As we head into the upcoming NHL Draft in Dallas on June 22-23, we take a look at a recent trend in recent drafts where the last names are familiar ones that we have watched when we were growing up. Second and even third generation players have become more and more common as each and every year goes by.
Here is a list of some recognizable last names who, along with their older relatives, may soon become household names.
Brady Tkachuk (LW/C)
Son of former Winnipeg Jet Keith and brother of current Flames forward Matthew. Both of them were drafted in the 1st round of their respective drafts, Keith was drafted 19th overall in 1990 and Matthew was drafted 6th overall in 2016. At 6’3, Brady is projected to be more skilled and even nastier than both his father and brother. He is ranked 2nd for North American (NA) skaters, and will very likely be taken in the top 5. Could you imagine the Battle of Alberta if he were to be selected by the Edmonton Oilers?
Possible fit: OTT, ARI, VAN
Mattias Samuelsson (D)
Son of former Flyers defenceman Kjell. Like his dad, his 6’4 frame makes him attractive for NHL teams looking for a big, physical d-man. He is considered a good skater who makes smart decisions with the puck in his own end. Ranked 21st for NA skaters, he is projected to be a late 1st or early 2nd round draft pick.
Possible fit: PIT, STL, WSH
Jack Drury (C)
Jack’s father, Ted Drury, played his NHL career with the Bruins and Ducks and he is also the nephew of Chris Drury. Similar to his father’s game, Jack is a smart versatile smallish forward who also excels at playing special teams. He rose from 60th in the mid-term rankings to 27th in the final rankings for NA skaters.
Possible fit: ANA, BUF, COL
Nikolai Kovalenko (RW)
Nikolai’s father was known as the ‘Russian Tank’ Andrei Kovalenko, who played 9 seasons mainly with the Nordiques/Avalanche, Habs, and Oilers. Just like his dad, being 5’11 Nikolai has the same stature and playing style, which will likely be attractive to some teams looking for some Russian grit. His final rank as European skater was 33rd and is projected to be taken in the 2nd or 3rd round.
Possible fit: BOS, DET, NSH
Jack McBain (C)
Son of former Jets forward Andrew McBain, who was selected 8th overall in the 1983 NHL entry draft. Jack possesses great hands and shooting skills but it’s his skating that he needs to work on and is the big question mark. Playing this past season for the Toronto Jr. Canadiens, he was voted Ontario Jr. Hockey League’s top prospect. He is ranked 35th for North American skaters.
Possible fit: MON, LA, NYI
Jonathan Gruden (C)
Son of new Raiders Head Coach…actually he is the son of the other John Gruden, who had a brief NHL career with the Bruins and Capitals. Jonathan is a smart, strong skater who can also play the wing. His final NA ranking was 46th.
Possible fit: CHI, PHI, TB
Kristian Reichel (C)
Son of former Flame Robert. At 20 years old, Kristian is a 3rd year eligible draft pick. He only started playing in North America last season, with the Red Deer Rebels of the WHL, after starting his career in Europe. His passing and on-ice awareness are considered his strengths. He also attended Winnipeg Jets prospect camp in 2017. Ranked 53rd as NA skater, he could step in for a team sooner based on his age.
Possible fit: ARI, DET, WSH
Adam Samuelsson (D)
Yet another Samuelsson in the same draft. Adam’s father Ulf (one of the most hated players of all time – see image) had a lengthy NHL career as a former Whaler/Penguin/Ranger defenceman. At 6’6, 240 lbs. Adam is even bigger than his father was and he will have teams drooling at the prospect of landing a mobile, shutdown, Chara-like d-man. Projected to be a mid-round pick, he is ranked 77th for NA skaters.
Possible fit: BUF, DAL, WPG
Riley Sutter (RW)
Son of former Flyer/Blues forward Ron. Riley is considered a two-way player with good size and hockey sense (which as a Sutter I believe you’re born with). Needs to work on his skating. He may not have great offensive upside and is projected to end up in a checking role, should he makes it to the NHL. He is ranked 80th overall for NA skaters.
Possible fit: CAL, MIN, NJ
Max Paddock (G)
Max is the nephew of former AHL/NHL player, and more notably, Head Coach of the Winnipeg Jets, John Paddock. A native of Brandon, Manitoba, he came out of nowhere after taking over as the starting goalie for the Regina Pats early last season. He helped lead the Pats to a Memorial Cup Final, which they just missed out winning. Things are looking up for Max, including his chances of being selected in this year’s draft. He finished 22nd in the final rankings for NA goalies.
Possible fit: FLA, NYI, VGK
Other notable mentions, including their final North American rankings:
-Jacob Pivonka (C) (Michal) is ranked 105.
-Cole and Christian Krygier (D) (Todd) are ranked 149 & 205, respectively.
-Ethan Manderville (C) (Kent) is ranked 165.
-Jack DeBoer (C) (Peter) is ranked 166.
-Erik Middentorf (LW) (Max) is ranked 195.
-Ben Sanderson (LW) (Geoff) is ranked 208.
-Philipe Lapointe (RW) (Marty) is not ranked.
-Ryan Savage (RW) (Brian) is not ranked.
Mass DiGeronimo @spinohockey