The NHL draft is just a few days away now, and there is plenty of excitement and nervousness heading into the draft party Friday night at the Nassau Coliseum.
With the first pick, New York Islanders GM Garth Snow and the rest of the organization have not hinted at who they will draft between John Tavares, Victor Hedman, and Matt Duchene.
Fans are nervous, however, because in an interview the other day, Snow said his choice may not be in line with who everyone else feels he should pick.
A majority of the fan base wants to see Tavares drafted on Friday. Some would like to see Hedman drafted. Maybe a handful would like to see Duchene drafted, and I feel a lot of people will be upset if Duchene is picked at No. 1.
The Islanders have done such a good job keeping this a secret because, even though Snow said the decision is unanimous in the organization of who they should choose, there are only a handful of people who actually know who the pick will be.
So who will be the pick Friday night? Will it be John Tavares, the center who is a world class sniper, and the consensus pick amongst the fans?
Will it be Victor Hedman, the 6'6" hulking defenseman from Sweden who plays a solid two-way game, and can be a cornerstone around which they'll build the defense?
Or will it be Matt Duchene, the center who some scouts consider to be the most complete player in the draft? He is lightning fast, responsible defensively, and can kill penalties.
As I've said before, I am very confident that the New York Islanders will be announcing John Tavares as their man on Friday night.
I believe the comment Snow made about his pick possibly going against who everyone felt should be drafted was just a smokescreen to keep people guessing.
There is too much Tavares can do for this franchise to pass him up. He will be a fun player to watch as he scores goals, and he can give this franchise a much-needed jolt in the box office.
If he turns out to be a superstar and the Isles pass on him, it could prove to be the final straw that buries this once-proud franchise.
Hedman can, and should, be a big time defenseman in the NHL, and while I would like to see the Isles draft JT, I would not be very upset with Hedman if he ends up being the man.
I understand the Isles wanting to build from the goalie out, and Hedman and Mark Streit would really anchor the defense.
However, if Duchene is drafted, I will be upset.
This is no knock on Duchene, and he should turn out to be a wonderful hockey player, but most people have him going third behind Hedman and Tavares, and you don't take the third best available player at No. 1.
Not with two guys who many scouts consider a cut above from the rest.
My big concern about Duchene is that he had a big year playing behind centers Cody Hodgson and Evgeny Gratchev. He also did not make the Canadien roster at the World Juniors, meaning he is still a question mark for the NHL.
So who will it be Friday night? Tune in to the draft on Versus, or come out to the draft party at the Coliseum to find out.
I will be at the draft party Friday night, and will try to get something up either late Friday or early Saturday to recap the event.
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