NHL Draft Notes: Non-Leafs Edition
So, I've already told you that I'm thrilled, ecstatic, over the moon, or whatever happy adjective you want to use, over the Toronto Maple Leafs' performance at the draft so far.
Here are some thoughts on the other things that have transpired.
—The Detroit Red Wings must know something about Jacob Markstrom that we don't. They wanted a goalie at No. 30 and, instead of the second-ranked Swede, went with OHL tender Thomas McCollum instead.
If Markstrom really was the best goalie left, Swedish scout Hakan Andersson would have been all over him, which leads me to believe he's seen something he doesn't like.
—The Phoenix Coyotes have had an excellent draft, landing Olli Jokinen from Florida and making some great picks in Mikkel Boedker (eighth), Jared Staal (49th), and Michael Stone (69th).
But what the heck were they thinking when they moved two very good second round picks, Nos. 35 and 39, to move up to 28 and take Viktor Tikhonov?
Tikhonov would easily have been available at 35. He was expected to go in the third round. Phoenix sacrificed what could have been a very strong player at 39 to get a player who would have been available later anyway. Tsk, tsk.
—The New York Islanders took a big gamble by moving down four spots to take Josh Bailey. Bailey will be an NHL player, for sure, but the Isles passed on a franchise player in Luke Schenn to get him.
They added two picks this year and one in 2009 in the process. And while Aaron Ness and David Toews were both solid choices, especially the latter, Garth Snow will be crying in his Cheerios when he sees Bailey knocked on his rear four times a season by Schenn.
The other thing is that New York probably could have moved down even more to take Bailey, maybe to No. 11. You're telling me Chicago wouldn't have loved a shot at Cody Hodgson?
—Montreal made a great deal to get Alex Tanguay on Friday night. The 25th overall pick and a second rounder in 2009 is a very reasonable price for the playmaker, who should be entering his prime. Having him to set up Saku Koivu and Alex Kovalev should do wonders for the Habs' offense. Now imagine if they get Mats Sundin as well?
—Calgary, on the other hand, didn't do as well. I realize they wanted to move Tanguay's salary, so that's a plus, but Mike Cammalleri is an offensive downgrade and the Flames also moved down from No. 17 to No. 25 to get the deals done. Unless Greg Nemisz becomes a star, the Flames lose here.
—The Los Angeles Kings will have the best blueline in hockey in five years. They already had Jack Johnson. Now they add Drew Doughty, Colten Teubert and Vyacheslav Voinov with their first three picks!
I'll say one thing: I'm happy the Leafs aren't in the same conference.
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