Since I love to innovate and work on broken systems, I have yet another method to help "fix" the draft.
What was the worst team in the league last year? Well... it depends... what stat are you looking at?
Enter the problem. I'm a big fan of the Devils, admittedly, so I would like the idea of the Devils drafting a breakout forward to help fix the offensive woes that made them so lousy in the first place.
Well they're not going to do that because teams that were far worse defensively are going to be drafting better forwards ahead of them.
Why do we use "points" to indicate how "good" a team is and assume that a draft fixes a team's weak point when all teams do at their position in the draft is take the best player available, even if it doesn't fulfill a team need?
There are four standout forwards of this draft: McDavid, Eichel, Strome, and Marner... then you go to the B-level forwards who have two of the three, upside, skill, power. The drop off between a player like Mitch Marner and players like Crouse, Rantanen, Zacha, and etc. is considerable... it's like A+, A+, A, A, B-... that's how much of a drop-off it is. At six, the Devils are drafting a player that might end up playing on their second line in three or four years, and at four or five, Marner is going to go to a team where he'll quite possibly be a star in two years. I admit that Zacha, Crouse, and Rantanen are probably NHL ready forwards, but they produced nowhere even remotely close to the offense that was provided by Marner this year (less than half), and so what's their ceiling, realistically?
You have fourteen playoff teams, why not separate the draft into two categories in the top ten picks?
Buffalo, Arizona, and New Jersey would draft the top three, but they can only choose a forward. Edmonton, Buffalo, and Arizona are the bottom three in defense and goaltending, so they're eligible to draft at that order in that position, but one team can say, "I'm going to draft a forward."
If Edmonton wants to draft a forward, they can go no sooner than sixth overall since that's where their offense was at. If New Jersey wanted to draft a defenseman (and Provorov is a potential NHL star, whom they'll be drafting if they can't move from six since he's considerably better at his position than the available forwards at their position), they'd essentially be in the middle of the pack.
To me, you have to make realistic evaluations of who is the worst team and what they need. New Jersey's offense was atrocious but their defense was fine and advancing as the season progressed... all in the meanwhile Edmonton's defense was atrocious but they're going to be drafting the best forward in the draft.
Arizona and Buffalo show up at the bottom three in both categories, so if they choose to draft F or D/G, they're going to get a good pick.
But Edmonton, a team that scored 37 more goals than the Buffalo Sabres, has absolutely no business drafting the best forward in the draft.
The new system could be written like this:
Each team in the top ten chooses their top Forward choice, or their top Defensive/Goalie choice.
They then submit their top ten lists to the NHL...
So you have a team like Buffalo saying:
We want Mcdavid, Eichel, Marner, Strome
We want Hanifin, Provorov, Werenski, etc.
They submit their list, as does the other nine teams. The NHL calls up the team with the highest seniority on forward and asks if they want that selection more than the D, they say yes, and so Buffalo, the weakest offensive team, gets dibs on the top forward in the draft.
The ten picks would be set in stone before scouts and others step up to the podium... the first ten picks would be decided before anyone drafts anybody.
They'd have to make stipulations like that those top ten picks can't be traded, but if they can be traded, they can only actually be done before the process to determine the top ten picks begin, so that Boston can't just take Tyler Seguin; if they owned Toronto's pick, then they would cycle to the appropriate position in the draft (which meant that if they were already a Stanley Cup contender, they're going to walk away with neither the top choice forward/defenseman in the draft).
Now, Edmonton fans, calm down... you already won McDavid... but what sucks this year is that the system kind of screws NJ unless Marner miraculously drops to sixth.