Future Considerations

Draft Dilemma: Euros on Day 1

From Andrew Weiss:

Draft Dilemma is a daily feature on Future Considerations leading up to the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. FC’s Andrew Weiss polls his Twitter followers on if a prospect will go before or after a particular pick. Follow Andrew at @WeissFC to participate!:

If @SeriousFan09 is able to predict the future, the 2011 NHL Entry Draft will set a post-lockout draft record. Whether or not he will be correct with his prediction of 11 European born players taken in Friday’s first round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft is debatable, the European born talent in this year’s crop is not.

@SeriousFan09 was so confident in his prediction that he hinted which team Alexander Khokhlachev would be selected by.

“[The Washington] Capitals don’t seem to mind using early picks on Russians.”

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Preview FC’s 2011 NHL Entry Draft Guide!

Others like @OHLEast, believe the number of Europeans will be similar to the last three years where five, eight, and seven Europeans were selected in the first rounds, respectively. @MMA_Elite opted to go slightly higher than @OHLEast’s prediction, believing that eight and that will include Swedes Adam Larsson, Gabriel Landeskog, Oscar Klefbom, Jonas Brodin, and Mika Zibanejad all hear their names called Friday night in St. Paul, Minn.

@WeissFC’s Prediction (in slightly more than 140 characters)

With so many players that could go anywhere from the first round to the third round this is a really hard question to come up with an easy answer. I believe that all three Twitter contributors are correct in some sense. There is no doubt in my mind this will be the year of the Swedes with Brodin, Klefbom, Larsson, Landeskog, and Zibanejad are all selected by the 13th pick. After watching Khokhlachev live twice this season I believe someone will take him in the high twenties because he shows a lot of upside. I am also confident that Sven Baertschi will continue the trend of Swiss forwards being lottery picks. Nicklas Jensen from Denmark and Finnish winger Joel Armia will also hear their name called in the second half of the first round.

The 10th European, who would break the post-lockout draft record set in 2006, is arguably one of the biggest first round mysteries. Russian centre Vladislav Namestnikov has shown first round potential, but I am not sold that a team will take him on the first day of the draft because of his subpar defensive ability and lack of strength. Right now, I believe Namestnikov will be selected in the twenties because, like his countryman Khokhlachev, teams will overlook his weaknesses and see that he has the potential to be a top six forward for a NHL club down the road.

First Round Europeans: Jonas Brodin (Sweden), Adam Larsson (Sweden), Gabriel Landeskog (Sweden), Mika Zibanejad (Sweden), Oscar Klefbom (Sweden), Joel Armia (Finland), Nicklas Jensen (Denmark), Sven Baertschi (Switzerland), Vladislav Namestnikov (Russia), Alexander Khokhlachev (Russia)

On the Outside Looking in Europeans: Tomas Jurco (Slovakia), Rickard Rakell (Sweden), David Musil (Czech Republic), Dmitri Jaskin (Czech Republic)

Past Europeans in the first round:
5 Europeans in 2010
8 Europeans in 2009
7 Europeans in 2008
4 Europeans in 2007
9 Europeans in 2006
7 Europeans in 2005
13 Europeans in 2004
5 Europeans in 2003

Andrew Weiss is a Future Considerations columnist and can be found on Twitter at www.twitter.com/WeissFC. Follow the latest Future Considerations news and posts, follow FC’s Official Twitter Feed at www.twitter.com/FCHockey, on YouTube at www.youtube.com/futureconsiderations and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FCHockey

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