Friday, December 12, 2008

NHL Draft Rankings

Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated had a mock draft for the upcoming draft. The Top Ten is pretty solid except for the ten slot. I don't see Taylor Doherty going in the top ten.

At 6-8 and 225 pounds, Doherty is a Chara-size slab of defensive granite. He plays up to his size, too. He's a physical pounder who's not afraid to drop the mitts, and he's a surprisingly strong skater. His skills are still raw, though, making him the draft's most intriguing project.

I agree with Muir, Doherty is a project. That's why I wouldn't select Doherty in the top ten. He would be a great mid 1st round selection.

Finally Dmitry Kulikov is getting some love at the top of the first round. He would be a great fit for Buffalo.

A player that has been catching my eye lately is Zach Kassian who's going 13th to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Looking for the next Milan Lucic? The 6-3, 215-pound Kassian finishes his checks, takes on all challengers, fires up his teammates . . . and he's the team's second-leading scorer.

Here is a video of Kassian at work and you can see the Lucic comparisons.

I just can't see Mike Lee or Olivier Roy going to the teams where they are going.

Other goalies are more highly-rated, but the case for using a first round selection on Lee is building momentum. He was a big part of the American gold medal win at the World Junior A Championship, but looks just as strong playing behind a weak Fargo team in the USHL.

I can't see the Penguins using a first round selection on a goaltender. They got Marc-Andre Fleury locked up. Muir also has Olivier Roy going to Boston. Boston has Rask waiting in the wings. I believe this year, New Jersey won't pass up a goaltender. They are pretty weak in the system. At the same time, you can't have too much goaltending depth. Just look at Detroit with Jimmy Howard, Thomas McCollum, and Daniel Larsson all in the system.

That's My Take

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

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