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NHL Draft Lottery

The NHL held their Draft Lottery today in the stupidest possible fashion. The St Louis Blues had the correct sequence of numbers(11-14-13-1 for those of you keeping track at home) on their probability matrix so they get the first pick. What's so bad about using good old fashioned ping pong balls? If you're that intent on being loserish, why not decide your draft order with 12-sided dice? I hear Erik Johnson is now a Level 10 defenseman.

Anyway, your draft order looks like this:

1. St. Louis Blues
2. Pittsburgh Penguins
3. Chicago Blackhawks
4. Washington Capitals
5. Boston Bruins
6. Columbus Blue Jackets
7. New York Islanders
8. Phoenix Coyotes
9. Minnesota Wild
10. Florida Panthers
11. Los Angeles Kings
12. Atlanta Thrashers
13. Toronto Maple Leafs
14. Vancouver Canucks

And according to ISS your top 15 Prospects look like this:

1 E. Johnson USA
2 J. Toews UND
3 J. Staal PET
4 P. Kessel UMIN
5 N. Backstrom SWE
6 P. Mueller EVE
7 M. Frolik CZE
8 J. Sheppard CB
9 B. Sanguinetti OWE
10 D. Brassard DRU
11 J. Tlusty CZE
12 N. Williams USA
13 K. Okposo DSMN
14 B. Little BAR
15 T. Wishart PGEO

So how do I think those two will match-up? The Blues really need a very good, young defenseman, so this makes it all but certain that he'll go number one in the draft. Now the nervous waiting begins for Minnesota fans. How badly will St. Louis want Johnson in their system? It might be a bit of a stretch to think Johnson could step into the NHL right away next season, but the Blues are also kinda desperate. It should be interesting to see.

That makes things very interesting for the Penguins at the second pick. Assuming Johnson goes first overall, that just leaves a lot of talented forwards. The Penguins are pretty set in terms of young forwards though with Sidney Crosby, Colby Armstrong, and Evgeni Malkin coming in next season. They may try to trade down and hope they can pick up some solid players or a lot of picks.

The next defenseman listed is Bobby Sanguinetti from Owen Sound. ISS has him rated a little higher than some other places I've seen, but it would be interesting to see him go in the top 10. That would make two straight years that the US World Junior team had an extremely poor or extremely thin blueline, while they left a top 10 draft pick at home.

I'm sure a lot of people will criticize having Nigel Williams rated that high. He may not have had the best year this season, but I think he'll improve a lot and develop into a very good player. He's got enough potential that he's probably worth the pick for some team that needs a big defenseman.

Also, the Central Scouting Bureau's final draft ratings came out today. The Gopher Blog is on top of things with all the WCHA-connections. I think it's interesting that Andy Sackrison was rated ahead of David Grun, Jordan Fulton, and Nick Oslund. I also think Zach Jones is a potential steal for whichever team takes him.