Okay, so with the NHL Entry Draft not too far off in the distance, I think it's time to educate some folks in what is the proper method of conducting a draft.
DO: Address your needs first. Get what you know you're going to need. If you're Bob Gainey, you don't want to draft a goalie and a wing with your two first rounders. Draft a center and maybe a blue liner like, say, Jim O'Brien and Keaton Ellerby. Fill your needs, then you can do this next one:
DO: Take gambles in later rounds. This isn't a very deep draft class, but there's bound to be a Steve Sullivan, Kimmo Timonen, or Tomas Vokoun somewhere in there. In other words- don't be afraid to draft someone who's not expected to succeed. Plus, next year is supposed to be a VERY deep draft class, so you can afford to take a gamble on someone like Luca female genitaliai. And remember- Kimmo Timonen was a 10th round pick.
DON'T: Overload at one position. Drafting seven D-men in a seven round draft- even if your team has Mike Rathje and Derian Hatcher "anchoring" (or should I say "mill-stoning"
the D corps- is not smart to say the least. If your team has issues on D, yes, draft two or three D-men, but don't go overboard at one position.
DON'T: Mortgage your playoff chances for a first rounder. Remember when LA, a team seemingly just one or two pieces away from being a playoff team (okay, it's a bit of a hyperbole, but bear with me here), traded away Pavol Demitra for a pick and Patrick O'Sullivan? And how's that workin' out for them? I thought so. Don't give up a key player just so you can draft Patrick Kane or Angelo Esposito or Seymour Butts or whoever. Learn from Dean Lombardi's mistakes, because he sure won't... :-P
DON'T: Get your hopes up. Most of these guys, if not all, will be spending the full two years at the major junior level, and probably about 65% or more will spend time in the AHL. So before you go looking for the next Lindros, Roenick or Luc Robitaille, maybe you should pray that they don't turn into Hewie Lindros, Gary Roenick, and Randy Robitaille (and yes, I made those first two up).
DO: Enjoy yourself. This is for those of you who will be lucky enough to attend the draft on June 22-23. The draft has always been, from my experiences, a rather boring even. Tailgate in the parking lot. Bring some cold beer. The draft is supposed to be the celebration of the commencement of a whole new generation of NHLers. That being said, remember one key rule: everything in moderation. ;-)