Sixteen teams took a look at Alexei Cherepanov's wispy mullet, and his tight, black thespian t-shirt underneath his utterly Russian blazer and said "no, thanks." They also openly sniffed at Angelo Esposito, the human piece of 18 year-old garbage that dared to not play like a Top 5 pick last season. If either do much in the NHL, there will be a lot of teams eating crow, including the Edmonton Oilers.
Okay, not bad. I'm not going to pretend that I've watched the London Knights all season, but if Lowetide likes him, then I like him. From what I've seen, Gagner's got a great set of hands, but on the other hand I wonder if playing on a stacked Knights team with Patrick Kane glosses over his weaknesses, a la Robbie Schremp. And will the name Voracek forever haunt the Oilers faithful (um, adding to a growing list that includes Pronger, Smyth, Comrie, and anyone that isn't Jesse Niinimaki, etc)?
From ISS: Without a doubt one of the biggest draft wildcards. The number one attraction of this player is his combination of outstanding size and skill. He is blessed with a genetic gift and a relatively high level of skating and puck skill for a player this big. Plante is an intense player who is mean and not afraid of playing along the boards or competing physically. He has a good stride and his agility is improving. This has led to a definite improvement in his overall play and a climb up our rankings.
The Ryan Smyth pick. Instead of Cherepanov or an Esposito, they Oilers went out and grabbed a huge 6'4" 225 lb Western Junior defenceman of the stay-at-home variety (bonus points for the great hockey name). Slated to go anywhere between 16th and 72nd, we may have drafted Matt Greene 15th overall. Or maybe he's Jason Smith's replacement. Or he could merely be a Francois Boot. Fuck, I hate drafts.
A little confusing. The Oilers traded down 9 spots with Phoenix for the 21st pick, so they could draft another Alberta boy that may have still been around 30th overall -- to be fair, this year's draft was already pretty loosey goosey when it came down to predicting player selection, even in the first round. Either the Oil know something we don't, which is why they have paid scouts, or they're clueless. And unless you live in Salmon Arm and follow the BCHL, you're likely going to see this guy for the first time at the U-18 tournament in Helsinki if he makes the team. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to pray to Jesus to make this team good again.
Draft Day Highlights
- The firesale continues: Nashville trades away quality starter Thomas Vokoun to Florida for a 2008 first rounder and two second round picks. Word is Jordan Tootoo is available for a box of Old Dutch Salt and Vinegar Chips.
- The spectacle of a freshly fired Doug MacLean on TSN, making whimpering noises ("Give me a break! I was just fired!") and otherwise grovelling for a full-time gig at the network ("I gotta say , I may be done with managing -- I'm really enjoying this!")
Draft Day Lowlights
- Looks like Jim Balsillie is getting jerked around again for daring to move a failing franchise to a market it deserves. God forbid the Nashville Predators move to Hamilton, especially when there's 6,000 season tickets to be sold in Las Vegas.
- Having to work tomorrow, I'm forced to stay at home on a Friday, commenting on the weight, height and overall physical attributes of boys born in 1989.