Monday, 23 June 2008

NHL Entry Draft (2008) - Review

The more I think about this draft the more 'meh' I am with it - at least as far as the performance of the Oilers go that is. First off we have some opening trades that affected the initial draft order:

a. Calgary trades the #17 pick to LA for Camalleri and then sends Tanguay to Montreal for the #25 pick. LA now has the #2 pick, the 17th and the 28th while Calgary has #25.

b. Columbus trades the #19 pick and the #67 pick to Philadelphia for Umberger and the #118 pick. Philly now has the #19 pick.

01 ... TAM ... Stamkos
02 ... LAK ... Doughty
03 ... ATL ... Bogosian
04 ... STL ... Pietrangelo

The first 4 picks are all as advertised. Stamkos and the big D. Tampa and Atlanta have so many needs that they probably would have been better served by making a trade but the prospects they picked up are solid so I can't knock them too much.

Remember last year when I slammed LA for not making the easy trade down with Hickey topping their list (they took him at #4 when a trade down to #8 was an easy call)? Well...

This year the Islanders are in the same position but actually make the trade down (and escape my wrath for doing so). The Islanders trade down and send their #5 pick to Toronto for the #7 and one of two packages:

a. the 60th in 2008 and a (2009) 3rd rounder, or
b. the 68th in 2008 and a (2009) 2nd rounder

At the time of the trade the next 5 highest ranked prospects, per the aggregated method, available are, in order: Filatov (61 pts), Schenn (50 pts), Boedker (38 pts), Hodgson (32 pts) and Wilson (28 pts). Filatov and Schenn were ranked in the top-10 of all lists involved while Boedker and Hodgson showed up on 4 out of 5 lists. Wilson only showed on two top-10 lists.

Obviously the Islanders could slide here and still get a very talented player. Good trade.

05 ... TOR ... Schenn
06 ... CLB ... Filatov

Toronto, in giving up three prime assets to secure a player that most consider NOT to be one of the top-5 impact players in his own draft year, is now committed to a long, hard rebuild. Wow. I love Schenn but that was costly. [Editor's note: McGuire has to shut the hell up. Seriously.]

Good for the Islanders.

Columbus, having traded earlier for Umberger (great trade) pick up a skill guy in Filatov. Columbus still has huge problems in terms of overall depth on the team but this is a good pick. Gamebreakers are a must have in the NHL and the last two of that 'type' left are Filatov and Boedker.

So with the 7th pick the NY Islanders choose... to trade it to the Predators for the 9th overall pick and the 40th overall pick. Interesting. The Isles may screw up the pick but there is no question management is maximizing the trade value of that original #5 pick.

At the time of the trade the next 5 highest ranked prospects, per the aggregated method, available are, in order: Boedker (38 pts), Hodgson (32 pts), Wilson (28 pts), Myers (23 pts) and Petrov (18 pts). All show up on two or more top-10 lists but look at the point spreads - some serious drop off happening.

So the Islanders are going off the Board a little. Hope it works for them.

07 ... NAS ... Wilson
08 ... PHO ... Boedker
09 ... NYI ... Bailey

Wilson and Boedker are solid for where they are and, to be fair, Bailey isn't THAT far off the Board. He was top-10 on one list (ISS) and if I recall correctly (and I do) at least one guy pegged Bailey as an 'under the radar' high-quality pick.

So... I have to say that I am quietly impressed with what the Islander's managed to pull off here.

I would have been FAR more impressed however if they had managed to trade down one more time by scaring the pants off Vancouver and making them think they would never see Hodgson again... alas, the triple trade down remains an event rarely seen.

10 ... VAN ... Hodgson
11 ... CHI ... Beach

The maneuvering continues.

LA trades the #17 and the #28 to Anaheim for the 12th overall pick...

... and then ...

trades the #12 to Buffalo for the 13th overall and a 3rd round pick in 2009.

You have got to be kidding me. LA gives up some premium assets just to move up 5 spots while Buffalo, for some odd reason, decides to reward LA by allowing them to snag a pick for dropping back one spot. Anaheim, meanwhile, strikes gold.

Crazy. Hard to be too disparaging of any of the three teams because they all got what they wanted (I guess) but there is a clear ranking of winners here: Anaheim, LA and then Buffalo. Buffalo comes last because they should have called LA's bluff.

Reading between the lines this is a clear cut case of Burke's reputation allowing him to get the best of his fellow GM's. Myers and Teubert match Burke's preferences perfectly and LA just couldn't take the chance one of them would survive Anaheim and then Buffalo's picks.

Ottawa makes the next move and trades the #18 and a 3rd round pick in 2009 to Nashville for the #15 pick. This is a helluva draft day. Call this a win for Ottawa. They gave up less than everyone else has so far today.

12 ... BUF ... Myers
13 ... LAK ... Teubert
14 ... CAR ... Boychuk
15 ... OTT ... Karlsson
16 ... BOS ... Colborne

I hereby predict that Colborne will have an identity crisis as a prospect developing for Boston. He doesn't crash boards enough to be a Cam Neely or John LeClair type and he doesn't camp the net like a Dave Andreychuk would so, simply put, they got a really big guy who they hope can play one day.

As much as that is true of many a draft pick the question remains: Just who is he? A poor man's Joe Thornton? Do they even want THAT guy? The pressure on Colborne could be huge. I kid you not.

I can't help but think that Carolina's pick is the one LA should have targeted.

17 ... ANA ... Gardiner
18 ... NAS ... Pickard
19 ... PHI ... Sbisa
20 ... NYR ... Del Zotto

The draft has seen a whirlwind of trade activity but, as of yet, there haven't been any big surprises. No Niinimaki's and no Wheeler's to be seen. After four, relatively uneventful, picks the trade winds start blowing again with two trades made in the next 6 picks:

Washington trades the 23rd and 54th picks to New Jersey for the 21st overall pick,

and then

New Jersey trades that same 23rd pick to Minnesota for the 24th overall and a 3rd round pick in 2009.

21 ... WAS ... Gustafsson
22 ... EDM ... Eberle
23 ... MIN ... Cuma
24 ... NJD ... Tedenby
25 ... CAL ... Nemisz
26 ... BUF ... Ennis

3rd round picks (2008 or 2009) seem a little busy this draft day.

So Buffalo moves up one pick and I give 'em grief. Minnesota makes the same move and not a peep. Why? Simple. LA moved up hard for a shot at the guy they wanted - why do so and then waffle about it? I repeat, Buffalo should have passed.

Minnesota, otoh, couldn't be sure as to how far the Devils were willing to trade back. Better to nail it down and get it over with. The Devils did very well. Got the guy they wanted and two more picks.

The last two trades, from the draft floor that evening, come quickly:

Philadelphia trades the 27th overall pick to Minnesota for Eminger and the 84th overall,


Anaheim trades the 28th overall to Phoenix for the 35th and 39th picks.

27 ... WAS ... Carlson
28 ... PHO ... Tikhonov
29 ... ATL ... Leveille
30 ... DET ... McCollum

Anaheim, again, does well. Really well. Not so impressed with Philly's deal. Eminger has had several HORRIBLE years in a row now. He will need to rebound... hell with that... guy needs to relearn how to play the game he has been so bad.

Funny thing here. Tikhonov could have been had last year for any old 7th round pick.


The winners are (in order):

-- Montreal (Tanguay is that good imo),
-- Columbus (pays to be harmless),
-- New York Islanders (great maneuvers),
-- Anaheim (killer instinct),
-- New Jersey (did well),
-- Tikhonov.

The losers are (in order):

-- Calgary (Tanguay is that good imo),
-- Toronto (for a defensive d-man?),
-- Buffalo (baited and bit)

Montreal and Columbus, in getting Tanguay and Umberger respectively, are the big winners on draft day. Established, strong, players for draft picks - and not even the good ones - is always the best way to go.

-- for dropping 4 spots the Islanders snag 3 high quality picks (that 2nd rounder from Toronto in 2009 will be sweet) and get a nice prospect to boot. Very nice by any measure.

-- for the sake of developing a reputation Anaheim drops 5 spots and comes out of it with the skilled defenseman they wanted and 2 great 2nd round picks.

-- for the joy of dropping 3 spots New Jersey picks up 2 more draft picks and a nice offense-first winger.

Good work by Snow, Burke and Lamoriello imo.

As for the Oilers:

As I said. Meh. I like Eberle. They like Eberle. They didn't pay extra to get him. Moving up would have cost more than it was worth for the players I liked (Schenn, Bailey and Myers) so how can I be upset?

Maybe if Bailey had dropped to 18th or so I might be raising an eyebrow but as it stands it was an okay draft for Lowe and Co. imo.


Have a great evening everyone.

1 comment:

Sean said...

Ya I'm meh on it as well but thats because I was hoping they could make some moves and get picks for spare parts. Cant be upset with who they picked though, I was hoping for Eberle from the start.