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Quick Hits: The Meritocracy Edition

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Ottawa Senators v Detroit Red Wings Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Around the League

Nolan or Nico? Button says it's still Nico in latest mock | Craig Button, TSN

TSN Director of Scouting Craig Button has Halifax Mooseheads pivot Nico Hischier going first overall to the New Jersey Devils in the latest version of the TSN Hockey Mock Draft.

Hischier’s steady play with the Mooseheads (38 goals, 48 assists in 57 games) and a strong showing at the World Juniors helped vault him past Brandon Wheat Kings centre Nolan Patrick, who has long been considered the top prospect available in this class.

I’m posting this before Game 6 between the Pens and the Sens. Of course, feel free to discuss that in the comments. But here’s some more draft fodder.

In Red Wings Land

Playing prospects vs. winning playoff games? A no-brainer for Griffins | Peter J. Wallner, MLive

This is a really interesting article. Many fans likely wish they could see some of the Red Wings prospects play for the Griffins in their playoff run:

But there are other potential future stars who joined the team late in the season - such as Axel Holmstrom and 2016 top picks Dennis Cholowski (20th), Givani Smith (46th) and Filip Hronek (53rd) - who have practiced but otherwise mostly watched as the Griffins have advanced to the Western Conference Finals.

Why not invest in the future and let them play?

Nelson has a good answer:

"It's been the philosophy of the organization that everybody has to earn the right to get into the lineup," Griffins coach Todd Nelson said. "If somebody is out-playing someone then they'll play. That's always been the philosophy.

"If he can't beat out someone from the ECHL or AHL contract, how is he going to help the big club? What I'm trying to say is there's no entitlement here."

I understand that people have been critical of the Wings “over-ripening,” but IMO, this may be different. As long as it truly is a meritocracy for the Griffins, this is the way it should be. The criticism has always been that players who were better were not given a chance as soon as they should have.

It remains to be seen if the same mistake will be repeated at the AHL level this post-season, but the team that is playing is doing pretty well. I’d like to see some of these prospects too, but I’m fine with what Nelson is doing here, as long as the players not playing are really not playing as well as the rest.