directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Lightning win draft lottery; Jackets will draft 6th overall

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Monday, April 7, 2008

Lightning win draft lottery; Jackets will draft 6th overall

Just finished watching the NHL Draft Lottery Special on the NHL Network and the Tampa Bay Lightning won the luck of the draw and will draft first overall.

The #1 unequivocal prospect is Steven Stamkos of the OHL's Sarnia Sting. There is little doubt the Tampa Bay Lightning will draft him 1st overall.

Couple of good things to point out here for the Jackets:

1. The Jackets didn't lose a spot and with the draft said to be 7 players deep (although that seems to be debatable now considering TSN's top 10 which I'll get to in a moment) that leaves the Jackets in a good position either to A. draft the BPA (best player available) or B. deal that pick for immediate help.

2. Western conference teams LA Kings and more importantly the St. Louis Blues did not win the lottery so we won't have to face Stamkos very often.

Of course the bad is that the Jackets didn't win to move up to #2 overall.

In their 8 years of being eligible for the NHL Draft lottery, including 5 chances at #1, the Jackets have never won. They did trade up for the #1 pick in 2002 for Nash but the hockey gods have never favored the Jackets in this process.

The Jackets pick 6. Its a position the Jackets are very familiar with. Here are #6 overall drafted players selected the past 15 years:

1993: Victor Kozlov (749GP 169G 273A 442P)
1994: Ryan Smyth (788GP 270G 294A 564P)
1995: Steve Kelly (147GP 9G 12A 21P)
1996: Boyd Devereaux (542GP 54A 96P)
1997: Daniel Tkaczuk (19GP 4G 7A 11P)
1998: Rico Fata (230GP 27G 36A 63P)
1999: Brian Finley (4GP 0G 0A 0P)
2000: Scott Hartnell (436GP 93G 118P 211P)
2001: Miko Koivu (146GP 26G 49A 75P)
2002: Scottie Upshall (95GP 17G 25A 42P)
2003: Milan Michalek (161GP 44G 58A 102P)
2004: Al Montoya (0GP 0G 0A 0P)
2005: Gilbert Brule (85GP 11G 12A 23P)
2006: Derick Brassard (0GP 0G 0A 0P)
2007: Sam Gagner (79GP 13G 36A 49P)

They say you should give prospects 5 years before judging boom or bust so going by that formula:

BOOM: Kozlov, Smyth, Hartnell, Koivu
BUST: Kelly, Devereaux, Tkaczuk, Fata, Finley

So excluding Upshall who is in between boom or bust you have a .44 chance of a successful pick that can contribute. There are no superstars chosen out of that sample although Sam Gagner had an unbelievable rookie season this year and may reach that status if he keeps progressing but again he is in the "too early to call it" category.

I look at that list and if Scott Howson could trade that pick straight up for a young #1 or #2 center in the form of a Jeff Carter or a Jordan Staal you make that trade without hesitation.

This year is said to be the strongest draft in quite some time - some say similar to the 2003 draft. Here are the Bob MacKenzie's top 10 as of today:

1. Stamkos - forward - Canadien
2. Bogosian - defensemen - American
3. Doughty - defensemen - Canadien
4. Pietrangelo - defensemen - Canadien
5. Filatov - forward - Russian
6. Schenn - defensemen - Canadien
7. Boedker - forward- Denmark
8. Wilson - forward - American
9. Myers - defensemen - American
10. Hodgson - forward - Canadien

The Jackets have the following picks:

Round / Pick
1st - 6th
1st - 21st
2nd - 36nd
3rd - 66th
4th - 96th
5th - 126th
5th - 137th
6th - 156th
7th - 186th

9 picks total.

I wouldn't get used to the idea of hanging onto all those picks. I can see Howson dealing any number of them to bring in help to win now. I can even see Howson trading down out of that 6th pick to perhaps pick up a much needed player in the process. Lots of options here and it should be an active week leading up to and at the actual draft tables.



Douglas said...

Well, it's too bad that they got #6, although I have to say at least they got #6! Because of exactly what you're saying: it's a 7-deep draft and CBJ can use it to get that #1 center NOW.

Thanks for keeping this blog up, I love reading it!

LTL said...

Thanks for the comments Douglas. I love doing it, I'm just glad a couple of ya out there enjoy reading it!!

As far as the be honest I would have loved to get to #2 but I was just as happy we did not fall a spot!

Now we'll see what Howson can do with it. The easy thing to do would be to keep it but that won't do us any good next year.

He's got lots of money and assets to play with and the clock is ticking.