9:55 p.m.- The first round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft is over. And it only took 3 hours and 55 minutes. Good night everyone.
9:52 p.m.- Detroit Red Wings vice-president Steve Yzerman announces that the Detroit Red Wings select American goalie Thomas McCollum (Sanborn, New York), who played for the Guelph Storm of the Ontario Hockey League in 2007’08.
Writer’s Note: Everyone expected Detroit to take a goaltender but it is a minor shock that they didn’t take highly-ranked Swedish goalie Jacob Markstrom. I wouldn’t dare question the Detroit Red Wings scouting staff who are responsible for some great Draft gems like Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk and Johan Franzen. McCollum will probably win the Stanley Cup in 2014.
9:49 p.m.- The Atlanta Thrashers select Daultan Leveille from St.Catharines of the Ontario Junior B League, a speedy center who will play for Michigan State next season.
9:44 p.m.- TSN breaks to a commercial playing Sum 41. Two picks left in the First Round.
9:42 p.m.- The Phoenix Coyotes select Viktor Tikhonov, a Russian-American who played for Cherepovets of the Russian Super League last season.
Writer’s Note: He is the son of legendary Russian Coach Viktor Tikhonov so he obviously comes from a great hockey family. The Coyotes already had his name on a hockey jersey so they must be high on Tikhonov. He sure looks like a hockey player.
9:39 p.m. The Anaheim Ducks trade the 28th overall pick to the Phoenix Coyotes for their 35th and 39th overall picks.
Writer’s Note: 12 trades now.
9:36 p.m.- The Washington Capitals select defenseman John Carlson from Indiana of the United States Hockey League. TSN’s Draft Panel, who must be exhausted at this point, inform us that Carlson will play for the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League next season.
Writer’s Note: A long term project for the Capitals but Carlson is projected as a future power play quarterback who can also dish out the physical stuff.
9:34 p.m.- **** Gary Bettman announces a mind-boggling 11th trade of the night. The Philadelphia Flyers trade the 27th pick to the Washington Capitals for defenseman Steve Eminger and the 84th pick.
9:28 p.m.- With the 26th overall pick, the Buffalo Sabres select forward Tyler Ennis from the Medicine Hat Tigers of the Western Hockey League.
Writer’s Note: As Pierre McGuire notes, the Sabres take another Tyler in the first round. Myers had 43 goals and 91 points for Medicine Hat during the 2007’08 season. Some scouts compared him to Jordan Eberle, drafted earlier by the Edmonton Oilers, although he may not be as o
9:22 p.m. Director of Scouting Todd Button announces that the Calgary Flames select Greg Nemisz from the Windsor Spitfires of the Ontario Hockey League with the 25th pick.
Writer’s Note: This was originally Montreal’s pick. Nemisz is a rangy power forward who can score while knocking your teeth out. Although Nemisz is from Courtice, Ontario, he just became an honorary Albertan. Nemisz looks comfortable sitting beside Flames GM Darryl Sutter at the TSN interview table with James Duthie. It appears that the Flames got their guy.
9:15 p.m.- Devils CEO/General Manager Lou Lamoriello and Head Scout David Conte announce that the Devils take Swedish left winger Mattias Tedenby with the 24th overall pick. Writer’s Note: This may be a steal for the New Jersey Devils because Tedenby was ranked 16th overall by The Hockey News and 14th by International Scouting Services. From all accounts, Tedenby is a dynamic player who has many weapons in his offensive arsenal.
9:10 p.m.- The Minnesota Wild use the 23rd overall pick to select defenseman Tyler Cuma from the Ottawa 67’s of the Ontario Hockey League.
Writer’s Note: From what I’ve heard about Tyler Cuma, he is a proven leader who is liked by all of his teammates. Great pick for the Wild because Cuma is a two-way player who has room to improve.
9:06 p.m. Commissioner Bettman announces that the New Jersey Devils have completed another trade. The Devils send the 23rd overall pick to the Minnesota Wild for the 24th pick and a 2009 3rd Round pick.
9:00 p..m.- Edmonton Oilers are at the podium with the 22nd overall pick. Edmonton selects Jordan Eberle, a center who played for the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League last season.
Writer’s Note: A solid pick for Edmonton. Eberle put up some nice numbers for Regina (WHL) this past season with 42 goals and 32 assists. Eberle may be slightly undersized at 5’10” but he is a warrior who plays heads-up hockey.
8:54 p.m.- With the 21st overall pick, the Washington Capitals take Anton Gustafsson, a center from V. Frolunda of the Swedish Jr.League.
Writer’s Note: It was widely speculated that a few teams were high on Gustafsson because of his play in the Swedish Jr. League and Washington is obviously starting to become a Detroit East as they already boast Super Swede Nicklas Backstrom (2006 4th overall pick).
8:52 p.m.- Commissioner Bettman announces that the New Jersey Devils trade the 21st overall pick to the Washington Capitals for the 23th overall pick and the 54th overall pick.
8:50 p.m.- There is a buzz at the NHL Central Registry desk as the New Jersey Devils may have a trade in the works.
8:47 p.m.- New York Rangers Director of Player Personnel Gordie Clark announces that the team selects Oshawa Generals defenseman Michael Del Zotto with the 20th overall pick.
Writer’s Note: For the second year in row, the Rangers get a player who drops down in the draft rankings. In 2007, New York got Alexei Cherapanov with the 17th overall pick and now they get Del Zotto at #20.
8:40 p.m.- Philadelphia Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren takes Swiss defenseman Lucas Sbisa with the 19th overall pick. Sbisa had 33 points for the Lethbridge Hurricanes of the Western Hockey League this past season.
Writer’s Note: You can compare Sbisa to Mark Streit as much as you like but what’s important here is that Philadelphia passed up Oshawa Generals defenseman Michael Del Zotto to draft him. And Del Zotto is the highest ranked player left (#17 by International Scouting Services)
8:35 p.m.- The Nashville Predators take goaltender Chet Pickard with the 18th overall pick. Pickard had 46 wins for the Tri-City Americans of the Western Hockey League this past season.
Writer’s Note: Pickard is a big game goalie who was voted as the CHL’s Top Goaltender for the 2007’08 season. Pickard has good size for the goaltender position and is not afraid to play the puck.
8:27 p.m.- With the 17th overall pick, the Anaheim Ducks take Minnetonka High School defenseman Jake Gardiner ( a finalist for Mr. Hockey, the best player in the state of Minneapolis).
Writer’s Note: This pick is a little off-the-board as well as Gardiner was ranked 26th overall by International Scouting Services. Gardiner had 48 points in 28 games in the USHS during the 2007’08 season and has a huge upside.
8:21 p.m. The Boston Bruins select Joe Colborne from Camrose of the Alberta Junior A Hockey League with the 16th overall pick.
Writer’s Note: The Bruins opt to take Colborne over some better known Canadian Major Junior players here. They obviously like his size and potential. He had 90 points in 55 games for Camrose in 2007’08. TSN explains that Colborne will play for the University of Denver next year and is several years away from playing in the NHL. They also mention that Colborne’s dad is a wealthy Oil executive. Should I add him on Facebook too?
8:14 p.m.- Ottawa selects Erik Karlsson, a defenseman from Frolunda Jr of the Swedish Jr. League.
Writer’s Note: Well, the Senators did take a Swede which explains why Alfredsson was asked to make the pick. This pick was a little off-the-radar as I can’t find any information on Karlsson. I am flipping through my THN Draft Preview guide and can’t find Karlsson. TSN just said that Karlsson is a long-term project for Ottawa. Karlsson was also voted best defenseman at the World Under-18 Championships for Sweden.
8:14 p.m.- Senators Captain Daniel Alfredsson will make Ottawa’s selection, the 15th overall pick.
Writer’s Note: This is a little different. I like it.
8:10 p.m.- Gary Bettman is at the podium with another trade announcement. The Nashville Predators have traded the 15th overall pick to the Ottawa Senators for the 18th overall pick and a 2009 3rd rounder.
Writer’s Note: Will Ottawa select a goaltender here? I predicted that Ottawa would take Jacob Markstrom with the 18th overall pick of the Illegal Curve Mock Draft.
8:04 p.m. Director of Player Development Ron Francis announces that the Carolina Hurricanes select, with the 14th overall pick, Zach Boychuk of the Lethbridge Hurricanes of the Western Hockey League.
Writer’s Note: I saw Boychuk play for Team Canada at the 2008 Super Series in Winnipeg and I was impressed with his play. Boychuk brings energy, grit and speed to the rink and is a great player for Peter Laviolette’s Hurricanes.
7:59 p.m.- The Los Angeles Kings have their second pick of the first round (13th overall). TSN’s Pierre McGuire seems to think that Colton Teubert will be selected here. McGuire is right as the Kings take Regina Pats defenseman Colton Teubert, a big defenseman who loves the physical side of the game.
Writer’s Note: The Kings are going to be absolutely sick on defense in a few years. And the draft is finally starting to move a little faster. We’re going to be here for another two hours if we continue like this. I’m already missing WWE Friday Night Smackdown!
7:55 p.m. The Sabres select Tyler Myers, a 6’7” defenseman from the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League.
Writer’s Note: A gutsy pick by the Buffalo Sabres. Myers only scored 19 points during the 2007’08 season but they believe there is room to grow here (figuratively, of course).
7:54 p.m. Bettman announces that the Los Angeles Kings trade the 12th overall pick to the Buffalo Sabres for the 13th overall pick and a 2009 3rd Round pick.
Writer’s Note: Buffalo is trading up here because they have their eye on a defenseman.
7:52 p.m. It appears we have another trade. We may have our eighth trade tonight.
7:46 p.m. Chicago Blackhawks select Kyle Beach of the Everett Silvertips (WHL) with the 11th overall pick.
Writer’s Note: Beach plays with an edge and has been criticized for being a bit of a head case. Team Canada may not have wanted him, but the big bad Hawks seem to be gung-ho on Beach. By the way, it is now 7:50 p.m. C.S.T, which means I have been blogging for 110 minutes and we are only at the 12th overall pick. Yikes!
7:38 p.m.- Steve Tambellini announces that the Vancouver Canucks take forward Cody Hodgson, a talented player who had 40 goals in 65 games for the Brampton Battalion of the Ontario Hockey League this past season.
Writer’s Note: Awesome pick for the Canucks. Hodgson is a crafty player with a great shot who is constantly using his head on the ice. The Canucks could use a lot of help up front and Hodgson should be NHL-ready within two years.
7:34 p.m.- The Vancouver Canucks are up next with the 10th overall pick.
Writer’s Note: I suspect that the Canucks will select a forward here.
7:31 p.m.- New York Islanders GM Garth Snow selects Josh Bailey of the Windsor Spitfires with the 9th overall pick.
Writer’s Note: Bailey had 96 points for Windsor in 2007’08 (including 67 assists) so he is clearly familiar with the back of the net. He may not be as flashy as Stamkos or Filatov, but he has great on-ice vision and patience.
7:25 p.m.- Phoenix Coyotes Managing Partner, Alt. Governor and Head Coach Wayne Gretzky steps up the podium to a standing ovation. Gretzky announces the Phoenix pick: Mikkel Boedker, a left winger from the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League. Boedker becomes the highest drafted Danish-born player of all time.
Writer’s Note: A nice pick for Phoenix here. The Coyotes have been rebuilding for a while now and have a load of young talent in their system (Hanzal, Mueller,Turris). Boedker gives them another fast, skilled forward who had an impressive Memorial Cup with the Kitchener Rangers.
7:21 p.m.- Nashville Predators GM David Poile lets Assistant GM Paul Fenton announce that the Preds select forward Colin Wilson, from Boston University of Hockey East of the NCAA Hockey League.
Writer’s Note: A real Winnipeg connection here. Paul Fenton used to play for the Winnipeg Jets and Colin Wilson’s dad is Carey Wilson, who hails from the River City. This is a great pick for the Predators who clearly wanted an offensive-minded forward. Wilson scored at a point-a-game clip for Boston University and oozes confidence with the puck.
7:17 p.m.- Commissioner Bettman announces a trade. The New York Islanders trade the 7th overall pick to the Nashville Predators for the 9th overall pick and 40th pick.
Writer’s Note: The Islanders have a plethora of second and third rounders now. The Islanders really don’t want to make a draft pick as they have already traded their 1st rounder twice so far.
7:13 p.m.- Duthie interviews Nikita Filatov, the newest Columbus Blue Jacket.
Writer’s Note. Ah. Filatov is a Sidney Crosby fan. And he has been taking English lessons since the age of four. Does he play the piano too? What about the saxophone? Okay, that’s enough.
7:10 p.m. The Columbus Blue Jackets select Russian forward Nikita Filatov with the sixth overall pick.(Central Army-2)
Writer’s Note: Filatov is an excellent pick for Columbus. He wants to play in North America and already speaks English. Is this the end of Nikolai Zherdev in Columbus?
7:06 p.m. **** Bettman announces yet another trade. Columbus trades a 2008 1st Round Pick (19th overall) and a 2008 3rd Round Pick (67th overall pick) to Philadelphia for forward R.J. Umberger and 2008 4th Rounder (118th overall). Columbus still keeps the 6th overall pick.
Writer’s Note: The Flyers need to shed some payroll and the Blue Jackets had the extra 1st rounder acquired from the Adam Foote trade with Colorado. A sensible trade for both teams.
7:04 p.m.- The Blue Jackets own the sixth overall pick. Hold on though, trades are happening at a Lightning-quick pace.
7:01 p.m. The Leafs select defenseman Luke Schenn of the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets.
Writer’s Note: McGuire is screaming “Let the Leafs rebuilding begin!”. Settle down Pierre. Seriously.
6:58 p.m. Bettman announces the trade. The Islanders trade the 5th overall pick to Toronto for their 2008 1st rounder (7th overall pick ) and two conditional draft picks: either Toronto’s 60th overall pick and a 2009 third rounder or Pick 68 and 2009 2nd rounder.
Writer’s Note: That is confusing but essentially Toronto gives up a 2nd and 3rd rounder in the 2008 and 2009 drafts along with the 7th pick for New York’s 5th overall pick.
6:56 p.m.- Leafs Assistant GM Jeff Jackson is by the Central Registry desk. TSN’s Pierre McGuire is ballistic as he apparently believes Schenn is the next Bobby Orr.
6:52 p.m.- **** TSN’s Darren Dreger can barely contain his excitement as he has just been informed of a Toronto Maple Leafs/ New York Islanders trade. All he knows right now is that Toronto and New York are swapping 1st Rounders, with Toronto moving up to the Number 5 spot.
Writer’s Note: The Leafs covet Kelowna Rockets defenseman Luke Schenn but we’ll have to wait and see.
6:51 p.m. The New York Islanders have the next pick and are surely entertaining some trade offers.
6:46 p.m.- Blues Assistant GM/ Director of Scouting Jarmo Kekalainen announces that they have selected defenseman Alex Pietrangelo (Niagara, Ontario Hockey League)
Writer’s Note: Wow. Another defenseman. Teams are making fairly predictable decisions so far. A bit of a surprise to me as the Blues are loaded at the defenseman position (Eric Brewer, Erik Johnson). Davidson and Kekalainen would obviously disagree.
6:44 p.m.- The TSN Draft Crew are salivating over St.Louis’ emerging prospects as they wait for Blues President John Davidson and the rest of his crew to make his pick.
6:41 p.m.- Bettman announces a trade that was reported earlier on TSN. Once again, the Montreal Canadiens trade their 2008 1st Round Pick (#25th overall), a 2009 2nd Round Pick in exchange for Alex Tanguay and Calgary’s 2008 5th Round Pick.
6:40 p.m.- Two of the top three picks so far have been used on defensemen. As Gord Miller reported earlier on Sportscentre, four of the top five picks may be used on defenseman, which has never happened before in the history of the NHL Entry Draft.
6:35 p.m.- Thrashers GM Don Waddell announces that Atlanta is proud to select, with the third overall pick, from the Peterborough Petes of the Ontario Hockey League, defenseman Zach Bogosian.
Writer’s Note: Bogosian is boss. He is a physical specimen that loves to compete. Bogosian may be a Scott Stevens clone. In fact, Bogosian is friends with Scott Stevens’ nephew and even spent time at Stevens’ cottage after the New Jersey Devils won the Cup in 2003. The Thrashers score big with this pick.
6:32 p.m.- Bettman announces the Florida/Phoenix trade. (Jokinen for Ballard, Boynton and the 49th overall pick)
6:31 p.m.- How many times are we going to see footage of Drew Doughty working out on an exercise bike?
6:29 p.m.- The Atlanta Thrashers are now on the clock at the 3rd overall slot.
6:27 p.m. The L.A Kings use the second overall pick on defenseman Drew Doughty (Guelph Storm, Ontario Hockey League)
Writer’s Note: A great pick. Dougty is fast, smart and mature. He excelled on Team Canada as a 17-year-old and is committed to improving himself as an athlete. With Jack Johnson, Thomas Hickey and Drew Doughty, the Kings have the best young defense corps in the National Hockey League.
6:26 p.m. The website you want is http://www.seenstamkos.com/.
6:24 p.m. The Los Angeles Kings are up next in the Entry Draft.
6:21 p.m. TSN informs their audience that Steven Stamkos is the first Macedonian-Canadian to be drafted since Ed Jovanovski. James Duthie then informs everyone that http://www.stevenstamkos.com/ is the hottest website in Tampa right now.
Writer’s Note: I’m checking it out right now.
6:18 p.m.- Tampa Bay Lightning GM Jay Feaster congratulates the 2008 Stanley Cup Champion Detroit Red Wings. New Lightning Owner Oren Koules is introduced and will make their selection. Koules, who looks like he may have had a few cocktails before the draft, makes the obvious selection, taking Sarnia Sting Center Steven Stamkos.
6:17 p.m.- TSN announces another trade: The Florida Panthers send their captain Olli Jokinen to the Phoenix Coyotes for defenseman Keith Ballard, defenseman Nick Boynton and a 2008 2nd Round Pick (49th overall). TSN’s Pierre McGuire seems to think that this trade is going to benefit both Phoenix and Florida.
Writer’s Note: Trades are happening so quickly that I can’t determine what is happening.
6:15 p.m.- Commissioner Gary Bettman kicks off the 2008 NHL Entry Draft to a chorus of Ottawa boobirds.
6:14 p.m.- The microphone problems are solved and we get the Sara Orlesky/Steven Stamkos interview.
Writer’s Note: Orlesky is pumped up. Stamkos is all smiles. Why wouldn’t he be smiling? He is about to be drafted 1st overall by the Tampa Bay Lightning.
6:12 p.m.- According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, the Calgary Flames will move Alex Tanguay to the Montreal Canadiens for a 2008 1st Round Pick (25th overall).
6:08 p.m.- James Duthie tells us that Sara Orlesky is standing by with Steven Stamkos for a pre-draft interview but technical difficulties prevent the interview from ever happening. TSN breaks to a commercial.
Writer’s Note: That was awkard.
6:02 p.m TSN’s broadcast is only two minutes old and they have already announced a trade. Broadcaster James Duthie is breaking down the three-way trade. Here is the trade: The Anaheim Ducks trade the 12th overall pick to Los Angeles; Calgary gets forward Mike Cammalleri and Anaheim gets the 17th and 28th overall picks. The trade has not been confirmed yet however.
Writer’s Note: The Cammalleri rumours have been around for months now. Edmonton was interested and must not be happy that their Alberta rivals picked up the talented forward. L.A moves a player that they wanted to and move up in the draft. Look out, but Anaheim is stockpilingfirst round picks.
5:57 p.m.- The 2008 NHL Entry Draft is only minutes away and the suspense is building. Rumours are rampant across the Internet that the Toronto Maple Leafs are trying to persuade Mats Sundin into signing a lucrative one-year contract to stay in Toronto. As has been reported for days now, the Montreal Canadiens are eager to see #13 in Bleu, Blanc et Rouge.
For Illegal Curve, I’m Ezra Ginsburg.