The second through seventh rounds were just completed, bringing the 2007 NHL Entry Draft to a close.
This year's #1 overall pick was Patrick Kane of the London Knights selected by the Chicago Knights. New Jerseyan by way of Middletown James van Riemsdyk went second overall to the Philadelphia Flyers. He plans to go to University of New Hampshire, the college he committed to, for at least a year. Kyle Turris of Burnaby being selected third overall by Phoenix was a historic pick, the highest anyone from a Tier II junior league was ever drafted.
There were two major surprises: consensus top-10 picks Alexei Cherepanov (Omsk of the RSL) and Angelo Esposito (Quebec Remparts of the QMJHL) both fell quite a bit in this draft. Cherepanov fell to the New York Rangers at 17th overall; Esposito was finally drafted by Pittsburgh at 20th overall. I don't like those picks if only because both could become very talented and skilled forwards for rival teams for the Devils. In other unnecessary notes from the draft, the Washington Capitals (and their sharp new jerseys) nearly announced the wrong selection at the podium; 10 Americans were drafted in the first round; the best name out of the draft is Ben Blood (120th overall, defenseman, Ottawa); and the last selection was made by Columbus: Dublin, Ohio native and right winger Trent Vogelhuber.
The Devils did not have a first round draft pick, but made quite a few selections on the draft's second day. You can view the Devils' selections at NHL.com
and learn how large they are, where they are from, and what team they played for prior to the draft.
The only selection I have any information from is Mike Hoeffel. He was profiled in The Hockey News' 2007 NHL Draft Preview. While THN predicted he would go 27th overall, he's a project forward. The profile notes that he's a good skater, but his hockey sense is lacking - so one should not expect him to become a big scorer. Apparently, he's going to the University of Minnesota, so hopefully he'll develop further in the WCHA. Unfortunately, I do not know anything about Nick Palmieri, Corbin McPherson, Matt Halischuk, Vili Sopanen, and Ryan Molle. If any of you know anything about them outside of what NHL.com has, I'd appreciate it.
All the same, the draft did not feature any blockbuster trades and my understanding is that this year's draft was on the weaker side. You can view all the selections from this draft (and all the way back to 2001) at NHL.com.
Now it's time for the Devils to name a new head coach before the free agency period begins on July 1st (8 days from now).
Labels: 2007 Offseason