Ottawa, Columbus and New Jersey were biggest reachers of NHL draft, Dallas and Calgary the opposite

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Ottawa Senator, Jake Sanderson and Ridley Greig. Other teams that drafted late in the first round reached higher than did Ottawa, but Ottawa’s pick of Sanderson was a far more significant reach, given the massive value of Ottawa’s fifth overall pick. The experts had Sanderson at 11th, but Ottawa grabbed him, picking him ahead of fourth ranked d-man Jamie Drysdale. Greig, a feisty forward, went 11 spots higher than his 39th ranking by the public experts. The Sanderson pick represents a major gamble for Ottawa when the team could have taken a top forward like Marco Rossi or Alexander Holtz.

The Droppers

Calgary Flames, Connor Zary. In his draft year, Zary scored as many points per game as stars like Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Pierre Luc-Dubois, but he still managed to slide to 24th overall in the draft, nine slots lower than the public experts had him. Could be a steal for Calgary, right? Or maybe other scouts and teams were right to pass on him.

Dallas Stars, Mavrik Bourque. At 30th overall, Dallas took the high-scoring Bourque, who the consensus rankings had at 20th overall. Again, I can’t say if the consensus got it wrong, nor can I say that other NHL scouts got it wrong in preferring other players over Bourque. Who knows? Nobody knows.

On Day 2, there are still a number of highly-ranked players in this draft, including Noel Gunler, who has a 19th overall consensus ranking, Jan Mysak, 21st, Jeremie Poirier, 25th, John Jason Peterka, 30th, and William Wallinder, 31st. They will drop to some team in the second round.

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