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Thrashers Could Land Great Prospect with 2nd Draft Pick

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The Red Line Report is a professional scouting service that you can subscribe to. I purchased their draft issue which includes two different mock drafts. They make educated guesses about how things might play out using their knowledge of which teams favor which guys and past patterns.

I sat down recently and crossed off the players who were taken in both Red Line Report 1st round mock drafts to get a sense of which prospects might still be around when the Thrashers pick high in the 2nd round (#34 overall). Here is a list of "likely options" below:

Player Position RLR Talent Rank Red Line Report + Falconer commentary
Roussel D 14 Great mix of skills, VERY young with more upside left ahead of him
Moore D (ex F) 21 + Size + Skill, but still learning to play defense, requires patience
Erixon D 22 Safe pick, likely NHLer but little star potential, RLR compares style to Ron Hainsey. At U-18 my first thought: skates like a NHL defensemen.
Gelinas D 25 High risk/reward. Huge and may keep growing, needs more development
Caron RW 30 Big player with good hands and puck skills, but - skating. Possible 2nd line winger
Nattinen C 31 Big and strong and likes to punish others, +3rd line center
Rajala RW 34 Tiny, not fast, but Brett Hull-like accuracy with shot. Will get many PP points
Tatar C 35 Small scorer (RLR comparable Jiri Hudler) +passion/drive
D'Amigo LW 36 liked him at U-18 will get dirty for scoring chances, likely +3rd liner with puck skills
Palmieri RW 26 Abrasive winger with some puck skills (think T. Ruutu) +3rd liner, mabe -2nd liner

 

It is very hard to project exactly what will happen in the bottom half of the 1st round, but if the RLR mock drafts are somewhat accurate it appears that the Thrashers will have a couple of highly ranked defensive prospects and several big physical forwards (Caron, Nattinen) and gritty (Palmieri, D'Amigo) wingers and tiny but skilled puck wizards (Rajala, Tartar). My personal inclination would be to pass on the checkers this high in the 2nd round and go for players with a high skill level (high skill is expensive on the UFA market, while good defense can be found for a reasonable price). Roussel, Rajala and Tartar would excite me the most.