2010 NHL Entry Draft: Ducks come up 'winners' of 1st round with Fowler, Etem

fowlercam.jpgDeclaring a winner regarding often-raw 18 and 19-year-old hockey players is almost as absurd as pinning the future of your NHL franchise on them. Still, that being said, if I had to pick a “winner” of the first round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft it would be the Anaheim Ducks.

The team landed much-ballyhooed defensive gem Cam Fowler with their No. 12 pick and turned boos to uproarious cheers when they drafted California-product Emerson Etem with their Pronger trade-fueled 29th pick.

Many mock drafts tabbed the offensively gifted defenseman Fowler as high as No. 3. In fact, the Ducks didn’t even interview him at the Combine this year; they figured it was unlikely that he would drop that far. Often times in sports, a player will see his value free-fall out of nowhere due to health or even personality concerns (see: the NFL’s Randy Moss). It’s unclear if there was some “intel” on Fowler that made teams sour on him, but if not, the Ducks might have landed the steal of the draft. Here’s a quick video that shows the young D’s impressive speed.

Long beach-native Emerson Etem has serious draft day bargain written all over him, as well (and not just because of the ovation he received from the crowd) Anaheim Calling features a nice write-up on the intriguing prospect who lit up the WHL last season.

The book on Etem is that he’s got a great shot, incredible speed and a strong work ethic. He gives a solid interview, and he’s worked hard to develop his game and his body, which he put on display with Combine Fitness Testing Top 10 finishes in Aerobic Fitness Test Duration, 4 Jump Average Height, Vertical Jump, Leg Power, Curl-Ups, and Pull Strength.

His flaws? He relies on that speed to the outside a little too much i.e. not all that creative offensively, and that gives the impression of a player who’s a little bit raw.

Again, it’s important to emphasize that draft analysis is akin to lottery forecasting. Some of the most criticized picks (such as Ryan Johansen to Columbus or Dylan McIlrath to the Rangers) could end up being the best players in the draft.

You never know, but if I had to guess, the Ducks improved themselves the most … at least during the higher-spectacle first round. At least without the advantage of hindsight.

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    Gostisbehere sets new rookie record in OT loss to Devils

    Philadelphia Flyers' Shayne Gostisbehere reacts after scoring the first goal of his career during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Los Angeles Kings, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
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    Shayne Gostisbehere is the proud owner of a new rookie record.

    With his goal in the third period of Saturday’s 2-1 OT loss to the Devils, the 22-year-old extended his point streak to 11 games, which is a record for rookie defensemen in the NHL.

    Gostisbehere has an incredible 10 goals and 30 points in 35 games this season.

    Gostisbehere’s goal tied the game at one after Devils forward Joseph Blandisi scored this beauty in the first period:

    Adam Henrique added the game-winning goal in overtime.

    It’s the second straight 2-1 victory for the Devils, who also beat the Oilers by the same score on Tuesday night.

    The Flyers have just one win in their last five contests.

    To add insult to injury, Philadelphia lost Michael Del Zotto to an upper-body injury, per GM Ron Hextall.

    Here’s an updated look at the Metropolitan division standings and Wild Card race:

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    After missing two games because of an illness, Panarin will return to ‘Hawks lineup

    Chicago Blackhawks left wing Artemi Panarin (72) celebrates after scoring an empty-net goal on an assist from Patrick Kane against the Winnipeg Jets during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Sunday, Dec. 6, 2015, in Chicago. The Blackhawks won 3-1. (AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski)
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    CHICAGO (AP) Blackhawks forward Artemi Panarin is expected to play Saturday night against Anaheim after missing two games with an illness.

    Panarin participated in Chicago’s optional morning skate, and coach Joel Quenneville says the rookie will be in the lineup against the Ducks.

    The 24-year-old Panarin, who has played on Chicago’s second line with Artem Anisimov and Patrick Kane for most of the season, is second on the team with 34 assists and 52 points. The Blackhawks dropped both games while he was out.

    Rangers get good news on McDonagh, bad news on Nash

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    Some good news/bad news for the Rangers.

    Exactly one week after suffering a concussion against the Philadelphia Flyers, defenseman Ryan McDonagh returned to the ice with his teammates this morning.

    The Rangers captain was wearing a non-contract jersey, but “looked good” according to coach Alain Vigneault.

    McDonagh was hurt after taking a punch to the head from Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds (above).

    The 26-year-old has missed each of his team’s last three games since suffering the injury.

    McDonagh hasn’t been cleared for contact, but that could happen in the next few days according to Vigneault.

    The news wasn’t as good for forward Rick Nash, who’s been dealing with a bone bruise in his leg.

    Nash has missed each of New York last eight game’s and Vigneault admitted that he’s no longer considered day-to-day.

    He’ll miss at least another week.

    Video: Blandisi scores great between-the-legs goal vs. Flyers

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    What a story Joseph Blandisi‘s been for the New Jersey Devils this season.

    The 21-year-old played in his first NHL game on Dec. 11 and has stayed with the Devils ever since.

    It took him five games to pick up his first career point, but he’s done a whole lot more damage since then.

    Blandisi came into Saturday’s action with 10 points in his last 12 games and he added to that against the Flyers.

    He opened the scoring with this beautiful between-the-legs goal on goalie Michal Neuvirth (top of the page).

    That’s Blandisi’s fourth goal of the season.

    Some Twitter reaction to the goal: