On my list, this was the toughest slot for me. I would fully understand if somebody wanted to put Paradis here as opposed to McBain, which was my final vote, but only due to familiarity.
I think McBain has solid 2nd or 3rd defenseman upside, and I view him as almost certainly becoming a Top 4 by 2011-2012, but what exactly do we have here in Paradis that caused our front office to be so assertive in taking him?
This draft was the deepest in the first 2 rounds as it has been since 2005 when talents like James Neal, Paul Stastny, Marc Edouard Vlasic, Guillaume Latendresse, Jeff Frazee, Mason Raymond, Ondrej Pavelec, and Justin Abdelkader all were around first round grades and managed to slip for whatever reason.
Carolina has been much better at scouting the past few drafts and if they were sold on Paradis, there had to be a reason.
About round 5 is where I'm really going to start considering Paradis and Dumoulin. I'm familiar with all the Canes top 4 prospects but these two are relative unknowns to me. I expect this round to be a runaway for the same reasons.
Thankfully there's a way to watch QMJHL games online for free, I'm going to be doing that a LOT this year.
Bellemore is a good addition. He is highly underrated around here too. Brock Otten, who covers the OHL extensively, mentioned that he was one of the overage players that impressed the most for Plymouth last year. He was really a man among boys. I'm not sure if he'll crack the tough blueline that Albany has going into this season with Rodney/Carson/Harrison/Borer/McBain/FitzGerald etc.
I was going to add Mark Flood, but I see that he has been signed by the New York Islanders. Good luck to him, as he was a solid offensive defenseman in Albany.
Additionally, we still have 5 slots to fill in terms of reaching our reserve list maximum and a lot of those guys will probably compete in camp. Normally, we could consider one of those above listed defenders to take the 7th spot but who knows? If a veteran comes into camp and earns a spot like Lacouture did last season, then maybe we carry a veteran there as opposed to one of the younger guys who could benefit from playing time in the A.