If everything goes as expected in Big D on Friday night Cheap Customized Seattle Seahawks Jerseys , play-making Swedish defenseman Rasmus Dahlin will be the first overall pick by the Buffalo Sabres. Russian forward Andrei Svechnikov will then go to Carolina.
”Obviously Rasmus and Andrei deserve it, they’re unbelievable players,” American prospect Brady Tkachuk said Thursday. ”From the third (pick) on, it’s just whatever the team wants, so we’ll see what happens. But it’s going to be pretty exciting to be a part of.”
So the real draft action should begin when Montreal goes on the clock.
The Canadiens will have their choice of the other top prospects like right wing Filip Zadina, who’s playing in the Quebec league, and Tkachuk, the left wing from Boston University who is looking to follow father Keith and brother Mathew into the NHL. Maybe Finnish center Jesper Kotkaniemi.
Plenty of other top defensemen will also be on the board, including Adam Boqvist, Quintin Hughes, Noah Dobson and Evan Bouchard.
”The most important is going to be tomorrow when Montreal goes on the stage, and they will say my name or not,” Zadina said. ”I’m just glad I can be there in the top five, top six players. It’s unbelievable.”
Or maybe the Canadiens, who have 10 picks in the seven-round draft over two days, make a deal and let another team move into that slot.
Trevor Timmins Cheap Justin Jones Jersey , Montreal’s assistant general manager, expects GM Marc Bergevin’s to be ringing.
”We’re ready to go,” Timmins said Thursday. ”The list is never set in stone until we go head to the draft from the hotel here, but we’re confident of the prospects that we like … right from that third overall pick to the last pick we make on Saturday.”
Timmins said centers, offensive defensemen and scoring wingers have the highest asset value on the Canadiens draft board, and that all are needs in their organization.
Ottawa has the fourth pick, and No. 22, and team officials were going through scenarios again Thursday.
”It was one of the best meetings I’ve had with scouts in 20 years talking about what we plan on doing at (No.) 4, what possibilities are at 22, how these players will impact our organization moving forward,” Senators GM Pierre Dorion said. ”We’re just excited. We suffered this year. There’s no doubt we suffered as a team with the number of losses. But the one good thing is we know we’re getting a really good player here.”
Arizona, Detroit, Vancouver, Chicago, the New York Rangers and Edmonton hold the final picks in the top 10. The New York Islanders, who on Thursday hired Stanley Cup champion coach Barry Trotz Cheap Logan Woodside Jersey , then have consecutive picks before the draft-hosting Dallas Stars select 13th.
The draft at the American Airlines Center comes 25 years after the former Minnesota North Stars moved to bring NHL hockey to Dallas.
Coyotes GM John Chayka said he has five players who would fit his team in the fifth spot.
”We understand that there’s a variety of outcomes that could exist and then we’re going to have a plan in place that accounts for any of the iterations of what could occur,” Chayka said. ”It’ll be an interesting draft. I’m sure there’ll be opportunities to move up and opportunities to move down and opportunities to stay and take the pick.”
While general managers and team officials did their final prep for the draft, several of the top prospects took part in other activities in the Dallas area.
The prospects first were at a youth hockey clinic with several players from the Dallas Stars. There was then a media availability at Reunion Tower, more than 500 feet above the ground. That vantage point overlooks the city and next to the open lot where once stood Reunion Arena, the home of the Stars when the won the Stanley Cup in 1999.
Dahlin said he wasn’t feeling nervous about the likelihood of having his name called first Friday night.
”I haven’t actually thought about it so much yet,” Dahlin said. ”It’s crazy to be here actually, I can’t believe it. … Sometime in the near future I will stop and think what I am going through. I’m just trying to enjoy this time as much as I can.”
AP Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno contributed to this report.
— The Arizona Cardinals have lost starting center A.Q. Shipley for the season with a torn right ACL and will replace him with rookie Mason Cole.
Coach Steve Wilks confirmed the injury Monday, saying the center “heard something pop” in his knee during a goal-line drill in training camp on Saturday.
Shipley, a six-year NFL veteran, started all 16 games each of the past two seasons, the only member of the Cardinals offensive line to play every game either year. Wilks called him “a tremendous leader and hard worker.”
“When you talk about the DNA that I look for, a guy that loves the game, very passionate, gritty,” Wilks said. “He really was the leader up front.”
Shipley signed with Arizona as a free agent in 2015, working his way to a starting role after bouncing around the NFL early in his career.
“Coach (offensive coordinator Mike) McCoy said it best Jason McCourty Jersey Patriots ,” right guard Justin Pugh said. “He’s the heartbeat of the offensive line. So it’s’ definitely tough news to hear and knowing everything he’s been through in his career.”
The 6-foot-5, 307-pound Cole is a third-round draft pick out of Michigan, where he was a four-year starter but only one — his junior year — was at center.
The Cardinals, though, drafted him as a center and he’s been working at that position through the offseason.
“I learned a lot from him (Shipley) my first few months of being here and still will learn a lot from him,” Cole said, “but I’m confident I can fill in and hopefully play as good as he has.”
Shipley was drafted in the seventh round out of Penn State by Pittsburgh in 2009 but didn’t make an active roster until 2012, when he was promoted from the practice squad by Indianapolis. He played two seasons for the Colts, sandwiched around one year with Baltimore.
He wasn’t regarded as one of the top centers around the NFL but inside the Cardinals organization, his worth has been considerable.
“I didn’t watch much Cardinals football last year, obviously,” said Pugh, who came to Arizona after five seasons with the New York Giants. “You get in this building and you realize who runs things and who does things the right way and A.Q. is one of those guys.”
Wilks said he watched video of Shipley’s injury “12 or 15 times.”
“I really couldn’t see anything malicious or anybody that fell into his leg,” he said. “I think it really just got caught up in the turf and he was engaged and he said he heard it pop.”
Shipley was able to walk off the field but was carted from there to the locker room, a towel draped over his head.
Cole started all 51 games at Michigan after arriving on campus, tying a school record.
“I played early in college and I think that helps me in situations like this Don Larsen Jersey ,” he said, “but also coming from Michigan and (coach Jim) Harbaugh’s staff and Harbaugh’s offense, I think that gives me a little upper hand here, too, just in terms of learning the offense and knowing what to do.”
As center, Cole will be responsible for making the offensive line play calls.
“Mentally is going to be the biggest challenge,” Pugh said. “For me (coming into the NFL) it was more physical because I was out there playing tackle. Obviously I had to know the playbook, know what I had to do. The center’s got to know what everyone has to do.”
Pugh said he and the other linemen will help Cole, as will veteran quarterback Sam Bradford.
Serious injury is always lurking around the corner in the NFL.
“It’s an evil of this game that you don’t want to see happen and when it happens to one of your leaders it definitely hurts,” Pugh said, “but we’ve got to rally behind the guys that are out there.”
Evan Boehm and Daniel Munyer will be the backups to Cole. Both also play guard. Boehm was drafted in the fourth round out of Missouri in 2016. Munyer, an undrafted free agent out of Colorado in 2016, played 10 offensive snaps against Dallas and was active for four other games — but did not play — before his season ended with a toe injury in early November.
The Cardinals also will look for possible help from unsigned players or those released by other teams in the coming weeks..