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Saturday, June 27, 2009

2009 Entry Draft Recap

Well, John Tavares fans, your prayers have been answered.

What was perhaps the most terrifying moment for Islanders faithful ended in triumph for the team, as Garth Snow announced the club would be drafting the Canadian forward with their first overall pick.

The crowd at Nassau Coliseum surely blew up with the news, as did Isles fans at the draft in Montreal and in front of TV screens everywhere. I myself was at first anxious to death, and then ecstatic as Tavares' name was announced, knowing that although our woes on offense might not have been solved right away, this would be a huge step in the right direction for the Isles. It's expected Tavares will make the team out of training camp; however, we shall see.

As for the rest of the draft, well, it turned out very interesting. Snow traded down all the way to #12 from #26 to take defenseman Calvin de Haan, a move that was a bit of a question mark considering that they had planned to take him at #26 from the start. Perhaps they wanted to make sure that they were going to secure him; at any rate, de Haan is obviously talented and a smart player and kid, but somewhat lacks in size (as does Tavares; size was one thing the Isles didn't look at in the draft other than in net).

The other skaters taken in the draft are centers Casey Cizikas (No. 92) and Anders Lee (No. 152) and defenseman Anton Klementyev. Cizikas was described by a few sources as having more potential than he shows, and as more of a passer than a shooter, although he has decent hands. The Scouting News deplored him for his lack of consistency last season playing for the Mississauga Ice Dogs when all of the hype was on him. Meanwhile, Lee is touted as a two-sport athlete- a football quarterback as well as a center in hockey, and as such he has considerable size and athleticism (and he can throw the football pretty well- check out YouTube). Klementyev plays for Yaroslavl Lokomotiv-2 and is more of a stay-at-home type, which in my opinion is a good thing seeing as we have quite a few offensive D to begin with. However, how good is this guy, really? Apparently no one really has any info on him... to be determined in time.

Overall, the draft was a bit of a wacky one, what with trading down for a player that could have been had at a higher number, and some unknowns, plus two goalies. But hopefully our #1 pick can make up for any head scratching done during it. :)


(Kudos to the Scouting News and Botta's and Logan's blogs as well as Islander Mania for the info on our draft picks.)

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