There's a comprehensive NHL draft simulator on the web that, while glitchy, is enough fun to be worth a half and hour of your time.
The website is called Draftwired, and apparently it also simulates the NFL draft, too.
Be advised, it's not that easy to use at first. You'll be confronted with a log-in (and no easily apparent option to register). So I just chose to register as a guest.
Then you're confronted with a couple dozen choices on the front page. Save yourself some time. Click "Simulator" in the middle column.
Since you're only a guest, you can only pick three rounds - which is OK, because Detroit has 5 picks in the first three rounds. Choose Red Wings as your team and 3 rounds of drafting. You can enable trade tools to trade down.
Now click "Start Drafting."
You can go one at a time, or you can advance to the Red Wings. Since it's the first round, I'll go one at a time.
- New Jersey - Nolan Patrick (Click Devils select to draft)
- Philadelphia - Nico Hischier
- Dallas - Cale Makar
- Colorado - Casey Mittelstadt
- Vancouver - Gabe Vilardi
- Las Vegas - Owen Tippett
- Arizona - Martin Necas
- Buffalo - Elias Pettersson
So now the Red Wings are up. And I've got 4 dynamite prospects in front of me. Cody Glass, Timothy Liljegren, Cody Glass and Miro Heiskanen (WHAT??).
With so many great options in front of me, I'm going to see if I can trade down. Florida is picking at 10 and they're offering 10 and 66. The Jets are offering 13 and 43. There are other solid options out there, but most take me out of the third round.
I accept Florida's offer.
The Panthers take none of those guys. So, this is unrealistic and all, but I can't help myself. I'm trading down again. The Kings are offering 11 and 72. Deal.
And the Kings have drafted Isaac Ratcliffe (Who?)
One more time. This time, I'm going down two spots to 14, where Tampa is offering 14 and 48.
Tampa selects Liljegren.
Carolina selects Klim Kostin.
Winnipeg goes crazy and instead of drafting Cody Glass, they draft Shane Bowers at center.
I'm not going to look this gift horse in the mouth anymore.
At 14, the Red Wings select Cody Glass from the Portland Winterhawks.
So, I'm cycling through, Miro Heiskanen is still available at 18. Dare I call the Bruins to inquire about trading up? The Bruins will do it for 38, 48 and 66.
Hmmm. The app won't let me submit the deal.Not sure why.
Two picks later, the Sharks draft Heiskanen at 19. Drat.
I see Lias Andersson go at 20 to St. Louis and Robert Thomas go at 24 to Columbus and wonder what could have been.
The Habs take Nicolas Hague at 25 and I'm running out of defensemen whose names I recognize. Pittsburgh, drafting 30th, gets pint scoring center Nick Suziki.
Finally, at 38, it's time for me to draft again. There are a couple big names out there still. Michael Rasmussen and Marcus Davidsson. Nikita Popugaev.
I remember that I really need defense. Sorting by the top rated defensemen, I realize I don't know many of the defensemen who might be available at this point in the draft.
There are no defensemen jumping out at me. I consider trading down, but discover I've already hit my limit of three trades.
So, knowing pick again in eight picks, I go back to my overall board and select Michael Rasmussen.
As I expected, the top rated D is still there. I select Ian Mitchell, the RD from Spruce Grove. At 66, I select Luke Martin, a defensive defenseman from Michigan.
The picks are now coming fast and furuious. I draft C Jesper Boqvist from Timra at 71 and I'm up again at 72. Swinging in the dark, I select Cale Fleury, RD, of Kootenay. He's the younger brother of the Hurricanes' prospect.
At 83, Detroit takes West Bloomfield RD and Michigan State commit Tommy Miller.
We're to 88 now -- my final pick of this exercise. I use the pick to take Kirill Slepets, an undersized, shifty scorer from Russia.
So here's my final haul.
- 14th, Cody Glass, C, Portland
- 38th, Michael Rasmussen, C, Tri-City
- 48th, Ian Mitchell, RD, Spruce Grove
- 66th, Luke Martin, RD, Michigan
- 72nd, Cale Fluery, RD, Kootenay
- 71st, Jesper Boqvist, C, Timra
- 72nd, Cale Fleury, RD, Kootenay
- 83rd, Tommy Miller, RD, Michigan State
- 88th, Kiril Slepets, LW, Lokomotiv
In retrospect, I should have drafted Heiskanen right from the start. Honestly, though, that's still a heck of a draft. If we land Glass and Rasmussen and all those defensive prospects and small skilled forwards through three rounds, I'd be reasonably happy.
I tried it again, this time without trading down. Wouldn't you know it, this time Heiskanen and Liljegren were gone. So again, I draft Glass.
This time I finish with
- 9th, Glass
- 38th, Robert Thomas, C, London
- 71st, Luke Martin, RD, Michigan
- 83rd, Tommy Miller, RD, MSU
- 88th, Gustav Lindstrom, RD, Altumna
I'll take it! I'd consider taking Thomas at 9. He and Glass at center for the next 15 years? Yes please.
I failed to land the Defenseman Detroit needs, but I don't care too much.
Obviously, this simulator is flawed. The first flaw is that it's using a pretty lousy ranking forumula. The second flaw is that, perhaps because it grew out of an NFL simulator, it the simulation relies to heavily on positional needs.