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NHL Draft Stuff

One of my goals this year is to do a better job following the NHL Draft. It's one of those things that is obliquely related to college hockey, but interesting enough for me to try and cover it.

McKeen's Hockey recently updated their 2007 draft board. They've got Jakub Voracek at number one, which everybody seems to have nowadays, and then WHL defenseman Keaton Ellerby number 2, former Shattuck star Angelo Esposito 3, and WHL defenseman Karl Alzner 4. College hockey persona non grata Pat Kane and Sam Gagner come in at 5 and 6 respectively. Other college hockey names of interest include CC's Bill Sweatt at 14 and Michigan recruit Aaron Palushaj at 24. If Sweatt can get over his mono and play in the World Juniors, there's a chance he could go that high, but I think he'd drop a lot if he didn't play in that tournament. Also, after not seeing him on any lists, McKeen's agrees with me that Jeremy Smith is the best available goalie in the draft.

Also, the NHL Central Scouting Bureau released their list of "Players of to Watch," which breaks players down into "A" or "B" categories, with A being a top three round pick, and B being a later round pick.

Nobody in the AJHL, including top recruit Tyler Gron, got an A rating.

In the BCHL, Kyle Turris, Riley Nash, and Ben Winnett all got A ratings. Casey Pierr-Zabotel had a B rating, but I think he'll make a huge move up by the time the first set of rankings comes out.

Nobody from the Ontario junior leagues got an A rating, including Brendan Smith, who most people have listed as going in the first round.

There's obviously no A players in the NAHL, but I think a couple guys from the NAHL will get drafted this year, including Pat Maroon and Doug Leaverton.

There were 9 A players in the USHL, including some surprising names like Ben Ryan(Notre Dame), Vince Loverde(Miami), and Jack Downing(Vermont).

There were also quite a few A players from the Western high schools. It's not often that you see someone as small as Tyler Johnson listed as a top 3 round pick. By the way, I'm calling shenanigans on Mikey Louwerse not getting mentioned.

6 NTDP players made the A list, including uncommitted C.J. Severyn.

I'm going to keep working on it, but hopefully I'll have my own pre-draft rankings of college-eligible guys sometime around when the CSB Prelim rankings come out.