Friday, June 25, 2010
Draft Day 2010
Tonight, the drama finally ends for Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin. One will go No.1 overall to Edmonton with the other expected to be selected second. Here's the first round order on a day where there could be some movement at Staples Center when things kickoff at 7 ET/4 PT on Versus (TSN):
As has been the case already, some players could be on the move this weekend. According to TSN, one such player is Florida defenseman Keith Ballard, who's said to be drawing interest from Western clubs. The rugged blueliner certainly can help someone. Other rumored players include Nashville's Denis Grebeshkov, Dallas' Mike Ribeiro, Toronto's Tomas Kaberle and Dan Hamhuis, who the Flyers are still hoping to sign. Does Tim Thomas find a new home? Sergei Gonchar and the Pens are in discussions on a new contract. From our column the other day, forgot to mention Jaroslav Halak finding a new home in St. Louis with the Habs unwilling to re-sign their playoff hero, opting again for Carey Price. Will it backfire? Special kudos to our Devil worshipper Hasan for noting our oversight.
Draft wise, both Columbus and the Islanders are open to trading their picks. If you take the Oilers at their word on still being undecided on Hall/Seguin, perhaps Florida can parlay their No.3 and 15 all the way to the top spot. We'll see. Personally, I'd take Hall as he's the better scorer and can team with Jordan Eberle to give Oiler fans an exciting future. Expect defenseman Cam Fowler to go third with bruiser Erik Gudbranson right behind. Not really sure what the Islanders will do but another finisher would be a boost for John Tavares and Kyle Okposo. One mock has them selecting Brett Connolly, who while missing most of 2009-10 is healthy and projects as a power forward. The Rangers are also rumored to be interested. If they go forward, figure Vladimir Tarashenko, Nino Niederreiter or even Kirill Kabanov to be in the mix. For the Sabres, adding more offense seems logical. But they also could use some blueline help for Calder winner Tyler Myers. Most mocks lean towards D with Jonathon Merrill, Mark Pysyk and Jarred Tinordi possibilities.
Want a couple of potential steals? Two players I like should go in the middle to late first round. Alexander Burmistrov has oodles of talent that could make him electrifying to watch. Jason Zucker might be worth the gamble. The American from Vegas had a good WJC, helping Team USA win gold. He scored a couple of goals while playing a gritty style which should bode well in the NHL. He may not even get picked tonight but that means someone will wind up with a good player Saturday when our very own Brian Sanborn is in the building. Imagine if Buffalo drafts him. Let the chaos ensue.
We're about half an hour away from the Draft. An exciting time for puckers everywhere. Still liked it better on the weekend. And have to echo what Brian said about the unfriendly start time for those attending. It's in California. He can't even make Day One. But like I said, Day Two will probably be more interactive with the rest of the draft taking place and probably a better opportunity to meet players, etc. Might our caped crusader get his chance with Darcy Regier?!?!?! All I can say is enjoy the festivities.