By Michael C. Bouchard • Mar 18, 2018 03:28:00 The NHL’s draft order is set for March 20, which means teams are making their final decisions on the top players and prospects.
Here are the top 10 picks in terms of salary cap space, the teams with the most assets remaining, and the biggest bargains to be had.
No. 10: Columbus Blue Jackets*(NHL team: N/A) $10,966,000 • Top-10 protected picks: B.J. Crombeen, Ryan Johansen, Brandon Saad, Connor Carrick, Ryan Ellis, Adam Cracknell, Dylan McIlrath, Jakub Vrana, Jake Bean, Matt Murray, Nikita Scherbak.
No team has more cap space than the Blue Jackets.
Columbus has the sixth-most assets in the NHL and has the most cap space of any team at $10.966 million.
That’s a lot of cap room, but not enough to match up with teams like the Los Angeles Kings, Dallas Stars, and Detroit Red Wings.
There are a couple of players in this class that could easily be in the top-10, but they won’t be for long.
In a couple years, Columbus will likely be one of the most sought-after teams in the league.
The Blue Jackets are the only team left in the Eastern Conference that hasn’t been eliminated yet and the only one that has an out-of-conference tiebreaker.
The Columbus Blue Jacket is one of several teams that could potentially land a top-five pick in the next few years.
The team has had to deal with a string of injuries over the last couple years.
Last year, it had a lot to do with an Achilles injury that sidelined the team’s top defenseman, Anton Volchenkov.
After he returned from his injury, the Blue Jacket was swept in the first round of the playoffs, losing to the Boston Bruins in six games.
This year, Volchenkov missed all of training camp and the playoffs after tearing his Achilles tendon.
The injury forced the Blue Jackers to move forward without one of their top defensemen.
This season, they have been forced to rely on their top four forwards, as they lost both of their wingers to injury.
The fact that they have the ninth-most cap space in the entire NHL is another reason to believe they will be able to get top-four talent.
No one is expecting a lot from their prospects this season, but it would be a surprise if they didn’t have a strong crop of players to develop.
No teams are as good as the Blue Jays and Rangers.
No matter what happens this season with the Blue Jay’s young core, it’s clear the Jays are a very good team.
The Toronto Blue Jays have a chance to win the American League East, but their chances are going to depend on their draft position.
The Jays will likely take a defenseman in the middle rounds of the draft, as there is no one in this draft class who can provide a top level offensive threat.
The second-best defenseman in this year’s draft class is expected to be left wing Jordan Nolan.
Nolan is a very versatile player who can play in all three zones on the ice.
He can play center, left wing, and even center defense.
Nolan has been on the radar for a while now and it will be interesting to see how the Blue Jays handle their draft stock.
The only player in this group that’s under contract for a year or more is center Nick Bjugstad, who has a $2.8 million cap hit.
Bjugster is a versatile player with a strong shot and a great shot from the point.
He could be an important player for any team in the East this season.
He’s expected to go in the fourth round.
The other top defenseman in their system, Dylan Strome, has a contract that will pay him a $1.7 million cap number for next season.
Strome has a great wrist shot and excellent vision on the powerplay.
He will be a good fit on any team.
His biggest issue will be how to score.
The top prospect in the Bluejay draft class will likely end up being defensemen Connor Carrol and Ryan Ellis.
Both are extremely talented players who can make an impact at both ends of the ice, but both are also undersized for their positions.
Carrol, a first-round pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs, is a big guy who can move the puck and is a good skater.
He is able to play both left and right wings.
He plays a physical game and is capable of creating offense for his teammates.
Ellis, a second-round selection of the Chicago Blackhawks, is not afraid to get physical and can get involved in battles.
He has a good wrist shot, and he has the ability to create offense for the Chicago Black Hawks.
He also plays a good