Thursday, June 25, 2009

Your Blueland Chronicle Plan for Draft Action

If your Chronicle editor was GM, here's a-what he would do tomorrow in la Belle Montreal.

First thing's first. With the #4 pick, I'd draft Evander Kane. I've already said why I want him for the Thrashers, but just to quickly outline why we need him: if every serious NHL scout can be believed, Kane likes to drive to the net, plays a gritty game from the blue line in, and has serious scoring ability. He'll create space for Kovy (and Zach and Toby, and Bryan Little) on the power play and/or at even strength, and he's been compared to Jarome Iginla (Kane's favorite player) for his power forward abilities and net-crashing hunger. The other similarity between Iginla and Kane, of course, is that they're both from Western Canada.

Now then, on to the second round. It gets a bit trickier here, of course, because we might package one of our 2nd round picks with a goalie (Pavelec, more than likely) to get something awesome. IF we for some reason keep both of the picks, here's what I would do:

With the #34 pick I'd draft either Joonas Nattinen or Charles-Olivier Roussel. I'd choose Nattinen, "a big hard-nosed two-way centerman who can play with finesse and power," because one day Marty the Party might have to retire. A possibility we all must face. He'd be a reasonable 3rd- or 4th-line center, I think. Also, he's Finnish, and thus he'll play well with Kari Lehtonen and Anssi Salmela.

Roussel because he's said to be a solid defenseman who creates offensive chances. Can carry the puck, good and simple in his own end, can play the power play, etc. Presumably a good fit for the style the Thrashers are embracing. Stats from this past season: 44 points (11 goals, 33 assists) in 68 games.

With the #45 pick I'd draft a young man named Alex Chiasson. TSN explicitly compares him to Colby Armstrong. Scouts say he has good stick-handling ability and that, Colby-and-Cheechoo-like, he can really dig for a puck. Not a great goal-scorer, put he can take hits and find the puck to make passes to more naturally-shooting linemates. His stats this past season playing for Des Moines: 50 points (17 goals, 33 assists) in 56 games. 101 penalty minutes.

Now that said, if I were GM I'd probably just send one of those two 2nd-rounders, with Pavelec, to the highest bidder. We need ourselves another good top-six forward. I'll take whatever they're offering.


Razor Catch Prey said...

I really think we need to package one of those second round picks, a prospect, and a goalie for a top line player. Not just a top 6, but someone specifically to play with the Czar.

Army is good enough to play on the second line, especially with the way he clicked with Pevs and Kozy in the closing games of 08-09. Would I like to upgrade so he is on the third line instead? Yes. But not if it means Kovy goes into training camp looking at the same linemates he had last year. Litts belongs on that top line, Todd White- as much as I love the guy- does not.

So Little needs to move to center in favor of a solid 80-90 point right winger, or should stay on the wing and be joined by a Mike Cammalleri or Marc Savard type at center.

If we end up having to move Kari in order to get that kind of return, then we need to draft us a new goalie prospect to groom in case Pavs flames out.

FrenchCatalogues said...

Honestly I think Little should remain a RW. I just don't see him as a center anymore. He is too much of a goal scorer right now. Ideally Army should be with the Party and Stuart. Ten bucks says we are going after Samuelsson, maybe Antropov, in the free agency. If White goes somehow, we need a bona fide playmaker, and I mean in our dreams wouldn't we all love Savvy to come back. I can see us dealing with Detroit honestly. I know I wouldn't mind Filppula.

FrenchCatalogues said...

Also one could go for Wolski from the Avs which probably would be good.

Big Shooter said...

I think you hit the nail on the head Razor...