is where good drafting teams really make their hay. If you go into what’s supposed to be a strong draft, seems like everybody gets good players. When you go into a weak drafts, the good scouting departments come up with the players and create separation between teams. -McPhee

And then there’s me listening to all of what McPhee said thinking, well yeah that’s all accurate. So, let’s try and recap.

The lottery sucked so much it was worth not being at. It’s disappointing the lottery sucked because those top two guys are good. Not that good, but pretty good. After them though, it’s not as good. There’s a big mess of players that are all very similar. We have to now pick from that mess. But this draft isn’t weak because if you pick the good players then you got some good players and the draft can’t be weak if you got multiple good players.

Yup, that all makes sense to me.


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  1. Slack

    I always refer back to when Ken Holland, GM of Detroit, was always praised and given credit to finding gems in the late rounds by fans and the media. In ’98 they got Pavel Daysuk and in “99 they took Henrik Zetterberg. What people fail to mention though is that the Wings took Ryan Barnes, Tomek Valtonen, Jake McCraken (not the Slap Shot star), Brent Hobday, Calle Steen, Adam Deleevw, Jari Tolsa, Andrei Maximenko and Kent McDonell ALL AHEAD of Datsuk and Zetterberg. Not exactly household names. If Holland had any idea how good #13 and #40 were going to be, why wouldn’t he take them sooner. Sharpen your darts Mr. McPhee, we’re all counting on you.

  2. Phisig150

    Let’s hope it’s a strong draft for us and a weak draft for everyone else. This will be my first NHL draft but my experience following the NBA and NFL drafts (MLB is a while different animal) has taught me that when a particular draft is call strong or weak before that draft takes place it’s usually hyperbole. I’ve found most drafts usually have about the same amount of hits and misses and every once in a great while you get one with a truly transcedant talent or a epic class with a couple of Hall of Fame talents and on the flip side every 10 or 15 years there is a horrible draft comprised mostly of complete busts. There are all stars in this draft and maybe even a future hall of famer. If we can hit on 2 or 3 of our 7 picks we should be estatic. That’s why we need to load up on as many draft picks as possible over the first few years.

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