Draft is over … more to come

Just got off the phone with Don Waddell following the second day of the draft. He said he was pleased with how everything went. The Thrashers are still thrilled with getting Evander Kane Friday in the first round. They added eight more players Saturday.

Here are the highlights:

The two wingers they got in the second round – Carl Klingberg and Jeremy Morin – were listed as first-rounders on the Thrashers draft board. Waddell called them steals – along with sixth-rounder Jimmy Bubnick and seventh rounder Levko Koper. Waddell said the Thrashers had them listed as second-rounders on their draft board. Klingsberg will continue playing in Sweden for a couple of years and Morin will go to the OHL.

Thrashers also picked up a couple of extra draft picks – this year and next year. Waddell said the Thrashers will have two third-rounders and two fifth-rounders in 2010. They could be used in upcoming trades.

Waddell also said a lot of groundwork has been laid for those upcoming trades. He said he would pursue those deals over the next three or four days. I think something is going to happen soon.

Stay tuned.

Finally, I really enjoyed meeting many of you at the draft party at T.J.’s Friday. It was a very good time and I enjoyed talking in-depth to many of you. Hope we can do it again sometime.

77 comments Add your comment

Darkhorse

June 27th, 2009
4:52 pm

Thanks Chris….A few question though…

When is the deadline for the RFAs Waddell offered contracts to? I thought someone said Monday. Do you think not offering Valabik or Thorburn contracts yet has to do with possible deals that he may want to do before Wed gets here? I think it’s a big mistake to give up on Valabik just yet, unless he’s part of a deal that brings Phenuef here ;) . If they sign Bo, there’s some salary to shed.

Should be a fun upcoming week in the NHL. Hopefully it will be a fun one here in Thrasherville too.

Darkhorse

June 27th, 2009
4:54 pm

Man my grammar sucks since I finished school.

World Be Free

June 27th, 2009
5:04 pm

DW and friends did a good job this weekend. Where was Dudley at the draft?

kracker

June 27th, 2009
5:17 pm

I’m pretty pleased with the picks made in the draft. A little reading I did this morning on the Thrash boards to get the opinions of ppl that keep up with the prospects more than I do was encouraging. The opinions I read there were favorable, though that was before the later round picks.

Nice meeting you last night, Chris and the other AJC bloggers at TJ’s.

Sage of Bluesland

June 27th, 2009
6:27 pm

Don was also “pleased” with Alex Bourret…and with Luke Sellars…and with Ilya Nikulin…and with Libor Ustrnul…et. al.

The proof is in the proverbial pudding–and that pudding hasn’t fed us a single playoff game victory in ten years…In fact, the pudding has been pretty putrid, if folks would be honest. We’ve been fed promises and spreadsheets (snicker)–and that’s sufficient for some…Not me…

But, hey-ho, we’re on Donny’s third “Five-Year Plan” so I do expect some more incremental progress on our way to the playoffs…one year…

fart

June 27th, 2009
6:58 pm

My sentiments on the draft are still skeptical. Other than no brainers, we haven’t had that many steals, IMO. I like the toughness we added this year, even though I was worried when I heard “Swedish” and “agitator” used in the same sentence. I fancy Sol will be the departed fist swinging Myles Stoesz ECHL replacement ? Overall I think we did fair. I’m not sold on DW saying we had some of these later rounders pegged as first rounders. That isn’t saying much considering we can botch just about anything. Dudley was there and had input, apparently. Hate to be negative, but we need much more than this Kane kid to have an impact. I’m afraid this will be another Coburn saga. A good player that ends up better on another team. Phaneuf would have been a better fit for us but we opted for Coburn that year. I think Schenn would have been a better fit and more ready than Kane, so we’ll see how it all turns out. I hope I’m wrong, but I think Schenn is more of the real deal than Evander.

Ice Meister

June 27th, 2009
7:06 pm

Sage, don’t know you are hanging out on the AJC blog. We all know things have been bad for years, but we can all hope to get better.

The 18 year old draft is a crap shoot, even for elite players. There are a number of teams that have failed with high picks, just like atlanta.

I am not defending management, but we are not the old team to miss on high draft picks.

You must have been on the Titanic in a previous life.

Sage of Bluesland

June 27th, 2009
7:41 pm

“…The 18 year old draft is a crap shoot, even for elite players. There are a number of teams that have failed with high picks, just like atlanta….”

I couldn’t agree more, Ice Meister–but some with touches of righteousness criticized my questioning of ‘any’ 2nd round pick because…get ready for this…because they were interviewed by USAToday.

I could care less. Let’s prepare a spreadsheet to see what the success rate is of 2nd rounders. I’ll bet anyone that it’s not too high. There’s a very good and logical reason for it.

The NHL draft is likely the biggest risk-shoot going–only the NBA is as fruitless beyond the obvious ones (like Heatley and Kovalchuk, who even ‘I’ could have selected by reading the morning paper on draft day)…As opposed to the NBA, however, is that rare 6th and 7th rounders become players for the NHL…it happens, but not often…Just look at the “Legends of Blueland” over the years–and how our alleged talent “pipeline” wasn’t but a mere trickle, if that…

The ‘whooping’ over a few teens drafted simply makes me laugh–but the haughty ‘defense’ of it is priceless I must say!

As for HMS Titanic, I’m glad you brought it up. Bumbling Don Waddell in charge of decisions for this franchise is no different than the re-arranging of said Titanic’s deckchairs.

(Think about that for a minute)

Cahos

June 27th, 2009
7:44 pm

Wadell just saved his job and opened up the door wider to the playoffs if the can beat Washington, and Carolina possibly Flordia if needed.

Those two third and fifth round draft picks could be used for trades for next season to get a more better defence.

World Be Free

June 27th, 2009
8:07 pm

Sage-I told my son I had an argument with someone on the Thrashers blog. He said, “Dad, getting into an argument on a blog is like being in the Special Olympics-even if you win, you’re still retarded.”

Kid’s got a point.

Name me one team in the NHL has a competitive, playoff team spending pennies over the cap minimum?

Sage of Bluesland

June 27th, 2009
8:45 pm

WBF–The ownership it pitiful, no doubt. They don’t truly care about this product, hence the reason that the subsidization of their incompetence must stop.

If you’re happy with a minor-league product and an organization which amounts to mere schedule-fodder for the ‘real’ teams out there, then by all means buy and wave the wittle bwuewand fwags…

It’s not ALL about the money, however. The Rangers, before the cap, outspent everyone and it’s possible Donny’s spirit was up there pulling the strings–as they did nothing year after year.

At some point it comes down to decision-making–at all levels. Blustering Donny has proven he can’t make consistently good decisions. The ownership gave him max-cap for one year, and we still don’t have a playoff game victory.

I don’t blame them for not giving him their money to waste…but I do blame them for keeping the bumbling idiot still on the payroll.

In the end, what does it matter?! Like I said earlier: mere re-arranging of the deck-chairs on the Titanic…(or continuing to wave the wittle Bwuewand fwag, hoping for ‘better’ days!)…Same thing…

World Be Free

June 27th, 2009
8:58 pm

Sage, I do agree with you on a number of your posts. I am not looking at the Thrash through rose covered glasses. But if I get that pissed, I’ll just walk away and choose to spend my money somewhere else. Hockey is a game I love, but it does not pay my bills.

If the owners pony up and let management invest in the team, then we’ll all be happy. Like you, I am skeptical it will happen. The only thing we can hope for, is that they listened to what Kovy said after the last game. This team was called out, challeneged by its captain.

Bringinig in Dudley was a good sign, a very good move. The draft went well, as drafts go.

Let’s hope we can both look back on this period in time as the point in which this franchise changed for the better. I have a feeling that if things don’t change, the team won’t be hear much longer. The fans will just have had enough of poor hockey and inept ownership.

GaVaHokie

June 27th, 2009
9:33 pm

Sage just needs to fade off into the sunset.

Brendan

June 27th, 2009
9:49 pm

Sage has a point that Waddell’s account of things … and the way they actually are … or turn out, can be vastly different. Let’s not recap 9 completed seasons, but it was just last November that Waddell said, “I think we’re close, REAL CLOSE, to being a playoff team.” Those comments came amid, or right after, a 5-game winning streak. In a season that once again ended in 76-points, and nowhere NEAR a playoff berth. I believe the Thrashers finished 27th out of 30 teams. Bygones.

Now, does that mean this draft SUCKED??? No, I wouldn’t think so. If Don Waddell is enthusiastic about it, then I’m happy for him. Time will tell if his cheerleading was accurate. At this juncture, I couldn’t assess how well this draft went. But I don’t think Waddell noticeably flubbed it. He didn’t go off the board to pick a kid in High School in Minnesota, passing on Kane, Schenn, MPS, Cowen and others. I’m glad we used the picks to attempt to acquire young, fast, highly-skilled players. If the latter round picks wind up starting one day for the Thrashers, then technically, it was a successful draft.

nfieldr

June 27th, 2009
9:51 pm

I guess what bothers me most about DW’s comments is that the Thrashers had guys who went in the 6th and 7th rounds identified as 2nd rounders. Are our scouts really that bad??

ranallo10 (in AT)

June 27th, 2009
10:36 pm

I’ve always thought it was funny to hear such statements…if he was identified as a 2nd rounder, why not draft him in the 4th once they realized he was still on the board? I understand drafting for depth in the later rounds, but if you have a talent still available that you consider better than the pick you are making, DRAFT HIM IMMEDIATELY. Why wait another round or two if he’s that good according to your scouts?

nfieldr — That’s exactly what I thought. There are only a few “diamond in the rough” picks, and usually that’s due to player development…it’s silly to think that 29 teams undervalued these players and let them slide 4 rounds later than the Atlanta scouting department projected them to be drafted.

bigjohnthrashfan

June 27th, 2009
11:07 pm

Wow, I can’t believe Donny admitted that either Kari or Pavs is gone!!

So much for me sleeping at all this week :(

hawks & thrash

June 28th, 2009
12:30 am

SAGE – lets try, and i know its hard, to push out a little ounce of positivene vibe towards the thrashers which i guess you root for? Even though i cannot tell from your repetitive negative posts towards the team. Call me “naive” but i remain skeptical year in and year out because i am a true fan of this team and will be until the day the are shipped out of atlanta or i die. The way a true fan should be whether or not they know they are destined for greatness that year.

lets try to stop bashing the team and management and let them handle their jobs. if i had my money on anything in this world it would be on the fact waddell would do a better job running the team than you would, and im not exactly the biggest fan of waddell.

lastly im ecstatic about evander kane and the possibility of more moves. future is looking bright.

ranallo10 (in AT)

June 28th, 2009
12:34 am

Vivlamore — Found at the bottom of your “Thrashers stock up on picks” piece:

More on ajc.com

* New Evander gets ready to rumble (06/27/2009)
* Thrashers take center King in first round (06/26/2009)
* Finding next Bogosian goal for Thrashers (06/26/2009)

Someone should fix that.

frosty the snowman

June 28th, 2009
1:44 am

**The two wingers they got in the second round – Carl Klingberg and Jeremy Morin – were listed as first-rounders on the Thrashers draft board. Waddell called them steals – along with sixth-rounder Jimmy Bubnick and seventh rounder Levko Koper. Waddell said the Thrashers had them listed as second-rounders on their draft board.**

This is why we continously end up at the bottom of the league. We have players on Wadells board that dont belong where he puts them. What a joke, it amazes me some of the things he says expecting fans in atlanta to believe it.

**Name me one team in the NHL has a competitive, playoff team spending pennies over the cap minimum?**

Not Sage, but the canes won the cup with a payroll barely over the minimum and the team they beat to win the cup, the oilers had a low payroll also. Nashville runs with a low payroll. Buffalo was pretty low on the payroll for a while.

LAC

June 28th, 2009
5:37 am

Good size is what I like, no 5′8″ players for a change. I like picks two & three and like they said… the others more less are crap shoots, Heck Zetterburg was picked 140 !!!

Lastly it is gava who should fade into the sunset always at odds with people who have issues with waddell, go away gava !!!!

The Real Fan

June 28th, 2009
5:43 am

Every year Waddell says the same thing: “we had him higher on our board.”
Every year they don’t make it to the bigs.
Maybe there’s something wrong with his board.

Rockem Sockem Thrasher

June 28th, 2009
7:54 am

Angelo Esposito’s still recovering from injury and won’t be back on skates until July. Which means he probably won’t be ready to play with the Thrash this year.

http://www.cbssports.com/nhl/players/playerpage/1282173

Sage of Bluesland

June 28th, 2009
8:06 am

Esposito’s hurt???

GaVaSheep and Donny’s “board” had him ready to go this year…

Surprise, surprise.

World Be Free

June 28th, 2009
9:00 am

Frosty-that Carolina team that won the Cup had the right players all playing well at the right time. You could say th same for Tampa Bay, and Calagry their foe the year they won it all. Neither Carolina, Tampa Bay or Calgary have been close since.

I just think you need to commit to a payroll to a build a winner. So far, ASG only sems to want to commit to the Hawks.

GaVaHokie

June 28th, 2009
9:40 am

I’ve never said that Espo was ready to go or was anywhere close to a lock on the roster… I’ve always been skeptical of him until he shows me otherwise.

…LAC, you’ve been called out by every beat writer in this town and ownership and the fans on this message board… clearly everyone is asking you to go away.

Rockem Sockem Thrasher

June 28th, 2009
9:51 am

I hope that Esposito is able to come back. The guy deserves a chance at the bigs. I wonder if Espo’s injuries affected the way the Thrash drafted.

sisu

June 28th, 2009
11:16 am

who knows what it means in regards to espo, some players wait until later to start skating in the off season

Sara

June 28th, 2009
12:07 pm

sisu there was an article a bit back that said they don’t expect Espo to be available for training camp. I also don’t think the organization was expecting him to make the roster this year but to spend a year in the AHL first. Don is focused on Espo getting his confidence back up. He always lamented the mistake he made of putting too much pressure on Stefan and I think he’s looking to exercise great patience with Espo. I don’t see where there’s any rush anyway. We’ve got 4 centers already in place with options like Little and now Kane if we need to move around for injuries or line tweaking. If even under the best circumstances we hope he’ll turn into a 2nd line C, that’s White role and he still has a couple years on his contract.

There comes a point with a team where we shouldn’t have to rush our prospects onto the roster. That’s understandably not as realistic when forming a franchise from the bottom up, but 10 years in, that’s a place we have to be.

World Be Free

June 28th, 2009
12:54 pm

The word is on the streets in Calgary folks. The Flames have 1/3 of their salary for 2009-2010 potentially tied up in 7 players.

They need to dump salary-Daymond Langkow $4.25M and Olie Jokinen $5.5M could be available.

Why wait until July 1 feeding frenzy to get what you need, now!

Don Waddell

June 28th, 2009
12:55 pm

Hello Thrasher fans, I know my stuff. I am not sure why I am criticized so much. All of you would have picked Jimmy Slater in the first round also. This proves my draft board is elite and should be cloned by TSN’s band of experts and Thrasher message board people who only like Lehtonen because he is “cute”. I at least know more than them and I dress better. Anyways my 19 year plan starts now! Go Spirit!! I hired Dudley because he has cool hair, in case anyone was wondering.

Non Hockey Loving Thrashers Fan

June 28th, 2009
1:21 pm

Bless your hearts! Only 29 comments about the Thrashers and the draft?

Well pick up the pace Thrashers fans cause some of us like reading Thrashers blogs to learn a thing or two about the sport of hockey and our franchise.

World Be Free

June 28th, 2009
3:20 pm

Non Hockey Fan-I don’t blame you for coming over from the Braves’ blog.

DThrasherfan

June 28th, 2009
5:24 pm

sounds as though hossa is not going to sign with red wings…anyone have thoughts?

World Be Free

June 28th, 2009
6:28 pm

DThrash-I would like to have him back, but I think he’s chasing the Cup. Not going to find it here anytime soon.

JLH

June 28th, 2009
6:37 pm

World Be Free – I think you mean 2/3, i.e. $37,000,000, tied up in 7 players. I was big on us getting Jokinen during the season to play with Kovy, but he may be too streaky, still “reasonably priced”???

JLH

June 28th, 2009
6:40 pm

To continue the Calgary comment – I might prefer Cammalleri at $6,000,000 over Jokinen at $5,250,000

stendec

June 28th, 2009
6:58 pm

FLASH! Kari Lehtonen took over in USA goal during halftime of USA-Brazil Some Kind Of Cup disaster. A 2-0 lead quickly dissolved into totally embarrassing 3-2 choke job gag defeat! Glad to see the Finn has been busy in offseason. Bless you all. Child molester in page header? What is next? Dog slaughterer Michael Sick? Just wondering.

ranallo10 (in AT)

June 28th, 2009
7:21 pm

“A 2-0 lead quickly dissolved into totally embarrassing 3-2 choke job gag defeat!”

Apparently you don’t watch soccer enough to realize that 2-0 lead on Brazil was both an aberration and an unsafe lead. The US was lucky to be in the finals, and even more lucky to have a lead over Brazil for 45+ minutes. Their luck ran out and Brazil showed who was the superior team.

But who am I kidding, why would you know much about soccer?

World Be Free

June 28th, 2009
7:46 pm

JLH-I stand corrected, you get the point though.

Getting Olie now may be easier, since Calgary has to make a move and we have the space. Cammy will probably go to Toronto.

Bob

June 28th, 2009
7:57 pm

“I guess what bothers me most about DW’s comments is that the Thrashers had guys who went in the 6th and 7th rounds identified as 2nd rounders. Are our scouts really that bad??”

Me too. I read those comments by Waddell (and his 2nd round picks were 1st rounders on his board) and thought why in the heck are these same idiots driving this train wreck? Yeah, our scouts are doing just a fine job, you sure got some steals, eh Donnie?

Buzzeng

June 28th, 2009
8:31 pm

Craig – just curious to know – how much input did Coach Anderson have on the draft? I’d feel even better knowing that the Coach was involved picking players for his system.

Buzzeng

June 28th, 2009
8:32 pm

Sorry – should have said “Chris” – old habits just die hard.

LAC

June 28th, 2009
10:38 pm

Kiss my A$$ gava, you provide little if nothing to this discussion except to get all over those who do not share YOUR thoughts !

Yeah and “IF” I have been called out as you put it, why don’t they face up face to face ? Why not you and I have a round, sound like fun ?

Just a little FYI gava, 6′6″ 280 and ready for anything you could ever offer, so go away little man and as Sage says, Stay away !

nfieldr

June 29th, 2009
2:27 am

LOL…. gotta love the internet…. where everybody can be a 6′6″ Bad@ss.

No matter, though, I’m 6′2″ and the worst @ss whupping that I ever got was by a guy about 5′10″ and probably 50 pounds lighter than me. I learned my lesson. :-)

How ’bout we get back to talking hockey?

ranallo10 (in AT)

June 29th, 2009
3:55 am

Collin

June 29th, 2009
5:52 am

I really like where this team is going, honestly we started going on a nice little run in the second half, while it was too late to make the playoffs our young team showed promise for the future. Ending the season with some confidence will do wonders for us starting next season. I think Evander will make the team right away too. All we need is to decide who is better in net for us and trade the other keeper or a legit player and we are ready to go.

World Be Free

June 29th, 2009
6:04 am

Collin, I would like to see him right away as well. But I still think he needs tio bulk up abit before he can take the punishment of the NHL. schenn is more ready “now” physically, but Kane has a greater upside in the long term.

Having said that, I would like to see him get a 6 game trial with the Thrashers, similar to what Bogo got last year. That worked out pretty well.

This should be a fun week!

Alan

June 29th, 2009
7:22 am

Well pick up the pace Thrashers fans cause some of us like reading Thrashers blogs to learn a thing or two about the sport of hockey and our franchise.

Hey, it’s great to see there are people reading and trying to learn, but you also have to remember that the Thrashers aren’t playing right now. The offseason is always a slow time, and it’s no different for the Thrashers, you know?

That said, free agency is upon us on 1 July. Just a few more steps closer to hockey season once again.

kracker

June 29th, 2009
7:53 am

What time of day on July 1 does the FA signing period begin?