The Curse of #1
Over the past two years, 3 different people have been projected to be taken first overall in the draft. So far all three of them have taken a significant drop in the rankings, while other players have taken advantage of this.So far Phil Kessel, Michael Frolik, and Jesse Joensuu have fallen from the #1 prospect of the 2006 draft. Erik Johnson, currently ranked first overall currently, has held the position pretty much the entire spring. Will the curse catch up to him? Or will he ride out and still end up first overall. I don’t think he’ll last. Primarily for this:
Jordan Staal has consistantly moved up in the rankings and could now go as high as second overall. With his strong showing in helping Peterborough to the Memorial Cup his reputation is sure to blast off, especially considering the last CSS and ISS rankings were released in the thick of the OHL play-offs.
As well, I think that teams might be scared off by the rising and falling of players in and out of top positions. One player, however, has consistantly been ranked in the top 3 for a fair while now and has managed to retain his position: Jonathan Toews. He may not come to mind when talking about the draft amongst players such as Johnson, Kessel, Staal, Frolik, Backstrom, or Mueller, but he’s probably the steadiest of any of the top candidates.
Finally, I think that St. Louis, considering their lack of prospects upfront, and faced with what could just been an off season for the former phenom Phil Kessel, could end up taking a chance on him.
I’m not saying count Johnson out yet, but I think he’s far from the sure bet he’s purported to be and much more like just another fad player in the carousel of picks.
***A further note, it has been remarked my several experts that because of the amount of overage players in junior during the lockout, that the ’88s didn’t receive alot of playing time and are behind where most draft classes are. This would probably lead to there not being a player available who would end up sticking with a team throughout the length of next season. Even if this is said, the size of Jordan Staal and the decent rookie season his brother put up as an 18 year old might convince a team to add him to their roster. As he would likely be the only player ready to jump into the NHL, his stock may be further boosted.