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Saturday, June 21, 2008

NHL Draft 2008: The Aftermath...

The Islanders, originally with the fifth overall pick in the first round, traded down twice- first with Toronto, then with Columbus- to obtain the ninth overall pick, as well as a slew of picks in the second and third rounds. It wasn't a popular move with the fans- or me, either- but time and scouting reports may show differently. Here's who they picked:

First round, ninth overall: Josh Bailey, OHL Windsor Spitfires

Red Line rank: #15 - Josh Bailey C, 6-0/192, Shoots L, DOB- 02 OCT 89.
"Rarely flashy, but always effective."
"Heart-and-soul type player every good team needs. Has excellent leadership intangibiles and was a big key in the massive turnaround by the Spits this season. We've always liked his work ethic, leadership and sound defensive game, but he elevated his offensive game in a big way this year. Terrific playmaking centre with the ability to get his wingers the puck in good scoring positions - has a knack for holding onto it that extra split second to his mates time. Good vision and can saucer touch passes through traffic off either wing. Plays with poise and smarts in all three zones. Strong in puck pursuit on the forecheck, but would boost his stock if he'd add a physical element to his game and finish off more checks."

Projection: Playmaking two-way, 2nd line centre.

Style compares to: Jamie Langenbrunner"

ISS rank: 10

Report Card
Size/Strength: Good
Skating: Very Good
Shot/Scoring: Good
Puckhandling: Excellent
Hockey Sense: Excellent
Leadership: Excellent
Poise: Excellent
Defense: Good
1. Work Ethic
2. Playmaking
3. Two way game

Areas For Improvement
1. Competitiveness
2. Skating Skill:A highly skilled forward who works hard a both ends of the rink.

Scouting Report:Bailey broke into the OHL with the Owen Sound Attack and was traded to the Spitfires mid way through the 06-07 season. Bailey, who leads Windsor in scoring this past season with 96 pts, is a hard working forward with very good puck skills and playmaking ability. With Spitfires, Josh takes a regular shift and is used during power play and penalty killing situations. Since breaking into the OHL, Josh has shown improvement in skating and overall speed. Heading into the 08-09 many observers feel the Spitfires will be the team to beat in the OHL and Bailey will play a key role in Windsor’s drive towards an OHL Championship.

NHL Potential: Top 6- Hard working player who can contribute offensively without sacrificing defence.
Style compares to: Andrew Brunette

Second Round: 36th overall, Corey Trivino, Stouffville OPJHL

Red Line rank: #40 - Corey Trivino C, 6-1/175, Shoots L, DOB- 12 JAN 90.
"Draft wildcard has goal scoring ability teams covet."
"Finds ways to produce points no matter who he's paired with; exhibited great chemistry with more talented linemates at U-18s than he gets to see in Tier II play. Shows good overall wheels with very quick feet and lateral moves. Excellent sniper's toolset; has quick, soft hands for receiving passes and really buries his chances around the net, showing calmness and patience. Has an array of shots he can unload quickly with accuracy. Naturally instinctive at offensive end - gets to open space in scoring territory and thinks the game well. Content to let his linemates do the dirty work and spends a lot of time lurking dangerously around the slot waiting to pounce. Slight build and doesn't initiate contact, but isn't afraid to take hits to make plays. Really needs to work on defensive zone commitment and his play without the puck.
Projection: Speedy 2nd line sniper.
Style compares to: Patrick Sharp"
ISS rank: #26
Report Card
Size/Strength: Good
Skating: Very Good
Shot/Scoring: Very Good
Puckhandling: Excellent
Hockey Sense: Very Good
Leadership: Very Good
Poise: Very Good
Defense: Very Good
Strengths1. Good skater – quick & agile
2. Solid playmaking ability
3. Competes hard
Areas For Improvement
1. Size and strength
2. Core strength

Skill:Utilizes good vision, passing and playmaking skills to set up linemates for good scoring chances.
Scouting Report:Corey Trivino is one of the offensive leaders for Stouffville of the OPJHL. Corey is a leader in both ends of the ice. He has a great combination of skill and explosive speed. A dynamic playmaker , he continually sets his teammates up for scoring opportunities. He sees the ice extremely well and has great offensive imagination . A strong athlete that has competed at the provincials for Rugby and Soccer. Read the play well and jumps into holes effectively and supports the puck well during transition. After a solid playoff where he recorded 22 pts in 15 games, Trivino played for Canada at the U18 World Championships where he tallied 7 pts in 7 games.
NHL Potential: With his scoring touch, he will be a top-two-line player with his skill.
Style compares to: Chris Higgins

40th overall, Aaron Ness, soon to be U of Minnesota

Red Line rank: #23 - Aaron Ness D, 5-10/165, Shoots L, DOB- 18 MAY 90.
"Provides litmus test on 5-10/165-pound "D" in NHL."
"Has small frame and won't get much bigger, but offsets that by using subtle little head/shoulder feints that throw off forecheckers. Excellent athleticism, quickness, and reactions. Has loose hips and opens up well at the point for 1-timers. Slick and skilled with the puck and has great offensive instincts. Makes very quick decisions before the puck even hits his blade - decisive 1-touch passes are crisp and accurate. Shows excellent timing moving in from the point on the PP. Makes great decisions in puck distribution - looks defenders off before wiring crisp cross-ice passes. Terrific skater with acceleration is capable of making dynamic solo rushes. Disciplined player, but will always look for openings to jump up and create odd-man rushes. Lack of bulk will always be an issue defensively as he's easily overpowered down low.
Projection: Top 4 blue-liner who runs the PP.
Style compares to: Phil Housley
ISS rank: #29
Report Card
Size/Strength: Below Ave
Skating: Excellent
Shot/Scoring: Very Good
Puckhandling: Excellent
Hockey Sense: Excellent
Leadership: Very Good
Poise: Excellent
Defense: Good
1. Play Making
2. Passing
3. Speed
Areas For Improvement
1. Hangs on to the puck a bit long
2. Overall size and strength
Skill:A highly skilled defenseman who moves the puck up the ice effectively.

Scouting Report:There is a lot of interest in this skilled puck moving d-men and rightfully so. Ness, a smaller sized defenseman, plays with a fair amount of grit and is more than willing to engage in physical battles when it is required. Ness, who has sound passing and playing skills, displays a tremendous amount of confidence & poise with the puck. Winner of the prestigious 2008 Minnesota Mr. Hockey award, Ness is scheduled to attend the University of Minnesota in September 2008 and was also a member of Team USA a the 2008 U18 World Championships, where he registered 6 pts in 7 games.
NHL Potential: Puck moving defenseman who will be able to generate offense from the backend.
Style compares to: Brian Rafalski

53rd Overall, Travis Hamonic, Moose Jaw, WHL

Red Line rank: #155 - Travis Harmonic D, 6-0/195, Shoots R, DOB- 16 AUG 90, Team- Moose Jaw.
"Tweener has just average size and skills."

ISS rank: #86
Position: Right defence
Born: 8.16.90
Height: 6’0”
Weight: 192
ISS Ranking #86
ISS Nov. Ranking N/A
Report Card
Skating: Good
Shot/Scoring: Average
Puckhandling: Good
Hockey Sense: Very Good
Scouting Report:He is a puck moving d-man with good mobility. He is intimidating, talented, smart and a respected player who works very hard. Hamonic’s ice time went down with the addition of Wishart at the trade deadline. Was solid yet unspecaticular throughout the IIHF World Under-18 Hockey Championships in Kazan, Russia. Would like to see him jump up in the rush more.Year Team GP G A PTS PIM07/08 Moose Jaw 61 5 17 22 101

------------McKeen's rank: #64

"Harmonic was one of a trio of Canadian players who used the U18 championship as a springboard to top-60 consideration when before the tournament he would have been fortunate to be in most team's top 90. While there are bigger, faster and more offensively skilled blueliners available in this draft, not many are as competitive as the Moose Jaw defenceman. 'He plays on the Warriors, and he is a warrior' - said one scout. 'He breaks his jaw earlier in the season, and comes back to play the rest of the game. You have to love his mentality - he's this year's Kevin Marshall - not overly skilled but will block a shot with his teeth if need be.'Harmonic's stock before the draft was not exactly on the rise. 'Teams weren't going out of their way to see Moose Jaw after he was out' - said one scout who likes Harmonic in the second round. 'There weren't any high-end draft eligiable prospects, and after he came back he was out of people's minds.'He was quickly back in the minds of scouts after his gutsy effort at the U-18's. He ended up being on of Canada's more reliable defenders, and some teams now have him ranked in their top 60."

(Thanks to Islander Mania for the info.)

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