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.
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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3. Phoenix Coyotes - James Van Riemsdyk - USA NTDP
Top Forward Prospects: Peter Mueller, Martin Hanzal, Blake Wheeler, Alexei Kaigodorov, Kevin Porter, and Enver Lisin.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
12. Montreal Canadiens - Lars Eller - Center - Vastra Frolunda
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.
Top Forward Prospects: Jiri Tlusty, Robbie Earl, Nikolai Kulemin, Jeremy Williams, Chad Rau, and Tyler Ruegsegger.
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.
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.
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.
18. Calgary Flames - Max Pacioretty - Right Wing - Sioux City Musketeers
21. Phoenix Coyotes - Simon Hjalmarsson - Left Wing - Vastra Frolunda
2007 Draft Selection #1 (3rd Overall) : James Van Riemsdyk - Right Wing
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.
23. Philadelphia Flyers - David Perron - RW - Lewiston Maineiacs
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.
24. St. Louis Blues - Maxim Mayorov - Left Wing - Russia
2007 Draft Selection #1 (9th Overall) : Jonathan Blum- Defense
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.