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12-31-2012, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Hynh View Post
They are important but they are cheaper to find than first or second line centers. With the exception of Staal (only a third line center due to his team's depth chart) and Malhotra, all were drafted outside the first line. Compare that to first and second line centers where 14 out of 24 were drafted in the first round. (Malkin (twice), Crosby (twice), Giroux (or was it Carter?), Kopitar, Richards (twice), Sedin, Kesler, Toews, Spezza, Getzlaf and Zajac.

And of course, the biggest problem is that Lazar isn't a lock to become any thing, even a third line center. He may have the tools and drive to become a 3C if his offence doesn't make it to the NHL but he isn't one yet. If you want to use 10-20 pick to get a third line center, why not just trade it? Some other team will gladly use that pick.
Why draft Lazar in the 10-20 range, rather than just trade the pick for immediate help in the form of a fully developed similar player? Well, let's look at my Mike Fisher comparison. First of all, Ottawa managed to get him in the 2nd round, but let's say he was more highly regarded and ended up a 10-20. They squeezed 11 really good years out of him, including that Cinderella cup run in which he was a pivotol player. Then, they flipped him for a 20-25th pick and nabbed Stefan Noessen at the draft. They'll likely see many years out of Noessen as well. That's a ton of productive hockey for that one selection. Who knows what Noessen will parlay into? That Mike Fisher pick could pay of for two decades.

Now let's look at it from Nashville's prospective. They moved that first and got a good player approaching his thirties. They'll likely get four great years out of him and then part ways. I'm not saying Nashville made a poor choice, but if by some magic you were guaranteed a Mike Fisher clone in this draft, you'd probably be well served to take him 6th or 7th overall. I'm not saying Lazar carries that guarantee, but I do like his chances, which is why I think he'd be worth a pick between 10-20, which is the range you mentioned.

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