LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 25: A general view of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft at Staples Center on June 25, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

SB Nation At The 2010 NHL Draft: 210 Hockey Players Find New Homes

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2010 NHL Draft: Rangers Trade Bobby Sanguinetti To Carolina Hurricanes

With the first player trade of the day, the New York Rangers have traded defensive prospect Bobby Sanguinetti to the Carolina Hurricanes. Here is the story from Larry Brooks of the New York Post

Rangers have traded D Bobby Sanguinetti to Hurricanes, Post has learned. Picks coming back. Kid had fallen on depth chart.less than a minute ago via web


Last season, Sanguinetti played five games for the Rangers and wasn't looking to crack the lineup again this season. We will have more when the list of picks comes out.


2010 NHL Draft: Highlights Of Round Three

- Kirill Kabanov has first round skill, so why wasn't he picked until the early stages of round 3? It's his attitude. A lot of NHL teams were wary to take him, and just about every league team passed him over at some point in the draft.Finally, the Islanders selected him at 65th overall.

The Cannon talked about his shortcomings before the draft:

One of the most controversial prospects in the upcoming draft, Kabanov turned a lot of heads when he made the decision to leave the KHL after being traded to Salavat Yulaev Ufa and being told that he would be required to sign a new contract that would not allow him to play in North America. Petitioning the IIHF for a release, he flew to Canada and joined the Moncton Wildcats of the QMJHL, where he began his season at a point a game pace before being sidelined by a wrist injury and apparently falling out of favor with the coaching staff in Moncton, who scratched him for the remainder of the regular season and playoffs once he returned. Kabanov also attempted to play for Russia at the Under 18 World Championships after being released from his obligations by Moncton, only to be dismissed from the team without ever playing a game because of his attitude. 

It'll be interesting to see if Kabanov can get his head on straight on Long Island.

- Man, this thing goes fast after round one, doesn't it? See what a difference not bringing 19 people on stage makes?

- Jordan Weal was taken by the hometown Kings at 70. He's another guy that dropped pretty far off the board, and he's another guy who The Cannon profiled recently.

- American hockey is having a hell of a draft.

- A trade: Dallas sent the 71st pick to Colorado for the 77th and the 109th. With the 71st pick, the Avs took Michael Bournival, a winger from the QMJHL.

- The Staples Center is, by all accounts, absolutely empty today. Just a couple thousand people in the building, and many are family of the prospects.

- The Flyers are the last team to make their first pick in this draft, not selecting until the 88th pick of this thing. Michael Chaput was the pick.


2010 NHL Draft: Picks 41-60, The Rest Of The Second Round

41st Pick: Dallas Stars selects Patrick Nemeth, SIK Jr. Defenseman, for more on this pick please visit Defending Big D.

42nd Pick: Anaheim Ducks select Devante Smith-Pelly, Mississsauga St. Right Winger, for more on this pick please visit Anaheim Calling

43rd Pick: Toronto Maple Leafs select Bradley Ross, Portland Left Winger, for more on this pick please visit Pension Plan Puppets

44th Pick: St. Louis Blues select Sebastian Wannstrom, Brynas Jr. Right Winger, for more on this pick please visit St. Louis Game TIme

45th Pick: Boston Bruins select Ryan Spooner, Peterborough Center, check out our profile for more and for the Bruins perspective please visit Stanley Cup Of Chowder

46th Pick: Edmonton Oilers select Martin Marincin, Slovakian U20 Defenseman, check out our profile for more and for the Oilers perspective please visit Copper And Blue

47th Pick: Los Angeles Kings selects Tyler Toffoli, Ottawa 67s Center, check out our profile for more and for the Kings perspective please visit Jewels From The Crown

48th Pick, Edmonton Oilers selects Curtis Hamilton, Saskatoon Blades Left Winger, for more on this pick please visit Copper And Blue

49th Pick: Colorado Avalanche selects Calvin Pickard, Seattle Thunderbirds Goaltender, check out our profile for more and for the Avalanche perspective please see Mile High Hockey

50th Pick: Florida Panthers select Connor Brickley, Des Moines Center, for more on this pick please visit Litter Box Cats

51st Pick: Detroit Red Wings select Calle Jarnkrok, Brynas Center, check out our profile for more and for the Red Wings perspective please visit Winging It In Motown

52nd Pick: Phoenix Coyotes select Phillip Lane, Brampton Center, for more on this perspective please visit Five For Howling

53rd Pick: Carolina Hurricanes select Mark Alt, Cretin-Derham Defenseman, check out our profile for more and for Hurricanes thoughts please visit Canes Country

54th Pick: Chicago Blackhawks select Justin Holl, Minnetonka Defenseman, check out our profile for more and for the Blackhawks perspective please visit Second City Hockey

55th Pick: Columbus Blue Jackets select Petr Straka, Rimouski Right Winger, for the Blue Jackets perspective please visit Jackets Cannon

56th Pick: Minnesota Wild select Johan Larsson, Brynas Jr. Left Winger, for more on this pick please visit Hockey Wilderness

57th Pick: Phoenix Coyotes select Oscar Lindberg, Skelleftea Jr. Center, for more on this pick please visit Five For Howling

58th Pick: Chicago Blackhawks select Kent Simpson, Everett Goaltender, for more on this pick please visit Second City Hockey.

59th Pick: Minnesota Wild select Jason Zucker, USNTDP Left Winger, check out our profile for more and for the Wild perspective please visit Hockey Wilderness

60th Pick: Chicago Blackhawks, Steven Johns, USNTDP Defenseman, for more on this pick please visit Second City Hockey.


More Trading: Edmonton, Carolina Complete Deal For 46th Pick; Avs, Kings Too

Carolina trades the 46th overall pick to Edmonton for unsigned draft pick Riley Nash. Edmonton selected Martin Marincin with that pick.

Seconds later, another trade. Colorado traded the 47th overall pick to Los Angeles (cheers! woo!) for #49 and #109. LA selected Tyler Toffoli with that pick.

Edmonton has another pick at 48... holy cow.


Trade: Toronto Acquires 43rd Pick From Chicago For An Unnamed Pick

The Chicago Blackhawks have traded the 43rd overall pick to the Toronto Maple Leafs for an unnamed, unsigned draft pick, which is... weird. The Leafs select Bradley Ross from Portland of the WHL with that pick.

In Lou We Trust profiled Ross before the draft.


2010 NHL Draft Picks 31-35: The First Five Picks Of The Second Round

31st Pick: Edmonton Oilers select Tyler Pitlick, Minnesota State Center, check out our profile of Pitlick here and for more on the pick please visit Copper N Blue

32nd Pick: Boston Bruins select Jared Knight, Windsor Spitfires Center,  for more on the pick please visit Stanley Cup of Chowder

33rd Pick: Florida Panthers select Jon McFarland, Sudbury Wolves Left Wing, check out our profile of McFarland here and for more on the pick please visit Litter Box Cats

34th Pick: Columbus Blue Jackets select Dalton Smith, Ottawa 67's Left Wing, for more on the pick please visit Jackets Cannon

35th Pick: Chicago Blackhawks select Ludvig Rensfelt Brynas Jr. Left Wing, for more on the pick please visit Second City Hockey


2010 NHL Draft, Picks 36-40: Profiles On The Five Players Selected

- 36th pick: Florida Panthers select Alexander Petrovic, D, Red Deer. Check out our profile. Hit Litter Box Cats for reaction.

- 37th pick: Carolina Hurriances select Justin Faulk. Check our profile for more. Hit Canes Country for reaction.

- 38th pick: New Jersey Devils select Jon Merrill. Check our profile for more. See In Lou We Trust for more.

- 39th pick: Minnesota Wild select Brett Bulmer from Kelowna of the WHL. We have a profile here. See Hockey Wilderness for more.

- 40th pick: New York Rangers select Christian Thomas from Oshawa of the WHL. Our profile is here. See Blueshirt Banter for more.


WATCH: 2010 NHL Draft, Rounds 2-7 On NHL Network

The NHL has a live stream of the second day of the draft. It's also broadcast on NHL Network.

Click here to watch.


2010 NHL Draft, Round Two: Follow SB Nation Writers On Twitter

We have this handy list set up so you can follow our 14 writers who are in Los Angeles for the 2010 NHL Draft.


VIDEO: Cam Fowler Talks With Reporters, Other Thoughts From Draft Night One

A few parting thoughts as the first round wraps up in Los Angeles...

- Cam Fowler, rough night there for a while. Okay, yeah, sure. He wound up being drafted in the NHL. How bad could it be? But you know he had dreams of being in the top five. The TSN cameras showed him as picks seven and eight and nine rolled off the clock, and man, that was one sad looking kid. Then, when his chance finally came, he was selected by the Anaheim Ducks, who Kings fans inside Staples Center obviously hate. He was booed off the stage.

I don't think he minds too much though.

More thoughts:

- Not one team uttered congratulatory wishes to the Chicago Blackhawks for winning the Stanley Cup. Not one. What gives, NHL general managers?

- The loudest cheer of the night came when the Kings traded up to the 15th pick. The trade was announced by Gary Bettman, and the Staples Center absolutely exploded. Everybody expected to take the local boy from Long Beach, Emerson Etem. But they chose to go with Derek Forbort instead. The Kings brought out a nice little touch, presenting Forbort with a throwback yellow and purple jersey.

- Etem would be selected, though. He said in his post-game interview that he's never been to an Anaheim Ducks game despite living 20 miles away, but after being selected by the Ducks with the 28th pick, we're sure he'll be at a few from here on out. Etem's selection to a SoCal team was the best moment of the draft.

- Scott Niedermayer retired this week, but the league was quickly replenished with their "Nieder" fix as Nino Niederreiter was selected fifth overall by the New York Islanders.

- A record 11 Americans were selected in the first round on Friday night, but it took 11 picks for the first one to go as Jack Campbell went to Dallas. 10 were selected with the last 19 picks.


VIDEO: Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli Discusses Tyler Seguin, NHL Draft

The Bruins got their man in Tyler Seguin on Friday night at the NHL Draft. Peter Chiarelli spoke with the media about that pick afterward.


VIDEO: Fear The Fin Discusses Sharks' Charlie Coyle, Rumors

After a long night at the NHL Draft, our Sharks bloggers, Jason Plank and Matt Taylor broke down San Jose's first round selection, Charlie Coyle, during a lengthy video chat in from their hotel room.

There's a lot more from these two in another video over at Fear The Fin, so go check that out. Also, SB Nation was in the scrum last night when Coyle spoke with the media:


VIDEO: Panthers GM Dale Tallon, Busiest Man At The Draft, Speaks With Reporters

Dale Tallon made three first round selections and two trades at the 2010 NHL Draft on Friday night. Somewhere in between, he found time to speak with reporters. SB Nation had a camera nearby.


VIDEO: Capitals Draft Pick Evgeny Kuznetsov Speaks To The Media

He needed a translator. He may have been the only player selected in round one who didn't speak at least a little English. Evgeny Kuznetsov was selected with the 26th pick by the Washington Capitals at the 2010 NHL Draft.

Wow, what a concept! The Capitals took a Russian! Video:


VIDEO: Rangers Draft Pick Dylan McIlrath Speaks With Reporters At NHL Draft

The Rangers surprised a lot of people by selecting Dylan McIlrath with the 10th overall pick. The newest Ranger spoke with the media following his selection at Staples Center.


VIDEO: Lightning Draft Pick Brett Connolly Speaks To The Media

Brett Connolly, selected on Friday night by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round of the 2010 NHL Draft, spoke with the media after being whisked off the stage. SB Nation had a camera in the scrum.



VIDEO: St. Louis President John Davidson Talks About Draft Night Trade, Blues' Picks

SB Nation was in the scrum as St. Louis Blues President John Davidson spoke with the media on the draft floor in Los Angeles.


Dan Hamhuis' Rights Traded From Flyers To Penguins For 2011 Third Round Pick

Paul Holmgren just broke the news to the media in Los Angeles: at the conclusion of the first round, they've traded the rights to defenseman Dan Hamhuis to the Pittsburgh Penguins for a third round pick in 2011. Apparently, the news that the Flyers couldn't come to an agreement with Hamhuis were true.

With a broad view, however, this means that Paul Holmgren just got a third round pick for Ryan Parent. That's a win. We don't believe the Flyers keep the seventh round pick from Nashville that they conditionally received in the original Hamhuis deal, but that's up in the air. Either way, this is a win.

Read more at Broad Street Hockey.


One Final Friday Trade: Chicago Sends 30th Pick To Islanders For Two Later Picks

One final trade to be made during the first round: the Blackhawks traded the final pick in the round to the New York Islanders for the 35th pick and the 58th picks later in the draft.

With the 30th pick, the Islanders selected center Brock Nelson from Warroad High School in Minnesota. Western College Hockey Blog profiled him prior to the draft.

Coming from the small hockey hockey hotbed of Warroad, Minnesota, in the northwest corner of the state, Brock Nelson seems to have the bloodlines that make him destined for big things in hockey. His uncle Dave Christian played with the 1980 Miracle on Ice gold-medal winning team, while his grandfather, Bill Christian, and great uncle, Roger Christian, pulled perhaps an even bigger upset in helping the 1960 US Olympic team to a gold medal.

Bloodlines aside, Nelson is a fine hockey player in his own right. He combines the size of a power forward with soft hands and an excellent shot. With rival Roseau opting to play up in Class AA, Warroad has been able to dominate the smaller schools in Class A. The Warriors made the state tournament in every season Nelson played with them, including this past year, when they fell in the state semifinals to a powerhouse Breck team. Nelson finished the season with 73 points, though given some of his competition, he could have easily had more, and was a finalist for the Mr. Hockey Award. Though not officially announced, it was pretty much a given that Nelson was a close runner-up to Nick Bjugstad.

And that does it for picks in the first round. Bright and early tomorrow for rounds two through seven.


2010 NHL Draft 29th Pick: Anaheim Selects Emerson Etem, Medicine Hat Right Winger

The largest cheer behind the Beau Bennett came when the Anaheim Ducks selected hometown boy Emerson Etem with the 29th overall selection. Etem comes from Long Beach, CA, a stone's throw away from Anaheim, and is a good forward in the process. Etem led all rookies in goals with 37 this past season and looks like he can only improve in this case. 

Hockey Wilderness has this on Etem

Minnesota Wild fans are hungry for a goal-scorer, and they may find themselves drafting one in Emerson Etem. Etem led all WHL rookies in goal scoring with 37 goals and was named Rookie of the Year by his Medicine Hat Tigers. He's a dynamic skater with a lethal wrist shot who compliments his play with great work ethic and good hockey sense. While noticed for his awkward skating style, his speed and strength is undeniable. During the NHL Combine, Etem came prepared, tying 3rd in the V02max test, which measures aerobic fitness, and scoring high on leg and body strength tests. Etem still needs to play in the juniors before heading towards the AHL. As history has shown the Wild, rushing a prospect into the pros is not a good idea. IMO, Etem makes the perfect #9 pick as he is the complete offensive package.

If Etem was a good pick at 9, imagine the steal that Anaheim just made at 29. 

For more on this pick, please visit Anaheim Calling.


2010 NHL Draft 28th Pick, San Jose Selects Charlie Coyle, South Shore Center

The San Jose Sharks have taken Eastern Junior Hockey League Rookie of the Year Charlie Coyle with the 28th overall selection. Somewhat of a surprising pick which still seems to be the theme of this year's first round, Coyle had 63 points in 42 games in the EJHL and will be attending Boston College in the fall. 

In Lou We Trust, our New Jersey Devils site, has these things and more to say about Coyle

Ultimately, I am led to believe that he could end up breaking through as a bottom six winger. Not exactly an exciting outcome, but he may be far more likely to get there in that role than other prospects in this range. How his offense develops could determine how high he gets. Coyle was productive in his league, and he was able to produce a few goals in international play and get invited to the evaluation camp for the US WJC team. That's not nothing.

Coyle is a work in progress for the Sharks and may be able to break the team in three or four years. 

For more on this pick, please visit Fear The Fin


2010 NHL Draft, 27th Pick: Phoenix Coyotes Select Goaltender Mark Visentin

Here at SB Nation, we've profiled some 50-plus picks in advance of this draft. We figured that we'd have profiles done for at least every player selected in the first round. Damn you, Phoenix Coyotes.

Going way off the board, selecting a player most thought would be selected late in the second round or perhaps even later, the Coyotes selected goaltender Mark Visentin from Niagara of the OHL. He's the fourth ranked North American goaltender in the final Central Scouting rankings and he's the second to be selected in the draft so far.

Since we don't have a profile on him, we'll dump it off to this interview from an OHL reporter.

For more, head to Five For Howling.


2010 NHL Draft 26th Pick: Washington Selects Evgeny Kuznetsov, Chelyabinsk Center

The third European player and second Russian goes to a team that seems to love Russians, the Washington Capitals. Kuzenetsov is not going to wow you with his stats from last season, 9 points in 35 games, but he did look good in the Under 18 Championship and Under 20 Championships. 

Jackets Cannon has some words about Kuznetsov

Kuznetsov is a highly talented Russian center currently playing for Traktor Chelyabinsk in the KHL. He is the exact definition of high-risk, high-reward. First, there's the threat of either not coming over or bolting back to Russia if he doesn't get his way. Then, there is the fact that he is one of the most inconsistent players in the draft. When he's on- he's explosive and can put up gobs of offense. The problem is, he's not "on" as often as he needs to be. A team could get a superstar if he slips.

If that last line is true, the Capitals have the chance to get another superstar on their already loaded team.

For more information on this pick, please visit Japers' Rink.


Trade With Canucks Goes Through As Panthers Select Quinton Howden With 25th Pick

The player the Canucks wanted with the 25th pick was not available, apparently, so Mike Gillis traded that pick to the Florida Panthers in a deal that was rumored all evening long. With that 25th pick, Florida made their third first round selection of the evening by taking Quinton Howden from the Moose Jaw Warriors of the WHL.

Our Dallas Stars blog, Defending Big D, profiled Howden recently:

There aren't really any safe bets in the draft - at least not after the third or fourth pick - but Quinton is as close to one as a team may get in the mid-to late first round. Not overly spectacular offensively although he posted some very solid numbers with the Moose Jaw Warriors and helped them with a major improvement this season He's probably never going to be a 1st or even second line forward, but he does have the potential to be a very dependable third line winger that can add the odd bit of offense while at the same time playing capable defense. Good penalty killer as well and will do what it takes to help his team win. Has the potential to be the next Stu Barnes (And Stu himself was a 4th overall pick back in 1989)

If you subscribe to the idea of drafting the best talent available, then it's likely there will be someone at 11 that has more upside than Howden. While Quinton is a solid skater while he can be a bit of a scoring threat, his finishing ability lacks behind other potential draftees, nor is he an overly accomplished puck handler although again it's not exactly a weakness of his game either. He needs to work on his patience on the ice and fill out his 6 foot 3 inch frame... In short he's a long term prospect and there are others that may be available that might not need the time Howden does.

Head to Litter Box Cats as they analyze all three Panthers picks tonight.


2010 NHL Draft 24th Pick: Chicago Selects Kevin Hayes, Nobles High Right Wing

Chicago has made a selection in the first round that can only be described as a pick for the future with the selection of Kevin Hayes from Dorchester, MA. Hayes is a junior at Nobles High and is looking to play for Boston College after he graduates. 

NHL Central Scouting had this to say on Hayes

"Kevin is a skilled power forward who plays with enthusiasm and drive. He has very good hands and is an excellent play maker. He is a strong skater with a long stride, and uses his long reach and puck protection to beat defenders. He has an excellent wrist shot with a sneaky quick release, and will shoot from any angle. He controls the puck very well in traffic, sees the ice very well, and finds the open man. He has a very good knack of playing the puck in his skates for a big player, often moving the puck from skates to stick without losing speed."

For more on this pick, please visit Second City Hockey


VIDEO: Alexander Burmistrov, Thrashers' 8th Overall Pick, Speaks With Media

Accents rock. Alexander Burmistrov has one. SB Nation caught all of his words during his interview following his selection at 8th overall by the Atlanta Thrashers at the 2010 NHL Draft.


2010 NHL Draft, 23rd Pick: Buffalo Selects Mark Pysyk, Edmonton Oil Kings Defenseman

Mark Pysyk is somewhat of a safe pick for the Buffalo Sabres as he had 24 points in 48 games for the Oil Kings. His -19 stat may be frightening but Edmonton is also a really bad team. 

Here is what our Dallas site, Defending Big D had to say about Pysyk

Pysyk is described as everything the Stars are looking for: A good "first pass" defenseman who can start a rush out of his own zone. He runs a power play well enough, and kills penalties as well. He's by all accounts a great skater who's size will fill out a little more as his body matures. His -19 number isn't exactly shiny, but the Edmonton Oil Kings are universally accepted to be a dreadful team that Pysyk carried himself on many night's last season. If the Stars are looking for defense (and Forbort is likely gone by 11) then Pysyk could be a safe pick at 11.

Emerson Etem is now the highest ranked North American skater left on the board.

For more on this pick, please visit Die By The Blade.


VIDEO: Jack Campbell, Dallas Stars Pick At 11th Overall, Speaks With Media

Jack Campbell said some words after being selected by the Dallas Stars. People with cameras and microphones listened. SB Nation was in that group. Here's the video:


2010 NHL Draft: Canadiens Acquire 22nd Pick From Coyotes, Select Jarred Tinordi

More trades! And somehow, Montreal fans were audible when the trade was announced. In Los Angeles. Their team acquired the 22nd pick and the 113th pick from the Coyotes for the 27th pick and the 57th pick

Coyotes send 22nd and 113th to Montreal for 27th and 57th pick.

With that 22nd pick, the Canadiens selected an American, Jarred Tinordi, from the US National Team Development Program. Our Sabres blog, Die By The Blade, profiled Tinordi recently.

Tinordi is a towering presence on the ice. He is a physical stay-at-home defenseman that could become a top-four defenseman if he develops his game. He skates well for a big man and has been blessed with some very good mobility that allows him to make some athletic plays.

He is a natural born leader, which is evident by him being the captain of the USNTDP U-18 team this season and the U-17 team the second half of last season. His leadership will help him develop into an everyday NHL player.

The name Tinordi will sound familiar to many of you because his father Mark Tinordi was a stay-at-home defenseman with four different NHL teams, including the Washington Capitals when they went to the Cup Finals in 1988.

Visit Eyes On The Prize for more.


VIDEO: 7th Overall Pick Jeff Skinner & 15th Overall Pick Derek Forbort Speak With Media

Bob Wage from our Hurricanes blog, Canes Country, caught this video of their first round pick, Jeff Skinner:

Connie Kim from Jewels From The Crown did the same thing with LA's pick at 15, Derek Forbort:


2010 NHL Draft, 21st Pick: Detroit Selects Riley Sheahan, Notre Dame Center

The Detroit Red Wings don't usually choose in the low twenties in the NHL Draft and they have found a good pick with Notre Dame center Riley Sheahan. Sheahan had a disappointing season last year with 17 points in 37 games, but some of that can be contributed to the overall disappointment of the Notre Dame team this season. 

Our Blue Jackets site, Jackets Cannon, had this to say about Sheahan

Riley Sheahan is a center who recently completed his freshman year at the University of Notre Dame. He's a playmaking pivot who can anchor a forward line due to his offensive and defensive ability. He was recently arrested along with fellow Irish teammate Nick Palmieri. This of course could be an isolated incident, but it makes one question his off-ice attitude and behavior. It's worth noting that this past season he was the youngest player in NCAA hockey.

Sheahan has a few years to grow with Notre Dame and has the chance to become pretty good.

For more on this pick, please visit Winging It In Motown.


2010 NHL Draft 20th Pick, Pittsburgh Selects Beau Bennett, Penticton Right Winger

The Staples Center erupted when Beau Bennett was selected and it wasn't because Bennett was a Kings selection. Bennett originally hails from Torrance, CA which is relatively close to Los Angeles and became the highest Californian selected in the NHL Draft.

Bennett led the British Columbia Hockey with 120 points in 56 games and has shown that skill repeatedly in his short career. 

Fear The Fin, our San Jose Sharks site, is on top Bennett and has these thoughts

It's hard to deny the offensive skill that Beau Bennett brings to the ice. Even though the BCHL isn't necessarily the strongest league, 120 points is nothing to frown at. In addition, the BCHL churns out more prospects than you'd think; even though Bennett is the only BCHL player in the Central Scouting top 100, Kyle Turris is a BCHL alumni who went top five just a few years ago. In terms of raw numbers, the two had very similar statistics in their final BCHL years.

Bennett has been a product of the "Gretzky effect" in Southern California and the Penguins may have a very talented winger on their hands. 


2010 NHL Draft, 19th Pick: Florida Panthers Select Nick Bjugstad

They traded down, but they're still getting a pretty solid player. The Florida Panthers took the first high school player to go in this draft, selecting Nick Bjugstad out of Blaine High School in Minnesota. He was selected at 14th, the Panthers by our St. Louis bloggers at St. Louis Game Time in our mock draft.

Here was SLGT's reasoning:

Game Time's choice, however, is Minnesota’s 2010 "Mr. Hockey," Nick Bjugstad. He’s big at 6’4, 187, and at only 17 years old, probably still has growing and filling out to do. The scouting report on him is that he’s a good skater with an excellent shot, decent faceoff skills, and leadership qualities. Personality-wise, he’s driven; he accelerated his high school coursework so as to graduate early this year at attend the U. of Minnesota in the fall, which tells us he’ll work like a fiend to accomplish a goal.

The Blues like to take Americans in the first round, and drafting a guy who’s going to college gives them four years to keep him on the reserve list without having to sign him, instead of the two years they get for a junior player. For a cash-strapped organization, that’s a plus, and it’s a route the Blues have taken many, many times in the past.

A big, skilled, intense forward who is a born leader… exactly what this organization needs right now.

Check out Litter Box Cats, our Panthers blog, for more.


2010 NHL Draft 18th Pick, Nashville Selects Austin Watson, Peterborough Left Wing

The Nashville Predators have selected Austin Watson with the 18th overall pick and Watson has had a solid season with Peterborough and Windsor. Watson suffered an injury with Peterborough after being traded there from the Windsor Spitfires. He had 20 points in 10 games with Peterborough and has shown some offensive skill. 

Our Minnesota Wild site, Hockey Wilderness, has some thoughts on Watson

Watson is known for his versatile two-way game, blocking shots and playing the penalty kill, but he exploded offensively when he was traded to the Petes where he scored 20 points in just 10 games. He is a power forward that can protect the puck and plays a fearless, energetic game. He also uses his stick effectively, boasting a solid shot and creating scoring changes with close-to-the-net opportunities. Watson will have to spend time in the juniors, adding more weight to his frame and polishing his offensive skills.

For more information on this pick, please visit On The Forecheck.


2010 NHL Draft, 17th Pick: Colorado Selects Joey Hishon, Owen Sound Center

Joey Hishon was ranked 46th by TSN and was the 55th ranked North American skater heading into this draft but the Colorado Avalanche feel strongly about Hishon taking him at 17. Hishon had his share of injuries this season which limited his play but was the lead Owen Sound in scoring in 2008-09. 

NHL Central Scouting had this to say about Hishon

"He's a high-energy, hustle bug. He's got pretty good skill. He's one of those guys that is really noticeable when you see him play because of his work ethic and the energy he brings every night."

While the Avalanche have definitely gone off the board for this one, it seems to be the theme of the night. 

For more on this pick, please visit Mile High Hockey


Blues Acquire 16th Pick For '09 Selection Rundblad, Take Vladimir Tarasenko

At last year's draft, the St. Louis Blues selected defenseman David Rundblad with the 17th pick. A year later, Rundblad is on his way to the Ottawa Senators for the 16th pick in this year's draft.

With that 16th pick, the Blues selected Vladimir Tarasenko, a defenseman from Novosibirsk in the KHL.  In our mock draft, Tarasenko was selected sixth by the Tampa Bay Lightning. Here's what Raw Charge said about making that selection:

While the Lightning have multiple needs, none appear to be greater than adding scoring depth on wing.  Tarasenko (labeled "a poor-man's Alex Ovechkin" and also compared with Pittsburgh Penguins Evgeni Malkin) may be looked at as a risk due to his obligations to play in the KHL, but Steve Yzerman's approach of patience coupled with Tarasenko's own stated desires to play in the NHL, make this a risk worth taking for the Bolts.    Tarasenko is undersized (5'10") by comparison to Ovi and Malkin, but size should not be the reason to write off ability.

Head to St. Louis Game Time for more.


2010 NHL Draft, 15th Pick: Los Angeles Selects Derek Forbort, USNTDP Defenseman

The Los Angeles Kings have moved up four sport to take Derek Forbort with the 15th overall selection. Forbort was a key defender with the USA Under 18 team with two assists and a +9 rating in seven games as the Americans won gold. 

Western College Hockey has been on top of the traveling team players all season and had this to say about Forbort

Forbort's style of play is a little hard to describe because he can do a little bit of everything. He's got great size and can play a tough defensive game, but also has the offensive abilities to put up his fair share of points. He's not the type of defensemen that is going to make end-to-end rushes deep into the offensive zone, or quarterback a powerplay, but could be a nice #2 defenseman on a top powerplay unit. What really separates Forbort is his tremendous athleticism, lateral movement, and ability to read plays.

The Kings have a few years with Forbort as he is starting at North Dakota next season. 

For more on this pick, please visit Jewels From The Crown.


Florida Gives Us Our Trade Fix, Sends 15th Pick To Kings

The Florida Panthers have made three trades this week, including two on draft night (well, the first is conditional... technicalities). Just prior to the 15th pick, they sent it to the hometown team, the Los Angeles Kings. Staples Center exploded.

The Kings send the 19th pick to the Panthers for the 59th pick. Much to the dismay of hockey fans on Twitter, the Kings will not be selecting Emerson Etem, the local Southern California boy, with this 15th pick.


2010 NHL Draft 14th Pick, St. Louis Selects Jaden Schwartz, Tri-City Storm Center

The St. Louis Blues have selected Jaden Schwartz with the 14th overall choice and with that choice have a promising young center. Schwartz had the USHL scoring title this past season and is looking to continue that at Colorado College. 

Western College Hockey had this to say about Schwartz

Schwartz's greatest asset is his ability to control the puck and to make plays in the offensive zone. His size works against him, and he isn't the fastest skater, but his rare playmaking abilities could make him a valuable player in the NHL.

Though Schwartz has been highly coveted by the WHL, he will most likely continue his hockey career at Colorado College next season, where his older brother Rylan will be a sophomore next year.The two brothers will be expected to help carry the Tigers' offense next season.

Schwartz's greatest fight though may be through his sister Mandi. Mandi has leukemia and is currently waiting for a bone marrow match. Due to the family's heritage its hard to find a match. If you would like to help, please visit the following site, www.becomemandishero.net.

For more on this pick, please visit St. Louis Game Time.


2010 NHL Draft 13th Pick: Phoenix Selects Brandon Gormley, Moncton Wildcats Defenseman

The other surprising freefall has ended with the 13th overall selection of Moncton Wildcats defenseman Brandon Gormley. Gormley was a key piece in the Moncton's QMJHL championship with his 17 points in 21 playoffs games. 

A few more thoughts from our New York Rangers site, Blueshirt Banter:

Brandon Gormley may not be flashy or excitable like Cam Fowler and Erik Gudbranson, but he is a steady defenseman that does not make many mistakes in his own zone. He is your steady blue-liner that you can always rely on to shutdown the opposition's top offensive threats. He is that player that when you put him on the ice, you know what you are getting and you do not have to worry about him out there. Because of this, I compare him to no other but the Rangers' Marc Staal.

The Phoenix Coyotes have a good defenseman here and they may have just gotten lucky with him falling so far. 


2010 NHL Draft 12th Pick: Anaheim Selects Cam Fowler, Windsor Spitfires Defenseman

Imagine this: you wait your entire life to be selected in the NHL Draft. The day comes. Your family sits around you in the seats at Staples Center. You have a nice new suit. You're expected to go in the top five, if not third overall. You drop out of those five. Then six and seven. Then the top ten.

The 12th pick comes up, and it belongs to the Anaheim Ducks. They hate the Ducks in this building -- and the fans are vocal about it. The Ducks pick you. Hooray! BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Rough draft day.

Fowler was part of the loaded Windsor Spitfires team that easily won the Memorial Cup this past season and was seventh overall among defenseman in OHL regular season scoring. 

Our Rangers site, Blueshirt Banter had this to say about Fowler:

As we saw in the World Junior Championships back in January, Fowler is a dynamic offensive-defenseman who has always been known to put up stunning numbers for a blue-liner. For that reason, I would compare Fowler to Mike Green of the Washington Capitals. Green is talented offensively but is not as steady in his own zone. That is the exact description that is most commonly applied to Fowler.

The Rangers could've taken Fowler at number 9, but they uh, didn't. The Anaheim Ducks were looking to replace a hall-of-fame defenseman in Scott Niedermayer, and Fowler is a decent start.


2010 NHL Draft 11th Pick, Dallas Stars Select Jack Campbell, USNTDP Goaltender

Jack Campbell has become the first goaltender selected in the 2010 NHL Draft and his highlight reel from the 2010 IIHF Under 20 World Championships should be Exhibit A as to why:

Our Columbus Blue Jackets site, Jackets Cannon, has this about Campbell

As Matt pointed out in his last prospect profile, depth at the goalie position in the organization isn't exactly deep. With LaCosta probably leaving to play elsewhere, and Wesslau coming in to play with LaLande, Campbell could be another young up-and-coming super goalie. His speed and reflexes remind me a lot of our own Steve Mason, and lets face it, thats a good thing. When you hear about how well is puck handling is, one of the first goalies you think of is Marty Turco. If he's nearly as talented as that, he'll be a special player in the league someday.

If the comparison to Marty Turco is correct, Stars fans should be familiar with how Campbell will fare.


PHOTOS: The Top Picks At The NHL Draft Show Off Their New Uniforms

Jim Schmiedeberg of our New York Rangers blog, Blueshirt Banter, has been all over the place with the camera at Staples Center tonight. He's submitted a few great pictures of the prospects just after their selections, donning their new threads. Click them to enlarge (they're big).

Taylor Hall, Edmonton Oilers -- first overall pick


Tyler Seguin, Boston Bruins -- second overall pick


Erik Gudbranson, Florida Panthers -- third overall pick


Ryan Johansen, Columbus Blue Jackets -- fourth overall pick


Jim is a Rangers fan, so you'll understand why he didn't take photos of Nino Niederreiter, the Islanders pick at fifth overall. Still, here's six...

Brett Connolly, Tampa Bay Lightning -- sixth overall pick


Stick around for more.


2010 NHL Draft 10th Pick, New York Rangers Select Dylan McIlrath, Moose Jaw Warriors Defensemen

The free fall of Cam Fowler and Brandon Gormley continue with the selection of Dylan McIlrath from the Moose Jaw Warriors. McIlrath is a physical defenseman with 271 penalty minutes and 19 fighting majors in 2009-10.

From our Buffalo Sabres site, Die By The Blade

McIlrath is an old-school, physical, stay-at-home defenseman. Some of the older Sabres fans will remember physical defensemen Jim Schoenfeld and Jerry "King Kong" Korab. While the nickname "King Kong" has already been taken, McIlrath goes by "Big Mac Truck" while playing in Moose Jaw.

McIlrath is the type of physical player that Sabres fans love and appreciate. McIlrath will drop the gloves whenever he needs to and will not back down to anyone.

The Rangers are going to be questioned on this selection with the defensemen that were on the board ranked ahead of McIlrath. 

For more on this pick, please visit Blueshirt Banter


2010 NHL Draft,9th Pick: Minnesota Wild Select Mikael Granlund, HIFK Center

The first European player has been selected by the Minnesota Wild. with Mikael Granlund, HIFK center. Granlund was the top ranked European skater in the final Central Scouting Rankings and his stats warrant that ranking. In the past two seasons with HIFK, Granlund has had 97 points in 78 games. 

Our Stars site, Defending Big D, had this to say about Granlund

The kid is a freaking Brad Richards clone when it comes to distributing the puck. Just from watching highlights, you really get the picture that Granlund has a second sense when it comes to playmaking ability. And if the Stars ARE inclined to move a Mike Ribeiro this offseason, why not add another potential top-six playmaking center to the system? He's dazzling to watch play hockey.

The Wild should be happy with this selection and they can wait on Granlund as he is still under contract with HIFK through next season. 

For more on this choice, visit Hockey Wilderness


2010 NHL Draft, 8th Pick: Atlanta Thrashers Select Alexander Burmistrov

Okay, that's it. That draft board you made in your room? Throw it away. Tear it up. It's wrong.

You thought a team needed defense? Nope. Through eight picks, just one team has selected a defenseman. Cam Fowler and Brandon Gormley are dropping like flies, and could even drop out of the top 10.

The Atlanta Thrashers continued the trend by selecting Alexander Burmistrov from the Barrie Colts of the OHL.

Here's an excerpt from a profile of the eighth pick:

Burmistrov is a talented center with the Barrie Colts of the OHL. He is one of the few Russians who made the jump overseas to play Canadian junior. He had a very good year for the Colts, and solidified himself as a top prospect for this year's draft. I believe Burmistrov is truly committed to North America, he is learning English and doesn't take any shifts off.

Head over to Bird Watchers Anonymous for more.


2010 NHL Draft 7th Pick, Carolina Hurricanes Select Jeff Skinner, Kitchener Rangers Center

The Carolina Hurricanes have selected a center in Jeff Skinner from the Kitchener Rangers. Skinner had 50 goals with the Rangers this season and 20 playoff goals and was the second leading scorer in the OHL playoffs. 

Our Minnesota Wild site Hockey Wilderness had this to say about Skinner:

50 goals as a 17 year old in the OHL. 20 goals in 20 playoff games. Looking at these numbers, how can he only be ranked the 34th best prospect by the CSB? Oh, you say that he has some issues with his skating? Hmm, that could be a problem once he starts dealing with bigger, stronger defensemen. Clearly the kid knows how to score and with 40 assists, he's a decent playmaker, but if he isn't 6'3", 220, you don't necessarily want to risk a top 10 draft choice on a guy who is a project when it comes to mobility. At his size, he needs to be able to fly, and Skimmer can't do that right now.

Skinner will probably spend some more time with Kitchener next season but he has the chance to grow with Staal and Sutter at the center position in Carolina.

For more on this pick, please visit Canes Country


2010 NHL Draft 12th Pick: Anaheim Selects Cam Fowler, Windsor Spitfires Defenseman

Cam Fowler's first round freefall has ended at the 12th overall spot with the Anaheim Ducks. Fowler was apart of a Windsor Spitfires team that was absolutely loaded with Taylor Hall and others that cruised through the Memorial Cup this past season. Fowler had 55 points last season, good for seventh among OHL defensemen last season. 

Our Rangers site, Blueshirt Banter has this on Fowler

As we saw in the World Junior Championships back in January, Fowler is a dynamic offensive-defenseman who has always been known to put up stunning numbers for a blue-liner. For that reason, I would compare Fowler to Mike Green of the Washington Capitals. Green is talented offensively but is not as steady in his own zone. That is the exact description that is most commonly applied to Fowler.

The Ducks were looking for a defenseman to replace Scott Niedermayer and they get a good defenseman with Fowler.


2010 NHL Draft 5th Pick: New York Islanders Select Nino Niederreiter, Portland Winter Hawks Right Winger

Nino Niederreiter has become the highest ever selected Swiss born with his selection by the New York Islanders. Niederreiter led the Winterhawks in scoring last season with 36 goals and 60 points and is a good selection for the Islanders. 

Our Dallas Stars site, Defending Big D, has more on Niederreiter

A strong player who can play both sides of the forward ice and has pro-level finishing ability already at his young age. His potential to be an impact player in the NHL is as high as anyone's and as recent performances at the World Juniors and in the National League A playoffs with HC Davos in 2009 proved, he can certainly handle being in and performing well in pressure situations.

With John Tavares selected first overall last season, the Islanders now have a couple of good offensive players from the past two drafts. 

For more on this pick, visit Lighthouse Hockey, our Islanders site. 


2010 NHL Draft, 4th Pick: Columbus Blue Jackets Select Ryan Johansen

There was a lot of talk about the potential of the Columbus Blue Jackets trading away the 4th overall pick in the draft, but when all was said and done after a bit of a hold up on the floor, they wound up keeping the pick.

General manager Scott Howson selected center Ryan Johansen with that 4th pick. Prepared as always, our Blue Jackets blog The Cannon wrote up a profile on Johansen months ago. An excerpt:

Ryan Johansen is a center for the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL. He's a teammate of fellow draftee Nino Neiderreiter. He ranked fifth on the team during the 2009-2010 season in goals (25) and finished 2nd in points (69).

Johansen is the 10th rated North American skater according to Central Scouting. He's already being praised for his work on both ends of the ice. His idol is Sharks C Joe Thornton. Not a bad choice, if you ask me.

The Islanders are up at 5 and they've been rumored to be shopping their pick. We shall see.


2010 NHL Draft 3rd Pick: Florida Panthers Select Erik Gudbranson

Erik Gudbranson was the top rated North American defenseman and can be considered an offensive defenseman that the Panthers have been missing since they dealt Jay Bowmeester a few years ago. 

Gudbranson had a light season last season playing only 41 of 63 games due to a case of mono, but the potential is there for a great player. From our Minnesota Wild site, Hockey Wilderness:

As complete a player available in the draft, Erik Gudbranson has size, hands, skating ability, can move the puck, can play physical, block shots, get in the passing and shooting lanes and drop the gloves if necessary. He would only need a partial season in the AHL coming out of camp just to ensure that he's up to speed after missing part of last season with mono. Seriously, he's a Calder candidate who is a franchise top pairing defenseman.

For more on this pick, please visit our Florida Panthers site Litter Box Cats


2010 NHL Draft 2nd Pick: Boston Bruins Select Tyler Seguin, Plymouth Whalers Center

With the Edmonton Oilers taking Taylor Hall, the Boston Bruins are happy to settle with Tyler Seguin, center from the Plymouth Whalers. 

Seguin is a good center that ended up being ranked number one in the final NHL Central Scouting Final rankings. Seguin likes to model his game after former Detroit Red Wings center Steve Yzerman. From our preview in May

According to Seguin, this is no coincidence. Steve Yzerman was Seguin's favorite player growing up and he modeled his game after him. Seguin will find himself most likely drafted higher than the 4th overall that Yzerman was drafted in 1983. Many scouts have said that Seguin has that eye for the NHL and he has the work ethic to make him an elite player.

The Boston Bruins are going to be very happy with Seguin and Seguin can learn from a good center like Marc Savard. That is, if Savard is a Bruin come next season...

For more, check out Stanley Cup of Chowder.


2010 NHL Draft 1st Pick: Edmonton Oilers Select Taylor Hall, Windsor Spitfires Center

After spending the last three months debating whether to take Seguin or Hall, the Edmonton Oilers have made their decision and chose Windsor Spitfires center Taylor Hall.

Hall is the flashier of the two players in the Taylor/Tyler debate and should create some excitement for an Edmonton team that seems like it needs it.

Here is what we said when we profiled him back in May:

If Tyler Seguin is the type of player that makes the smart hockey play every single time, Taylor Hall is the type of player that has the skill to wow you every time he touches the puck. The WIndsor Spitfires center is regarded as "1B" in the 2010 NHL Draft and has a legitimate case for being the first overall pick.

Time will only tell whether the Oilers made the right decision in this situation but Hall should be able to sell some tickets in the process.


Panthers Conditionally Trade Ballard, Prospect To Canucks For Grabner, Bernier, 25th Pick

The first trade of the 2010 NHL Draft has been made. From George Richards, Florida Panther beat writer...

Steve Bernier traded to panthers for Keith Ballard....cats get 25th http://fb.me/yyaEvDxDaround 7 PM ET, Jun 25 via Facebook


ESPN's Pierre LeBrun has added some more details, mentioning that Michael Grabner is also heading to Florida with Bernier. Prospect Victor Oreskovich is heading to Vancouver. LeBrun says it's all based on the condition that the player the Canucks want is on the board at 25.

That's the 25th pick to the Panthers, who are stockpiling draft picks like canned foods before a storm. They currently hold three first rounds picks: the 3rd, 15th and now the 25th. That's on top of three second round picks, two fourth round picks, and more.

Visit our Panthers blog, Litter Box Cats, and our Canucks blog, Nucks Misconduct, for more.


SB Nation Writers Settle In At Staples Center For NHL Draft

Our 14 writers are just beginning to settle in at Staples Center, taking advantage of free food and soft drinks provided by the NHL. They're also sharing a few pictures with those of us stuck elsewhere. 

A few shots of the outside of Staples Center via Fear The Fin (@FearTheFin)



From Winging It In Motown's Mike Petrella (@mpetrella):



From Anaheim Calling's Arthur Javier (@AnaheimCalling):


The rest of the crew will be in shortly. Join us, won't you?


Top Source Leagues At The NHL Draft

For the years 2005-09, 45 different leagues have had a player chosen by a NHL team.  1076 total picks have been made, and of that group, Canadian Hockey League players (major junior) comprise a little over 46% of the total selections.  This in itself isn't surprising:  Canadian players make up around half of the NHL players in the league as a whole, and with somewhere around 80% of all CHL players being Canadian, such an outcome is not surprising.  Canadian trained players are also picked from the Junior A leagues (Canadian Junior A leagues and the United States Hockey League), as well as a couple from the NCAA.  American players are more spread out, with the largest number picked from high school leagues in Minnesota and New England. 

I'll have the per country breakdowns in the future, but here's a look at the raw totals by league after the jump:

Read more at Puck Worlds.


Will The Hurricanes Trade Up, Islanders Trade Down Before The Draft?

From Canes Country:

Keep in mind, this is just rumor, innuendo, and borderline propaganda, but it's interesting. 

I talked with several media gurus last night, (it was a pleasure to meet them all), and the word was that the Islanders probably want to draft a forward, (Granlund or Johansen), and would be willing to trade down a pick or two if the price was right.  The Canes have been spending a lot of time interviewing the top three defensemen but it seems very unlikely one of those three will drop to the 7th spot.

Could the Islanders and Hurricanes be discussing anything?  Don't be shocked if the Canes move up to number 5 tonight. They would probably be very happy with any of the top defensemen, (Cam Fowler, Erik Gudbranson, or Brandon Gormley), if given the opportunity to choose one.

On the other hand, maybe Carolina will want to keep their multitude of picks and stay at #7 and take the best player available?  One Portland correspondent who has watched the Winter Hawks play a lot over the season said that Ryan Johansen is "the real deal" and he will go sooner than many think.

More fine reading at Canes Country, of course.

For all of our NHL Draft coverage, follow our Twitter list and stay right here at SBNation.com as things unfold in Los Angeles.


Taylor Or Tyler? The Verdict From Our Edmonton Oilers Blog

From The Copper & Blue:

The Edmonton commentariat has been consumed by the question of Hall vs. Seguin since our position at the head of the draft table was assured. The hope that we will get one of the best players in a not particularly good draft class has been tempered by the fear that we will once again pick Steve Kelly rather than Shane Doan. Hall is the electrifying one and the old favourite, Seguin is the steady one with a late surge towards the top of the charts. Hall plays for a dynamite team, Seguin plays for a club that was dragged into the playoffs essentially because of him. They are both generally accepted to be good players, but months of being dragged through constant rehashes of the same argument has led me, and all other thinking fans, to the conclusion that one is an irresponsible knuckle-dragging buffoon who would get himself hurt so badly he'd be knocked out of the league even on the off chance his pitiful skill could get him that far, and the other is Jordan Eberle but even more clutch.

Sure, Scott Reynolds crunched the playoff numbers in a recent post, but for those of us who can't look at a calculator without wanting to type "BOOBS" on it this leaves something unanswered. So I gathered the Copper & Blue brain trust, except for Jonathan who refused to be diverted from building an earthquake machine or whatever the Score is making him do this time. We went around the horn, and we each came up with our own opinions, and collectively we reached a verdict. Our brief speeches, and the final Copper & Blue verdict, follows the jump.

You heard the man. Make the jump to The Copper & Blue.


2010 NHL Draft: Major Storylines On Day 1

From Western College Hockey Blog:

The first round of the NHL Draft kicks off this evening in Los Angeles. The first round of the draft is always unpredictable--weeks of meticulous planning and pontificating go out the window with the first trade--but this one almost seems even more unpredictable than usual. What makes it so unpredictable this year is that there are so many interesting question marks surrounding players, and it's impossible to tell how each team will react to them.

With that in mind, instead of giving you a mock draft that is sure to be horribly wrong, I thought I'd share some of the storylines that I'm curious to see unfold this evening.

1. Taylor vs. Tyler

This has been done a million times before by everyone else so I won't belabor the point. I've made it clear that my personal opinion is that Edmonton has to pick Taylor Hall, and have pretty much maintained Hall would go number one all year long. I rubbed some people the wrong way here back in October when I said the race between the two was manufactured drama, and heading into Draft Day, it kind of looks that way with Hall being nearly everyone's heavy favorite. But stranger things have happened, and it will be worth watching to see who goes number one.

2. What Order Will the Top D Go?

More interesting than spots one and two in the draft are the defensemen that could go three, four,and five in the draft: Cam Fowler, Erik Gudbranson, and Brandon Gormley. Fowler has been the heavy favorite all year, but in the past couple of weeks, it has become trendy to downgrade Fowler and move the other two past him. Personally, it's hard for me to go against Fowler, having watched him so many times over the past couple of years, but I can also see the drawbacks to that selection. I don't envy the guys that have to put their jobs on the line to make that pick.

You can also throw two American defensemen into the mix in Derek Forbort and Jon Merrill. Popular theory is that they're a notch below the other three, but both are ranked higher than Thomas Hickey or Blake Wheeler was when teams jumped up to grab them in the top five.

3. The Russian Factor

There are five talented Russian players that could go in the first round of the draft: Alex Burmistrov, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Vladimir Tarasenko, Stanislav Galiev, and Kirill Kabanov. Kabanov will likely fall out of the first round for a myriad of red flags beyond his nationality, but it will be interesting to see how teams handle the other players.

There's a lot more over at WCHB. Go read, thank us later.

For more from our writers in LA, follow our Twitter list and stay right here at SBNation.com as the day progresses.


2010 NHL Draft: An Interview With Prospect Mark Pysyk

Bob Wage from our Hurricanes blog, Canes Country, ate lunch with prospect Mark Pysyk and his father in Los Angeles yesterday. They had a lengthy chat about Pysyk's upbringing and how he found his way to hockey and to this point at the NHL Draft, where he's ranked seventh among North American skaters by Central Scouting.

Here's a bit of Bob's story:

Mark laughed when asked about where he got his athleticism.  "It wasn't from him", he pointed to his father.  His dad smiled and agreed.  "You don't get to play much hockey when you work a farm", he replied.  "Hockey was not even on my mind most times."

The old hockey pond would even get chopped up if possible during the winter so that the livestock could get water.  There was no Staal-like home-made rink on his farm near Edmonton, Alberta where Pysyk grew up.  But he did have plenty of opportunity to play hockey, the game he loves.  His best friend's dad was a major influence on him and would coach him as a youngster.

Pysyk ended up playing for his hometown junior team, the Edmonton Oil Kings and made a great impression.  "Mark carried our team on his back a lot of nights this winter and the fact that he played on a broken foot for a couple of games before he was forced to end his season early shows how much character he's developed", said team General Manager, Bob Green.  

Unfortunately due to his broken foot, several scouts never had a chance to see Pysyk play this past season.  Still, his stats were respectable as he scored 7 goals and chipped in with 17 assists in 48 games.  More importantly, he played in all situations and logged a lot of minutes.

Get the whole read at Canes Country.

Pysyk was selected 13th by the Phoenix Coyotes in our mock draft last week. For more from our writers in LA, follow our Twitter list and stay right here at SBNation.com as the day progresses.


2010 NHL Draft: An Interview With Jack Campbell, Top Goalie Prospect

Our Matt Gunning, of Thrashers blog Bird Watchers Anonymous, caught up with top goaltending prospect Jack Campbell in Los Angeles on Thursday. Here's a bit of the interview between Campbell and the rest of the media, including BWA.

BWA: At the WJC what was your thought process as you started that game on the bench and then got on the ice in relief?

JC: I was a little disappointed that I didn't get to start any of the games in the playoff round, but I worked hard in practice and was a good teammate. Mike got us to that final game and when the team needed me to step up my preparation really paid off and I had some success.

Q: You've said you want to make the NHL as quick as possible, what would be a timetable for you?

JC: It is up the organization that drafts me of course. My goal is to be in there right away. I've been writing goals on my wall since I was eleven years old and the only one I haven't accomplished was not winning the Under-17 Challenge last year. I'm going to continue to shoot for the stars and hopefully my hard work will pay off.

Q: E.J. McGuire of Central Scouting had a quote that you're "never lost a big game"--in your mind have you lost a big game?

JC: Yes, the Under-17Challenge, we were lost to [Team] Pacific and I really learned from that. I was too focused on beating [Team] Ontario in the Finals and I sorta of forgot I had to win the semi-finals game.

BWA: Can you talk about your choice to play for the US National Development team? Did you have other options on the table?

JC: Yes, the other option was the OHL. But I really wanted to be in that USA uniform since I was 14 years old, so I knew which [route] I would take if I made Team USA.

Q: What went into your decision to go to Windsor in the OHL next year?

JC: There were quite a few: the number of games, the NHL-style playoffs, playing for Coach Boughner and Mr. Rychel--they know what it takes to get to that next level--and then the [quality of] the team we're going to have next year. Some great teammates, we're going to have a lot of fun. Also the community, it will be a lot of fun to play in that atmosphere.

BWA: Can you talk about your teammates on the USNDT? You spend a lot of time in practice and most goalies have that one teammate who gives them a rough time, anyone like that on your team?

JC: One of my best friends on the team Bryan Ross. He's a really solid player and he should go high in the draft. We also kid around on the ice and for some reason he always has more number more than anyone else--it drives me crazy.

Q: How many interviews have you had?

JC: I've met with 26 teams--basically everybody.

Read more at BWA.

For full coverage of the 2010 NHL Draft from our 14 writers in Los Angeles, follow our Twitter list and stay right here at SBNation.com.


Canes Country Provides Scattered Thoughts, Photos On Draft Eve

Bob Wage at SBN's Carolina Hurricanes blog, Canes Country, checks in with a few scattered thoughts from Los Angeles tonight.

On Taylor Hall:

Of course Taylor Hall was the busiest of all the prospects who attended.  When asked by an Edmonton reporter, he said that living in Edmonton would not be a problem at all for him.  He's not really focused on being the number one pick, he'll be happy wherever he goes. 

Obviously, the Hurricanes will not have the opportunity to draft him.

On Brandon Gormley:

Brandon Gormley is one of the few players to meet with the Hurricanes since he arrived in Los Angeles.  If he is not selected by another team by time the Hurricanes come to number 7, he could be the one.  Gormley is a solid defender who also has good offensive numbers.  He has a hard, low shot from the point but is more noted for his playmaking abilities.

On Cam Fowler:

Cam Fowler is the top-rated offensive defender on the board, but feels he has a very good all around game.  He said he was not sure if Florida was going to draft him at number 3 or not, he does not have a feeling of where he might go tomorrow night.

On Brett Connolly:

Brett Connolly, who missed several games this year because of an injury, said that he was feeling fine.  When asked if he came back from his injury too soon earlier this past season, he replied that he felt good when he made that decision, but was not 100%.  He also said that he was not rushed at all by anyone and felt he was ready to play, but in hindsight maybe it was too soon.

Connolly was not interviewed by the Hurricanes today.

Click over to Canes Country for more, including some excellent photos from sunny Los Angeles.


An Interview With Brett Connolly, NHL Draft Prospect

On Thursday evening in Los Angeles, Matt Gunning of Bird Watchers Anonymous had a chance to speak with Brett Connolly, a prospect from the Prince George Tigers of the WHL. It's no surprise that he likes Connolly, as he selected him with the 8th pick in our Mock Draft.

Here's a bit of the interview:

Bird Watchers Anonymous: Did you have many teams interview during the season before the Combine?

Brett Connolly: Interviews--more like little visits when I was on the road. You might meet and go to lunch but that was about it. There were about 4-5 of those little visits.

BWA: Can you talk about the end of your season after you came back. Where you 100% or were you just good enough to get on the ice.

BC: I came back a week before the season ended and I felt great and there no pressure to come back. I felt great and it was my decision.

BWA: The Thrashers are one of the teams that is picking at a spot where you might be drafted--did you talk to them?

BC: The only time I talked to the Thrashers was at the Combine. There were no meeting before that.

Q: With all the attention given to Taylor and Tyler, do you feel like whoever is picked after them is the winner of the competition for the next group of players?

BC: A little bit. Obviously Taylor and Tyler deserved [the attention] they got this year and had exceptional junior careers. But for us, flying under the radar is good too. We're still going to be someone's first round pick.

Q: How are your hips?

BC: Good. Completely 100%. I continue to get checked on and I'm training hard. I haven't felt it since March. So I'm confident that they are as good as new and it's behind me.

BWA: Did you do any workouts for teams after the Combine?

BC: Yes. Minnesota had me in there doing some stuff. Phoenix and a few other teams. I was pretty busy with doctor's appointments...I was pretty busy yesterday and today...there were a few teams.

Q: How was your meeting with Minnesota go?

BC: I had a really good meeting with Minnesota. Obviously their doctors wanted to check me out. They had me do some movement stuff with my legs. Overall it was a good meeting. [two or three weeks ago]

There's a lot more at BWA, so make sure you head over there for the full read.


SB Nation At The 2010 NHL Draft: 2 Days, 14 Writers, 210 Picks

SB Nation has 14 writers from around our excellent hockey network reporting from the NHL Draft this weekend in Los Angeles, providing the fan perspective on all the happenings on the ground at one of the busiest hockey events of the year. From the picks to the trades to everything in between, you won't want to miss our coverage.

Here's a full list of who we have in Los Angeles this weekend:

Follow these guys (and gal) on Twitter and be sure to check out their coverage at their individual sites. You can also just follow our Twitter list, which aggregates the feeds of all the writers in LA.

We'll be bringing you all of the highlights here at SBNation.com as well, beginning today and running straight through the 210th pick on Saturday afternoon.

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