Saturday, July 30, 2005

Draft: Where Are The Europeans?

The first round of the NHL draft is now over. What jumps out at me is the lack of draft picks who had been playing in Europe. No Russians were picked at all. Is this evidence that GMs think that entry level salary restrictions will keep Europeans in Europe? The first European chosen was Anze Kopitar a Slovenian who was top scorer in the Swedish Junior League last year. The TSN mock draft had him going fifth overall. He wasn't selected until 11th by Los Angeles. People are scared to pick Europeans beacuse they may not be able to offer them enough money to get them to the NHL. Only five players who played in Europe last year were picked in the first round.

Its a shame that the NHL talent base appears to be getting reduced by this CBA.

Here are the first round selections:

1 Pittsburgh Sidney Crosby, C, Rimouski (QMJHL)
2 Anaheim Bobby Ryan, RW, Owen Sound (OHL)
3 Carolina Jack Johnson, D, U.S. U-18
4 Minnesota Benoit Pouliot, LW, Sudbury (OHL)
5 Montreal Carey Price, G, Tri-City (WHL)
6 Columbus Gilbert Brule, C, Vancouver (WHL)
7 Chicago Jack Skille, RW, U.S. U-18
8 San Jose Devin Setoguchi, RW, Saskatoon (WHL)
9 Ottawa Brian Lee, D, Moorhead HS, MN
10 Vancouver Luc Bourdon, D, Val-d'Or (QMJHL)
11 Los Angeles Anze Kopitar, C, Sodertalje Jr. (Swe)
12 NY Rangers Marc Staal, D, Sudbury (OHL)
13 Buffalo Marek Zagrapan, C, Chicoutimi (QMJHL)
14 Washington Sasha Pokulok, D, Cornell (ECAC)
15 NY Islanders Ryan O'Marra, C, Erie (OHL)
16 Atlanta Alex Bourret, RW, Lewiston (QMJHL)
17 PhoenixMartin Hanzal, C, Budejovice Jr. (Cze)
18 Nashville Ryan Parent, D, Guelph (OHL)
19 Detroit Jakub Kindl, D, Kitchener (OHL)
20 Florida Kenndal McArdle, LW, Moose Jaw (WHL)
21 Toronto Tuukka Rask, G, Ilves Jr. (Fin)
22 Boston Matt Lashoff, D, Kitchener (OHL)
23 New Jersey Nicklas Bergfors, W, Sodertalje Jr. (Swe)
24 St Louis T.J. Oshie, C, Warroad HS, MN
25 Edmonton Andrew Cogliano, C, St. Michael's (OPJHL)
26 Calgary Matt Pelech D, Sarnia (OHL)
27 Washington Joe Finley, D, Sioux Falls (USHL)
28 Dallas Matt Niskanen, D, Virginia HS, MN
29 Philadelphia Steve Downie, RW, Windsor (OHL)
30 Tampa Bay Vladimir Mihalik, D, Presov II (Svk)

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