It's November, but while the standings- and the stocks of players- have changed drastically, one thing remains the same. Find out what and find out who is first-round worthy in today's Bugg Bytes.


1. New York Islanders- C John Tavares

2008-09 Team:
Oshawa Generals (OHL)
2008-09 Statline:
19 GP, 15-14-29, -5, 18 PIM

It's November, and with the Isles taking the Worst Team crown from a suddenly-hot Atlanta, Tavares wins the first overall battle. Victor Hedman is just as good a number one pick, but we'll stick with the Isles taking the sniper. New York is set to lose their top three forwards to UFA in the summer of 2009. While the extra money will allow them to sign re-enforcements, the patchwork veteran solution only works if you have seriousstarpower to eventually replace them. There's no point in gutting the team and flopping around the cellar to wait for the all of two players (Josh Bailey, KyleOkposo) in the system that possess superstar upside.

In Three Years:


Vet-Vet-Vet
Tavares-Bailey-Okposo


2. Florida Panthers- D Victor Hedman

2008-09 Team: MoDo (SEL)
2008-09 Statline:
19 GP, 2-6-8, +16, 20 PIM

New to the top two are the sad-sack Panthers. Expect them to make a spirited late playoff drive; they're too good on the back end and in net to be floundering here. Regardless, while Florida would probably love an impact forward,Hedman is a no-brainer here. If Florida comes to terms with Jay Bouwmeester, the Panthers could ice the best top-four D ever seen in the last decade. Now only if they could score...

In Three Years:

Bouwmeester-Ballard
Hedman-McCabe


3. Colorado Avalanche- D Jared Cowen

2008-09 Team:
Spokane Chiefs (WHL)
2008-09 Statline:
18 GP, 3-4-7, +6, 13 PIM


Also new to the cellar are the Colorado Avalanche. While they possess one of the most dynamic offenses in the West, the team simply can't keep goals out. PeterBudaj hasn't exactly been terrible recently either. It simply comes down to the lack of a franchise-calibre blueliner. Enter Cowen. The Avs had plenty of success with Adam Foote in their heyday; imagine a 6'5 version that doesn't sacrifice NHL mobility. Cowen is doing everything right to be a top-three pick, but his immediate- and perhaps long-term- fantasy value are limited.

In Three Years:


Hannan-Liles
Cowen-Shattenkirk


4. Los Angeles Kings- C/LW Magnus Svensson-Pääjärvi

2008-09 Team:
Timra IK (SEL)
2008-09 Statline:
19 GP, 2-6-8, -7, 4 PIM


The Kings are blessed with extraordinary depth at every position, but there are two things they lack: a high-end LW prospect and a high-end C prospect to slot in behind Anze Kopitar. They could get either one in
Pääjärvi. The 6'1 forward continues to supplant himself in the 2009 top four, scoring eight points in SEL play to tie with Hedman for the most among players under 20. His hybrid power-skill game would look absolutely filthy on LA's top line.

In Three Years:

Pääjärvi-Kopitar-Brown
Moulson-O'Sullivan-Moller


5. Phoenix Coyotes- D Ryan Ellis

2008-09 Team:
Windsor Spitfires (OHL)
2008-09 Statline:
20 GP, 11-25-36, +20, 25 PIM


Last month, we said that Ryan Ellis was a top-seven pick based purely on talent. Well, with his current achievements factored in, he's a top five pick now. Teams must always be wary of drafting players under 5'11, but how skeptical can you be a of adefenseman on pace for 126 points?! Sure, small players have put up huge numbers in junior before and not gone to succeed, but not 126 points. And if Ellis is available to the Coyotes, you can bet he'll a) be given every chance and b) have the personnel to feed pucks to. Wayne Gretzky, of all people, knows the importance of an elite puck-mover to run the offense. An incredible skater, Ellis has a low, powerful style that propels him across the ice as if he's on glass. In terms of puck skills, his hands are high-end for a forward- never mind a defender. Unlike forward, however, Ellis uses this skill not to beat players one-on-one, but to hide his intent with the puck. Many players have been burned on thepowerplay when the diminutive defender handles the puck in one direction, only to get rid of it in a completely different one. When combined with a hard, low shot, Ellis may be the bestpowerplay specialist the league has seen in twenty years.

In Three Years:


Boedker-Turris-Doan
Maclean-Mueller-Porter
Carcillo-Hanzal-Tikhonov


6. Philadelphia Flyers- G Olivier Roy


2008-09 Team:
Cape Breton Eagles (QMJHL)
2008-09 Statline:
16 GP, 12-3-1, 3.08 GAA, 0.903 Sv%


The Flyers have made quick work of their problematic defensive core by drafting one top-four rearguard and trading for another. However, while MattCarle and Luca Sbisa can do a lot of things, they can't tend goal. Roy deserves a home in the top four or five, and the Yotes or Avs could easily snap him up. And really, the Flyers are not a bottom-twelve team. But Roy would help them get to the next level faster than any other pick they could possibly make in 2009. Roy has mastered the position at the junior level by keenly following the puck. He expresses an obvious understanding of how plays work, and plays accordingly. A big weakness he'll need to improve on is his speed along the ice; while agile, Roy has let in a pile of goals by getting too quickly into his butterfly on odd-man breaks. Opposing players simply slide the puck in the other side.

In Three Years:

Gagne-Briere-Giroux
Lupul-Richards-Nodl

 

Timonen-Parent
Sbisa-Carle

Roy


7. St. Louis Blues- LW Jeremy Morin


2008-09 Team:
USNTDP U-18
2008-09 Statline:
10 GP, 11-2-13, 31 PIM

The Blues continue to rebuild the right way, providing a talented cast of youngsters with vets like Paul Kariya, Keith Tkachuk and Andy McDonald to learn from. As such, St. Louis is close to completing their rebuild, and will likely see 2009 as their last year in the bottom ten. Jeremy Morin would be the perfect final piece. The winger's near-GPG average for the US NTDP is allaying fears the not-especially strong winger will be unable to translate his game to higher leagues. It's still early in his development, but Morin is looking every bit like a potential superstar goal-scorer thanks to his wickedslapshot . Unlike other young snipers, Morin can unload in full flight Bobby-Hull style. Great hand-eye adds another dimension to his arsenal, as does a great shot off thebackend . He's also got one other characteristic Blues scouts love: despite his lack of muscle, Morin has played like a 6'4 power forward this year, and that burst of physical play has opened up a great deal of room he wouldn't have had otherwise.

In Three Years:

Eller-Berglund-Boyes
Morin-Oshie-Perron

Pietrangelo-EJ
Brewer-Jackman


8. Atlanta Thrashers- C Evander Kane


2008-09 Team:
Vancouver Giants (WHL)
2008-09 Statline:
16 GP, 12-18-30, +14, 35 PIM

Todd White, Bryan Little and Slava Kozlov leading the Atlanta Thrashers in scoring? Even with Ilya Kovalchuk struggling through the opening month of the season, the Thrashers have won games thanks to contributions from both young and old. And that's exactly what they wanted to see, withKovalchuk approaching free agency. With another top-ten pick, Atlanta could continue preparing for the Kovalchukless era with heart-and-soul pivot Evander Kane. Second in WHL scoring with an incredible 30 points in 16 games, Kane is not big for a power forward, but his speed, tenacity and skill are top-notch. Of particular note is Kane'spuckhandling at top speed; he resembles an NHL player already in how he uses his entire body to fool defenders into where the puck is going.

In Three Years:


-Kane-Little
-Christensen-Armstrong

Bogosian-Enstrom
Hainsey-Valabik

Lehtonen


9. Dallas Stars- RW Jordan Schroeder


2008-09 Team:
U. Minnesota (NCAA)
2008-09 Statline:
7 GP, 3-6-9, 4 PIM


It's amazing to realize how quickly the Stars have turned around their pipeline. In two years, they've added the WHL's deadliest finisher in Jamie Benn, a Swedish enigma in Fabian Brunnstrom, and a Morrow clone in James Neal- without using a first rounder. So what could Dallas do with one? While it'd be something to see them finish in the bottom ten, it'd be even more incredible to see the Stars land Schroeder. We were worried the 5'9 winger wouldn't transition well to college, but with over a PPG and a dominant offensive presence, the Minnesota product has re-affirmed his status as a potential NHL superstar. An extraordinary skater with tremendous vision, he's 2009's answer to Pat Kane.

Upside:
70 assists, 90+ points

In Three Years:
Morrow-Ribeiro-Brunnstrom
Benn-Richards-Schroeder

Daley-Niskanen
Grossman-Fistric

?


10. Tampa Bay Lightning- D Tyson Barrie

2008-09 Team:
Kelowna Rockets (WHL)
2008-09 Statline: 
20 GP, 5-16-21, +2, 13 PIM


How high will the Lightning take Barrie? So long as Ryan Ellis is off the board, Barrie could go in the top ten and the Lightning would have an excuse. And don't think for a moment the connection is tenuous: Al Strachan may not be a Pulitzer-worthy writer, but it's not hard to believe his claim that Len Barrie is all but running practices in TBay. A person like that- if he is a person like that- would do anything to have his son join his team. It wouldn't entirely be a horrible thing: Barrie is at least in the top twenty scorers in all of theWHL, and with Dan Boyle and now Matt Carle out the door, the Lightning lack an impact offensive defenseman for the future. Barrie Jr.'s claim to fame is a massive slapshot that generates a ton of chances; not only is it hard and quick, but Barrie does not require a long load-up to get it off. He's getting the most out of what will be a useful skill at the NHL level.

In Three Years:

Prospal-Lecavalier-St. Louis
Malone-Stamkos-Vrbata

Meszaros-Krajicek
Lundin-Barrie

Helenius


11. Edmonton Oilers- C Brayden Schenn

2008-09 Team:
Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)
2008-09 Statline:
18 GP, 9-9-18, +1, 28 PIM


The Edmonton Oilers are learning a powerful lesson early in 2008-09: you can have all the skill in the world, but you can't win unless you have heart. $4.25M winger DustinPenner has four points in 13 games. $5.5M center Shawn Horcoff has six. $5.6M defender Lubomir Visnovsky was never expected to be a defensive wizard, but he's fourth in scoring among Oilers D.
That's a lot of money not carrying its weight. WHL star Brayden Schenn is the type of player who gets the best out of his teammates. He accomplishes this by knowing just when to get involved. Like a pro,Schenn does not overhandle the puck; he excels on the cycle by sneaking in and out of the play with fast, hard passes into the middle of the ice for his more individually talentedlinemates. This skill- and his willingness to get back into the defensive end first- allow his linemates to spend as much time attacking as possible. Offensively, Schenn uses his tremendous positioning to get to areas where rebounds go before they get there. A quick but not tremendously accurate shot leads to many of his goals, and he can also be a reliable finisher on backdoor plays. After a slow start, the heart-and-soul center/winger has netted ten points in his last eight games. Not coincidentally, his Brandon Wheat Kings have won six of those eight.Schenn is not a super-aggressive forward, but of his 48 PIM in 2007-08, twenty came from fights. He hasn't had to prove himself much since.

In Three Years:

Nilsson-Gagner-Eberle
Penner-Schenn-Hemsky

Souray-Visnovsky
Gilbert-Peckham



12. Nashville Predators- C Nazem Kadri

2008-09 Team:
London Knights (OHL)
2008-09 Statline: 
19 GP, 11-14-25, +3, 11 PIM


An '09-eligible center seventh in scoring dropping out of the top ten? While it's probably not a popular opinion, there are simply too many centers, both in this draft and in the lineups of teams higher in the draft order- Dallas (Richards/Ribeiro), Phoenix (Mueller/Turris), Tampa (Lecavalier/Stamkos), St. Louis (Berglund/Oshie) and Philadelphia (Richards/Briere/Carter) all have big contracts or big-time youngsters entrenched in the top six. Kadri is a wunderkind who will shine at the WJCs, and the Predators would be lucky buggers to land him. As said last month, his unparalleled stick skills can bring fans in- his slow drags back into his feet create nightmares for defenseman, but few try for the big hit as Kadri has a knack for reading body language. However, what separates him from the typical major junior star is a willingness to play physical. He has been known to use his great hockey sense to appear out of nowhere and lay hits on players with the puck; while not enough to hurt, he can disrupt plays and spring pucks free.

Upside:

60+ assist, 90-point star

In Three Years:

Wilson-Arnott-Dumont
Erat-Kadri-Hornqvist

Weber-Suter


13. Toronto Maple Leafs- C Jacob Josefson

2008-09 Team:
Djurgardens (SEL)
2008-09 Statline:
20 GP, 4-3-7, +1, 0 PIM


The Leafs have had a sudden interruption in their rebuild. While hiring Ron Wilson was a great idea, he's getting the most out of a team few expected to contend for anything higher than tenth. While it's always nice to win, it's not the way to rack up high draft picks. No matter. The Leafs will have at least one future star to choose from in the players available outside of the top ten. Equal parts creative and defensively aware and skilled but well-built, Josefson is an almost identical player to Magnus Pääjärvi. The only differences are pedigree- which ultimately doesn't matter- and play style. Unlike Pääjärvi, who will engage willingly one-on-one, Josefson prefers to play a simple game until the last possible moment. Instead of using an amazing move to beat a defender, he will position his body in such a way that he has a clear lane to the net, then employ his truly special timing and deftness to slide pucks by bewildered goalies.

Upside:

Two-way center, 80+ points

In Three Years:

Hagman-Grabovski-Kulemin
Tlusty-Josefson-Mitchell

Schenn-Stralman


14. Columbus Blue Jackets- C Matt Duchene

2008-09 Team:
Brampton Battalion (OHL)
2008-09 Statline: 
18 GP, 10-12-22, +6, 16 PIM


The Columbus Blue Jackets have one of the best young forward cores in the game, but they could use some depth down the middle and a franchise defender. With the latter not likely available at 14 despite the strong draft, Columbus could pick up dynamic sniper MattDuchene. Currently twelfth in the OHL scoring race, Duchene is an explosive skater and tireless forechecker who adds some more punch to the BJ lineup. Duchene is a master at picking pucks loose off the sticks of opposing players, a skill coach Ken Hitchcock will appreciate in a system that takes advantage of mistakes, rather than create plays that may lead to some.

In Three Years:

Filatov-Brassard-Voracek
Umberger-Duchene-Huselius

Commodore-Tyutin

Methot-Russell


Mason


15. Ottawa Senators-
RW Zack Kassian

2008-09 Team:
Peterborough Petes (OHL)
2008-09 Statline:
15 GP, 6-10-16, -1, 27 PIM


Finishing this low may be the best thing to ever happen to the Sens. Exposed for being a one-line team with one or two suspect competitors on that line, it still doesn't feel right to see a team with Dany Heatley, Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson fighting to just make the playoffs. The Sens have long sought a power forward to complete their top line, and Zack Kassian is everything they could want and more. Just coming off a five-game suspension, Kassian's skills are not superstar quality, but his intensity alone will lead a ton of goals. His hand-eye his excellent, and his gift for batting loose pucks to scorers in better position is a skill only the great complimentary players have. Ottawa could never be accused of being too soft or too European with he and Mike Fisher, and it'd take that Ottawa-Toronto rivalry thing to heights (lows?) never seen before. Few players- even vet heavyweights- choose to fight him.

In Three Years:

Heatley-Spezza-Kassian
Foligno-Fisher-Alfredsson

Phillips-Kuba

Elliott


16. Washington Capitals- RW Jordan Caron

2008-09 Team:
Rimouski Oceanic (QMJHL)
2008-09 Statline:
9 GP, 7-2-9, 8 PIM


Like Ottawa, the Caps lack a power winger for their unholy top six. While not as reckless as Kassian, QMJHLer Jordan Caron is a far more skilled finisher.
Named the Q's POTW for October 13th after scoring five goals in three games, that streak was the last time the 6'2, 210 forward touched the ice. Caron was injured on October 15th in a match against Lewiston and has yet to return. This is a sign for concern, as Caron missed all but 46 games last season with injury issues.

In Three Years:


Ovechkin-Backstrom-Fleischmann
Semin-Nylander-Caron

Green-Poti
Schultz-Morrisonn

Varlamov


17. Chicago Blackhawks- C Jimmy Bubnick

2008-09 Team:
Kamloops Blazers (WHL)
2008-09 Statline:
22 GP, 11-10-21, +9, 6 PIM


Despite the sudden disappearance of Jonathan Toews, Chicago is in tremendous shape for the future. All they need are one or two center prospects with top-six potential.
Pivot Jimmy Bubnick is no Brayden Schenn, but few would say Schenn had been the better player thus far in the WHL. The type of player that can play 25+ minutes and rule the opposition by playing every zone with as much heart and effort, this Jeremy Roenick clone would be the perfect core forward for the rapidly-rising Hawks.


In Three Years:


Sharp-Toews-Kane
Beach-Bubnick-Aliu

Seabrook-Campbell
Barker-Hjalmarsson

Huet


18. Vancouver Canucks- LW Richard Panik

2008-09 Team:
Dukla Trencin (Cze-Jr.)
2008-09 Statline:
5 GP, 2-0-2


Vancouver has some tough choices coming up, but not when it comes to their young forwards. They simply need to continue drafting well, and maybe make a reach for the stars once in a while. One of the most purely talented Euros in any recent draft, Slovak RichardPanik has struggled to supplant himself in either the Czech Extraliga or juniors after destroying the leage in 2007-08. Outside of the mental part of the game, Panik needs additional leg strength to fully take advantage of his quick, effortless, skating stride. He already owns some drool-worthy hands and the best release in the class- yes, even better than Tavares'.

In Three Years:

Sedin-Sedin-Panik
Raymond-Hodgson-Grabner

Edler-Ohlund
Bieksa-Salo

Schneider


19. Pittsburgh Penguins- C/LW Anton Lander



2008-09 Team:
Timra IK (SEL)
2008-09 Statline:
15 GP, 2-3-5, -4, 4 PIM

In their quest for more help up front, the Penguins were willing to draft Angelo Esposito, Keven Veilleux, Nathan Moon, and last but not least, Casey Pierro-Zabotel. The next late, great Pittsburgh project? Swede Anton Lander. Last month, we compared him to Flame Kenta Nilsson. But the well-sized winger with great skill has shown the type of hustle and dedication that held Nilsson back from being a HOFer. Lander sits somewhere in Mats Naslund or Henrik Zetterberg territory- an energy forward with top-notch commitment to the defensive side of the ice, but the game-breaking talent required to score with the best. 

 

In Three Years:

Malkin-Crosby-Dupuis
Lander-Staal-Zabotel

Whitney-Orpik
Goligoski-Letang

Fleury


20. New Jersey Devils- D Stefan Elliott

2008-09 Team:
Saskatoon Blades (WHL)
2008-09 Statline:
20 GP, 8-8-16, +10, 4 PIM


The New Jersey Devils are known for superb drafting throughout the 90s, and they did most of their damage during drafts that have since gone down as some of the best ever. MartinBrodeur was chosen 20th overall in the 1990 Draft, which saw 20 players play 800+ games. Scott Niedermayer was taken 3rd overall the next year, which had 16 players hit the 800-game plateau. 2009 has a long way to go before it can boast to be as good as those drafts, but the hype is undeniable. At 20th overall, the Devils could addNieds clone Stefan Elliott. With 16 points- eight of them goals- the Saskatoon Blade is on pace for a solid 56 points. A beautiful skater, at 6'1, Elliott has the frame to last a long time in the NHL, and the skill to be an impact rushing rearguard. He will need to improve his willingness to commit defensively, especially on thepowerplay; his eagerness to pinch often leaves the middle of the ice open, a deadly mistake at the NHL level.


21. Calgary Flames- C Drew Shore

2008-09 Team:
USNTDP U-18
2008-09 Statline:
12 GP, 5-8-13, 6 PIM


The Flames have an odd affinity for American products. So it'd be an easy choice adding one of the smartest players in the class- and a center to boot, something the Flames could use an elite player at very shortly. After all, Matt Lombardi is not a #1 center. But Drew Shore might be. A big but not overly vicious player, Shore nevertheless dominates the boards and faceoff circle, creating ample opportunities for his linemates with his smart play. He'd become a Keenan favorite quickly with his take-charge attitude on and off the ice.


22. Boston Bruins- D David Rundblad

2008-09 Team:
Skelleftea (SEL)
2008-09 Statline:
15 GP, 0-2-2, +3, 4 PIM


Bobby Orr, Brad Park, Ray Bourque, Zdeno Chara. No matter the era, the Bs continually dress some of the best defenders ever to play the game. At 21, adding such a player is not very realistic, but they could bolster their pipeline in this regard. A very similar player to current Bruin DennisWideman, David Rundblad is an offensive defenseman currently starring for Skellefteå of the Swedish Elite League. The same trappings apply, as well as the same tantalizing upside. But besides a love to rush the puck and great passing skills, Rundblad offers a couple other gifts that hint at a superior version: a 6'2, 190 frame that could hit 6'3 and 210 with some seasoning, and tremendous wheels.


23. Minnesota Wild- C Ryan O'Reilly

2008-09 Team:
Erie Otters (OHL)
2008-09 Statline:
19 GP, 3-15-18, +2, 8 PIM


The Wild likely won't get a Gaborik replacement at 24- at least not the way they draft. What they can get is a solid two-way player with great vision and proven leadership at the international level. That might not add up to an elite goal-scorer, but O'Reilly would be the perfect support player for one. Tremendous vision and faceoff skills are sure to make him a hit in the Minny system, but he'll need to improve his skating skills to be an impact player. Weak legs and an awkward skating style contribute to hisdeficiencies in this department, although true to his work ethic, O'Reilly committed much of his off-season to working on it.


24. Carolina Hurricanes- D Collin Bowman

2008-09 Team:
Kelowna Rockets (WHL)
2008-09 Statline:
20 GP, 1-8-9, +7, 30 PIM


It's an obvious storyline, and with the haphazard play of the Canes, its chances of occurring increase with every game. Carolina nabbed one of the biggest steals of the 2007 Draft with 3rd round sniper Drayson Bowman. Brother Collin may not be a forward, but he'd be an excellent fit for the Canes regardless. A future top-pairing defender despite his skating issues, Bowman has seen his offensive production take a hit with the return of several players from NHL camps. But the 6'3 rearguard's faultless defensive game has remained intact. He'd be a great addition to a future top four of Joni Pitkanen, Tim Gleason and Jamie McBain, and would pick up a lot of incidental points thanks to the puck movers around him.


25. Detroit Red Wings- C Landon Ferraro

2008-09 Team:
Red Deer Rebels (WHL)
2008-09 Statline:
22 GP, 10-7-17, -3, 26 PIM


Detroit has solid depth at every position, so taking a player with solid bloodlines and the requisite Wings skills (skating, vision, hands) would be a good use of a pick. Landon Ferraro boasts all of those traits. Known primarily for his goal-scoring skills- he crashes the net with relentless pressure and owns a wicked one-timer- the spawn of former Islander Ray Ferraro has turned it on in theplaymaking department, netting almost as many to this point in 2008-09 as he has his entire career. Like Eric Staal - whom we compared him to last month- Ferraro thrives in big situations, and has learned to use the respect he has gained from his sniping skills to find open players. His speed has been a big factor in his success; he draws many penalties and opens up passing lanes when he turns on his terrific wheels.


26. Montreal Canadiens- C Louis Leblanc

2008-09 Team:
Omaha Lancers (USHL)
2008-09 Statline:
11 GP, 6-6-12, +0, 14 PIM


It's their hundredth year, the Draft's in Montreal... you think the Habs would dare not take a French-Canadian? Interestingly enough, they could take one while also sticking to their strategy of selecting stand-outs from American leagues. Kirkland, Quebec native Louis Leblanc sits top-ten in USHL scoring, and would rectify the team's need for more elite talent down the middle. Imagine Paul Stastny as a goal-scorer and you have Leblanc. His overall skill package doesn't look like much save for his hands, but he produces regardless thanks to his awareness, hustle and NHL-quality 'little things'. These skills have allowed him to chew upUSHL competition; there are shifts where the puck never leaves his stick, and no one comes even close to taking it from him. On the downside, at least statistically, even hislinemates have trouble keeping up with him. That won't be a problem in the show.


27. Anaheim Ducks- C Peter Holland

2008-09 Team:
Guelph Storm (OHL)
2008-09 Statline:
20 GP, 11-11-22, +12, 16 PIM


No matter where Peter Holland is taken in the second half of the first, he'll likey be regarded as one of the biggest steals of the 2009 Draft. Big boy? At 6'2, 190, check. Above-average wheels? Check. Heart of a lion? Double-check. Like Phil Esposito back in the day, Holland's mastery of the front of the net is an awesome thing to watch. It's frightening to think about how many goals he'd have with Drew Doughty pounding rebound-generating point shots at opposing goalies. Regardless, while Holland's overall package is as tantalizing as any, it's his compete level thatseparates him from the pack. He's Mike Richards good in this regard and would fit right in on the Ducks, right behind Ryan Getzlaf. It's interesting to note that current Duck and NHL All-Star Corey Perry was chosen 28th in 2003.


28. Buffalo Sabres- LW Cass Mappin

2008-09 Team:
Red Deer Rebels (WHL)
2008-09 Statline:
22 GP, 10-8-18, +0, 34 PIM


Talk about bucking trends. For the first time since 1988, the Buffalo Sabres used two picks in the top sixty on players from theWHL , drafting Tyler Myers and Tyler Ennis in the first round of 2008. In the twenty years in between, only two other Buffalo first rounders were used on Dub products- 1989 and 1992. But now that they've done it once, will Buffalo keep the habit up?  They've got a good reason to. Power winger CassMappin was a highly-touted minor hockey player who had only scored 19 points in 90 career games prior to 2008-09. The 6'1 Mappin is now just one point away from matching that output and has ten goals to start the year. The source of all these production isn't pure talent, however; a tireless worker,Mappin scores more dirty goals than perhaps anybody in the WHL . He's a master at retaining control in traffic and directing pucks in small areas. He'd look mighty good next to Ennis and Drew Stafford in the future on Buffalo's second line.


29. New Y
ork Rangers- LW Henrik Björklund

2008-09 Team:
Skare (Swe Div-1)
2008-09 Statline: 
14 GP, 7-4-11, +9, 40 PIM


The Rangers have as good a chance as any squad to win the Cup, and they deserve it after what happened to Cherry. Björklund is a power winger from a country they like to draft from, plays a position they unfortunately now need a star at, and has an issue they don't mind working through- skating. With help from their top-notch power strength conditioning staff, Björklund could be the sniper version of Brandon Dubinsky. He's an elite finisher in-close, owning the slot with his size and puck protection.


30. San Jose Sharks- D Calvin de Haan

2008-09 Team:
Oshawa Generals (OHL)
2008-09 Statline:
19 GP, 3-17-20, +1, 12 PIM


Many NHL teams have been made fools at the draft table thanks to players who leech off of NHL-quality prospects. Terry Ryan netted 110 points thanks toDaymond Langkow. Jason Weimer had Adam Deadmarsh. Even defenseman are not immune to this occurrence- minor league/#7 d-man Nolan Baumgartner was a tenth overall pick thanks to 140-point Darcy Tucker, and kept the illusion up thanks to Jarome Iginla. So what's one to make of Calvin de Haan? With 20 points in just 19 games, the 18 year-old is just one of three defenders in the top twenty in OHL scoring. But he's helped greatly by one John Tavares. This is where actually watching the player comes in. de Haan isn't going to be a superstar, but he's an almost-identical player to former Shark Matt Carle - they're even the same height. Both possess tremendous skating ability, poise and a great first pass. Both love to handle the puck. However, they have the same weakness: softness.de Haan rarely becomes active physically, and even admits it as a weakness in interviews. Will Carle #2 turn out better for San Jose? It's worth a gamble at 30.


Write comment
Comments (0)add comment
You must be logged in to post a comment. Please register if you do not have an account yet.

busy