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NHL 2010 Draft Preview & Live Play By Play
by Colin Van Osch (NHL)
Posted on June 24, 2010, 5:33 PM

The Most Poorly Formatted NHL Preview On The Internets!

So for those of you who don't know, the draft is pretty much my favorite time of year. Not just the NHL draft either. The NFL draft is a huge occasion, and draft time is basically the only time I bother to give baseball or basketball any face time all year. Call me a sissy (or worse) but there's a little something magical about seeing a child achieve his dream. Granted, these are newly coined adults we're talking about, but the sacrifice begin young and the dedication shown by these people at a very young age to succeed is impressive. Doubly so when I consider the extreme laziness that I exhibit nightly as a sports fan.

Ederer was supposed to join me, but he's a massive lying douche who seems to have suckered me into doing hours upon hours of research, only to douche out at the last second like a big douche.

Standard format applies. I tell you who it's going to be, I write a quick recap that uses a completely inappropriate comparison, then tomorrow (or today, if you're reading this from the future) I will compare my predictions with the reality. It should be noted immediately, however, that I presume myself to be better than a solid 90% of GMs, so any picks made contrary to my predicions will be considered wrong.

Additionally, I will at times suggest logical moves for teams to make which will justify certain predictions. Again, these predictions not coming to fruition is solely the shortcomings of the GM not doing their jobs as well as I would.

With the 1st overall pick, the Edmonton Oilers take....Tyler Seguin!

I do mean this, yes. I'm that guy, but to be fair, I always have been. There's a lot of reasons to take Taylor Hall 1st. The most notable of which is that he is the better player. There are a number of good reasons to take Tyler Seguin first though. To begin, he is a franchise center. Which Edmonton desperately needs, desperately. Now, it's true, when you're Edmonton, your needs are so deep that almost no one can miss. With Edmonton holding Magnus Paavaari-Svenson and Jordan Eberle on the wings, with no one to center them, this should be a no-brainer. There's been rumblings of an incentive coming their way to forget that Taylor Hall exists - a prize potentially as large as Blake Wheeler. If that's the case, more power to them. Getting Seguin and Wheeler for Hall is a deal so sweet it should give you diabetes. Ignoring that as a possibility, there is not going to be a franchise center in the 2nd round (or even debatably past around the 11th pick) so unless it's within your long term plan to be awful again next year, this is the right move. Edmonton fans should be hoping that the only reason Edmonton hasn't made this move is because they're trying to drive up the price. Gagner won't ever be a top line center, and Cogliano has been shit on by this team more than a toilet seat in a dive bar, so there's literally nothing promising going forward up the middle. It's Seguin going first, even though he's second best.

With the 2nd overall pick, the Boston Bruins take....Taylor Hall!

As straight forward as it's going to get. The Bruins have a glut of centers. Taylor Hall is an NHL ready winger. He can replace Blake Wheeler, who I presume will go to Edmonton for the rights to draft Hall, or he can replace Michael Ryder, who I assume Zdeno Chara is currently in the process of disappearing to the bottom of a lake somewhere. Easily the best player in the draft, worth losing Wheeler for. Wheeler AND Kessel. At this point, you could throw Thomas in there and still be pretty happy with this. The point is, Boston should be moving mountains to get this pick. Not just because he's fantastic, but because he fills their only true need - A scoring winger.

With the 3rd overall pick, the Florida Panthers take....Erik Gudbranson!

Let me preface this by saying that I in no way expect Florida to retain this pick. It will be irresponsible for Anaheim, specifically, not to drop both of their 1st rounders and maybe even a little extra to get this pick off Florida so they can capitalize on Gudbranson, who is going to be a monster pretty much from day one. He's going third, there's no doubt in my mind about that. Everyone wants him. Your mom wants him. Florida should want him, but they should also want 3 first round picks since they are a God-awful team with 15 spots to fill (assuming you want to fill them with NHL caliber players and not, say, Dennis Wideman.) Florida should move this pick, Anaheim should be moving heaven and earth for it since their #2 defenseman is James Wisniewski (and he knows it) and they've got to fill the hole that apparently no one saw opening when they let all of their defensemen leave.

With the 4th overall pick, the Columbus Blue Jackets take....Ken Fowler!

As obvious as the day is long. If Fowler is on the board, the Jackets have to take him. You can make whatever argument you want about 'Rick Nash needing a center' and, frankly, you're right. Unless someone is going to give you a top 2 defenseman (interesting fact, Columbus lacks ever a tangible top 4 defenseman) and a top 13 pick in exchange for the #4, you pick either Fowler, or if he's not avaialble, Gudbranson. The only other option is picking way, way out of position to get a center, and if you're going to that length, I assume you'd be smart enough to drop a few spots and pick up an asset to fill out your awful, awful team.

With the 5th overall pick, the New York Islanders take....Brett Connolly!

This was a hard one. I originally wrote a synopsis choosing Brandon Gormley to take this spot. The Island is weak on defense right now, but in hindsight, Gormley is 2 years from being an NHL caliber defenseman. Who isn't? Calvin DeHaan, Travis Hamonic and Anton Klementyev. The latter less so, but someone has to play #6 minutes. They have nothing going at forward (or goalie, for that matter) and while Connoly would be overshadowed by future Captain Kyle Okposo, he would also have time to develop and he could contribute first-year. Ignoring all of those factors? He's also the best player available.

With the 6th overall pick, the Tampa Bay Lightning take....Jack Campbell!

This was my least favorite to choose. Jack Campbell is not a #6 pick. That being said, 2 years ago, Tampa took the best forward, last year they took the best D-man, and this year, they have a gaping hole in net they've lovingly named Mike Smith. Jackie Campbell is their man. He just shouldn't go at number 6. The smartest move here would be to recognize that Carolina, Atlanta and Minnesota and New York have set their futures in net. You don't need to go off the board to choose someone that no one will take. Make a move with one of them to get this pick bumped back, but definitely do not let Dallas see it. Best case scenario, get maximum value by trading with the Rangers. Matt Gilroy almost has to be considered on the move after his completely lacklustre year and all the 'being overshadowned by Michael Del Zotto.' Get what you can and still get your man. Jack Campbell should be making arrangements to move to sunny Tampa. Going #6 is unnecessary. Assuming that there's no other option though...

With the 7th overall pick, the Carolina Hurricanes take....Brandon Gormley!

At the risk of just ripping off TSNs list, Gormley is going to be a solid get at #7. Unless Carolina sees something in Mark Pysyk that no one else does, or unless they want an absolute beast in Derek Forbort (6'5, 200 lbs) then Gormley should be their man. The most important thing to take out of this pick is that, hands down, no questions, Carolina needs to be taking a defenseman. They actually have one of the more favorable positions to draft from. There are going to be a few good names, and even if, say, the Rangers trade with Tampa to get access to Gormley, there's always Forbort. There's really no missing at this pick.

With the 8th overall pick, the Atlanta Thrashers take....Ryan Forbort!

Quite honestly, I'd have surrendered the need for a forward here if the Thrashers hadn't just picked up half of Chicago's cup winning team. I see a lot of people pulling for Atlanta to take a center - Skinner, Granlund or Johansen come to mind. Atlanta currently has Little, Peverley, Antropov and Kane in the bigs, plus (if you have any faith left in him, and I do) Angelo Esposito in the minors. They have a decent looking set of defensemen, but they'll need to look at replacing Sopel after next year, and hopefully Oduya and, in the even longer term, the horrifically overpaid Ron Hainsey. Forbort will be a project, but he'll be right next to Bogosian one day, assuming that he develops quick enough to join Zach before he runs the hell away from Atlanta, like every decent player who comes through the Thrashers system does.

With the 9th overall pick, the Minnesota Wild take....Emerson Etem

Minny won't take a defenseman. There's no logic in it, assuming they still have faith in Brent Burns and Cam Barker (and they should) to produce adequately. Beyond that? Nick God-damn Leddy and Tyler Cuma. They're sitting pretty decently now with the Koivu/Bouchard/Brodziak 1-2-3 down the middle, and not so nicely along the sides. This was another flip-flop pick. Mikko is in a walk year, but he's committed to that team and has a good head on his shoulders. He'll take a hometown discount next year, and you don't let him walk when he's taking a cut. Brodziak is expendable, but PM Bouchard will be there a good while. No sense drafting a number 2 center to play number 3 (unless you're Pittsburgh) so you go with the best available wingman. Etem is a good pick though, big guy with a big shot and a lot of character who shoots off-wing from the right side of the ice. Also considered for this position is Nino Niederreiter, but I have a feeling on Etem.

With the 10th overall pick, the New York Rangers take....Ryan Johansen

An easy one. New York needs to be paying attention to their center situation. The Drury era is mercifully almost at an end. Anisimov, Callahan and Dubinsky are all coming for their due next year, and since there's 1 year left of Dru at that point, one has to assume that one of them (Callahan) is going to get moved. Give Johansen the time to develop, his 3rd year will be in the post Drury-era, and expect him to move you into the next chapter in Ranger history, which i assume will be riddled with poor decisions, and monstrous overspending. Much like a fairy tale though, someone will come at the end to save you. In the form of a team taking on your worst contract for their best prospect. Unbelievable.

With the 11th overall pick, the Dallas Stars take....Jeff Skinner!

Everyone's favorite sweetheart pick these days. Depending on where you look, he's either moved up to #9 at the best or to #27. As it stands, he isn't ranked in the Top 30 North American skaters on Central's End of Year listing. Despite a 50 goal regular season and a 20 goal playoff. He'll go earlier than 27. At this point going forward, he is the steal of the first round. If you have a pick after 11 and you do not grab him, you had better be right, otherwise you're the idiot who drafted Hugh Jessiman instead of Zach Parise and Ryan Getzlaf. Brent Seabrook. Dustin Brown. Christ, the list just keeps going on like this. Why is Glen Sather still allowed to draft?

With the 12th overall pick, the Anaheim Ducks take....Mark Pysyk!

This is chosen completely under the assumption that Anaheim cannot trade up to #3 and grab Gundbranson. They need a defensive prospect. Mark Pysyk fills that description, and will be a stable influence in 2-3 years. Along with Luca Sbisa, the Ducks blue line could show promise, but it's going to be a long project.

With the 13th overall pick, the Phoenix Coyotes take....Mikael Granlund!

I don't know that Phoenix needs a winger. Well, not any more than any other position. Center has to be a major concern. I originally had Niederreiter going here. Fiddler, Prucha and Nokkelainen as your Top 3 is scarier than seeing you mom in a bukkake video. They need something to look forward to, and going back to the previous pick, if Skinner manages to slip here, the Yotes are laughing. That not being possible, Granlund will be a steal here.

With the 14th overall pick, the St. Louis Blues take....Nino Niederreiter!!

FINALLY! This will be highway robbery. El Nino is a great young talent, very mature, very poised. I have been of the assumption that someone would pounce on Niederreiter as soon as logical, but up until now it hasn't made sense. Niederreiter on the young Blues is a perfect fit. If he's available at this point and the Blues pass on him, just shame on them. Granted, he'll likely have to be naturalized to LW, where the Blues have nothing of note, but he could be a first line player on that team within 2 seasons. And that team is going somewhere. This will be the second tremendous steal of the first round, if he goes anywhere later than 14th.

With the 15th overall pick, the Florida Panthers take....Alexander Burmistrov!

Honestly, despite having made a million last second adjustments to my draft board, Burmistrov seems natural at this point. So natural that I didn't even consult the big board to see if someone else fit better. There are a lot of reasons that he could be overlooked up until here. A lot of teams are deep at center. Florida is deep at nothing, and he will be a real get at this point. Some drafts have him going as high as 7. I think you'd be happy to get him at 15, and really lucky to get him at 22, but blowing your load too early if you grabbed him before 12. Along with Kirill Kabanov, I am a little turned off by this guys bravado. He's certainly not as bad, but a few things he says irks me. He's a good talent, but at less than 6 feet and under 160 pounds, you have to be concerned about his ability to develop into a top line center, no matter how good his hands are.

With the 16th overall pick, the Ottawa Senators take....Austin Watson!

Everywhere I've seen, this kid has been slipping down boards - Only to find his way onto the Penguins because he's 'exactly the guy they're looking for!' Well, sorry. That's not how these things work. Teams aren't going to let this kids fall down to #20 just so that Sid has a winger to play with finally. This kid is a great package. Monstrously big for his age, good hands. If he's somehow overlooked here, he goes in the next pick to Colorado. If he makes it to the Penguins, I eat my shorts.

With the 17th overall pick, the Colorado Avalanche take....Dylan McIlrath!

As a minor fan of the Avs, I really hope Watson gets pulled before the Avalanche pick. They have one of the secretly worst defensive sets in the league, and if you look into their farm system, is doesn't get any better. Dylan McIlrath is going to be a year or two in seasoning, but by the time they rid themselves of Hannan and Liles contracts, he should be ready to take over the helm. At least I hope so, because otherwise it's all on Kevin Shattenkirk, whose name makes you think he's about 60 times better than he is. I mean, he's not bad, but what a great fucking name.

With the 18th overall pick, the Nashville Predators take....Nick Bjugstad!

I'm happy to say that the last 3 picks were pencilled in from the start. Nashville needs a lot of help. There's about 3 lines worth of second line players, which averages out to something decent, but still leaves you wanting more. A lot of good things coming out about this kid. 6'5 and just a shade under 190 pounds. As a Habs fan, I'd do awful things to see this kid slip a few more spots. It's possible he could slip down, but only past the next 2 picks. It's unreasonable to expect that someone with this much hype, and size, and reportedly, as much maturity, will slip any further than Phoenix at 22. As it stands, with the talent getting thin, you grab what is a novelty, and this kid is going to be a force. If not a first liner (and I'd bet on that) then a solid 3rd liner who will keep goalies in the dark.

With the 19th overall pick, the Los Angeles Kings take....Vladmir Tarasenko!

I've got very little on this kid other than he's fast and strong. #2 coming out of Non-North America. The Kings have a great looking defense, both in the NHL with Doughty, Johnson, Scuderi and Greene taking up the top 4, but with Colten Tuebert and Thomas Hickey waiting in the wings. LA doesn't need defensemen. They also seem sold on Johnny Quick, and Jon Bernier is waiting for a crack in the armor to grab the #1 spot, so goalies is a non-issue. Tarasenko, at this point, is the top rated winger, so we'll just assume he's as good as Frolov but less of a jackass. At 5'11, 202 lbs, he would fit nice next to Kopitar who is a big, fast boy himself.

With the 20th overall pick, the
Pittsburgh Penguins take....Petr Straka!

Way off the board, but in going over the Top 40 or so available, this struck me as 'logical.' Fast. Stupid good hands. sturdy frame Developed in Rimouski. There's little left in Wingers going forward, and it's what Pittsburgh needs to draft. So, unless everyone decides to let Watson fall so the Pens can get a winger, you have to go off the board. This is a pick that the Pens could do well to trade off a few places and grab him around 27-30. It's a massive risk though. I think he's a fit at 20, and a steal at 27. If you miss this boat, you're stuck with a thin pool of potential contributors. If you can drop down to 24, you do it and nab him. Assuming something comes back your way (Chicago is 24th, so I assume they're throwing in a roster player with every trade made) it'll work out well for you. Pittsburgh can't come out of another draft with a 2nd line center for the future. If they have any faith left in John MacFarland, this might be his place, but I don't know that I would pass on Straka for MacFarland. I think you choose MacFarland as a substitute and hope for the best.

With the 21st overall pick, the Detroit Red Wings take....Riley Sheahan!

When Detroit picks, it almost doesn't matter. They draft in the 4th round like most teams draft in the 1st. They're solid almost everywhere, and they've committed their goaltending future to Howard, so it probably won't be Pickard time in Hockeytown. Riley Sheahan is going to be a strong get this late in the draft. I see him going to Detroit simply because of his obvious talent and subtle need to mature. Detroit runs a very to-the-point system of development that includes paying a lot of dues. They'll work the minor kinks out of him, and in the end, all they'll be left with is the skill. If any team is going to pick up Sheahan in the first round, it should be Detroit, and the chance to pick someone up who spent parts of the year #5 in Central Scouting should be embraced.

With the 22nd overall pick, the Phoenix Coyotes take....Jonathon Merrill!

Big strong defenseman with a ton of offensive upside. Maybe taking him a few picks early here, but he's the best of the remaining defensemen and Phoenix needs to shore up that blue line situation, what with Jovanovski deteriorating into dust and all. No one wants to wake up one day and have your #1 defenseman be Adrian Aucoin.

With the 23rd overall pick, the Buffalo Sabres take....John McFarland!

Formerly #10 in Central Scouting. Did not have the most impressive year, but can still be considered a viable 2nd line winger behind cornerstone Tomas Vanek. Slim possibility: Possibly Calvin Pickard. There's a lot of logic in waiting until Round Two and beyond to grab a backup if you're the Sabres, but then you're stuck with exactly what Buffalo already has - A gaggle of unsatisfactory backup goaltenders. I expect McFarland, but I wouldn't be surprised for Pickard to get chosen so that Miller doesn't have to play 70 games a year for the rest of his career.

With the 24th overall pick, the Chicago Blackhawks take....Calvin Pickard!

Huet is near the end. Corey Crawford can no longer be called the future of this team. Antti Niemi, despite coming off of a Stanley Cup winning run, can't be long for this team. They simply cannot afford him on the long term, and he might get Halak'd out. Rightfully so, he's not tremendous. Calvin Pickard lets you go to arbitration on Niemi and only pay him starter money for a year or two. Chicago's goaltending situation doesn't have a future unless they nab Pickard here. They've got so much talent in front, that they can clearly win with anyone, which they've proven. The right choice here is a goaltender, and Pickard is the only other long-term prospect available.

With the 25th overall pick, the Vancouver Canucks take....Jarred Tinordi!

Good, developped player coming out of the USHL. Part of what is going to be the largest 'NHL Legacy' drafts in history. 6'05 and over 200 lbs already. Limited offensive upside but with Edler part of your long term plans, there's no burning need. Vancouver is set at forward and goaltender (apparently) so unless they go way off board. Alexander Petrovic would be a name to come up, but he's the same kind of player, only a little smaller and less highly touted. Tinordi is a Canuck unless someone goes off base to grab him by here.

With the 26th overall pick, the Washington Capitals take....Kirill Kabanov!

Why? Why not. Washington doesn't need defense. They don't need goaltending unless they're way off on the Varlamov/Neuvirth combo. Even if they did, there's no one worth taking. Kabanov has fallen off the board because he sounds like an asshole every time he speaks, or I'd have put him here. Galiev put up decent numbers in the Q after a real good year in the USHL last year. He needs to fill out a lanky frame with some man-weight, but if there's one area Washington is a little low on, it's on the right side. They might look elsewhere, and Kabanov doesn't seem so far off base, but it won't be a defenseman.

With the 27th overall pick, the Montreal Canadiens take....Quinton Howden!

If this doesn't come to fruition, this could read 'Tyler Pitlick' who is inexplicably falling right off my draft board. I don't need to be an expert to tell you that this draft will be a consummate failure for Les Glorieux if they fail to get a big, strong body or two. Preferably up the middle. To replace Gomez when he isn't offered a new contract in a few years. Has potential to develop into a Top 6 forward, but more importantly, has an outside chance of obscuring the goaltenders view without needing a stepladder.

With the 28th overall pick, the San Jose Sharks take....Alexander Petrovic!

With Blake gone, Boyle aging, and Douglas Murray as awful as a punch in the face, San Jose needs to get a defenseman with this pick. I'm not overly sold on Petrovic, but he's the best available at this point and he's a decent player on all sides of the puck. Downside is that playing in Colorado's division will allow Dylan McIlrath to continue beating the piss out of him and ruining his confidence, Komisarek style, for years to come.

With the 29th overall pick, the Anaheim Ducks take....Tyler Pitlick!

There are no good defensemen left available. No first round quality, anyway. Pitlick will be a solid get at this point, and while the primary concern for Anaheim has to be defense, getting someone to develop into a 2nd line center for when Chipchura leaves (assuming he'll be the #2 next year once Koivu leaves) isn't bad planning. I wouldn't blow my load grabbing a center with their first pick, but I would consider grabbing Pitlick, or for that matter, Jaden Schwartz, Tyler Toffoli or Brock Nelson if they were still on the board.

With the 30th overall pick, the Chicago Blackhawks take....Jaden Schwartz!

Your team still has no direct needs. Schwartz is coming off a fantastic year that has skyrocketed him up the draft listings. Some have him going as high as 16th to Ottawa, but there are a lot of quality pivots in this draft. Chicago will do well to have him available here. A little undersized, and a bit of a project, but Chicago has time to develop their players right now and he'll be a force in 2013 or so.

That's all for now, kiddos. Live reactions is T-minus 4 hours.

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