5 Potential Sleepers Re-Entering the Draft

Every year, a handful of players who were drafted in a previous year re-enter the NHL Entry Draft. This happens when a team chooses not to meet the deadline to sign a draft pick, the player gets to re-enter the draft.

There’s a tendency among fans to think that a player who doesn’t get offered an entry level contract (ELC) probably isn’t worth re-drafting, but organizations have lots of reasons for not offering a contract from a log jam at certain positions to personality conflicts. Some good players come out of a re-draft. For instance, Frederick Andersen, who the Carolina Hurricanes drafted in the 7th round of the 2010 draft. They didn’t sign him. The Ducks then re-drafted him in 2012, taking him four rounds earlier than he was drafted the first time around.

This year, broadly speaking, players who didn’t go to the NCAA or Europe, were drafted in 2013, and weren’t offered an ELC are eligible to re-enter the draft. (There are other ways players wind up eligible for re-draft as well, like Edgars Kulda below.) Here’s a look through six players re-entering the draft in 2015 who could get drafted again.

1. Gabryel Paquin-Boudreau, 2013 2nd Round, San Jose Sharks

Why he was drafted:
Paquin-Boudreau was drafted the summer after he posted 22 goals and 41 assists through 67 games for Vaie-Comeau Drakkar in the QMJHL. That came on the heels of a 33 goal, 41 assist performance in just 43 games. It looked like he was poised to explode in the 2013-14 season.

Why he wasn’t signed:
But he didn’t. In his 19-year-old season he cut his production nearly in half, with just 16 goals and 19 assists in 67 games. That made for three straight seasons of declining point per game rates. He didn’t make up for that this season — or, rather, he didn’t have the chance. He spent almost the entire season sidelined with an injury, playing only seven regular season games. Teams are often weighing size and versatility into their projections as well, and Paquin-Boudreau is a small left-shot left wing at 20, standing just 5-foot-10 and 170 pounds.

Why he may get re-drafted:
He had a bad season and didn’t get the bounce back the Sharks wanted to see this year after a couple of years of not developing how they hoped. However, if you draft him late, he might be worth a longshot that he’ll turn that around. In seven regular season games for Chicoutimi Saguenéens this season he posted two goals and nine points. Then in the playoffs, he posted seven points in five games. It’s hard to blow the doors off the barn in just 12 games, but Paquin-Boudreau produced enough to be an interesting deep pick for a team that has liked what they’ve seen outside of his rough 2013-14 season.

2. Marc-Olivier Roy, 2013 2nd Round, Edmonton Oilers

Why he was drafted:
Taken with the pick the Oilers acquired in trading Andrew Cogliano to the Anaheim Ducks, Roy was coming off an impressive point per game campaign in the QMJHL with Blainville-Boisbriand Armada. In late summer 2013, he was considered one of the team’s top prospects.

Why he wasn’t signed:
Roy’s production dipped the following season in a year that was dogged by multiple injuries, including an injured wrist before his first pro camp and a concussion suffered shortly after he return to the lineup for the Armada. He was close to a point per game in his abbreviated season, posting 14 goals and 21 assists in 39 games. This year he was again close to, but under, a point per game pace playing with the Québec Remparts, with 26 goals and 50 points in 54 games.

He was useful to his teams for sure, but Roy was highly regarded in his draft year and it’s not just the slight backslide in numbers since being drafted, but the lack of progress being seen then. This season was an overage season for the 6-foot-1 forward. And it’s not just points, as Bruce McCurdy points out in the Edmonton Journal, but his shot rate as well. In particular, McCurdy points out the decline in “dangerous shots.”

Why he may get re-drafted:
While he hasn’t developed offensively how the Oilers hoped, he was still producing and developing and is a smooth skating player with solid hockey IQ, according to most scouts. Roy’s role with the Remparts may have changed from his role with the Armada, but he seems to have adapted well to it. Maybe he’s not a top 6 kind of guy, but if you’re grabbing him in the 6th round and he develops into a third line guy, that’s not bad value for your pick. No guarantees, but he may be worth a look.

Edgars Kulda
Edgars Kulda (Photo: Andy Devlin)

3. Edgars Kulda, 2014 Round 7, Arizona Coyotes

Why he was drafted:
Kulda had an impressive 2013-14 season for the Edmonton Oil Kings in the WHL, posting 30 goals and 30 assists in 66 games. He then turned it on in a big way in the playoffs, en route to a 2014 Stafford Smythe Memorial Trophy for MVP of the Memorial Cup. He had 10 goals and 12 assists through 21 playoff games.

Why He wasn’t signed:
Kulda will not be joining the Arizona Coyotes after they made the odd decision of not offer the 20-year-old forward an ELC. Despite speculation last summer that Arizona may sign Kulda, they didn’t and instead re-assigned him back to the Edmonton Oil Kings (which surprised the Oil Kings too).

Kulda’s season was derailed a bit by injury. (Noticing a trend?) He lost two and a half months of his overage season after tearing a ligament in his knee. That not only effects team chemistry, but conditioning in an important developmental year. He may also be the casualty of a deep pool of forward prospects in Arizona.

Why he may get re-drafted:
He’s not far removed from an impressive season that got him drafted, so it’s hard to say that what you saw in 2013-14 is completely gone. In addition, Kulda has decent size at 6 foot, 192 pounds and is touted as a player who shows up in big games, which is easily verified by a look at his history playing for Latvia in international tournaments and in the WHL/CHL playoffs.

It might be tough for a team to know what they’ve got in Kulda if they draft him, but he’s a high risk, high reward player.

4. Jackson Houck, 2013 Round 4, Edmonton Oilers

Why he was drafted:
Houck had a breakout year leading up to the draft, scoring 23 goals and 34 assists for the Vancouver Giants of the WHL. He followed that up by having an even better season, posting 34 goals and 27 assists in the same number of games.

Why he wasn’t signed:
Despite improved numbers after being drafted, he fell off a cliff this season, scoring just 22 goals and 51 points. He also got a crack at some AHL time, playing seven games with the Oklahoma City Barons at the end of the season. He finished that run with a single assist and just over 1.5 shots per game. Part of his struggles in Vancouver was that the team at large was struggling this season. But that only accounts for so much of that large of a decline in his overage year.

It’s also been tough to break into the Oilers system as a prospect in recent seasons with the number of picks they’ve had. The year of Houck’s draft the Oilers had seven picks in the first four rounds.

Why he may get re-drafted:
Houck didn’t have a great season, but his step backward wasn’t that large. There’s still concern about the lack of development, but there wasn’t a full blown collapse. For a team with holes at the AHL level, looking to bring some new blood into their draft class of a couple years ago, a late round risk on Houck may fit the bill.

Eric Roy
photo courtesy whl.ca

5. Eric Roy, 2013 Round 5, Calgary Flames

Why he was drafted:
The six-foot-3 defenseman had a huge 17-year-old year, putting up 11 goals and 42 assists in 69 games for the Brandon Wheat Kings. In 2012-13, he was less productive overall, but scored more goals, stepping up to 17 goals, but only 22 assists. He finished the season a minus-32. Then he was drafted, despite the slight decline.

Why he wasn’t signed:
The next two seasons he wore the “A” for Brandon, but never hit the offensive heights he hit when he was 17. The Flames certainly saw his big decline before they drafted him, but must have assumed it was a blip, he was young, and that he’d step back into the strong numbers he posted at 17 and would continue to develop. He improved from the 39 point campaign, but only slightly, never best the 53 points he posted in the 2011-12 season.

Why he may get re-drafted:
As Brandon improved his numbers slowly ticked upward, posting 44 points at age 19 and 45 this past season. He may find himself getting drafted because of improved defensive play, solid offensive numbers, good size, and an impressive playoff performance this season when he three goals and 12 assists through 19 playoff games, even if there’s a lack of serious development in some pivotal years. Defensemen are tough to gage at times and Roy may be worth a risk.

Other Players Re-entering the Draft

according to The Hockey News

Yan-Pavel Laplante, 2013 Round 3, Arizona Coyotes
Chris Clapperton, 2013 Round 5, Florida Panthers
Brent Pedersen, 2013 Round 5, Carolina Hurricanes
Mitchell Wheaton, 2013 Round 5, Detroit Red Wings
Blake Heinrich, 2013 Round 5, Washington Capitals
Myles Bell, 2013 Round 6, New Jersey Devils
Brendan Burke, 2013 Round 6, Arizona Coyotes
Marc McNulty, 2013 Round 6, Detroit Red Wings
Tommy Veilleux, 2013 Round 6, Nashville Predators
Alexandre Belanger, 2013 Round 7, Minnesota Wild
Miles Liberati, 2013 Round 7, Vancouver Canucks
Anthony Brodeur, 2013 Round 7, New Jersey Devils (though the Devils have said he’ll be invited to development camp if he’s not drafted)
Mitchell Dempsey, 2013 Round 7, Boston Bruins