B.D. Gallof interviewed TSN’s Bob McKenzie with a New York Islanders-leaning perspective, yet the two covered a lot of interesting details. Three things that McKenzie said stand out the most, though: 1) it doesn’t appear that there are many “elite” prospects, 2) the 2012 draft is a deep one for defensemen and 3) it could be a resoundingly bad one for Canadian forwards.
(Note: if the name “Kris Beech” comes up, you know things aren’t going in a positive direction.)
Let’s start with McKenzie’s comments regarding elite talent:
“I think there are elite players in ever draft; it’s just a matter of finding them. I would say, based on conversation with scouts, there are fewer potential elite prospects in this draft than others.”
“Yakupov has been perceived most of the season as an elite guy, but his playoff concerned some scouts, so that ‘can’t miss’ franchise-type player may not be as obvious this year.”
Here are a few of the most interesting comments about a defense-rich draft.
“This is a very strong draft for defensemen.”
“The top-ranked defensemen are: Ryan Murray, Griffin Reinhart, Morgan Rielly, Jacob Trouba, Matt Dumba, Olli Maatta and Cody Ceci. They could take any one of those guys and they’d be getting a defenseman scouts think are amongst the very best, depending upon the style of player you prefer.”
Finally, here’s McKenzie’s surprising observation about how bad this draft is looking as far as high-end Canadian scorers are concerned.
” … There’s never been a worse year for Canadian forwards in the draft. Belleville’s Brendan Gaunce is the top-ranked Canadian forward and I would project him to be a mid-to-late first rounder. The lowest-drafted Canadian forward ever is Kris Beech (Washington) and he went seventh overall. That record is likely to be broken this year. It’s just a really strong cycle of defenseman and weak cycle of forwards.”
Again, when Beech’s name comes up, it’s usually not a good sign.