“Bettman has only a marginal interest in the weaker teams. He only wants the NHL to make a bigger profit as a whole.” -- Dominik Hasek

June 23, 2007

Colorado Draft Pick Recap, Saturday Blog Post Orgy Continues

With all seven rounds of the draft now over, nine new players have joined the Colorado Avalanche system. Most of them will play more time in their local beer leagues than in the National Hockey League. Statistically speaking, only a small number of the 200 or more young players chosen in the NHL Entry Draft every year actually make it to the NHL, and even fewer become stars. The majority play most of their careers in the minor leagues and then unceremoniously retire while still fairly young. Such is life in all professional sports, not just hockey.

Since fame and notoriety will likely escape most of them, it's my duty to give these young players at minimum the glory of a Dear Lord Stanley blog post, so I'll run down the list of new Avalanche prospects one at a time. Hopefully their mothers, at least, will be proud.

I already profiled first round pick Kevin Shattenkirk here. The rest are as follows:

Second Round

Colby Cohen, D - 45th Overall: Another offensive defenseman in the style of John Michael-Liles, a kind of player the Avalanche just can't seem to get enough of. Has decent size at 6-2 and 200 pounds, and was a major scoring threat from the blue line for the Lincoln Stars in the USHL this past season. Cites Chris Pronger as his main hockey influence, so Cohen's likely an asshole.

Trevor Cann, G - 49th Overall: Put up modest numbers in goal for a lousy Peterborough Petes team in the OHL, but gained notoriety by shutting out team USA in the final game of the World Under-18 Championships, securing the gold medal for Team Canada. Has inspired favorable scouting reports so far.

TJ Galiardi, F - 55th Overall: Had a good past season playing for Dartmouth, scored well with linemate and fellow Avalanche prospect David Jones. Is fast and has good puck-handling abilities. Now out of college, is seeking an assignment with the Lake Erie Monsters this coming season.

Fourth Round

Brad Malone, F - 105th Overall: Though listed as a center in the draft, Malone has played right wing for the Sioux Falls Stampede of the USHL and has committed to playing for the University of North Dakota next season. Is a tall power forward with average offensive abilities.

Kent Patterson, G - 113th Overall: Ranked 12th among all goalies in this year's draft class by NHL Central Scouting, is of slightly above-average height and has strong athletic ability. Played for Cedar Rapids Rough Riders of the USHL this past season.

Fifth Round

Paul Carey, F - 135th Overall: Played well for Connecticut high school Salisbury, leading them to the Division I prep school championship. Is fast on his skates and idolizes Sergei Fedorov (hopefully the Fedorov of 1997, not 2007).

Sixth Round

Jens Hellgren, D - 155th Overall: A tall, still-growing defenseman from Sweden with decent offensive ability but inconsistent defensive play. Will likely stay in Sweden.

Seventh Round

Johan Alcen, F - 195th Overall: Another inconsistent Swede, this time a forward. Is considered talented but fails to shoot the puck often enough. Will also likely not find his way out of Sweden.

What's really interesting is that, out of nine total picks, the Avalanche chose three current USHL players and two Swedes. The USHL is comprised of teams from mostly western and mid-western US towns and cities. Also, one Colorado pick plays for a US university and two have already committed to one. In other words, the Avalanche generally avoided the Canadian junior ranks with the exception of goalie Trevor Cann and focused their recruiting in the geographic area surrounding Denver. Very much a regional strategy, it appears.

Now it's up to the players to prove themselves in elite junior hockey or the varsity leagues over the next couple of years if they want a shot at the NHL. Most will fall short, but there could be a sleeper superstar among the above names.


Jibblescribbits said...

I just can't get excited, at all, for the NHL draft. The only reason I payed any attention was for trades.

It's just a whole bunch of kids i know nothing about that have minimal chance of ever actually being in the Avs lineup. when they get to Lake Erie and play a few games there I'll start to get some interest

Dear Lord Stanley said...

And that will probably be the first time in history that something going on in Cleveland has excited someone.

Other than the river catching fire, of course.

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