2010 NHL Draft Analysis: Atlanta Thrashers
Rick Dudley and newly-hired head coach Craig Ramsay have the unenviable task of leading a struggling franchise back from the brink.
The reason the franchise is ailing is largely in part to lack of success of the on-ice product. Several recent trades may help bring things back, but the best way to do so is through the draft.
The Thrashers had nine selections in the 2010 draft, and they drafted all over the board in an attempt solidify all areas of the game.
Joining the ranks of the Thrash are the following.
With the eighth overall selection the Atlanta Thrashers added Russian sniper Alexander Burmistrov. Burmistrov went higher than expected, but that does not mean he wasn't a good pick.
Alexander is a very creative forward who had a great season with the Barrie Colts. In 62 games played Burmistrov recorded 22 goals and 43 assists for 65 points. Considering this was his first taste of North American hockey, he did rather well, and only shows signs of improvement.
Burmistrov, weighing in only at 170 pounds, still has some growing to do before he makes the big club, but another year or two with the Colts should allow him to develop into a very good prospect.
Atlanta didn't have a Second Round pick, but in the third they decided to pick a blue-liner and went with Newmarkets Julian Melchiori. Melchiori could be considered a good two-way player, as he provides a good offensive touch, as well as steady play from the back end.
Playing in the Central Canadian Hockey League, Melchiori will look to the University of Massachusetts-Lowell next season to really step up his game.
Playing in the CCHL isn't the best indicator of skill, so we should really see what kind of player the Thrash have after next season. Consider Melchiori a work in progress.
Dudley got an absolute gem in the Fourth Round. Once considered a potential first-rounder, Ivan Telegin of the Saginaw Spirit managed to fall to the Fourth Round.
Telegin is a Russian-born centre committed to playing in the NHL some day. In 51 games played Telegin recorded 44 points and was the runner-up to future first rounder Matt Puempel for the OHL rookie of the year award.
Telegin brings a lot of offensive potential, he has good speed, good hands, and a decent shot. Ranked 33rd among North American skaters, Telegin was a very smart pick.
Atlanta picked up a goalie in the Fifth Round in European goal-tender Fredrik Pettersson-Wentzel. Ranked second among European goalies Wentzel could be another gem for the Atlanta Thrashers.
Playing in the Swedish junior leagues, Wentzel, in 37 games, posted 1.85 goals against average, and a .924 save percentage.
Wentzel has shown good things in the juniors, so a step-up to the Swedish elites may be in store next season.
A second fifth-round pick saw Yasin Cisse, a native of Westmount, Quebec, drafted. Cisse is a winger for the Des Moines Buccaneers of the USHL. He only played in 18 games but recorded 13 goals and six assists.
At 6'2" and 202 pounds, Cisse has decent size, and can bring a physical dimension the Thrashers are missing up front.
Cisse has a commitment to Boston University, and should look to improve on his amazing goal scoring prowess that we saw in the USHL.
In the sixth, the Thrashers picked up rugged blue liner Kendall McFaull. McFaull will not put the puck in the net, he will not always make the best outlet pass, but what he will do is hit and fight.
McFaull is a very tough customer, and he has only learned form the best (Dylan McIlrath). If the Thrashers wanted to add an edge to their game, that is exactly what they did with this pick.
With the second of three Sixth Round picks, Dudley went with high school superstar Tanner Lane. Lane averaged nearly four points a game, picking up 49 goals and 41 assists in only 25 games played.
Not committed to any university as of yet, it is an almost certainty he will be playing NCAA hockey come fall.
With the third sixth-rounder, Atlanta went with another Swede in Sebastian Owuya.
Owuya plays a similar game to Kendall McFaull. A big, strong, defensive-minded defenseman, Owuya plays a solid game, he has good positioning, good awareness, and can hit with the best of them.
Owuya has more offensive potential than McFaull, and some time in the elites could get more well-rounded.
The final pick of the day saw a fourth defenseman drafted by the Thrashers. Peter Stoykewych of the Winnipeg South team in the MJHL is another big blue-liner. However, Stoykewych is much more offensive minded.
Stoykewych will join Colorado University in the NCAA next season.
Offence: A , Burmistrov packs a lot of offensive punch, and depth prospects, such as Telegin and Lane, have loads of potential as well.
Defence: A- , With four defenseman drafted, Atlanta has some diamonds in the rough, but it is a real waiting game to see if any have the potential to make the league.
Goaltending: B+ , Pettersson-Wentzel has show quite a bit this past season, but it was at the junior-level, a year in the elites, and then potentially a year in the minors could see him blossom into a solid goalie.
Overall: A-, the Thrashers had a solid draft, they may get two or three players who could suit up for the team down the road and make a lasting impact.
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