Taking a look at this year's NHL Entry Draft through the rear-view mirror gives you a more even perspective than we had in the days leading up to the draft and in the midst of it.
Other than the massive hype and buildup as to who would be the number one pick, thanks to Garth Snow's ability to keep a secret, the draft was relatively uneventful compared to the ones of the recent past.
There were fewer trades and few unexpected picks through the first round. I think the lack of movement can be attributed to a fairly deep draft and the the extra couple of million dollars that teams got on the cap when the NHLPA agreed to invoke the inflator clause. With the bump in the cap, fewer teams were in a position to dump salary in exchange for a pick.
The Pronger et al to Philly trade was the biggest blockbuster trade with the one between Calgary and Florida a distance second, especially considering that they were only getting signing rights for a few days.
I think that the Predators had an excellent draft top to bottom. If the rule of thumb to be successful is to have two regular NHL players five years from now, the Preds look to be in good shape with their top two picks.
The more I read about Ryan Ellis, the better he looks. If he continues to grow and develop over the next two to three years, the Predators may have the answer to the power play problems that have plagued them since day one of the franchise.
Zach Budish, the second pick, was slated to be a top ten player in the draft prior to a football injury last fall. If he recovers, he could be the steal of the draft for the Predators. All the other picks have glowing attributes that we will have to keep an eye on over the next few years.
On the second day of the draft, the Preds went for size and forwards which made up for the diminutive defenseman taken in the first round.
David Poile said that he was pleased to have nine of his ten picks playing in North America. Four will be playing in college. For the budget conscious Predators, this will give the team plenty of time for the scouts to to watch the players develop and to get the players names on a contract.
Russians were out of vogue in this year's draft with only seven being picked, primarily due to the issues with the KHL. With the KHL starting a 17 year old draft this year, this is probably a trend that will hold for years to come.
With a few days to regroup before the free agent frenzy begins on Wednesday, hopefully the Preds will focus on resigning Steve Sullivan and Joel Ward. For the prices that they will command, I doubt that they will do better on the open market.
As a final word, thanks to the folks at The Daily Herald again for giving the NHL draft complete coverage. In addition to my story today, they had another long AP story and a complete list of every player taken broken down by team. For small town paper in a non-traditional market in the South, that is really impressive.
In Pred Nation....
Predators.com have their second day summary with a bunch of links here and at their Draft Central.
John Glennon at the Tennessean had several good stories and features on the draft. Here's a round-up story and a brief synopsis of each player taken. For those who like pictures here are two links - one two.
Section303.com overcame some serious technical issues to produce this edition of the 303:30. What they came up with was really good including interviews with Dee Karl, Damian Christodero, and Jordan Schroeder.
Dirk takes a look at the Preds draft class at OnTheForecheck.
Paul McCann give his breakdown here.
The University of New Hampshire has a post about the Pred's sevent round pick, Cam Reid.
Around the NHL...
Ryan at the RedLightDistrict has tons of draft coverage including the final grades for each team. He gave the Preds a good grade. Check it out.
The GM always doing the most talking, Brian Burke, says he is pleased with the Leafs draft. Would he say anything else?
Here's a breakdown by the numbers of the draft from NHL.com and a story about high schoolers gaining in popularity. The Preds took two, Zach Budish and Nick Oliver.
For all the picks broken down any way you want to cut it, go here.
Dee Karl has a funny post about John Tavares first opportunity to receive a chorus of boos from Ranger fans tonight on National TV.
Here's a nice story from Ray Ferraro on his son, Landon getting drafted.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass