NHL Entry Draft Position Gives Burke Plenty Of Options

April 11th, 2012 2 Comments

Tuesday night the NHL held it’s annual NHL Entry Draft Lottery. For the fans of the Columbus Blue Jackets it was a disappointing night, as they dropped from number one overall to second overall as the Edmonton Oilers emerged as the winner of the lottery making it three straight seasons that the Oilers will select first overall at the draft.

The Oilers good fortune aside, the rest of the order remained the same, which means Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke will select fifth overall.

With the fifth pick in this summers draft, Burke has plenty of options available to him. Burke could look to move up in the draft, he could attempt to acquire some additional draft picks by moving down, he could flat out trade the pick away, or he could stick with the number five pick.

Make no mistake about it, at fifth overall Burke should be able to acquire a player who may not be able to contribute right away, but should blossom into a legitimate top-six forward or top-four defenseman.

TSN’s Craig Button posted his mock draft Tuesday night, which shows the Maple Leafs selecting American forward Alex Galchenyuk.

Galchenyuk posted 31 goals and 52 assists for a total of 83 points in 68 games played with the OHL’s Sarnia Sting in 2010-11, but was hampered by a knee injury this season, limiting him to just two games. Galchenyuk bounced back from his injury with a solid playoff contribution, scoring four points in six games.

Injuries aside, Galchenyuk is a dynamic forward, who skates well, has good size and excellent hands—especially in close. Playing for Team USA, Galchenyuk played well at the 2011 Ivan Hlinka tournament and looks to have all the tools to be a first line forward in the NHL.

Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Galchenyuk was selected first overall in the 2010 OHL Priority Selection Draft. At 6’2” and 185 pounds, Galchenyuk has the size to go along with his impressive skill-set, which should make him a force to be reckoned with at the NHL level for years to come.

Should Burke be lucky enough to see Galchenyuk’s name on the board when the fifth pick rolls around he should jump all over him, if not, there are other options.

Swedish sensation Filip Forsberg might be available at number five. He too brings a tremendous combination of size and skill, but he is not seen to be the goal scoring threat that Galchenyuk will be.

Finnish born Teuvo Tervainen is small in stature (5’11, 161 pounds), but he more than makes up for his lack of size with eye-popping speed and superior puck handling skills. While not the type of player Burke usually gravitates to, Tervainen has been compared to NHL future Hall of Famer Teemu Selanne and we all know what type of career he has had in Anaheim.

Of course there is a chance that Burke could use the pick to further solidify his defense, with names like Jacob Trouba, Matt Dumba and Morgan Rielly all likely available.

Burke’s affection for U.S. born players is well documented. With the potential of Galchenyuk being available at number five and the Maple Leafs need for a creative centre, it would appear that, unless Galchenyuk is selected in the top-four, which is a very good possibility, Burke will pull the trigger and select Galchenyuk.

Don Cherry won’t be happy, but the fans of the Maple Leafs and Brian Burke will be giddy if Burke lands Galchenyuk at the draft.

Until next time,

Peace!

2 Comments

  1. nhl fan. says:

    Hi Mark

    If Matt Dumba is available, they should grab him. He is an offensive defenceman with shut down ability. Plays with high energy and has a physical side to his game. I think he will be an impact player.

  2. MarkRitter says:

    Dumba is a real possibility. Dumba would be the perfect fit for the Oilers. It’s too bad the Leafs and Oil couldn’t put together a trade that made sense for both clubs with Toronto getting the first and Oilers getting Dumba at #5…if only it could be worked out….

Leave a Reply