I'm not saying who I would take because every team has a different situation and system but Zajac would be a safe excellent pick at #3, people seem to underate his defensive awareness and maturity at such a young age. He is leading +- on the team at+9, only 7 players on the devils are a plus.
You pretty much explained why I would take him at #3... And he's a natural center, a guy who could be the cornerstone of his team PP AND PK in some years. His maturity also makes me beleive he's not prone to attitude problems, for the future.
Add to the fact that 2004 wasn't quite 2005 when it comes to draft quality... I'd probably slate Zajac somwhere around 5th and 8th, lumped in with guys like Latendresse, Vlasic and Brulé... Though he's ahead of Brulé at this point.
Someone please list all of the goalies who made it to the NHL by the age of 20. Then, from that list put together another list of guys who became starters in the NHL by the age of 20. (Hint: the first list is pretty short, the second is even shorter.)
The Rangers had Lundqvist, who is 4 years older and had established himself as a hell of a goaltender in Sweden since being drafted - and all he did was come into the NHL and go 30-12-4 with a 2.24 GAA and .922 save% in his first season here. (Yeah, there was also this "Olympic gold medal" that Lundqvist backstopped his country to, but that's probably irrelevant to the discussion.)
Yet some of you apparently believe that Montoya (who wasn't about to get thrown into the NHL to start his career), after 42 professional games total, should have been able to shove out Lundqvist this season, despite what Henrik accomplished.
: The constant, inexplicable "HE'S GOTTA BE A SUPERSTAR NOW!" chant here continues ...
imo he is to old to be considered a first round pick in this draft. he is two years older then every one else. so that means the guys someone here puts behind him has two years on him to develop. if he was two years younger he wouldn't have played in the nhl now. imo he deserves to move up to mid-late second round.
Fair enough, I had reason to believe he was only a year older than his draft class. But my original beef was for the statement that he was a healthy scratch for the first part of the season and that he has been struggling. Both of which are untrue.
Well, Wolski has more points, but Radulov has shown us that he will be an NHL player. Because of that, I don't see nothing wrong with putting him in front of Wolski if the guy thinks that Radu has more upside...
I still can't believe Wolski fell that much in the draft because of that police charge against him and his "attitude problem". He turned out to be the third best player in the draft.
Yeah, it sure was a boon for Colorado that he dropped that far. But even though he has turned out to be one of the best players so far from that draft, I don't think people were calling him a top 5 talent even before the police charge. I think he was projected to go somewhere in the 8-15 range.
Colorado is one of my teams, and I remember wanting them to take Zajac before the 2004 draft, but NJ leapfrogged them on draft day and took Zajac one pick before Colorado got Wolski. I wasn't happy about that then, but now I think Colorado did just fine. It looks like I was right about Zajac, too, he looks like he'll be an excellent player.
Malkin should not be above Ovechkin. Malkin is a great player, and I truly believe he is what the hockey gods imagined when they thought of a balance of Ovechkin and Crosby (Ovechkin will have more goals, Crosby more assists, Malkin will be inbetween both of them in each category), but by no means is he a better player than Ovie Ocho. Ovie is better overall in every area of the game, not just scoring. Physical play. Two-way play. Etc. etc. etc.
I think Ovechkin is a bit more physical than Malkin, but from watching them, I don't feel that either one of them are outstanding defensive players right now. Although his +/- rating might suggest otherwise, Ovechkin has definitely improved his defense from last year, though, and Malkin shows very solid defensive potential as well.
I would still take Ovechkin first because of his love of the game and desire to win. I think that is a huge factor in his consistent production.