((Managing Editor's Note: For the past week or so, PackPride has done an excellent job running an ongoing draft analysis in the fanpost section on the right sidebar. While it's very early yet and there are contradictory reports coming out of the various scouting services, this has been an interesting and fun segment so far, so I thought I would move it to the front page.
Some members have already voted how they think the first five picks would go and they went pretty much as expected, (at least with the scouting reports available up to this point), but things get interesting now with #6. And of course, this pick is crucial as to whom is available for the Canes to choose at #7.
Cory and I will be doing our own Mock Drafts a bit later and include analysis from other mock drafts as well as a review of various draft reports. The NHL Draft Scouting Combine is crucial for making the final determination and this is being held in Toronto from May 24-29. But it is interesting to see how people feel at this point and how much things might change in the near future.
After the #6 pick has been determined, PackPride will publish the information for pick #7 and we will see who fans think will be picked by the Canes at this moment in time.))
This is the sixth in a series of Canes Country votes of how the first 10 picks of the 2010 NHL Draft will unfold. We all have our own ideas of how things will play out and who will be available when the Canes select #7. I thought a fun way to decide things would be to take a consensus of the people here at Canes Country. What I will do is offer a few reasonable draft choices for each team. After a day or so, I will award who the “people” have selected and go down the list from #1 to #10.
2010 Canes Country NHL Draft
1. Edmonton – Taylor Hall
2. Boston – Tyler Seguin
3. Florida – Cam Fowler
4. Columbus – Erik Gudbranson
5. New York Islanders – Brandon Gormley
6. Tampa Bay – On the Clock
10. New York Rangers
The Canes Country voters have spoken and with the 5th pick, the Islanders turn their attention to defense and select Gormley. He should develop into a top pair guy for the Isles and we might see his immediate effective on their PP. Up next, another Southeast Division rival, the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Bugs could go in many directions, but their two most pressing needs are defense and goaltending. They really could use just about any position, as their farm system is not overflowing with talent. One thing that might play in to their selection is Martin St.Louis’ comments about wanting to play for a winner. His contract expires after this upcoming season, will the Bugs be looking for someone to replace him and team with Stamkos? Will they look for a future partner for Hedman? What about getting someone to play with LeCavalier? And finally, what about going after a goalie? They need a goalie to build around and Mike Smith does not appear to be the answer. I think the Lightning should look at players like Granlund, Connolly, Tarasenko, Forbert, Pysyk, and Campbell; they could also consider trading down to acquire additional picks to help restore the farm team. This vote is going to have a lot more options than others because the pick could go in so many directions.
Mikael Granlund – Could there be a better replacement for St. Louis? This guy is similar in stature and plays a similar game. He has great vision, controls the puck well, and is a better good sniper also. If St. Louis walks after next season, Granlund would be an ideal candidate to replace him. Having Granlund’s playmaking skills with Stamkos’ scoring ability with Malone’s net presence; that 1st line wouldn’t skip much of a beat at all. And if that line wasn’t working out, you could always pair LeCavalier and Granlund up. There you would have two quality passers and shooters on the same line.
Brett Connolly – Could this be where Connolly finally goes? Connolly is a guy with scoring ability that is not afraid to crash the net. He has the talented needed to be a 1st liner and could really benefit from playing with dynamic players like Stamkos or LeCavalier. Connolly’s not exactly a replacement for St. Louis, but I think he could be paired with either of Tampa’s two big centers. I think you could put him with Stamkos and he could clean up rebound attempts and take away some of the pressure. Or you could team him up with LeCavalier and use LeCavalier’s playmaking abilities to really shine.
Vladimir Tarasenko – Tarasenko has the skating and scoring ability to be a real dangerous player, especially if lined up with Stamkos or LeCavalier. He doesn’t have the playmaking ability of St. Louis, but he does have his speed and goal scoring. Having Tarasenko and Stamkos on the same line would be very interesting, that would be a very fast goal producing line. While Tarasenko and Stamkos have similarities, Tarasenko and LeCavalier would be a more complementary line. LeCavalier would be able to create golden scoring chances for the young, fast, Russian sniper.
Derek Forbort – When you think big, this young defenseman comes to mind. He’s 6’5”, weighs almost 200 lbs, and is going to fill out more with age. With that said; the kid can also skate and plays a solid two-way game. He has some more developing to do and he is not quite ready for the NHL. He should get some more seasoning in college, but the kid projects well. He has good offensive numbers and if he can learn how to use his size a little bit better, he should easily develop into a top pair defenseman. If Tampa is really interested in Forbort, this might be an opportunity to trade down, pick up something additional, and select him later in the 1st round.
Mark Pysyk – It’s sort of tough gauging Pysyk against the other draft eligible defenseman. Pysyk played on a bad team and then broke his foot, so it’s a tough judgment on his talent level. Some have compared his game to Scott Niedermayer; he’s not physically imposing, but plays a very good two-way game. He is a good passer, can quarterback the PP, and is a good skater. His coaches rave about his character and say he extremely smart on the ice. Having a future top pair of Pysyk and Hedman could be a turning point for this franchise. They would have a nice mix of size, speed, offense, defense, intelligence, and physical play.
Jack Campbell – He is probably the number 1 goalie prospect in the draft. The American is very athletic and seems to come up big in big games. He is good side-to-side, doesn’t give up a lot of juicy rebounds, and has good reflexes. From what I’ve read, he still needs to work a bit on his positioning and needs to stop relying so heavily on his athleticism. Obviously, he would not be ready to start for the Bugs next season, but they need to find someone they can count on in net. Campbell projects to be a very good to elite goaltender and Tampa might not be able to pass that up. This is another one where Tampa might be able to trade down, pick up something else, and then select Campbell at a lower slot.
Trade the #6 Pick to Anaheim or Phoenix – If Anaheim or Phoenix sees a player they really want, they might be able to move into Tampa’s slot and take them. If I were Tampa, I would really consider trading my 6th pick to Phoenix for their 13th and 21st or to Anaheim for their 12th and mid 20s pick. With two pick in the 1st round, Tampa could probably get a player like Campbell or Forbort with their first pick and find another quality player with the 20s pick. Tampa is going to come into a very difficult position within the next two years. Stamkos’ contract will expire and he will be commanding BIG money. Tampa is a budget team and they have a few high dollar contracts on their books. The only way they are going to be able to keep Stamkos and LeCavalier with their other high dollar players is to build a consistently good farm team that will allow them to plug holes with entry level deals. IMO, trading the 6th pick for two lower 1st’s would be a very smart way to go for a franchise that has made plenty of dumb moves. If you choose this option, please write in who you think Anaheim or Phoenix would select.
Other – If you think they should do something else, please elaborate.