Dallas has the 28th, 33rd, 70th (Vancouver), and 74th (Washington) picks in the first 3 rounds. Should they keep the picks, trade up, or should they trade down again? Who would you like to see them pick?
I don't think that Dallas will be able to trade-up, at least not a significant amount, without sacrificing too much. The draft seems deep enough this year that it isn't worth it. As for trading down, I wouldn't mind if they traded either the 28th or 33rd for a couple late second round/early third rounders. I'd like to see them keep one of those two picks though. As for specific players.. I really like the looks of Dustin Kohn (ranked 32 in The Hockey News) and Chris Lawrence (44). For the later picks, I like Steve Downie (85), who sounds a lot like Steve Ott. I guess it's debatable whether or not Dallas needs another player like that, but teams can always use those guys.
Basically, I just want Dallas to avoid stay-at-home defensemen and goalies, and not go too heavy on the 'character' forwards.
If they somehow manage to trade up, I wouldn't mind seeing Alex Bourret (10) or Martin Hanzal (13).
Dustin Kohn: Defense. 6-1, 182. "What Kohn has going for him is hockey sense and an ability to generate offense. He doesn't mind being a bruising defenseman and he's still growing. Scouts would like to see his foot speed improve." Calgary, WHL. 71-8-35-43-61
Chris Lawrence: Center. 6-4, 199. "Lawrence embodies the big up the middle theme in the NHL. He needs to fill out and learn to use his size effectively. But there's a lot to like in terms of hands, ability and attitude." S.S Marie, OHL. 68-11-40-51-57
Steve Downie: Center. 5-10, 192. "He's the type of player who makes things happen and can jump-start a team by making a big hit. Fireplug and pepperpot are two words scouts use to describe him. Theres always room for energy players." Windsor, OHL. 61-21-52-73-179.
I also just noticed two other players:
Richard Lelkes (60): right wing, 6-3, 207.
"Scouts like the skill level, but want him to get more involved physically. It's not that Lelkes is scared, but he doesn't take the initiative with the body. Everything else translates to pro ability."
Trencin, Slovakia. 28-0-3-3-24.
Not quite a flattering write-up (and pretty bad stats for this year), but he did very well in the U-20 league earlier in the year: 31-22-12-34-79 and going +27.
Niklas Bergfors (15): right wing, 5-11, 191.
"Bergfors is providing hope that the development slump in Sweden is over. He goes hard all night and his skill is augmented by a physical element. He has soft, quick hands and is dangerous 1-on-1."
Sodertalje, Sweden Jr. 21-18-16-34-25.
By the way, all of these quotes and draft rankings are from the Hockey News, August issue.
Also, here is the TSN mock draft for the first round. It has Dallas getting Michael Blunden, which wouldn't be a bad choice, though they could probably hold out till the 33 for him.