Get ready for draft coverage out the ying yang this week.
Here is more:
THN's mock is up next:
16. Columbus – Ryan Ellis, D, Windsor, OHL. Sure, the Jackets have Kris Russell, but they also have one of the worst power plays in hockey. Ellis fixes that in a hurry.
Lots of folks have Ellis falling to the Jackets. I certainly wouldn't mind the pick but I just don't know if Howson and co. take another under-sized d-man.
Again though, if he's the best player available you make the selection and don't look back.
Full mock here.
Here is TSN's Jackets draft preview:
Columbus Blue Jackets
After nine drafts, the Blue Jackets almost have a full cupboard of prospects to draw from. It looked pretty bare a few years ago, but the last three drafts have replenished the stocks. The trio of Derick Brassard, Jakub Voracek and Nikita Filatov are all expected to in the NHL, so another offensive forward is needed in the farm. The defence has six relatively unknown blueliners in Will Weber, Cody Goloubef, Brent Regner, Jonathan Sigalet and Ted Ruth. None of them are projected to be any more than No. 4 to No. 7 defencemen, but one of them could surprise. That being the case, Columbus could use a potential top two defenceman.
Top Draft Pick: 16th overall
Key Prospects: (D) Ted Ruth, (C) Derick Brassard, (RW) Jakub Voracek, (D) Cody Goloubef, (LW) Nikita Filatov, (RW) Stefan Legein
Strengths: Solid depth players at defence
Draft Needs: Offensive Defenceman
..and the Toronto Sun has their mock posted:
COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS
#16: John Moore
Size: 6-foot-3, 190 pounds
Team: Chicago, USHL
Blessed with a wealth of young forward talent both on the roster and in the system, the Jackets will be looking to add a mobile puck-moving defencemen, like John Moore. He has the size and skill to go along with great playmaking abilities. A tremendous skater, Moore started the 2008-09 season outside of the first round but with solid play from start to finish of season, ISS scouts feel he has moved ahead of most all the other highly rated blueline prospects.
Style compares to: Joe Corvo
Would love to see the Jackets nab Moore.
The Red Line Report weighs in with Part II of their draft preview:
Here is an interesting scenario that Eric Smith over at Hockeybuzz suggests that I hadn't considered:
Now a scenario that I thought of that would be interesting is if the Blue Jackets give up their 16th overall selection to get all 3 2nd round selections the Islanders have at 31, 37 and 56. That would still give the Blue Jackets 2 selections in the top 40 plus a bonus one at 56. Would that be worth it to Howson to pull the trigger. Would Garth Snow be willing to give up his entire 2nd round to get the chance to select 3 first rounders?
Would Howson pull the trigger on such a deal? It would all depend on the Jackets board and how close they have players ranked from mid the mid frist round up to that 56th pick.
Of course we have to remember quantity doesn't always equal quality..... and man, that would sure make Friday night a drag (although surely I'd find a way to continue to "hydrate".
On the flip side three picks in the top 56 could restock the pipeline.
Personally if Howson moves down I think he holds out for the 26th and 31st picks. It will really depend on how much the Islanders like who is still on the board at 16 when the Jackets go on the clock. They will really have to like someone to pry away that 31st pick (which is the first pick in the 2nd round).
If a deal does go down I expect a frenzy on the floor and an announcement right as the clock expires.
I typed the bit above last night and this morning I see this bit of info via the Columbus Dispatch:
Howson said the Blue Jackets will consider trying to move up "slightly" in the draft order, although he hasn't had any discussions with other teams. That could begin today, when most clubs arrive in Montreal.
The Blue Jackets, with center Derick Brassard returning from injury, and rookie Nikita Filatov expected to be a full-time NHLer in 2009-10, have a glut of forwards and they'd likely consider moving one, especially a winger.
They do not have a second-round draft pick that might be used to move up in the order, however. That pick was traded to Ottawa in the deal to acquire center Antoine Vermette.
It is highly unlikely, Howson said, that the Blue Jackets will trade the pick or move down in the first round.
That tells me they definitely have their eyes on a player or two they hope will be there at 16.
I wouldn't rule that possibility of trading down out completely because if those players they are eyeing are all off the board come 16 then the chances of moving down increase.
Still I may have to rethink my vote in the poll!
Larry Brooks makes an interesting point about the top end of the draft:
If the Islanders are not going to select John Tavares first overall in Friday's Entry Draft, then GM Garth Snow should declare early in the week so that the big night doesn't turn into a fiasco for the organization and, more importantly, the player the team does select.
We believe Snow understands the implicit danger of allowing the Tavares Bandwagon to roll down Hempstead Turnpike without brakes, only then to have it crash without warning into a dead end in Montreal on Friday night.
We believe Snow recognizes how unfair that scenario would be to either Matt Duchene or Victor Hedman, the potential alternate selections at No. 1.
And that's why we believe the longer the Islanders maintain their silence, the greater the likelihood Tavares will indeed be chosen first overall, even if the supposed inside information begins to point in another direction.
Personally I think the Islanders would be nuts to pass on Tavares. He's a classic case of being in the spotlight too long and has gotten over-scrutinized.
He's not a generational talent but you don't pass on a kid who potted 72 goals as a 16 year old in the OHL and broke Gretzky's records.
I see him having a Nash or Patrick Kane type impact on a franchise and that's a damn good thing.
Brooks also goes on to note to not rule out Heatley going to the Rangers and that in return the Rags would certainly try to include Nik Zherdev's rights in the deal.
Isn't this type of move what is completely wrong with the Rangers? Every year it's style over substance.
Ed over at InsideHockey.com has a new read up on the Jackets offseason here.
Great Mason interview here from AM640 Toronto radio.
Interesting small tidbit from the Toronto Sun:
Expect Mike Babcock to be named Canada's Olympic coach on Thursday, and don't be surprised if Lindy Ruff, Ken Hitchcock and Claude Julien are part of the coaching package.
More Nash trash:
A couple of things to consider, though. First, does Nash want to remain in Columbus. If he goes to unrestricted free agency next summer there is no question he will be the most sought-after UFA on the market - maybe of all-time. Many teams will take that into consideration this year when preparing their budgets for the 2010-11 season. Also, does Nash want to continue playing for coach Ken Hitchcock?
Finally, with former Blue Jackets president-GM Doug MacLean working diligently to get back into the NHL, Nash may choose to wait to see if his pal gets work and then sign with that team. In fact, if I was a team looking for a new GM, and felt MacLean might be able to deliver Nash, I'd give some serious consideration to signing him. MacLean, that is.
"Does Nash want to continue playing for Ken Hitchcock?"...
You mean the guy who turned Nash into the two-way force he has now become? You mean the coach who made him a captain? You mean the coach he just had his best season to date under? You mean the coach who just led this team to it's first ever .500+ season and playoff birth?
Yeah... why would Nash want to continue playing for that bum.
"Choose to wait to see if his pal gets work and then sign with that team."....
The only signing MacLean is going to be doing is the check he made out to Brophy to run this garbage.
Howson just get this deal done quickly so we don't have to hear from any more from MacLean's "pals".
Thanks to Ed for the heads up on this article.
Did you catch this? Apparently Bettman met with the NHLPA on Saturday morning for almost two hours which was double the time he was alloted:
The NHL commissioner spoke for almost two hours on Saturday morning -- more than double the time he was originally allotted. He began with an address to the roughly 110 players in attendance and faced questions on a range of topics.
Everyone seemed satisfied after Bettman's first-ever visit to these meetings.
"It was a big move on his part to come in here," said Detroit Red Wings defenceman Chris Chelios, often a critic of the commissioner. "It was a respectful meeting. We weren't going to do anything that was unprofessional. It took a lot for him to go out of his way and address the players.
"I just wish we had 700 guys in here to listen to him."
The commissioner spoke about the business of the sport and fielded questions from guys like Chelios, Robyn Regehr, Georges Laraques, Manny Malhotra and Kevin Weekes.
Things will never be perfect between the two sides (are they ever between employers and unions in any industry?) but I'm encouraged by this. It's something that would have never occured under form union head Bob Goodenow.
I give current NHLPA boss Paul Kelley a lot of credit for taking this step and Bettman for jumping at the opportunity.
The one thing both sides must absolutely avoid is another work stoppage.
For those that have yet to make draft plans remember the R Bar as well as the Jackets over at Nationwide are having parties.
I'll be partaking in both (first stop is R Bar @ 1:00 EST). Hope to see you there!
Finally... Happy Father's Day to all those hockey dads out there!
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Get ready for draft coverage out the ying yang this week.