Last draft season, I posted eight players I found to be sleepers of the NHL draft class to my Twitter account. Seven of those guys ended up being drafted and are continuing their development with their NHL franchises. This year, I have seven more names, along with the one who was not selected last year.
Josh Doan, F, Chicago (USHL): As a re-entry, Josh Doan is everything you want out of a hockey player: smart with a high IQ, strong skills, and a relentless work ethic. While Doan likely will never become a dominant scorer, he provides the type of game that championship contending teams would kill to have. He will be a team’s top penalty killer, while also being useful on the powerplay as needed. Give Doan time to develop in College and the NHL team that spends the draft capital on him will be celebrating down the road.
Chase’s Projection: Top-nine winger warranting PP and PK time
Round of Flier: 2nd+
2020-2021 Stats: 53GP 31G 39A 70P 45PIM
Janis Jérôme Moser, D, Biel-Bienne (NL): The oldest player who has a legitimate chance to be drafted this year, Moser rapidly developed into one of the better defensemen in the Swiss League this year. Strong shut down defenseman who offers two-way ability and can play on the PP when needed. Skates well and progressed so rapidly that it is worth taking a shot at holding his rights.
Chase’s Projection: NHL defenseman who can be used in all situations
Round of Flier: 5th+
2020-2021 Stats: 48GP 9G 21A 30P 10PIM
Ethan Cardwell, F, Barrie (OHL): The highest-ranked player to go undrafted last year, Cardwell is an immensely talented player who performed well for Barrie after being traded in 2020. With the OHL shut down this year, he took his talents to the HockeyEttan in Sweden, where he performed very well. A smooth skater with the finishing touch that teams constantly look for in the draft, Ethan Cardwell should never have gone undrafted.
Chase’s Projection: Middle-six scoring winger
Round of Flier: 3rd+
2020-2021 Stats: 18GP 9G 18A 27P 22PIM
Billy Constantinou, D, Soo (OHL): Guy who I had here last year but still did not get drafted. Third time draft eligible defenseman who should have been drafted by now but was thrown into the top defenseman role on a terrible team at 17 years old. Incredibly smooth skater who you can trust on every inch on the ice. His vision is high-end, which helps show off his puck-moving skills. Strong in his own zone, especially below the goal-line. Has the type of skill set that will transition seamlessly to the NHL.
Chase’s Projection: Trustworthy top six defenseman Round of Flier: 5th+
2019-2020 Stats: 60GP 9G 44A 53P 49PIM
Tristan Lennox, G, Saginaw (OHL): A kid who at one time was talked about among the elite goalies in this draft class, Lennox struggled in his second OHL seasons after strong flashes as a rookie. Everything is there; size, athleticism, skill, but he needs to put it all together at one time. If he can do that, he can be a star.
Chase’s Projection: NHL starting-caliber goalie
Round of Flier: 4th+
2019-2020 Stats: 33GP 3.63GAA .876SV%
Miguël Tourigny, D, Blainville-Boisbriand (QMJHL): A small-statured offensive defenseman whose skill level never should have went undrafted. We do not see very many NHL defensemen of his size, but Tourigny proved himself this season, scoring over a point per game in the QMJHL. His defensive game needs to improve and he could be more of a long-term project, but he could be worth the wait.
Chase’s Projection: Bottom pair offensive defensemen
Round of Flier: 5th+
2020-2021 Stats: 32GP 15G 21A 36P 33PIM
Florian Elias, F, Mannheim (DEL): Another re-entry player, Florian Elias made his name known at the most recent World Junior Championships for Germany where he scored 4 goals and 9 points through 5 games. Elias earned the promotion to the pro league this season and flashed potential NHL skill that is worth investing in. Will be another guy who needs time and patience, but very well could pay off.
Chase’s Projection: Bottom-six scoring forward
Round of Flier: 4th+
2020-2021 Stats: 34GP 3G 5A 8P 12PIM
Théo Rochette, F, Québec (QMJHL): My final player is, yet again, a re-entry player. Rochette fits the bill of a pure playmaker: his number one asset as an NHL player will be his passing ability. He is also reliable defensively and can fit a NHL role that many teams would kill to have. Pair him with a pure shooter and a strong connection will lead to both players excelling.
Chase’s Projection: Middle-six center
Round of Flier: 4th+
2020-2021 Stats: 32GP 12G 18A 30P 10PIM
Got any guys you really like not listed here? Make sure to comment and tweet at me @chawdust. Make sure to follow the Bolts Broadcast on Twitter as well @BoltsBroadcast!
Expansion draft protection lists are due Saturday, July 17 and the Ducks are at risk of losing another quality player. Just like they lost Clayton Stoner back in 2017. Haven't heard of him? That's okay. The Ducks traded Shea Theodore, in exchange for Vegas selecting Stoner. This was done to ensure that exposed players Josh Manson and Sami Vatanen, core pieces to the Ducks' future, were not selected by Vegas. Theodore was splitting time between the NHL and AHL for the two seasons prior, and it looked like the offensive defenceman couldn't translate his game to the big league. Stoner was a depth piece that had been regressing for the last few seasons. Seemingly not big losses.
However, things took a dark turn when Vatanen was traded a few months later and Theodore was in the process of putting up career numbers on a surprisingly successful Vegas team. Anaheim messed up big time. But at least Josh Manson is still a big part of the team (and also likely protected this go-round).
The Ducks won't make the same mistakes this time. They will protect their best players and pray that Seattle takes mercy on the league's 2nd worst team this past season. There also are not projected to be any side deals. Thankfully, the Ducks are a young team and have a good amount of key pieces that are exempt from the wrath of the Kraken.
Below is The Quack Report's projected expansion list. For an in-depth discussion on this, check out Episode 54 of The Quack Report on your favourite podcast platform!
Be sure to follow @QuackReportPod on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.
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