The initial reaction to the Predators drafting Ryan Ellis at the Predator's Draft Party was a loud chorus of boo's as everyone appears to have have had unwarranted high expectations that the Preds would get a top offensive player that would make a difference for the team in the near future.
Realistically, the only way that could happen was if the Predators had made a significant trade into the top three or four slots. I had talked to Gerry Helper at the Awards show last week and he had indicated that something like that was not in the books for the Preds and that they were more likely to move down if their targeted player was already taken.
The player everyone seemed to want the Preds to draft was Jordan Schroeder who actually fell to the 22nd pick after being listed in several mock drafts in the top ten.
We found out last night after the pick that the player that the Preds had wanted all along was Ryan Ellis. A big premium was put on the fact that Ellis came from a Memorial Cup winning program that was coached by ex-Pred Bob Boughner.
I'm sure that David Poile had a high comfort level in picking Ellis since he is coached by someone that he has personal knowledge of. Additionally, with Boughner set to coach Team Canada in the Juniors this year, Ellis will be a key player in a big tournament where he will have the opportunity to grow quickly.
While everyone appeared disappointed initially, the real test will be five years down the pike when the players from this draft will be much more of a known quantity.
Around Pred Nation...
Forechecker has a complete analysis of Ryan Ellis that should tell you everything you every wanted to know about the newest Predator first rounder.
Brandon Felder includes some tweets of fan reactions in his post on Ellis.
John Gleenon has two Tennessean main articles here and here and offers commentary including how surprised he was with Ellis and a discussion about trades and Saturday's picks.
Section303.com has a good synopsis of the mood of the crowd at the Franklin O'Charley's when the pick was announced.
Mark McGee gives his take on the Ellis selection at On The Mark.
Here's the City Paper's story on Ellis.
Condolences to Hugh Jessiman, who's mother, Laura passed away this week while vacationing in Scotland. Thanks to Dawn Scott for the heads up.
Around the NHL...
We sat with Ryan of the RedLightDistrict at the draft party last night. He had good success in his mock draft and is pouring on tons of coverage of the draft today at the RLD. Thanks for saving us a seat.
ESPN's Scott Burnside and Pierre LeBrun give a good recap of the first night of the draft.
Jerry Reinsdorf offered $148 million for the Coyotes on Friday.
Our Islander's favorite writer, Dee Karl has two stories about John Tavares being the number one pick, one at Hockeybuzz of the official variety and then a few other comments at her old site, Seventh Woman.
Big Trade on Friday night was the Ducks trading Chris Pronger and Ryan Dingle to the Flyers for Joffrey Lupul, Luca Sbisa and three picks. That was followed Saturday morning with the Panthers trading the right for Jay Bouwmeester to Calgary for Jordan Leopold and a third round pick.
Seven Swedes were taken in the first round which was a record. With all the issues with the KHL, there were few Russians high on anyone's list in this year's draft.
One of the surprising picks in the draft was Matt Hackett, who was the number one ranked North American goalie. He slipped to #77 and was picked up by the Wild.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass
Saturday's Pred's Picks
Round 2 (#41) - Zach Budish
Round 2 (#42) - C.-O. Roussel
Round 3 (#70) - Taylor Beck
Round 3 (#72) - Michael Latta
Round 4 (#98) - Craig Smith
Round 4 (#102) - Mattias Ekholm
Round 4 (#110) - Nick Oliver
Round 5 (#132) - Gabriel Borque
Round 5 (#148) - Traded to Tampa for their 2010 5th round pick
Round 7 (#192) - Cam Reid
Round 7 (#202) - Traded to St Louis for 2010 7th round pick
The Draft Blog at the Predators site has ongoing updates and insights.
Here's an extensive story on second pick Zach Budish. He also did a blog at the combine.
A similar story on Michael Latta is here.
Here is the preds.com wrapup story on day two of the draft. The Preds ended up with three defensemen, 7 forwards and 2 picks in the 2010 draft out of this year's 12 picks. I was really surprised with the lack of trades overall that took place this year. The players invoking the inflator clause keeping the salary cap almost the same gave teams that were considering dumping players for picks a little more head room to deal with.