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-   -   HFNHL Jackets: 2008 Draft Review (http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/showthread.php?t=1387451)

Ohio Jones 03-28-2013 12:54 AM

HFNHL Jackets: 2008 Draft Review
Despite blowing our first-round selection, the Jackets have to consider this draft an enormous success on the strength of its middle round selections. Netting two young NHL stars, plus another couple of guys on the cusp of what should be solid NHL careers counts as a very good day’s shopping in my books.

1/13: Zach Boychuk

Notable misses: Erik Karlsson, John Carlson, Jakub Markstrom, Jordan Eberle, Jake Gardiner…

I’ve never had much luck picking forwards in the first round – going back to my very first HFNHL draft pick, Brett Lysak in 1999. My only first-round forwards who stuck in the NHL in 15 years of drafts are Raffi Torres, Steve Bernier, Brian Boyle and Max Pacioretty – and of those, only Pacioretty ever achieved top-line status, or even top-6. Boychuk is yet another example of my first-round futility: after being a point-per-game player in the AHL, he has never quite clicked in the NHL, and bounced around on waivers three separate times this season. Of course, he was one of many on this list to be part of the mass exodus of prospects from the Jackets system, so he ceased being my problem a couple of years ago.

Status: Marginal NHLer

2/43: Max Sauve

Notable misses: none to speak of

Sauve has continued to display fine playmaking and vision, but his development has been hampered by frequent injuries. He’s still a legit prospect in the NHL Bruins’ system, last I checked – but again, long gone from the HFNHL Jackets.

Status: AHL Prospect

2/58: Patrice Cormier

Notable misses: none to speak of

Cormier rose to notoriety while still a part of the NHL Devils’ organization when he got suspended for half a QMJHL/pro season for a vicious head hit on… Mikael Tam I think it was? He’s learned to be a little smarter with his hits, and developed into a pretty ferocious checker and faceoff expert at the minor pro level. He’s received a few cups of coffee in the NHL, and is up again currently with the Winnipeg Jets, where he stands a good shot of earning a job on the 4th line full time next season. Any idle hopes I had of a power forward with scoring upside have long since faded, but he’s still has the makings of a legit NHLer.

Status: AHL Prospect

2/59: Justin Schultz

Notable misses: none

My first home run of the draft. I picked up Schultz out of the BCHL before he went to my favourite blueliner factory, the Wisconsin Badgers. After a Hobey-calibre college career he became one of the most desirable FAs this past summer before signing with the young-gun Edmonton Oilers. While his hot start in the NHL has since cooled off somewhat, his utter domination of the AHL in his half-season there suggests this is a special player who should rise to prominence in the NHL as he and his teammates mature. He’s the only top prospect I’ve drafted that I’ve managed to hold onto (so far).

Status: NHL player, potential star

3/77: Andre Petersson

Notable misses: none to speak of

While Petersson has been far from dominant offensively since coming to North America, he’s still managed to eke out a few NHL games, and may yet have a future in the big league. Gone from the Jackets system.

Status: AHL prospect

3/90: Corey Fienhage

Notable misses: Wayne Simmonds

Fienhage was very much in the model of my usual defensive picks: decent mobility, two-way play, a bit of snarl. His college career was fairly unremarkable, however, and his pro career has been as well: he’s toiling in the ECHL with a few stints in the A, but any NHL future at this point has to be considered very unlikely. Still in the Jackets system.

Status: Minor pro

4/103: Derek Stepan

Notable misses: none

My second home run. Stepan – another former Badger - has simply gotten better and better every year of his career, and I don’t think we’ve seen his full potential yet. I sacrificed him to Montrela in an ill-advised trade, and Montreal turned around and swapped him to Detroit for Adam Henrique, which means he was instrumental in the Red Wings kicking my ass throughout our season series.

Status: NHL player, top-6 regular, potential star

4/107: Andrei Loktionov

Notable misses: none to speak of

A sold RBI single in the fourth round. Loktionov was developing nicely in the AHL before a bad injury during a call-up to the LA Kings set him back some. He became part of the price for Johan Franzen, so I can’t complain about the return I got – and I’m sure Jeff was happy to discover him on the talent starved Lightning. He looks to be a legit top-9 player with upside, if he can stay healthy and handle the physical play of the NHL.

Status: NHL player

5/122: Mathieu Tousignant

Notable misses: Adam Henrique (there’s that name again), Carl Hagelin

Abrasive little cuss couldn’t translate junior scoring to the pros. A legit AHL agitator, but no NHL future. Released by the Jackets last year. I was pleased to pick up Henrique in the years following the draft, but of course I’ve since flipped him as well. Sigh – just no patience.

Status: Minor pro

5/147: Jerome Flaake

Notable misses: none to speak of (kind of a dismal draft, it looks like)
Flaake is a big power winger playing in the DEL, where he’s improved every year and is now a point-per-game player and one of the leading scorers on that circuit (not to suggest that means all that much). Although drafted by the NHL Maple Leafs he never came over, and I’m not clear on the current status of his NHL rights. But he remains HFNHL Columbus property.

Status: Prospect (until I hear otherwise)

6/161: Tim Branholm

Notable misses: Eddie Lack, Anders Lindback

Tim who? This is what I get for getting gulled by Redline’s sleeper picks. Still, when your first bust in a draft doesn’t’ show up until the 6th round, you’re doing something right…

Status: Bust

7/183: Marco Cousineau

Notable misses: none to speak of

After a decent junior career that included a Memorial Cup, Cousineau fizzled at the pro level. He has since been released by the Jackets.
Status: Minor pro/Bust

7/193: Sean Lorenz

Notable misses: none to speak of

Lorenz – drafted out of the USNDTP, if memory serves – turned out a solid but unspectacular college career, and has followed that this season with a similarly solid but unspectacular start to his pro career. Too early to call him a complete bust, though. Still with the Jackets.

Status: Minor pro

7/197: Matt Thurber

Notable misses: none to speak of

Another Redline-influenced pick that turned into a whole lot of nothing.

Status: Bust

So overall, not a bad draft class... but would be much better if I'd managed to hold on to Stepan and Loktionov.

Hossa 03-28-2013 11:32 AM

If you look past the Boychuk selection, I think this is a very good draft actually. Schultz and Stepan make it good on their own, but I like that there was a lot of upside in this draft, with only the late round picks not yielding good prospects.

For example, neither Sauve or Cormier have panned out as steals, but they have both proven very good prospects with quality tools, held back by injuries and in Cormier's case suspensions/discipline. As the GM who owns Sauve, there's no doubt he's got potential, it's consistency and health that he needs. The tools have proven to be first round calibre though, particularly as he has grown to about 6'2". Those were good picks as they yielded good prospects, even if they may or may not finally develop.

Feinhage and Petersson as well were still high-upside picks, and with Feinhage in particular he had the low level of competition as a question mark, just like Stepan and Schultz. If you miss on those (and IMO, Petersson is likely a miss) but hit on a couple others, you've at least stuck to an approach that is, IMO, worthwhile.

Ohio Jones 03-31-2013 10:05 AM

Actually I'm selling Thurber (7/197) short, as he led Northern Michigan in scoring this season in the NCAA. I released him a couple of years ago, but he still deserves credit as a prospect.

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