Sports Blog Nation's mock NHL Entry Draft continued on Tuesday, with selections four to six having been made by the Atlanta, Los Angeles and Phoenix sites. All chose players who fit snuggly into present team needs, and I can see at least two of these selection making the jump to the NHL immediately in 2009-10.
Call me crazy, but I share the Falconer at Bird Watcher's Anonymous' enthusiam for his selection of Evander Kane. Watching this past WJC, I thought Kane was one of the more elusive players on the ice. I wouldn't be at all surprised if one day he tops both Tavares and Kane as a better all around offensive threat. Here's Falconer's take:
"His stickhandling is considered to be his best attribute by many. He can also score the puck--his 48 goals ranked 2nd in the WHL this last season. He is considered a plus skater as well. He can also bring a physical dimension to the game. At age 17 he is already 6'0" 180 lbs. He grew two inches over the last year alone. Over the next 5-7 years he will get bigger and stronger and could become more of a power forward. He also is not afraid to drop the gloves now and then, you can check out a couple of his fisticuffs over at hockey.fights.com (with a first name like Evander you must have some fight in you!)"
Battle Of California, representing the Los Angeles Kings, put a kink in the Toronto Maple Leafs plans uniting the brothers Schenn when it chose to snap up sibling Brayden with the fifth choice. BOC's Rudy Kelly, had it been left to him, would have traded down, after losing out on Kane. Nevertheless, the Kings gets a dandy with Brayden Schenn. Says Rudy:
"Now, I'm not saying Brayden is the best pick, or the one the Kings should necessarily make, just that he's the one that Dean would likely make. Yesterday's poll decided that Evander Kane was the choice for most LA fans, but he's gone. My personal draft day wish? Trade the 5th and Jack Johnson for Tomas Kaberle, Alexei Ponikarovsky, and the 7th overall and then draft Magnus Paajarvi-Svennson (who I personally like more than Schenn). I don't know, we'll see in the next few days. I just want to have a good night's sleep for once."
That's a deal that might make sense for both clubs, if Brian Burke is willing to tolerate Johnson's shenanigans.
Up next were the Phoenix Coyotes' Five For Howling site, and they wisely used the sixth selection to fill a need on defense, opting to go with the Spokan Chiefs' Jared Cowan. The Coyotes, who have an abundance of skill and talent upfront, could find a place for Cowan sooner than expected. Howling's OdinMercer puts things in perspective:
"Cowen Is one big kid. 6'5" and 220 lbs. He's strong on defense and was getting better and better offensively until he went out with a knee injury late in the season. Reports say that he should be 100% before training camps open so everything will hopefully be fine and not keep a team from drafting him. While plenty of people may value other players over Cowen and scream "Draft for skill!" Cowen has shown he has plenty of tallent, but the tie breaker between him and the rest of the availiable players is the Phoenix needs defensive prospects as right now the cupboard is a little bare and we're stacked on young forwards. "
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