6.08.2007

Whats The Name of the Game?

6 W Milan Michalek

16 R Steve Bernier

43 C Josh Hennessy

47 D Matt Carle

139 G Patrick Ehelechner

201 R Jonathan Tremblay

205 F Joe Pavelski

216 F Kai Hospelt

236 C Alexander Hult

267 D Brian O'Hanley

276 F Carter Lee

This is a list of players drafted by the San Jose Sharks in 2003. Quite a remarkable draft year, in fact I would have to mention one of the best by any one team. Gauging a draft only 4 years after the fact is a tad soon, but the progression of some of these players is simply amazing. Of the 11 players drafted, 4 of them have become NHL regulars on a deep sharks team. Michalek and Carle have become young stars with bright futures while Bernier and Pavelski have become solid contributors on their way up. The fact that all 4 players have remained with the sharks is astonishing. A man largely credited with this teams procurement success is General Manager Doug Wilson, who took over two months prior to this draft (though had been with the organization for the past 10 years). They had four picks in the first two rounds and 11 overall and made something happen with them.

The Edmonton Oilers have 3 first rounders and 1 second rounder, but only 3 picks after that. Their picks are very top heavy this year, in what appears to be a weak draft. But if your gonna be picking, you might as well pick early, no sense on waiting till closing time and picking the last girl not puking. So here’s where we stand as of now: 1st Round – 6, 15, 30, 2nd Round – 36, and then a 4th, 5th, and 6th rounder. Here’s how the scouting services shake things out for the top 10:

Current Top 10 Players

Rank

McKeens

ISS

Redline

1

Patrick Kane (RW)

Patrick Kane (RW)

Patrick Kane (RW)

2

Kyle Turris (C)

James vanRiemsdyk (LW)

Jakub Voracek (RW)

3

Jakub Voracek (RW)

Kyle Turris (C)

Kyle Turris (C)

4

Karl Alzner (D)

Alexei Cherepanov (RW)

Karl Alzner (D)

5

Alexei Cherepanov (RW)

Jakub Voracek (RW)

James vanRiemsdyk (LW)

6

James vanRiemsdyk (LW)

Karl Alzner (D)

Sam Gagner (C)

7

Kevin Shattenkirk (D)

Sam Gagner (C)

Logan Couture (C)

8

Sam Gagner (C)

Maxim Mayorov (LW)

Zach Hamill (C)

9

Ryan McDonagh (D)

Keaton Ellerby (D)

Ian Cole (D)

10

Zach Hamill ( C)

Mikael Backlund

Ryan McDonagh (D)

There appears to be a general consensus on the top six prospects - Kane, Turris, Voracek, JVR, Alzner, Cherepanov(whom redline didn't list on their top 10 but they are considered weirdly hard markers about some players). Aside from a shocking move the Oilers will likely take one of these guys with their pick, going purely based on best player available. Chicago picks first and I can remember hearing somewhere they want a pure scorer. Kane jumps off everyone’s tongue but Cherry might be a sleeper pick depending on what they’ve seen and liked. I have a feeling if Cherry does fall he won’t fall far. I also have a feeling the Oilers don’t want Alzner, who is probably the most NHL ready player, due to having a stable full of good young defencemen. This leaves Turris, Voracek, and JVR as the leading horses. The greatest weak point in our organization appears to be the lack of an elite prospect at any position. So with these 3 players we need to be looking for who's going to be the greatest impact player.

Center Kyle Turris has been receiving the most press, and has impressed everyone by garnering the first ever #1 prospect rating for a Tier II player. He scored 66-55-121 in 53 gp for second in scoring in the BCHL, which is a less competitive league than other highly rated players have been playing in. A similar league to what Cogliano played in prior to his draft; Turris has put up much better numbers. This was said by one scout: “You can’t explain presence, but that is what he has on the ice; a thing that only a few gifted players have,” says Peter Sullivan. “He’s got that gift of being in the right place at the right time. Everybody talks about his offensive abilities, but he is just as good in his own end as he is in the offensive end and you don’t see that too often. He’s just a special, gifted player.”

Voracek makes another interesting pick that could fall to the Oilers. Playing in the QMJHL for Halifax he led all rookies with 86 points in 56 games. What was more impressive was his playoff performance where he scored 24 points in Halifax's 12 game drive. This is the scouting report on Voracek, who sounds eerily similar to Hemsky:

has an imposing physique with strong legs and a broad upper body .. always looks alert and has head on a swivel .. the main offensive force on his team and carries himself as if he knows this .. has a slow pickup and looks to be a bit lead footed upon acceleration .. has deceptive speed once going and can make defenders miss with speed, stickhandling, and moves .. soft hands can make any type of pass under pressure .. does not hesitate to use his size to his advantage but is not a nasty presence .. works hard along the boards and fights .. a bit lax coming back and is prone to leaving the zone prematurely .. has a great shot .. one of his biggest flaws is his willingness to dish the puck to a fault when he should just hold on to it and shoot .. is a bit of an enigma from time to time as he can get on hot and cold streaks .. The strapping winger will be a wonderful draft day pickup for a team who needs a playmaking winger with size and skill

Probably the least known of the top 6 is James Van Riemsdyk. He had a solid season with the U.S. National Development Team and capped it off with an excellent U-18 World Championships where he was voted best player of the tournament. Another scout said “He’s a big horse of a player with unbelievable changes of speed”, and being a 6'3" LW that can be a huge asset to any team. Here is what Redline had to say about him:

Beautiful long stride, excellent patience, quick release, needs to fill out, sweet hands, strong on his skates, needs to compete a little harder, tough to see him; very good skater; smooth long stride; goes to the net; not overly physical; soft on "d"; very raw; very good with the puck, sometimes looks lost without it; saucer passes; strong on stick; good stops/starts; needs to start challenging himself more if he wants to be a player

As long as one of the teams ahead of us take Alzner, one of these three players should fall to us. If that does happen no one can complain about getting any of these guys. Sam Gagner is another guy who is rated close the the 6 spot but I find to many question marks in his game. Many have said his even strength play leaves something to be desired and that all his success comes from the PP (flashbacks?). Twenty of Gagner’s 35 goals were on the power play, as were 50 of his 83 assists, and playing on a very strong London team points are not hard to come by. If he fell to us at 15 I would cry with joy, but he is definitely a top 10 player and could go even before the Oilers pick at 6.

So with the 6th pick the Oilers are taking someone where you pretty much know what your going to get. With the 15 and 30 picks its a crap shoot of players, where different scouting services have players rated totally different through the rest of the first round. At 15 I would like to see Logan Couture fall to us though he is rated in the top 10. He's a 6'1" center for the Ottawa 67's in the OHL. He got 74 points in 58 games during a year where he suffered from Mononucleosis and a skate cut to the leg. His biggest knock is his skating but shares many qualities that Jarret Stoll contains. The scouting report says that he "is well-built and looks very sturdy on his skates .. a methodical worker whose movements always look comfortable and controlled .. has a good hockey IQ .. causes turnovers with an active stick and smart, well-timed pressure .. owns above average hands and vision .. makes many nifty passes on both backhand and forehand, with pressure or without, looking or not looking .. solid on the draw and is a reliable center man". To me that sounds like a solid two-way centerman with skating issues. I've tossed the idea of Angelo Esposito around my head, and if he fell to 15 it would be hard not to take him. But he has done very little to impress, specifically of late, and tends not to show up in big games. This would definitely be a boom or bust pick but this could be a way you get that elite level prospect.

At our 30 pick it just becomes harder to settle on certain players because of the lack of depth in this draft. If you are taking a chance you could try a player like Akim Aliu who has skill but also has attitude problems that are well documented. A guy like defenceman Nick Petrecki from the USHL could fall and would be a great pickup at this point in the draft. I guess at this point it depends a lot of who's left. The first round is loaded with defenceman so its easy to see one being picked here.

Depending on what happens on draft day we may not end up with all of our picks. I'm a strong believer that we don't end up with all 3 first rounders, and that a bigger trade happens between now and draft day. But with whatever is left heres hoping Lowe has a little Doug Wilson magic.

4 comments:

Josh said...

CSB has their top 10 looking a little different. NA's:
1.Turris
2.Kane
3.JVR
4.Ellerby
5.Alzner
6.Gagner
7.Voracek
8.Esposito
9.Hamill
10.Perron

And then they have Cherepanov, Backlund, and Mayorov as their top 3 Euro's so they should squeeze in that list somewhere maybe.

The absolute most shocking part of this list is that they have rated Ellerby over Alzner as the top "D".

He's been a little quiet and if he falls to us at 15 i have no doubt who i take.

I also wanted to clear up something, while reading the post i realized i contradicted myself a little (or so it seemed). I wrote that we should take the BPA and then said we won't take Alzner just because we don't need defenceman. What I mean by this is that I don't think overall that top 6 is very far apart, and if it say came down to Alzner and Voracek you would take the player you need over the other if they had similar upside. I also think that it is very possible to get a decent defenceman later in the round (Ellerby at 15? Katic? Petricki?) so I think that you try to get the best forward at that spot and take a defenceman later in the round. Still sounds like i'm contradicting myself but you get the idea

Rodrigo said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Rodrigo said...

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Josh said...

god damn rodrigo how many times do i have to tell you, i was drunk in mexico and that's it!