OK kids, now that the fun and excitement of the Stanley Cup Playoffs are over, it’s time once again to turn our attention towards offseason activities…starting with the NHL entry draft on the 26th of this month.
But before we jump into the discussion, I want to take this opportunity to recall last summer when the Thrashers had the third overall pick in the draft. Do you remember how you felt when… just after Tampa Bay and Los Angeles were finished with their respective turns and we were sitting on the edges of our seats ready to hear that Zach Bogosian was indeed a Thrasher…Gary Bettman took to the podium and proclaimed that there was a trade to be announced?
A collective “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” type of atmosphere permiated throughout the masses that had gathered at Philips Arena for the draft party. Certainly Don Waddell didn’t just blow it…did he?
Turns out it was the deal that sent Olli Jokinen from Florida to Phoenix…whew
Now, barring any trades that might occur between now and then that would shuffle the top of the draft order, I would expect that what I’ll watch from TJs party room next Friday night is the Islanders selecting John Tavares, the Lightning then picking Victor Hedman and the Avalanche then taking Matt Duchene…leading up the the Thrashers and the fourth pick. The safe bet is that Don Waddell will then be standing on the podium shaking the hand of Evander Kane…maybe Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson.
But, as I said, that’s unless their is some sort of deal between now an then.
One general manager that could make an attempt to work his way up the draft order is Toronto’s Brian Burke, who would love nothing more that to climb his way from the seventh pick toward Tavares. Of course, my suggestion to Charles Wang is to send Garth Snow on a long vacation…without his cell phone… not to return until June 26th. If I were in the Islanders position, I wouldn’t make any deals that would deny the organization the talent that comes with John Tavares.
As for the Bolts, I’d be surprised if they were involved in some sort of deal that would send their second overall elsewhere. Tampa Bay is need of help on the blueline and Hedman could be for them what Bogosian was for us during last year’s draft.
Colorado is looking to bring in a starting goalie and it’s been speculated by some that maybe that #3 overall pick could land one. Personally I think they’re better suited to sign one during UFA signing season next month. Certainly if the Thrashers had that pick, I’d want them to take Duchene.
That brings us to Atlanta’s draft position. Personally, I don’t want him dealing away his number four pick. Either Kane or MP-S would look just fine in our system, IMHO. But I’ll leave the question to you. Got any deals up your sleaves that you’d play if you were in Waddell’s position…or are you like me and would sit on the pick and use it yourself?