NHL Draft Diary
by Matt Ederer(NHL)
Posted on June 26, 2009, 2:59 PM
With my playoff pool payoff currently cooling on ice (24 delicious, tall, frosty Bud Light Limes), and a total absolution of any and all responsibility for the night outside of "drunkenly throw some words onto the page and hope I don't throw up on my girlfriend's laptop", allow me to welcome you to the first annual NHL Draft Diary.
Here's how this works. I have a LOT of free alcohol. Obscene amounts. I'm going to progressively get drunker and drunker as the night goes on. Hilarity may or may not ensue. Will my hockey expertise suffer? Or are those inflated feelings of self-esteem as accurate as they feel at the time? Stay tuned!
By the way, if you're scoring at home:
a) Yes, I shamelessly stole this idea from Bill Simmons of ESPN. Not the booze, but the Draft Diary. To be fair, he's the king. There's no shame in stealing from the best.
b) Tavares is going #1. John Tavares. Is. Going. Number. One. Overall.
We'll see if I'm eating those words in 70 minutes. Here we go!
5:52 - My roomate pours me a Vesper (sp?). I'm told it's what James Bond drinks in Casino Royale. Excellent start to the night.
Drink count - 1
6:07 - On TSN's Off The Record, Michael Landsberg reports that Brian Burke has yet to do up his tie. This, of course, means that he has yet to mean business.
Also, I'm started on my first beer of the evening. Drink the second. I don't yet feel like a genius, but I do love Bud Light Lime. If a Bud rep is reading this, I'll gladly advertise your product in anything I write between now and the rest of my life for a few cases.
6:15 - I'm eating BBQ'ed ribs, chicken and potatoes. Almost done that beer. Friends are over, the sun is shining. Chris Pronger, Dany Heatley, Vinny Lecavalier and Patty Marleau all may move tonight.
Life is sweet. Your envy tastes bitter.
6:37 - On Sportscentre, Pierre McGuire says that Tavares is the right choice for #1 tonight. Dig it.
He also says that he doesn't expect any of the top four picks to be moved.
In drunken news, I'm onto my third of the night. Dig that too.
Drink count - 2
7:00 - It begins~!~!!~!!
A point of clarification. My drink count refers to the amount of drinks that I've finished. Hopefully, my legions of fans understand the discrepancy there. If I say the drink count is, for example, seventeen, I've got number eighteen in my mittens.
I've also just realized that, in an NHL Draft Diary, I've dedicated about 90% of the words I've written so far to my alcohol consumption. Lets get this show on the road, NHL.
Drink count - 3
7:04 - Darren Dreger announces that a trade has been made, sending Chris Pronger from Anaheim to Philadelphia. Details to follow.
Has there ever been a more quintessential *Flyers* player than fellow Sports Oratorian Colin Van Osch's favorite player, Chris Pronger?
7:08 - TSN shows the Nassau Coliseum, where they've moved Twenty-Two THOUSAND tickets for a draft party. If Hedman wins, we riot.
7:13 - Gary Bettman, predictably, gets booed once he takes the microphone. Does Roger Goodell, Bud Selig, or David Stern get as roundly booed as Bettman does? Probably a bad sign.
7:17 - The Islanders take.............
7:19 - John Tavares!!!
Great, great pick for the Islanders here. The all-time leading goal scorer in the OHL. Last season, Mark Streit (that's Mark Streit the Swiss defenceman) led these guys in goals. This is an absolute no brainer. Great, great call.
7:22 - Tavares gives his first interview as an NHL star. He covers all the normal bases, acts humble, acts relived, acts excited, and registers a 5.0 on the Sidney Crosby Exciting Interview Scale.
7:25 - Chris Pronger's trade details are in. It breaks down like this:
2009 first round pick
2010 first rond pick
2010 conditional third
Lots of future being sacrificed there by Philadelphia. Three first round picks, if you count Sbisa (who incidentally is the only Italian in the NHL). Lupul returns to the team that drafted him, and should fit in nicely with a young, speedy Ducks squadron.
7:27 - Tampa Bay selects Victor Hedman #2 overall. Ironic that, two minutes after the Pronger trade is finalized, New Pronger is drafted.
7:30 - Pierre McGuire says that Victor Hedman is ready to step in and be a #1 NHL D-man next season. High praise from Pierre.
7:38 - Colorado selects Matt Duchene #3. His upside, they say, is Yzerman/Sakic-esque: someone who can score 100+ points and still play some defense. He can play in every situation, PK, PP, ES.
Having said that, the new Colorado Avalanche GM Greg Sherman speaks some of the worst french in the entire history of the language. It was bad.
7:45 - Evander Kane goes #4 to the Atlanta Thrashers. Budding power forward here, somebody who, near the age of 21-22-23, as he matures physically, could be an animal.
7:50 - The Kings are on the clock. I predict they move this pick.
Drink count - 4
7:56 - Right in my face, the Kings select Brayden Schenn 5th overall. This guy IS the power forward that Evander Kane will be. They compare him to Mike Richards. What he lacks in size, he makes for in grit and heart.
7:59 - Darren Dreger announces a trade. Columbus and the Islanders have swapped first round picks. More details to follow.
And I killed another beer!
Drink count - 5
8:01 - The Columbus/Long Island trade comes through. Basically a quantity for quality trade. Columbus moves to the end of the first round, but gets a lot of picks in the later rounds, the Islanders sacrifice their 98 draft picks but shift more to the middle of the first round.
Also, the Phoenix Coyotes draft Oliver Ekman-Larrson at #6. He's said to be a poor man's Nick Lidstrom. What he lacks in physicality, he makes up with hockey sense and a good PP game.
8:09 - Brian Burke gets SLAUGHTERED by the Bell Centre faithful. The Leafs take Nazem Kadri #7 overall. Kadri is GTA local if I'm not mistaken. He must be losing his mind.
8:17 - Joe Nieuwendyk (Not going to bother attempting to spell it correctly....maybe I did? Who knows?) is looking good as GM of the Stars. He just looks comfortable. He belongs.
Stars select Scott Glennie. Biggest jump in the draft so far, from the early teens to 8th overall. His draft-eligible season was shortened by injury, but he should have a good career. I trust Joe. I don't know why, but I do.
8:21 - Smashed another brew. That one went down quick.
Drink count - 6
8:25 - Ryan Ellis is interviewed by TSN's Ryan Rishaug. Let me put this in writing now. Ryan Ellis will be an NHL star. Bank it.
At #8 overall, the Ottawa Senators select 6 foot 5 D-man Jared Cowan. They now have a future defensive paring of Jared Cowan and Erik Karlsson. The Style and the Substance. Future looks bright for Ottawa.
8:35 - The Oilers select Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson #10th overall. At Christmas time, this guy was the #3 prospect in the world. He is fast, he is slick, he can skate like the wind and he has, apparently, got great character. He is an Edmonton Oiler. Great, great, great, amazing pick for Edmonton.
8:37 - The Nashville Predators are apparently thinking about selecting a kid from the NCAA. That basically lowers this pick to either Jordan Schroder or Chris Krieder. Both would be moving up pretty significantly in the draft.
8:44 - Yet another team decided to laugh in my face as they select Ryan Ellis. He will be a monster, once he develops his game. Monster. If Nashville fans even exist, they must be pumped.
8:46 - A lot of the fun of the NHL draft is filling the down portions of the NHL draft. For example: apparently, my roomate looks like a pornstar. As such, we've been googling pictures of Lela Star for the past few minutes. In the interest of research, of course.
8:52 - Trade to annouce. Minnesota trades the pick on the clock to the Islanders ~! for the 16th pick, and two other lower picks this draft. New York went #1, and then #26 to #16 to #12 now. Very impressive for Snow.
8:53 - Calvin DeHaan! Calvin DeHaan. He was ranked 23 on TSN's mock draft class. The Islanders moved from 26 to 16, and again to 12 to pick this player. Wayyyyy off the board, biggest shocker of the draft so far.
8:56 - Drank the seventh falls to what can only be described as my mighty thirst. Take that, Budweiser company.