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04-26-2004, 03:18 PM
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True Blue
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A different slant on our upcoming draft

So we're sitting with 2 firsts and 4 or 5 2nd's (depending on Umberger). As already discussed, it's these 6 or 7 picks that will determine our rebuild. It's already been said that doing one's homework is critical. While no one has any idea of what will be done , I think we can actually quantify what the picks can be as a whole.
Here's my musings. Despite my misgivings about anything that has to do with Jackass, I have to admit that at least as far as our defense goes, the future looks decent. I'd even venture as far as to say that with Rachunek, Tyutin, Baranka, Pock, Kondratiev, Liffiton, & Lampman in the fold, we have the basis for a pretty good defense. What is need is a another pure crease-clearer to go along with Liffiton.
From the forwards, prespective, what we have is a plethora of 3rd/4th line prospects in Ortmeyer, Moore (both of them), Betts, Murray, Kozak. We DO have a pretty good 2nd line prospect in Balej (though one can hope that he surprises us all and becomes a top liner). I still lump Lundmark into the same category as a future 2nd liner. Jessiman, while a project, is another prospect that we hope will be a top 2 line player. I think that signing Umberger is critical in that it will give us another top 2 line prospect.
As far as goalies go, right now we have Blackburn, Lundquist, and Labarbera. Labarbera we all hope can be better than what he has show in the NHL so far. Danny needs time after surgery, but the reports are good. And Lundquist is supposed to be the goods.
So, here is how I see it. Providing that Umberger is signed and no other trades are made, that gives us 6 picks in the first 2 rounds. Unless Barker falls to #6, it seems that LAdd or Shremp are the probabel choices, giving us another top 2 line prospect. After that, with the 2nd 1st rounder, I would go for defense, Valabik, Thelen, and Green come to mind. Maybe if Pinnuealt is still there with our 2nd 1st roudner, I would take him and then hope that Green is there in the 2nd. I see nothing wrong with using one of the 2nd rounders on a goalie like Schwartz if he's there. I doubt Montoya will be.
So, essentially, my 6 picks are broken down like this
4 forwards
1 defenseman
1 goalie
I think that IF thse picks are used wisely, then Jackass has a real chance at restocking the farm. We have a pretty good basis for a future defense in place already. Another talented defenseman can be used to augument that. Another goalie to go with what we have and 4 forwards (including our pick at #6, unless Barker falls) to enchance the top lines.
Lots of possibilities, but the chances to greatly improve the club for the rebuild is there.

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