2011 Entry Draft: First Blush

Lowetide
November 17 2010 10:24PM

This is Ryan Nugent Hopkins. The young man from the hockey hotbed of Burnaby, BC is one of the highest ranked prospects eligible for the 2011 Entry Draft. He'll probably go in the top 3, and it looks (increasingly) like the Copper and Blue will be drafting "in the range" come summer.
 

The lists are here and here. The final Central Scouting list gets a lot of play but is in fact a poor guide to the final numbers (Bob McKenzie has cornered the market in this area). The first full CSB list--this one--is the most important because it gives us a list to follow for the entire season. Most of the players drafted next summer are on the lists CSB just released. The mystery is where will they go? Here's an early guess:

The Top 10

  1. C Sean Couturier (QMJHL): 6.04, 191. Tremendous combination of size and skill; he scores a lot of points at even strength. Skating has improved a lot but he's no speed burner. Has been compared to Vincent Lecavalier. He's a shooter (excellent wrist shot) and is 55% in the FO circle. The Oilers could really use him.
  2. D Adam Larsson (Swe): Big defender plays a complete game. Looks like he might be a franchise player. Calm feet and an expert puck mover, as with Couturier foot speed is the one item that has been nicked a little.
  3. C Ryan Nugent Hopkins (WHL): Major buzz happening in the west about this player. 6.01 and a half, he weighs just 170 but is an absolute wizard with the puck. Exceptional on the powerplay and has very good speed. Is probably the best offensive prospect among the top 3 and is certainly one dimensional compared to the other two.
  4. L Gabriel Landeskog (OHL): Owns a wide range of skills. Combines skill and toughess, along with aggressive play. Ranks in the top 10 in OHL scoring and that's a helluva league, he is not considered an elite offensive talent. Power forward style and is getting there in terms of size (6.01, 207). Excellent cycle player.
  5. R Ty Rattie (WHL): Young winger is very close to leading the WHL in points (39 in 23 games). Very skilled (described as slick), he's not big and his footspeed doesn't stand out in this crowd. I've read in a few places that he's taken a big step forward already this season, so he might end up going very high.
  6. D Ryan Murphy (OHL): There's all kinds of chatter about him, but Murphy looks like he might be a special player. He's 4th in OHL scoring and is dazzling with the puck. Too many moves to ignore and he apparently can play defense too. Murphy might end up being one of the best values in the 2011 draft.
  7. L Brandon Saad (OHL): Powerforward with good speed and hands. 6.01, 196 and he battles in high traffic areas. There's a lot to like about him, and he's scoring well. The only real downside is that (from what we read) he appears to be mature physically and may get passed by others in his age group as things roll along. From the resume, he looks like a strong pick.
  8. L Shane Prince (OHL): Skill winger is ripping it up in the OHL 17 points in his last 10 games, he ranks 5th in OHL scoring and a lot of it is at EV strength (8-18-26 at evs in 22gp). I'm not sure if there's even a slight negative beyond size (5.11, 185) but this guy would appear to be the first of the "breakout players" for this year's draft.
  9. D David Musil (WHL): Defender will make his living in with his own zone play. Big, skilled and athletic, Frank's boy has all of that and genetics too. Some concern about his consistency but defense is a tough position. He doesn't look like he'll spend a lot of time on an NHL powerplay.
  10. R Shane McColgan (WHL): The dub keeps turning out these undersized speed demons with skill. Ennis, Etem and now this guy. Missed some games early but appears right on track at this time. Smaller player, but extremely skilled and effective.
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Lowetide has been one of the Oilogosphere's shining lights for over a century. You can check him out here at OilersNation and at lowetide.ca. He is also the host of Lowdown with Lowetide weekday mornings 10-noon on Team 1260.
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#1 Dipstick
November 17 2010, 10:28PM
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If we really suck, can we pick two?

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#2 Shaun Doe
November 17 2010, 11:27PM
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It was pretty interesting to hear Ray Ferraro (I think) give his two cents on this next crop of draftees. He was asked if he would go for the franchise defenceman or the franchise centre and he picked the Centre. His reasoning was that there have been multiple stud defencemen moved in the past few years (ie. Phaneuf, Pronger etc...) and next to zero trades involving a franchise centre. I tend to agree with him. It seems that you can build your defence easier through trades and free agent signings than you can construct a top line.

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#3 Bacon Nachos
November 17 2010, 10:46PM
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Though completely unrelated, Boston must be thoroughly enjoying the Kessel trade.

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#4 Ducey
November 18 2010, 08:03AM
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I'd be leaning towards getting the #1 Centre. It has been a massive hole for this team forever. Courtorier is 6'4", great on faceoffs and great hands. I guess the only concern I would have is if he has no grit.

If the Oilers could get some depth down the middle it would benefit them greatly.

Gagner can move to #2 C, with Horc #3 and Pitlick, Martindale, or VV #4 C or waiting in the wings

Then scoop every D man you can find with the later picks. There have been plenty of top defensemen to come from the 2nd and 3rd rounds - big #1 Centers rarely emerge from anywhere than the first.

And as this season has shown - again, this team needs size and grit up front. No more smurphs.

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#5 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
November 17 2010, 10:28PM
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I really hope we don't end up with RNH.

I'd also be shocked if he's actually over 150lbs.

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#6 mattyfinch
November 17 2010, 10:36PM
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im boarderline ready to get rid of my hd package on shaw. There is no point in watching the ECHL Edmonton Oilers play in the National Hockey League anymore. They clearly aren't learning anything expect.. "hey boys, this is how you lose, and get yourself traded to a warmer climate."

There is no passion or desire in any eyes, any legs, or any hearts on that oilers bench, and in all honesty, i would probably beat them all to death with a stick if i was Tom Renney.

Just my 2 cents.

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#7 Archaeologuy
November 17 2010, 11:14PM
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I've heard "The Quit for Couturier", "The Arson for Larson", and "The Worst Options for Nugent-Hopkins". I dont know who's going to come out as #1, and I dont have any real strong feelings one way or the other yet. I can only hope that the Magnificent Bastard gets it right.

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#8 Max Powers - Team HME Evans
November 18 2010, 05:38AM
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Note to some ON commenters:

Just because someone is compared to another, doesn't mean they actually ARE that person. If you draft Larsson, you're not drafting Lidstrom. You're drafting someone who plays similarly.

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#9 speeds
November 18 2010, 08:22AM
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Lowetide wrote:

I'd like to know about Couturier's skating. If he's faster than Yvon Lambert then he's the guy I'd take. After that, RNH for me and then Larsson.

I think the odds of having a forward emerge from the fray healthy is far better than having a defenseman arrive as he was projected. Defensemen get hurt.

A lot.

Back in the old days of HF, and early days of IOF, wasn't it more or less show by Vic that forwards are the drivers of on-ice results, not defencemen, with very few exceptions.

That alone is a pretty good reason to take the F, all else equal, IMO.

If you KNEW you were getting a Lidstrom clone, that's one thing, but one problem with drafting a D is that unless your D develops into one of the 2 or 3 best in the league, he won't drive results the way a top F does. And a top 3D probably doesn't drive results better than a top 3F either.

The other problem is developmental time, which we've covered a bunch before - I think it's very hard to justify taking a D over a F if they are equivalent prospects. In fact, I think it's even tough to justify taking a slightly better D instead of the slightly worse F - the gap needs to be bigger than "slight" before you can justify taking the forward, regardless of need, IMO.

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#10 Wäx Män Riley
November 18 2010, 01:23PM
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The idea that the Hawks or the Pens rebuild is the model to follow right? Lets look at some history...

Pens '01-'02 through '05-'06 Point totals of 69,65,58,58 Wins totals of 28,27,23,22

Haks '02-'03 through '06-'07 Point totals of 79,59,65,71 Win totals of 30,20,26,31

The teams start to get better after that, but it was four years of bottom place hockey for each of them and they both won the cup and are now contenders..... ~So lets fire everyone from Tambo(whom I agree, does not look like a GM), Renney, Penner, and Joey Moss!! This is ridiculous! 15 games into the first official blow up year and we haven't won the cup yet!~

*Jumps off the bandwagon for 3 years, fills with hate and negativity, calls for the heads of everyone involved with the team and continually spews hate on message boards. Then jumps back on in 3 years and says "See, now this is how you do a rebuild, I knew they would get good. If they just would have made these players this good 3 years ago. I should be GM"

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#11 Spartacus
November 17 2010, 10:38PM
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The 1st line center we've been needing or the stud defenseman we've been needing?

Hmmm... what to do, what to do?

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#12 thebiggestmanintheworld
November 17 2010, 10:46PM
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Is it just me, or does this seem like a setup just like last years draft?? Pick the player you need(Seguin), or draft the best player available(Hall). This year, when( not if) we pick first, should we take the big power center or the franchise d man? I think "Oil Change:Part Deux" will be must watch TV next year... btw- IMO it's Coutuier or Larsson or bust. RNH is just too small.

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#13 Brandon
November 17 2010, 10:47PM
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We need two top 10 picks. Couturier and Musil. Problem solved, I think.

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#14 MikeH
November 17 2010, 10:47PM
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Personally I'm hoping they pick Duncan Siemens from the Blades (listed 8th in the WHL) somewhere in the draft. Hometown boy and a killer D. Not to mention he's my nephew and I don't think I could possibly wear other jersey than the copper and blue.

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#15 Bacon Nachos
November 17 2010, 10:48PM
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@thebiggestmanintheworld

Quoting Brownlee. We need both a strong center and defense. So it may not be the worst case...

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#16 thetikk
November 17 2010, 10:50PM
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If you could draft one of either Yzerman or Lidstrom, who would you pick?

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#17 Wanyes bastard child
November 17 2010, 11:14PM
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thetikk wrote:

If you could draft one of either Yzerman or Lidstrom, who would you pick?

I think i'd go Lidstrom.

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#18 Tayranchula
November 17 2010, 11:16PM
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If the Oilers draft first or second overall I will be torn between who the Oil should take. Larrson seems the be exactly what the Oil need on the back end, although Coutier seems the be the ace the Oil need down the middle. Im sure if they end up drafting Coutier they could trade some young pospects for a dman?

Lowetide, who would you rather see the Oil draft? and what would be the upside of the 2 players I mentioned if they did play for the Oil?

I predict if it comes down to it the Oil do not take a smaller skilled forward like RNH

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#19 Vince Hoben
November 17 2010, 11:46PM
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I'm going to check out Couturier in St. John when he plays back to back in January I can't wait. Jonathan Huberdeau and Tomas Jurco of the Sea Dogs are another couple of potential first rounders.

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#20 David S
November 17 2010, 11:49PM
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Sink for Sean!

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#21 C-DOG
November 18 2010, 12:03AM
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Draft Couturier, as of now Larsson shouldn't even be an option he has 3 points in 17 games, it's easier to draft/develop d-men with later picks, Stu will figure that part out.

Start cheering for the Islanders!

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#22 esa tikkanen
November 18 2010, 12:07AM
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well if the choice is between Lecavalier and Lidstrom , isn't Lidstrom by far the better choice, by far the most dominant dman of this generation?

Not sure Larsson will be as good as Lidstrom as some are saying but if he is it is a no brainer to pick him over someone being compared to Lecavalier.

Some say Larsson is the best player to come from Sweden since Peter Forsberg. Also many say Couturier is a poor skater.

Trade Penner for Brayden Schenn, draft Larsson then you can start signing the types of free agents needed to round out the roster.

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#23 Deece
November 18 2010, 12:15AM
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I'm surprised you didn't take the opportunity to mention that Shane Prince's whole line has been blazing hot lately, including Ryan Martindale. He's been pretty sick over the last few weeks.

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#24 C-DOG
November 18 2010, 12:23AM
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@ LOWTIDE,

Your selling RNH short on his defensive game, at the U-18 his 2 way game was good and scouts were comparing him to Datsyuk.

There is no way RNH is 6'1/2", MAX 5'11", I don't care what he's listed at. That is the only issue with me.

Ryan Strome might crack the top 10 maybee even the top 5 by years end. Right handed centre 6' tall, 33 points in 21 games,early b-day July 11, 93.

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#25 Dunnonuttin
November 18 2010, 12:29AM
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The two comparables I've heard for Couturier are Lecavalier (above) and Eric or Jordan Staal (McKenzie). Isn't it possible that Jordan Staal himself, or someone similar, would be available for Trade in the near future?

As I type this, I'm wondering how much of the comparison to Lidstrom rests on the fact that Larrson is Swedish, but then again much of Couturier's hype may be due to the fact that he plays in Canada and gets allot more pro scouting exposure. Maybe I'm wrong, but in the end it would take allot for me to pass on someone who's possible ceiling is one of the greatest defencemen of all time.

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#26 andrewmk20
November 18 2010, 12:40AM
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if his skating is being questioned how can Larsson be compared to Lidstrom as Lidstrom is a great skater.

If Marincin, Plante, and Petry can continue to develop positively the Oilers can look to draft a defenceman in the later rounds and should draft Couturier. So basically the Oilers should have a much clearer picture in April. As of now it's a massive question mark of who to pick in terms of the Larsson/Couturier debate.

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#27 Wanye
November 18 2010, 01:50AM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

I've heard "The Quit for Couturier", "The Arson for Larson", and "The Worst Options for Nugent-Hopkins". I dont know who's going to come out as #1, and I dont have any real strong feelings one way or the other yet. I can only hope that the Magnificent Bastard gets it right.

These names inspire me to cheer for the Oilers to lose. Well played.

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#28 The Real Scuba Steve
November 18 2010, 03:02AM
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I can't believe we are already looking forward to the draft. It is going to be another long year.

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#29 a lg dubl dubl
November 18 2010, 04:08AM
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Why does Renney insist on playing drunkinbulin EVERY game?, O and if Tammby says #35 "is our mvp hands down" again this year ill find him and give him the pimp hand.....thats is all

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#30 Max Powers - Team HME Evans
November 18 2010, 05:41AM
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Oh, and the draft to me seems to be a simple formula. Draft the BPA, if it's a wash between the 3, draft the one who is the hottest commodity (these days, 1C, not long ago they were PF's). If the draft were today, I think Couturier would be taken by the Oil.

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#31 oilers2k10
November 18 2010, 06:00AM
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In my NHL 11 game Larsson is a near perfect player in his fourth season, he has completely replaced the retired Nicklas Lidstrom on my Detroit Red Wings.

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#34 KMM
November 18 2010, 07:38AM
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I go to school with RNH and there's noooo way he's 6'01" and a half. The guy is small and closer to 5'11. IMO if the Oilers can choose they've gotta take Couturier over Larsson.

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#35 Sheldon Oilers Fan for Life!!!
November 18 2010, 07:42AM
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OH the Sorrow to find this the most interesting thing to read in movember of hockey season. OUCH!!!

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#36 madjam
November 18 2010, 08:01AM
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Doesn't appear to be a banner crop this year as compared to last . We need defence badly and Larsson and Musil stick out to me so far .

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#37 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
November 18 2010, 08:11AM
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C-DOG wrote:

@ LOWTIDE,

Your selling RNH short on his defensive game, at the U-18 his 2 way game was good and scouts were comparing him to Datsyuk.

There is no way RNH is 6'1/2", MAX 5'11", I don't care what he's listed at. That is the only issue with me.

Ryan Strome might crack the top 10 maybee even the top 5 by years end. Right handed centre 6' tall, 33 points in 21 games,early b-day July 11, 93.

I'll be suprised if he's even 5'11. I'd guess closer to 5'9.

His game reminds me alot like Hemsky's.

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#38 Ned Braden
November 18 2010, 08:15AM
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I am not sold on RNH. The kid does not look over 6ft and seems small in the WHL. He has 5 goals this year. We do not need another small soft passer. I watched a Rebels game last week on Shaw and at that time he had 25 points, 19 of which had come on the PP according the PBP guy on Shaw. The kid is good on the halfwall on the PP but I didn't notice him much the rest of the game.

They need a big centre or dman, who that is I don't follow enough junior hockey to tell you but I pray MBS can figure it out.

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#39 Dipstick
November 18 2010, 08:23AM
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Typically forwards develop earlier than D or G and first line centers are rare and hard to acquire through trades or free agency. Draft the best C. Develop through the draft and acquire the missing parts when the team is a contender. Timing the team's push for a cup is crucial. Salary cap and free agency issues will mean that teams have a 3 - 4 year window to put their cup contender together.

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#40 Golden Seals
November 18 2010, 08:27AM
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The Real Scuba Steve wrote:

I can't believe we are already looking forward to the draft. It is going to be another long year.

I concur. The snow has just started and we are already looking forward to June. It's really pathetic.

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#41 misfit
November 18 2010, 08:50AM
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The Oilers should be seriously considering any offers they might get for their pick if they end up with another top 5 pick (and it's not really an "if" at all). I think both Couturier and RNH will be good NHLers eventually, but neither are really worth a 1st overall selection. Larsson, I've only seen play at the WJC's, but the fact that he hasn't been able to separate himself from the other two worries me a little. If he was really better than Hedman at the same age, he'd be a runaway choice for #1.

I'd probably take Couturier with the top pick, but mostly because I haven't seen much of Larsson. I know it's really early, but this draft isn't very good, and gets worse every time I look at it.

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#42 Woodguy
November 18 2010, 09:00AM
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Speeds has it right.

Couturier or bust, but Larsson is a nice consolation prize if the Isles pick first.

At LT says, Dmen develop by sundial, and I'm not sure the patience is there to wait for a young defender to develop.

Look at Schenn in TO. His 3rd pro year and he's just getting his head above water. They wasted 2 contract years waiting for him to come around that he should have spent elsewhere.

Players may not have "anything left to prove" by staying in the lower leagues, but their bodies and brains change significantly from 18 to 20 and shouldn't be around the NHL. Unless you have a building to get.

With Petry, Plante, Marincin in the pipe and Peckham here, the D and is coming along. There is no Larsson among them, but there are players maturing and getting ready for the NHL.

Pitlik, VV, Lander and even Hamilton and Martindale are in the pipe but none have a 1C pedigree. Given the right circumstance Pitlik might eat Gagner's lunch.

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#43 C-DOG
November 18 2010, 09:04AM
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OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F wrote:

I'll be suprised if he's even 5'11. I'd guess closer to 5'9.

His game reminds me alot like Hemsky's.

He plays hunched over a little so he looks smaller than he really is, he reminds me alot of Patrick Kane with how shifty he is and how he rolls off of checks, but he's a natural centre and plays a good 2 way game. I still like Couturier 1st.

I hope all the top guys play at the wjc this year unlike last year.

After the Oilers drafted Hall I saw Willie Desjardins at Staples centre concourse and jokingly gave him crap about cutting Seguin and that was a reason why we didn't draft him, he smiled and said that he should of been on the team.

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#44 shadtlady
November 18 2010, 09:05AM
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There's been a rumor that Edmonton will be considered for an NHL franchise if we build a new arean. I think the NHL should guarantee us a team before we spend that kind of money.

I called out Renny a couple of days ago. That was wrong. Sorry dude. But when your best defenceman is Whitney you got major issues. Goddam he stinks up the rink.

So how did Gilbert do paired with Whitney last night? So how did Whitney do paired with Gilbert last night? Minor leaguers. Both.

And pretty soon UN-HABBY BULIN.

Seguin must breath a sigh of relief every time he pulls on that spoked-B

There will be emply seats at WRECKS-ALL soon. We are not that stupid to keep going to watch this crap.

I want Souray back. Remember STEVE, WE pay your salary. Don't be such a childish jerk. Souray called out management last year. Good. How many do you think want to call you out right now? I only suspect, but i suspect there are a few. And if there isn't, then you got a team of losers.

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#45 C-DOG
November 18 2010, 09:12AM
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misfit wrote:

The Oilers should be seriously considering any offers they might get for their pick if they end up with another top 5 pick (and it's not really an "if" at all). I think both Couturier and RNH will be good NHLers eventually, but neither are really worth a 1st overall selection. Larsson, I've only seen play at the WJC's, but the fact that he hasn't been able to separate himself from the other two worries me a little. If he was really better than Hedman at the same age, he'd be a runaway choice for #1.

I'd probably take Couturier with the top pick, but mostly because I haven't seen much of Larsson. I know it's really early, but this draft isn't very good, and gets worse every time I look at it.

Scouts are actually saying this draft is better than anticipated,as the season goes on more prospects are stepping up. Lots of centres (Couturier,RNH, Victor Rask,Ryan Strome).

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#46 shadylady
November 18 2010, 09:13AM
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And what christmas would that be?

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#47 Crackenbury
November 18 2010, 09:13AM
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madjam wrote:

Doesn't appear to be a banner crop this year as compared to last . We need defence badly and Larsson and Musil stick out to me so far .

This years draft is widely regarded by most people responsible for rating prospects as the deepest draft in several years.

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#48 Pajamah
November 18 2010, 09:19AM
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We're going to need to continue this tank job to really assure ourselves of a top 2 pick

the Isles have been equally horrible, and if TO goes .500 in their first 5 games, they're worse than the Oilers

Bottom 3 only guarantees a top 4 pick, Tambo may not have the choice of Couturier, Larsson, Nugent-Hopkins.

in 2013, when the Oilers are picking 22nd or lower, we'll all miss these threads

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#49 Woodguy
November 18 2010, 09:19AM
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Golden Seals wrote:

I concur. The snow has just started and we are already looking forward to June. It's really pathetic.

That should read:

The snow has just started and we are already looking forward to June. The team is really pathetic.

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#50 wangtaco
November 18 2010, 09:36AM
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This is tricky - on one hand, I can't handle watching the complete farce that is currently the blue line. Go ahead, give me the list: d-men develop slower than forwards, they get hurt, etc etc, but I still take Larsson. We need a franchise D-man to build a defence around.

On the other hand, Couturier sounds like he might actually, oh I don't know, ATTACK THE NET! Man, it's getting tough to watch the Oilers play almost a 100% permimeter game. Would someone, for the love of god, please get within 5 feet of the blue paint?

I'll still go with Larsson. If I consider a recent draft - Tavares v. Hedman, I take Hedman in a heartbeat, and I don't really care how he's doing now. He's going to be an outstanding player for a long time. I think of Larsson the same way - solid long-term investment.

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