NHL Entry Draft: Recapping Round One, Picks 1-15
A very interesting first round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft just wrapped up.
Tyler or Taylor was finally answered.
Two highly-touted defenseman slid outside of the top 10.
Throw in a trade or two, and we had a rather entertaining, if not unconventional, first round.
Here is a quick look at picks 1-15.
No. 1 Edmonton: Taylor Hall, Windsor (OHL)
Not too much of a surprise here.
I said all along that I'd take Seguin, a center, but Oil General Manager Steve Tambellini seems confident that if they need to, Hall could be moved to the middle.
There is nothing I can say about Hall that you haven't already heard or read.
A dynamic talent no doubt, Hall should jump right into the top-six forward corps of the Oilers.
I'm not sure what the Edmonton roster will look like come September, but I'm interested to see how Hall reacts playing for a (potential) losing team. He hasn't had to face much adversity in his OHL career, playing with juggernaut Windsor.
Pierre McGuire: "This guy GETS winning!" I have a feeling we'll be hearing that a lot from Pierre tonight.
No. 2 Boston: Tyler Seguin, Plymouth (OHL)
By all accounts, it looked like the Oilers tried to pry BOTH Taylor and Tyler, but Boston boss Peter Chiarelli wasn't interested in giving up the second pick.
In Seguin the Bruins get a dynamic playmaker with unreal vision and creativity.
Think of Seguin as a poor man's Steve Yzerman.
Adding Seguin gives the Bruins another centre, with Marc Savard, Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci already lined up down the middle. Expect the Bruins to try to move Savard and his salary.
No. 3 Florida: Erik Gudbranson, Kingston (OHL)
Dale Tallon starts the Panthers rebuild with the drafting of this big, physical defenseman.
A smart, sensible rearguard in his own end, Gudbranson will be a stalwart on the Florida blueline for years to come.
The only downside is his offensive limitations. He had only 23 points in 41 games with Kingston last season, missing a large chunk of the year with mono.
Another year in junior may be in order.
No. 4 Columbus: Ryan Johansen, Portland (WHL)
After the first three picks came and went, it became a crapshoot.
Scott Howson and the Blue Jackets drafted a significant team need here in the playmaking center.
Columbus has longed for a offensively-skilled center to compliment Rick Nash, so the pick makes sense from that standpoint.
He has the potential to be Jason Spezza, but with a better two-way game.
Great pick, in my opinion.
No. 5 New York Islanders: Nino Niederreiter, Portland (WHL)
For some unexplained reason, "E" from Entourage is part of the Isle's draft team this season.
Riding high after a spectacular World Junior Championships last winter, Nino becomes the highest drafted Swiss-born player ever, and deservedly so.
The guy is an absolute dynamo on the ice. He wants to be the best player on the ice every shift he takes. A banger and crasher with a knack around the net, this is a great pick by Garth Snow and company.
Some may have been expecting a defenseman to go here, but the Islanders are chock full of blueline prospects, so this is again a team drafting based on an organizational need.
That jersey looks like it was just picked up at Walmart, though.
No. 6 Tampa Bay: Brett Connolly, Prince George (WHL)
Stevie Y shocks the world.
The general consensus was that Yzerman would be elated if defensemen Brandon Gormley or Cam Fowler were available at the sixth pick.
Steve Yzerman spits in the face of your general consensus.
The biggest question mark in the draft, Connolly is a gamble. There is a lot of worry about with his injured hip, which forced him to miss most of the WHL season.
Like many, I'm not sure why either Fowler/Gormely wasn't taken here. Puzzling pick, but then again, Steve Yzerman should know what he's doing.
No. 7 Carolina: Jeff Skinner, Kitchener (OHL)
Jim Rutherford hates drafting blueliners in the first round, so this pick came as no surprise.
The Hurricanes drafted the best scoring prospect in the draft, Taylor Hall included. Skinner had 50 goals last season for Kitchener, and added another 20 in the playoffs.
He compares to Zach Parise and actually used to figure skate until he was 12.
No. 8 Atlanta: Alexander Burmistrov, Barrie (OHL)
There was some speculation here that the Thrashers would take a look at goaltender Jack Campbell, but the organization instead went with the Russian speedster.
Burmistrov has said all along he wants to play in the NHL, as compared to Mother Russia, and he possesses a strong passion for the game, not unlike a certain fellow Russian who plays in Washington (I'm not talking about Alexander Semin).
Inexplicably, Don Waddell is somehow still allowed to walk on stage.
No. 9 Minnesota: Mikael Granlund, HIFK (SM-Liga)
Gee, can you tell he's from Finland?
Granlund is the first European skating prospect (not playing in North America) taken, and its a great pick by the Wild.
A very smart player, Granlund may have the best hockey sense of all prospects in the draft.
He produced well in his rookie season in the Finnish SM-Liga, earning Rookie of the Year honours in the league.
At 5-foot-10, 180 pounds, he isn't the biggest player in the draft, but we know that Finns play a lot bigger than their actual size.
Great fit for this team, but still a couple years away from the show.
No. 10 New York Rangers: Dylan McILrath, Moose Jaw (WHL)
Hard to believe that McILrath was taken ahead of fellow blueliners Fowler and Gormley, but the Rangers wanted some toughness on the back end, and they certainly got it with this pick.
He will never be on a fantasy team, but that doesn't matter. Dylan had 19 fighting majors in the WHL last season, by far the most of any prospect heading into the draft (Erik Gudbranson was second, with six majors).
The Rangers long-term hope is for McILrath to make them a tougher team to play against, something they strongly needed to address playing in the same division as Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.
No. 11 Dallas: Jack Campbell (USJD)
The first goalie taken in the draft, Campbell has simply been a winner everywhere he's played.
He rescued the American World Junior team and backstopped them to a gold medal win over Canada back in January, and has won gold twice with the U.S. Under 18 team.
Depending on how Kari Lethonen pans out for the Stars, the goalie position is a weakness that needed to be addressed.
Campbell will make the jump to the CHL next season, where he'll play for the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL.
No. 12 Anaheim: Cam Fowler, Windsor (OHL)
Projected as a top-five pick, the offensive rearguard had to wait until the 12th pick to hear his name called.
And you couldn't wipe the smile of Ducks' GM Bob Murray's face. You probably still can't.
The big knock on Fowler is that he's a touch too soft. His offensive upside is well document, however. He can be a pivot man on the power play and is a tremendous skater, never afraid to lead a rush.
I think there will be some teams kicking themselves in a few years for not having drafted this kid.
No. 13 Phoenix: Brandon Gormley, Moncton (QMJHL)
Another defenseman anticipated to go in the top five finally hears his name called to the stage.
Gormley, by all accounts, doesn't play with a lot of flash. If you're a defenseman, that is usually a good thing.
He is a tough, well-rounded player who has a calming presence on the ice, rarely making a mistake with or without the puck.
He really is a poor man's Nicklas Lidstrom.
In regards to Fowler and Gormley dropping so far in the draft, it's worth nothing that Anze Kopitar fell to 11th three years ago, and Tyler Myers fell to 12th two years ago. There really wasn't much reasoning for it, but look who's laughing now.
No. 14 St. Louis: Jaden Schwartz (USHL)
The Blues and their scouting staff are not strangers to going "off the board," and they did so here, drafting the high school center.
Schwartz has a tremendous offensive upside and has drawn comparisons to Michael Cammalleri.
Also no surprise, John Davidson almost cried on stage. The guy sure is emotional.
No. 15 Los Angeles: Derek Forbort, D (USA U-18)
The Kings traded up to get this pick and the buzz around the Staples Center was that they would take one of the hometown Cali forwards.
Instead Dean Lombardi and company go with Forbort, a big defenseman from the U.S Under 18 team.
Forbort has a great deal of pro potential, but needs to learn to use his size and big frame more often.
There were a few "booooos" raining down from the Kings' faithful for not taking one of the California boys, but like Bob MacKenzie said, "You can't draft on geography."
Pierre McGuire nearly orgasms when Forbort pulls the retro Kings' jersey over his head.