After a few weeks of NHL hockey, it’s pretty easy for an expert such as myself to narrow down who is realistically in the hunt for Jack Hughes (who, at his peak, will be a discount Auston Matthews, but that’s besides the point). I have selected five teams with the best odds at landing the next big piece to their rebuild.
1: Edmonton Oilers
The Oil are always number one since they go into seemingly every draft lottery with a 50% chance of winning. The big question here is: after they win the lottery, do they select Hughes or a scrawny Finnish winger with a middle-six ceiling? We’ll see what Uncle Peter has in store.
2: Detroit Red Wings
I’m pretty sure the Wings D consists of Dennis Cholowski and kids Jeff Blashill found at a learn-to-skate in Pyongchang, it’s absolute garbage. The forwards play like they took a bit too much Adderall before the game but don’t actually score. Guys like Anthony Mantha and Dylan Larkin do 360 spins every shift — even without the puck.
3: Los Angeles Kings
This team belongs in a prehistoric museum. Any team playing in front of Jonathan Quick has to be nervous when they give up a goal, since you know damn well he is a locker room tantrum type of guy. I could see Quick picking up head coach John Stevens by the scrotum and slamming him down while listening to Pantera. The Kings skate in mud. They are not good.
4: New York Rangers
What happens when you mismanage assets and trade your captain? You get the New York Rangers, 2018-2019. Genius general manager Glen Sather thought it would be a good idea to hire David Quinn to coach what can best be described as a ‘defense-optional’ system. So far it hasn’t turned out quite as planned. It’s going to be a long year in the cesspool that is New York City.
5: Anaheim Ducks
The Ducks need to fire their medical team. Seemingly every forward is hurt, meaning waiver-wire fodder like Pontus Aberg and Ben Street are getting top-6 minutes. John Gibson is the best goaltender on the planet and is the only reason the Ducks are hovering around .500. Opposing teams run circles around them and consistently have two times as many shots. Watch a Ducks game if you want to see how to lose at a 60-minute game of keep-away.