Saturday, March 28, 2009

A Mock NHL Draft Already

The fine folks at are getting a little carried away. At a time when hockey fans are watching the final couple weeks of the season watching tight races in both conferences and thinking about their upcoming playoff drafts, those at are already looking to next year. The final rankings from NHL Central Scouting aren't out yet but if you go to the site, you will find they have three guys who have conducted mock drafts.
The three have all conceded the New York Islanders will win the draft lottery and will take John Tavares. That means Saskatoon should see a lot of Tavares when the Islanders hold their training camp next year at Credit Union Centre and while I doubt as if he will back at Christmas time, there is a chance he could be wearing Canadian colours at the World Juniors.
All three of those taking part in the draft say Saskatoon will be well represented with three Saskatoon born players all going in that first round. They are Spokane's Jared Cowen, Lethbridge's Carter Ashton and Brandon's Brayden Schenn. In fact two of the drafts have Schenn going to the Maple Leafs. If that holds true it would mean Brayden would have the chance at playing with big brother Luke. I could actually see that happening at some point in the future. Two of the three also have Blades defenceman Stefan Elliott going late in the first round. I again don't argue with that and believe Elliott could go even higher if his team can go far in the WHL playoffs.
It also begs the question about the development of hockey players in Saskatchewan's two biggest cities. Counting Luke Schenn last year, Saskatoon minor hockey will have provided four first rounders to the NHL. Who was the last product of Hockey Regina to go in the first round? I believe--and someone please correct me if I'm wrong--that Jordan Eberle is not a Hockey Regina grad as he played his hockey growing up in Calgary. If that is the case, the honour goes to Ryan Getzlaf who was the first round pick of the Ducks way back in 2003. Even if it is Eberle, that makes two in six years compared to Saskatoon who will have three this year alone. Why are Saskatoon players so much better than Regina players and what is happening to the products of Hockey Regina. Feel free to answer that question because I don't have the answer and I would like to know what you're thinking if you want to give an opinion.

By the way, Jordan Eberle is already making his presence known with Edmonton's AHL team in Springfield. In his first game, Eberle set up a goal as the Falcons lost 3-2 to the Worcester Sharks. After the game, coach Rob Daum thought Eberle handled himself well and that you could see he has tremendous ability.


Mike from Vita said...


There is nothing wrong with the minor hockey programs of any Saskatchewan centre. The reality year one program excels, the next year, someone else. Regina's, and every other Saskatchewan centre's turn will come up soon! Be patient.

Anonymous said...

Who was the last Regina player to go in the 1st round before Getzlaf?? There are NHL'ers coming out of Saskatchewan but very few call Regina home. That is sad when you think about it. I guess Saskatoon wins this battle.

Keith said...

I think you should have included F1, or at least an 'other' pick on your poll, Mitch.

Guy who likes to complain.

Anonymous said...

It's not hard to figure out why Saskatoon consistiently kicks Regina's butt (see 11 to 0 drubbing at this years' Sask First Bantam tournament)in hockey. The infinite wisdom of the HR Board to hire the Neanderthal named Norm Johnston for $60,000 per year, to produce these kinds of results, guarantees one thing. More of the same.