After having time to review a couple of draft reports it seems like the Hurricanes did all right for themselves on draft day, considering their position and the fact that they only had five picks. According to The Hockey News, first round pick Zach Boychuk could be ready for prime time this season. The Canes would probably have to deal a couple of forwards to make room for him though.
It seems that Boychuk and Brandon Sutter are already good friends and could very well make excellent linemates. We'll have to see how training camp works out, but I doubt that the Canes will rush the kid.
Question.... If Boychuk makes the team, will it be time to bring Babchuk back?
Okay, no more attempts at humor early on a Monday morning.
Of course we have already talked about how Zac Dalpe was an excellent choice when the Canes selected him in the middle of the 2nd round, but there is no way he is ready for the NHL right now. He's supposed to play at Ohio State next season, but will the Canes try to get him to suit up for the Plymouth Whalers instead? He would get a lot more game action if he did.
The Zac(h)s and the rest of the draft picks will probably be at the rookie and prospect camp which begins on July 7th. That's where they will learn how to shop for groceries, workout the Pete Friesen way, be informed about how to deal with the pesky press, and learn about a number of other important aspects of NHL life. As soon as we get more information about the camp and the number of attendees, we will be posting it here.
The rest of the draft really wasn't all that exciting this year. Most of the known players were selected at about the time they were expected to go.
One team that raised a few eyebrows and upset a few in their fanbase was the NY Islanders. The Islanders owned the 5th overall pick and ended up trading it to Toronto for the 7th pick plus 2 lower round picks, one this year and one for next. The Maple Leafs were thrilled to select Luke Schenn with that pick, a highly touted defenseman.
Apparently, Garth Snow and the New Yorkers didn't see the need for any highly rated young defensemen?
Then when the Russian sniper they really wanted, Nikita Filatov, was picked by Columbus, they traded again and slipped 2 more spots down. By this time, most of the people at their draft party back home in NY had left the building in disgust.
Question.... If you have one of the top 5 picks and have been advertising and celebrating that fact with your fans for weeks, plus promoted a free draft party on your home ice at the Nassau Coliseum to watch the event, why would you trade down and disappoint them all? Weird.
They were able to make some savvy selections on Saturday with their later picks, but will they all add up to the notoriety of Filatov? Time will tell.
Blogger, B.D. Gallof, from the Islanders Blog Box as well as Hockeybuzz.com had an excellent article about the party and his perception of the mood of the crowd. Apparently, the Islanders have no intention of shutting down the Blog Box, at least for now. The bloggers had full press access for the proceedings and were sitting alongside reporters from Newsday and Inside Hockey.
Another reporter who happened to drop by was ESPN's John Buccigross, who was nice enough to give the Bloggers an impromptu interview. Gallof includes it with his article.
Quite a few trades were made during the draft, and one specific deal really irritated another fanbase. Olli Jokinen, a nemesis of the Hurricanes for years, was traded to Phoenix for two defensemen and a draft pick. Keith Ballard and Nick Boynton are now property of the Florida Panthers.
Question..... How do you replace the offensive production of the all-time leading scorer of your franchise with two defensemen, especially when your team has a history of not being a high scoring team? The Florida fans would like to know as well at least one fed-up reporter. Where will the goals come from?
Jacques Martin has a lot of 'splainin' to do.
Next we plan to look at the Canes possible trade scenarios and what might be holding up the works.