The draft: Who would you take?

We are back folks. Had a nice long weekend. Watched some playoff hockey (and a bunch of other sports). Looks like the Rangers are in trouble of blowing a 3-1 series lead. The Devils didn’t look good Sunday night either. What are your thoughts on tonight’s Ducks-Sharks Game 6?

Let’s talk the draft today. My interview requests of  owner Bruce Levenson have been declined, so we’ll keep working the phones and get to other issues facing the team at a later date.

I must admit, I have to get up to speed on the draft. I know John Tavares and Victor Hedman. However, since the Thrashers are picking No. 4, neither will be around.

Until I get a chance to talk to Don Waddell and pick his brain about draft philosophy, etc., let’s just play general manager for the fun of it.

Anyone else think they go with an offensive player at No. 4? Got Zach Bogosian last year, that’s a big piece of defense. It’s no secret that the Thrashers need/want help for Ilya Kovalchuk.

Here is my list of contenders in order:

–    Matt Duchene. The Brampton center scored 79 points in the OHL last season. He was named Best Playmaker and Best Stickhandler by coaches. Could he be the top line center Kovy needs?

–    Evander Kane. The Vancouver center was top rookie in the WHL with 41 points last season. Played on a line with Duchene in CHL prospects game.

–    Magnus Paajarvi-Svennson. He’s only 17 years old but was the fourth youngest player in the history of the Swedish Elite League.

–    Brayden Schenn. The Brandon center scored 88 points in the WHL last season. He is the younger brother of  Luke Schenn, who was the No. 5 pick last year by Toronto.

–    Jacob Josefson. The center played in the Swedish Elite League last season and is ranked third among European skaters by the NHL.

Duchene is being compared to last year’s top pick Steven Stamkos. I’d take him if he makes it past Colorado at No. 3, but that might not happen.

OK, so educate me. Who would you take?

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: The Thrashers have nine players in the World Championships. The preliminary rounds are underway. Ilya Kovalchuk has two goals and an assist for Russia. No other Thrasher has a goal, but Ron Hainsey has an assist for the U.S., Colby Armstrong has an assist for Canada and Ilya Nikulin has an assist for Russia. Zach Bogosian and Colin Stuart are playing for the U.S. Tobias Enstrom is a plus-3 for Sweden. Anssi Salmela is playing for  Finland and Boris Valabik is playing for Slovakia.

83 comments Add your comment

Alan

May 1st, 2009
1:44 am

Speaking of Russia, Brendan, Richard Zednik of the Panthers has decided to sign in Russia, inking a 2yr deal to play with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl.

pucker up

May 1st, 2009
11:31 am

Is it next season yet? I miss hockey in Atlanta already!!

Jerret

May 1st, 2009
3:51 pm

Honestly I would like the Thrashers to tank it and then the franchise move to KC so I can watch my Thrashers again….. So keep up the good work Atlanta. Joking Quality Center that can contribute quickly is what I think the Thrashers need. Matt Duchene probably the best if he gets to #4 but honestly if immediate I dont think he will contribute next year. Dont see anyone after pick #2 a slam dunk. Rather see them trade it for a veteran and prospects to help the team now. Tired of waiting for this team to move forward.

VAThrasher

May 2nd, 2009
9:39 am

Magnus SP gets my vote at 4. Admittedly based only on reading blogs and news clippings, but he sounds the most NHL ready and any one with comparisons to a Forsberg/Naslund mix is OK by me.

Midfield

May 5th, 2009
3:29 pm

Interesting bit of NHL trivia, Brendan. Brathwaite did not really play anyway. Was there ever any player from the active roster who abandoned the team in the post-season?

Brendan

May 5th, 2009
4:54 pm

The Thrashers team? I don’t think so. There was just the one playoff berth in 2007. I think the closest Brathwaite ever came to being a Thrasher was playing in some preseason games, or just “dressing” for them. Okayyy, there’s those mini camp scrimmages. I guess he did that. I’m forgetting the name of the player on the Leafs who bolted right after the season ended. Cleaned out his locker after the final game. But the Leafs did go on to the postseason.

Midfield

May 6th, 2009
9:55 am

Enter your comments here

Midfield

May 6th, 2009
9:58 am

Ok, that was a fruitful post. Anyway, do you remember if that guy from the Leafs decided to come back to Europe, or he just got tired – kind of like Forest Gump got tired of running? Just curious

Thrashers27

May 6th, 2009
11:46 am

Duchene. If he’s gone, take Kane.

Brendan

May 6th, 2009
1:39 pm

Midfield, the player’s name is Shayne Corson and there appear to be varying accounts over what actually transpired. Corson, himself, claims he was forced out, due to medical concerns over his panic attacks and ulcers. Fans on Toronto message boards suggest Corson was angry about his diminshed role under then Leaf Head Coach Pat Quinn, and quit. The date of the stories range from April 15, 2003 to April 18, 2003. The Maple Leafs were in the midst of a playoff series with the Philadelphia Flyers. Per player profile research, Shayne Corson did return to the NHL in 2003-04, with the Dallas Stars. Several fans on Leaf message boards indicated that Corson was married to Darcy Tucker’s sister, and that Darcy Tucker tried very hard to smooth things over with the Leafs organization, but ultimately failed. Corson says, in another article, that “quitting” was the best thing he ever did, since he was spiritually and emotionally and physically drained. In his words, he wouldn’t have been able to help the Leafs anyway.

I don’t know what to think. There is some reason to believe Corson was hurt/damaged goods. But, on the other hand, why resign? He could have just been put on injured reserve, and not played again during the 2003 playoffs. Other Leafs fans suggested that there was an internal lockerroom blow up between Corson and Gary Roberts. Shrugs. I know nothing of this. Corson’s last season was 2004. He did not return after the lockout. Corson he has a medical condition whereby he battles substantial weight loss. I wonder if it’s the same thing that we see Fernando Pisano talking about on the NHL Network. Wikipedia says that Corson is outspoken about cancer treatments and treatment facilities, since he lost his dad prematurely to cancer. But no, Corson did not play in Europe, that I could tell.

Midfield

May 6th, 2009
2:54 pm

Thanks, Brendan. Interesting stuff.

Brendan

May 6th, 2009
5:00 pm

My pleasure, Midfield.

Brendan

May 6th, 2009
5:02 pm

From what I could gather, I need to correct an earlier statement of mine, above. I had said that Corson quit immediately following the season. Apparently, that’s not true. It was at or about Game 2 of the playoff series with Philly that Corson quit/resigned.

Viking

May 6th, 2009
6:14 pm

Talking about going back to Europe…

It appears that Hävelid is playing in Sweden next season.

Markus Näslund says he “is finished as an artist” and retires with one more year left on his contract with the Rangers. “It is not fun when you are used to playing better”.

I guess both of them have made enough money after long careers in the NHL not to bother “squeezing” it further.

Viking

May 6th, 2009
6:37 pm

**Midfield**

I guess we can conclude that Markus Näslund is “Forrest Gumping”!

Brendan

May 6th, 2009
11:22 pm

Viking, ya know I had heard rumors about that (Havelid returning to Europe). But I somehow thought that, closer to 30 than 40, Nic Havelid would continue his NHL career. He’s a former Duck. I wondered if, maybe, he’d return to California? Especially when all that talk surfaced about Chris Pronger maybe being traded at the deadline, as he only has a year left on his contract, coupled with Niedermayer potentially retiring in the offseason. Naslund had a nice career. I think he was 5 goals or so away from a fairly nice NHL career benchmark. But if he wants to retire, it’s his body. He’s the one who has to live with it for the rest of his days.

Alan

May 7th, 2009
12:27 pm

I believe Waddell said the only reason he moved Havelid is because he expressed an interest in going back to Sweden.

Brendan

May 7th, 2009
1:14 pm

I feel bad for Havelid’s last NHL memory being that late goal, in the final minute, by Eric Staal, to eliminate the Devils. How confident are any of you that Nic Havelid, had he chosen to continue his NHL career, would have re-signed with Atlanta? Or even, that Atlanta would extend the contract offer to Nic Havelid? It’s a moot point, now. But I do wonder, if it was Nic’s choice, which NHL team he’d play for next season.

RedGADawg

May 7th, 2009
2:39 pm

jared

May 7th, 2009
3:34 pm

so i want to know what is up with Ilya Nikulin? have we had any word on him actually making to the US

Alan

May 7th, 2009
5:40 pm

have we had any word on him actually making to the US

Nope. My guess is, we won’t know anything until July. But Kovalchuk is playing with him at the Worlds, so perhaps he’s spoken to him about the possibility of coming over.

Brendan

May 8th, 2009
10:48 pm

Jussi Jokinen, Sergei Samsonov, and Eric Staal are taking over this series with Boston. Awesome!! It’s 3-1, ‘Canes. And the ax can fall in Game 5, in Boston.

Paulie

May 9th, 2009
2:55 pm

Until we have a new GM, it won’t matter who we take in a draft. And I’m pretty sure that until we have new owners, we won’t have a new GM. I do like the coach, however, and hope that he sticks awhile.

LAC

May 9th, 2009
6:34 pm

Alright NEW reporter… do your job, ask these worthless owners if they are planning to sell Thrashers to Vancouver group and move the team.

It’s been almost TWO weeks since you wrote this short artical, now go ask one of the LIARS about the rumor !

B. Thenet

May 9th, 2009
8:15 pm

Are you kidding me? Is this really how it is going to end? Ten years of the worst GM in the NHL, and a 4 game sweep in the playoffs?

I won’t step foot in Philips Arena ever again if these turds sell the Thrashers to people who are going to relocate the team.

Brendan

May 9th, 2009
9:34 pm

I can’t wait for this team to be sold. I wish it were TODAY. This team isn’t leaving Atlanta. If the investors are from Vancouver, BC, or the Netherlands Antilles, or the Moon, or one of the rings of Saturn, I don’t care. The team cannot move. But new ownership means, “new perspective.” And probably, CHANGE.

“Change We NEED,” I might add.

Jason(Darkhorse)

May 11th, 2009
1:48 pm

Time for a new blog…maybe did DW have any success convincing any of the KHL guys to come over this summer?

John Radney

May 11th, 2009
5:30 pm

opps. I thought hockey was something you took. Get it . ha

Sam

May 12th, 2009
9:07 am

Chris, looking for your update about the World Championships. At least some Thrashers got something in this season. Like Ilya K. who was MVP of the tournament.

Brendan

May 12th, 2009
9:10 pm

12:00 left in 3rd period, Boston 4, Carolina 2. Wow.

Brendan

May 13th, 2009
9:33 pm

And now, Washington is done. 6-2. Hard to have predicted that. Truly, Game 3’s overtime was the turning point. A Capitals goal, and it would have been 3-0, and the series would have been over.

Steve

May 14th, 2009
2:19 pm

They are going to trade the pick for minor league prospects, future picks, and cash. They want the cash for the Hawks, because that is all the Atlanta anti-spirit cares about.

Alan

May 14th, 2009
4:20 pm

They are going to trade the pick for minor league prospects, future picks, and cash.

a. Only one GM. “He” might trade the pick. “They” cannot.
b. An exchange of cash between teams is not permitted any longer, as per the NHL CBA.