Draft day is now less than a week away - Here's a look at how things would be going if the SBN hockey bloggers were GMs:
1. New York Islanders (Lighthouse Hockey) - John Tavares, London (OHL)
2. Tampa Bay Lightning (Raw Charge) - Victor Hedman, Modo (Swe)
3. Colorado Avalanche (Mile High Hockey) - Matt Duchene, Brampton (OHL)
4. Atlanta Thrashers (Bird Watchers Anonymous) - Evander Kane, Vancouver (WHL)
5. Los Angeles Kings (Battle of California) - Brayden Schenn, Brandon (WHL)
6. Phoenix Coyotes (Five For Howling) - Jared Cowen, Spokane (WHL)
7. Toronto Maple Leafs (Pension Plan Puppets) - Magnus Svensson-Paajarvi (Swe)
8. Dallas Stars (Defending Big D) - Oliver Ekman-Larssen (Swe-2)
9. Ottawa Senators (Silver Seven) - Nazem Kadri (OHL)
10. Edmonton Oilers (Copper & Blue) – Ryan Ellis (OHL)
11. Nashville Predators (On The Forecheck) – Jordan Schroeder (NCAA)
12. Minnesota Wild (Hockey Wilderness) – Zach Budish (USHS)
13. Buffalo Sabres (Die By The Blade) – Zack Kassian (OHL)
14. Florida Panthers (Litter Box Cats) – Louis Leblanc (USHL)
15. Anaheim Ducks (Battle of California) – Dmitri Kulikov (QMJHL)
16. Columbus Blue Jackets (The Cannon) – David Rundblad (Swe)
17. St. Louis Blues (St. Louis Game Time) – Chris Kreider (USHS)
18. Montreal Canadiens (Eyes On The Prize) – Scott Glennie (WHL)
So we're getting closer to when we'll have to pick. This year will mark the first time the Blackhawks have drafted in the 28th spot (as a first rounder) since the Atlanta Thrashers were added to the NHL as the 28th team in 1999. For some prespective on what we can look for, here's a look at all the other first-round 28th overall picks plus the Hawks pick for that year.
And yes, I'm totally stealing this idea from Canes Country because I really like it.
Islanders - Kristian Kudroc - D
Kudroc played only 26 games in the NHL, 24 with the Lightning in '00-'01 and '01-'02 and a final two in '03-'04 with the Panthers. He scored 2 career goals and 2 assists. After his last cup of coffee in the NHL he's gone back to European leagues and was even named Player of the Year in the '05-'06 Season by his team's fan club.
Blackhawks - Steve McCarthy - D (23rd)
McCarthy started off well - grabbing an assist on his first shift in the NHL but didn't do much more. He was traded to the Canucks for a third rounder, then to the Thrashers for a conditional fourth-rounder. This past season he played 18 games in the KHL.
Other notable first-rounders: The Sedins were taken 2nd and 3rd overall by the Canucks - now the Nucks get to decide if they're worth $126 Million. Havlat was taken two pics before Kudroc, 26th overall by the Senators.
Williams played 3 seasons with the Flyers before being traded to the Hurricanes during the '03-'04 season in exchange for Danny Markov. After that season, Williams signed a one-year extension deal and proceeded to score a career high in points, including the game icing goal in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. This year Williams was traded from the Hurricanes to the Kings.
Blackhawks - Mikhail Yakubov - C (10th)
Yakubov played 30 games for the Hawks in '03-'04 getting 8 points and a -12 rating. He played 10 more for the Hawks in '05-'06 before being waived and claimed by the Panthers. In 2007 Yaukbov won the Turnir Puchkova with the Severstal Cherepovets... umm.. thanks Wikipedia.
also, Pavel Vorobiev - RW (11th From Canucks)
The Hawks also had the rights to the Canucks first round pick that year - they used it to pick another real winner in Vorobiev who did have 25 points in 57 games but left to return to Russia after claiming that Americans, and the Blackhawks especially, had a bias against Russians. Sure, whatever you say Comrade
Other notable first-rounders. Rick DiPietro, Dany Heatley and Marian Gaborik were taken 1-2-3 by the Islanders, Thrashers and Wild. Marian Hossa's brother, Marcel was taken 16th overall - He hasn't won a cup either.
Devils -Adrian Foster - C
Foster has yet to play in the NHL. He's made the rounds in the AHL before switching to a league in Austria for the '08-09 season where he had 43 points in 52 games. So there's some encouragement that the Blackhawks aren't the only ones to screw up the first round.
Blackhawks - Tuomo Ruutu - C-RW (9th)
Ruutu should be a familiar name for most Hawk fans as he was one of the fan favorites before being traded in exchange for Andrew Ladd in the '07-08 season. The trade has worked out well for both organizations and players as Ladd is getting high marks in our recent review and Ruutu set career highs in Goals, Points and got his first taste of the playoffs this year going to the Eastern Conference Finals with the Canes.
Avalanche - Jonas Johansson - RW
Johansson was drafted by the Avs but traded to the Capitals with Bates Battaglia for Steve Konowalchuck and Washington's 3rd round pick. Johansson made it into one game with the Capitals where he managed just over 4 minutes on the ice and two minutes in the penalty box.
Blackhawks - Anton Babchuk - D (21st)
Babchuk played 22 games with the Blackhawks before being traded to the Hurricanes in exchange for Danny Richmond. Babchuk won the Stanley Cup that year and Richmond was traded in 2008 for Tim Brent. Babchuk still plays for the Hurricanes along with Ruutu.
Ducks (From Stars) - Corey Perry - RW
Perry played 3 decent if not solid years with the Ducks before really breaking out this past season. Perry set career highs in goals and assists - and became part of one of the more dominating lines in the NHL when he was matched up with Ryan Getzlaf and Bobby Ryan. Those three were almost unstoppable in the playoffs and a large part of the reason the Ducks to the Wings to seven games. Perry is a big name in a first round that was absolutely loaded with talent.
Blackhawks - Brent Seabrook - D (14th)
Do I really need to tell you about Biscuit? - Just check out his season review here.
Dallas - Mark Fistric - D
Fistric has played 73 games for the Stars and has managed 6 assists. Fristric is still a work in progress for the Stars but has good potential. According to Hockeys Future:
He has a strong work ethic and is a leader for any team he plays on. A simple, but decidedly physical, game is the most effective use of Fistric.
Interesting to note though that the Capitals were able to take Norris Trophy nominee (but not winner) Mike Green with the 29th overall pick in 2004.
Blackhawks - Cam Barker - D (3rd)
Another player you don't need much of a reminder on. His review is here. What you think of Barker may largely be tied to what you think of Campbell. While stronger on his defensive responsibilities than Campbell, Barker is still a puck-moving defenseman and could be expendable depending on the money he's going to be asking for this offseason, but that's an arugument for another post...
Dallas - Matt Niskanen - D
Niskanen has played with the Stars for the last two seasons grabbing 61 points but also fluctuating his +/- rating with a +22 his rookie year and a -11 last season. That could be that the Stars had a bad year this season but Defending Big D wasn't totally sold on him - Brandon gave him a D- rating halfway through the season. Seems Niskanen turned around his season and became a strong presence on the blue line.
Blackhawks - Jack Skille - RW (7th)
Jury is still out on Skille. He only made the Hawks roster for 8 games this year, scoring one goal. In Rockford though he scored 45 points in 58 games. As a winger, Skille could add some much needed size to the roster. Skille hasn't had a great chance to show what he can do but depending on how the cap works out, this could be his year.
Ottawa - Nick Foligno - LW
The son of former NHLer Mike Foligno, in his first full season with the Senators this season, Foligno had 32 points and -10 rating. Not great but not terrible. The scouting report on Nick is that he's a tough player, willing to pay the price in front of the net or go to the corners but needs to add size. He could turn out to be a good power forward but probably not as good as his father (who had 355 NHL goals).
Blackhawks - Jonathan Toews - C (3rd)
The Captain - The future of this franchise. Not much more needs to be said.
Petrecki has yet to play in the NHL as he's still skating at Boston College. He doesn't score many points but is a good solid blue liner. From Hockey's Future:
Petrecki is a classic American defenseman. He is has good size, he hits very hard, and he has a very heavy shot. Petricki is a big mobile defenseman, has NHL size, and is known for his physical play. He's a good skater who sees the ice well and can move the puck effectively. He has offensive but has spent the last year or so working on his defensive game and positioning.
Blackhawks - Patrick Kane - RW (1st)
The Blackhawks first ever first number one pick overall - we're all very familiar with him.
Coyotes (from Dallas via LA via Anaheim) - Viktor Tikhonov - RW
Viktor shares the name of his grandfather, the coach of the Soviet Union hockey team that lost to the
Kurt Russel Herb Brooks led 1980 Olympic hockey team. In 2008 he finished the IIHF World Junior Championships with 5 goals, 2 assists in 7 games and was named the best forward on the Russian team. This past season he joined the Coyotes and had 16 points in 61 games. Five For Howling is impressed enough with him. Viktor is probably best known for being credited with a goal on a delayed penalty against him - watch
Blackhawks- Kyle Beach - LW (11th)
The Hawks took a bit of a gamble on Beach with the 11th overall pick in the last draft. His skill could have made him a much higher pick, but he's a headcase. He's going to stir up a lot of shit - it could pay off well for the Hawks or he could be a total cancer, we'll see. Besides being a professional asshole, Beach is also a skilled power forward adding size and "toughness".. well.. as long as he's not getting the shit kicked out of him or being suspended by his own team.