I'll keep this one simple, straightforward, and to the point:
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1) Chicago----Patrick Kane
Obviously the knock on Kane is size and for him he's going to have to use his agility more, which has been compared to Martin St. Louis', to continue to be productive at the next level. He runs the powerplay extremely well on the half wall and has great hands around the net. This sounds like a complete package, until you look at his defensive play, which needs a lot of work. This is where his size will be a huge weakness....he needs to put on 20-30 pounds and use his speed and stick to play defense unlike most forwards who will outmuscle people in the defensive zone.
Grade(how good the pick was by the team based on the potential of the player, what other teams were doing etc.): A
2) Philadelphia---James vanRiemsdyk
This kid is a finisher make no bones about it, and his scoring potential has been there. He has decent hands, but it's his size and skating that have the Flyers excited. A good comparison for JVR would be Dustin Penner. It'll be easier for JVR to improve his defensive zone play than Pat Kane because of his size and relative agility for his size. Also needs to play a more physical style to become a dominant force like Penner. Better skating than Bobby Ryan, less physical than Dustin Penner. Should amount to an all-star 1st line power forward.
3) Phoenix Coyotes----Kyle Turris
The knock on this kid is all about the muscle and strength. He should put on the weight simply because he has to in order to excel at the college level. I'm really happy for the Yotes that this kid is going to college because it will push him to become a more responsible player defensively as well as challenge him to improve his offense coming from a lower league like the BCHL.
4) Los Angeles Kings-----Thomas Hickey
Dean Lombardi does it again and goes off the board to grab this slick skating d-man. Lombardi should have traded down, but apparently couldn't. He should have told the Blueshirts that he was going to take Cherepanov and they would have bitten, but that's just an idea. Hickey used to be touted highly when he first entered the WHL at age 15, but his stock fluctuated the entire season. Very slick skater who can join the rush and fall back to defensive position, he needs to simply play at a higher level(AHL or NHL) and push himself to become a better player because right now he is fairly well rounded if not all together a great player.
5) Washington Capitals----Karl Alzner
This pick seems to be overlooked by a lot of people but Alzner should develop into a top pairing defenseman with some offensive upside. He is probably the most mature defenseman in the 1st round. However, in my opinion, he wasn't the best player available. Sam Gagner and Jakub Voracek were still around and will turn out as better overall players, I think.
Stay tuned for analysis of the next 5 picks tomorrow.
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