Friday, June 15, 2012
NHL Draft advice for CBJ fans.
2007: No Russians in Top 10
2008: 6th - Nikita Filatov
2009: No Russians in the Top 10
2010: 8th Aleksandr Burmistrov
2011: No Russians in the Top 10
Anyways, to my point, Nail Yakupov will likely be available at pick number two if Edmonton doesn't trade it's number one pick. Considering how badly Edmonton needs defensemen and how stacked they are with legit young forwards, it may be possible they look to trade the number one pick. And really, if Wisniewski hadn't gotten a Nash-like contract (Nash-like in it's NTC, over paying-ness, and consistent Cap hit), he'd be on his way to Edmonton with he Kings acquired draft pick giving Columbus a number one pick in this year's draft. Ok - I spoke with three front offices this week.
Columbus, if you find yourself in a position to draft Yakupov, only draft him if you plan on keeping him in Jrs one more year. He had a multi-injury shortened season in Jrs this year, only his second in Major Jr, and he needs to play another year there. While it may be foreign to people in three-balled Columbus to leave your number 2 pick (and possibly your number 1 pick) in Jrs, you are rebuilding and there is no hurry to force him into the NHL. Having him play a frustrating season on the worst team in the league is not what this young man needs. Leave him in Jrs one more year. Come to think of it, it may be foreign to the NHL to put a non-goalie No. 1 or 2 pick back in Jrs.
Don't give me this Hall/Nugent-Hopkins crap. Hall was an NHL ready pick ready after three full seasons in Major Junior. He put up Nash like numbers his first two years in the NHL playing 75% of each season. Nugent-Hopkins played parts of three seasons in Jrs, got to play on a team with a talented and same-aged Hall, and went balls-so-hard in the NHL. Good luck finding film of Yakupov doing that. There are lots of great videos of Yakupov dangling 17 year olds on the internet - not a lot of film of him banging in the corners. Yakupov will have a good career in the NHL splitting time on the second line and top powerplay units. He may make an All-Star team year. Don't expect him to turn around a team or be the face of the franchise should he be drafted by Columbus playing in the Central Division. Doing so would just be plain ignorant.