Waddell speaks … on the draft

I hear you folks. I haven’t gone anywhere. Just jumping between different stories during the offseason. Covered the Braves, covered Tom Glavine’s rehab start and I’ll be at the Falcons OTAs this week.

That doesn’t mean there isn’t any Thrashers coverage. Been keeping track of the Reasoner situation. Also I had a story on the draft in Tuesday’s paper from my interview with Don Waddell. I don’t see that it got posted here, so I’ll include it below.

I’ll have another story on Waddell coming soon, just not sure of the run date yet.

But in the meantime, here’s the draft story:

With the No. 4 overall pick, the Atlanta Thrashers select …
If the Thrashers keep that selection in June’s draft they will likely take one of three players: Matthew Duchene, Brayden Schenn or Evander Kane. That player may well be NHL-ready by next season.
General manager Don Waddell told the Journal-Constitution that he will take the best player available and it will likely be one of those three centers.
[Center John] Tavares and [defenseman Victor] Hedman, will go 1 through 3. They say 1 through 2 but I’m not so sure it’s not 1 through 3. Then you have Matthew Duchene, Brayden Schenn, Evander Kane. Those five guys are just a step above,” Waddell said last week. “… For our pick we are looking at one of those top five guys.”
In the first round, the Thrashers pick behind the New York Islanders, Tampa Bay and Colorado. Waddell mentioned defenseman Jared Cowan, who tore a knee ligament in February, and Swedish winger Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson as “wildcards,” but said his focus is on his list of top five players.
While most draftees are several years away from playing in the NHL, the Thrashers selected 18-year-old Zach Bogosian last year with the No. 3 overall pick. The defenseman made the Thrashers roster out of training camp and played in 47 games, missing time with a broken leg.
“I going to say picking at four, we are going to pick the best player there,” Waddell said. “As you get further in the draft, I think you start thinking more about needs. Right now we are not so deep at any position – although right now I can tell you we are not taking a goalie – where we can pass up the best player available for a player at another position. Most players in the draft … take time. Even when we drafted [Dany] Heatley, he went back to school for a year. This year there is a chance that the player we take at four could come here and make our team in training camp, but we’re not counting on that.”
This year’s draft, which Waddell labeled “great,” may include another NHL-ready player like Bogosian.
“Bogosian is off the charts with his maturity physically,” Waddell said. “He was ready to play. But if [the draftee] shows a sign that they can hold their own in this league, my tendency would be the way our team is right now, a younger team, I would let him come to our team and build with him.”
Four of the possible picks are junior players and one (Hedman) is European. By rule, all could play up to 10 games with the Thrashers at the start of the NHL season before a decision was made to send him to the minor leagues.
The Thrashers also have two second-round picks. They have the 34th overall pick and a conditional pick from Montreal obtained in the Mathieu Schneider trade. According to Waddell, the Thrashers will fill needs with those picks. He is specifically looking for big wingers.
The seven-round draft will be held June 26-27 in Montreal.

Thanks folks!

107 comments Add your comment

Tiago

May 31st, 2009
5:22 pm

Hijacker
I know about Gaborik. My friend from Slovak told me before World Championship start that Gaborik is not 100% yet. The doctors told him to rest and he’ll grat for next season. There is no reason about worrying!

Ice Meister
It’s that why I would like to watch Kane playing in first line. He’s so young and Kovy and Gaborik can help him to develop so fast and it would be a great step for his career and thrashers of course.

Tiago

May 31st, 2009
5:40 pm

Hjacker

No, he is not. Kane is a center. Where did you see that?

Ice Meister

June 1st, 2009
6:42 pm

Tiago-any way you cut it, the Thrashers will be much better with Gabby and Kane on board. I still think he’s young, but the heck, give him a shot.

zakk

June 3rd, 2009
2:50 am

I think Schenn is the best pick. They’ve said they wanted to build a more physical team and kovy wants someone to play with i think schenn would be great he feeds the puck well. He also brings a physical aspect, maybe not right away but in the future when he bulks up he could do some damage. Kanes a great goal scorer but i think we have that with Kovy, little, kozlov, and Army. We need someone who can move the puck around and open up the ice, a good two way player. And so what if you could pick him up at 5,6, or 7. I don’t think it’s about the best player I think it’s about the best player for the Thrashers.

zakk

June 3rd, 2009
2:56 am

Hey Tiago

I was looking at those line up there you wouldn’t throw Boulton, Slater, or Thorburn in there. some guys who really can mix it up and get physical? why put a Slash on Ex?

Perrin asked for a trade last season has anyone heard anything about it, i know kovy asked them to trade around. And is all this talk about gaborik real I haven’t heard anything?

Tiago

June 5th, 2009
11:11 am

Hello Zakk

I don’t like much these guys, actually. Thrashers will get more physical game but it’s a huge problem for a team who were the worst in penalty killing situation. They won’t add more offense play, maybe Thorburn instead Parrish that he wants to go back for Dallas.

I don’t know anything about Thrashers offer a contract for perrin. Where would he play?

Thrashers need a guy who makes a huge impact in the team. Gaborik is perfect for that. He won’t come back to Minnesota. It’s a 100% thing. Thrashers intend to re-sign with Koby but he’ll just do that if Thrashers make the playoffs and I’m just not saying next season, it’s for a long time. Kovy wants to stay but they need a guarantee. So, Gaborik would help in that process.

Gaborik and Kovy would help Kane to develop faster.

Kane is a tremendous center. He plays agressively. He is a scorer. And he has a great physical play.

As Ice Meister said “Gabby and Kovy would scare the heck out of the rest of the league.”

What about Exelby? I said he can play along with Salmela. He can be useful against teams who are offensive strong and you can give a opportunity for montador who are better than exelby in offensive play and agains teams who are not offensive good (islanders, panthers, lightning, rangers, hurricanes and some western teams).

Other huge transation would be get a top defense like Boumeester but I think it’s really hard.

zakk

June 9th, 2009
2:22 am

You know I don’t think you would even have to go as big bouwmeester, but if we could grab someone like a Dustin Byfuglien not him exactly but a player similar it would up the physical play. and if we could possibly add a player like gaborik one more big physical player could round us out nicely esecially with our high draft pick who ever it bee.