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Eyes at the Draft - Day 3

by Jonathan Wall / Vancouver Canucks
Once again, it is cold and rainy in Ottawa. Traveling east is always a bit tricky with the time change, and the weather is not making the mornings any easier.

Being only 2 days from the draft however makes the days pretty exciting, and we really want to get at it early. More members of our party arrived today, including our pro scouts and coaching staff. We met as a group this morning to discuss scenarios that might present themselves over the next couple of days. We discussed the players that we feel will be available for us to select, and situations where we might want to try to move our pick to give us a better chance at certain players on our list.

We are all really excited because we know that with the 10th pick, whether we move up or not, we are going to get a really good player.

After reviewing the list for the past 2 days, we were finally able to get out of the room a little bit and actually start talking to other teams. As I said the other day, it is interesting to hear what other teams are thinking and who might be available for our pick. It is a good situation picking 10th, as we know that we will get the 10th best player on our list. As each player outside our top 10 gets selected, our selection moves up one spot. Right now, we are pretty confident that we have it narrowed down to 3 players that will be still available from our top 10 for us to select.

We started our last set of player interviews today. Picking where we are, we have a fairly limited group of players who we need to meet with one final time. Most of the players that we are meeting here in Ottawa we have met with at least twice, and want to meet them one more time just to ask some final questions and get some more input from our psychological consultant.

We are going to conduct some more interviews tomorrow and then meet again to finalize our lists. I don’t foresee many changes coming from these interviews, as most of the players that we are meeting with are polished and mature far beyond their years. However, it is essential to see these players one last time just to make sure that there is nothing that we have missed.

One great story that was told today was about a team  doing a meet and greet with a player the night before a draft. The meeting was looked upon as more of a formality, because they had already made up their mind on the player but it didn't go as well as planned. When the player was asked at the end if he had anything else, he hesitated, before telling the team that he just really did not want to play for them. Needless to say, the ‘final’ list was changed once again.

Another good interview story occurred at the combine a couple of years ago. The combine is basically an assembly line where players go from one room to another being interviewed - some doing close to 30 in one day. Some teams try to grill the players pretty hard, and might have crossed the line when they brought up all of the perceived faults of a player. The player stood up, looked the head scout in the eye and told him that if they disliked him that much as a player why they would waste his time interviewing him because there were 27 other teams waiting to talk to him. He then turned on his heels and walked out.

On that note, we are done now for the day, we are meeting again first thing, and with only one more day until the draft, we are sure that things are just going to get more interesting.

Gillis on the Draft

Canucks Draft Watch 2008
Eyes at the Draft - Days 1 and 2
Molson Draft Trivia Game
The Ten Spot 
Where in the World is Ron Delorme?
Secrets of the Draft
12 Things You Don't Know About The Draft
Notable Deadline Trades: Turning draft picks into stars

10th - Vancouver's 1st round pick in the 2008 NHL entry draft

41st - Vancouver's 2nd round pick in the 2008 entry draft

25th - Vancouver's 1st round pick in the 2007 entry draft, where Patrick White was chosen

10th -Vancouver's1st round pick in 2005, where Luc Bourdon was chosen

130,000 - Estimated miles traveled by Ron Delorme, the Canucks' Chief Amateur Scout, this past calendar year

17 - Number of countries visited by the Canucks scouting staff

150 - Average nights on the road for a Canucks scout in a year

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