Thursday, June 21, 2007

Pre-Draft Thoughts

The first round of the NHL Draft will take place and will be televised at 7:00 EST on Versus Friday night. Rounds 2-7 will be the next day, but will only be on the NHL Network.

So let me just sprout some random thoughts:

The Top 5-7 picks are toss ups this year, just as they were last year year. There are however, two guys who are certain to go as the first two picks.

Kyle Turris has been scouted by the Philadelphia Flyers for years, and assuming the Blackhawks don't take him, Turris is sure to go #2. But then who goes #1? It could Cherepanov, but Russians have a history of laziness, and Cherepanov could be the biggest risk/reward pick in the draft. Expect the Blackhawks to take Patrick Kane, ranked #2 on the International Scouting Reports. He would be the second American in two years to be taken number one and even though he's a bit undersized, scouts are calling him the most gifted player in this draft.

So who comes after that?

Offensively, there's Jakub Voracek, Sam Gagner, Mikael Backlund, James VanReimsdyk, Logan Coture and lastly, Angelo Esposito. Esposito has had hype for about two-three years now and was always expected to go number one. But a down season has him ranked all the way to #9 on the International Scouting Report. Esposito could be the biggest value pick five years down the road.

AVALANCHE SHOULD TAKE...
With the fourteenth pick, the Avs aren't likely to see any of these offensive marvels. (Except possibly Coture) And that's a good thing, because the last thing we want is temptation. If the rumors about the Avs possibly signing Peter Forsberg or Chris Drury are true, we don't want any more offense. We had plenty of it last season and it definitely wasn't a problem. We need defense, and the top rated guys are Keaton Ellerby and Karl Alzner. If either of those guys were to, by a miracle, fall to #14, the Avs would snatch them up and consider them a major steal. If both are taken, a guy like Jonaton Blum, a defensemen who helped lead the Vancouver Giants to the Memorial Cup or Tommy Cross, a stay-at-home defenseman who also had 20 points in 25 games last year in college, would be great picks for the Avs.

As soon as Sunday Night rolls around, look for my draft recap and my winners/losers segment!

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