Thread: Draft
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06-07-2004, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Fish
Hmm, Olesz, Ladd and Tukkonen...none of them really give me the same sense of certainty that Thelen gives me. Put it down to having seen Thelen and not having seen the others I guess, but even reading the reports I feel more comfortable about his ability to make it to the NHL than I do with the others.

I'm also having visions of 1999 (the Lundmark/Brendl draft) when the prospects were rated relative to each other. That same year saw Stefan, the Sedin twins, Connolly, Beech, Pyatt, Mezei, Saprykin, Shvidki, Rita, Jillson, Tanabe, Heisten, McCarthy (Steve) and Kudroc go in the first round. Only Barrett Jackman and Martin Havlat and perhaps Nick Boynton have made any sort of impact yet and it appears only the two goalies (Finley and Ouellet) have a chance to add to that list.

Ultimately I would prefer to be drafting for the need the Rangers have, forward scoring prospects, we've got enough 3rd/4th liners and the other positions are in better shape. But Thelen to me seems like to be a very good bet when it comes to playing in the NHL...he has size and offense...two things that coaching has less effect on (unless you count steroids )

He also now seems to be generating some interest around the league which may push his projected selection into the top 10 given the lack of quality blueliners in the draft after Barker.

Again I don't like to draft him at 6th necessarily, but the practicality of the draft and what you're trying to accomplish (a player who makes it to the NHL and goes beyond) outweighs any immediate needs. After all, who is to say that 2 or 3 years from now that the Rangers most pressing need isn't an offensive blueliner?
Good stuff Fish.

I caught a few Michigan State games this year, and even in the games where he didn't score a point i liked what i saw from AJ. I've been hyping him in this draft since November, and like i said back then, it wouldn't be a stretch for him to go anywhere from #5-#10.

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