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Nashville Predators Draft Updates from Ottawa

by Jay Levin / Nashville Predators will be providing periodic updates from the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. Check back for audio, video, photos, and other analysis of this week's events as the draft unfolds.

Draft Completed

All totaled the Predators selected seven prospects: three forwards, two defensemen, and two goaltenders -- four North American prospects and three European prospects. After starting the week with eight selections in the 2008 Draft, the Predators -- through a series of six trades -- ended up making seven picks this year and adding four more picks for next year's draft.

Before we wrap up, we'd be remiss if we didn't thank the team's draft runner, Martin Jr (son of the Preds European Scout Martin Bukala) for all of his hard work during the long two days of the Draft.

Picks 201 and 207
With the 201st pick the Preds selected Jani Lajunen from Finland, a 6'1 center who plays in the Junior league over there. Then with the 207th pick the Preds went with goaltender Anders Lindback, a big goaltender from Sweden. Lindback was a late round potential the Predators had targeted all the way back in their season-ending scouting meeting in Nashville a month ago. With those picks, the Preds wrapped up their 2008 Entry Draft.

Pick 177

Things are definitely more quiet at the table, but the pace of the picks have really picked up. It seems like teams are more concentrating on drafting rather than flipping picks at this point in the draft.

Pick 166 - Jeff Foss - Nashville
Foss is another college kid, a defenseman playing at RPI. He just wrapped up his freshman season with four points and 28 penalty minutes in 38 games played, while used as the team's primary shut-down defenseman matched against opponents' top offensive players. Foss is a 1998 birthday, so he was draft eligible last year as well, but the Preds scouts were impressed with the way he developed over the last year.

Pick 136 - Taylor Stefishen - Nashville
After trading out of the 106th and 111th pick, the Predators held firm at No. 136 and selected forward Taylor Stefishen, a Western Canadian kid who played for Langley in the BCHL. Stefishen is expected play at Ohio State University next season.

Pick 111
The Predators swung their third trade of the day sending the 111th pick to the NY Rangers for the 201st pick and the Rangers' fourth round pick next year. The Predators opened the day with six picks, the 46th, 76th, 106th, 111th, 136th, and 166th selections. So far the Preds have turned the 46th, 76th, 106th, and 111th into the 38th (Josi), 201st, 207th, and a pair of 2009 fourth round picks.

The Predators ended up trading the 106 pick to San Jose for the 207th pick and a 2009 fourth round pick which the Sharks had previously acquired from Toronto.

Pick 106
  Another phone call came through at the 103 slot. Shortly after hanging up on that call, Poile got back on the phone to make a call of his own. Poile made another call right No. 103 was announced, and while he was on the phone received another call in to the table. While the No. 104 and 105 picks announced, several other phone calls came in to the draft table. Preds Director of Hockey Operations Mike Santos moved up to the Central Scouting table once the team went on the clock, so it appears like the Predators may be in the process of making a trade. With time running short, the Predators used their timeout to gain some quick time relief.

Pick 101
With the Sabres on the clock, Poile picked up the phone and called over to another team table. After hanging up he huddled quickly with some of his hockey operations staff. Nothing appears to be finalized, but clearly there are some conversations brewing.

Pick 93
After a quiet run, another phone call came through back to the table. Only 13 slots before the Preds pick again, so there's a potential for conversations to heat up around here. As Poile hung up from the first call another call came through for a very brief couple of second conversation.

Pick 86
The pace of the draft selections is starting to pick up. The activity here at the Preds table is still pretty quiet, though.

End Round 2

Relatively quite run through the end of the second round; not much action at the Predators table. As the league was switching the draft board over to the third round, the phone rang for the first time today. Without a third round pick (traded earlier in the day to slide up and select Josi), the Predators are not set to make another selection until 106 and 111 in the fourth round. insight after the Josi selection

The Predators scouts expected Josi to be selected in the first round, so needless to say they were very pleased to have him available in the second round. The scouts thought so highly of him that the team brought his nameplate over for a jersey, something usually reserved for prospects teams intend to discuss for their first round pick. That now makes a forward, a goaltender, and a defenseman with the Preds first three picks, so it appears to be a balanced drafting strategy for this year.

38th pick – Roman Josi - Nashville

A quiet start to the day. Two goalies and four forwards picked in the first six selections of Round 2. Columbus went with the first defenseman of the day, Cody Goloubef from University of Wisconsin. Right Columbus made its pick, Phoenix’s GM came over to the table and nodded quickly to David Poile and went to NHL’s Central Registry to announce the trade. Nashville sent the Nos. 46 and 76 picks to Phoenix for the No. 38 pick. Make that now three trades in three picks for the Preds.

June 21, 2008 - 9: 45 am
The teams have all regathered on the draft floor, starting to get organized for today's events. Things officially start up around 10 am. The picks should come at a much quicker pace today.

June 20, 2008 - 11 pm
Not much action at the Preds table through the back stretch of the first round. There were a couple of call to the table around picks 23 and 24, but no long conversations. Overall, an interesting first night at the draft with 13 trades announced league wide during the draft. There were so many trades that just 12 of the 30 first round picks were made by the team which was originally awarded the selection by the league's draft order.

Draft picks weren't the only thing being exchanged. Plenty of players swapped teams as well, including name guys like Olli Jokinen, Keith Ballard, Nick Boynton, Michael Cammalleri, Alex Tanguay, and RJ Umberger.

After meeting Colin Wilson and Chet Pickard and their families up in the team's suite at the arena, the Predators scouting staff bolted back to the hotel for another lenghty round of discussions to evaluate the rest of the team's draft board and evaluate their options for Rounds 2-7 tomorrow. insight after the Pickard selection
Pickard was the top goaltender on the Predators draft board. There was a lot of discussion yesterday about the merits of selecting a goaltender with the team's current depth of prospects at that postion, but ultimate the opinion of the scouting staff was that Pickard is too good a prospect to drop off the team's board. His name was one of the most frequently debated at the No. 15 slot during team's meetings over the last few days.

18th Pick - Chet Pickard - Nashville

Anaheim selected Jake Gardner at No. 17, bringing the Predators back on to the clock.

Joe Colborne was selected at No. 16 and immediately thereafter both lines of the team’s draft table phone rang. There was discussion among the scouts throughout Anaheim’s time on the clock.

With Nashville on the clock, Poile pulled the trigger on his second trade of the draft, sending the No. 15 pick to Ottawa for the No. 18 pick and a 3rd round pick in 2009. So, in sum the Predators started with the Nos. 9 and 15 picks and ended up selecting in the No. 7 and No. 18 slots, moving the No. 40 pick this year and adding a third round pick next year. At the No. 15 slot, Ottawa picked Erik Karlsson, the second European to fall off the draft board.

Carolina selected Zach Boychuk at No. 14.

Los Angeles selected Colten Teubert at No. 13 Upon the selection, Poile stood up and walked one table over to Carolina for a quick conversation with their staff. Moments later, Poile picked up the phone for a call.

When the No. 13 pick went on the clock, another phone call in to the table. Poile again talked seriously with Paul Fenton and Mike Santos, evaluating a trade offer.

The Filatov and Wilson picks started a run on forwards with Mikkel Boedker, Josh Bailey, Cody Hodgson, and Kyle Beach falling off the board in succession. Tyler Myers stopped the run when he was tabbed by Buffalo at No. 12. insight after the Wilson selection
Wilson was very high on the Preds draft board, so not wanting to risk losing him, Poile moved up to make the selection. He’s a player who was very heavily discussed in the scouts meetings and was the guy who the scouts seemed to target most frequently when discussing ideal situations for the No. 9 pick, so needless to say the draft table was pretty happy to be able to nab Wilson.

Seventh Pick – Colin Wilson – Nashville

As the Islanders went back on the clock, the phone rang twice in succession with teams tying up both lines. There appears to be some very serious trade conversations. After a brief wait another phone call in to the table.

The Preds ended up pulling the trigger on a trade, moving from No. 9 to No. 7. The Predators also sent the 40th overall pick to the Islanders as part of the trade. That marks the second time the Islanders have traded their pick while they were on the clock, sliding from No. 5 to No. 9 (for the time being) and adding three extra picks in the process, but none in the first round.

Sixth Pick – Nikita Filatov – Columbus

Yet another phone call in to the table. This time Poile solicited advice from the scouts. While they were talking, Columbus was announced on the clock. With Columbus on the clock, the Blue Jackets acquired RJ Umberger and the 118th pick from Philadelphia for the 19th and 67th picks in this year’s draft.

After that trade was announced, another phone call cam in to the table. The scouts held some real conversations, scurrying through their lists

Fifth Pick – Luke Schenn – Toronto

Another phone call in to the table. Poile passed a quick comment to Paul Fenton and Jeff Kealty, but no action. The Islanders took close to their full time allotment as well. Poile made another call as the Islanders time was coming to a close, as he was on the phone another trade was announced with the Islanders moving the No. 5 pick to Toronto for the No. 7 pick and the Islanders choice of either the 60th pick this year and Toronto’s 3rd round pick next year OR the 68th pick this year and Toronto’s 2nd round pick next year.

For those keeping track, that’s now five trades in five picks, which is an unusually high number of transactions.

Fourth Pick – Alex Pietrangelo – St. Louis

Another trade announced. Calgary sent Alex Tanguay and the 138th overall pick this year to Montreal for the 25th overall pick and a 2nd round pick in 2009. That’s now four trades since the draft started and we still haven’t announced the fourth overall pick.

Third Pick – Zach Bogosian – Atlanta

Phone call came in to the Preds table between picks two and three. Poile is holding a fairly lengthy conversation and scribbling some notes down. But no conversations yet with any of the scouts.

As Poile got off the phone a trade was announced between Florida and Phoenix. Florida sent Olli Jokinen to Phoenix for Keith Ballard, Nick Boynton, and the 49th pick in the 2008 Entry Draft.

Two more trades were announced Calgary sent the 17th pick this year and a 2nd round pick next year to Los Angeles for Mike Cammelleri and the 48th pick this year. Los Angeles then flipped the 17th pick and the 28th pick to Anaheim for the 12th pick.

Second Pick – Drew Doughty – Los Angeles

Things around the table are still quiet. Inside the building they are interviewing Stamkos on the megatron. Nothing overly exciting. The Kings took close to their full time allotment.

First Pick – Steven Stamkos – Tampa Bay

Friday, June 20, 2008 7:00 pm
After the league wrapped up its draft introduction, there was a little bit of activity at the table as David Poile received a phone call, made another, and then received a second phone call, all before the draft officially started.

Friday, June 20, 2008 – 10 am
Well, the Predators continued to shape their 2008-09 roster with a pair of transactions this morning, reaching an agreement in principle with goaltender Dan Ellis and trading goaltender Chris Mason to St. Louis for an extra fourth round pick in this year’s draft. Although both were announced this morning, the groundwork for both transactions really solidified as the day progressed yesterday.

The extra fourth round pick brought some different scenarios into the draft discussions among the scouts as they continued to examine the different possibilities for tonight and tomorrow.

Thursday, June 19, 2008
Today was a busy day for the Predators hockey operations department up in Ottawa. It was the last full day of scouting meetings before the draft and the Predators scouts took full advantage, meeting from breakfast through dinner. Plus the team pulled off a trade with Carolina to pick up an extra 2009 draft selection – which may not have a major effect on this year’s draft planning, but does start to shape the 2008-09 team roster a by moving pending unrestricted free agent Darcy Hordichuk to Carolina.

As for the meetings, the scouts further defined their draft board for tomorrow’s first round. The early morning discussion focused on the options for the No. 9 pick, with General Manager David Poile asking the scouts for comparisons of the players we have ranked in that range on our draft board, including detailed reasonings as to why the scouts had one player rated ahead of another and conversations on the top players available at each position. After getting a solid feel on the prospects projected to be available in the No. 9 range, the conversation moved on to the No. 15 pick, with a similar process.

After the detailed diagnosis of the top 17-18 prospects on the team’s draft board, there was a brief discussion on potential trade options and under what scenarios the scouts might recommend trading out of the No. 9 and/or No. 15 slots and whether they would feel comfortable moving up or down from those slots – as well as what the cost has been in other drafts to slide around and how that cost may translate to this year’s draft. Among those conversations were evaluations of other teams’ depth charts and who those teams may consider drafting – again with a closer inspection of the teams holding draft picks close to the No. 9 and 15 slots.

After reaching a comfort level with the first round options, the discussions focused heavily on Rounds 2-7 following the same process as was run through for the two first round slots, with the understanding the Predators don’t own a seventh round selection.

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