directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Dalpe's in a doozy

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Dalpe's in a doozy

This Zac Dalpe situation is shaping up as quite the story to follow.

To recap. Dalpe was projected to be a 1st round pick but slipped to the 2nd round (#48 overall). Ohio State, who is coming off 2 miserable seasons, can desperately use Dalpe's injection of skill into its lineup to help become a contender again.

The problem is that Dalpe has pretty much come out of nowhere this season to become such a high pick. So much so that the OHL's Plymouth Whalers made him a their top choice in their draft.

Now comes the wrinkle that the team that drafted Dalpe, the Carolina Hurricanes, is owned by Peter Karmanos. He also owns the Plymouth Whalers.

This is about the worst case scenario that Ohio State could imagine.

The Dispatch had a blurb about him in this morning's edition:

"Nothing has changed," Dalpe said by phone from his hometown of Paris, Ontario. "I'm 100 percent committed to Ohio State."

Dalpe said he expects to talk to Hurricanes management later this week. Buckeyes coaches met with Dalpe on Saturday in Ottawa, site of the draft.

Ohio State coach John Markell concedes that Dalpe could change his mind at any time, even after entering the Buckeyes' program in September.

"They are testing his character," Markell said. "We knew we had a kid of character and passion and he is displaying that right now."

I don't envy Dalpe's situation at all. On one hand you know the kid wants to honor his commitment to Ohio State. They were the first team to commit to him before his growth spurt that led to all this size and attention to go with his skill.

On the other you know its his dream, as it is most kids playing hockey, to play in the NHL. I'm sure he doesn't want to start off his relationship with the team that drafted him by pissing them off.

If you recall another high profile draft pick by the name of Jack Johnson, who went 2nd overall in 2005 to the Hurricanes, also chose the college route and played with Michigan. Carolina wanted him to turn pro before he was ready and instead of respecting his decision that team dealt him to the Kings in a deal centered around Tim Gleason.

Now grated the Hurricanes were really hurting for defense at the time but its an example of them wanting it done their way.

For Ohio State they can only hope Dalpe sticks to his guns. They can certainly boast some recent success developing NHLers.

Of course they developed RJ Umberger, who was a #16 overall pick back in 2001. He's played in 228 games and has scored 49g 67a for 116p.

They also had Ryan Kesler. Kesler was a #23 overall pick back in 2003. He's scored 39g, 42a for 81 points in 238 games.

David Steckle is another former Buckeye who was also the #30 pick back in 2001. He just recently found his way to the NHL and played in 79g with 5g 7a for 12 points.

Guys like Rod Pelley and Nate Guenin have also seen some time in the NHL recently.

They also have boasted players like Tom Fritsche who was a 2nd round pick back in the 2005 draft who just recently turned pro and spent some time in the AHL last year after his season at OSU concluded.

On the current Buckeye's team they have goaltending standout Joe Palmer who is a 4th round pick for the Blackhawks from the 2006 entry draft. John Albert was a forward who was selected in the 6th round last season by the Atlanta Thrashers.

Then of course this year they have Dalpe as a 2nd round pick and another player by the name of Taylor Stefishen was a 5th round pick this draft by the Nashville Predators.

This could be a make it or break it year for head coach John Markell. A lot of his season and future as OSU's head coach could hang in the balance of Dalpe's decision.

He's got a young team that's paid its dues the last couple of seasons. They could take a step this year as his young players mature and having Zac Dalpe as a part of that certainly could help jump start that process.


No comments: