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05-06-2006, 02:17 PM
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While I sure agree with you regarding Beauchemin, calling 03, 04 and 05 drafts mediocre is off the mark. Yes, Kostitsyn is a typical high risk-high reward pick a la Kovalev, but sometimes you need to draft players like him as the reward could be really high... Since Savard took over, they did draft sure-fire, "safe" players like Chiphura and Higgins, so going with a Kosty type occasionally is a justifiable risk. And the fact that guys like Getslaf or Perry are playing for the ducks and Kosty was not given such an opportunity is no fault of his: CH is traditionally a VERY conservative organization which likes to bring their prospects slowly. From what Kosty has shown in the limited role during his short stints, he, imho, should have been given a chance just like Volski, his Dogs' linemate Winchester with Edmonton, or Svatos in '04 playoffs with Colorado, again. Other good picks from '03 include Lapierre who had a solid rookie season in Hamilton, a 6-5 swift-skating d-man O'Byrne who had a breakout season in NCAA and made several all-star teams, and a 9th rounder, goalie Halak who was one of the top goalies at the WJC, had great numbers in all slovak leagues, the echl, and a pretty impressive debut of his AHL career with 2.29 GAA, 0.927 SP and three SO in 13 games! Then there is 04' crop with Chipper, Emelin and Grabovski. We all saw Chipper and Emelin shine at the WJC, and Emelin was an impact d-man in the Superleague in his rookie season at 19 and played for the national team recently at Sweden games as well as a couple of games in February before the Olympics. Grabovsky was a top 15 scorer in Russia last year in a league full with NHL stars as well as named MVP of Olympic qualification tournament. This year he was named the Best forward at the Euro Champions cup and is off to a good start at WCH as he orchestrated a game winning goal to upset Slovakia this morning ( And while it is to soon to assess the '05 draft, Lats, Kosty Jr, D'Agostiny and Aubin look fine to me so far. You are saying that they could've drafted Mesaros instead of Chipper. Although the goal to find the best possible pick at a given position, the odds of this happening are rather low. In a real world, a team does well when it consistently finds a good NHL player at its draft position, specifically in the first round. Is Mesaros better than Chipper? Quite possibly. But Chipper is well on his way to become a solid player and a leader - we just saw when Saku went down that you can't put a price tag on leadership. Was Higgins the best possible pick at 14 in 02? Maybe not. But it is fair to say that most fans are reallllllly happy with the pick. Yes, we sure were pissed when under old regimes they got Ryan when Iginla, Sykora and Dvorak were available, or Chouinard in place of Gagne, Chichoo or Gomes. I don't think the devils were disappointed with getting Gomez in 98 when arguably a better player - Chichoo - was taken a few positions later. I hope you see my point.

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