With Balsillie buying the team, looks who is ranked 84th. That is who the Preds will draft.
Balsillie and even Leipold have little to do with the draft. I think that if Poile were asked to purposely tank the draft, he'd probably resign. That's taking it overboard, especially considering his reputation as well as the reputation of all the scouts rides on draft history.
As a Flyers fan who has been following the draft and the 23rd pick, I can give you a few guys to look for. The names that I was hoping would fall were forwards Backlund and Eller. Eller is a very intriguing prospect because he's full of talent, but from a non-traditional hockey market which could cause him to fall. Backlund was rated in the top 3 last year and most people said he was better then Backstrom, but he suffered from injuries this season and didn't seem to progress as well as expected. Other forwards to consider are Sutter if he falls and Repik. If the team decides to go D-man, McDonagh is the guy I liked best and I've seen him rated anywhere from top 10 to outside of the top 30.
Good luck to your fanbase and if things turn out for the worst and supporting a team that moves elsewhere is too hard, they'll be a bunch of former preds to watch in Philly. The bandwagon is always accepting new customers.
Given the Predators depth at defense I think, unless there is a defenseman they just have to draft, they are going for a foward or goalie.
At foward I think the options are/could be:
Brett MacLean, a LW out of the OHL. His skating isn't great but hes improved it over the last year, though he has a very awkwade stride. Has good size (6'1) and offensive abilities and is more then happy to go to the front of the net. Needs to work on play without the puck and on defense. A project but one with a big upside.
Mikael Backlund, a center out of Sweden. Has great hands, can pass and shoot the puck, thought not a natural sniper or playmaker. Didn't show great speed this year but that could be part of him just coming back from his injuries. Had a poor year but has WORLDS of potential. Could fall that low.
Michal Repik, a Czech RW playing in the WHL. Skilled offensive, though soft, winger that went through hot and cold stretchs in the WHL last year. Needs to get more consistent. Has the potential, just needs to get there.
Zach Hamill , a center from the WHL. A smaller player (5'11) but fast with great hands and hockey sense. Also has great vision, sometimes catching teammates by surprised with passes. Good defensive play (is a shot blocker) and very unselfish. Not overly physical, doesn't like to play on the boards.
Max Pacioretty, a center from the USHL. Is a good, fast a skater, thought it takes him a step or two to get going. Is a natural play maker and good passer. He does have a fast, strong shot but its a big wild. Likes to play infront of the net. (my choice)
Maxim Mayorov, a RW from Russia. Has all the skills of the proto-typical Russian winger, but also brings size and a power game (6'2, 187lbs). A powerfoward not a sniper. Another player who has all the tools but has yet to put it together.
If you want a huge homerun, boom or bust kind of guy, Luca Cunti is your pick. He's easily one of the most naturally talented players in this draft, if not the most talented. He's selfish and doesn't have much of an overall game, but his offensive talents can't be denied. He's the guy I was hoping the Flyers would take at 23.
23. DAVID PERRON
LW, Lewiston (QMJHL)
TSN Rank: #17
HT: 6.00 WT: 180
70 GP, 39 G, 44 A, 83 Pts Dreger Says:
After a trying year, the Flyers opted to trade this pick for players who could help right away - Scott Hartnell and Kimmo Timonen. Going for the best available player for Nashville, that is clearly Perron, a skilled young forward.
TSN has us picking David Perron in their mock, who I'm told some feel could step into the NHL right away, draws a lot of comparisons to Patrice Bergeron.
Fox Sports' mock has us taking Repik. The interesting thing about him is that they go on about how he had a great regular season, but everyone watched to see how he would do in the playoffs.
He proved himself by leading the entire WHL in playoff scoring with 26 points in 22 games, so some feel he can be a "clutch" player. They also noted that while he's a great scorer, he's defensively responsible, as well.
Maybe, maybe not. He had a pretty bad season last year at both ends of the ice.
The picks from about 10 through the 30's are all pretty similar - more a matter of taste than anything. No earthly reason to pay to move up a few spots, unless it's into the top 10, and preferably the top 5.
Lots of terrific forwards that fit Poile's style could be available with this pick, including guys like Repik, MacMillan and Sutter, anyone of whom could turn out to be similar players to Hartnell in the future.