Reviewing the 1st Round

No big trades, no Mad Mike surprises, and the teams who I think did a very good job in the 1st round.The day started beautifully with sources reporting that the Washington Capitals would trade Jaromir Jagr to the New York Rangers for both, or either, Eric Lindros and Pavel Bure. However, nothing has happened…..yet. Rangers are looking to trade both Pavel Bure and Eric Lindros as well.

You would have also expected to see Mad Mike trade one of his defensemen. But, that didn’t happen.

Rightfully so, the Penguins did a fabulous job in acquiring the 1st overall pick from the Florida Panthers. Penguins traded a young solid 3rd line two-way winger in Mikael Samuelsson (hey, Kovalev trade worked out well, neh?) and the 3rd overall for Florida’s 1st. A good and trade fair, although i think Florida gets the miniuture edge since the trade basically went Nathan Horton and Mikael Samuelsson for Staal. At that moment, the Panthers acquiring Nathan Horton did not make much sense to me. A power forward playing on a European-like team? How will he develop well where the majority of the players are European? That’s why it did not make much sense to me. However, Panthers GM Dudley made a trade that turns things even better for their future. Trading later picks for the one that drafted Anthony Stewart. Horton and Stewart show signs that GM Dudley is heading a different direction with the Panthers. Superb job by the Florida Panthers.

The Penguins got Marc-Andre Fleury. Appears to have a great attitude, and the Penguins need that type. He barely has any competition in training camp so do not be surprised at all if he gets to play 8 or 9 NHL regular season games (max a rookie can play to then be sent down to juniors ). We’re reaching an era where the great goalies we know of are fading away and leaving the hockey world. Teams need to bring in their goalies of the future. Good job by the Penguins in drafting one of the best.

Carolina Hurricanes did good in drafting Staal, he will step right in next season since they have a weak center line and not much offense to show up for. Staal will be the Carolina Hurricanes’ franchise player for years to come. The right player to make a difference for this club.

I am glad to see the Buffalo Sabres picking Thomas Vanek, the Austrian….yah? He is exactly what they needed, an impact forward with size, motivation, and the major skills to score the big goals. A power forward with some Jagr-ish style, awesome pick for the Sabres.

The three top defensemen got picked in a row by the Nashville Predators, Atlanta Thrashers, and Calgry Flames. Ryan Suter will be Nashville’s top defenseman, probably their franchise defenseman, in the next years, and he will be a fan favorite in the Music City. Braydon Coburn is the smooth skater that works well at both ends of the ice, and he may end up making the Thrashers line up. Not much competition to deal with. Dio Phaneuf, my favorite, got picked by the Calgary Flames. At that point, I expected the Flames to draft Zach Parise, who surprised a lot of people when he got picked 17th overall. The Flames future defense will be tops, especially if they can get the right goalie in nets. Phaneuf fits perfectly with the Flames and the Western Conference.

All three teams deserve a ton of credit for choosing the best players available, and coincidently all three happened to be defensemen.

This one shocked me big time. When the Montreal Canadiens picked a smallish one-dimensional scoring machine in Andrei Kastitsyn. I guess they want the player to make the quicker impact. Still, I am not too high on Kastitsyn….and I would have prefered to see the Canadiens drafting Jessiman or Zach Parise who is much better all-round. A question mark for the Canadiens.

The Philadelphia Flyers disappointed me a little bit when they picked Jeff Carter. He is a very good prospects, don’t get me wrong, but….I would not have picked him that high. I would have preferred to see them get Jessiman or Dustin Brown. Carter fits well in the Flyers system though, especially Hitchcock’s system. Still, nothing great, but nothing bad.

The Rangers ranked Hugh Jessiman, a big time Rangers fan, 4th on their list and picked him 12th. He is a wild card in terms of what more can he do and if he can really add more muscle weight. However, he fits in perfectly as the Rangers have drafted sizey forwards who have good work ethic and play with character.

Sharks also played a pretty big role by drafting an excellent forward in Michalek, and then making another trade to draft gigantor Steve Bernier. Sharks need to rebuild their prospect system as it is tremendously poor. Great job by GM Doug Wilson, acquiring two key prospects that will make a nice impact in their future. Expect Michalek to make the squad next season.

The Devils should be arrested for robbery, and what do you know….they don’t follow God’s rule…‘Thy shall not steal’. Well, they are the Devils so they do steal. It appears as if GM Kevyn Lowe was not a big fan of Parise, and his scouts agreed to take the offered picks to draft more ‘very good’ players. Zach Parise plays big in a sense that he creates scoring chances and he is a threat. Plays fast, works hard….shows up defensively. The announcer during the draft was shocked to see this kid get picked 17th overall, so was I. Probably, the best steal of the 1st round.

Chicago Blackhawks, or I should rather direct this to GM Mike Smith, always want to disappoint me. The best method in the 1st round Entry Draft… get the best player available. Seabrook will be a very solid, rugged, mean defenseman,…….however he was picked because of his position (defenseman). He could not have been the best player available, impossible! They need defensemen, and they went by addressing their needs. Hmm, Parise or Seabrook? Devils will answer that for you.

Capitals had the worst choice, Eric Fehr. He is good, but many scouts and reports expected him to go 2nd round.

Even the Minnesota Wild shocked me, a 2nd round guy picked way too early.

The Ottawa Senators also picked Patrick Eaves early, however…he is that fiesty skilled player that the Sens would rank high on their list. Nothing flashy though.

Overall, great moves by many teams, especially the ones that I pointed out. Horrible moves by a few teams….no blockbuster trades…no surprises. A peaceful draft day in Nashvile. The best teams here: Panthers, Devils, Flyers (still managed to draft two very good prospects), LA Kings (three good prospects), and the San Jose Sharks.

22 Responses to Reviewing the 1st Round

  1. tharock098 says:

    Nice one man

    I like the part about Parise! Did you guys hear Pierre McGuire on TSN just flipping out that Parise wasnt picked!

    I dont think the Caps would want to take on both Lindros’s and Bure’s salary because they were loosing about $20 million/season. Adding nearly $20 million, while shipping out $11 million will only make thier payroll and financial issues worse.

  2. MantaRay says:

    If found your take on the draft rather humorous.

    It took you less than two sentences to contradict yourself.

    You start off with:

    1) the Penguins did a fabulous job in acquiring the 1st overall pick from the Florida Panthers


    2) A good and trade fair,

    and end up with

    3) I think Florida gets the miniuture edge.

    So in essence: Pittsburgh’s deal wasn’t that fabuluous.

    In fact it was silly. They essentially helped Florida to get that much deeper at their own expense at a time that Pittsburgh needs as much help as it can get–All for a player they were going to get Anyway.

    Everything else here is guess work.

  3. Flyers_01 says:

    I was surprised that Parise fell as far as he did as well.

    For the Caps though, that trade would still make Financial sense. Lindros’s contract is up after this year, plus they could just turn around and trade him to the Leafs for a 3rd or a 4th next year if they don’t want him. Bure I think has 2 years left on his deal, meaning the lockout will turn it into a 1 year deal. Jagr on the other hand will still have 4 years left on his contract after the lockout (assuming it’s a 1 year lockout). If I were the Caps i’d take my medicine now and have a clean slate after the lockout. The money being shelled out isn’t even close.

    That’s one of the reasons Clarke didn’t buy out LeClairs contract. To buy out LeClair would cost him $18 mill. To keep LeClair would cost him $18 mill (assuming a 1 year lockout). So Clarke’s choice was whether to pay LeClair $18 mill to play or the same amount not to play.

  4. Flyers_01 says:

    I agree, the Pens got hosed on that deal. No way was FLA going to move out of the top 3 without a much better deal than the Pens offered anyway so the deal was irrelevent.

    I also agree on guess work. 5 years from now the winners and losers of this draft may look totally different than today.

    I do have to wonder what team Jessiman will be on when he finally breaks into the NHL.

  5. Habfan1234 says:

    Montreal also took a flyer a couple of years ago with Perezhoghin and he has turned out to be a solid draft pick. One of the top 15 prospects in the NHL. Kastitsyn is one of the most if not the most skilled player in the draft. He would have been a top five pick but some health concerns prevented that. He has a quick release and a very heavy shot and is not too afraid to mix it up. He did have 28 PIM in the U-18 World Championships and 14 PIM in the WJC. Kostitsyn also played for Central Army in Russia, which says a lot about his ability. He is of average height and weight (6′ and 190lbs) so I would not constitute him being overly small. One thing that negates his supposed lack of size is his intelligence on the ice and that is why he played 6 games for Central Army.

  6. mikster says:

    Well, they didn’t give much up now did they? All the rumors were that they might have to give up all those young players and prospects, yet they gave up just one 3rd line winger. So in a sense, they did a very good job by not overpaying.

    Florida gets the small edge because they still get the players they wanted and they get Samuelsson.

    No contradiction there, at all. Maybe in your rude ignorant brain you see it.

    This article was my opinion on the draft from the information i researched and questions i asked.

    “Everything else here is guess work.”

    So your stupid rude criticisms have no meaning at all and i suggest, once again, to be less rude and put your stupid ‘I know everything and if i disagree with your opinion, you’re wrong’ ego away.

  7. mikster says:

    The most skilled offensive one dimensional player. In today’s NHL….it’s better if you acquire all-round players, like Zach Parise. I wished they would have gotten him.

    I think he will be a very good scorer, but….there is only one great thing about his overall game, his scoring skills, nothing else.

  8. titans says:


  9. DaMick says:

    Obviousily the Looming CBA has affected all the trades that were going to occur during this draft on a normal year. so the trade thing was no suprise,In regards to Mad mike….All the restricted free agents the Isles have hand cuff them in regards to gaining any salary. [Jonnson & Weimer are two of them]

    In regards to the draft, Pittsburgh made the move that might break or make them eventually. Is Fleury a franchise goalie? We’ll find out eventually….

    Florida as many “offers ” as it was taking,obviousily didnt want to fall out of the top3.

    So gaining a 3rd liner was the best they could get.

    All i know if they did offered Gagne and a 1st rder for that pick… rather pick Gagne.

    Regardless of the trade Florida picked one of the 5 best players in the draft,so the draft wasnt a loss.

    i did notice the obvious lack of mention of the Isles.

    Nillson was rated at thier pick & might end up being the winger they lacked but the guy they should have taken was obvious.


    sorry if i was GM on a team… pick best player overall..never pick based on needs.

    which is why i can see why they picked Nillson over Parise because of the Isle’s lack of wingers. {parise is a center}

    but the Devils made what i consider another “sykora’ type pick.

    a steal.

    I disagree with your critcism of the Montrael pick.

    Kastitsyn is EXACTLY what this team needs.

    A person to put fannies in the seats…especially with Theodore’s problems.

    Montrael has lacked a pure scorer in a looooooooong time.


  10. Flyers_01 says:

    Well at least they’ll still have the old Spectrum to play in.

    Burke’s next groin pull could be his last. $4.4 mill for a guy who is in the hot tub more than the goalie crease isn’t a very good bet come playoff time. Buffalo will most likely still trade one of their goalies before the season starts so the Flyers still have a chance at Biron if they want him.

    My bet is we end up with Hackett. There are no goalies out there including Burke, Biron, and Khabibulin who have recently had better regular seasons or better post seasons than Cechmanek did. The Flyers will basically be praying to get lucky in net this year because there is nothing proven available.

  11. aaron says:

    Probably asking too much. If Clarke ends up dishing out Gagne or Williams to pick one of those two up, you’d burn down the First Union Center anyway.

    I think it was moronic to give up Cechmanek in the first place, though I blame the fans more than Clarke (not like he had a choice, he would have been fired guaranteed if he didn’t trade Cechmanek).

    So…thanks to the ceaseless bitching by Flyers fans, Clarke had to trade basically Cechmanek and probably a package involving Gagne and Williams (you aren’t getting Burke or Biron any other way, I don’t think) for Burke/Biron and a 2nd round draft choice. Wonderful. Who couldn’t see that coming?

  12. PanMan says:

    sather won’t trade one of his picks. . . expect jessiman to make his ranger debut in a few years (i doubt he’ll make it this year unless there are alot of guys moved out). hopefully he’ll put on another 30 pounds too. he could end up being an absolute monster.

  13. G_Money says:

    All hail Mikster!

  14. rojoke says:

    You can teach a guy to play more responsibly in his own zone. You can’t teach him to put the puck in the net.

  15. mikster says:

    Playing with Holik and Lundmark. Sounds great in the future. And if it’s not with Holik, and Garth Murray and Jessiman, perfect combo.

  16. mikster says:

    What’s the big deal about this guy? He can barely put the puck in the net, and he is on pace to be just a decent 2nd line winger and a good 3rd line winger.

    He doesn’t score….he has been playing with very good players and he has not been a big show, at all.

    A guy like that for a 25 year old starting goalie who performs really well in a non playoff team Sabres? I’d trade Williams in a flash for Biron, IN A FLASH!

  17. Oilspill says:

    certainly Kevin Lowe looked to address team needs in gaining size, but we could have picked Parise….oh well…the oilers got a steal at 22 as well in Poiloit…and then 4 more picks in the first three rounds…at least one of them will turn out…so overall i think Lowe did OK in the draft…Aside from looking into getting another d man, the Oilers are looking very good at forward for the next few years, which may be the reason Lowe traded his first pick to the Devils. Warm bodies on the farm are better than nothing. That and we won’t have a problem signing Poiloit…i’m sure he’ll be thrilled to don the oilers colors…perhaps he and Laraque will play on a line together…good playmaker in Poiloit (so the tsn experts say), and big Georges, who can plow through any player in the league…lets hope it’s a good line in saaaay 2005

  18. MantaRay says:

    Oh yes, people will fear this line. Potentially the best 5th line on any team. Lundmark will be gone before and IF Jessiman ever makes it.

  19. MantaRay says:

    Only stupid people call other people stupid, NAY.

  20. Habfan1234 says:

    He, Kastsaitsyn, on talent and skill alone is the best player in the draft. He has an uncanny ability to put the puck in the net and he can be tought how to play more responsibly in his own zone. I was extreamly happy that the Habs picked him. Kyle Woodlief of Red Line Report says that Kastsaitsyn is; “Frankly, if you take away the concerns over his epilepsy and potential back problem, he’s clearly the best player in this year’s draft — period” and “At Red Line we believe that Andrei Kastsitsyn is the clear cut choice as No. 1 overall, if you are absolutely 100% convinced that his epilepsy/back issues won’t be a longterm problem in his career” (

    So the Habs did not make a mistake taking him and if he gets these sort of accolaids from scouts in a deep draft then I think he will be an impact player for years to come.

  21. bender says:

    He must me a big deal when every big rumor about Philly is about him or Gagne.

    See Mikster, it’s about something called “Development”….since your a NYR fan I’m sure you really don’t know much about it…..

    See many guys don’t jump into the league when there fresh from the draft. And when they do, in a special case like Williams, you gotta be careful not to burn him out or ruin his confidence. See there’s no pressure on him to lead the team, he just needs time to slowly grow into the player he will become. As the Flyers org. said, he was the best player on the team in the first half of the season. And his scoring has increased each year since coming in the league, except for this year obviously.

    Then in the playoffs he played terrific, growing more and more confident and developing his game. Specially on the D end.

    Now next year, if he scores 2 goals, you can say he’ll be just a decent 2nd line winger or a good 3rd line winger. But until he stops improving, there’s no need to label him. The kid is only 21 (I think).

    And when you spend time developing and tuning, giving him time to grow, you wait to see if it pays off in the end.

    21 for 25….hmmm……Williams has four years to prove you wrong.

  22. jofa says:

    yeah, i was pretty surprised they didn’t take parise with the 17th pick, but it sounded like since they couldn’t trade up for one of those top three defensemen, they were willing to take an extra pick. Time will tell if Poilet is a star, or if they totally gaffed on Parise, but I think its likely they will have a few gems out of their top picks this year.

    Didn’t they trade away Hecht for a couple of second rounders last year? Stoll and Deslauriers were the picks, right? Anyway, Stoll is expected to be in the lineup next year, and I heard them raving about Deslauriers as a “blue chip” goalie for the future, so its possible that the New Jersey trade might come back as a great move.

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