My 2011 NHL Draft Top-30

Jonathan Willis
June 23 2011 10:03AM

I know the hockey world is swamped with mock drafts and top-30 lists at the moment, but I thought I’d add one more – mine. This is not a mock draft; rather, this is how I rank the players I feel are the top-30 prospects for tomorrow’s draft.

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How Teams Will Meet the Cap Floor

Chemmy
June 22 2011 09:02AM

There are a number of cash-poor NHL teams that are likely scrambling to meet the $48M floor, most notably Florida who have to sign 11 players and spend at least $29.7M dollars to do it. Phoenix, Dallas and the NY Islanders are in similar positions albeit with more players signed.

Just because they're cap rich doesn't make Florida in a rush to acquire garbage like Wade Redden, Chris Drury, or Mike Komisarek, those guys actually need to be paid a lot of money. Instead look for these teams to exploit a CBA loophole for this coming season.

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Stacking the deck on draft day

Cam Charron
June 21 2011 05:06PM

 

 

I want to point you all in the direction of a fantastic bit of research written last week by CIS Blogger and math graduate Rob Pettapiece. Rob expands on research he did into the CHL draft and found that players born earlier in the year were more likely to get drafted than players born later in the year. He divided the players into four camps, 'Q1' through 'Q4' and concluded that, since there were 4.3 times more Q1 players drafted, there are teams that make decisions, particularly in the late rounds, based on player size and strength rather than observable skill.

"If you’re down to “projectability” at that point, rather than stats and performance, then fine, pick the tallest kid if you have no other information about them."

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Colin Campbell's Failure To Communicate

Jonathan Willis
June 21 2011 01:41PM

As those of you who follow me on Twitter know, last night I was listening to Colin Campbell’s interview with the Fan 590 from earlier in the day and passing along some choice quotes. It was a bizarre interview in a lot of ways, ranging from Colin Campbell’s anger at the victims of hits from behind to his feelings that those pesky emails that were revealed earlier this season were totally appropriate to his not so subtly-worded desire to take a picture of his son, Marc Savard and the Stanley Cup and shove it up Tyler Dellow’s keester.

There was another point in the interview I found especially noteworthy however, one that I felt deserved more than 140 characters of consideration.

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The case for Brooks Laich as a first line centre

Cam Charron
June 20 2011 04:09PM

 

 

With the days being crossed off the June calendar as we head to the opening of free agency, we know that the Toronto Maple Leafs have, among their pressing needs, a requirement to get a first line centre for Phil Kessel.

The prevailing wisdom is that the Leafs would be best-served by signing unrestricted free agent Brad Richards, and, why not? Brad Richards is a terrific hockey player who lifts the games of his teammates and has a terrific shot, is effective on the powerplay and has won a Conn Smythe Trophy to boot after a terrific playoff run with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2004.

However, there are two potential turn-offs:

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