Breaking down the 2008 first-round draft picks
Friday, June 20, 2008 | 07:00 PM ET
Good opening round of the draft this year, with plenty of trades, some dramatic moments and solid picks. Still a little surprised that Nicolas Deschamps and Jacob Markstrom are available as we head into Round 2 through 7 on Saturday.
Hope your favourite team got a good pick.
Special thanks to Signa Butler who edited me all night and kept me well fed with pizza. Thanks Sig!
I'll be back doing Hockey Night in Canada Radio on Sirius channel 122 Tuesday June 24th at 4 p.m. ET where we'll go over the big winners and losers from the weekend in Ottawa. (Please tune in Monday as well for a “best of” show).
Have a great weekend and thanks again for joining us today. If you missed the action, here’s a re-cap of my live blog from pick No. 1 all the way to No. 30.
7:05 p.m. Trade alert: Alex Tanguay has been traded from the Calgary Flames to the Montreal Canadiens for the 25th overall pick. This has been rumoured for a while and should be announced shortly. Montreal is also locked in negotiations with the Mats Sundin camp.
The Flames save approximately $1.5 million US from the deal.
7:10 p.m. Trade alert: We have a trade, and it's a three-way deal. Calgary gets Mike Cammalleri from the Kings, Calgary gets Anaheim's 12th overall pick and the Ducks pick up the 17th selection from the Flames and the 28th from L.A.
We knew this would be a busy trade day and so far it's lived up to the hype.
Mike Cammalleri was on his way out of LA after a bitter arbitration hearing last summer. He was also almost moved at the trade deadline.
7:20 p.m. Trade alert: Florida trades Olli Jokinen to the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for defencemen Keith Ballard, Nick Boynton and the team's 49th overall pick.
Shawn Matthias now has a spot on the Panthers' roster with Jokinen out of the mix in Florida and the Coyotes have a legit first-line centre.
Note ... Gary Bettman is on stage ... getting booed. His comeback: Ottawa, we love your passion. He's about as popular as a narc at a biker rally.
7:20 p.m.: The Tampa Bay Lightning select centre Steven Stamkos 1st overall
The class of the draft who pulled away from the pack after the world junior tournament. He has it all, speed (both offensively and defensively), skill and a terrific competitive spirit. A franchise player in every sense of the word. Most scouts even admit that if John Tavares were available for the draft this year they would still select Stamkos. He's that good. Along with Vincent Lecavalier, he will be one of the cornerstones of this franchise for years to come. Look for him to make the team next season and play on a line with Jussi Jokinen as Tampa's second centre.
Now the draft gets interesting!
7:27 p.m.: Los Angeles Kings select defenceman Drew Doughty 2nd overall
Paired with Karl Alzner, Doughty was one half of the best shut-down pair of D-men at the junior championships in Czech Republic. Los Angeles could have selected Alzner last season but chose Thomas Hickey instead … had the taken the Calgary Hitmen blue-liner they'd be set for years. Doughty sees the ice better than any blue-liner in the draft and is ready to step in right away. He logs big minutes with the Guelph Storm of the OHL. And, man, he's lost a ton of weight which will serve him well in the NHL next season. He's just a smidge over 200 pounds. Along with Jack Johnson and Thomas Hickey LA's defence looks good for years. Great pick.
7:33 p.m. Bettman confirms Jokinen trade.
7:35 p.m. The first two picks are products of the Ontario Hockey League, who has early bragging rights. The next two may come from the O too. Standby.
7:38 p.m. Atlanta Thrashers select defenceman Zach Bogosian third overall
Big, tough, strong, hard-nosed blue-liner who has a really ability to find the net with his hard shot from the point and plays with an edge. This makes up for the Coburn/Zhitnik trade from two seasons ago which Atlanta GM Don Waddell would like to have back. The American defenceman may make the Thrashers lineup next season…
Three for three for the OHL. Take a bow David Branch.
7:42 p.m. Bettman confirms Tanguay trade from Calgary to Montreal for their 25th overall pick.
7:48 p.m. St Louis Blues select defenceman Alex Pietrangelo 4th overall
Going along with Erik Johnson the Blues are building a solid blue-line. Team president John Davidson likes Pietrangelo's offensive upside and even though he's six-foot-three, 210 pounds he still has room to grow, maybe by as much as 30 pounds. He may not be as good as Doughty at the age of 18 but some scouts say by the time the two are 25, the Niagara Ice Dog may be the better player. The Blues are looking like a good, young, building squad. Not a playoff team yet but getting closer. This is a big step forward.
This is probably where the OHL's streak comes to an end and we start to look at either Russia or the Western Hockey league.
7:58 p.m.: More boos for Bettman as he confirms that the Isles have given their fifth overall pick to Toronto, for their seventh plus two conditional picks.
8:02 p.m.: Toronto Maple Leafs select defenceman Luke Schenn 5th overall
One of two towering defencemen from the Kelowna Rockets available in the draft (Tyler Myers the other one), Schenn is often compared to both Adam Foote of the Colorado Avalanche and Brendan Witt of the Islanders. Not an offensive-type blue-liner by any stretch of the imagination, Schenn is more of a punishing stay-at-homer. Schenn will hurt you if you come down his side. A long shot to play in the NHL next season but will be on the Leafs roster soon. This is the beginning of the Leafs rebuild. Outstanding choice by Cliff Fletcher.
8:06 p.m. Trade alert: the Blue Jackets trade their 19th overall pick along with their 67th to Philadelphia in exchange for RJ Umberger and Philly's 4th rounder.
I want to thank everyone who's following along here on the web site, and thanks for all the comments…keep 'em coming.
8:11 p.m.: The Columbus Blue Jackets select left-winger Nikita Filatov 6th overall
He's told his Russian club team that he will be playing in North America either for the team who drafts him or the Sudbury Wolves so that’s not an issue. Great speed, finishes really well but smallish and strength is an issue. He's only 170 pounds and will need to start packing it on. Some scouts say he has as much pure skill as Steven Stamkos. Columbus needs scoring. Filatov can score and works hard in practice.
8:17 p.m. Apparently the Isles don't want the seventh pick anymore ... they've shipped it to Nashville for No. 9 and No. 40.
8:21 p.m.: Nashville Predators select centre Colin Wilson 7th overall
Son of former NHLer Carey Wilson, this kid has great bloodlines. Skating is a slight issue but his work ethic more than makes up for it. In great physical condition he may be in the best shape of anyone in the draft. This kid is a beast. Much like whoever grabs Cody Hodgson, this team got a very safe, solid player. A former linemate of James vanRiemsdyk, last year's second-overall selection.
8:26 p.m.: Phoenix Coyotes select forward Mikkel Boedker 8th overall
Lars Eller was last year's Great Dane, this year it's Boedker. The standout for the Kitchener Rangers is probably ready to play in the NHL next season. Possesses a great shot and blazing speed Boedker will fit nicely on a team that boast youngsters like Kyle Turris, Martin Hanzal and Peter Meuller. Not afraid to go into the "danger" zones to score goals and is very willing to pay the price to light the lamp.
8:33 p.m.: The New York Islanders select centre Josh Bailey 9th overall
Solid all-around player from the Windsor Spitfires really broke out this season with 96 points. Bailey was close with Mickey Renaud, the Spitfire who tragically passed away earlier this year, which makes his numbers that much more impressive. Look for Bailey to suit up with the Islanders not next season, but the following. The Islanders passed up on some quality players here to land Bailey so the pressure is on to perform.
8:38 p.m.: Vancouver Canucks select centre Cody Hodgson 10th overall
One of the safest picks in the draft. This guy is good. Pat Quinn has been raving about him since he coached the former Markham Waxer at the Under 18 Tournament. Strong two-way player with the Brampton Batallion is probably a future captain in the NHL. Skating is a small issue but he thinks the game as good as anyone in his draft class.
Another OHL'er taken in the first round.
8:44 p.m.: Chicago Blackhawks select forward Kyle Beach 11th overall
The wildcard in the draft, GM Dale Tallon either just hit a homerun or struckout on three straight pitches. I love this guy and I know there are issues with him but chaulk it up to youth. Comparisons will be made to Chicago's second-round pick last year Akim Alieu and those are fair since Beach's rap sheet is lengthy. But this guy can do it all; great shot, good speed, fights, trash talks and is as close to a throwback player as anyone in the draft. The Hawks may have a gem on their hand to ride shotgun with Jonathan Toews, Pat Kane and Jack Skille for years to come.
8:53: LA trades pick No. 12 to Buffalo for lucky No. 13 and a third-round pick in 2009.
8:56 p.m.: Buffalo Sabres select defenceman Tyler Myers 12th overall
The second Kelowna Rocket selected tonight, this guy is often compared to Zdeno Chara due to his six-foot-seven frame. Like Kyle Beach, selected one pick ago, this may be a feast or famine selection as Myers is still developing. In fact he played as a forward until three years ago and is still learning the game on the blue-line. If he lives up to projections, Myers could be a steal for the Sabres at No. 12.
8:59 p.m.: Los Angeles Kings select defenceman Colton Teubert 13th overall
The Kings took Drew Doughty with their first pick and here they looked at the blue-line and took a nasty piece of business. This guy is mean, can fight and shutdown all the top forwards in the WHL. This guy likes to hurt people, just like fellow King defenceman Jack Johnson. Not the most mobile playeer in the draft but Teubert makes up for it with his passion and desire. What a sweet backend the Kings have put together for the future; Johnson, Doughty, Thomas Hickey and now Teubert. Wow. Awesome.
9:05 p.m.: Carolina Hurricanes select forward Zach Boychuk 14th overall
The 'Canes love the WHL and here's another example why. A bit on the small side at five-foot-nine, 175 pounds, Boychuk has the best first step of all the prospects and gets to top speed in a hurry. He has years of international experience and has dominated offensively at every level. Sees the ice well, can score and distribute. A couple of years away.
9:11 p.m. Pick swap! Nashville trades No. 15 pick to Ottawa for No. 18 and a third pick in 2009. The fans like this one.
9:14 p.m.: Ottawa Senators select defenceman Erik Karlsson 15th overall
Great skater, moves the puck well and is a future top end defenceman for the Senators but he's staying in Sweden next year. Needs to get bigger and stronger (he only weighs 160 pounds at five-foot-11). His stock really climbed towards the end of this past season. The Sens will have to wait a while but he should be worth it.
Ottawa has also signed Chris Kelly to a four-year extension that averages out to $2.2 million US per season.
9:22 p.m.: Boston Bruins select forward Joe Colborne 16th overall
Out of Jr. A hockey, Colborne is a big, rangy, skilled playmaker who played with the Camrose Kodiaks. He's committed to playing at the University of Denver next season. Good skater with strong hockey IQ. Colborne will be a project for the Bruins, but they have a strong base to work from. We'll see how he does next year when he faces stiffer competition in NCAA.
9:28 p.m.: Anaheim Ducks select Jake Gardiner 17th overall
This guy has speed to burn. Easily one of the fastest skaters in the draft, Gardiner is off to Mike Eaves and the University of Wisconsin. In only his second year playing defence he's made huge strides this past year but is still years away from making the Ducks. Like the last pick, a project.
9:36 p.m.: Nashville Predators select goaltender Chet Pickard 18th overall
The last goalie out of Tri-City turned out pretty good didn't he? (Carey Price) And this guy is equally un-flappable. Same style as Price, Pickard is considered a Price-clone. He even handles the puck like Price. The Americans were a lot of fans' choice to come out of the WHL playoffs for the Memorial Cup and Pickard was a big reason why. Earlier today, the Preds shipped netminder Chris Mason to the St Louis Blues and need to bump up that end of their business.
9:39 p.m.: Philadelphia Flyers select defenceman Luca Sbisa 19th overall
Hopefully Sbisa doesn’t follow the unfortunate trend of Philly being unable to draft and develop a high-end defenceman (look at past drafts and name me one great defencemen the Flyers have ever selected). The Swiss rear-guard drew praise for coming to the WHL to play for Lethbridge instead of playing in an easier league in Switzerland. Excellent skater, not very physical but has an all-around solid game. Often compared with fellow countryman Mark Streit.
9:49 p.m.: The New York Rangers select defenceman Michael Del Zotto 20th overall
Gifted offensive defenceman, Del Zotto played on the Markham Waxers with Steven Stamkos. Was once a projected top 10 pick his stock has fallen this season due to his defensive play. Has excellent skills, is a smooth skater, super rusher and a great passer. Needs work on putting all the elements of a complete game together.
9:55 p.m.: Washington Capitals select centre Anton Gustafsson 21st overall
Son of former Capital Bengt Gustafsson (who is now the Swedish national coach) Anton plays a more physical game than his talented father. He was hampered this year with back problems, which caused his stock to drop slightly. High-end skill when it comes to stick handling and acceleration the Caps know this guy can still give more when healthy.
10:03 p.m.: The Edmonton Oilers select forward Jordan Eberle 22nd overall
Ya like small players who can score? Then Eberle is your man. He had 42 goals this year for the Regina Pats who has slick moves that we've all seen on the highlights all season long. He has an amazing wrist shot to go along with his explosive speed. The knock on Eberle is his size five-foot-10, 175 pounds but he's still has time to fill out as he's not expected to make the team next season.
10:07 p.m.The Wild can't wait. New Jersey trades its No. 23 to Minnesota in exchange for No. 24 and the Wild's third pick in 2009.
10:11 p.m.: The Minnesota Wild select defenceman Tyler Cuma 23rd overall
Another defenceman. The Ottawa 67s blue-liner should have been picked earlier and Minny was shocked he was still there. He doesn't do anything great, but doesn’t have any serious flaws either. Steady, safe and a good leader. He'll have plenty of opportunity with Minnesota. A safe pick by the Wild.
10:19 p.m.: New Jersey Devils select Mattias Tedenby 24th overall
A great skater who competes hard every night. Never backs down even against much larger opponents. He's another example of a smallish player who can play in the new NHL. Size doesn’t matter like it once did. Tedenby has amazing balance, even at top speed. Needs to add some size and strength and needs some work on his defensive game. This guy is all offence. Another smart pick from the Devils, who continue to find gems late in the draft.
10:24 p.m.: The Calgary Flames select centre Greg Nemisz 25th overall
Perfect pick for the team who lost Windsor Spitfire Mickey Renaud. Nemisz is not a great skater but his coach Bob Boughner loves him because he outworks opponents. Big player at six-foot-three, Nemisz is a punishing hitter who many scouts say would have been a top 10 player in any other draft year.
10:29 p.m.: Buffalo Sabres select Tyler Ennis 26th overall
Hey Kelly Hrudey, the first Medicine Hat Tiger just got picked. Small but skilled, Ennis is a long shot to make the NHL but if he does the Sabres may have a real gem as he put up 43 goals this year in the WHL. Great skills, tremendous heart and a dynamic presence on the ice.
10:35 p.m. Trade alert: Philadelphia has acquired Steve Eminger and the 84th overall pick from the Washington Capitals for the No. 27 pick ... up next. Seeing how Eminger was used sparingly by the Caps down the stretch, it's not exactly a surprise that he was dealt. Still, he was a former first-round pick from the Kitchener Rangers that many pundits had predicted big things from.
10:38 p.m.: Washington Capitals select defenceman John Carlson 27th overall
The defenceman will play with the London Knights next season after suiting up for the Indiana Ice of the USHL. He'll be coached by former Capital Dale Hunter. He hits hard. He shoots hard. He also needs to get in better shape before he can play in the NHL.
10:41 p.m. Phoenix has just acquired Anaheim's No. 28 pick.
10:43 p.m.: Phoenix Coyotes select forward Viktor Tikhonov 28th overall
Grandson of the legendary Soviet coach Tikhonov was born and raised in California. Kind of a surprise, since many experts felt he was a third-round pick, second at best. Great skills. Was named best forward at the world junior tournament this past year. Symbolic pick, a fact not lost on Wayne Gretzky.
10:50 p.m.: Atlanta Thrashers select centre Daulton Leveille 29th overall
The St. Catharines Falcons centre already has world-class speed. Was courted by the Ottawa 67s, but chose the NCAA route, and Michigan State awaits. Clearly a project for the Thrashers, but Leveille could well be worth it. Needs to put on some weight and find the gym.
10:55 p.m: Detroit Red Wings select goaltender Thomas McCollum 30th overall
The Guelph Storm goalie is considered by some to be the best goalie in the NHL draft. He'll probably be Team USA's goalie at the world junior tournament next year. Big goalie, great glove, he'll have to wait in line in Detroit with fellow prospect Jimmy Howard ahead of him.
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About the Author
Jeff Marek, one of sports talk radio's brightest stars, is the host of the all-new HNIC Radio on SIRIUS Satellite Radio. A twelve-year sports-talk radio veteran, the Toronto native provides intelligent hockey talk, insight and debate during the two-hour national daily drive-time hockey program.
Well known for his previous work on Leafs Lunch on AM 640 Toronto Radio, Marek is one of sports talk radio's most respected personalities. He joined AM 640 in 2000, hosting The Jeff Marek Show, a nightly open-line talk show, while working as the stations' morning news anchor. He quickly became the director of sports news and joined host Bill Watters on Leafs Lunch.
- Breaking down the deals on free agent day
- Tuesday, July 1, 2008
- Take your medicine Leafs fans, it's a building process
- Thursday, June 26, 2008
- Breaking down the 2008 first-round draft picks
- Friday, June 20, 2008
- A few trends to watch for at the NHL draft
- Thursday, June 19, 2008
- Igor Larionov should be in the Hall of Fame
- Monday, June 16, 2008
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