Written By: Mark “The Hard Hitter” Ritter
The summer is a time for many NHL columnist to make predictions and re-write all the “Best player in category X” lists. So, keeping with the theme, I wondered the other day: What if the NHL was still made up of the “Original Six” Teams, how would the rosters look?
In order to get an idea of what each team's roster would look like I decided to do a draft. Here are the parameters I set for the draft and the order in which the teams will pick.
First, in order to qualify for the draft you must have been on an NHL roster in 2008-09.
Sure, it would have been great to include the likes of John Tavares, Victor Hedman and Matt Duchesne, but it is far too difficult to project the value of these players without having watched them play a single NHL game.
So, for the purpose of this article, I have left all 2008-09 NHL draft picks out of my Original Six draft lottery.
Each team will draft a total of 21 players, consisting of two Goaltenders, four Centres, four Left Wingers, four Right Wingers and Seven Defensemen.
Each team will be allowed to draft one player in each draft round. I will do my best to select the most valuable player left on the table.
Obviously, the draft order will differ greatly from the readers, everyone sees things very differently, so please try to resist the “How the hell could you take Crosby over Ovechkin comments”....
In order to determine the draft order I threw six pieces of paper into a hat and started picking. Here is the draft order I came up with-
Boston Bruins- Offense
Detroit Red Wings- Defense
Toronto Maple Leafs- Two-way
Chicago Blackhawks- Offense
New York Rangers- Defense
Montreal Canadiens- Two-way
In order to make the draft as fair as possible, I decided to tweak the draft order. In the first round of the draft the Boston Bruins will draft first, then 2-6 will follow. In the second round of the draft the Montreal Canadiens will draft first and 5-1 will follow. The first selection will rotate accordingly from there, working from No. 4 back to No. 6, and so on.
Each team will be built with the intention of picking the best player available. That said, as everyone who drafts a roster for their pool knows, consideration will have to be given to positional players at some point, so the “best” player available may not be chosen in the end.
With that in mind, I decided to attach a philosophical approach to each teams intended style of play (See notes attached to each team above). This will bring some validity to the order the players are chosen.
Teams marked as “Offense” will put a premium on players that bring great offensive talent. Teams marked “Defense” will put an emphasis on players that bring a great defensive skill set and those marked “Two-way” will look to choose players that can play 200 feet of the ice.
Clearly, there will be a few players that, on their own merits will not fit the bill of the teams overall intentions, but the final roster should look like the intended product.
***Please Note: Obviously this is purely a fantasy article, so take it for what it’s worth.