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.