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01-29-2013, 01:17 PM
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Beacon
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Changing our draft strategy

Since 2004, our drafting has been great and we've achieved a lot of success. However, as many people here have pointed out, we've failed to land an offensive star player.

This was a necessary and a good strategy to take in 2004. Other land Lundqvist and Tyutin, our cupboard was empty and we needed get make sure that we draft guys who will turn into actual players. Taking chances just did not make any sense.

But the situation is different today. We have plenty of solid NHLers already.


CENTERS

NHL: Brad, Step and Boyle are 3 young enough to be here long-term.

PROSPECTS: It's safe to assume that Lindberg, Jean, Nieves or Foggy become the 4th center. Even Wiebe has potential if he gets a two-way contract.


LEFT WINGS

NHL: Hagelin is already in the NHL.

PROSPECTS: It's safe to assume that Kreider will make it, making it two LWs. I think it's safe to assume that at least one (probably 2) of our skill guys Miller, Hrivik or Bourque will make it as top-9 LWs, and and for the last line, one of the big guys Yogan, Wilson or Mash crack it. Worst case, we sign one 4th liner.


RIGHT WINGS

NHL: Nash and Callahan are already great top-6 guys.

PROSPECTS: It's safe to assume that one of Fasth, Thomas or St. Croix make it as a top-9 guy. Then there are guys like Ferriero and McColgan, or alternatively, signing a 4th liner can't be that tough.


DEFENSE

NHL: McDonagh, Staal, Girardi and Del Zotto are great top-4. Stralman is useful as well. Bickel can be a #7. That's 6 guys.

PROSPECTS: McIlrath will probably make it. I assume so will one of Skjei, Noreau or Andersson. That's more than enough defensemen.


CONCLUSION

Our depth isn't a problem. Sure, I'll take another Anisimov or another Pyatt, but that just isn't what the team is desperate for. Once we lose Gaborik, scoring will become an issue once again. We need a quality offensive winger. We need someone like Giroux.

Everyone here knows that you can't expect the team to draft superstars at #25. However, what you can do is go for the high-risk, high-return guys. Guys who have a 50-75% chance of not making the NHL obviously will not go in the top-5 because teams can draft safe players with first line potential in those spots.

However, by the time you get to the end of the first round, the prospect only has a 40% chance of making the NHL, with safe prospects having a higher percentage and risky prospects lower. So instead of having a 50-50 prospect with limited potential, why can't we draft someone who is a 25-75 prospect with a much higher potential?

Your average kid drafted in the second round has a 20% shot of making the NHL, while a high-risk, high-return prospect has maybe a 10-12% chance. But which strategy makes more sense for us?

Sure, you don't want to go for that when the cupboard is empty, but it most certainly isn't empty right now. We can afford to swing for the fences in the next couple of drafts.

The response to this is that we need a constant in-flow of youth for the cap. Ok, I agree and that's what our current prospects will do. However, when the team is lacking top-end talent, they inevitably wind up trading the young, inexpensive guys for expensive talent. See: Nash for 3 players and 3 draft picks from the top 2 rounds (including the Erixon trade in this since it was also an attempt to get top-end talent). Trading away so many assets to get a guy making almost $8 is not exactly a way to keep our cap costs low.

Now imagine if we have to do the same to replace Gaborik. Imagine if we have to trade away Kreider, Lindberg, McIlrath and a #1 to replace Gabby. How great would that be for our future? How great would that be for our cap?

We are better off swinging and missing on our draft picks than doing this.

In 2013 in particular, we don't have a first, so let's draft another Thomas in the second, another Bourque in the 3rd, another St. Croix in the 4th, another Horak in the 5th, another Fasth in the 6th (and maybe a couple of defensemen with the extra picks since they take long to develop and who knows what the future holds). Sure, most of the draft picks won't work out, but if we get a home run with just one, it will be a game-breaker for us.

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