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Draft Over…Now What?

June 23, 2008

The first big hurdle in the hockey off-season took place this past weekend as giddy teenage hockey players felt like Cinderella at the ball getting drafted by NHL teams. Not sure if they were as nervous as I was prior to my 4th grade class kickball draft but I’m sure the kids had some butterflies!

Overall I feel really good about the Preds draft. I am not a prospect geek…I spend some time on boards and looks at player rankings but by no means am I an expert. I especially liked the Preds first pick, Boston University Center Colin Wilson. The part that made me smile was when I heard on of the analysts say during the draft that when Colin was asked if he could play at the NHL level next year he said “yes.” Barring an unbelievable camp Wilson will, more than likely, go back to Beantown. He may be part of the extended roster come playoff time if the Preds elect to sign him at the end of the year like they did Legwand.

I’m a big sap (some of you may remember my tears during the first extended standing O near the end of last season) so seeing boyhood friends get drafted by the same team (both first rounders) was pretty cool! How awesome would that be to be having the best day of your life and be able to share it with your best bud who is also having the best day of his life!

Some Pred fans have made issue with drafting a goalie so high (Chet Pickard with the 18th overall pick). I did not have issue with it at all. Yes we have Ellis locked up and yes we have Pekka but we have to look beyond the next two or three years. The careers of goalies are quite a roller coaster…the more top notch talent you have to pull from the better.

The Tennessean reports
that the Preds are close to signing Shea Weber. I am hoping that the deal looks similar to that of Ryan Suters in length…would love to lock Shea up for four more years. Having that tandem locked up is key to our success over the next few years.

What will the Preds do come July 1st? There have been some rumors floating around (I guess we can put the Olli Jokinen rumors to bed now) but I have begun to try not to get too excited. I am hopeful that the Preds are active in the free agent market as we are still looking for that ‘face of the franchise’ that will but some butts in the seats and get this football town excited about a true star. I would hope that they make a play for Hossa at least. What do you guys think?

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2 comments

  1. I honestly think we’ll be lucky if we go after any major free agents, or even minor ones. Trading Mason and signing Ellis saved us some money, but Suter, Weber, and Erat are gonna suck up most of our expanded budget this year. I think we’ll end up with at least one minor league forward on the roster to start the year, and a resigned Hlavich/Gelinas along with another random free agent pickup (maybe someone with some fists but who can skate to replace Hordi).

    I don’t think that will be a bad thing though. I think this team can still compete at very high levels for a while. Only question in my mind is if Ellis can survive more games with his weight issue, and if Rinne can prove himself at the NHL level.


  2. Great points Paul – I agree that we have spent some major money on locking up some of our own but deep down I believe the ownership feels it needs to make a splash. A big signing that shows this city how they are ‘in it to win it’ and not to just a one and done playoff team.

    While I really like the Ellis signing it did have a bit of a deja vu kind of feeling. “Haven’t we traded away our number one before because we thought our #2 could be a number one?” I just hope it works out better this time!



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