Considering Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson

Since the draft order was set a month or so ago, one of the questions frequently asked of me has been, “So…would you want Matt Duchene or Evander Kane as the selection”? Well, unless I’m speaking on behalf of the Colorado Avalanche, having to chose between the two will not be an issue…as I believe the Avs will pick one or the other, more than likely Duchene.

Therefore, I think that the real question that will face Don Waddell on June 26 is, “Do you want Kane, Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson”?

If the Thrashers look to concentrate on the center position, making the choice either Kane or Schenn, then I think logical choice is to go with Kane. If defense is the focus, Cowen is considered by many to be the best blueline selection after Victor Hedman. And, after all, you simply cannot have enough defensive talent in the organ-I-zation.

The only question here is would either of them be able to make an immediate impact on the Thrashers squad this fall? I don’t see Cowen making the team right off the bat as Bogosian did last fall and, given the Thrashers current situation at center…White, Peverley, Reasoner, Slater, (and possibly even Espo depending on his recovery),…so, Kane making an immediate impact in Atlanta might be a long-shot as well.

However, more times than not, the draft is mostly about re-stocking the talent pond…so that a draft pick plays at the NHL level this year or not is secondary.

But what about Paajarvi-Svensson …the 6-1, 200 pound Swedish left winger? If Waddell chose MP-S, is there at least the outside possibility that this 18-year old could have a decent shot at making the team this fall?

In this recent articleby NHL.com’s managing editor Shawn P. Roarke, NHL Director of European Scouting Goran Stubb is quoted as saying that Paavjarvi-Svensson will be “ready for the NHL very soon”.

“He is absolutely fearless on the ice,” Stubb said. “He is a great skater. With his moves, he’s creating scoring chances both for himself and for his teammates. He is a guy that can go straight for the net and make things happen — just with his speed and his energy.”

Director of the NHL’s Central Scouting Bureau E.J. Mcguire has said of MP-S, “”Magnus perhaps is the stereotype of the skilled Swede coming over here in recent years – outside speed extraordinaire, ability to freeze defenders and make all his good moves work even more effectively. He was a good contributor to his team at the World Junior tournament and I think will be an essential member of any NHL team in years to come. He showed, at the World Junior championships, why the 1980 comparisons to Mats Naslund, Kent Nilsson and more recently a Peter Forsberg will follow him over to his NHL team. He’ll be a high draft pick and I’m sure he’s going to be a combination of the kind of offensive flare and skills that have made those other three predecessors great NHL players.”

I could see this kid filling the third-line LW spot that’s being vacated by the departing Eric Perrin. Of course, I think it would be better if a proven top-six forward be obtained by Waddell…but if unsuccessful in that venture, MP-S could be a viable option. And in doing so, it could also free up Waddell to simply focus on acquiring a top-four defender via trade or free agency.

He’s got size…he’s got speed…he seems to have all the tools to be a big-time player in the NHL.

And Speaking Of The Draft…

Tim and Mark Ecclestone have invited us all over to TJs to watch the opening round of the NHL Entry Draft. They have provided me with their party room in the back…which is the no-smoking area…to hold this little shin-dig! Some details are still being worked out, but so far we’ll be offered $1 draft beers and Tim might even be joined by some of his former Atlanta Flames teammates there. There re other things being worked out as well and I’ll update you as they come about.

But make your plans to be there if ya can… RSVP with Trixie. As always…it should be great fun!

And One More Thing…

Hey Shawn and Mike at GSG…tell my good buddy Ron I said “hello”!

180 comments Add your comment

LAC

May 19th, 2009
9:53 am

Rawhide… Have to question Slater STILL being here. We got 76 points last season with him out there and he is a holdover of past mistakes.

He has to go, so we can open a spot for someone who WILL help the team, Slater does not. Todd White another career season DOUBTFUL, but he is here for 2 more years…

Like this Sweede, looks like a big forward, something WE need and one who can score, worth a look.

RS

May 19th, 2009
9:54 am

I will say this about the kid. It takes a set of stones to wear #21 for Team Sweden.

kracker

May 19th, 2009
10:08 am

I like that idea….if MPS is ready or close to being NHL ready, just telling him the 3rd LW spot is his to earn might be just the ticket. Basically, he’d be up against Stuart, the way the roster looks right now. Maybe Crabb who’s more of a RW. Such a move will really push the kid, gets him ready fast and allows the FA forward money to be spent at RW or C. I wonder if he’s ready for the physical play of an NHL checking line?

Tony C.

May 19th, 2009
10:19 am

Anybody know if he can play on the other side (RW)?

kracker

May 19th, 2009
10:20 am

On second thought, though, would the kid be ready to skate and defend against the top lines in the league, to play close to even +/-?

Tony C.

May 19th, 2009
10:26 am

Yeah, I don’t think that putting him on your checking line is getting the best return on investment. This guy’s a pure scorer-let’s not put a scoring winger in a checking role again. While I think MPS is clearly better suited to the NHL game than Sterling (can’t teach size), I would say that Sterling’s play on the 3rd line is a good example of square peg being asked to fill a round hole.

Maybe I’m wrong. I still don’t think this kid projects on anybody’s chart as a grinder.

Tony C.

May 19th, 2009
10:27 am

Oh, and thanks for ranallo’ing me.

Rawhide

May 19th, 2009
10:35 am

Am I going to have to get Trixie to start sending out 10 minute warnings prior to each new posts???? :lol:

Brendan

May 19th, 2009
10:39 am

I don’t have a problem with MPS as our draft pick. Schenn may be “NHL-ready” more, or just as quickly. But I have no problem with Kane, at 4th overall, either. I saw Duchene on the NHL Network this past weekend, with their Memorial Cup tournament coverage. He was asked, point blank, who his favorite teams were growing up. And he said, in this order, Colorado and Montreal. Hmmn. Colorado picks 3rd. Duchene is “NHL-ready,” potentially. His favorite team is the Avalanche. If Duchene is still up on that board when the Thrashers pick 4th, I’ll be stunned. And pick him!! Pick him now!!!!

I’m sort of warming to the idea of Kane. But, I’d sure hope Waddell has the good sense to keep his desires SILENT. Nobody needs to know who he WANTS to pick. He should field offers for the #4 slot. Normally, I’d say “no” to that sort of thing. But with MPS, Schenn, and others, still rich in talent, I don’t mind moving back one-slot. ?I said, ONE, not two. Or three, etc. And the pick up need to be a high-end 2nd rounder. Or don’t do it.

How much difference is there, really, beyond Hedman, Tavares, and Duchene? Is the drop off SIGNIFICANT enough to just “poo-poo” a proposal to pick up a 2nd rounder in this year’s draft? If the answer is, “YES!! It drops WAYYY OFFF!,” then no. Don’t do it. If the answer is “no, we’d be okay with any of a myriad of players at #5,” then it’s at least something to consider. Generally-speaking, I don’t budge from a lottery draft position. I take stock of what I need, and the talent level that’s there. Based on that, generally-speaking, I’d pick precisely where I am in that draft. Unless I could manage to move up. But, I’m open to the idea of moving back one, and only one position.

In 2005, we owned pick #8. We moved back FOUR SLOTS to #12, to go pick up Pavelec, I believe. Can’t even believe we’re talking about trading Pavelec now, after paying such a hefty price for him, while passing on Setoguchi, Staal, and Kopitar. We moved from #12 back to #16, to eventually select Alex Bourret, whom the organization traded for Pascal Dupuis and a 3rd round pick that it converted into Chris Thorburn.

Bygones.

Russian

May 19th, 2009
10:43 am

It is interesting point to get young Sweden (MP-S). Damn!@ He got a big name! :-)
If we take him try to put him in second line. Move Slava to third or first line.

kracker

May 19th, 2009
10:57 am

Sure, I don’t mean to miscast a scorer on the 3rd line. I was thinking of it more as a way for MPS to play right away, get some minutes in w/o having pressure on him to be a scorer. Thinking about it though, he might be more comfortable not being a defensive-first forward. This is the sort of thing the coaches figure out in camp, anyway.

ranallo10 (in AT)

May 19th, 2009
11:02 am

Darkhorse

May 19th, 2009
11:19 am

It’s like he is a year too early for us. If this were next year and Slava was retiring and Kovy had resigned, he would make almost too much sense for the second line LW spot.

But, and slap me for the blasphemy, maybe MPS would be a great insurance policy this year in case we can’t resign Kovy. I feel something will go down at the draft with these picks and DW. Hope to goodness it’s positive.

kracker

May 19th, 2009
11:35 am

Ummm, we got Opie in the 2nd round in ‘05 from one of the three picks we got by trading down twice. These to me were just so-so move(s) by DW. I figure whoever DW thought would still be available at #12 got snatched (Kopitar went 11). But it all may look a little better if we eventually get good play from Pavs or if he (or Kari) gets us a decent return in a trade.

R. Stroz

May 19th, 2009
11:35 am

After finally watching some footage of Duchene, Kane, and MPS, I would eliminate MPS.

Duchene has obscene wheels, breakaway speed, amd sniper shooting skills.

Kane reminds me of a young Willi Plett, tough, willing to get in front of the net, and opportunistic.

MPS didn’t really seem to have Duchene’s wheels or Kane’s toughness. MPS is what I often call a tweener.

So, I’d rather have a player that can keep up with Kovy, Duchene or a player that can cause havoc in front of the net, Kane.

Shawn@GSG

May 19th, 2009
12:03 pm

Rawhide – That definitely caught me off guard. LOL – Ron says hello right back. I’m all for either MPS or Schenn at this point. Whoever we get needs to have size and grit. I get really frustrated seeing our guys pushed around without retaliation. I just don’t think Bolts or Valabik worry any of the other teams we play.

World be Free

May 19th, 2009
12:09 pm

There are three can’t miss players in this draft and we have the 4th pick.

World be Free

May 19th, 2009
12:10 pm

Time to send Jim Slater packing. We need a 4th line center who can win faceoffs, score keys goals and play “D” from the center position in the 3rd period.

Back to Todd Marchant again.

Rawhide

May 19th, 2009
12:20 pm

Shawn@GSG – Yeah…Ron thought you’d get a kick outa that! Thanks for being a regular reader and chime in more often!

Glovesave29

May 19th, 2009
12:49 pm

Speed never slumps. Everything else about your game can go to hell, but if you are fast…you are always fast. Something to consider.

I know people here despise Slater, but he too can skate like the wind. He causes all sorts of mismatches and defensive problems. His offensive skills and output are not what a first rounder should be, but it is not his fault he was taken that early. Speed can break a lock / trap and it also slows the opposition breakout by forechecking.

Can you imagine a powerplay of Kovy, MPS, Slates, Bogo and Toby? All are FANTASTIC skaters. We’d be a light blue blur out there.

Whomever gets MPS, they are going to have to be creative in putting that name on the back of the uni. 17 spaces including the dash. Will go elbow to elbow!

Wayne from AL

May 19th, 2009
1:01 pm

I’d rather have Evander Kane with my first pick…

Considering the fragility of the franchise, I’d rather have a veteran D-man from free-agency than from the draft.

FormerIslesFan

May 19th, 2009
1:04 pm

Glovesave29,

On the name: Kinda reminds me of when the Ranger$ used to have Reijo Ruotsalainen on their team. I remember the name going elbow to elbow on that one.

Of course, if LaVallee ever wanted his full last name on his jersey, we’d be in trouble! Doesn’t he actually have a double-name as well?

Thrashers27

May 19th, 2009
1:05 pm

I haven’t seen anything to get too excited about with MPS…the only stats I’ve seen on him are from TSN’s website and the numbers are weak at best. I’m hoping those numbers aren’t accurate. Anybody seen stats to backup his draft ranking?

Glovesave29

May 19th, 2009
1:06 pm

Coyotes bankruptcy hearings begin at 4 today. Should be interesting. Which small market team will see the return of the NHL…Winnipeg or Hamilton? Winnipeg deserves it most, but can the sub-14,000 seat MTS Center work for the NHL? Hamilton has a larger, older arena – with 130,000 less in population to draw from than Winnipeg. I’m pulling for the return of the Jets. But then we still have to put up with the annoying Toronto-based rumors of us moving to southern Ontario…

Glovesave29

May 19th, 2009
1:09 pm

FIF – or the Flames and Pekka Rauttakallio…!

Yup…Jordan LaVallee-Smotherland.

R. Stroz

May 19th, 2009
1:16 pm

Here’s a question:

Would you trade Pavelec and the Thrashers 4th pick to Colorado for Colorado’s 3rd pick?

LAC

May 19th, 2009
2:22 pm

Stroz, NO on that Colorado trade…. Could we do better trading a goalie for a FRONT LINE CENTER, which BTW, has been PROMISED for two-three years now and NOTHING, oh Todd White…..

Can anyone point to anything jim slater has done here that warrants his return ? He’s been here three years or so and has nothing to show for it… DO NOT BRING BACK JIM SLATER PLEASE !

GaVaHokie

May 19th, 2009
2:30 pm

Brendan… yeah, I pointed that out last month… saw a Battalion profile video of Duchene and he has a whole room full of Avalanche stuff.

If it’s a coin toss for the Avs… We’ll probably see Colorado draft Duchene, similar to LA last year drafting Doughty over Bogosian because of Doughty’s love of the King’s growing up.

R. Stroz

May 19th, 2009
2:44 pm

LAC – My concern is that no team in their right mind would give up a top line center for any of our goalies.

Pavelec just had his knee scoped and his play was inconsistent at best.
Lehtonen has talent but lacks maturity.
Moose is a great backup that is aging.

If you were another GM, would you trade a top line forward for any of those three?

The only way we end up with a top line forward for one of our goalies is due to the other team needing to dump salary. Other than that scenario, Waddell’s ability to move one of our goalies for a top line forward is nothing more than bluster.

GaVaHokie

May 19th, 2009
2:46 pm

Stroz… I only do that trade if a player comes back from Colorado as well, like maybe Svatos or Wolski… and that’s assuming you think Duchene is THAT MUCH better than MPS or Kane (personally, I do).

So is having Duchene and Wolski better than having Pavelec and Kane?… tough call, hard to judge. We don’t know how much bigger Kane is going to get and how much better Pavelec is going to get.

Rawhide… MPS is the guy I’m most worried about defensively, I’m also worried that he’s all finesse with no finish, like Dupuis and Slater… I’m seeing the same thing Thrasher27 is seeing stat-wise.

Kane and Duchene are considered quality two-way forwards… Duchene plays the PK. So, if Duchene is off the board… I take Kane with a big gulp, and hope MPS isn’t the next Swedish sensation.

But, if Kane becomes the next Eric Staal (E.J. McGuire’s comparison)… then who cares? We’re safe.

World be Free

May 19th, 2009
2:52 pm

Stroz-I’d make that deal to get Duchene.
I like Slater, but he has stone hands around the net. He could hit the broad side of a barn.

Marchant can take his place and he has speed too.

Tony C.

May 19th, 2009
3:04 pm

Stroz- No I wouldn’t Trade Pavelec AND the 4th pick for just a pick in return. Now, if you included the kid they had holding down their 2nd-pair right side at the end of the year when they were absolutely devastated by injury, well then I might do that.

Also, did any of you guys actually watch the World Juniors? MPS was a complete stud. I also gained new appreciation for Tavares-that kid is just plain out blessed.

I think Duschene would fill the #1 pivot role admirably for a decade. Kane, I would also like to have because he does bring that sandpaper to the rink-if they’d go for it, I’d trade Pavelec, both our 2nd-round picks this year and the 2nd rounder NEXT year for the # 3 pick & a defensive prospect.

Never going to happen, but we would then have our top-6 filled out nicely and outside of SlavaMatic, they’d all be under 30 pretty damn sick.

Darkhorse

May 19th, 2009
3:05 pm

I wonder if we’ll see a player like MPS or Schenn or someone else shoot up teams draft boards over the next month and challenge the order of the proposed top three? It seems to happen every few years, especially in other drafts like the NBA and NFL. Might be the final scouting numbers come in and a player like Duchene might fall a spot because of the supposed new info on a European player is climbing fast. What’s the feel on that other Swede dman…EKMAN-LARSSON or Cowen? Are they capable of climbing as high as three or four?

Tony C.

May 19th, 2009
3:07 pm

Also for the stats guys how much TOI was MPS getting…let’s also remember that when viewing MPS’ stats versus those of the NorAm skaters’ stats an important consideration is that MPS put those numbers up playing against grown men, and even though the WHL is a rough&tumble league, those players are still kids (for the most part).

Glovesave29

May 19th, 2009
3:09 pm

WBF – true, Slater’s offensive skills are, well…offensive! But as a 4th line center between two bruisers, he could work there. He could be the first man in on the deep forecheck, and force the play into the trap and BOOM, leave them to get levelled by our winger. If he came without the tag of “1st round draft pick” and came in as say, an unsigned free agent, he’d have made everyone happy. Again, cant help DW took him as a number one, but he certainly serves a purpose here. He would be served on an “energy” line.

kracker

May 19th, 2009
3:19 pm

*Thrashers27* — Paajarvi-Svensson’s current stats are from his year playing for Timra IK in the Swedish Elite league, where he was a 17/18 year old kid playing against grown men. That league is on a par with or perhaps better than your average AHL club. This is great for his development, IMO. It isn’t great for piling up goals and points against players his own age.

GaVaHokie

May 19th, 2009
3:22 pm

Darkhorse… Bogosian was one of those players last year… mid-season he was around 9th amongst North American skaters, then he shot up to #3 in the final ranks.

There’s also the famous example of Gretzky drafting Blake Wheeler at #4 when he was projected to go in the 20’s.

GaVaHokie

May 19th, 2009
3:26 pm

Well, here are MPS stats for everyone to judge… yes, it’s amongst grown men, which you would consider “NHL ready”… but would this earn you a Calder Trophy in the NHL?… 7 goals on 103 shots?

http://tsn.ca/nhl/teams/players/bio/?id=6555&hubname=nhl

Tony C.

May 19th, 2009
3:32 pm

I think Wheeler also showed why Gretz drafted him so high this season-if that’s his “baseline” and you project that most players really hit their stride after 2.5-3 seasons…well, Wheeler’s going to keep making Gretz look prescient.

GaVaHokie

May 19th, 2009
3:37 pm

I bet Evander Kane saw more physicality in the WHL then MPS did playing with grown men in Sweden. :)

It’s really hard for me to ignore these numbers.

http://tsn.ca/nhl/teams/players/bio/?id=7278&hubname=nhl

GaVaHokie

May 19th, 2009
3:38 pm

Tony… agreed, but Gretz probably could have moved down and picked up more assets if he was going to go “off the board” like that.

h

May 19th, 2009
3:41 pm

Glovesave-I hear your love for Slater, but he is a 4th line guy who can’t kill a penalty and can’t score goals. Yes he has speed, but so did Dupuis. At least Dupuis could help on the PK. To me if you can trade a goalie to Colorado, you do it, but not for a draft slot. Colorado has a couple-three defensemen who could certainly help our top 4 d-men. What about Hejduk? I say trade one of the goalies for the best D-man you can get from Colorado and then use your money to get a top 6 forward. I’m a fan of Antropov, the big fella, as that is a big body to add to Kovy’s line. In that scenario, you still have money to get two other PK specialists to play on 4th line with Boulton (we certainly need that and then some). I like how we look with those changes, and it won’t be too expensive for the ASG either. I still think that Moose is not the answer as a back-up and should be signed as a coach. There are much better options available out there. As for a draft pick, Duchesne and Kane make most sense. If more than one of these three (Slater, Thorburn and Crabb) are on our roster this next year, we could be in trouble again.

StateBird

May 19th, 2009
3:44 pm

DW will likely pick a player that is NHL ready or trade the pick for a proven NHL player. He needs to make an impact now or else lose his job when the team is sold/moved. A repeat of the Coyburn disaster.

Tony C.

May 19th, 2009
3:46 pm

Hokie- true, but maybe he’d gone fishing with Slats and McT-you know the old Oilers all get together and go fishing/golfing/whatever-the-hell-they-please in the summer, maybe they all were talking about the kids coming up in the draft-maybe he was skurred somebody else had heard the hyperbole being heaped on Wheeler… who knows?

I’d also include Crabb in my above proposed “dream trade” w/Colorado….honestly, if I got the opportunity to take Duschene AND Kane? I’d give up Lehtonen if that’s what it cost.

I would then promptly get #17 to call Khabibulin and ask him how he feels about powder blue.

GaVaHokie

May 19th, 2009
3:50 pm

Tony… we’ll be the Russian Olympic practice team… sign Khabibulin, Antropov, and Morozov. Bring over Nikulin. :)

h

May 19th, 2009
3:55 pm

Would you take Khabibulin and Pavelec as your two goalies for the next 2 years? I would. Sign the Bulin wall and trade Kari for the best player you can get under age 30. Moose the goalie coach can stay and ina worst case scenario, you make him a player-coach if someone goes down.

GaVaHokie

May 19th, 2009
3:58 pm

h… I’d be perfectly happy with that… Waddell was rumored to be interested in Khabibulin before.

Of course that was Eklund, but I believe it was confirmed somewhere else too.

Tony C.

May 19th, 2009
4:08 pm

Yeah, he was, but he basically was using DW to drive up his price while looking elsewhere…

Also, there are some other FA options for goal as well as some very intriguing options in RFA trades.

Just a quick list of UFA goalies:

Khabibulin
Fernandez
Anderson (from FLA)
Clemmenson
MacDonald
Roloson
Biron

So yeah, I’d be OK with letting KL go in a trade provided I had a handshake deal type deal in place for one of those guys…Fernandez being my last choice out of those guys with Khabibulin, Anderson and Clemmenson at the top (not neccesarily in that order).

Glovesave29

May 19th, 2009
4:16 pm

H – I was peeved Dupuis was a throw in in the Hossa deal. I would have told Pitt no way. Hossa is on the table and that is it. Not really a huge fan of Slater, just that he was put in a no win situation due to his draft status, and has yet to be put where he belongs for that very reason. You have to use your first rounder to CYA.

I cannot buy there is a trade market at ALL for Ondrej. He was a train wreck this year when called up, plus as Tony C points out, there is no lack of available goaltending this year via UF and RFA’s. Plus there are many NHL tested goalies working down in the A.

Don’t think a player-coach is an option, but Brendan would know better than I. But to be a coach, Moose would have to file retirement papers with the league, thereby forefeiting his players salary. Not sure if the CBA would allow him to be pressed into duty when the team already has goalies in its minor league system.

Smoothie

May 19th, 2009
4:45 pm

1) Marchant is a 3rd line C and he will cost more than Marty Reasoner on the open market. I doubt he will ever play here.

2) MPS may not be a bad insurance hedge against Kovy leaving as opposed to picking Kane. My preference is Kane and I think DWad’s will be as well since he has convinced himself he can re-up Kovy. But then again, Kozzy may be gone in another year so there is a strong argument in favor of the European.

3) Goalies do not have as much perceived value as most of y’all are assigning to them here. Especially a youngster like Pavs who has proven absolutely nothing at this level. Huet was traded for a 2nd rounder for God’s sake so don’t get your hopes up thinking DWad will pull a trade for a top-6 forward for Pavs or even Lehts.

4) Slater is better than Dupuis. No question. I liked having Duper here but he has worse hands than Slater. Slater might have had 15 goals this year if he hadn’t had his shoulder separated. He is a fine 4th line C and we’ll get him back for no more than $1 M per year.