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Don't rush to Entry Draft judgment

by Paul Kukla
I have to be honest with you. Being a fan of the Detroit Red Wings, I really have not gotten caught up in all the draft hype for a very long time. I just judge the draft 3-5 years after it has taken place and then decide if it was a good draft or not.

As a fan of any team, that is how you should judge the draft too. Sure, there a few big-name players that may have an immediate impact for your team, but the majority of the players drafted will not skate on NHL ice for at least four years.

Then and only then, can you decide on how good the draft was for your team. I can understand all the wishful thinking on behalf of all the fans, hoping your team makes the right decisions when it comes to drafting, but you must remember to not judge your draft choices the day after the draft.

With all the draft talk that is ongoing, we also are beginning to hear rumors of players being moved before the UFA signing period begins on July 1. Who will be moved is the question that everyone wants answered and we are about to find out soon enough.

I expect more trades than normal to take place, beginning with some trades happening right on the NHL Entry Draft floor in Montreal.

The reasons for these trades? Well, there are a few. Some players have asked to be moved, a few teams are right up against the salary cap ceiling and want some wiggle room to make future signings. Then there are teams that just want to shake up the roster.

Whatever the reason, I am following all the NHL talk these days and can't wait for the first trade to happen, which will be followed by a few more trades before July 1.

Let's turn our attention to all the hockey chatter via the internet. If you believe the vast majority of all the talk, well, every team appears to be trading or acquiring about 25 percent of all the NHL players. That will just not happen so be careful when reading or hearing about all the "rumor experts" telling us about all the trades and UFA signings that are about to happen.

No matter what happens between now and the first week of July it sure gives us a reason to follow the NHL in the dead of summer. After all, what can be better than talking hockey all year?

I like the fact that some of the younger NHL teams, clubs like the Coyotes, Kings and Blackhawks are continuing their upswing and a move or two can improve their fortunes. I also think some of the moves coming will be made by some of the more established NHL teams like the Flyers, Canadiens and Bruins. They know one or two key transactions can make the difference between and short or very long playoff run.

It sure appears we are about to witness some serious moves from teams. Sit back, pour yourself an iced tea and enjoy!!!

Any questions or comments? Feel free to email me at or leave a comment below.

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