NHL Entry Draft 2009


Stuart McDonald, who pens Stu's Slant every Saturday, will give you immediate reaction to each player selected Friday.



Stu's Final Summary/Thoughts on the First Round:


Eight players taken in the first round are listed under six feet tall. The smart money has Detroit taking Carl Klingberg with the 32nd pick. He's a Swede but plays like a Canadian. I've heard many theories why as to why Burke took Kadri. My theory is he checked with Murray because he trusts Ottawa's scouting department more than his own. Draft picks I liked. Tampa Nice job by Brian Lawton. Not only did he grab Hedman, he realized he could grab Ashton at the end of the first and traded up to grab him. Ashton wouldn't have been there at 32. Florida The Panthers got a nice surprise when Kulikov fell into their lap. They needed a defenseman anyway. It's always nice to grab the first Russian. NYR Rangers had depth to take a chance on a kid like Kreider with huge upside. With his speed what's the worst that could happen - third line? Vancouver The Canucks stole Schroeder with the 22nd pick. Schroeder fell because teams got cold feet at the last minute because he's 5'8. New Jersey They gave up a very late third rounder to move up and get a player they like who really fits in with their team. Draft picks I didn't like. Worst performance - The Islanders traded their first (26th overall), second, third, fourth and seventh round picks for Calvin de Haan. They might have had de Haan with their 26th pick. Second worst performance - Minnesota. They could have traded down and picked up Leddy. They were lucky Schroeder fell to them but passed on him anyway. Weird. I don't like what Buffalo did. Kassian went higher than he should have because Buffalo picked for need (size) and didn't pick the best player available. I've seen Kassian skate. He makes Justin Azevedo look like Joe Sakic.



The 2009 NHL Draft - First Round

1.  New York Islanders - John Tavares - C
2.  Tampa Bay Lightning - Victor Hedman - D
3.  Colorado Avalanche - Matt Duchene - C
4.  Atlanta Thrashers - Evander Kane - W
5.  Los Angeles Kings - Brayden Schenn - C
6.  Phoenix Coyotes - Oliver Ekman-Larsson - D
7.  Toronto Maple Leafs - Nazem Kadri - C
8.  Dallas Stars - Scott Glennie - W
9.  Ottawa Senators - Jared Cowen - D
10.  Edmonton Oilers - Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson - W
11.  Nashville Predators - Ryan Ellis - D
12.  New York Islanders - Calvin de Haan - D
13.  Buffalo Sabres - Zack Kassian - W
14.  Florida Panthers - Dimitri Kulikov - D
15   Anaheim Ducks - Peter Holland - C
16   Minnesota Wild - Nick Leddy - D
17   St. Louis Blues - David Rundblad - D
18   Montreal Canadiens - Louis LeBlanc - C
19   New York Rangers - Chris Kreider - W
20   New Jersey Devils - Jacob Josefson - C
21   Colombus Blue Jackets - John Moore - D
22   Vancouver Canucks - Jordan Schroeder - C
23   Calgary Flames - Tim Erixson - D
24   Washington Capitals - Marcus Johansson - D
25   Boston Bruins - Jordan Caron - C
26   Anaheim Ducks - Kyle Palmieri - C 
27   Carolina Hurricanes - Phillipe Paradis - D
28   Chicago Blackhawks - Dylan Olson - D
29   Tampa Bay Lightening - Carter Ashton - W
30   Pittsburgh Penguins - Simon Despres - D



Final pick in the 2009 draft. 30th overall - Pittsburgh takes Simon Despres. Despres is a hulking defenseman who fell a little bit. He's 6'3, 225 pounds already. He has all the tools but not the toolbox. A frustrating player for his lack of consistency. Despres has a 45 point upside but he's at least three years away.




29th pick overall - Tampa takes Carter Ashton. Ashton fell a little bit. A lot of people had him in the top-20. He's the son of former NHL'er Brent Ashton. AHL skater but he can score. He goes hard to the net. He's a big kid - 6'3, 200 pounds.

60 point upside - 3 years away.  




Tampa picks up the 29th pick from Detroit for their 32nd pick overall and 75th overall.



Chicago take Dylan Olson with the 28th pick. Olsen is a gritty defender from Alberta junior A. He's either headed to the dub or the University of Minnesota at Duluth. Scotty Bowman took his time with this pick. He was too busy showing off his crappy French. Olsen has limited if any fantasy value.  




Whoa! Carolina take Phillipe Paradis with the 27th pick. Paradis has a booming shot but was not considered a first rounder on any mocks I've seen. Most had him as a definite second rounder. He's 6'2, 200 but most have him as a solid third liner. Limited upside. Has some potential as a 3rd line power forward. Is two years away. 



With the 26th pick Anaheim takes smallish center Kyle Palmieri. He's a goal-scoring, stocky member of the US National Development team headed to Notre Dame. Only 5'10, Palmieri is a thick 190 pounds. He's a nice skater and a good one-on-one player. A very different type of player than Anaheim's earlier pick Peter Holland. The Ducks have a lot of big forwards and could afford to grab a smaller skilled guy.

Palimieri has a 70+ upside. He's 2 years away. 




With the 25th pick, Boston take Jordan Caron from Rimouski in the Q.  An aggressive power forward type, but injury prone. Caron is not a great skater.

Upside is 65 points. He's three years away from being able to play his style effectively in the NHL.  




Washington take Center Marcus Johansson with the 24th pick. Johansson is the first player who was not in the top 30 in any of the mocks or draft previews that I've scanned. Johannson, like Jacobson, is a responsible two-way center who does a lot of things well but isn't spectacular in any one area. ISS has this kid rated at 95! He's played the entire season in the Swedish elite league. His stats are not impressive because he's been playing in the second best pro league in the world.

Upside 65 points. He's one or two years away.  




Brian Burke has been incredibly quiet. He must be frustrated as hell. No Schenn, No Tavares and no trades. Nazim Kadri must be cold comfort for Burke at this point.  




Six Swedes taken in the first round - an NHL draft record. 



With the 23rd pick Calgary take Tim Erixson. Erixson is a smooth-skating defensive defenseman. Still a long way off from the NHL. He has little fantasy value.  



Vancouver take Jordan Schroeder with the 22nd pick. Schroeder has fallen further than anyone. He's the Alexei Cherpanov of this draft. Nice pick up for Vancouver. Schroeder is a strong, 5'9 center. Minnesota will rue passing on this guy one day. Schroeder has an 80 point upside but is three years away. I have NO idea why this kid fell so far. He's a great skater and even though he's short, he's really thick. He's a leader, has a great shot. The kid has few holes that I can see.  




With the 21st pick,  Columbus take John Moore an all-around defenseman who has fallen a little bit. Moore is a long way from the NHL. He has to iron out his defensive game but has an interesting offensive upside.  





Columbus get Anaheim's pick (acquired today from Philadelphia) 21st overall.

Anaheim get Columbus' pick 26th (acquired today from NYI) 26th overall and 37th pick. 



20th pick - New Jersey picks Jacob Josefson another player who fell a little bit. New Jersey figured he wasn't going to fall much further so they grabbed him. He's a TYPICAL New Jersey type player. A two-way center. Not too big, not too fast but he's extremely responsible in his own zone and isn't likely to get frustrated in Lou's system.

Josefson has a limited offensive upside but he's close.






New Jersey gets 20th pick from Calgary

Calgary gets New Jersey's picks 23rd and  84th in 2009. 



Size is still an issue as Jordan Schroeder has fallen further than anyone else. Most had Schroeder in the top 10, or at least not far out of it. Schroeder's one big flaw - he's 5'9. 




Finally. Rangers select winger Chris Kreider 19th overall. This kid is an awesome skater who played prep school in the US. Kreider is a 6'2 winger, headed off to Boston College. The Rangers were a perfect team for Kreider because they can afford to wait for him. Kreider is really, really raw but has massive upside. He's at least 3 years away. 80 point upside.   




LeBlanc sure as hell doesnt' sound like a French Canadian. You can tell he's from an English part of Montreal. The kid's English is perfect.



Montreal took hometown boy Louis LeBlanc. Like LeBlanc, I'm from the West Island in Montreal. It's an English enclave - I can't believe the Montreal francophones want this guy so much. LeBlanc is headed to Harvard instead of the Q. A Gritty, character kid who never gives up. A great skater, LeBlanc was the USHL's Rookie-of-the-year.

LeBlanc has a 70 point upside and is at LEAST two years away.



Montreal is up next.  



With the 17th pick St. Louis pick another surprise - David Rundblad from Sweden. Rundblad is an offensive defenseman and although considered a first rounder, was taken a little higher than expected.

Rundblad has a 45+ upside. He's three years away.



Minnesota takes their state's High School Mr. Hockey with the 16th pick.  Nick Leddy, a 5'11, puck-moving defenseman goes higher than expected. Most had Leddy in the mid 20's. This is a bit of a surprise that Jordan Schroeder wasn't taken. Schroeder is a Minnesota native ranked in the middle of the first.   

Leddy has a 45 point upside. He's two to three years away depending on how quickly he fills out.



OK. Things are all over the place. Three of the last four guys taken are Top 30 guys but have been taken earlier than usual.





Anaheim take Peter Holland with the 15th pick. Holland had fallen out of favour as the season progressed. He was ranked as highly as No. 9 early in the season, fell to as low as the mid 20's on most lists just prior to the draft and has moved up to 15. There are a TONNE of mixed feelings about this guy. He falls asleep at times although he has good size and some skill.

Holland has a 60 point upside. He's three years away.




I don't like what the Islanders have done. Essentially traded their 2nd first rounder and their 2nd, 3rd, and fourth rounder for Calvin de Haan. ISS didn't even have de Haan going in the first round. Surely de Haan would have been available at 16th overall.  



Florida take defenseman Dmitri Kulikov with the 14th pick. A lot of people had Kulikov in their top 10. He fell because a few people drafted for need (Buffalo) and a few others went off the board (Isles). Kulikov is a nice pick at 14 for Florida. They need defense bacause they're going to lose Jay-Bo. 

Kulikov has 45 point upside and is two years away.  





The Sabres take Zack Kassian with the 13th pick. Kassian is a big, mean power forward. There isn't a lot of muscle in this draft but Kassian is all muscle. Kassian is a Todd Bertuzzi type. Buffalo started drafting size last season as they have a pretty small team.

Kassian has a 60 point upside but because he's a legit power forward will take more time than most. Three years away.  




speculation - Stu's Sabres will take Chris Kreider. Nobody is higher on Kreider than I am. He's the fastest player in the draft and at 6'2, will be hard to stop.  



12th pick - Islanders take Calvin De Haan - WAY OFF THE BOARD. De Haan would most likely have been available with the Islanders pick at 16. De Haan is a poised, smooth skating defenseman with tonnes of hockey sense. He's at least two years away, smallish and needs to fill out. Most had De Haan rated in the early 20's. I haven't seen a mock or a scouting report that had him going anywhere near 12.  

De Haan has 40+ Upside and is three years away.



Minnesota gets Islanders' 16th, 77th and 182nd pick.

Islanders get Minnesota's pick 12 overall.



* Nashville selects Ryan Ellis with the 11th pick. As if Nashville doesnt' have enough defensemen in their system. Ellis goes a little earlier than expected but has more pure skill than anyone except for Tavares. Ellis is only 5'10 but is completely fearless.  Even though he's a midget, he has a bomb for a shot. Not ready for prime time only because of his size.

Ellis has 50 point upside but is three years away.




 A recap of the top 10

1.  New York Islanders - John Tavares - C
2.  Tampa Bay Lightning - Victor Hedman - D
3.  Colorado Avalanche - Matt Duchene - C
4.  Atlanta Thrashers - Evander Kane - W
5.  Los Angeles Kings - Brayden Schenn - C
6.  Phoenix Coyotes - Oliver Ekman-Larsson - D
7.  Toronto Maple Leafs - Nazem Kadri - C
8.  Dallas Stars - Scott Glennie - W
9.  Ottawa Senators - Jared Cowen - D
10.  Edmonton Oilers - Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson - W 



Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson goes to Edmonton. MPS almost fell out the top 10 but the Oilers couldn't pass on his skating.  Phenomenal skater who goes to the net.

90 Point upside. At least one year away. Will go back to the Swedish elite league next season. 



Jared Cowen to Ottawa. Cowen, a 6'5, defensive defenseman falls a bit perhaps because of a knee injury. Cowen has very little fantasy value.  



Scott Glennie to Dallas. Another surprise. Many people feel he was overshadowed by Brayden Schenn in Brandon although Glennie outscored Schenn. Very quick and skilled player. With Eriksson, Benn, Neal Brunnstrom and now Glennie, the Stars have a nice cast of young forwards to complement Ribeiro and Richards. 

Glennie's upside 75 points. 1 year away.




Wow. Leafs take Nazem Kadri with 7th pick.  Kadri isn't big - 5'11 and more of a skilled guy. Not what most people would call a Brian Burke type of player. This is the first big, non-trade surprise. Ottawa wanted this pick badly. BADLY. I thought to myself before this pick - I have no idea who the Leafs are taking.

Kadri's upside 75 points. Two years away.



Pronger does reverse Fresh Prince of Belair manuever by gong from Cali to Philly.





Columbus get - Islanders' 1st (26th), 2nd (37th), 3rd (62nd) and 4th (92nd) 2009 picks. 

Islanders  get - Columbus'  first (16th) and third (77th) picks in 2009.  



To Phoenix - Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Smooth, two-way Swede will spend at least one year in Sweden. 

OLE - 45 point upside. Three years away.



After much pandering to the Montreal fans with their long salute to Luc Robitaille, the Kings do pick Brayden Schenn.  Schenn is an all-around, complete-package center. Schenn has tonnes of character and will fit in nicely with Lombardi's young forwards. 

Schenn - 70 points upside. One year away.



Things could get interesting. I don't expect LA to keep this pick. If they do, the Leafs won't get Brayden Schenn.  If LA takes someone it will be Schenn. They have a tonne of very young blue chip defensemen.  




Kane to Atlanta. It's doubtful Kane plays in the NHL next season. He's a mini power forward in the making, so his development will be slower than the top three. Give him one more year in junior.

Kane - 80 point upside. One year away.



Duchene to Colorado.  




To Anaheim: Lupul, Sbisa, Philly's 1st rounder in 2009, Philly's 1st rounder in 2010, a conditional third rounder in 2010 OR 2011.

To Philadelphia: Chris Pronger (Briere gets traded now - watch) and Ryan Dingle (24 year old who played 50 games in the ECHL last season).



Lupul owners rejoice. He goes back to Anaheim where he thrived and he definitely needed a change of scenery in Philly.  Lupul plays with Getzlaf, Perry, Ryan and Selanne next season. Give him 60 points next season.   



Hedman No. 2 to Tampa. They would have taken him if they had the No. 1. Cory Murphy and Paul Ranger take definite hits as Hedman will play this season.  



Pronger to Philadelphia for Lupul (too much partying), Sbisa (where would he play anyway) and two first round picks. Philadelphia paid too much.



Tampa will take Hedman and Colorado will take Duchene.



Isles take Tavares. Big smokescreen from Snow. Tavares is definitely ready - instant offense - he's more likely to make an NHL impact than Duchene.



Coburn won't take a huge hit - he played most of his PP minutes on the second unit.  Carle is a PP guy and he'll get thumped.



Dreger says Pronger has been traded to Philadelphia. Details to follow. Sbisa could find himself in the AHL 



Tampa said they won't trade the No. 2 pick but if Duchene goes No. 1, look for Tampa to open things up.  



Dreger - Flyers and Anaheim in heated discussions over Pronger.


 It looks like there was a HUGE lack of communication between Boston and Toronto re: Kessel for Kaberle. Boston seemed to think No. 7 pick was on the table whereas the Leafs never offered it. Bob MacKenzie reports the deal will NOT go down.


Look for the first pick to take place around 7:30 PM.  


San Jose is the only team without a first round pick. With Ryan Clowe's name already involved in trade rumours, look for San Jose to make a deal tonight.   


Dreger also reports that Scott Niedermayer will play this season. He's a UFA but wants to play for the Ducks. Chris Pronger will almost definitely be traded this weekend.  


Darren Dreger reports from TSN that he thinks the Islanders will take Matt Duchene. 


Stu here 


Eric Duhatschek says: "Almost everyone here thinks Matt Duchene is going to go No. 1 to the Isles now"


Darren Dreger twittered that its "50-50" whether Pronger gets traded this weekend, regardless what happens with Niedermayer, who still hasn't made a decision regarding his future.


For what it's worth, Duchene could easily go No.1. Tavares has the name but Duchene has the game to put butts in the seats. Tavares can finish but Duchene's manic, speedy game is something to behold.








Resources to keep you on top of today's Draft happenings:



Dobber's Fantasy Prospects Report



10 Forwards to Watch at the Draft



McDonald's Series on the tendencies and recent history of Scouting/Drafting of NHL teams:

PART 1             PART 2           PART 3



Dobber's Series on the 2009 Unrestricted Free Agents:

PART 1            PART 2            PART 3             PART 4



Draft Guru Matthew Bugg - fielding YOUR questions on the Draft in the forum:

PART 1            PART 2            PART 3



Goalie Guru Justin Goldman gives you his Top 50 Prospect Goalies- including the draft eligibles.

PART 1            PART 2



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