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Wednesday February 10, 2010 9:58 pm

2009 NHL Entry Draft - Six months later




Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, Drafts, Editorial, NHL,

John TavaresNow that we’ve had some time to become familiar with the picks from the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, it’s time to start evaluating how they’ve done so far. First, let’s recap how things went. Seven of the top 10 picks were Canadian, the other two were Swedes. Two of those three made up three defensive picks, while the others were all forwards. The first non-Canadian/Swedish player was a Russian, picked 14th, and the first goalie was selected with the first pick of the second round. But how have those top 10 picks fared since then?

The biggest debate was who would go first, John Tavares or Victor Hedman? Tavares was taken by the Islanders first overall, followed by Hedman with the Tampa Bay. Predictably, the Avalanche drafted Matt Duchene third. Atlanta took Evander Kane fourth. All four of the top picks made their teams out of training camp and have been tearing up the rookie stat sheets. Tavares specifically has been a leading scorer, while Hedman has been followed by media in every city he’s visited with the Lightning.

Brayden Schenn was taken fifth by Los Angeles and Nazem Kadri seventh by Toronto. Schenn made his NHL debut on Nov. 26, and Kadri on Feb. 8. Both players were called up under emergency needs and have played only a single game in the NHL. Both are roster members of their junior teams prior to being drafted; Schenn on the Brandon Wheat Kings of the WHL and Kadri on the London Knights in the OHL.

Schenn’s Wheat Kings teammate Scott Glennie was taken eighth by Dallas. The sixth pick went to Phoenix, who chose Oliver Ekman-Larsson. They, Ottawa ninth-pick Jared Cowen and Edmonton’s tenth-pick Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson have all yet to make their NHL debuts, and there doesn’t seem to be any need to bring any of those four to the NHL this season. All of them are underprepared for the fast-paced action and world-class talent that awaits them. But one more thing that the four have in common is that they all possess the skills to make a big impact, they just need the polishing before they can realize their potential. The 2009 Draft was exciting for the fact that everybody claimed that the top five or so picks would be incredible players, but the talent-level of the next group of kids would drop considerably. It’s almost six months later, and it seems that everything that was speculated then has come to pass.

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