This is Nostradamus. He would have been a Movember contender from cradle to grave. Lordy. Nos made all kinds of predictions, things like "tents will be pitched by (people) of foreign tongues" and "the lost thing is discovered, hidden for many centuries."
A cynic might suggest that these words are rather wide-ranging in scope and could fit any number of events without actually proving Nostradamus could predict morning. Wrong ’em boyo! Nos even predicted Ryan Nugent-Hopkins!
- He will wander because of a frantic head, and delivering a great people from subjection
Modern day draft predictions aren’t quite as accurate despite the advantage of living in the modern era. Ritch Winter suggests NHL teams should be ripping off draft nuggets at an 80% clip (that’s a helluva quote, it really is) and the truth of the matter is that draft guru’s can’t really predict the quality of an entire draft. Last season, as we watched and read about the 2011 draft, it was suggested the overall quality and depth was not good.
- Kirk Luedeke, Bruins Draft Watch June 2011: We heard all year that 2011 didn’t have top talent at the top, but several scouts said RNH was an exception.
- Kyle Woodlief, Redline Report April 2011: There’s a big dropoff after the top eight. And we’ll follow that with a more general observation: at Red Line, we think any team can get pretty much the same player picking at No. 50 this year that they could get picking at No. 20. There’s not much difference from top to botom in that group of 30.
- Kyle Woodlief, Redline Report December 2010: I think at the top-end you’ve got the four guys with Gabriel Landeskog, Sean Couturier, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Adam Larsson. They fairly separate themselves out from the pack.
So, do those words jive with what happened? Well. Yes. So far. Of the 7 kids to play an NHL game this fall, 6 of them went in the top 8 selections. Brandon Saad hung around for a little while before being sent back, as did top 8 picks Mika Zibanejad and Mark Scheifele. RNH, Gabriel Landeskog, Adam Larsson and Sean Couturier remain in the NHL.
I think the NHL scouting guides did a good job in describing the draft. RLR suggests #50 might be as good as #20, and Oiler fans can probably agree that mid-first rounder Oscar Klefbom and early second round pick David Musil look like they’re progressing along the same path (save for a worrying pair of injuries to Klefbom).
However, the truth and the report card won’t be here for several years. The draft watchers have it right so far, but often we’re told it’s a weak draft year and 5 years later the best young players in the game emerge from such a draft. Or vice versa.
Early word on this year’s draft is that it’s heavy on Russians, defensemen and injuries. I’d suggest Oiler fans focus on the blue, specifically western boys and the WHL. A strapping lad like Griffin Reinhart would be just the ticket, although if the big club keeps winning games they’ll have to add a first round pick to their own in order to trade up and get him.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
Nation Radio hits the air today at noon on Team 1260. Among the scheduled guests:
- Corey Pronman, NHL Draft Expert for Hockey Prospectus.Corey will give us some early indications about the draft, I’ll ask how many of the really good kids will play in Alberta during the WJ’s and we’ll have a long look at the available defensemen for the 2012 draft.
- Scott Taylor from Jets Nation. Taylor has been bringing it since joining the Nations Network and will back up his words with more words.
- Kent Simpson from the Edmonton Oil Kings (color commentator). Kent will give us some insight into an interesting Oil King team and how they look this season and we’ll get updates on the usual suspects (Gernat, Pelss, Reinhart, bonus Bunz).
- Tom Benjamin from Canucks Corner. Tom is a wise observer of the game, so we’ll cast our questions a little wider than just Canucks, but there will be plenty of time for discusiion about the suddenly surging Vancouver squad.
- Kent Wilson from the Nations Network. Kent will discuss the Flames pickup of Blake Comeau (a wise move) and we’ll have another look under the hood of this year’s Flames.
Emails are welcome at email@example.com and we’re also @itsnationradio on twitter. I do read questions that are posted in the comments here and over at the other blog. I hope you can tune in.