Free washer | Draft lottery candidates tonight

The NHL draft lottery will take place Tuesday evening at 6:30 p.m. The winner will have the chance to get their hands first on one of the most talented centers of the last twenty years, Macklin Celebrini, 64 points, including 32 goals, in 38 games at Boston University. This young man probably doesn’t aspire to become the next Connor McDavid, but he has nothing to be ashamed of in front of Connor Bedard, Jack Hughes and company. Who will benefit most from Celebrini? Here is an overview of the main candidates and their needs.

San Jose Sharks (25.5%)

No one would enjoy Celebrini more. The Sharks need centers. They drafted a gifted Will Smith fourth overall last year. He has just had a fantastic season at Boston College with 71 points in 41 games. After him, nothing or almost nothing. Filip Bystedt had a good end to the season in the American League, but he remains a project. The Sharks have some good future wingers in William Eklund, 45 points at 21 last year in the NHL. San Jose doesn’t have much relief on defense either. They could fall back on a fullback if they don’t draft first.

Chicago Blackhawks (13.5%)

With Connor Bedard and Macklin Celebrini, the Hawks would have the best young center duo in the NHL. Celebrini is not as explosive offensively as Bedard. He doesn’t have his scoring skills either. But we say it is more complete. A recruiter from a National League club even admitted recently that he would prefer Celebrini to Jack Hughes in the playoffs because of the quality of his defensive play. Chicago also has center Frank Nazar, 13, in its ranks.e overall pick in 2022, obtained for Kirby Dach, but this 5-foot-10 forward could be moved to the wing. The defense is quietly built around Kevin Korchinski and Alex Vlasic, a giant defensive back.

Anaheim Ducks (11.5%)

No club would obviously pass up on a Celebrini, but the Ducks are already well-endowed at center, with Mason McTavish, 21, the third overall pick in 2021, and Leo Carlsson, 19, the second overall pick in 2023. Both are already regular in the NHL and Anaheim has the luxury of moving to the wing two forwards capable of playing in the center, Trevor Zegras and Cutter Gauthier. Their replacement in defense is also interesting with Pavel Mintyukov, Tristan Luneau and Olen Zellweger.

Columbus Blue Jackets (9.5%)

Columbus drafted a top center, Adam Fantilli, third overall last year. His first pick of 2021, 12e All in all, 20-year-old Cole Sillinger is developing slowly but surely. He had 32 points in 77 games last year. But the arrival of Celebrini would allow the Blue Jackets to count on a formidable duo of young centers and place Sillinger in a more suitable seat, at the center of the third line. Don’t forget Gavin Brindley either, their 2023 second round pick, 53 points in 40 games last year at the University of Michigan, at just 19 years old. But at 5 feet 9 inches and 165 pounds, we could move him to the wing. The fifth overall pick in 2021, Kent Johnson, is now considered a winger.

Montreal Canadiens (8.5%)

The arrival of Celebrini obviously accelerated the reconstruction in Montreal. This young man will begin his NHL career at 18, regardless of the team. We could start the season by placing him in the center of the third line, behind Nick Suzuki and Kirby Dach, to allow him to develop at his own pace, sheltered from the best opposing defensive centers, with experienced wingers, while obviously allowing him to participate in numerical superiorities. With Dach healthy, Suzuki and Celebrini, the CH would count on one of the best center trios in its history.

Utah (Arizona Coyotes) (7.5%)

The Coyotes already have a good future offensive center in Logan Cooley, the third overall pick in 2022 behind Juraj Slafkovsky and defenseman Simon Nemec. Cooley, 20, had 44 points last year in his first full season. Coach André Tourigny appreciates the sense of responsibility of his young 23-year-old center Barrett Hayton, fifth overall pick in 2018, but does he really have great offensive potential? Conor Geekie, eleventh overall pick in 2022, a giant-sized center at 6-foot-4, remains a project. Celebrini would be quite a welcome gift for this new formation in Utah, coming to save an organization in agony in the Arizona desert.

Ottawa Senators (6.5%)

Winning the lottery would mean rewarding the Senators’ mediocrity, since Ottawa was hoping to qualify for the playoffs and had no desire to fall in the standings to draft early. The relapse of Josh Norris, operated on for a second time on his shoulder, weakens the center position in Ottawa, despite the good performance of Shane Pinto, 27 points in 41 games upon his return from suspension, 54 points over a full season. With Tim Stützle and Celebrini as the first two centers, Norris or Pinto as the third, the Senators would be in the car!

Seattle Kraken (6%)

The Kraken have drafted centers early the past three years, with Matt Beniers second overall in 2021 and Shane Wright fourth overall in 2022. Beniers had a tough sophomore season this winter, with just 37 points, after a breakout freshman year. 57 points and the title of rookie par excellence. Wright has been good in the American League, not only has he produced 47 points in 59 games, but he has been up to the task defensively. He had five points, including four goals, in five games during a brief recall late in the season. Celebrini is obviously superior to these two.

Calgary Flames (5%)

The Flames want to rejuvenate, without rebuilding. They are taken for several more years with a first center of 33 years, Nazem Kadri. Mikael Backlund has 35. Connor Zary is not bad, but we won’t confuse him with Connor Bedard. Celebrini would allow the Flames to be competitive in the short term and suffer less from this group of veterans who are very good, certainly, but overpaid.

New Jersey Devils (3.5%)

The Devils already have Jack Hughes and Nico Hischier at center. Don’t throw any more away, the yard is full! If they ever win the lottery, which would be a major surprise due to their low probability rate, they could transfer a center to the wing or even auction off a Jack Hughes and probably reap the moon.

Buffalo Sabers (3%)

After having fished in the top 10 ten times in the last eleven vintages, including four times in the top two, 18 times in the first round and 18 times in the second, and the Sabers have talent at every position. They already have Tage Thompson and Dylan Cozens in the center, Noah Östlund and Matthew Savoie in the anteroom. Getting their hands on Celebrini would be almost indecent, but their chances of doing so remain slim.

* For fun, we simulated the lottery on Tuesday morning, just once, as if it were the real one, with the tool on the website. The Coyotes, with a 7.5% chance of winning, moved from sixth to first place. The Red Wings won the second batch and climbed from fifteenth to fifth, as they could not advance more than five places. As a result, Montreal fell from fifth to seventh place. Wishing CH more luck on Tuesday evening!

The Senators would have their coach


Travis Green

Travis Green would therefore be the new coach of the Ottawa Senators. In four full seasons in Vancouver, and a rather promising succession, Green has participated in the playoffs only once and finished only once beyond 23e rank in the general classification. He maintained a record of 133-147-34 with the Canucks. Called to take over for Lindy Ruff this winter in New Jersey, he showed a record of 8-12-1. He was one of the candidates for a job with the Devils, but GM Tom Fitzgerald allowed him to talk to other clubs. That says a lot. So Green was the BEST possible candidate?


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