As promised a little bit earlier since I have time tonight to blog:
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6) Edmonton Oilers----Sam Gagner
Sam is a deft playmaker with excellent hands as well. His knack for finding the open man and his deft hockey sense made him the best option at #6 for the Edmonton Oilers. While the Oilers could have taken Alexei Cherepanov, Gagner isn't too far off in skill and could develop into a first line pivot, given the right mentoring and development. He will return to the London Knights next season knowing he was a great pick for the Oil at #6.
7) Columbus Blue Jackets: Jakub Voracek
Voracek is said to be the most complete player in this draft and I have to agree. He seems to have a great on-ice presence and is always in position and responsible at both ends of the ice. He also has a fair amount of skill to go along with his big frame that he needs to fill out, which has led to comparisons to Ales Hemsky. He could be ready for the NHL next year, but if not will return to the Halifax Mooseheads looking for a QMJHL title. A couple of people have said that the Jackets should have taken the more exciting Cherepanov, but I don't blame them for being scared of Russians after their experience with Zherdev.
8) Boston Bruins---Zach Hamill
Zach Hamill was the leading scorer in the WHL this year and is certainly an offensive minded center. A poor man's Sam Gagner, Hamill needs to improve his strength and defensive zone play to be a force in the NHL. His skating is an issue, but that is very fixable. I think the Bruins probably wanted Gagner here, but as he went to the Oil, they went with the next man on their list who was Hamill. I would have preferred Logan Couture or Alexei Cherepanov here.
9) San Jose Sharks(from St. Louis Blues)----Logan Couture
The Sharks made their 2nd move of the day, moving up from 13 to take the Ottawa 67's center who is a very good all around player and has good speed. A character guy, Couture could be a future captain. The Sharks were evidently targeting this guy from the very beginning as they traded Toskala to get a conditional pick IF the guy they wanted was there. They wanted to make sure they got the guy instead of transferring the pick to a deep 2008 draft, and traded up. I'm not sure about that decision as 2008 could yield some franchise players, but only time will tell. At the 9th pick, Couture is solid.
10) Florida Panthers---Keaton Ellerby
A very raw but talented defenseman, Keaton Ellerby was original slated to go slightly higher than this, but the Panthers are probably ecstatic that he falls to the 10th pick, since it seems like they wanted him all along. He has drawn comparisons to Jay Bouwmeester and is an imposing physical package. He needs to really improve his hockey sense and with that will come a better offensive game. Hockey sense, unfortunately is hard to teach, so I'm not sure how Ellerby will develop, but he is a decent pick at 10.
More to come including picks 11-15, picks 16-20, 21-25, 26-30, and my "hockey's future-like" ratings of each 1st round pick.
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