Sunday, June 22, 2008
NHL Draft: Day 2 Talk
I had started up a long analysis of each of the players that the Rangers picked with plenty of links but let's face it, who cares? I haven't seen these kids play and there are plenty of places that the same info can be found (Blueshirt Bulletin is a good one, as always and the Rangers also looked at their new additions).
Instead I will just throw out some big picture notes:
*The Islanders were one of the big winners in the draft, picking up 13 players to restock their system. That's incredible and some of the picks are actually good prospects. Hartford will be in for one helluva fight in a few years.
*Speaking of the Pack, the Rangers dealt away Alex Bourret to Phoenix so they could draft Czech defenseman Tomas Kundratek in the third round. Kundratek was the highest-rated Czech in the draft but really, does that mean much? Every country has its ups and downs in development and the CR has rarely produced top flight defensemen with Petr Svboda and Tomas Kaberle being two exceptions. And don't throw Rozy out there as he has been pretty damn mediocre but the Rangers thrust him into the No. 1 spot because Jagr loves him. Bourret may have been fat and lazy but he still put up the points, especially in the clutch - 15 in 12 playoff games with the Pack. Who knows how he could have developed if the Rangers actually invested some time in him?
*Then again, while other teams ping-ponged up and down the draft with deals, the Rangers were relatively quiet. They made two moves - the Bourret deal and the reacquisition of their own fourth round pick for next year's fourth rounder and the seventh rounder from this year. They used the fourth rounder on WHL late blooming winger Dale Weise.
*With a gamble on a late bloomer like Weise, they also rolled the dice for their sixth rounder, Mitch Gaulton. Gaulton could end up a total stud or a total bust as he is coming off of a major injury. But I guess, like with all draft picks, it's really a crap shoot.
*There was no guessing when it came to the best story out of Ottawa. David Carle, the brother of San Jose defenseman Matt, was expected to be a early round pick. During the pre-draft physicals, Carle was diagnosed a heart condition that puts him at risk for sudden cardiac death if he exerts himself too strenuously. He withdrew his name from the NHL draft but the Tampa Bay Lightning used their last pick on him anyway. New owner Oren Koules said, "The kid worked his whole life to be drafted in the NHL, and I don't see a reason he shouldn't be." It was an incredibly classy move and I tip my hat to him and the Lightning organization for making it - it's the people that make this sport so great.