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


June 29th, 2009
8:12 am

“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??”

I also clued into that… I suppose time will tell.


June 29th, 2009
8:28 am

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

Sounds like the same “badass” who wanted to fight on the Hockeybuzz site last year… he was 6′4″ 240lbs. :)

LAC… I’m afraid I don’t care about you that much… How about a more gentleman’s bet? Any time you want to put your IP Address on the table for a public vote, I’m game. We’ll let the regulars vote on who goes… loser gets blocked.

Certainly if my opinions are not respected here, I wouldn’t want to stick around… I’d rather be “respected” than merely “tolerated”.

ranallo10 (in AT)

June 29th, 2009
8:30 am

“I suppose time will tell.”

I think the scouts have had enough time to show how talented they are, and it’s arguable that they’re anything more than average. One hope I have for Dudley is that his passion for scouting and player development will positively impact the structure of the scouting department. If they start drafting differently, that’s fine, but it’s hard for me to think that many of them have been employed as long as Waddell and none have been discarded for better parts.


June 29th, 2009
8:59 am

Waddell’s comments about improving via trade rather than via free agency are making me think he was going to be searching for victims of a potential cap squeeze (assuming the cap was going to drop). It’s not dropping, but are there any teams out there that have to move guys? I don’t know of any, beyond the Wings not being able to re-sign Hoss. Am I missing a club that is under the gun here?


June 29th, 2009
9:24 am

Bob… hard to say… it’s not always about the Salary Cap ceiling… some teams might want to get back to a respectable budget of $46 or $48 million.

You also have to keep in mind the number of players under contract so far… the salary numbers you see don’t reflect a full roster… take a look at San Jose on this list for example.



June 29th, 2009
10:01 am

Bob Philly is now over the cap with the addition of Pronger (guess which contract they’d like to jettison ;) ). Boston is also in a pinch, which is why Kessel has essentially become trade bait. Calgary will run into some problems if they manage to convince Bouwmeester to sign and possibly even if they don’t. San Jose might find re-signing a full roster challenging as well, but I guess that depends on how much overhauling Wilson decides to so.

Just so long as Waddell stays away from the idiot center contracts signed two seasons ago by Philly and NYR.


June 29th, 2009
10:26 am

Sara… certainly no way Briere’s waiving that NTC now. Why would anyone voluntarily leave that team now with Chris Pronger there? :)


June 29th, 2009
10:33 am

**Just so long as Waddell stays away from the idiot center contracts signed two seasons ago by Philly and NYR**

I agree 100% with that sentiment Sara! Let them suffer cap wise for spending foolish and throwing off the market by signing guys who had no business getting that kind of contract. Although we almost did the same with Campbell’s deal last year, but bottom line that’s Chicago’s problem now.


June 29th, 2009
10:40 am

According to Spector, Detroit is opting for Howard as back-up next season and letting Ty Conklin walk… that could hurt any market we have for Hedberg or Pavelec.

I’d expect Conklin to end up in Columbus.

goalie trades

June 29th, 2009
10:50 am

It will be a mistake trading Pavs, though DW is in a tough spot. He will be rightly criticized either way he chooses to go. He has fielded calls on our two best goalies since last year. The market should be for Lehtonen. Hedberg should be the backup to Pavs. Hokie, do you not understand value of trades ? Lehtonen has more value than Pavs and obviously Moose. Kovalchuk wants some help, you have to give to get. Trading Pavs will not bring in the player trading the oft injured Lehtonen will. I say we keep Pavs, suffer the growing pains, and move forward instead of still waiting on Kari to prove he can stay healthy.

ranallo10 (in AT)

June 29th, 2009
11:03 am

San Jose has been shopping Clowe due to the aforementioned salary issues. He’s an RFA who is due a raise from last season’s $1.6M. Interestingly enough, he’s a power forward right winger who had 52 points last season (it should be noted that was on the President’s Trophy team)…sounds to me like he could be a possible target, though I don’t know enough about him to say he’d compliment Kovalchuk’s line.

I wouldn’t mind Kovalchuk-Little-Clowe.

Chris Vivlamore

June 29th, 2009
11:09 am

Darkhorse: Good question on the RFAs. I’m working to find the answer. If my records are correct, from last year’s roster, the Thrashers still have Armstrong, Crabb, Slater, Thorburn, Valabik and Lehtonen as RFAs and Perrin and Oystrick as UFAs. I will let you know.

Buzzeng: Not sure how much Anderson was involved. I know he was in Montreal. I asked Waddell, specifically about Rick Dudley, and he said everyone in the organization was in agreement on picking Kane. I will ask.

ranallo10 (in AT)

June 29th, 2009
11:19 am

goalie trades — Don’t you think Kovalchuk would notice that there’s a gaping hole in goal just because he has a new linemate? Moving your best goalie with no suitable replacement (Pavelec isn’t ready yet, or at least hasn’t proven himself to be) is worse than filling that top line talent with second line players. Lehtonen has more value, but I feel losing him hurts the team more immediately (no matter the return) than keeping him does.

Of course, if we’re talking someone like Spezza for Lehtonen I’d say do it and let Pavelec learn the hard way. I just wouldn’t expect much to change in the wins column and the negotiations with Kovalchuk will be just as difficult.


June 29th, 2009
11:23 am

goalie trades… I’d prefer to keep Lehtonen and Pavelec… I don’t think we need to trade either of them to get what we need on Defense. I’m not concerned about “getting anything back” for Hedberg. I just want to move forward with two young goalies.


June 29th, 2009
11:31 am

Chris…Crabb is UFA VI because he is older than 25 years of age.


June 29th, 2009
11:50 am

If we’re not going to trade either goalie, I want to send Weeks packing and put Hedberg behind our bench.

Hell, I want to see that anyway. Hedberg is grade-A coaching material.


June 29th, 2009
11:55 am

I think the scouts have had enough time to show how talented they are, and it’s arguable that they’re anything more than average.

I gotta think the majority of what they look at is “average”.

After a certain point, you gotta look at someone like Lane Manson and say, “if I can just teach that guy how to skate better, work on his positioning, he might develop into something”.

3 years later… “eh, he sucks, but it was worth the try. Looks like the puck-movers Tom Gilbert and James Wisneiwski were the right call.”

Wanna see something funny… look at the Rangers 2002 draft. Look at the number of NHL games played.


Chris Vivlamore

June 29th, 2009
11:59 am

The Thrashers have until the end of today to make qualifying offers to the RFAs.

ranallo10 (in AT)

June 29th, 2009
12:03 pm

Yes, and if you subtract Lehtonen (lottery pick) they had a better draft year than Atlanta. Prucha was a lucky pick in round 8, but he’s outplayed Slater, Crabb and Oystrick combined (funny that Crabb was drafted by New York and played his NHL games with Atlanta).


June 29th, 2009
12:53 pm

And they drafted Crabb before Prucha.

ranallo10 (in AT)

June 29th, 2009
1:08 pm

What’s the point of that statement?


June 29th, 2009
1:17 pm

Post-draft analysis from ESPN.com:

Atlanta Thrashers: They will never be a salary-cap team, but that doesn’t mean economics won’t play a significant role in how they proceed, especially with star winger Ilya Kovalchuk set to become an unrestricted free agent next year. But the Thrashers continued on that slow road back to respectability, and perhaps even relevance, with what one rival GM described as “a terrific draft.”

GM Don Waddell told ESPN.com on Saturday that their top three picks — Evander Kane, Carl Klingberg and Jeremy Morin — were all potential first-round picks in the Thrashers’ draft mockup, and they got Klingberg at No. 34 and Morin at 45.

Kane, the fourth overall pick, is considered a keeper, and if he continues to add bulk (his father is a boxing/fitness trainer), Waddell said the talented center from the Vancouver Giants could be on the team’s roster in the fall.

The Thrashers also likely will be interested in adding a top-four defenseman and no doubt will look at the availability of Toronto blueliner Tomas Kaberle.



June 29th, 2009
2:17 pm

Ranallo… that it’s a crap shoot… the Rangers valued Crabb higher than Prucha and look who had the better career up to now.

R. Stroz

June 29th, 2009
2:29 pm

Thrashers Restricted Free Agents Playing in Atlanta

Colby Armstrong
Kari Lehtonen
Jim Slater
Chris Thorburn
Boris Valabik

Thrashers Restricted Free Agents Playing with the Wolves

Scott Lehman
Grant Lewis
Dan Turple
Jordan Lavallee

Thrashers Unrestricted Free Agent Category VI

Joseph Crabb
Nathan Oystrick
Clay Wilson

Thrasher Unrestricted Free Agents (Thrashers & Wolves Combined)

Eric Perrin
Mike Hoffman
Grant Stevenson
Joe Motzko

ranallo10 (in AT)

June 29th, 2009
2:46 pm

Hokie — I don’t disagree, and haven’t been trying to imply I do. I stated that Prucha was a “lucky” pick, because not often does a team draft an NHL caliber player in the 8th round. My point was that their “luck” in that draft was more successful than the rest of the Thrashers draft for that year, with the obvious exception of the lottery pick Atlanta “earned”.

I’m just saying that looking back at the 2002 draft leaves a lot to be desired after Lehtonen was picked.

But I would bet the Rangers GM wasn’t silly enough to state that Prucha was “a second round pick on our draft board” shortly after the conclusion of that draft.


June 29th, 2009
5:24 pm

Conklin will go to Boston to back up the Bruins and end up playing in another Winter Classic (Edmonton, Pittsburgh, Detroit). ;)


June 30th, 2009
8:53 am

But I would bet the Rangers GM wasn’t silly enough to state that Prucha was “a second round pick on our draft board” shortly after the conclusion of that draft.


Waddell says more than he needs to sometimes… I don’t think he needed to “qualify” his picks to the fans, but maybe then again… he does.