Among the number of subjects covered, one question Dudley responded to in the second part of the piece had to do with the upcoming entry draft…specifically, would he consider trading away one of the Thrashers’ two first-round picks? Currently the hold the eighth overall as well as New Jersey’s later in the round obtained via the Kovalchuk trade.
Dudley’s response…”I didn’t enter any of those drafts thinking “I’m going to trade this” but people get in a frenzy around the draft and want to deal. I’ve already had a couple people call who want to move up or add a second first round pick. And do you know what? They’re available. There’s just a price. I have a pretty good knowledge of what they’re worth and if you want to move up to eight or acquire another pick you’re going to have to pony up with something, and it’s going to have to be something pretty good because they are very valuable.”
So, they are “available”…but at a “price”.
Given that, I ask you…if the Thrashers are indeed listening to offers for the number eight pick in the draft, what exactly do you think the “price” should be? Do you think Dudley would be wise to consider using that pick…or possibly packaging it with a prospect… to bring in a proven commodity like, say, a Jerome Iginla or Patrick Sharp?
Or are you one who believes that the Thrashers are better off simply using that pick themselves, drafting a young prospect to join the list of others the organization have in the pipeline?
As you ponder your response, let’s take a quick look back at some of the more recent eighth overall picks…a review of what drafting in that slot has gained the team using it. Then we’ll take a look forward at who might be available once the first seven picks in this June’s draft.
Last summer, the Dallas Stars took Scott Glennie with the eighth pick…a forward playing with the Brandon Wheat Kings of the WHL. In three seasons with that team, he has scored 86 goals and 131 assists during 182 regular season games. He has 4 goals and 15 assists in 18 playoff games as well. He is yet to play in an NHL game with the Stars.
In 2008, Denmark’s Mikkel Boedker was the eighth overall selection by the Phoenix Coyotes…the highest-ever drafted Danish player. At the time, he was a member of the OHL’s Kitchener Rangers. The following season he played in 78 games for the Coyotes scoring 11 goals and 17 assists finishing a -6. This past season he played in 14 NHL games and had 3 points and was a +2.
What should Dudley do with the 8th overall draft pick?
Total Voters: 110
Centerman Zach Hamill was the selection of the Boston Bruins with the 2007 number eight pick. At the time he was playing with the WHL’s Everett Silvertips. Toward the end of the 2007-08 season, he was moved up to the Bruins’ AHL affiliate in Province where he has scored 13 goals and 18 assists in 72 games. He was able to play in one game for Boston at the end of the season, picking up an assist during 12:08 TOI in the 4-3 shootout win against Washington.
Back in 2006, another Silvertip went at the eighth spot as centerman Peter Mueller was picked up by the Coyotes. Mueller played in all 81 games for Phoenix during the 2007-08 season and scored 22 goals and 32 assists. The following season he netted 13 goals and 23 assist in 72 games. Then this past season…after only 4 goals and 17 assists in 54 games…he was traded at the deadline to Colorado along with Kevin Porter in exchange for Wojtek Wolski. In his first game with the Avs he scored once to help them to a 4-3 win over the Ducks, then finished the season scoring 8 more times and chipping in with 11 assist.
Now, looking forward to the players that might be available once the eighth pick rolls around this year…here are just some of the names I have read/heard being kicked around. Please feel free to add/discuss others you might have an eye on.
Mark Pysyk – Defenseman currently playing with the WHL’s Edmonton Oil Kings. He scored 7 goals and 17 assists this past season in 48 games played, though a broken foot shortened his season. In an interview with Glen Erickson of Hockey’s Future, Oil Kings head coach Steve Pleau said of Pysyk, “Ever since he started as a 16-year old with us, he’s been out best defenseman”. Continuing he added, “Mark has good hockey sense, skating is his strength and he makes that first pass very well”.
Emerson Etem – Centerman who led WHL rookies with 37 goals playing in Medicine Hat…a good puck handler with above average skating skills and, according to Phil Foley of the Atlanta Thrashers Examiner, he has spent the last few offseasons training with Chris Chelios, Mike Commodore and Mike Comrie.
Jack Campbell – Goalie for the U.S. National U-18 team who NHL.com’s Adam Kimelman describes as “a big athletic goalie with championship pedigree. I add this option in only for the sake of discussion, as I do not think the Thrashers need to be taking a goalie with the 8th pick.
Ryan Johansen – Centerman with the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL. Last season he scored 25 goals and 44 assists, amassing 53 PIM and a +17 rating. “This kid keeps getting better”, Brad Holland says of Johansen in his mock draft. “Good finish to regular season and great playoffs has ATL ‘reaching’ here”.
Derek Forbort – Defenseman currently with the U.S. National U-18 squad, committed to the University of North Dakota. Hockey’s Future projects him as a Number 1 NHL defender saying, “One of the most talented defensemen in the 2010 draft. Exceptional decision-making. Has the size and skating and is very agile. Doesn’t like to carry the puck, but his passes are laser sharp. He could stand to add a bit of grit to his game.
Alexander Burmistrov – Russian centerman who plays for the Barrie Colts of the OHL. In 62 games last season he had 22 goals and 43 assists. “He’s very imaginative in his plays”, Barrie coach Marty Williamson said of Burmistrov to Alessandro Seren Rosso of Hockey’s Future. “His skill level is obvious. He has a high skill level, loves to make players around him better, he’s a think pass-first kind of player. He’s one of those kind of guys that really makes everybody better on the ice”.
Nino Niederreiter – Another Portland Winterhawk, this Swiss left-winger…nicknamed “El Nino”… netted 36 goals and 24 assists in 65 WHL games last season. Puck Daddy’s Bruce Peter writes of Niederreiter, “He’s a strong winger with decent size (6-1, 205 lbs.) that seems to have the ability to slow the game down when the puck is on his stick”.
So again…do any of these players do anything for you? Is there another prospect that might…or would you rather that 8th overall used to procure a proven commodity should Dudley be approached with such a deal?