Evolving Hockey posted their contract projections for the RFA/UFA skaters. If you're not familiar with their work in the contract projection business; they were spot on last year with most of the contracts that were given out. There are, of course, outliers but they do a fantastic job (I used to use Matt Cane for this but he's since been picked up by the Devils).
Obviously, the first thing I did was search Sam Reinhart to see what on earth they were projecting him to get. Here's how it broke down:
1 year, 5.435mil AAV: 1% probability
2 years, 6.048mil, 5% probability
3 years, 6.991mil, 14% probability
4 years, 6.806mil, 13% probability
5 years, 7.101mil, 20% probability
6 years, 7.408mil, 16% probability
7 years, 7.919mil, 6% probability
8 years, 8.912mil, 25% probability
They use the highest probability as their prediction, but as you can see there's probably going to a binary scenario for Sam: he's either signing 3-5 years for ~7mil AAV or he's signing 8 years for 9mil. The first one both Chad and TEMSON did a great job hitting that number in their projections, but the latter option is a figure that has made a lot of people balk at the idea of paying Sam that much.
My plan is to write 5 GM for a days this offseason (I will remain hopeful that we will have the 2020-21 season started on time). They will consist of: One with Sam on the team, One with Sam not on the team, What I think GM Botts will Do, The "Let's Get Aggressive" GM for a Day, and lastly what I would do as GM.
Some basic guidelines to how I did this for Botterill
First off...let's all just agree right now that my perception of Boterill's tendencies and your perception aren't going to line up 100%. But I think there are some general philosophical beliefs I think he has
1.) No egregious UFA contracts given out to players outside the organization.
2.) Trades will include a player who has term and/or is cost controlled through RFA. I don't think he'd trade for a player like Johnny Gaudreau who has just 2 years left on his deal unless he was giving up 20 cents on the dollar for him (See: Jeff Skinner trade)
3.) For the draft: size matters. Skating matters. Mid round picks are used to better the team through trades, and not to be hoarded for developmental growth within the organization.
Organizational Needs for the Draft:
1.) High-end offensive talent
2.) Right handed defensemen
3.) LHD/Depth forwards
...Risto gives Vegas a shot in the arm at the RHD that can also give life to the PP2, and Vegas gets a backup goalie that it desperately needs. We pick up a young, RW power forward with a lot of term coming off an injury and a down season, a good but not much better than bottom pair LHD, and a 3rd round pick for eating 50% of Hutton's salary
Buffalo Trades: 2020 2nd round pick (#38), 2021 4th round pick; NYR trades: Alexander Georgiev
Rationale: Georgiev is not coming back to the NYR (unless teams' are given a compliance buyout and the Rangers elect to buyout Henrik Lundqvist). They are set for years to come in net with Igor Shestyorkin. Georgiev was being shopped at the deadline for what was rumored to be a 1st round pick. Assuming no one pays the cost of a 1st in this years draft they get a high end second and a mid-round pick for depth purposes or as a trade asset.
Why I think Botts will make this trade:
1.) He has to know that his seat is starting off 2021 pretty dang hot. Upgrading the goaltending position and finding some quality scoring depth are short-term musts.
2.) Georgiev is pretty dang good.
Here is Tierney's Goals Saved about Expectation and you can see Georgiev is pretty dang high up there:
Add into the fact he's cost controlled, and looks to be an upgrade over Hutton and could be a better option long term than Linus Ullmark...worth the swing for the GM who needs to fix the goaltending situation sooner rather than later.
7.) Alexander Holtz, W (SHL)
Born: 1/23/02, 6'0, 183lbs; 35gp, 9g, 16pts
Holtz has often been the benefactor of Raymond's wizardry during international tournaments in the past, but this year he's really shown that he's more than a sniper. He has above average wheels and I'm impressed with his ability to generate chances for his teammates. His ability to shoot would put him within the top 15 prospects, but his hockey sense and his developed playmaking ability has him firmly in the top end of this class.
For the Sabres my main concern about Holtz is an underlying concern about where he likes to shoot from and his poor in-zone defensive game. He has relied on his shot beating goalies from distances that NHL goalies don't typically get beat from. I believe his defensive game can round out through coaching and development, but he is certainly not a strong two way player right now.
Why Botterill takes him: Speed and size. He's north of 6'0 (unlike Perfetti) and he's got an above average skating ability to me (unlike Perfetti/Lundell). I thought about Jack Quinn but he's below 6' and his skating, while improved, isn't what I'd call above average. The other option here I could see is Jake Sanderson. I think there is a national narrative that the Sabres lack high end defensive prospects and Sanderson's name is popping more times than I thought in national mock drafts. IMO if Drysdale fell here then I'd be game, but with Dahlin locking up the 1LHD and PP1 QB I don't think I'd try to find depth defenders with, what hopefully is, our last top 10 pick for awhile.
#90.) Brandon Coe, RW (OHL)
Born: 12/1/01, 6'3, 185lbs; 60gp, 25g, 57pts
Big and mobile RW coming out of the worst team in the OHL this past year. He's a production model's dream prospect for a steal (I promise I wrote this sentence before TPN wrote about it in depth here) and he has some of the same qualities I liked in Sam Colangelo: a power forward with more skill. He was on my first rankings, but I kept him off the April Top 93 as a late cut. His team was so bad it was hard not to bring bias into the evaluation. If things break right he could be one of the steals of the draft a few years from now. If things don't break right, then he just becomes this year's version of Ethan Keppen from last year: when the production falters next year you start to really see the faults in the game and the bias of the bad team blinded you into the player.
#100.) Mitchell Miller, RHD (USHL)
Didn't flash when I watched him play but his production rate and skating ability put him my draft eligible players that I'm interested in.
UND commit Mitchell Miller has been named USHL defenseman of the week four times in the last six weeks. Tri-City coach shares what's happening in Miller's game and even compared him to a basketball player in one sense. Story: https://t.co/v9cpX06cXE— Brad Elliott Schlossman (@SchlossmanGF) February 27, 2020
#131.) Noah Ellis, RHD (USHL)
Think Ryan Johnson without the offensive upside. Good 4 way skater, good gap control, and his best trait is his transition ability. Didn't really produce points wise, but could project to the NHL. Off to UMass next year.
Buffalo Trades 193 and 208 to Ottawa for 185
#185.) Jake Boltmann, RHD (USHL/MN HS)
An offensive defenseman who had 9 points in 17 games in the USHL. Captained Edina's MN hockey team which is a traditional powerhouse in Minnesota hockey. Jumps up in the play a lot, is a bit raw in his own zone, but has a good skill set. Going to play at Minnesota next year in the NCAA.
Draft Grade: B
I like this draft. I stuck with the skating and size component that Botterill tends to stick with. Outside of Holtz I think we're talking about a depth forward and some potential depth defensemen if they developed correctly. I took my own philosophy and drafted Miller/Ellis/Boltmann in that range as that's about where I'd expect to try to hit on players with those skill-sets at their current development state. We fill needs with our severe lack of RHD in the pipeline.
Craig Smith: 3 years, 4.5 million AAV
Another shot at the 2C filler until Cozens/Mitts get their crack at it. Has position variability and played the wing this past year on one of Nashville's most consistent lines. Has 18 goals and 31 points in 69 games. Was on pace for a 21 goal, 37 point season. Good grit player and can fill in on a lesser role as the contract goes on.
Sam Reinhart: 5 years, 7 million AAV
Dominik Kahun: 2 years, 3 million AAV
Victor Olofsson: 4 years, 5 million AAV
Curtis Lazar: 1 year, .800 million
Brandon Montour: 3 years, 5 million AAV
Lawrence Pilut: 1 year, .900 Million
Linus Ullmark: 2 years, 2.75 million AAV
Alexander Georgiev: 4 years, 3.25 million AAV
Casey Mittelstadt: 2 years, 1.2 million AAV
Tage Thompson: 1 year, .900 Million
2020-21 Opening Night Roster (and potential Line-up)
Olofsson (5) - Eichel (10) - Reinhart (7)
MarJo (4.5) - Cozens (.925) - Kahun (3)
Lazar (.8) - Asplund (.845) - Okoposo (6)
Dahlin (.925) - Miller (3.875)
McCabe (2.850) - Montour (5)
Holden (1.7) - Jokiharju (.925)
Total with Hutton+Buyouts: 80.661
- I think this offseason Botterill has got to try to lock down Henri Jokiharju for a below market extension. This is the perfect time to make that bet on Jokiharju before we have to pay market value.
- Assuming next year there will be a big increase of the cap this should be able to sustain the Rasmus Dahlin RFA contract and Jokiharju.
- Hopefully Holtz turns around the defensive play next year and can come over to take Marcus Johansen's place in 2021-22. If not, then he stays over until 2022-23.