Friday, June 26, 2009

Tavares tapped as Number one overall

Despite all the talk of major movement on the draft order, or the suggestion that there may be a surprise or two in the early going, in the end ,1, 2, 3 went pretty well as expected..

At 7:18 pm The New York Islanders paid back the patience and long held support of their fans by actually making a sensible and possibly team changing draft selection.

GM Garth Snow, exorcised the selection ghosts of Mike Milbury on Friday night, when he announced John Tavares as the Number one pick in the 2009 draft. While there was some thought that Swedish sensation Victor Hedman, one of the most talked about defensive talents to come out of Modo in a number of years, might move up to number one, in the end the Islanders chose offensive output over defensive skills.

For the Islanders it may be an indication that a more offensive oriented attack, built around Tavares talents with the puck may be the future for the struggling franchise.

Over the years, their draft day choices and deadline deal trades have been less than successful, leaving the once dominant team to languish at the bottom of the standings. Indeed they can thank their draft status to their on ice troubles, though unlike years in the past, this time they have chosen to go the route of the draft rather than trade away the pick for short term relief.

The first round proved to be a rather successful endorsement of the Canadian Hockey League and of the Western League in particular.

Of the top ten picks of the thirty picks of round number one, four were from the WHL, three were from the OHL and Swedish hockey provided three placements as well.

Overall in the top thirty picks the OHL placed 7 draft picks this year, the WHL 5, Swedish hockey 7, the Quebec League sent 4 to the NHL, US college, high school or developmental hockey 6 and the Alberta Junior A ranks send one.

You can view all of the first round picks from the NHL draft tracker page here.

Among all the order of draft day one rather large trade was negotiated, as Chris Pronger once again will don new duds this fall, this time as part of the Philadelphia Flyers, heading to Anaheim will be Joffery Lupul, Luca Sbisa, and first-round picks in 2009 and 2010 as well as a conditional third-round pick in 2010 or 2011

Round one was televised live on TSN across Canada and on Versus in the USA, the TSN broadcast offered up many of the same kind of dramatics as the Trade Deadline coverage does, with instant analysis and interviews.

An interesting feature of the broadcast was the live microphone attached to Brian Burke, which recorded his thoughts as the night progressed, though at times Burke resembled one of the old Muppet guy's in the balcony as his trading portion of draft day slowed to a crawl and he watched as other GM's made what he considered to be less than sensible moves.

The remainder of this years draft pool will be selected on Saturday, broadcast on The NHL Network.

Globe and Mail-- Isles make Tavares their man
Globe and Mail-- Burke says Kadri was always his top pick
National Post-- Islanders ready for 'bright future' with Tavares
Newsday-- Islanders take Tavares with No. 1 pick
CBC-- Islanders thrilled with Tavares' arrival

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