Saturday, June 16, 2007

2007 DraftBuzz Mock Draft

2007 DraftBuzz Mock Draft
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1. Chicago Blackhawks - Patrick Kane - RW -London Knights
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Top Forward Prospects: Jonathan Toews, Jack Skille, David Bolland, Troy Brouwer, Nathan Davis, Dan Bertram, Jakub Sindel, Bryan Bickell, Jake Dowell, and Michael Blunden.
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Top Defense Prospects: Cam Barker, Danny Richmond, Dustin Byfuglien, Simon Danis-Pepin, Niklas Hjalmarsson, and Ben Shutron.
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Top Goalie Prospects: Cory Crawford, Joe Palmer, and Joe Fallon.
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Young NHL Bright Spots (U25): Brent Seabrook, Tuomo Ruutu, Duncan Keith, and James Wisniewksi.
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Commentary: With the 1st overall selection of Patrick Kane in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, Chicago provides Toews with a RW thriller to set up for many years. With this pick, the Blackhawks focus intently on getting a legitimate scoring winger in their system to supplement their more rounded, lower ceiling prospects such as Bolland, Brouwer, Davis, and Bertram. Chicago looks to be on the right track with a forward roster that could feature Ruutu, Toews, Kane, and Skille in the near future.
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Option # 2 - Kyle Turris – Double T’s down the middle would be a scary sight for those in the Central Division. Chicago may be best off getting themselves a dynamite winger for Toews, but Turris’ all around skillset and smarts make him a contender for the top choice regardless.
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Option # 3 - Alexei Cherepanov - Despite what Chicago has said in the press, (Kane, Turris, JVR as top three), we think Alexei has a chance to challenge for the first overall as he offers a similar goal scoring prowess as Kane does. DraftBuzz sees him as a quality alternative option for the top choice, as he is bigger than Kane and a little more instinctive in his efforts to light the lamp. The impending journey to get Cherepanov across the pond, along with the everpresent cliche that Russian's are not coachable (see Zherdev), and Chicago's terrible past experiences with Russian forwards (Vorobiev & Yakubov), will be enough to sway CHI to choose the American dynamo from the OHL instead.

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2. Philadelphia Flyers - Kyle Turris - Center - Burnaby Express
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Top Forward Prospects: Steve Downie, Claude Giroux, Andreas Nodl, Freddy Cabana, Rob Bellamy, and Josh Beaulieu.
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Top Defense Prospects: Ryan Parent, Oskars Bartulis, Micahel Ratchuk, and R.J. Anderson.
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Top Goalie Prospects: Scott Munroe, Martin Houle, and Jeremy Duschene.
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Young NHL Bright Spots (U25): Joni Pitkanen, Scottie Upshall, Jeff Carter, Mike Richards, Braydon Coburn, Alex Picard, Ryan Potulny, Stefan Ruzicka, and Ben Eager.
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Commentary: With the 2nd overall selection of Kyle Turris in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, Philadephia injects a highly talented centerman into a system that lacks a forward with his blend of both skill and hockey smarts. The Flyer's have had recent success in introducing young, exciting forwards such as Scottie Upshall, Jeff Carter, and Mike Richards to the parent roster, along with adding imminent NHL'ers in prospects like Steve Downie and Claude Giroux through the past two draft's. Because of this they can select the raw, relatively unproven centerman from British Columbia and let him develop properly at Wisconsin.
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Option # 2 - James Van Riemsdyk – If these were the Flyer’s of the past, James Van Riemsdyk would most likely be our guess for the second overall with a package of size, speed, and skill their predecessors would drool over. However, Philadelphia now realizes size is not everything and proceeds with caution when dissecting James Van Riemsdyk’s tempting game. Instead, they go with the centerman who oozes a bit more skill, is smaller, and has uncanny hockey sense.
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Option # 3 - Jakub Voracek –If the Flyer’s are planting false information in the media with their alleged interest in Turris, we think Voracek and Van Riemsdyk would be head to head in the race for their selection. There is not much separating Voracek from JvR when looking at who the Flyer's may draft. But as silly as this may sound, we do believe Van Riemsdyk being North American and from the NE region of the US will vault him just a little higher than Voracek - assuming they think the two have similar potential.

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3. Phoenix Coyotes - James Van Riemsdyk - USA NTDP

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Top Forward Prospects: Peter Mueller, Martin Hanzal, Blake Wheeler, Alexei Kaigodorov, Kevin Porter, and Enver Lisin.

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Top Defense Prospects: Keith Yandle, Chris Summers, Logan Stephenson, and Brendan Bell.
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Top Goalie Prospects: David LeNeveu, P-O Pelletier, and Josh Tjordman.
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Young NHL Bright Spots (U25): Keith Ballard, Billy Thomas, Matt Jones, Zbynak Michalek, and Daniel Carcillo.
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Commentary: With the 3rd overall selection of James Van Riemsdyk in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, Phoenix shores up a huge deficit in their prospect pool: an elite goal scoring winger. With Mueller, Hanzal, and Wheeler all having success as centermen for their respective teams, Phoenix badly needs to insert a winger who loves to shoot. JVR’s biggest strength's are his quality release and ability to score big game goals. The Coyotes have many playmakers up front, so Van Riemsdyk is a great fit and are willing to wait for this tantalizing package of size, skill, and speed to develop and later hit the NHL ice with their sweater on.
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Option # 2 - Alexei Cherepanov – In all honesty, DraftBuzz feels Cherepanov is a better fit for Phoenix’ and their needs than JVR. Cherepanov is the most instinctive goal scorer in the draft, and this is exactly what Phoenix needs, but there are problems floating around that Phoenix may not want to be bothered with. All the small nuisances like the Russian transfer agreement and the malevolent rumor of Cherepanov’s uncoachability vault the yankee Van Riemsdyk ahead of the Russian sniper.
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Option # 3 - Sam Gagner - This third overall selection was our hardest pick yet because we believe Gagner deserves this spot, and maybe even more so than Cherepanov. Gagner is a safe prospect who does everything well and DraftBuzz thinks he may have impressed Gretzky and Co. this year with his hockey savvy. In choosing Sam Gagner, Phoenix would add a steady forward to their prospect pool, which features some risky/project picks such as Wheeler and Hanzal. However, Phoenix has made it known that they are looking for goal scorers, so JVR and Cherepanov are our guesses for now.
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4. Los Angeles Kings - Karl Alzner - Defense - Calgary Hitmen
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Top Forward Prospects: Patrick O'Sullivan, Bryan Boyle, Lauri Tukonen, Trevor Lewis, MA Cliche, Matt Moulson, and David Meckler.
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Top Defense Prospects: Jack Johnson, Joe Ryan, Johan Fransson, and Ryan McGinnis.
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Top Goalie Prospects: Jonathan Bernier, Jeff Zatkoff, and Jonathan Quick.
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Young NHL Bright Spots (U25): Anze Kopitar, Alex Frolov, Michael Cammalleri, and Dustin Brown.
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Commentary: With the 4th overall selection of Karl Alzner in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, Los Angeles gets Jack Johnson a smooth and reliable linemate to let him roam both offensively and defensively. LA just has so many options offensively to make them pass up on the draft's best defender: on the current NHL roster (Kopitar, Frolov, Cammalleri, Brown); in the minors (O'Sullivan, Tukonen, Lewis, Moulson); and in the system (Boyle, Cliche, Meckler). Beyond Jack Johnson and Joe Ryan, there is not much else for LA to look forward to in the future.
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Option # 2 - Jakub Voracek - Los Angeles could set themselves up with another top flight offensive prospect and take Voracek. This is a hard situation to try to decode, as they have a rich stable of talented forwards, with as many as four already proven. However, a forward may still be their on their list as BPA when pick number four rolls around.
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Option # 3 - Lars Eller - Going unconventional in 2005 and drafting a Slovenian playmaker was one of the best moves the King's franchise has made in quite some time. Could it be that LA strikes gold again in 2007 with a Danish playmaker?
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5. Washington Capitals - Alexei Cherepanov - RW - Avangard Omsk
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Top Forward Prospects: Nicklas Backstrom, Francois Bouchard, Dave Steckel, Chris Bourque, Eric Fehr, and Oskar Osala.
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Top Defense Prospects: Jeff Schultz, Patrick McNeill, Keith Seabrook, Joe Finley, and Sasha Pokulok.
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Top Goalie Prospects: Semen Varlamov, Michal Neuvirth, and Maxime Daigneault.
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Young NHL Bright Spots (U25): Alex Ovechkin, Alex Semin, Boyd Gordon, Steve Eminger, Shaone Morrison, and Milan Jurcina.
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Commentary: With the 5th overall selection of Alexei Cherepanov in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, Washington adds yet another bubbly Russian dynamo to their stable. Washington loves the fact that a team like Phoenix ignored Cherepanov’s huge smile and easygoing disposition at the combine, dispelling the rumors of any attitude problem. Leonsis should be beyond delighted that he is gearing up to have four of his top six forwards be Ovechkin, Semin, Backstrom, and Cherepanov. Washington could opt for a competent playmaking center to help Backstrom compliment Semin/Ovechkin on the wings.
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Option # 2 - Sam Gagner - As always, Gagner was in the mix when it was evident Washington will go the route of a smart center. Although we do have a preference for Dave Gagner's son, virtually any smart, playmaking centerman (Eller, Hamill, Couture) has a shot at going this early to Washington, if they so desire to split up their two electric wingers with savvy centermen.
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Option # 3 - Ryan McDonagh - McDonagh is looking like a sure bet to be one of the draft's biggest early surprises as both LA and now WSH are looking like they could use talented defenseman. It will come down to team's personal lists and preferences; if Alzner is off the board, Washington likes McDonagh, and rates him higher than a few forwards left on the board, then the Minnesota defender could be a good bet to go 5th overall.
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6. Edmonton Oilers - Jakub Voracek - Right Wing - Halifax Mooseheads
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Top Forward Prospects: Andrew Cogliano, Robert Nilsson, Rob Schremp, MA Pouliot, Slava Trukhno, Ryan O'Marra, JF Jacques, Kyle Brodziak, and Fredrik Petterson.
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Top Defense Prospects: Taylor Chorney, Denis Grebeshkov, Tom Gilbert, Jeff Petry, and Bryan Young.
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Top Goalie Prospects: Devan Dubnyk, JF Deslauriers, and Bryan Pitton.
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Young NHL Bright Spots (U25): Ales Hemsky, Jarret Stoll, Ladislav Smid, Matt Greene, Matheiu Roy, and Joffrey Lupul.
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Commentary: With the 6th overall selection of Jakub Voracek in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, Edmonton selects the best player overall who they could not let slip past them at number six. Having a plethora of smaller, shiftier forwards like Cogliano, Nilsson, Schremp, and Petterson, the Oilers welcome Voracek's package of size and playmaking ability to their system. Even though they are light on steady defense prospects, they also have two other first round picks to let them draft BPA this time around.
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Option # 2 - Nick Petrecki - The BC recruit is an outstanding darkhorse to be Edmonton's sixth overall selection. They have a few good mobile, offensive blueliners but could stand to add some grit and power on the blueline. The only roadblock we see in Petrecki's way, is the forward who falls out of the top five (if any) may be too good to pass up. Otherwise, Petrecki has the raw skills and athleticism to warrant this high selection. If Edmonton really likes Petrecki, we advise them to jump on him at number six as we think he will be long gone by the time their second pick at 15 rolls around.
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Option # 3 - Sam Gagner - Once again, Gagner seems like a backup option for the Oilers as well. Edmonton has a plethora of high ceiling forward prospects, but many of them are calculated risks and may not pan out. In selecting Gagner, the Oilers would add a safe prospect with definite top six skills and low bust potential.

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7. Columbus Blue Jackets - Ryan McDonagh - Defense - Cretin Derham
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Top Forward Prospects: Derick Brassard, Alex Picard, Joakim Lindstrom, Adam Pineault, Geoff Platt, Kirill Starkov, and Geoff Platt.
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Top Defense Prospects: Kris Russell, Marc Methot, and Kyle Wharton.
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Top Goalie Prospects: Steve Mason, Dan Lacosta, and Andrew Penner.
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Young NHL Bright Spots (U25): Rick Nash, Gilbert Brule, Rostislav Klesla, Dan Fritsche, Nik Zherdev, O-K Tollefson, Aaron Johnson, and Pascal Leclaire .
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Commentary: With the 7th overall selection of Ryan McDonagh in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, Columbus adds one of the draft's highest rising defensemen and someone who will easily be their number one defensive prospect. McDonagh may attract Columbus' attention due to his steady all around play. We think it will be in Columbus' best interest to draft a the best defenseman left on the board at this pick regardless of what forward falls. It will not take McDonagh long to transition to the pro game because of his size, high IQ, and complete game.
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Option # 2 - Kevin Shattenkirk- As a result of the parent club having some big boys on the backend who are not necessarily puck movers, we feel they could use a mobile blueliner to help dish the puck to talented forwards like Nash, Zherdev, Brule, and Brassard. Shattenkirk is an offensive defenseman who can definately fill this role and man the point on the PP as well.
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Option # 3 - Keaton Ellerby - Although DraftBuzz does not think Columbus has the right depth needed to a gamble on Ellerby's raw tools, it is certainly possible they are interested in the big Dub blueliner. He has to put it all together, but the Blue Jackets could end up with a 6'4'', mobile, physical, defenseman with good hands.
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8. Boston Bruins- Sam Gagner - Center - London Knights
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Top Forward Prospects: Petr Kalus, Martins Karsums, Milan Lucic, David Krejci, Vlad Sobotka, Brad Marchand, and Mikko Lehtonen.
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Top Defense Prospects: Matt Lashoff, Mark Stuart, Jonathan Sigalet, and Yuri Alexandrov.
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Top Goalie Prospects: Tuukka Rask, Jordan Sigalet, and Kevin Regan.
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Young NHL Bright Spots (U25): Patrice Bergeron, Phil Kessel, Brandon Bochenski, Dennis Wideman, and Hannu Toivonen.
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Commentary: With the 8th overall selection of Sam Gagner in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, the Bruins cannot afford to pass on the draft's best package of smarts and skills. Gagner is a great value pick at this eighth spot, as DraftBuzz believes that Gagner has a good chance of coming out of this draft as one of the top two players from this draft. Gagner is the BPA at this point, and Boston gets a legitimate top line forward in their system with his selection.
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Option # 2 - Keaton Ellerby - Because Boston has a few blueline prospects proving themselves in the minors in Stuart, Lashoff, and Sigalet, they may have the time needed to let a raw blueliner like Ellerby develop and find his toolbox. The Bruin's do not have a defense prospect quite like Ellerby, who combines size, skill, and brawn and could be a likely destination for him on draft day.
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Option # 3 - Max Pacioretty - Loaded with young, talented, fairly small centermen, the Bruins may look to add a high octane winger with size. Pacioretty could be a potential shock pick at this eighth draft position, due to Boston lacking a big power winger with skill. However, should one of the top forwards fall (like Gagner in our version) we cannot see them passing one of them up for Pacioretty.
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9. St. Louis Blues - Jonathan Blum - Defense - Vancouver Giants
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Top Forward Prospects: T.J. Oshie, Patrik Berglund, Carl Soderberg, Tomas Kana, Jay Barriball, and Nikolai Lemtyugov.
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Top Defense Prospects: Erik Johnson, Roman Polak, Jonas Junland, and Zach Fitzgerald.
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Top Goalie Prospects: Marek Schwarz, Ben Bishop, Konstantin Barulin, and Chris Beckford-Tseu.
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Young NHL Bright Spots (U25): Brad Boyes, Lee Stempniak, Jay McClement, David Backes, and Jeff Woywitka.
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Commentary: With the 9th overall selection of Jonathan Blum in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, the Blues add yet another high end rearguard with a complete skillset. After Johnson, St. Louis' defense prospect pool thins out quickly and lacks quality blueliners especially with the loss of Jackson. Offensively, St. Louis has four solid forwards on the NHL roster (Boyes, Stempniak, Backes, and McClement) and a few top end forward prospects coming (Oshie, Berglund, Soderberg). As a result, we think STL will be more inclined to add some defensive depth and Blum is a great option here at nine.
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Option # 2 - Lars Eller – Depending on what St. Louis’ strategy is with owning three top 30 draftpicks, we can just easily see Eller going here at nine. He would give St. Louis great prospect depth down the middle, and offer some options (IE. flanking Soderberg). In forecasting the rest of the picks in the first round, St. Louis may be best served snagging one of the better blueliners at this pick and adding offensive depth with their next two as the quality of the draft’s forward prospects look to be a bit better in the 20-30’s.
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Option # 3 - Billy Sweatt - Although the Blues offensive depth is very good, we can just as easily see them passing over Blum to nab a player like Sweatt. He would instantly be one of their safest prospects and offer the best combination of size, speed, and grit amongst their forwards. He fits the hardworking type of players they have been adding through trades and drafting, so he is a very good possibility to go to Missouri.
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10. Florida Panthers - Nick Petrecki - Defense - Omaha Lancers
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Top Forward Prospects: Michael Frolik, Kenndal McArdle, Anthony Stewart, Shawn Matthias, Kamil Kreps, Stefan Meyer, and Dan Collins.
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Top Defense Prospects: Derrick Lapoint, Martin Lojek, Martin Tuma, and Michael Caruso.
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Top Goalie Prospects: Bryan Foster, David Shantz, and Tyler Plante.
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Young NHL Bright Spots (U25): Jay Bouwmeester, Nathan Horton, Rostislav Olesz, Stephen Weiss, Gregory Campbell, and Noah Welch.
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Commentary: With the 10th overall selection of Nick Petrecki in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, the Panthers add a great defense prospect, which they have been starving for greatly. They just brought in Noah Welch through a deadline deal in which they gave up veteran Roberts, which was a much needed addition. However, after Bouwmeester and Welch, Lapoint is the only defender in the system worth hanging some hopes on. By drafting Petrecki, they get a player who many say has the body and skating ability to play in the NHL right now if Florida so desires him immediately.
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Option # 2 - Keaton Ellerby - Selecting Petrecki over Ellerby was a hard decision as we can see how not much might separate the two. But in the end, Florida has their proven Ellerby in Bouwmeester and Petrecki offers rare athleticism and nastiness that gives him a slight edge.
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Option # 3 - Max Pacioretty - Pacioretty would be a solid addition to Florida's stable of forward prospects. He's got great long limbs, superb hands, and playmaking ability. He would add another offensive punch to an already strong one with Frolik, McArdle, and Stewart.

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11. Carolina Hurricanes - Logan Couture - Center- Ottawa 67's
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Forward Prospects: Bobby Hughes, Joe Barnes, Stefan Chaput, Harrison Reed, Nick Dodge, Jakub Petruzalek,
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Top Defense Prospects: Casey Borer, Jamie McBain, Brett Carson, Jakub Vojta, Mark Flood and Kyle Lawson.
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Top Goalie Prospects: Justin Peters, Kevin Nastiuk, and Daniel Manzato.
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Young NHL Bright Spots (U25): Eric Staal, Andrew Ladd, Cam Ward, and Tim Gleason.
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Commentary: With the 11th overall selection of Logan Couture in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, the Carolina Hurricanes introduce a steady and talented offensive forward, which they desparately lack. Make no mistake, Carolina's pipeline is very dry aside from good goaltending depth and decent defensive depth. Couture instantly becomes the Hurricane's best prospect, and provides them with a solid centerman who can score just as well as he can playmake with his above average vision and passing.
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Option # 2 - Zach Hamill - Had DraftBuzz not heard of Carolina's interest in Couture, Hamill would have definately been our choice. What makes Hamill a good fit for Carolina, is he is eligible to play in the minors as early as this coming season because he has played four years of junior hockey already. We think that factor could be tremendous for a team with a prospect pool as depleted as their's. The skills between Hamill and couture are pretty much the same, with Hamill being just a hair safer of a prospect.
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Option # 3 - Lars Eller - From now on, Eller would be a tremendous pick for any team. It just so happens that Carolina is looking for a top end forward. Their stated liking for Couture could be a smokescreen, however, so they can fly under the radar and snatch up this steady, playmaking Dane.
**One wrench that could be thrown into these forward plans goes by the name of Keaton Ellerby. If Carolina did not expect Ellerby to fall to their pick, we can see him being picked up quickly as well, as Carolina lacks a comparable, elite defense prospect.**

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12. Montreal Canadiens - Lars Eller - Center - Vastra Frolunda
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Top Forward Prospects: Andrei Kostitsyn, Kyle Chipchura, Sergei Kostitsyn, Mikhail Grabovski, Ryan White, Corey Lock e, Ben Maxwell, Juraj Mikus, and Mathieu Aubin.
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Top Defense Prospects: Mathieu Carle, David Fischer, Alexei Emelin, Pavel Valentenko, and Ryan O'Byrne.
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Top Goalie Prospects: Carey Price, Jaroslav Halak, and Yann Danis.
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Young NHL Bright Spots (U25): Chris Higgins, Guillame Latendresse, Alex Perezhogin, Tomas Plekanec, and Maxim Lapierre.
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Commentary: With the 12th overall selection of Lars Eller in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, the Montreal Canadiens add yet another high end forward prospect to their near full stable. Upon inspection of their future forwards, it became evident that Montreal needed a top six centerman who can play with their tremendously skilled wingers. Lars Eller fits the bill, and gives the Canadiens a formidable trio down the middle with Eller, Chipchura, and White.
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Option # 2 - Zach Hamill - Hamill's a smart top six forward who would fit well in Montreal's system. They have many eccentric European forwards, and we think they could use a reliable North American center like Zach Hamill who flashes just as much skill as he does intelligence.
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Option # 3 - Angelo Esposito - Yea, Yea, he's the hometown kid and all. But we do not think that plays as much as a role in Montreal's interest as his skating ability and electric offensive skills. He is definately a project, but a team like Montreal may have the resources to host his development. They have had recent success with draft picks stepping into the lineup and producing, along with those in the minors banging down the door. For this reason, we can see them taking the chance on this enigmatic talent.

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13. Toronto Maple Leafs - Keaton Ellerby - Defense - Kamloops Blazers
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Top Forward Prospects: Jiri Tlusty, Robbie Earl, Nikolai Kulemin, Jeremy Williams, Chad Rau, and Tyler Ruegsegger.
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Top Defense Prospects: Anton Stralman, Dmitri Vorobiev, Staffon Kronwall, Jay Harrison, and Korbinian Holzer.
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Top Goalie Prospects: Justin Pogge and James Riemer.
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Young NHL Bright Spots (U25): Alex Steen, Ian White, Kyle Wellwood, Matthew Stajan, and Carlo Colaiacovo.
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Commentary: With the 13th overall selection of Keaton Ellerby in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, the Toronto Maple Leafs select the best player available and add a huge, dynamic blueliner to their stable. The Leafs take the route of the Kamloops defenseman as a result of having a solid young forward core trio of Stajan, Steen, and Wellwood with Tlusty, Earl, and Kulemin arriving in the not so distant future. They are pleasantly surprised with Stralman's unexpected development, but the rest of their defense prospects project as stay at home bottom pairing rearguards. Ellerby gives Toronto a top flight defenseman with all the tools to hopefully mold into a strapping, 6'4'' rover who can shoot, pass, hit, and defend.
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Option # 2 - Thomas Hickey - Loaded up front and having quite a few big blueliners, Colorado would add a puckmover and steady defender that is not in their system. Hickey is a great option at this fourteen spot, as Toronto desperately lacks a defender with Hickey's speed, hands, and smarts.
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Option # 3 - Colton Gillies – Who couldn’t use a 6’4’’ gazelle who skates like the wind and hits hard? Even if his offense does not come around, Gillies would add a missing dimension to Toronto’s prospect pool at forward. They do not have that one prospect who can hit and match speed to neutralize top lines; Gillies has the size, speed, and hustle to be that player.

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14. Colorado Avalanche - Mark Katic - Defense - Sarnia Sting
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Top Forward Prospects: T.J. Hensick, Ryan Stoa, Codey Burki, Tom Fritsche, Chris Stewart, Denis Parshin, David Jones, Michael Carman, and Brett Hemingway.
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Top Defense Prospects: Nigel Williams, Kyle Cumiskey, Johnny Boychuk, Ray Macias, Kevin Montgomery, and Michael Vernace.
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Top Goalie Prospects: Billy Sauer, Tyler Weiman, and Ian Keserich.
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Young NHL Bright Spots (U25): Wojtek Wolski, Paul Stastny, Marek Svatos, Brad Richardson, and Peter Budaj.
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Commentary: With the 14th overall selection of Mark Katic in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, the Colorado Avalanche add a much needed puckmover with blazing speed to their system. There are rumblings that Colorado has been looking heavily at Katic at this 14th pick; DraftBuzz would have guessed Shattenkirk instead. But Katic is a very intriguing player for his speed and possible offensive ability. With concerns about his own zone play present throughout the first half of the season, he showed us a calm and reliable game towards the end of the season impressing many with his great plus/minus at the WJC U18.
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Option # 2 - Kevin Shattenkirk – The team USA captain is a natural offensive defenseman and would gel terrifically with Colorado’s skilled forwards. Colorado has enough depth at forward to think D at this pick. Additionally, the players left on board at this 14th pick will most likely be comparably even (forward or defenseman) adding more incentive for the Avalanche to boost their backline.
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Option # 3 - Mikael Backlund – Backlund is a guy who could surprise and go to Denver here. Colorado’s pipeline lacks its touch of European skill, and Backlund is a steady prospect to add to a system that features some relative risks at forward. We see him having a similar development curve to Michael Frolik, who has proven his early 2006 draft selection with a solid year in the Q.

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15. Edmonton Oilers - Kevin Shattenkirk - Defense - USA NTDP
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Top Forward Prospects: Jakub Voracek, Andrew Cogliano, Robert Nilsson, Rob Schremp, MA Pouliot, Slava Trukhno, Ryan O'Marra, JF Jacques, and Kyle Brodziak.
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Top Defense Prospects: Taylor Chorney, Denis Grebeshkov, Tom Gilbert, Jeff Petry, and Bryan Young.
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Top Goalie Prospects: Devan Dubnyk, JF Deslauriers, and Bryan Pitton.
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Young NHL Bright Spots (U25): Ales Hemsky, Jarret Stoll, Ladislav Smid, Matt Greene, Mathieu Roy, and Joffrey Lupul.
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2007 Draft Selection #1 (6th Overall) : Jakub Voracek - Right Wing *
Commentary: With the 15th overall selection of Kevin Shattenkirk in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, the Edmonton Oilers begin to accomplish what they set out to do this draft: add quality defenders with three first round picks at their disposal. Nine picks earlier, Edmonton vaulted their offensive forward depth over the top with the addition of the strapping winger from the Q. With this pick, Edmonton adds a great skating defenseman who navigates the offensive zone well, can skate, and is a decent defender. He is a great option to lead future rushes with their myriad of skilled forwards.
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Option # 2 - Kevin Marshall – Shattenkirk’s combination of skating and skill were too tempting to pass over at this pick. However, if EDM was able to resist the urge we see them going a different route in a defender like Marshall who is a steadier, more physical, defense first type of defenseman. They have some good puckmovers in Grebeshkov, Chorney, and Gilbert, but lack that presence on the blueline who has the smarts and the will to stop plays in his own zone. That said, 15 may be pushing it a bit for the at all costs defenseman from Lewiston.
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Option # 3 - Tommy Cross – Cross is a guy who could add size and a steady overall game to the Oiler’s defense corps. Hickey would have been a natural choice instead, but Chorney is a very similar player. As a result, Tommy Cross offers the potential to be one of the drafts first few surprise selections here at Edmonton’s 15th overall.
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16. Anaheim Ducks - Zach Hamill - Center - Everett Silvertips
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Top Forward Prospects: Bobby Ryan, Bryce Swan, Petteri Wirtanen, Drew Miller, Tim Brent, and Matt Belesky.
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Top Defense Prospects: Mark Mitera, Brendan Mikkelson, Brian Salcido, Aaron Rome, John deGray, and Doug O'Brien.
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Top Goalie Prospects: J-P Levasseur, David McKee, and Gerald Coleman.
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Young NHL Bright Spots (U25): Ryan Getzlaf, Dustin Penner, Corey Perry, Ryan Shannon, and Travis Moen.
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Commentary: With the 16th overall selection of Zach Hamill in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, the Anaheim Ducks select a multi-talented centerman with passing skills to compliment their bigger, more powerful wingers in Penner, Perry, Ryan, and Swan. Even with Anaheim's recent success with young forwards, they must draft BPA (which looks to unanimously be a forward) as a result of surrendering their 2nd round selection to Vancouver.
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Option # 2 - Mikael Backlund - Same scenario as Hamill, it just boils down to preference. Backlund is a little less dynamic, but a hair more athletic than Everett's veteran center. However, Backlund's rocky season makes us think that Hamill is chosen instead.
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Option # 3 - Billy Sweatt - Anaheim has a forward group that does not feature some of the better skating prospects. Sweatt would give them a winger who can go coast to coast effortlessly and play a gritty NA game. Sweatt's a nice option for the Cup champions with his X factor of speed.

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17. New York Rangers - Mikael Backlund - Center - Vasteras
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Top Forward Prospects: Brandon Dubinsky, Alex Bourret, Lauri Korpikoski, Nigel Dawes, Dane Byers, Tom Pyatt, Hugh Jessiman, Darin Olver, and Billy Ryan.
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Top Defense Prospects: Marc Staal, Ivan Baranka, Michael Sauer, Bobby Sanguinetti, Dylan Reese, and David Liffiton.
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Top Goalie Prospects: Alvaro Montoya and Chris Holt.
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Young NHL Bright Spots (U25): Henrik Lundqvist, Fedor Tyutin, Dan Girardi, Petr Prucha, and Ryan Callahan.
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Commentary: With the 17th overall selection of Mikael Backlund in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, the New York Rangers snap up the one of the draft's greatest fallers from previous years rankings. Desiring a top end forward to build around, the Rangers hope Backlund regains some of his offensive confidence and skating he lost when he injured his knee. His great hands, skating, and cerebral approach to the game are indicative of the new age True Blue player.
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Option # 2 - Max Pacioretty - A very hard choice to decipher, the Rangers could have easily gone any one of Backlund, Pacioretty, or Esposito in our estimation. What is clear is they need to get a guy who can lead the offense once Jagr and company move on. Pacioretty would be our choice for his hands and size, but for some reason we expect Swedish scout Christer Rockstrom to beat the drum for the Scandinavian athlete.
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Option # 3 - Angelo Esposito - A few years ago, it was rumored that the Rangers wanted to take a chance on the enigmatic Robbie Schremp, but ultimately passed because they did not feel their system could absorb his personality and potential busting. Well it has been a couple of years and now their system can take this type of gamble and Angelo Esposito fits that description to a tee. Do not be surprised if Angelo and his fantastic hair are New York City bound on June 22nd.
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18. Calgary Flames - Max Pacioretty - Right Wing - Sioux City Musketeers
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Top Forward Prospects: Dustin Boyd, Daniel Ryder, Andrei Taratukhin, Juuso Puustinen, Eric Nystrom, Kris Chucko, Aki Seitsonen, Brandon Prust, and Aaron Marvin.
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Top Defense Prospects: Gord Baldwin, Tim Ramholt, Matt Pelech, and Richie Regehr.
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Top Goalie Prospects: Leland Irving, Kevin Lalande, and Curtis McElhinney.
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Young NHL Bright Spots (U25): Dion Phaneuf, Mark Giordano, Matthew Lombardi, and David Moss.
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Commentary: With the 18th overall selection of Max Pacioretty in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, the Calgary Flames add a huge winger with great skill to their system. The Flames have had success introducing Dustin Boyd and Andrei Taratukhin to professional hockey, but are still a little light in terms of impact forwards with Ryder, Puustinen, and Chucko still developing. Pacioretty is a steal here at 18, and offers them a playmaker with the body, hands, and skating to consistently make a difference. They do need some more skilled defensive depth and should look to bolster their defensive prospect pool in the later rounds (Calgary does not have another pick until the fifth round).
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Option # 2 - Simon Hjalmarsson - The Swedish sniper was neck and neck with Pacioretty for this pick. Hjalmarrson offers a little more scoring ability and edge to Pacioretty's playmaking and slow type of offensive processing. Calgary at 18 seems to be one of Hjalmarsson's best tickets to going in the top 20.
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Option # 3 - David Perron - We see the Flames looking for a dynamite forward to create offense, and for that reason they may be willing to take a chance on the draft's rising questionmark. There is a lot to project with Perron, but he has unreal stickhandling and hand eye coordination. He is gritty and looks to be coachable in other areas of the ice, making him a more attractive pick as we ascend in the draft.
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19. Minnesota Wild - Thomas Hickey - Defense - Seattle Thunderbirds
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Top Forward Prospects: Benoit Pouliot, James Sheppard, Roman Voloshenko, Danny Irmen, Matt Foy, Morten Madsen, Ondrej Fiala, Cal Clutterbuck, and Julien Sprunger.
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Top Defense Prospects: Shawn Belle, Clayton Stoner, and Anthony Aiello.
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Top Goalie Prospects: Josh Harding, Anton Khudobin, and Kristopher Westblom.
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Young NHL Bright Spots (U25): Marian Gaborik, Nick Schultz, P-M Bouchard, Mikko Koivu, and Brent Burns.
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Commentary: With the 19th overall selection of Thomas Hickey in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, the Minnesota Wild fill an imperative need (especially with the failure of Thelen) and choose a two way defenseman with many translatable skills. Minnesota is ecstatic the Dub version of Ballard falls to them at this pick. Hickey can play a run and gun style of hockey, or he can just as well sit back and prevent scoring chances. He has soft hands, hits, and skates very well.
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Option # 2 - Tommy Cross - With a bevy of talented forwards from previous drafts, Minnesota has set themselves up to focus exclusively on replenishing their backline. It would be in their best interest to draft a safer defenseman with this high pick. Cross is a reliable, steady defender who showed us constant showings so far in his HS career.
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Option # 3 - Nick Ross - Looking through the rest of the defenders left on board, Ross could catch Minnesota's interest with a good skillset overall. Ross has good hands, is a good skater, and throws nice checks. He is a steady defender who lacks any real exciting trait, except for some heavy hits, and should be on their radar for his solid, but unspectacular play.
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20. Pittsburgh Penguins - Billy Sweatt - Left Wing - Colorado College
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Top Forward Prospects: Jonathan Filewich, Ryan Stone, Tyler Kennedy, Michael Gergen, and Nick Johnson.
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Top Defense Prospects: Kristopher Letang, Alex Goligoski, Carl Sneep, Brian Strait, and J-P Paquet.
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Top Goalie Prospects: Bobby Goepfert, David Brown, and Patrick Ehelechner.
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Young NHL Bright Spots (U25): Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Jordan Staal, Colby Armstrong, Erik Christensen, Ryan Whitney, Maxime Talbot, and Michel Ouellet.
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Commentary: With the 20th overall selection of Billy Sweatt in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, the Pittsburgh Penguins are confronted with an awesome dilemma of having to sift through quite a few guys who they think should not have slipped this far. Pittsburgh settles on the speedster to take advantage of opposing defenses who tire from having to fend off with Crosby, Malkin, and Staal. At this juncture , it is alright to gamble on Sweatt's offensive game because at the very least he will be a fast checker with size and grit.
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Option # 2 - Maxim Mayorov - If the Penguins wanted more of a European splash of skill, Mayorov is still left on the board to snag. Maybe they are intrigued with setting Mayorov up with Malkin and letting him learn the NA game with his guidance. Regardless, just like Sweatt, this Russian is a speedster himself who gives defensemen fits with his powerful physique, skating, and offensive zone activity.
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Option # 3 - Oscar Moller - Moller would be a great option to throw a smart goal scorer into a prospect pool that lacks real options as a result of impressive, early graduations. It is this general area that Moller should begin to garner heavy attention, and it would not be a surprise to see the Penguins dive into Chilliwack and catch this Swedish fish.
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21. Phoenix Coyotes - Simon Hjalmarsson - Left Wing - Vastra Frolunda
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Top Forward Prospects: Peter Mueller, James Van Riemsdyk, Martin Hanzal, Blake Wheeler, Alexei Kaigodorov, Kevin Porter, and Enver Lisin.
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Top Defense Prospects: Keith Yandle, Chris Summers, Logan Stephenson, and Brendan Bell.
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Top Goalie Prospects: David LeNeveu, P-O Pelletier, and Josh Tjordman.
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Young NHL Bright Spots (U25): Keith Ballard, Billy Thomas, Matt Jones, Zbynak Michalek, and Daniel Carcillo.
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2007 Draft Selection #1 (3rd Overall) : James Van Riemsdyk - Right Wing
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Commentary: With the 21st overall selection of Simon Hjalmarsson in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, Phoenix takes the best player available who coincidentally is one of the best goal scorers in the draft. Fredrik Sjostrom's ever so slow development does not scare them away from this Swede, as they like his competitiveness, selection of shots, and ability to change momentum with a quick flick of the wrist.
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Option # 2 - Brett MacLean - Had Hjalmarsson not been on the board, the big winger from the O would have been the choice instead. There is not much separating the two production wise (both gave us what we expected and wanted to see from a top prospect), but there is a marked difference in skating. Because of this, Hjalmarsson gets a slight edge over the laboring North American lamp lighter.
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Option # 3 - Maxim Mayorov - With JVR already in the bag, does Phoenix get risky and throw Mayorov in the mix? It's even debateable that Hjalmarsson is the BPA, so Mayorov could be a great possibility here at 21. He is the type of prospect who makes you wish you had multiple picks to gamble on. Because of that, Phoenix could be a likely destination.
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22. Montreal Canadiens - Angelo Esposito - Center - Quebec Remparts
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Top Forward Prospects: Andrei Kostitsyn, Lars Eller, Kyle Chipchura, Sergei Kostitsyn, Mikhail Grabovski, Ryan White, Corey Locke, Ben Maxwell, Juraj Mikus, and Mathieu Aubin.
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Top Defense Prospects: Mathieu Carle, David Fischer, Alexei Emelin, Pavel Valentenko, and Ryan O'Byrne.
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Top Goalie Prospects: Carey Price, Jaroslav Halak, and Yann Danis.
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Young NHL Bright Spots (U25): Chris Higgins, Guillame Latendresse, Alex Perezhogin, Tomas Plekanec, and Maxim Lapierre.
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2007 Draft Selection #1 (3rd Overall) : Lars Eller - Center
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Commentary: With the 22nd overall selection of Angelo Esposito in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, the Montreal Canadiens are the team to finally take a shot on Quebec's project. Montreal has a ton of offensive forwards on the way and already showing success at the NHL level, so they can afford to shoot for the stars with this selection. Esposito needs alot of his talents to come together, but he is the best option at this pick.
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Option # 2 - Colton Gillies - Aside from Chipchura and possibly White, the Canadiens do not have much on the way as far as physical play from their forwards is concerned. Gillies could be their seek and destroy missile down the middle, providing a different type of punch from their future forwards.
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Option # 3 - Juraj Valach - Shattenkirk would be ideal at this 22nd overall spot, but since he is taken Valach is the next best option for a puck possessing, offensive oriented defenseman. He is great with the puck on his stick and would really add a defender with hands, skating, and shooting that Montreal lacks.

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23. Philadelphia Flyers - David Perron - RW - Lewiston Maineiacs
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Top Forward Prospects: Kyle Turris, Steve Downie, Claude Giroux, Andreas Nodl, Freddy Cabana, Rob Bellamy, and Josh Beaulieu.
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Top Defense Prospects: Ryan Parent, Oskars Bartulis, Micahel Ratchuk, and R.J. Anderson.
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Top Goalie Prospects: Scott Munroe, Martin Houle, and Jeremy Duschene.
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Young NHL Bright Spots (U25): Joni Pitkanen, Scottie Upshall, Jeff Carter, Mike Richards, Braydon Coburn, Alex Picard, Ryan Potulny, Stefan Ruzicka, and Ben Eager.
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2007 Draft Selection #1 (2nd Overall) : Kyle Turris - Center
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Commentary:
With the 23rd overall selection of David Perron in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, Philadephia spices up their forward selection of prospects with the dazzling stickhandler from the Q. Perron gives the Flyer's a winger who can do a little bit of everything, but most importantly create offense from scratch. He's the yang to Turris' yin, as he is a bit more outspoken than the Express center and a bit more colorful. Perron is a little more projection and offers less certainty than alot of other players, but having multiple first round picks makes Philadelphia a bit more riskier and willing to gamble on the late blooming puck wizard.
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Option # 2 - Jeremy Smith - Having quite a few third rounders at their disposal may make Philadelphia a bit hesitant to select a goalie this early in the game, but if they really like Smith they may jump on him at this pick (the consensus number one draft eligible goalie). They lack a true goaltending prospect to really count on. Whether it is Smith, Patterson, Mucha, or Gistedt, any tender for that matter, we can see Philadelphia just as easily seizing one at 23 or waiting until the third.
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Option # 3 - Maxim Mayorov - Mayorov put up a great fight for this selection against Perron with his speed and athletic physique, but ultimately lost out due to a noticeable difference in offensive ability, creativity, and "carrying" of the play blueline in. He is a viable option, though, for the Flyer's to introduce some classic Russian skill and skating to their system.
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24. St. Louis Blues - Maxim Mayorov - Left Wing - Russia
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Top Forward Prospects: T.J. Oshie, Patrik Berglund, Carl Soderberg, Tomas Kana, Jay Barriball, and Nikolai Lemtyugov.
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Top Defense Prospects: Erik Johnson, Jonathan Blum, Roman Polak, Jonas Junland, and Zach Fitzgerald.
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Goalie Prospects: Marek Schwarz, Ben Bishop, Konstantin Barulin, and Chris Beckford-Tseu.
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Young NHL Bright Spots (U25): Brad Boyes, Lee Stempniak, Jay McClement, David Backes, and Jeff Woywitka.
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2007 Draft Selection #1 (9th Overall) : Jonathan Blum- Defense
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Commentary:
With the 24th overall selection of Maxim Mayorov in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, the Blues take the best talent left on the board and add some natural depth on the wing. Already having selected Jon Blum with the ninth overall, snagging Mayorov this late in the game is bound to make many STL fans happy. He is a definite risk, but STL has another first round pick and the 39th overall to afford them some room to play.
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Option # 2 - Oscar Moller - Moller would be another great winger for STL to take with this pick. We could also see them packaging the 24th and 26th pick to move up in the draft and secure a player they really like at the top half of the draft. Regardless, STL will have great flexibility to stand pat, or make some trades, take high risk/high reward players, and add great depth to their prospect pool.
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Option # 3 - Brandon Sutter - Sutter is a guy a team with multiple picks like STL should definately keep an eye on. He needs alot of ingredients to come together, mainly strength and offensive confidence, and frankly needs to distinguish himself without borrowing equity off of the Sutter name. But at this point in the draft, his hands and size should start to garner interest in this range.
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25. Vancouver Canucks - Logan MacMillan - Center - Halifax Mooseheads
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Top Forward Prospects: Michael Grabner, Mason Raymond, Jannik Hansen, Juraj Simek, Sergei Shirokov, and Rick Rypien.
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Top Defense Prospects: Luc Bourdon, Alex Edler, Kirill Koltsov, Daniel Rahimi, and Nathan McIver..
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Goalie Prospects: Cory Schneider, Drew McIntyre, Julien Ellis, and Alex Vincent.
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Young NHL Bright Spots (U25): Ryan Kesler and Lukas Krajicek.
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Commentary: With the 25th overall selection of Logan MacMillan in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, the Vancouver Canucks choose one of the more safer forwards left in the draft. Vancouver desperately needs an infusion of quality forward prospects and focus on getting a player who at the very least, while he may not have as high a ceiling as others, will be a great defensive center who can chip in a few goals. MacMillan could actually be quite a darkhorse offensively if his hands and passing improve.
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Option # 2 - Brandon Sutter - Sutter may be here as a best player available type of pick and they might be surprised if he falls. Vancouver could use a smart, slick centerman like Sutter but it remains to be seen whether they can take the chance on the Red Deer forward, who is very raw in some facets of the game and is a great projection.
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Option # 3 - Michal Repik - After playing for Vancouver in the WHL, it is a certainty that the Canucks have seen the Czech import tear up the Memorial Cup. Because of that impressive stretch, Repik has played himself up to a possible selection here by the hometown NHL club. Already having a speedy, offensively gifted winger in Grabner will not deter the offense starved Canucks from thinking about Repik here.
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26. St. Louis Blues - Stefan Legein - Right Wing - Mississauga IceDogs
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Top Forward Prospects: T.J. Oshie, Patrik Berglund, Carl Soderberg, Maxim Mayorov, Tomas Kana, Jay Barriball, and Nikolai Lemtyugov.
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Top Defense Prospects: Erik Johnson, Jonathan Blum, Roman Polak, Jonas Junland, and Zach Fitzgerald.
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Goalie Prospects: Marek Schwarz, Ben Bishop, Konstantin Barulin, and Chris Beckford-Tseu.
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Young NHL Bright Spots (U25): Brad Boyes, Lee Stempniak, Jay McClement, David Backes, and Jeff Woywitka.
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2007 Draft Selection #1 (9th Overall) : Jonathan Blum - Defense
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2007 Draft Selection #2 (24th Overall) : Maxim Mayorov - Left Wing
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Commentary:
With the 26th overall selection of Stefan Legein in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, the Blues add a small, spicy right winger to a system with a lot of European flavor. Legein will offer STL a great complimentary player who can hang offensively with guys like Oshie, Soderberg, and Berglund while providing some nice grit. At the previous pick, Legein was not mentioned as an option but after further analyzing the Blues forward depth, we think they can use a guy like Legein.
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Option # 2 - Oscar Moller - Moller would be another great winger for STL to take with this pick. We could also see them packaging the 24th and 26th pick to move up in the draft and secure a player they really like at the top half of the draft. Regardless, STL will have great flexibility to stand pat, or make some trades, take high risk/high reward players, and add great depth to their prospect pool.
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Option # 3 - Brandon Sutter - Sutter is a guy a team with multiple picks like STL should definately keep an eye on. He needs alot of ingredients to come together, mainly strength and offensive confidence, and frankly needs to distinguish himself without borrowing equity off of the Sutter name. But at this point in the draft, his hands and size should start to garner interest in this range.
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27. Detroit Red Wings - Oscar Moller - Right Wing - Chilliwack Bruins
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Top Forward Prospects: Johan Ryno, Jan Mursak, Justin Abdelkader, Igor Grigorenko, Evan McGrath, Cory Emmerton, Dick Axelsson, and Darren Helm.
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Top Defense Prospects: Jakub Kindl, Jonathon Ericsson, Kyle Quincey, Derek Meech, and Logan Pyett.
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Top Goalie Prospects: Jimmy Howard and Daniel Larsson.
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Young NHL Bright Spots (U25): Valtteri Filppula, Brett Lebda, and Jiri Hudler.
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Commentary: With the 27th overall selection of Oscar Moller in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, the Red Wings get to announce only their third first round pick since 2000. With this choice, they select a "Swede" shot, and a winger who has the potential to be a typical Red Wing sleeper (someone who emerges post draft and shows his worth to be more than his draft spot). Moller has a great stocky build and loves to shoot.
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Option # 2 - Colton Gillies - Lacking true power forwards, Detroit could really use a hulking centerman like Gillies. He has some definate skills that are top 10 worthy like his size, skating, and physicality, so Detroit may love the fact that he falls to them this late in the first round.
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Option # 3 - Patrick White - The Red Wings may go the less celebrated route of USHSW and pick up a sharp shooting center from Grand Rapids HS. White played real well during a brief stint in the USHL, scoring 8 goals in 12 games. He has a lot of maturing to do at Minnesota, but a team like Detroit may be enticed by his great developmental curve.
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28. Washington Capitals - Colton Gillies - Center/Defense - Saskatoon Blades
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Top Forward Prospects: Nicklas Backstrom, Alexei Cherepanov, Francois Bouchard, Dave Steckel, Chris Bourque, Eric Fehr, and Oskar Osala.
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Top Defense Prospects: Jeff Schultz, Patrick McNeill, Keith Seabrook, Joe Finley, and Sasha Pokulok.
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Top Goalie Prospects: Semen Varlamov, Michal Neuvirth, and Maxime Daigneault.
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Young NHL Bright Spots (U25): Alex Ovechkin, Alex Semin, Boyd Gordon, Steve Eminger, Shaone Morrison, and Milan Jurcina.
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2007 Draft Selection #1 (5th Overall) : Alexei Cherepanov - Right Wing
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Commentary: With the 28th overall selection of Colton Gillies in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, the Washington Capitals have the luxury to draft the imposing project from Saskatoon. He should be relied upon as a physical third line center who can step up offensively at times, but should not be expected to be the lynchpin on a line with Ovechkin or Semin. He has great physical tools and skating, and will give the Capitals another scary forward to throw at defenses.
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Option # 2 - Riley Nash - Washington likes those project picks and players who flash a lot of potential but have a long road to the NHL. For that reason, Riley Nash could be a great option to get another playmaking, great passing centerman in their system. He has a great frame, slick hands, and may be underrated playing BCHL hockey this past year.
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Option # 3 - Dana Tyrell - Just like drafting Boyd Gordon in 2003, the Capitals may take a chance on a similar hardworking Dub forward in the Prince George winger. Though, to his defense, Tyrell has much more dynamic skating and puck skills. In Nash and Tyrell, Washington will hope at least one of these guys falls to their next pick at 34 after going with Gillies.
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29. Ottawa Senators - Michal Repik - Right Wing - Vancouver Giants
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Top Forward Prospects: Josh Hennessy, Nick Foligno, Igor Mirnov, Danny Bois, Ilya Zubov, Kaspars Daugavins, Cody Bass, Alex Nikulin, and Shawn Weller.
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Top Defense Prospects: Brian Lee, Kyrill Lyamin, Eric Gryba, Michal Barinka, and Tomas Kudelka.
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Top Goalie Prospects: Brian Elliott, Kelly Guard, and Jeff Glass.
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Young NHL Bright Spots (U25): Jason Spezza, Andrej Meszaros, Anton Volchenkov, Antoine Vermette, Christoph Schubert, Ray Emery, and Patrick Eaves.
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Commentary: With the 29th overall selection of Michal Repik in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, the Ottawa Senators pick a speedy threat to add some offensive skill and prospect depth on the wing. Ottawa is light on the wings, especially right wing, and can really use a player who offers the skills that Repik does. He had a great end to the season and played himself into this range that was previously held by other, more consistent forwards.
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Option # 2 - Brett MacLean - The big winger from Oshawa could potentially strike the interest of Ottawa as he has great goal scorer's instincts. Along with other hard nosed prospects like Foligno, MacLean could be a nice change up to the usual small, but more skilled forwards Ottawa routinely drafts.
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Option # 3 - Kevin Marshall - Turning out underrated defensemen like Volchenkov and Meszaros, Ottawa is the one team who we think will catch on to Marshall and his pro style game. As a result, Marshall could be a great option for Ottawa at this 29th overall selection.
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30. Edmonton Oilers - Kevin Marshall - Defense - Lewiston Maineiacs
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Top Forward Prospects: Jakub Voracek, Andrew Cogliano, Robert Nilsson, Rob Schremp, MA Pouliot, Slava Trukhno, Ryan O'Marra, JF Jacques, Kyle Brodziak, and Fredrik Petterson.
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Top Defense Prospects: Taylor Chorney, Kevin Shattenkirk, Denis Grebeshkov, Tom Gilbert, Jeff Petry, and Bryan Young.
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Top Goalie Prospects: Devan Dubnyk, JF Deslauriers, and Bryan Pitton.
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Young NHL Bright Spots (U25): Ales Hemsky, Jarret Stoll, Ladislav Smid, Matt Greene, Mathieu Roy, and Joffrey Lupul.
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2007 Draft Selection #1 (6th Overall) : Jakub Voracek - Right Wing
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2007 Draft Selection #2 (15th Overall) : Kevin Shattenkirk - Defense
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Commentary: With the 30th overall selection of Kevin Marshall in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, the Edmonton Oilers barely have enough wind in them to announce the pick after having made two marvelous selections already. With the last selection, the Oilers secured a legitimate puck moving, offensive defenseman with decent size. With this last pick in the first round, the Oilers get a gritty defenseman who will do anything to win and looks to make a great compliment to a guy like Shattenkirk.
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Option # 2 - Tommy Cross - Cross is a guy who could add size and a steady overall game to the Oiler’s defense corps. As a result, he offers the potential to go in the late first/early second round range with the Oiler's owning the 30th and 36th picks.
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Option # 3 - Ruslan Bashkirov - For all their great prospect depth down the middle, the Oiler's lack some talent on the wings. Voracek is more of a passer, so Bashkirov would give the Oiler's a great option to have a talented winger who is not afraid to shoot.

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6 comments:

Darren said...

Great job, very in depth and thought out. If the Habs have options like Esposito, Hamill and Eller I will be a very happy man.

rick1042 said...

Probably the most comprehensive and best mock I have seen anywhere. I am a little surpised to see Katic rated that highly but this year, who knows? As a Habs fan, seeing Ellers drafted would be my favorite scenario. Safe enough to be a usefull NHL Player but with enough upside to impress.

Bleu, Blanc et Rouge said...

Keep up the great work!

A Caps Fan said...

I would think the Caps would take Voracek with #5 if he is on the board.

matt said...

great mock draft, I know you have blum up there for the blues but the general feeling around St. Louis is we need people who can put the puck in the net or help facilitate that so I think that unless someone like Gagner or Cherepanov falls to St. Louis, Eller will be the pick. Jarmo has a tendency to draft players out of Sweden as well.

Tanny said...

This is easily the most comprehensive mock out there, as you took the time to explain the reasoning behind each pick, and then gave other appealing choices as obviously most of your original order won't happen. But still, I learned a lot about teams' prospect needs and the quality of the prospects so thanks for doing this for your hungry readers!