Trying to figure out who is going to draft who is normally an great way to frustrate oneself. Once one gets past the first 5 picks then the real guessing game begins. Few drafts ever go as one hopes or plans but now one has to now toss in the international politics and things get even more confusing.
If not for Don Waddell's concern about losing his last remaining star player Ilya Kovalchuk then Nikita Filatov is still sitting and waiting. The problems with European members of the IIHF over transfer fees and player development is going to make many an NHL team think twice about selecting an European.
So not only are we going to see Russians not selected but perhaps now add those from Sweden and the Czech Republic as they are thinking about also opting out of the Player Transfer Agreement as they as well are not happy with how much they receive for their players.
It is sad too because some teenager's hard work may not be rewarded because adults are unable to work out their differences. We expect that NHL teams are going to go the safe route and take mostly North Americans.
Those teams needing real fixes will take North Americans because they will feel more secure about being able to sign them. Those with deep prospect pools will take the chances and pick the Europeans.
A quick refresher from our first five picks:
1 Tampa-- Steve Stamkos
2 Los Angeles-- Alex Pietrangelo
3 Atlanta-- Nikita Filatov
4 St. Louis-- Zach Bogosian
5 New York Islanders-- Drew Doughty
So without further ado then we start with number 6 the Columbus Bluejackets as they have 2 first round picks (they have the 19th pick as well) and while most will think they need to look at offense , we disagree because we see who their coach is and that is Ken Hitchcock , their GM is former Edmonton Assistant GM Scott Howson and that says that Tyler Myers of the Kelowna Rockets will be their pick.
We really doubt that the Bluejackets are going to let the tallest player (6'7) go to someone else did you? For a tall player, Myers is actually pretty solid on his feet, knows how to use his size without getting hit with many penalties despite playing against smaller but supposedly quicker players.
What is really scary is how big Myers will be when he finally grows into his frame and even more scary is this kid likes to hit, Myer is already 204 but we think he will wind up at the 230 mark. However this is where we start seeing players who are simply not close to being NHL ready and think teams in the WHL are going to wish Myers was.
Toronto will be heartbroken that Myers just escaped them so they will settle for Myer's teammate Luke Schenn who is only 6'3 210. Schenn who typically gets compared to Ed Jovanovski is actually a better hitter than Myers but needs work on his footwork and some maturity on his thought process.
Schenn though is going to be asked to anchor the rebuilding Maple Leafs so we hope they let him remain in the WHL for another season for seasoning as we believe he is not NHL ready but will be in a year.
At 8 we see Bobby Sanguinetti's teammate Cody Hodgson as heading to the Phoenix Coyotes. We actually like Hodgson very much as this is a very gifted centerman who is generously listed at 6' 185. Hodgson is going to develop into a skilled playmaker for the Coyotes as we just love his decision making process.
We would like to see Hodgson work on his body as we think he can add 15 more pounds of muscle and not skip a beat. We see him as one day the Coyotes number 1 center as we do not think it is too much to expect Hodgson to one day be a 30 goal/40 assist player.
Nashville gets the number 9 pick as part of the the Tomas Vokoun trade and believe they will take the son of former Ranger Carey Wilson, Colin Wilson of Boston University here. We think though that son is a much more talent power forward than his dad was as Colin is the real deal.
Strong in the upper body, soft hands, excellent passing skills and even better a knack for putting the puck in the right place at the right time. We think one more year of college and Wilson will be able to jump to the NHL. In 5 years this will be the future of Team USA.
With the 10th pick we see that the Vancouver Canucks are going to try to appease the very angry natives. The Canucks lack offensive talent and are expected to lose Marcus Naslund to free agency so the player they select needs to be someone the fans know.
The bad news for the NHL is that they are going to take the player who is a bigger more talented version of Sean Avery in Kyle Beach a 6'3 not pest not super pest but MONSTER pest from the Everett Silvertips. Canuck fans will be totally divided on him as Beach without a doubt is a talented player who can score all night long.
At the same time he is also coming with some serious baggage such as questions about his maturity, his common sense and his desire. Without a doubt this is the most hated player in the WHL because of some of his actions but IF he ever gets his head screwed on right then he will be a star.
For the Canucks this is the player they need if for no other reason than to show Canuck fans that the new GM is trying to fix things and is looking for physical not finesse players. Hope they also have a team shrink as well.
Note to ZG: good post but to be honest with the Rangers selecting at 20 we are looking long term as we fully realize that nobody at that spot will be able to jump directly to the NHL. While we understand it make look like we lack some objectivity we believe when it comes to the prospects that we take all the emotion out of the decision.
That is why at this point we do not have a "draft him or else" prospect until after we see what the combine results look like. Thanks though for speaking up
5 hours ago