Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Mock-Yeah; Draft-Yeah; Yeah-Yeah

Lame, I know-- but it works out.

So, with the Draft.....oh three days away or so-- it's time to bust out the possible happenings that will happen on Saturday. Granted, after the top pick, it's going to be a crapshoot from there. This isn't the strongest Draft class, but there are plenty of kids who will be able to surprise people out there. To be noted, this is going to be based off the current Draft order that the NHL has right now. The trades up or down could prove a different result, so heed warning.

1. St. Louis-- Erik Johnson (US NTDP): Johnson has the ability to help the Blues forget about losing Chris Pronger down the road.

2. Pittsburgh-- Jordan Staal (Peterborough): Even if the pick is traded, this is where he'll go; Staal is a dynamic player who can fit well into any situation.

3. Chicago-- Phil Kessel (U of Minnesota): If a little excitement can be created for Chicago hockey fans, this kid could be the one to do it.

4. Washington-- Jonathan Toews (U of North Dakota): Toews will be a perfect fit with Ovechkin and should be able to be a key guy in the face-off circle.

5. Boston-- Derrick Brassard (Drummondville): The B's should be happy with his extra year development, as well as with his speed and shot.

6. Columbus-- Ty Wishart (Prince George): With not much of young defenseman, Wishart could be the stallwart they have been looking for.

7. NY Islanders-- Nicklas Backstrom (Sweden): This European center could be a building block for the Islanders future and the mark Neil Smith will leave in his tenure as GM.

8. Phoenix-- Peter Mueller (Everett): If Mueller falls this far, it would be a god-send to the Coyotes, with his size and skill-- he could be part of the upcoming youth movement.

9. Minnesota-- Kyle Okposo (Des Moines): The Wild like local picks and with Okposo's performance in the USHL, it would be a start to get him under the hometown banner.

10. Florida-- Jiri Tlusty (Czech Republic): Though he played on a bad team, Tlusty's heart and determination is what will land him in the Sunshine State.

11. Los Angeles-- Michael Frolik (Czech Republic): Frolik's stock dropped with a bad season, but he should fit in nice with the Kings system.

12. Atlanta-- Nigel Williams (US NTDP): The Thrashers will love this kid's size and tremendous upside, but he won't be great until he fills out his big frame.

13. Toronto-- Bryan Little (Barrie): Though he is small, he will fit in easily with the speed and skill the Leafs should be implimenting in the future.

14. Vancouver-- Chris Stewart (Kingston): With some guys possibly being moved, Stewart will be the power forward that could fill the void which could be left by some.

15. Tampa Bay-- Leland Irving (Everett): A top goalie in the WHL this season, Irving could help out the slumping Tampa goaltending ranks.

16. Montreal-- James Sheppard (Cape Breton): With almost all the tools needed, the Habs will enjoy Sheppard's hard work, dedication, and aggressiveness.

17. Minnesota (from EDM)-- Bob Sanguinetti (Owen Sound): Though he's not physically involved, he'll be an asset on the defensive side of things.

18. Colorado-- Jonathan Bernier (Lewiston): With lack of goaltending depth, the Avs should try their hand with another Quebec league goalie, but at least they didn't trade with the Habs to get it.

19. Anaheim-- Ryan White (Calgary): A former teammate of current Duck Ryan Getzlaf, White is a Stephane Yelle type player who will do anything to win.

20. San Jose-- Mark Mitera (U of Michigan): Mitera is a tough customer and should help out the hurting defense that the Sharks have seemed to possess.

21. NY Rangers-- Patrik Berglund (Sweden): The Rangers have had luck with Swedes and with his all around skill, should help the Rangers front line in the next 2-3 years.

22. Philadelphia-- Cory Emmerton (Kingston): A tough customer for his size, he should fit well with the Clarke led Flyers.

23. Washington (from NSH)-- Simon Danis-Pepin (U of Maine): The Caps will go off the board to get this hulking force of the blue line, to further their "6'5 or over" rule.

24. Buffalo-- Chris Summers (US NTDP): Though he will attend U of Michigan, the Sabres will love the mobility and defensive responsibility.

25. New Jersey-- Ivan Vishnevsky (Rouyn-Noranda): With his ability to move the puck and to run a power-play, the Devils will mold this kid into a fine defenseman.

26. Calgary-- Codey Burki (Brandon): The Western trend continues, but his ability to find the net will make Burki a prime candidate for the Flames to pick-up.

27. Dallas-- Joe Ryan (Quebec): The Stars will get a kid who is defensively sound and able to clear out in front of the net, however won't take the shot if given it.

28. Ottawa-- Mike Forney (US High School): Forney is an amazing offensive talent, but whether or not he will succeed when challenged at a higher level is the risk that is being taken.

29. Detroit-- Ben Maxwell (Kootenay): Though he had a slump, once he can get his timing and skill honed, he should be able to play well enough to hack it in Hockeytown.

30. St. Louis (from CAR)-- Michael Grabner (Spokane): Grabner played well on a bad team, which should put him as a good fit in St. Louis.

So here's how I look at the first round of the Draft, your results may vary. I'll be keeping track of these while at the Draft on Saturday, so I'll report back Sunday or Monday and talk about how great I was....or how awful it turned out.

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