Monday was Locker clean-out at the Phillips Arena. End of the season physicals were completed as well. The first real dosage of reality, that the Atlanta Thrashers longer then expected off-season was well underway. While the players had a lengthy to do list prior to departing Atlanta for the summer, General Rick Dudley was business as usual and on Tuesday accepted the 7th overall slot in the 2011 National Hockey League Entry Draft, which will take place June 24-25 in St. Paul, Minneapolis.
The New Jersey Devils won the draft lottery on Tuesday moving up to the 4th spot, bumping Ottawa down to 6th, which moved Atlanta from 6th to 7th.
If history repeats itself, the Thrashers may have an opportunity to select a player 7th overall that can play sooner rather then later in Atlanta. The last five 7th overall picks have played in the NHL.
A Calder Trophy Finalist in forward Jeff Skinner selected by the Carolina Hurricanes in the 2010 Draft in Los Angeles, California. Skinner collected 31 goals and 61 points in 82 regular season games for the Canes this season.
In the 2009 Entry Draft at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, London Knights Center Nazem Kadri went to the Toronto Maple Leafs after a brief discussion between Leafs GM Brian Burke and Senators GM Brian Murray. Kadri played in 30 games this season for the leafs finishing with 12 points. Known to be a highly skilled forward, Kadri will make the jump to full time work in the NHL come fall of 2011.
At the Scotiabank Place in the City of Ottawa, Ontario in 2008, A US born Center out of Boston University, Colin Wilson went to the Nashville Predators. Wilson with the Predators has a total of 24 goals and 49 points in 117 games played.
The Likes of forwards Kyle Okposo and Jacob Voracek were taken in the 2006 and 2007 drafts, by the New York Islanders and Columbus Blue Jackets organizations.
Okposo has accumulated 44 goals and 116 points in 192 games for the New York Islanders. Voracek has scord 39 goals and 134 points in 241 games for the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Thrashers management has a good feeling about the positioning heading into June’s draft.
“It will be an interesting draft. I think where we’re picking we’ll get a very good player. It’s a draft that all of a sudden there appear to be a whole group of people who are bright players. That’s a very appealing thing. When these people have that hockey sense you have to discern between them with other hockey skills,” GM Rick Dudley said this week.
From now until the June draft, the Atlanta Thrashers will prepare to pick in the top 10. As we move closer, we will take a look at players who might be of interest to Rick Dudley and his staff.