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BUFFALO, NY - JUNE 25:  A general view of the NHL Draft floor during the 2016 NHL Draft on June 25, 2016 in Buffalo, New York.  (Photo by Jen Fuller/Getty Images)Jen Fuller/Getty Images

The 2016 NHL draft has come and gone, each roster experiencing a slight overhaul with an influx of new prospects ready to start their journeys to the big club.

Several trades also occurred, as they do every year, during the draft. Teams can still make moves in the coming days, but the focus now shifts toward free agency. Unrestricted free agents began talking with other franchises on Saturday, and the signing period begins on July 1.

Before that frenzy commences, let us a take a look back at this year's draft. Each grade will be given based solely on the prospect haul and not any extraneous assets or value gained from trades.  

2016 NHL Draft Grades and Results
TeamNumber of SelectionsFirst Three PicksGrade/Analysis
Anaheim DucksSixF Max Jones (No. 24), F Sam Steel (No. 30) and D Josh Mahura (No. 85)B: Jones compares to Washington's Tom Wilson, which is the type of grit Anaheim could use. Steel to end the first round is a risk, since more high-scoring forwards were still available.
Arizona CoyotesFiveF Clayton Keller (No. 7), D Jakob Chychrun (No. 16) and D Cam Dineen (No. 68)A-: Chychrun and Keller are two top prospects who could develop into stars in the near future. Arizona continues to stock up its roster with young talent.
Boston BruinsSixD Charle McAvoy (No. 14), F Trent Frederic (No. 29) and D Ryan Lindgren (No. 49)B-: McAvoy was a nice pickup, but Frederic at No. 29 is a serious reach. The team made some questionable picks last year as well, so there will be pressure on them to verify management's decisions.
Buffalo Sabres10F Alexander Nylander (No. 8), F Rasmus Asplund (No. 33) and F Cliff Pu (No. 69)A: The Sabres made the most of a large class by snagging a stud in Nylander. He will fit in nicely at the wing with Jack Eichel. Asplund is a first-round talent that will become valuable on special teams.
Calgary FlamesNineF Matthew Tkachuk (No. 6), G Tyler Parsons (No. 54) and C Dillon Dube (No. 56)B: The choice to take Tkachuk was pretty clear after the two-way winger fell out of the top five. Parsons was not the best goalie available in the second, but it still addresses a dire organizational need.
Carolina HurricanesNineD Jake Bean (No. 13), F Julien Gauthier (No. 21) and F Janne Kuokkanen (No. 43)A-: Bean was the best player available at the time of his pick, even if the team took a similar blueliner in Ryan Murphy a few years ago. Gauthier will be a steal as a big winger with a great finishing touch.
Chicago BlackhawksNineF Alex DeBrincat (No. 39), D Chad Krys (No. 45) and F Arthur Kayumov (No. 50)B+: With no first-round picks, Chicago still made out well. DeBrincat is a pure scorer who fits in perfectly with the team's style of play.
Colorado AvalancheSixF Tyson Jost (No. 10), F Cameron Morrison (No. 40) and D Josh Anderson (No. 71)B-: Jost will be a very good player, but defense is still a glaring need that was not addressed enough.
Columbus Blue JacketsFiveC Pierre-Luc Dubois (No. 3), D Andrew Peeke (No. 34) and F Vitaly Abramov (No. 65)C+: Passing on Puljujarvi will be a regret for Vancouver, as Dubois is not surefire prospect. Picking up Abramov late was a great value choice.
Dallas StarsSixF Riley Tufte (No. 25), F Fredrik Karlstrom (No. 90) and Rhett Gardner (No. 116)B-: Not too much flash with this class. Tufte is a power forward, which the team could use. Yet, he is still at least three years away from a shot with Dallas.
Detroit Red WingsSevenD Dennis Cholowski (No. 20), F Givani Smith (No. 46) and D Filip Hronek (No. 56)A-: The team manuvered well, but mainly it got a swift-skating defenseman that will thrive in Detroit's quick-paced attack.
Edmonton OilersNineF Jesse Puljujarvi (No. 4), F Tyler Benson (No. 32) and D Markus Niemelainen (No. 63)B+: The Oilers continue to draft offense with its slew of high picks, but Puljujarvi was the obvious choice here. Benson is a good prospect, but defense is desperately need in Edmonton.
Florida PanthersSevenF Henrik Borgstrom (No. 23), F Adam Mascherin (No. 38) and D Linus Nassen (No. 89)C+: Borgstrom was a reach that may not become more than a depth forward. Mascherin was a nice recovery move, but the team botched its first pick.
Los Angeles KingsFourD Kale Clague (No. 51), D Jacob Moverare (No. 112) and F Michael Eyssimont (No. 142)C+: Small class that will not excite the fanbase, but Clague could develop into an NHL defenseman.
Minnesota WildFourF Luke Kunin (No. 15), F Brandon Duhaime (No. 106) and F Dimitry Sokolov (No. 196)B-: Kunin will be helpful on the penalty kill in the future, but Minnesota could use more scoring to make up for some underwhelming performers up front.
Montreal CanadiensSixD Mikhail Sergachev (No. 9), F William Bitten (No. 70) and D Victor Mete (No. 100)B: Sergachev has the tools to be a star, and Bitten is a skilled centerman. Decent class for the Habs.
Nashville PredatorsEightD Dante Fabbro (No. 17), D Samuel Girard (No. 47) and F Rem Pitlick (No. 76)B: Nashville needs some offense, but Fabbro was the best player available. Taking a flyer on Girard is smart too, as he could become another Jared Spurgeon.
New Jersey DevilsNineF Michael McLeod (No. 12), F Nathan Bastian (No. 41) and F Joey Anderson (No. 73)B: McLeod has excellent speed, but the Devils need snipers rather than two-way centers. Bastian, McLeod's linemate at Mississauga, has the potential to be a top-six guy.
New York IslandersSixF Kieffer Bellows (No. 19), F Anatoli Golyshev (No. 95) and F Otto Koivula (No. 120)B-: Bellows was a gift at No. 19, but its other picks were conservative.
New York RangersSixD Sean Day (No. 81), D Tarmo Reunanen (No. 98) and F Tim Gettinger (No. 141)B+: The Rangers traded away all of their top picks, but Day is a first-round talent who experienced a dramatic fall, as did Gettinger. These picks could turn out to be home runs.
Ottawa SenatorsFiveF Logan Brown (No. 11), F Jonathan Dahlen (No. 42) and F Todd Burgess (No. 103)B+: Brown is a force at 6'6", and Ottawa's future at center instantly gets better with his addition. Adding a defenseman early would have been nice, but Dahlen is a good player.
Philadelphia Flyers10F German Rubtsov (No. 22), F Pascal Laberge (No. 36) and G Carter Hart (No. 48)A: The Flyers should be a force soon with the depth they are creating. Rubtsov is a top penalty-killer at worst, and Laberge is a strong scorer. Hart also addresses a need in net.
Pittsburgh PenguinsSixG Filip Gustavsson (No. 55), F Kasper Bjorkqvist (No. 61) and D Connor Hall (No. 77)C+: Pittsburgh has more pressing needs on defense with several players likely to be gone in the coming years due salary cap concerns. Taking a goaltender with its first pick is questionable.
San Jose SharksFiveF Dylan Gambrell (No. 60), F Noah Gregor (No. 111) and F Manuel Wiederer (No. 150)C+: Not a great class, but Gambrell could help replace some aging stars offensively in the foreseeable future.
St. Louis BluesEightF Tage Thompson (No. 26), F Jordan Kyrou (No. 35) and G Evan Fitzpatrick (No. 59)B: Thompson is a strong winger who can help St. Louis should Troy Brouwer leave. Fitzpatrick is good prospect as well.
Tampa Bay Lightning10F Brett Howden (No. 27), D Libor Hajek (No. 37) and F Boris Katchouck (No. 44)B: Katchouck is a steal at No. 44. He can score and skate, which is what Tampa Bay does best. Howden is OK, but not more than a checking forward.
Toronto Maple Leafs11F Auston Matthews (No. 1), F Yegor Korshkov (No. 31) and F Carl Grundstrom (No. 57)A-: It's hard not getting an A when drafting a No. 1 centerman in Matthews. Benson would have been a nice complement, but Korshkov has plenty of potential.
Vancouver CanucksSixD Olli Juolevi (No. 5), F William Lockwood (No. 64) and D Cole Candella (No. 140)B+: Juolevi is a future star, and he was clearly the best defenseman available. He can anchor Vancouver's defensive group moving forward.
Washington CapitalsSevenD Lucas Johansen (No. 28), F Garrett Pilon (No. 87) and F Damien Riat (No. 117)B-: Johansen is a bottom-pairing defenseman, but adding the depth of Pilon will pay dividends later on.
Winnipeg JetsSixF Patrik Laine (No. 2), Logan Stanley (No. 18) and D Luke Green (No. 79)B+: Laine is a bonafide sniper that should help Winnipeg right away, trading up to get a slow-footed defenseman in Logan Stanley is a slight blemish on this class.
Personal Opinion

A complete draft list can be found on

Biggest Winner: Buffalo Sabres

With 10 total picks, the Buffalo Sabres were able to bring in strong quality and quantity at the 2016 draft.

Alexander Nylander, the brother of the Toronto Maple Leafs' William Nylander, is a 6'2" winger with elite hands, size and speed that will fit perfectly into Buffalo's emerging young core. He finished his rookie season in Mississauga with 75 points in 57 games, putting on dazzling displays of skill such as that seen in the following footage, courtesy of the Sabres' Twitter account:

Buffalo Sabres @BuffaloSabres

Alexander Nylander. Our top pick is legit:

He also received hefty praise from Buffalo's second pick, Rasmus Asplund, per John Vogl of the Buffalo News:

John Vogl @BuffNewsVogl

"He’s the difference between winning and losing. He’s an amazing player." - Rasmus Asplund on Alexander Nylander.

Buffalo already has skilled young centers in Jack Eichel and Ryan O'Reilly, and Nylander provides the perfect finisher for them. He can also create his own offense from the wing.

Asplund is a nice fit as a speedy two-way center who can kill penalties and chip in offensively. He played with Nylander at the 2016 World Junior Championship, per Uffe Bodin of the Hockey News.

ESPN's Corey Pronman also weighed in on the Swede:

Corey Pronman @coreypronman

Buffalo selects Rasmus Asplund. A standout Swede in their international program last few years. Small but very smart two-way center.

Casey Fitzgerald was a sleeper pick in the third round who could also develop into an everyday blueliner. He was great for Boston College as a freshman last season, totaling 27 points in 39 games. He can skate and make quick decisions with the puck, which will benefit the speed Buffalo has added.

Look for the Sabres to become a real threat in the Eastern Conference in a few years thanks in large part to draft classes such as this.

Biggest Loser: Florida Panthers

With young studs such as Sasha Barkov, Aaron Ekblad and Jonathan Huberdeau, the Florida Panthers are one of the emerging powers in the NHL. The 2016 draft did not do too much to improve that sentiment.

With skilled power forwards such as Tage Thompson and Riley Tufte still on the board, in addition to sniper Tyler Benson, the Panthers took a flier on an unknown winger in Henrik Borgstrom at No. 23. 

This was a surprise to many, as TSN's James Mirtle noted:

James Mirtle @mirtle

Panthers go way off the board by taking Henrik Borgstrom. Only @TSNBobMcKenzie's list had him close to first round. He goes 23rd.

Borgstrom put up 55 points in 40 games last, but it was against weaker competition in Finland's U20 league. 

The Panthers need size up front, outside of last year's first-rounder Lawson Crouse, to complement their speedy skill players. Borgstrom is a risky project who could end up being a waste of a first-round pick. 

Furthermore, the team failed to address its need for goaltending depth. Roberto Luongo is 37 years old, and the team lacks a legitimate replacement in its system.

Florida passed on solid netminders such as Evan Fitzpatrick, Filip Gustavsson and Carter Hart in the second round and proceeded to not draft a goalie at all.

Overall, the Panthers did not become a stronger hockey club through the draft.

Statistics are courtesy of

Source :

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