Finland’s Miro Heiskanen has recently cemented himself as the top blueliner in this year’s draft class.

Gabriel Vilardi is a big, strong forward that can play both center and wing, and is an absolute beast when he has the puck below the offensive zone faceoff dots. His Windsor Spitfires team will be hosting the 2017 Memorial Cup later in May and he’s their best forward, so that should be a nice boost for his development.

If Dallas wants to go the defenseman route, Finland’s Miro Heiskanen has recently cemented himself as the top blueliner in this year’s draft class. At 17 years-old he played among men all season long over in Finland’s top league and fit right in, and then was dominant at the IIHF U18s in April. He’s smart, poised, and mobile, and could be a #1 NHL defenseman in the future.

As we do every year, we here at Defending Big D will be profiling all of these prospects (and others) much closer in the coming months as the draft nears closer.

Until the team makes their final decision, one thing is for certain: this is a huge opportunity for the Stars, one that could significantly alter the future of the entire organization. And we all have four numbered lottery balls to thank for that.

The Preds rank 3rd in shots on goal allowed in the playoffs, with only 28.4 shots allowed per game, and they lead in that category among teams who are still in the hunt for the Cup.

But it’s more than that. The Preds are also denying those shots from even happening, at a rate better than anyone.

Among teams still in the playoffs, the Preds allow the least amount of shot attempts per sixty minutes than anyone. They’ve been stifling the opponent in the neutral zone, usually forcing a dump-in. Then, once the puck is in the defensive zone, they’ve been working hard to Cheap Zach Parise Jerseys force skilled players off the puck and get the puck clear. No puck, no shots.

David Stern said ‘it’s inexcusable’ for the Nets to rest starters in season finale, and he’s right

Former NBA commissioner David Stern voiced his disappointment with the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday for resting key starters in their April 12 regular season finale against the Chicago Bulls.

The Nets, who finished the season with a league-worst 22-60 record, sat their three best starters in Jeremy Lin, Brook Lopez, and Trevor Booker — all healthy — against a Bulls team that needed just one win to secure playoff position as the Eastern Conference’s eighth seed.

This is the fear with Stanton, of course, who has missed 25 games Cheap Steelers Jerseys or more in four out of his last five seasons. So it goes for exceptionally large baseball players. When you’re 13 different smaller men stacked up in an oversized trench coat, that just means there are 13 times as many muscles to pull. The only thing that can bring him down is an uncooperative body. So far, the returns are less than inspiring.

Back to that original question, though, about if this is the Giancarlo Stanton we should get used to. The only logical answer right now is “I don’t know, but I will protect my fanboy hopes with a switchblade if needed.” Stanton is one of my favorite all-time players to watch, so if he descends into the murky waters of Horner — while making $30 million or more deep into his 30s — it would be unfathomably depressing.

The good news is that great players can have subpar seasons, too. Of the players from that earlier list, Al Kaline was merely OK in an injury-marred season when he was 25. Mathews’ 1958 season was the kind of low-average, high-dinger season Stanton had last year, but he shook it off and had some of the best seasons of his career. Orlando Cepeda and Ken Griffey, Jr. both had injuries and less-than-stellar seasons in their mid-20s, only to rebound shortly after.

Rodney Hood shimmied after his dagger 3-pointer against the Clippers in Game 4

Gordon Hayward was forced to leave Utah’s Game 4 matchup against the Los Angeles Clippers in the second quarter with food poisoning, so the Jazz called on Rodney Hood to fill his place, and boy did he deliver.

Though he struggled for most of the night, Hood drilled a three-pointer to put the Jazz up 97-92, and gave his best Stephen Curry impression afterward with a quick shimmy:

But Hood’s work didn’t stop there. Immediately afterward, he hit another clutch shot over Jamal Crawford, effectively sinking the Clippers and securing Utah’s Game 4 victory:

Hood didn’t have the most efficient game, tallying 18 points on 6-of-16 shooting. But that shimmy tells me he’s got to be feeling great after nailing those two shots.

Hrm, it seems as if the bullpen is currently scary as all hell, but we’re out of time! And the more and more I look at the Twins, the more I think about Santana and Santiago being quality pitchers with one of the best pitching prospects in baseball behind them, with Sano breaking out and Kepler continuing to progress, with Buxton still having the world’s greatest building blocks for continued baseball success, with players like Dozier, who can be a star, and players Grossman and Escobar, who have each contributed something over the last couple seasons.

Not only is he raking, though, but the anecdotal and empirical evidence is suggesting that he might stick at third base after all. The success of the Twins’ season doesn’t have to measured by a postseason berth. If Sano can turn into the kind of franchise player the Twins can plop Cheap Throwback Jerseys down at third base for the next decade, it will be one of their best seasons out of the last five, regardless of Cheap Team Soccer Jerseys how many they win.

I’m just being honest with you.

And I’m not talking about whether they think he will go in the first round. I’m talking about where they see his fit in the NFL and the kinds of things they project he will be able to do versus the things USA Basketball Cheap Jerseys they think he will struggle to do.

Somebody who watches this kid play could certainly have a lower opinion of him, but if they don’t mention him being more of an edge guy in the league and how his size doesn’t really fit the mold of most dominant interior players, well …

Look man, even with McDowell lining up in the A gap so much, fighting against double teams and taking on scoop blocks, he was still disruptive as hell! I’m sure he knows that he is better suited to play on the edge, but I damn sure didn’t see him feeling sorry for himself on tape.

McDowell was getting after it. When a guard or a center ended up one-on-one with him, it didn’t usually end so well for that offensive lineman.

He may not have always gotten full extension with those long arms, but he still played strong enough to push whomever was trying to block him, back into the backfield.

Or at the very least not lose much, if any, ground. Sometimes a failed drug test can drive an elite prospect’s draft stock down and turn him into an all-time bargain. Other times, it’s just a harbinger for a career filled with bad choices. Gregory is the latter.

The Colts wanted a free safety with the ability to make plays in space as well as good instincts in single high coverage, and they certainly got one in Hooker. One of Hooker’s greatest strengths is reading the quarterback’s eyes and understanding where the signal caller is going to go with the ball.

He showed off those skills when he picked off Deshaun Watson, which was one bright spot Victor Cruz Cheap Jerseys in the Buckeyes’ terrible shutout loss to Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl.

NFL Draft 2017: This is how compensatory picks work

The NFL added 32 compensatory picks in the 2017 NFL draft order. Ever wonder how those work? We have a handy explainer for that. There’s also a change in how those picks work new for this year.

New York Jets – Jamal Adams figures to be an awesome chess piece in Todd Bowles’ ultra-aggressive defense. Safeties aren’t traditionally selected with top-10 picks, but the consensus is that the Jets didn’t reach.

Oakland Raiders – Oakland’s selection of Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley can only partially be judged at this point, considering the rape allegation that surfaced right before the draft. Sports Illustrated gave Conley an incomplete grade because of those allegations.

Philadelphia Eagles – The Eagles used the No. 14 pick on DE Derek Barnett, which is a great selection because he fits in defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz’s scheme. Adding him to a Cheap Jerseys Supply line that includes Brandon Graham and Chris Long is downright scary. The Eagles should be able to get pressure with ease.

And they did turn it around, at least at first. Smith and Dimitroff’s first draft pick was Matt Ryan, 2016’s league MVP and Offensive Player of the Year. The Falcons made NBA Cheap Jerseys China it to the playoffs in four out of the first five seasons of the Dimitroff and Smith era, but then things fell apart abruptly. One reason for the collapse was a disparity between the team’s needs and the players drafted to fill them, which gave the Falcons a lack of depth and talent that kept the team from being competitive.

Smith and Dimitroff had different priorities. Dimitroff preferred prospects with over-the-top speed and athleticism. Smith’s old-school approach on both sides of the ball wasn’t a good fit for many of those players. The Falcons plummeted from the NFC Championship Game following the 2012 season to winning only four games in 2013.

NFL schedule release 2017: Time, TV channel, and live stream for announcement show

Despite being deep into the offseason, the NFL never sleeps. One week before the draft, the league will handle some important housekeeping, releasing the 2017 schedule on Thursday.

Because this is the NFL, the schedule release has to be a long, drawn-out affair, with a live special airing on NFL Network. Fans can stream the event online at for participating cable providers.

Essentially, the chart attempts to quantify the value of each pick, with the No. 1 pick valued at 3,000 points, the No. 10 pick at 1,300 points and just 100 points for the No. 100 pick.

Want to trade from No. 10 to No. 8? Well, the No. 8 pick is worth 1,400 points and No. 10 is worth 1,300 points so an early fourth-round pick worth about 100 points should do the trick.

The first trade of the 2015 NFL Draft was a move for the San Diego Chargers up just two spots from No. 17 to grab running back Melvin Gordon at No. 15. The trade closely followed Johnson’s chart to make for a fair swap:

Should teams value picks differently? Maybe, but long after Johnson’s retirement, his chart still seems to be the guideline of choice in the NFL.

Others, like Chase Stuart of Football Perspective and even students at Harvard, have adjusted the values of the chart to try to more accurately reflect the value presented Cheap Jerseys NFL Wholesale with each pick, but the king’s ransom recently received by the Tennessee Titans and Cleveland Browns shows Cheap Jerseys In UK that Johnson’s inflation of the first few picks of the draft still holds true.