Some quick hits about Day 1. Guys who fell hard:
When Schroeder fell into the 20s I starting hoping that the Thrashers would trade both of their 2nd rounders to move up the late 1st and take Schroeder. I probably would passed out from sheer happiness if they pulled that off. But they didn't.
In my opinion there is one guy I REALLY hope falls into the Thrashers lap at #34 Jeremy Morin. Rated 15th in Red Line Report, 21st The Hockey News, 27 International Scouting Service, 37th in McKeens. Most people had him as a late 1st rounder and he want undrafted on Day One. Here's what RLR had to calls him the best sniper after Tavares, ugly skater but "lighting quick relesae on an accurate shot" and "wants the puck with the game on the line" Style compares to Healty (not saying he will be anywhere as good as Healley, but that's sort of his overall skill set).
Now a few thoughts for Day Two of the NHL Draft. Falconer's philosophy.
- Favor high level skill guys because offensive players always get paid as UFAs. The market is more likely to underprice good defensive players.
- Take a chance on under-sized high-skilled player that other teams shy away from. Short players win Selke and Norris trophies every year.
- Give a bump up to players who are young compared other picks--late birthdays have nearly a full year of development ahead of them compared to early birthday guys. Players grow and mature so much at this phase that a 9-12 month gap can matter significantly.
Here are some guys I'd like to see the Thrashers target on Day Two:
Toni Rajala RLR 34, ISS 31, McKeens 45: tiny, skilled buy not great about playing in high traffic areas--will go lower than his talent level, has amazing shot but is a perimeter player now. Ranked 3rd best goal scorer of 2009 by RLR.
Tomas Tatar RLR 35, ISS 41 , McKeens 35: small size with high skill level--exactly the player that tends to be undervalued on draft day. 5th rated on RLR on Goal Scorer List.
Richard Panik RLR 37, ISS 70, McKeens 54: RLR ranks him 13th on their "Best Natural Goal Scorers of 2009" List.
Thrashers Late 2nd round pick (Schneider trade)
With the #45 overall pick I'd like to see them grab any quality D prospects that might have slipped to that spot. My draft analysis showed that when you look at 2009 playoff teams the share of guys drafted in the 2nd round was not all that much smaller than those found in the 1st round.
William Wrenn RLR 37, ISS 70 , McKeens 108: unspectacular but smart and consistent--could become one of those quiet rocks on defense. #12 on RLR Underrated list for 2009.
Alex Hutchings RLR 43, ISS , McKeens--Kyle Woodlief loves this guy. Makes RLR Underrated List
Charles Roussel #1 on RLR list of under rated players, so young if he were born 3 days later would be a 2010 Draft pick.
Dimitri Orlov RLR 61, ISS 29, McKeens 33. High end skaing and puck skills. Small in size. Not great in his own end. Russian factor (does he want to play in NHL or KHL?) could cause him to fall into later rounds--might be a good gamble if that happens. One of the younger players, could have more upside than draft class mates.
Brian Dumoulin: RLR 81, ISS 67, McKeens 61: late riser according to Bob McKenzie and Kyle Woodlief, he might not be available late. One of youngest players in this draft.
4th Round and Later
Once you get past the 3rd round everyone is more of a "suspect" than a "prospect" they all have some flaw that worries scouts. This is the gambling phase of the draft were you take some chances. If you gambling might as well roll the dice and go big.
Jerry D'Amigo RLR 36, ISS 40, McKeens 84: plays with great drive and energy, has enough skill to fit into NHL but probably ends up as a 3rd line guy. He had a very high compete level at U-18 in Fargo. #6 on RLR list of under rated players
Kevin Lynch: RLR 53, ISS 44, McKeens really nice mix of skills but lacks elite abilities in any one area. Still could end up as a quality character guy playing on a NHL 3rd or 4th line. I would be very happy to see the Thrashers take him after the 2nd round.
Kenny Ryan: RLR 47, ISS 59: On the young side for this class.
Philip Varone RLR 55, McKeens 90, ISS 107: #7 on RLR list of under rated players
Linen Vey: RLR , ISS , McKeens This is a stat pick, he put up some very impressive numbers in the WHL this year. He's soft player but RLR ranks him as having the 7th best hockey sense of this draft--could be a great value if available in the 4th round or later. The numbers say take a flier on him to me. Also one of the younger draftees this year.
Gabriel Dumont : on RLR Underrated List and #2 on the Plays Big in Spite of Being Small List.
Sami Vatanen: RLR 99, ISS 83, McKeens 41: RLR small size will cause teams to avoid him, but fierce drive and competitiveness. #1 on RLR list of "Little Guys who Play Big" and comes in #7 on the RLR "Character and Competitiveness" List
Late Round Sleepers
William Wallen: big wild card, he came back from a brain aneurysm. I liked what I saw from him at U-18. Also made the RLR list of guys who play big despite small bodies. This a guy I'd take a chance on later in the draft.
Simon Bertilsson: did some nice things at U-18s.
Erik Haula: undersized by highly competitive, came to American to play at Shattuck St. Mary's took a big step forward this year.
Alexanders Avtsyn: didn't play in many big international touraments, could be a real sleeper value pick.
Ben Chiarot: Big brusing D, questinable judgement.
Ondrej Dolezal: I liked him at U-18s, NHL body but motivation and hockey IQ are questionable