Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Decade of Drafting: The Thrashers

To borrow a literary comparison the Thrashers have become the epitome of a "Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde" when it comes to draft day.

They began the decade with the first overall pick in a strong draft and did well to select Ilya Kovalchuk.  The next year they had the second overall pick and took Kari Lehtonen.  Kovalchuk won the Calder, was a bonafide superstar and innevitably left the small market club. Rick Dudley did well to swipe Johnny Oduya, Nik Bergfors, Pat Cormier and a pick from Jersey at the deadline for Kovy.  Unfortunately the return for Lehtonen was a small defenseman and a fourth round pick.

It get's better...

2003 they take a mobile giant of a d-man in Braydon Coburn.   2004 they take an immobile mound in Boris Valabik.  Coburn was innexplicably delt at the dealine leading for Alexie Zhitnik and Valabik was placed on waivers this season, so it's a wash, whether they drafted a bang or a bust they got nothing for it through trades anyway.

Their 2005 pick of Alex Bourret 16th overall ahead of several future NHL stars, but they saved face by stealing Ondrej Pavelec later in the second round that year.

Of late they've greatly improved there draft record taking Evander Kane 4th overall in 2009, Zack Bogosian 3rd overall in 2008, and Alex Burmistrov 8th in 2010, all of these players are on the current starting roster.

The Thrash have also turned up a few diamonds in the rough in servicable NHLers Nathan Oystrick 198th and Patr Dwyer 116th, but the best had to be Toba Enstrom 239th overall in 2003.

With 11 first rounders in ten years, and 83 picks over that span, the Thrash show definite improvement.  They've got 7 of their own picks in the starting roster currently, which is decent, but they've been handed a lot of high selections and missed which brings their ranking waaaaaaaay down.

Grade: B (Barely) Enstrom in the 8th round keeps them in the B's, wihtout that they're a C+ for sure.

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