Best surprises, steals and rumors in the first round of the NHL draft
Random thoughts from the floor of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft on Friday night ...
A year ago, this pick wouldn't have raised an eyebrow. Hishon, at the time, was widely regarded as a player worth watching, a smallish center with a high skill level who was recognized via a coaches' poll as the top stickhandler and playmaker in the OHL's Western Conference. But his 2009-10 season, limited to just 36 games due to a broken foot and a sprained knee, was a disappointment. And in the games he did play, he earned criticism for an approach that was deemed to lack the necessary intensity at all times. The Avs obviously saw something in him that warranted a mid-round pick (and after they plucked
As one NHL executive said after the watching these defensive studs slip into the middle of the first round, "I thought [those two] would have gone a lot earlier, but you never know what teams are really thinking." Ultimately, the willingness to pass time and again on this duo -- Fowler went 12th to Anaheim, Gormley 13th to Phoenix -- was likely more a matter of teams preferring to load up on front-end talent rather than a sign of concern over their perceived shortcomings. Still, the snubs were a shock to both observers and the players' families. I talked to Fowler's father briefly in the concourse after his son's name had been called and the disappointment was palpable. In time though, both players will realize they've landed in ideal situations. Fowler goes to the Ducks just as power play QB and offensive catalyst
If the offer was made -- and multiple sources suggested it was -- you have to love the aggressive Taylor-Tyler approach
Tallon promised a makeover in Miami, but even the most hopeful Cats fans couldn't have dreamed of a result this promising arising from Friday night's action. With the third overall pick, Florida grabbed
Seemed like there were at least half a dozen situations earlier in the draft where calling the name of Long Beach, Calif., native Etem would have made sense (didn't Montreal have him, instead of
The Coyotes had their eyes on
Fantastic job by Ducks' GM
The word out of the NHL draft combine was that Merrill badly damaged his standing with several teams during the interview process. The fact that a player with his package of talent slid out of the first round seems to corroborate that. Initially, it would be surprising to see the defender slip past Boston at 32, but after that first round, there clearly aren't any sure things. No such issues for Pickard -- with him, it's simply a matter of the next team that's looking for a high-end goaltending prospect. Toffoli brings a nice, two-way package with a potentially higher offensive upside than several of the players taken late in the first. He'll go within the first 10 picks in the second round.