Friday, June 20, 2008

Sorta Live Blog Watching The NHL Draft First Round

This is a sorta live blog since I'm still working tonight - we have four major program pursuits moving forwad fast and furious right now with deadlines for different customer submissions, response to questions, etc. All continuing forward motion for ICx Technologies and sooner or later if this continues, it'll result in reward for our teams good, hard work. Anyway because of it I'm working a lot and the blog is suffering but hey it's not like anybody pays me to blog, nor should they. I'm doing this tonight since I need a break from work and because I've become addicted to following hockey> I haven't been this focused/distracted by pro hockey since my teen years growing in Philadelphia when I followed the Broad Street Bullies (the original ones)and played recreation league hockey at Tarken Ice Rink in the Northeast.
Well so far in the draft there haven't been any big surprises in the draft order. Though the level of trade activity has been pretty interesting. Toronto just picked Luke Schenn with pick number 5. Good pick, I think, in fact I think all of the first 5 picks look really good and fit with the teams that have picked them:
1) Tampa Bay: Steve Stamkos - looks like the total package and could make the transition right to the NHL next year.
2) LA Kings: Drew Doughty - I think this is the best D-man available in the draft;
3) Atlanta: Zach Bogosian - I agree with McGuire's comments (even though I generally don't like the guy as a commentator) on this one recovery for the Coburn trade for Atlanta - but a really good pick
4) St. Louis: Alex Pietrangelo - Don't really know much about haven't looked at his scouting reports, etc. but 3 out of four of the first picks this year d-men is interesting - I would have picked Luke Schenn if I were them though looks like Cliff Fletcher agreed with me since....
5) Toronto trades up with the Islanders and pick: Luke Schenn - this guy I like wish the Caps could have somebody like him to pick when their "number comes up".
Now with number 6) Columbus pick Russian Left Wing Nikita Filatov - this guy should have been a Cap - let's keep the string going - Ovechkin, Semin and him. Seriously, Columbus got a good pick here and his English seems well and he's uncharacteristically animated in his quick post pick interview.
#7) and the Islanders trade down again...Garth Snow is piling up second and third round picks - I wonder if at pick #9 we'll see who the Islanders really want since at number 5 and number 7 in the words of ZZ Top it's been "Money for Nothin' and Chicks for Free" for Charlie Wang's team. Seriously so far the Islanders have picked up like four second and third round picks this time they traded down and Nashville traded up to 7) and picked Center Colin Wilson from Boston University.
#8) Phoenix picks Left Wing Mikkel Boedker. Another pick I really didn't know but he was ranked 7 by TSN and seems like a solid pick.
#9) Islanders, Snow and Wang pick Center Josh Bailey - interesting - I would have thought the Islanders could have used a solid D-Man like Luke Schenn but they got several second and third round picks and traded down; they must see something in him that others don't necessarily see. This will be a fun one to watch.
#10) Vancouver picks Center Cody Hodgson - this is a good pick from what I've seen in the scouting reports online this guy is a solid first round pick.
#11) Chicago picks the "bad boy" in the Draft Center Kyle Beach - I was hoping folks would be stupid and drop this guy down to 23 so the Caps could get him. I think he gets a bum rap and that he'd be a great guy for them - of course it's not like the Caps need another Center right now, they'll probably go for a Left Wing with 23 since that's now the weakest part of their pipeline according to analysts.
TSN commentators just mentioned so far there's been seven deals/trades at this draft. That's a pretty large amount of activity.
Here comes trade number eight Buffalo just traded up one spot and the LA Kings trade down one spot a pick they got in the first trade of the evening.
12) Buffalo picks Tyler Myers - an American whose a big, really tall defenseman. The Sabres need size so even though this guy will probably spend a year or two in the minors and then really help them with some presence on the blue line.
13) LA Kings picks up Defensman Coulton Teubert. Six of the first 13 are blue liners. Next up the Carolina Hurricanes, our Southeast Division Rivals.
14) Carolina picks up diminutive Center Zach Boychuck - apparently he's really quick and fast and a skater and goal scorer but he's small - I don't see him as the heir apparent to Brind A'mour for quite a while if ever. He's gonna be fun for guys like Ovechkin, Semin, Backstrom, etc and even Chris Bourque to check. This guy will need to move around a lot to get any similar number of scoring chance in the NHL to what he's done in juniors.
Commercial Time - oh the deals so far...we're back and trade number nine - Ottawa trades up and acquires pick 15 from Nashville for 18 and a third round in 2009, so Ottawa is up and will likely pick the first goalie of the draft, let's see. (Ray Emery put on Waivers today).
15) Ottawa Captain Daniel Alfredsonn announces the picks and takes Swedish "Defenceman" Erik Karlsson. This guy is still young and small so he'll stay in Sweden and play another season before he comes over but this is a good pick and a young puck moving D-Man to replace Wade Redden.
Things are slowing down again - another trade in the works? Bryan Murray just said the Senators will keep Spezza.
16) Boston Bruins up and of course they congratulate the Celtics and they pick "centre" Joe Colborne - according to the scouting reports a young Joe Thorton; if that's true he'll be a great player for Boston if he matures that way; this kid is big - when he lined up for the photo he was at least a head taller than any of the Bruins execs around him and broad shouldered too.
Commercial Break - six more picks before the Caps make their selection.
17) Anaheim (a pick they got in the Dustin Penner deal) selects Minnesotan Defenseman Jake Gardiner, another guy I wouldn't have minded seeing around at pick # 23. Another big boy, he's only 18 so i can excuse the wrinkled shirt but is that shirt purple? This kid is a big boy he's also as big or bigger than anybody else in his picture. They say he's going to play NCAA at Wisconsin next year, maybe we DC Hockey fans will get to see him at the Frozen Four - I think he'll be a good pick.
Commercial Break again....
18) Nashville pick Tri-City Americans Goalie Chet Pickard, the first goalie selected of this draft. The consensus number 1 goalie available who follows in the footsteps of former Tri-City American goalies Olie Kolzig and Carey Price. Nashville needs a solid goalie, like Price and Kolzig he's a big and mobile goalie.
19) Philadelphia has the first of their two first round picks tonight. Earlier they traded away R.J. Umberger and they select a big Swiss defenseman Luca Sbisa. Thedy just showed a highlight reel where he put a monster hit on a guy. This should be a good pick for the Flyers, he'll fit well with their system and he'll get some development time if he needs it.
Commercial Break again - an ad for Polaris ATVs; Jose Cuervo; Stacker 2 energy drink; Wiliams Lectric Shave; Gold Bond Powder; Comcast Digital Voice - welcome back to Ottawa and the NY Rangers are up.
20) The NY Rangers select from the Ontario Hockey League's Oshawa Generals' Defenseman Michael Del Zotto. The kid palys with my favorite number - Barry Ashbee of the Flyers retired number four. His film clip looked good, he seems really mobile and he too looks like a solid, big boy.
Best thing so far for the Caps is for the last 12 picks nobody's gone for a left wing that means if that's what the Caps are looking for and go for they can still get the same guy they could have selected if they had the 9th pick. The announcers are saying there could be some trade actions and the NJ Devels will trade down. The Caps move up trading away pick 23 and 54 for trade 21. Since the Caps have three second round picks that won't hurt too much. This should be interesting who will announce the pick I'm guessing it's GMGM. Another developing story is that the Rangers negotiations with Jagr aren't going real great - cool glad we don't have to pick up any of that guys tab anymore. McPhee, Boudreau, and the
21) The Caps pick Swedish Center Anton Gustafsonn, son of former Caps star Bengt Acke Gustafsonn - this is an interesting pick and has some sentimental value for the Caps. If this kid were a horse there would be even more talk about his bloodlines. The only question I have is why did the Caps feel the need to give up a pick, even if it was only one of three second round picks for a guy projected at 30th - who did they think was going to take him before 23rd. Well the Caps are getting really tied to stereotypes but that seems to be working - Swedish play making centers and Russian left wing sharpshooters. The kid looks nice and big, is he bigger than Backstrom - I think so but he can't have better puck sense that would be almost impossible. Can't Wait Till Next Season - LETS GO CAPS!!!!
22) Edmonton Oilers select center Jordan Eberle, nice moves in the video clips and he's got some meat on his bones too, though he's not huge; Gustafsonn looked bigger, I didn't notice either of their physical statistics. Neat a kid gets his "dreamshot" - he grew up an Oiler fan, always a cool story.
Fourteen (14) of the twenty-two (22) first round picks so far have been Canadians, not bad for Canadian Hockey, "eh"? Another trade, NJ trades down again for the 23rd pick they get 24 and a 2009 third round pick to Minnesota. "Money for Nothin' and Chicks for Free" for Lamoriello and the Devils. Commercial break and we're back, the Wild are up. I've lost track of the number of trades was that number 10, I think so but I'll have to go back and count.
23) Minnesota pick Defenseman Tyler Cuma of the Ottawa 67s. In the clips he looks like he can skate, move and playmaker from the blueline. This kid looks like a smart kid and a smart pick for the Wild, he'll be up in the NHL soon, I think.
24) New Jersey pick Swedish left wing Mattias Tedenby, he's only 5'8" and 160 maybe that's why the Caps picked Gustafsonn instead. That said it's clear this is the guy the Devils had on their draft board.
Commercial break, time to count the trades....looks like I was wrong, the last trade was trade number eleven (11) not number ten (10) of the night. To me that means two things, there's a fair amount of talent available in this draft and teams know what they want so they feel they can maneuver and not just keep their spots and pick the best available guy.
25) Calgary Flames up, they've been active in the trade activity of late, and they have their core team lined up and they select Center Greg Nemisz of the Windsor Spitfires from the Ontario Hockey League. A 6'3", 200# big guy who looks like he'll be a good guy to have and camp out in the low slot.
Looks like my counting is wrong, in the Sutter interview after the Flames pick TSN says ten (10) trades so far...I give up counting. Buffalo is up now with 26.
26) Buffalo selects center Tyler Ennis from the Western Hockey League's Medicine Hat Tigers. This is different he's small and fast, I guess not such a differnce for the Sabres but they need size and this guy was generally projected as a second rounder, why not go for some more size?
Another commercial break....and we're back after we hear it's freezing at Nissan of Chantilly....
Looks like Washington and Philadelphia have traded - the Caps trade Steve Emminger and number 84 for pick number 27... I don't know who the Caps will pick but I'm sorry to see Emminger go but he'll be happy about this and the Flyers get a good defenseman and since they sort of ran out of them in the playoffs that's not a bad move for Emminger or the Flyers. Who will the Caps pick. Lots of talk about Semin Varmalov - guys he'll come to North America stop bashing my homeboys.
27) Caps pick a big Denfensman John Carlson 6'4", 215# from Dale Hunter's London Knights of the Ontarion Hockey League and Indiana Ice of the USHL. Okay, I like this pick, we trade a puckhandler that we often couldn't fit into the lineup after Mike Green's breakout moves and season for a big kid who will be a solid defensive d-man.
Another trade...Anaheim trades down and give Phoenix 28 for 35 and 38. Here comes Gretzky and the Coyotes crowd....
28) Phoenix Coyotes pick Viktor Tikhonov progeny/grandson of Russian Hockey Legend. Interesting pick, his play in the World Juniors moved him up in this draft and Russian Genes and Caifornia roots.
Commercial break - two more picks in the first round then I post this - Q Motor oil - unleash all your horses; Auto Zone; Smirnoff Pomegranite Martini; Hurl reality TV Promo you've got to be kidding; Black magic Wheel and Tire cleaner, now that's more like it and if you don't like shiney you can use the matte finish version... and we're back ... thirteen trades so far in the first round so far.
29) Atlanta Thrashers (from Pittsburgh - remember the ); they pick Daulten Leveille from Ste. Catherines of the OHA - he's headed to Micigan Stae another guy we'll probably see at the frozen four next season.
30) With the last pick of the first round, the Stanley Cup Champion Detroit Red Wings Steve Yzermann, after select Goaltender Tom McCollum from the Guelph Storm of the OHL, an American from the Niagra Falls area. Darn spellcheck is now hanging up - I'll probably look stupid or at least a little illiterate when I post this now - I hate it when that happens.
Well this was sort of a hockey fix, I like the Caps moves tonight even though I do like Emminger, I wonder if this means that Pothier's potential for returning is looking better. You know what's coming now - Can't Wait Till Next Season; LETS GO CAPS !!!! It's been a while but yes I know I already wrote that earlier tonight. Now back to work...

No comments: