Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Got a Working Crystal Ball Anyone?

So before we get into the second half of our look at the first round we need to say a couple of things about today's entry and yesterday's. Take our mock draft, take everyone's with a grain of salt.

We keep trying to tell people that mock drafts really are the same thing as trying to throw bullseye dart blindfolded. Sure sometimes you will hit the target but in all honesty drafting is nothing more than a giant gamble.

As the draft unfolds, as players come off the board then the next pick of the draft becomes that much harder to figure out. We keep trying tell anyone who will listen that nobody not even NHL teams are 100% sure who they will select until the previous pick will be made known.

In other words our guesses, the guesses of the "experts" and anyone else is no better than your own. The only real difference is your point of view.

With that said then here is the first 16 picks from yesterday (since we have counting issues it seems):

1- Tampa Bay- Steve Stamkos
2- Los Angeles- Zach Bogosian
3- Atlanta- Nikita Filatov
4- St. Louis- Drew Doughty
5- New York Islanders- Colin Wilson
6- Columbus- Alex Pietrangelo
7- Toronto- Luke Schenn
8- Phoenix- Colton Teubert
9- Nashville- Tyler Myers
10- Vancouver- Mikkel Boedker
11- Chicago- Luka Sbisa
12- Anaheim- Cody Hodgson
13- Buffalo- Zach Boychuk
14- Carolina- John Carlson
15- Nashville- Kyle Beach
16- Boston- Michael Delzotto

So now the rest of the first round:

The Calgary Flames at 17 are run by Darryl Sutter and coached by Mike Keenan who do not like soft players, are not too keen on European players so they will take Joshua Bailey of Windsor. Bailey is not the biggest dog in the pound but he a solid playmaker who will eventually QB their power play.

The Ottawa Senators are a franchise that is falling apart at the seams. A goalie who they want to dump, the GM is saying players quit and players hinting that they want out ASAP. Kind of feel sorry for who the Senators select. Feel bad then for Colby Robalk a 6'3 defender who is perhaps the best puck handler among the defenders in the draft. Good offensive weapon but the naysayers (like us) say he is weak on defense and lacks toughness.

Columbus has already grabbed a tough defender with their first of two first rounders so with their second pick the BJs will reach here and take Joe Colbourne a 6'4 LW who so many have differing opinions of him. So say he is too soft, others say he is going to be a player. Oiler's GM Scott Howson knows who Colbourne is and will not have to spend money on Colbourne for a few years since Colbourne is going to college.

The Rangers have watched their prospects that they were hoping for get grabbed before they got to pick. We think the Rangers will make a real attempt to move up but Sather will not like the cost.

Our own preference remains for the Rangers to trade down and out of the first round because the players who will address the Ranger needs will be there in the second round. The Rangers sadly do not listen to us and will keep the pick.

We like Greg Neimsz of the Windsor Spitfires who needs work on skating, agility and mobility as well as adding some bulk. All of those are areas are correctable ones and we like Neimsz as a player who with is size (6'3) and low center of gravity will make him the ideal slot power forward.

Why not? We do not think the Rangers will take yet another smaller forward or another offensive minded defenseman which leaves Neimsz.

The last ten of the first round start with the New Jersey Devils who will look for system players and they will continue that trend with Jamie Arniel of Sarina. Arniel is a gritty 2 way smallish center who is already made for the Devils. Few know of him but those who do think of Arniel as "Little Big Man" because of his work ethic.

The Oilers join the draft party as they have needs in many an area but they play it smart and will take Zac Dalpe of Pentiction of the BCHL. Dalpe is an offensive weapon who most little about as the BCHL is more of a league where scouts like to keep a low profile. Dalpe is a good offensive player but will not embarrass himself on defense. Collegebound means that the Oilers will have plenty of time to watch him devleop.

The Capitals have tons of young talent waiting in the wings at every position except one and that position is how they will use their first round pick on. What is ironic is that the Caps will take Chet Pickard of Tri-Cities of the WHL. The reason why we call it ironic is that Tri-Cities is partly owned by Olaf Kolzig who was just shown the door by the Caps. Even more ironic is that many compare Pickard to Kolzig as Pickard is coming off a 46-12-2-2 season. This kid is going to be very good.

The Wild like smart players and that is why they will select Mattias Tedenby who gets compared to Saku Koivou and Martin St. Louis which are 2 very solid players to be compared to. Tedenby is a solid worker at both ends of the ice. The key question is going to be how will he handle the very physical game in the NHL. Fast and smooth but more than anything else very smart and able to adapt to every situation sent his way.

Montreal is going to make their fans happy as they will grab Nicolas Deschamps of Chicoutimi as the offensive weapon will make them happy. What will blow Hab fans away is how good Deschamps is on offense but his defense is going to surprise people as Deschamps is just as good on defense as he is on offense.

Buffalo has another pick in the first round and as bad as they need help yesterday they will be patient and grab converted to defender Jake Gardiner a Minnesota HSer. Gardiner on offense is the best pure skater in the draft. Gardiner was converted from forward to defense and was better than awesome. Gardnier is college bound but what stands out is how Gardiner improves with huge jumps every year. The Sabres got a player here.

The Flyers will be surprise people by selecting Krill Petrov of Kazan in the Russian Super League. Petrov is typical Flyer as he is big (6-3) tough and while he needs some bulking up will be just like Jeff Carter and R.J Umberger as a player with size and skill but not afraid to use either.

The Kings are back with their 2nd pick of the round and will use this one on Shawn Lalonde a tough defender from the Belleville Bulls in the OHL. Lalonde can play a solid fundamentally sound defense as the Kings will drastically improve their defense with their picks. Lalonde needs to add more strength but is more mature than anyone realizes. Lalonde could steal a roster spot this year.

The Thrashers have the pick the Penguins gave up in the Hossa deal and will add Anton Gustafsson the son of former NHLer Bengt-Ake. Young Gustafsson is a smart 2 way forward with size and skill. Having a father who played in the NHL has helped his development but what stands out is how the better the competition the better Young Gustafsson plays. This is the future center for Alex Overchkin.

The Cup Champs the Red Wings will finish us off as they will take Gustafsson's teammate defenseman Erik Karlsson. Karlsson is a protype Red Wing, willing to play within a system as he develops and then step out on his own. We see a player who the Red Wings will be able to hide his weaknesses on defense with the Red Wing system. Karlsson is purely a one way player but that one way is very impressive. We see Karlsson as a power play QB but also a strong offensive player. His defensive is not NHL quality but the Red Wings tend to fix things like that.

Like we said wear a blindfold and try to toss darts when you can not see and there is your own mock NHL draft.

No comments: