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Thrashers Will Pick at #8 at 2010 NHL Draft

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Edmonton won the NHL Draft Lottery today. Which means that the non-playoff teams will select in the reverse order of their finish. The order for playoff teams will depend on their performance in the post-season. So the Thrashers will now know where the Devils pick falls until New Jersey's post-season is finished.

This will be the Thrashers 8 time the Thrashers have made a selection in the top 10 in their 12 NHL history. I detect a pattern.

1999 Traded up from 2nd to 1st.

2000 2nd overall

2001 Won lottery, moved up from 2nd to 1st.

2002 2nd overall

2003 8th

2004 10th

2005 16th (traded down twice)

2006 12th

2007 no pick, traded to StL

2008 3rd

2009 4th

2010 8th

 

There are a number of defenseman who are projected to go around #8 overall. My personal opinion is that any team on a budget should prioritize picking scoring players because they are expensive on the free agent market and the Entry Level Contract and 2nd contract often provide offense to a team at a discount on free agent prices. Taking a young scoring forward or defenseman increases your odds of getting the most bang for your payroll buck. Goaltenders and defensive defenseman are much more likely to be found later in the draft. Half of all NHL starting goalies were picked in the 2nd round or later.

Nino Neidereitter is one possibility at the #8 spot. I'm also very excited about Jeff Skinner who is scoring loads of goals for the Kitchener Rangers in the OHL playoffs right now. There are several talented players of Russian origin who will also be available. I had the opportunity to watch them a year ago when they were 16 years old at the U-19 Championship--they are very talented. The big question is whether the Thrashers would use a pick that high on a Russian player with the risk of losing them to the KHL. You can see the NHL Central Scouting Rankings here.