There's no song about it yet, but if the class of 2008 turns out half as good as advertised... it'll still be 200% better than most drafts! Here's your first in-depth look at the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, starting with the top 10 players from the eastern portion of the Canadian Hockey League.
1. Drew Doughty, D (Guelph Storm)
Height/Weight: 6'0, 213 lbs
2006-07 Statline: 67 GP, 21-53-74, +7, 76 PIM
Scouting Report: The best defensive prospect in a decade. 213 pounds of muscle mixed with the puck skills and smarts of a forward. A rock defensively. Expert at the open-ice check, and aims to knock a player out when possible.
Potential: Superstar defenseman, 20-45-65, 100+ PIM
2. Steve Stamkos, C (Sarnia Sting)
Height/Weight: 6'0, 170 lbs
2006-07 Statline: 63 GP, 42-50-92, +13, 56 PIM
Scouting Report: Hull-esque slapshot shocks his peers. Able to absolutely hammer the puck from anywhere with little time or space. Further catches opponents flatfooted with great shiftiness, although he lacks elite top-end speed.
Potential: Top-line forward, 45-45-90
3. Alex Pietrangelo, D (Niagara IceDogs)
Height/Weight: 6'3, 192 lbs
2006-07 Statline: 59 GP, 7-45-52, +40, 45 PIM
Scouting Report: Can control a game from the right point. Literally loves it when challenged- sports a big grin under even the heaviest pressure. Crackling wrist shot is the best on a defenseman in quite some time.
Potential: Franchise defenseman, 15-50-65, +25, 40 PIM
4. Mike Del Zotto, D (Oshawa Generals)
Height/Weight: 6'1, 195 lbs
2006-07 Statline: 64 GP, 10-47-57, -1, 78 PIM
Scouting Report: Superb powerplay quarterback. Great composure handling and passing the puck. Laser wrist shot. Tends to get outsmarted by smaller, crafty forwards.
Potential: PP specialist, 20-30-50, 100 PIM
5. Thomas McCollum, G (Guelph Storm)
Height/Weight: 6'1, 196 lbs
2006-07 Statline: 55 GP, 26-18-3, 5 SO
Scouting Report: A contender for OHL MVP as a rookie. Tremendous competitor that can outright steal games. Fills the net well and covers all angles thanks to superb fundamentals.
Potential: Starting goaltender
1. Kevin Poulin, G (Victoriaville Tigres)
Height/Weight: 6'1, 202 lbs
2006-07 Statline: 24 GP, 10-6, 3.34 GAA, 0.929 Sv%
Scouting Report: Little daylight, great mobility and a big-time player's mindset are the tools of the next great Q goaltender. Surprisingly athletic and quick for his size. Simply unbeatable with even an adequete defense in front of him.
Potential: Franchise goaltender.
2. Yann Sauve, D (Saint John Sea Dogs)
Height/Weight: 6'3, 212 lbs
2006-07 Statline: 60 GP, 2-13-15, 75 PIM
Scouting Report: The Q's answer to players like Doughty and Schenn. A horse at 16 years of age. Very cerebral player despite his enormous physical gifts and willingness to throw huge checks. Has been slow to develop offensively, but a breakout is expected.
Potential: #2 defenseman, 15-30-45, 150+ PIM
3. Kelsey Tessier, C (Quebec Remparts)
Height/Weight: 5'9, 164 lbs
2006-07 Statline: 63 GP, 23-27-50, 40 PIM
Scouting Report: 2008's version of Angelo Esposito. The highest-skilled, highest-risk player from the Q. Drops jaws with his stickhandling and speed. An excellent playmaker with tremendous vision, but severely undersized.
Potential: Star player, 30-65-95
4. Chris Doyle, C (PEI Rocket)
Height/Weight: 6'0, 195 lbs
2006-07 Statline: 50 GP, 18-18-36, 50 PIM
Scouting Report: A fantastic competitor. Loves to hustle and generate myriad scoring opportunities. Soft hands and an accurate wrist shot allow him to cash in on such chances. High overall skill level, especially in terms of skating ability.
Potential: Top-line forward; 35-50-85
5. Patrice Cormier, C (Rimouski Oceanic)
Height/Weight: 6'1, 197 lbs
2006-07 Statline: 53 GP, 11-10-21, 73 PIM
Scouting Report: Has not lived up to his billing as the top young forward in the QMJHL. However, as one of the younger players in the 2008 class, he has more than time to emerge as a star. No one can deny his breath-taking hands and creativity. Terrific wristshot.
Potential: Star NHLer, 35-45-80
If this doesn't hit the spot, fantasy pack buyers can look forward to the most comprehensive '08 preview on the market. What's so great about it? You'll find out. Very, very soon.