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2008 NHL draft..

620 Views 10 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  RunninAmok
OK guys sorry if there is already a thread for this but I looked and didn't see it. Well the draft is tomorrow night the Isles choose 5th and the Rangers 20th. There's some chatter both teams might be moving a bit although from what I hear the Rangers would only move down a few spots no higher than 10th. The Isles could move up to #2 highly doubtful but possible or up to 7-10.

As far as the players I'd want for the Isles. If they stay at 5 I think they will have a shot at 2 of these 3 players. 2 D men Schenn and Pietrangelo and a russian forward at 6' 170 lbs or so named Nikita Filatov who is suppose to be a great ofensive weapon but the size has me a bit worried. Schenn is a big nasty D man and Pietrangleo also has size 6'2" 209 play more of a 2 way game while Schenn is a shut down guy. If they move to 2 they'll take Bogosian if they go to 7-10 look for them to go after Wilson, Bodekker or Hodgson and maybe a tough d man named Tubert.

I know Runnin made a nice mock draft and he is way more up to date on these guys than I am. I'm sure he'll give us the skinny on who he is looking for the Rangers to draft and maybe he can even give us some info. on the guys I want the Isles to get.

Here are some of the top players and their write ups from I left of Steve Stamkos as he is the guy that will go 1 and Tampa is moving him.

Pos: Defenceman
Shoots: R
Height: 6'
Weight: 219 lbs.
Born: 12/08/1989
From: London, ON
Team: Guelph (OHL)
TSN: 2
ISS: 4
RLR: 3
McK: 4
THN: 2
Comparable: Raymond Bourque

From TSN: His hockey I.Q. is off the chart and he has an innate understanding of when he needs to step up offensively and create offence for his team, either by doing it himself or making those around him better. As good ?- no, make that as great -? as he is, there may still be a huge upside because he has only recently shown any interest in training like a pro. Doughty has lost 20 to 25 pounds since season's end and while it will take time for him develop NHL-level strength, the fact that he's finally showing an inclination to get serious about conditioning and maximize his potential suggests he can still make a quantum leap forward in his development. Like Stamkos, his defensive game is greatly underrated.

From NHL Central Scouting: Drew's strengths are poise and defensive acumen ? that is the ability to know when to jump up in the rush, the ability to know when to stay back, when to join the rush late and when to lead the rush. He has a ton of experience in the international game at all levels and brings that to the ice every night for the Guelph Storm.

Year Team GP G A Pts Pim
2007-2008 Guelph (OHL) 58 13 37 50 68
2008 Playoffs Guelph 10 3 6 9 14

Pos: Defence
Shoots: R
Height: 6'2
Weight: 197 lbs.
Born: 07/15/1990
From: Massena, NY
Team: Peterborough (OHL)
TSN: 3
ISS: 2
RLR: 4
McK: 2
THN: 3
Comparable: Rob Blake

From TSN: A physical specimen who plays every shift with unbridled passion and aggression, Bogosian likes to make things happen. He has a cannon for a shot, gets physically involved at every opportunity and is a natural born leader, not unlike his father Ike, who was a co-captain of the Syracuse University football team. While he maybe doesn't have the off-the-scale hockey smarts of a Doughty, his competitiveness is as good as it gets. He blew everyone away at the NHL Central Scouting Combine with his strength and conditioning. He is a dynamic skater.

From NHL Central Scouting: Zach is a big player and he plays defense very big. Zach's combination of skating ability and his size are what set him apart. There are some bigger, taller defensemen, who have to grow into their body, but Zach is right there, fully proportioned and ready to make that step into the NHL very quickly.

Year Team GP G A Pts Pim
2007-2008 Peterborough (OHL) 60 11 50 61 72
2008 Playoffs Peterborough 5 0 3 3 8

Pos: Defence
Shoots: R
Height: 6'3
Weight: 206 lbs.
Born: 01/18/1990
From: King City, ON
Team: Niagara (OHL)
TSN: 4
ISS: 5
RLR: 7
McK: 3
THN: 5
Comparable: Sergei Zubov

From TSN: A big, mobile puck mover who makes doing things with the puck appear easy. Scouts believe his upside is huge because he's only just started to tap into his physical presence and as he matures they believe he could be a dominant force at both ends of the ice, although some scouts say he's only paid cursory attention thus far to the game without puck. His off-season conditioning has been significantly set back because of the spleen injury that ended his season prematurely, but in the long run there will be no ill effects.

From NHL Central Scouting: Alex is very poised out there on the ice. A tall player, who is still growing in to his body, Alex brings a keen ability to know when to pass the puck out of the zone, when to carry the puck out of the zone and he's unflustered in the face of a hard forecheck. He probably needs to get a little more assertive.

Year Team GP G A Pts Pim
2007-2008 Niagara (OHL) 60 13 40 53 94
2008 Playoffs Niagara 6 5 4 9 4

Pos: Left Wing
Shoots: R
Height: 6'
Weight: 165 lbs.
Born: 05/25/1990
From: Moscow, RU
Team: Moscow CSKA-2 (RusDi)
TSN: 5
ISS: 3
RLR: 2
McK: 7
THN: 4
Comparable: Daniel Alfredsson

From TSN: The Russian forward is a dynamic goal-scorer whose skill in that area draws comparison to Washington's Alexander Semin, but Filatov gets high marks from most scouts for being more of a complete package, in terms of work ethic, character and consistency. Fluent in English and the son of parents who received some education outside of Russia, the family is perceived as progressive and North America-friendly. In other words, this is a prospect who desperately wants to play in the NHL and immediately make the move to the pro game on this side of the ocean. He has quickness and a deft touch and while the "Russian" factor could cause him to slide a little lower than he's rated ? this is the consensus second-best forward available after Stamkos ? it's inconceivable to think he could slide as far as countryman Alexei Cherepanov did last year.

From NHL Central Scouting: A leader, has a great attitude, excellent work ethic and tons of talent. He has matured during the season and leads by example. He is an excellent skater who can change pace, even at top speed. Despite his size, he still plays aggressive, taking and giving hits.

Year Team GP G A Pts Pim
2007-2008 Moscow CSKA-2 (Russia III) 34 32 34 66 90

Pos: Defence
Shoots: R
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 212 lbs.
Born: 11/02/1989
From: Saskatoon, SK
Team: Kelowna (WHL)
TSN: 6
ISS: 6
RLR: 6
McK: 5
THN: 6
Comparable: Adam Foote

From TSN: He is without question the best defensive defenceman available in the draft, a big, physical presence with an edge who perfectly understands his role as a shutdown defender. The bonus is that he makes a great first pass, doesn't try to play outside of his ability and is as mentally tough as he is physically tough.

From NHL Central Scouting: He has a tough edge to him, he has the ability to, if caught up ice, to work hard and get back in time to recover. Needs to improve his decision-making.

Year Team GP G A Pts Pim
2007-2008 Kelowna (WHL) 57 7 21 28 100
2008 Playoffs Kelowna 7 2 2 4 6

This post edited by Flukinit 10:20 PM 06/19/2008
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Good post Fluke.

Lots of rumors swirling around today and yesterday about the Isles moving up in this draft to LA's position. THN I believe said they were looking to move into the number 2 spot to grab Bogosian.

Personally I think they will stay put at 5. Cards are in their favor that they might land Filatov with that pick, and they have definately shown interest in the guy already.

MSG 2 Did a little draft preview last night which was pretty good. They talked about the up and coming class, and who the team might pick. I was actually a little pissed that the Rangers didn't do one.

Of this class, my two favorite players are Doughty and Bogosian. IMO they are the best defenseman avail in this one, and the thing about it is, both of them are complete players, and myabe not that far off from the NHL already. Both of them can play physical, Bogosian the more physical of the two. Doughty probably the most offensive/better skater. I don'tthink you can go wrong with either one.

Another possible scenerio is for the Blues to pass up on Pietrangelo, and Filatov at 4, and take Danish winger Mikkel Boedker. Boedker is arguably the best skater in this draft, and he also I believe has played at the world jrs with fellow Dane Lars Eller, who the Blues sort of weent off the board a little last year to draft. The Blues have no shortage of talented young forwards in the system, but I wouldn'd be surprised if they take Boedker with the pick, leaving thre Isles with the choice of Filatov, or Pieterangelo.

For the Rangers, I think they are staying put with the 20th overall. I am really hoping for Teubert. Seems to be what this organization is missing the most. He is very much like a young Brendan Witt. John Carlson is not far behind either.

There is also the outside chance that Kyle Beach falls this year much like Angelo Esposito fell last season. He is still a huge risk/reward type of player. One scout called the guy a 6'3" Sean Avery!

Mattias Tedenby is anothe rplayer I can see them also going after. Wit the lack of top line talent on the wings, I could see them opting for him. He has been compared by scouts to Saku Koivu.

Looking forward to tonight. There is a pre-draft special on VS at 6, and the draft immediately follows at 7pm.
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Fluke- I was a little surprised the traded the 5th...but I was shocked they traded from 7. It made no sense at all. They had Boedker right there, and still had plenty of 2nd rounders. Very weird moves.

I guess the Rangers did OK...I would have rather seen them grab Carlson, as he fits the need more, but Del Zotto was 3rd overall in defenseman in scoring in the OHL(where the majority of players were drafted)

Scouting reports on Michael Del Zotto

From ISS

Final Ranking #23

November Ranking #16

Pos LD

Born 6/24/90

Height 5' 11"

Weight 211lbs


1) Skating

2) Puck Skills

3) Shot


1) Defensive Play

2) Consistent physical play


Del Zotto is an offensive style of defenseman who at times will play like a 4th forward.


Michael is a tremendous skater and equally effective jumping into or leading the rush, demonstrating good puck hanfdling and passing skills when doing so. During the course of the 07=08 Del Zotto showed improvement in defensive zone play and continues improvement will make him an even more effective player. Despite smaller frame, demonstrated ability to close the gap on oncoming forward and deliver bone crushing open ice hits. He finised 3rd among D-men in OHL scoring with 63 points and also proved to be very dangerous on the PK, registering 5 shorthanded goals.


Offensive defenseman, has big shot from the point.

Style compares to Kristopher Letang

From Redline Report:

Few have taken a bigger hit in the ratings this year. Was once thought of as a possible top 5 pick, but the defensive shortcomings have caused his stock to tumble. Tremendously instinctive offensive force who see's the ice beautifully, shows great touch on passes, and can realy run a power play with superb puck movement skills. Able to see developing plays and saucer delicate touch passes through traffic. Loves to take the puck and go with it, but does so a the expense of his own-zone play many times and must learn t pick his spots much better. We're reminded constantly that his skating stride and balance are poor, and his defensive zone positioning are is awful. He simply cannot read developing plays quickly and react properly. Can be a big point producer, but will he ever learn how to defend in his own end.

Projection: #4,5 d-man and PP Quarterback Specialist

Style compares to Michael Roszival

From McKeens

Ranked # 28th overall

Coming off a 57-point OHL Rookie season in 06/07, Del Zotto was considered by many to be a top ten candidate for the 08 draft. Much like Angelo Esposito last season, however closer inspection has revealed some warts in his game.

"He's an average skater" noted one NHL Scout. "The last time I saw him he could barely move backwards, his quickness and agility aren't very good, nor are his pivots."

Del Zotto struggled in his own Zone at times this season becuase of his mobility questions, and most scouts are no longer looking at him as a top ten prospect becuase of his defensive issues.

"He's not real good defensively" noted another teams head scout. "He doesn't handle quickness that well and I don't find him to be the most agile guy"

"He looked really good last year, but I was dissapointed this year. I have seen him do some eye-opening thingsbut mostly last year. He's not a great defender, so you want him to balance it off with offense."

To his credit, Del Zotto has "balanced it off" with offense, accumulating 120 regular season points in the OHL before the age of 18, the first CHL defenseman since Scott Niedermayer to accomplish that feat.

From CSS

Ranked 15 among North American Skaters.

NHL Director of Central Scouting, E.J. Maguire

Strengths: He is the new breed offensive defenseman who jumps up into the rush effectively; he either follows up a rush to add a second dimension or there are times that he is capable of leading the rush himself. As an offensive defenseman, he is prototypical.

Areas to Improve: He needs to improve on the defensive coverage side of the game because he is an offensive defenseman, who, is looking to jump up into the rush and is looking offense first.

Outlook: Initially, he projects to be an offensive specialist, but as he gains more experience, as he has done in junior hockey with the Oshawa Generals, he'll become more of an all-around defenseman.

Oshawa head coach Chris DePiero

"Michael is a very skilled skater, puck handler, and shooter. He can be a physical presence who will be an asset to any team's power-play. He continues to improve defensively on a daily basis."

Oshawa GM Brad Selwood

"He is just poised way beyond his years. He fit right in from Day 1. Last year when we first saw him, even in the exhibition games, you'd think he was 20-years-old. You'd have to rub your eyes and say; 'Wow, who is that kid?' He's so poised and so good with the puck ... he loves to pass the puck, and he's very good at it. Everything's hard and crisp and on the stick."

· Had seven points (2-5-7) through the first two rounds of the 2008 OHL playoffs helping Oshawa advance past Ottawa and Niagara.

· In his second season with Oshawa he ranked third in OHL scoring among defensemen with 63 points and tied for fifth overall with five shorthanded goals in 2007-08.

· Named to the 2008 CHL Top Prospects Game and went four-for-four in target shooting during the skills competition to win the event.

· Scored the game-winning goal to win gold for Team Ontario at the 2007 Canada Winter Games. Also represented Team Canada at the Under-18 Ivan Hlinka Memorial in 2007, helping Canada finish fourth.

· Became the first 16-year-old defenseman ever to play in the OHL All-Star Classic in 2007.

· He wears number four because of Bobby Orr ? "he was my favorite player growing up, I used to watch tapes of him all the time. He was my dad's favorite player, and he passed it on to me, and it's been a tradition."

· Began playing hockey in his hometown for the Stouffville Clippers before playing five seasons each for the Richmond Hill Stars and the Markham Waxers. While playing for Markham he played alongside Sarnia Sting's Steven Stamkos (ranked first overall) and the Brampton Battalion's Cody Hodgson (ranked 9th overall).

· The best advice he has been given is to "take it, one shift at a time" by his dad and the most influential people on his career have been his family.

· The one thing he couldn't live without is his family and if he could be in one movie he would choose "any kind of movie with Denzel Washington".

· His most embarrassing hockey moment is "falling while demonstrating a drill to young kids at a hockey camp" and the most embarrassing song on his iPod is by OneRepublic.

· If he could invite any three people to dinner he would choose: Bobby Orr, Sidney Crosby, and his mother.

On his style of play: Definitely being an offensive defenseman is what I like to do. I love quarterbacking the power-play. Jumping up in the rush and kind of surprising the other team, catch them off guard and create some offense. I love handling the puck and using my vision to make strong passes. I'm trying to work on my game right now to be an all?around defenseman.

On patterning his game after Bobby Orr and Scott Niedermayer: There are a couple of players I like to look at. But all-time my favorite hockey player is Bobby Orr. And growing up I've been watching the Best of Bobby Orr tapes. But right now it is Scott Niedermayer. I was so happy that he came out of retirement and came back to play with Anaheim. He's such an unbelievable player and I love watching him play.

On getting his start in hockey: My family is a hockey playing family. My dad grew up playing the game. I started skating around the age of three and by five, I started getting into hockey. And my brother started around that time. Ever since I started playing I had passion for the game. I loved playing it. And I kept it going until now.

On having an older brother to compete with: (My brother is) three years older. Growing up having an older brother is pretty competitive. We had the backyard rink going every winter and we had some pretty fierce competition out there.

On developing on the backyard rink: Definitely it helped me out, not only on the ice, but mentally it helped me out so much. Any time I was frustrated with things and needed to get away from it, I'd go to the backyard rink. That was my place to get away from things and settle down, and just worry about hockey and let everything get away.

On his most memorable hockey gift: I remember when we first had the backyard rink we had an old plastic hockey net that we used for road hockey and it wasn't working too well ? we were putting holes in the mesh with the pucks. One Christmas my brother and I got a real steel hockey net and we still have it to this day, and I'll never forget that day.

On his favorite childhood 'Stanley Cup' memory: Bobby Orr scoring that goal flying through the air is a moment I've always got in my head. And maybe one day I can do that myself.

On player for the Markham Waxers: We had such a great team. Great group of guys, great coaching staff, you know, Paul Titanic, and Adam they were so good to us. They knew the game and helped us out so much. Just the team chemistry was unbelievable. Everybody got along. Every time we came to the rink, we were a big family. And of course, Steve Stamkos is an unbelievable player. We worked out together, hang out a lot.

On playing against long time friend Steven Stamkos: You want to one up him and do better than him. But we're best of friends off the ice. Once we got on the ice, we have no friends. We had a couple of collisions in a game this year and a couple of run?ins. But we had a smile on our face when the game was over.

On his thoughts about the upcoming Draft: Definitely it's really exciting being able to hopefully get drafted by the NHL. It's a dream come true. It's what I've wanted to do my whole life. It's been a dream of mine. And, obviously there is a lot of pressure looking up in the stands and seeing all the scouts with their notepads out, wondering what they're thinking when you make a mistake or a good play. So you want to put that in the back of your head. I want to go out and play my game, and hopefully they'll like the way I play.

On becoming a defenseman: My first five years I started off as a forward and when I moved over to play for Markham, I switched to a defenseman. That's kind of how I get my offensive defenseman skill kind of going.

On shutting down the opponent's top players: I've found the best way to shut down a player is not having them have the puck and kind of keeping the puck away from them ? maybe keep it on my stick instead of theirs. Kind of make them shut me down. Just whenever they have the puck, whenever I get a chance to play the body on them and make them not want to come back into my corner.

On what motivates him to continue to improve: There are a lot of things that have occurred lately. One, I didn't make it to the World Junior camp to get a tryout there and that just added more motivation. Some of the Central Scouting rankings and seeing the other guys doing so well, I'm happy for them, but it makes me motivated and want to do better and do the best I can.

On being a smaller defenseman: Well, I know if they've come to see a game, they can see I can kind of throw my weight around. That's one of the aspects of having my game. I like to throw my weight around, make some bone?crushing hits that I can contribute offensively.

On his superstitions: Well, usually before every game I do the exact same routine every single day. There's not really anything special. I put my equipment on the exact same way every time ? the exact same time. I switched it up a bit this year just because I had a rough start to the year. So I kind of switched things up hoping it would change my luck, but nothing really too special.

On spending time away from the rink: I'm kind of the guy that gets the boys laughing ? kind of the sense of humor guy. And I like to keep the boys loose. We have fun playing video games and hanging out and just having some laughs.

On wearing number four: I wear number four because of Bobby Orr. He was my favorite player growing up. I used to watch tapes of him all the time. He was my dad's favorite player, and he passed it on to me, and it's been a tradition.

On his most embarrassing hockey moment: One time I was running a hockey camp with one of my assistant coaches and all the kids were excited to see me there. This is when I just got drafted into the OHL, and I was demonstrating a drill and wiped out and they kind of laughed at me, and I got a little red.

On his favorite player: My favorite hockey player is Scott Niedermayer because he can create offense from the back end, and I like to model my game after him.

On the one movie he would choose to be in: If I could be in one movie I would be in any kind of movie with Denzel Washington. He's my favorite actor. I think he's unbelievable, and it would be a pleasure to be with him.

On his favorite goal celebration: My favorite goal celebration is going down on one knee and sweeping the ice and finishing with the fist pump. And then I still have a trick up my sleeve right now, waiting for an overtime goal, and I'm going to moon walk through the neutral zone and surprise everybody.


NHL Team: Toronto Maple Leafs

NHL Player: Anaheim's Scott Niedermayer

Shootout move: "Shoot low stick side"

Goal celebration: "Going down on one knee, sweeping the ice and finishing with the fist pump."

Practice Drill: "5 on 3 powerplay"

Video Game: NHL 2008

Movie: Remember the Titans

TV Show: Two and a half men

Actor: Denzel Washington

Group: T.I.


Book: Searching for Bobby Orr by Stephen Brunt

Food to cook: Tuna melt

Sport (other than hockey): Soccer

Activity away from the rink: Baseball with roommates

Toy growing up: Mini sticks

Place to shop: American Eagle

Place to visit: Hockey Rink
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Fluke- Isles rebounded exceptionally well on day 2. Some very solid picks, three of which were all potential 1st rounders.

Niemi has the best point shot in the whole draft class. An absolute cannon!

Toews is younger brother of Jonathan Toews in Chicago, and plays a similar game. Younger borther is more physical though.

Petroc was ranked as the number 2 european skater. Big kid, with a huge upside. They just have to get him over here now.

Trivino was also supposed to go late first round. Good playmaking center.
Yeah, I saw that. I liked Bourret. He was a little sparkplug, and maybe the best open ice hitter on the whole team. I guess his lack of size made him expendable though.

Here's my take on the Rangers picks...

The 2008 NHL Entry draft is now over, and in one of the deepest drafts in recents years, the Rangers come out with 7 players total. As a whole, nobody really knows what to expect out of this particular class, as it is way too early to tell. But, one thing is for sure, the Rangers for the 2nd year in a row went off the board in their draft process. In what was labeled the year of the defenseman, they did manage a very solid pick in the first round, but personally I was left scratching my head a little with their failure to

1) move up and grab one of the physical defenseman that were available

2) not draft either Carlsson or Tedenby with the 20th overall pick.

But in the end, here?s what we got, and brief scouting reports on the new class.

1st Round- Michael Del Zotto:

In my mock draft, I had Del Zotto going 13th overall. So, although his average ranking by most services was in the mid 20?s, I had a feeling he was going to go a little earlier than that. Del Zotto a couple of seasons ago was labeled the best defenseman of his class. In the OHL, he was drafted 2nd overall behind Stamkos, so the skill level is certainly there. Del Zotto fisnished 3rd in defenseman in scoring in the OHL. That in iself is impressive. When you also consider he fishing right behind Bobby Sanguinetti in that category. Del Zotto is a very similar player to Sanguinetti. He is the proto-typical offensive defenseman. He though is slightly more physical than Sanguinetti. Similar to Fedor Tyutin in the sense that he will come out of nowhere and throw a vicious open ice hit, and then for the next two games you won?t see him so much as bump anyone. In the end, this is a very solid pick for the Rangers, but what left me personally scratching my head is that they already have Sanguinetti in the system. The need IMO here was really for one of the physical defenders that were available in this class?and one of them John Carlson was on the board when the Rangers opted for Del Zotto. For the Rangers this is just another case of BPA. Gordie Clark did leak out his intentions to move up in this years draft. Personally I think it was their intentions to take one of the physical defenseman the clas shad to offer, but they probably got outbid. The reason I think that is because they didn?t have a sweater made up for him when it was their turn to draft. If you remember last season, the Rangers had a sweater already made for Cherepanov, and over the years, the Rangers had sweaters made up for nearly every single pick in the first round. So no sweater, to me means they had no intentions on taking Del Zotto, but when he was there they couldn?t pass up on him. Next season, I am certainly going to get Gordie Clarks ear somewhere outside café 31 and ask him directly what their intentions were in the first round. In my draft the Rangers took Teubert who was ranked anywhere from 15-28th overall, mostly around 18th or so. He ended up going 13th overall I believe to the Kings. Remember the name?this kid is good, and will only get better. Rangers missed the boat on this one, but still get a very good player in Del Zotto. This kid will be in the show in a couple of seasons.

2nd Round- Derek Stephan:

OK, so the Rangers didn?t really address a need with the first pick, but they did get a very good player in Del Zotto. In the 2nd I am salivating that many of the guys I had pegged were still available. Kiril Petrov, the number 2 ranked European skater was still there. Rumors swirled he might not come over for a few years due to the lack of a transfer agreement?but Petrov is 6?3? 212lbs, and a bull down low. He waould have certainly added size to the future top 6 of the Rangers, and with Anisimov, and Cherepanov already in the system I was surprise dthey passed him up. Niemi was also available, who has a total cannon of a shot from the point. Something that none of the current Rangers really have. Instead, the Rangers pass up on these guys, go off the board totally and draft Shattuck?s Derek Stephan!!! Not sure where this pick came from, but I would imagine that the Rangers have fully scouted this guy for sometime now. He does come from a great pre-school, ands he is the leading offensive force there, so statistically speaking, he is intriguing?but again, I was very surprised, as I thin he would have been available in the 3rd and maybe even the 4th round. Anyway, after further reading up on Stephan, I think this kid could surprise a few people. He has an amazing skillset, and supposedly is one of the faster players in the draft. Every scout commented on his first three strides being his best attribute. Also, scouts raved about how good his hands were down low. Hopefully Gordie Clark found a Diamond in the rough here. On a team loaded with centers, Stephan will really have to turn heads to make this club.

3RD Round- Evgeny Gratchev

Not really sure why this guy was available in the 3rd? In quite a few mock drafts, he was taken in the first round, or early in the 2nd. Gratchev is a big kid 6?3? at the age of 18, and already 210lbs. He plays more of a North American style game, than a European. He will go in the corners, and muck it up. He is very good down low, and scouts say, you can?t knock the guy off the puck. Sound like a guy that will fit in real well in Renney?s system. Renney loves the puck control game down low in the offensive zone. This pick makes a lot of sense to me as Gratchev plays both the wing, and center. He will be the guy digging in the corners, and playing physical to create a little more room for Anisimov, and Cherepanov. I am not the biggest proponent of drafting Russian, or Czech players, as they seem to be more of a crapshoot than the Canadiens, American, Swedes or Finns, but in this case I love this pick. It addresses a need for size up front, and also completes the potention line in the future of Ani, Chere and now Gratchev. Keep an eye on this kid. I fully expect him to make the team within 2 seasons.

3rd Round- Thomas Kundratchev:

Rangers make a deal here and take another player, that they thought would be long gone by this time. Kundratchev was ranked n the 40?s by many of the scouting services. Guy has a big point shot, and is labeled as a physical two-way defenseman. I personally don?t see him as a physical defenseman, but more out of the Karpotsev mode. He can play the body, but is very inconsistent. He has a good skillset, but almost every scout said the same thing about him. He is overly aggressive, and takes himself out of the play often, but being the first to initiate contact. Scouts also say he is easily beaten to the outside. But?the positives are his skating which is supposedly way above average, and again his point shot. With the wealth of defenseman in the system, I think this guy will have a hard time making the team.

4th Round- Dale Weise:

For you guys that like the tougher aspects of the game, you will love this kid. He?s 6?2?, he 202lbs, and he plays a rough and tough style of North American hockey. He gets a lot of garbage goals around the net, and is the type of player that sacrifices himself for the benefit of the team. He likes to drop the mitts for himself and his teammates, but he is not just a fighter. Guy loves the physical game, bangs in the corners, and is a very effective forechecker. He will be Hartford bound for a few seasons, but has a chance to crack the lineup as an energy guy/4th line checking winger in a few years. Skating is a little suspect.

5th round- Chris Doyle:

Somehow this player was overlooked until the 5th round. Doyle was a PPG player in the QMJHL, and was considered one of the most dangerous offensive players in the Q. He has an awesome skillset, and in 4 playoff games managed 6 points. Scouts love his offense, and explosive speed. He is not a complete player yet, and has to work on his defenseive coverage, but a very interesting player for a 5th rounder. This pick has Gordie Clark written all over it! The Rangers have always done real well in the later rounds, and in the case of Doyle, they might have found another solid late rounder.

6th round- Mitch Gaulton:

I love this pick! I was really hoping the Rangers would have found a way to nab one of the physical defenseman in this years draft. But as the picks went on, it seemed that wasn?t the avenue they were going. In the 6th round they finally got one. Here?s the scoop on this guy. Gaulton came out of Midget as one of the top 4 ranked prospects going into Jrs. He played a mean physical game, and opposing players knew he was on the ice, when they played against him. As the season went on he had injured himself. He ended up with season-ending elbow surgery, which made him drop significantly from the Rankings. Some services though kept him up there in the top 50 or so players available. Remember at one point, Gaulton was considered a top 5 player along with Stamkos, Doughty, and Del Zotto. This is a great 6th round choice here, and Gaulton is a very young kid, and hopefully resilient enough to withstand the the injured elbow. His skating is very good, as are his insticts. Great first outlet pass, good point shot. Not too many holes in his game. This pick reminds me a lot of Michael Sauer. Sauer in his draft year was ranked a top 5 defenseman, but separated his shoulder. He was taken by the Rangers in the 2nd round, and has since become one of the top rated prospect in the Rangers system. For Gaulton, I think in time he too will surprise a few people, and if he can get healthy, I like his chances down the road to make the team, not only by his skillset, but due to the lack of physical presence on the Rangers blue line.

For the new draft class of 2008, the Rangers have wasted no time in getting them acclimated into the system. Rangers prospect development camp starts today. MSG I believe will be covering it this year. Good that the new crop of players will be thrown right into the mix to see where they are on the current Rangers depth chart among prospects.
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