When it comes to the NHL draft, each year there are sleepers that go higher than expected and fallers that fall to teams not expecting them. This year, could a player that falls be Logan Cooley?
With the NHL draft just one week away, more information on the top prospects of the draft are starting to leak out. Which, for the Philadelphia Flyers – who pick 5th overall, could lead to a surprise player being available.
Throughout the pre-draft process, many experts have had the same top three players. Those players include F Juraj Slafkovsky, F Shane Wright, & F Logan Cooley.
However, over the past few weeks, a new name has entered some experts top players.
Cutter Gauthier, a center out of the USA Development Program, has been on the rise in the lead up to the draft. Many experts have now moved Gauthier, who was a projected Top-10 pick, into their Top-5. Some even into their Top-3.
It is not hard to see why Gauthier, 6’3″ 200lbs, has been moving up draft boards across the NHL. His size & skill combination has teams craving at the opportunity to draft him. Not to mention, Gauthier has one of the best shots in the draft.
In 2018, Jesperi Kotkaniemi had a similar rise late in the draft process. The center’s size and skill combination led to the Montreal Canadiens selecting Kotkaniemi with the 3rd overall pick. Well ahead of where experts projected he would go.
With Gauthier on the rise, one player that is being effected is Logan Cooley.
Some experts say Cooley, who has been a surefire Top-3 pick throughout the draft process, is being passed up on due to his size.
With size being a key factor in today’s game, NHL scouts are favoring Slafkovsky 6’4″, Wright 6’2″, & Gauthier 6’3″ in the pre-draft process. Cooley, who is just 5’10”, is being hurt late in the process due to his size.
However, Cooley’s size is the only thing holding him back from being a potential Top-3 pick.
Cooley’s skill & speed combination speaks for itself. Many draft experts have marked Cooley as the most electrifying player in the draft.
If it wasn’t for his size, Cooley would be a surefire Top-3 pick. But, due to the rise of Cutter Gauthier, Cooley is starting to fall down the draft boards in the NHL.
Cooley, who was previously in contention for the #1 overall selection, could now potentially fall right into the Flyers hands at the 5th overall pick.
PHOTO CREDIT: Rena Laverty – USA Hockey’s NTDP