We do it every year. Five minutes after the NHL Draft concludes, we begin doling out grades for the best and worst draft classes, best and worst value picks, trades we loved and players we think will make the quickest impact in the NHL.
Never mind that we can't truly grade a draft class for another four or five years. We need instant analysis. Why?
Because it's fun.
We all have ideas about how our own draft boards would shape up, and we all are discouraged or delighted with how the board falls as our team is about to select. We know the draft isn't an exact science, but we'll disagree and dismay if things don't fall as we think they should.
With that in mind, I've identified three picks I thought were major reaches in the first round at this year's draft based on my board. Let's see if you agree.
Anaheim Ducks: Hampus Lindholm, D, Rogle (Allsvenskan)
Dumba has star potential written all over him, while Trouba is an all-around performer with a ton of potential.
I don't doubt Lindholm's NHL upside. I just think the Ducks reached here with more talented defensemen available, and could have landed Lindholm down the board.
Pick Grade: C-
Philadelphia Flyers: Scott Laughton, C, Oshawa Generals (OHL)
Laughton isn't chopped liver, and wasn't a gigantic reach with the 20th pick. But with other needs and (in my opinion) more talented centers available, the Flyers didn't maximize value here.
Pick Grade: C
Phoenix Coyotes: Henrik Samuelsson, C, Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)
Who was the biggest reach?
Once you hit the end of the first round, the distinction between prospects becomes less pronounced, but there were a lot of very intriguing players the Coyotes let go by the wayside in selecting Samuelsson.
Pick Grade: C-
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