New York Islanders #28: D Erik Cernak (HC Kosice – Slovakia)
Original Pick #28: LW/C Anthony Beauvillier (Shawinigan Cataractes – QMJHL)
Much like Brandon Carlo as we just mentioned, Slovakian native Erik Cernak is another defenseman who makes his living by being a physical and dominating presence in his own end. Originally taken in the 2nd-Round (No. 43 overall) by the L.A. Kings, Cernak has earned his way into cracking the late portion of the 1st-Round in this re-draft. Two back-to-back Stanley Cups have a funny way of supporting this.
It’s rare that a player who stands 6’4″ – 235 lbs. can move with solid mobility and can move the puck as Erik Cernak can do. His destructive presence also comes at a discount, as typically players this big and this dominant along the boards typically catch the attention of the zebras around the frozen watering hole. Instead, he plays with a reliable sense of discipline that allows him to deliver eye-popping hits without the interference of a whistle. A physically imposing, shutdown defenseman? The Islanders are salivating at the thought of taking Cernak here at No. 28.
Columbus Blue Jackets #29: LW/RW Jordan Greenway (U.S. National U18 Team – USDP)
Original Pick #29: D Gabriel Carlsson (Linköping HC – SHL)
Unfortunately for defenseman Gabriel Carlsson, not only has he been unable to solidify a role on the Columbus Blue Jackets, but he’s also unable to continue this little hot streak of defensemen taken here late in the draft. Instead, Columbus is adding an incredibly physical player in Jordan Greenway, who is yet another player to come from the U.S. National team. What do they feed those guys?
After being one of the most important players in the United States gold medal runs in the U18 and U20 World Juniors, the Minnesota Wild determined that 92 points in 112 games for Boston University in the NCAA are enough to prove he’s ready for the NHL. He’s not yet found his scoring touch in the league, but he plays a vital role for Minnesota in creating an intimidating and physical threat in their top-six on offense.
Arizona Coyotes #30: D Vince Dunn (Niagra Ice Dogs – OHL)
Original Pick #30: RW/C Nick Merkley (Kelowna Rockets – WHL)
Our Mr. Irrelevant here in the 2015 Re-Draft of the 1st-Round is defenseman Vince Dunn, who currently stars on the blue line for the Seattle Kraken, the NHL’s most recent expansion franchise. While there are still plenty of players who could’ve squeaked their way here as the last pick of the 1st-Round, Vince Dunn earns the honors as The Arizona Coyotes need every bit of help they can get on defense.
In 2014-15, playing for Niagara in the OHL, Dunn displayed elite poise with the puck at the top of the offensive zone as he created top-tier-quality plays and generated scoring opportunities. Much like a Dimitri Orlov of the Washington Capitals, Vince Dunn serves as an extra forward on the rush. Although he’s slightly undersized as an NHL defenseman at 6’0″ – 203 lbs, he makes up for it with an up-tick in intensity in puck battles on the boards and scrums in front of the net.