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Preds 2009 Draft Blog

by Jay Levin / Nashville Predators will be blogging live from the draft floor in Montreal -- much like last year's Preds Draft Blog -- check back throughout the weekend for audio, video, photos, and special analysis of this year's draft. With 12 selections, the Preds promise to be very busy during the weekend! Follow the Preds Draft Weekend in pictures with the Preds Draft Photo Galleries: Day 1 Photo Gallery | Day 2 Photo Gallery.

Pick 202
Preds wrap up the draft by trading the No. 202 pick to St. Louis for the Blues 2010 7th Round pick.

More on Reid

Preds Scout Rick Knickle
“He’s a big, tall kid. I guess he’s put some weight on since the season ended. He has a really good hockey sense. He’s going to University for four years so that gives him a chance to develop. This is a kid that I think the more you watch him, the more you figure out how good a player he can be. You take him in the seventh round, obviously he is a developing player and it is nice to see that he has put on some weight since the season ended which is what you want to see. You don’t want to see it too quick but he is a 6’2 - 6’3 guy, 200lbs and we’ve got four years to wait for him. Another big body is what we need.”

Pick 192
After a lengthy lay-off, the Preds are back on the clock. Preds select forward Cam Reid; big forward at 6-foot-2. He's scheduled to play college hockey at New Hampshire next season. Only one more Preds pick remains.

Pick 148
All those talks have culminated in a minor trade. The Preds move the #148 pick to Tampa Bay for a 5th round pick in next year's draft.

Pick 139
David Poile is wandering away from the table with Paul Fenton. Looks like there are serious trade discussions under way.

More on Bourque

Preds Scout Tom Nolan
"He’s a pure character-type player. He works hard every shift, uses his body. He’s probably like a guy like Scott Nichol. Some of the things he needs to work on are his feet, getting quick feet. He’s one of those guys you want on a team. He’s the captain of his team already and he is just a pure character player. Talking to his coaches, they just can’t say enough about the kid and the players love him."

Pick 132
The Predators pick a Quebec kid, Gabriel Bourque, a forward from the QMJHL. No relation for Ray Bourque, though.

More on Oliver
Preds Scout David Westby
"Good size. We thought he was a really good value where we got him, in the fourth round. He broke his collar bone twice this year, didn’t play a lot. Otherwise, we think he may have been a first-three-round pick. But again, good size, hard working guy. Everyone talks about what a character-guy he is. Everybody talks about him as a captain. We also think that along with his size, he has a really good work ethic, good hockey sense and he has decent skill. We are happy to have him in the organization. "

Pick 110
Preds get Nick Oliver, forward from Roseau High School in Minnesota. Big kid, 6-foot-3. Oliver is supposed to play college hockey next season at St. Cloud State in the WCHA.

Roseau Rams head coach Scott Oliver
“Nick plays a power forward game and he battles and competes on every shift. He has good hands and vision of the ice and makes a lot of plays off the end of his stick.”

More on Ekholm
Preds Scout Lucas Bergman
"He’s a stay-home defenseman. He is an extremely good skater for his size - he is 6’4. He has a very good physical presence down low and is a good passer. He was passed over last year, and for me, I had him on my list last year. I think as far as puck-moving ability, he made a lot of strides and I think we’ve just seen the surface of how good he can be."

Pick 102
Preds nab a big Swedish defenseman, Mattias Ekholm. He played in the Mora system. He's a 1990 birthday, so a year older than most of the other players in this year's draft.

More on Smith
Preds Scout David Westby
"Decent size, good speed, high energy guy. Tremendous work ethic. We’ve always appreciated his speed and his work ethic and then this past year he was able to provide some offense for his team; that has really come along. We think he has a bright future. "

Pick 98
Preds select forward Craig Smith from Waterloo of the USHL.

Pick 92
Round 3 is completed. Another three picks for the Preds here in Round 4

More on Latta
NHL Central Scouting’s Chris Edwards
"Michael has shown good playmaking ability and he sees the ice well. He moves the puck well.”

Guelph Storm head coach Jason Brooks
"He brings an element to our team that we don't currently have. We have guys who play with an edge and we have guys that can create chances and score goals for us, but Latta is both at the same time and we needed that. That's what makes him such a special player, that edge he possesses. If he doesn't play with an edge, he's not as effective . . . He'll do whatever it takes for the team to win -- blocking shots, winning faceoffs, killing penalties. He'll do the dirty things. He'll battle two guys for the puck and come out with it. He's a battler, and with his skill level, it makes him a great player."

Preds Scout Jason Bukala
"He’s a gritty type of player with a relentless work ethic. He does anything to win and competes at a very high level. He shoots the puck accurately and quickly. He can play all areas of the game; he can play the power play, kill penalties, take regular shifts. He’s a great player. "

More on Beck
Preds Scout Jason Bukala
"Taylor Beck is a big, strong power-forward type mentality. he works really hard along the boards and in the hard areas all over the ice. He keeps pucks alive for teammates and goes to the net strong to score goals. He’s a strong, strong kid and the type of kid we need to add to our group. We are proud to have him."

Picks 70 and 72
A lot of calls coming in and out of the Preds table. Preds keep the pick and select Taylor Beck, forward from Guelph. Two picks later select Guelph teammate forward Michael Latta.

Pick 57
David Poile is back on the phone. A series of short calls; two coming in to the table, one initiated by Poile.

More On Budish
NHL Central Scouting’s Jack Barzee
“Zach is physically mature in stature, has a good shot in traffic and has a strong ability to dissect the game around him. He’s a force, he’s hard to move off the puck and he can snap a wrist shot from the blue line. With Zach playing football and the two seasons overlapping, his criticism has been that he hasn’t had his skating legs under him, but I’ve seen Zach since he was 15 years old. I’ve seen how he has carried the team and made people around him better. He reminds me of Keith Tkachuk or David Backes at the same age.”

Preds Scout David Westby
"Zach Budish is a good, strong physical player. He has good hands, he sees the ice well, he makes plays and he’s got a hard shot off a quick release. He did sit out this past year with a knee injury that he suffered in football but I saw him skate after the surgery and I was very comfortable that it won’t be an issue and that he is on the road to a full recovery. All of the doctors reports said the same thing as well. If there is anything he needs to improve, it’s his foot speed but we think that will come. "

More on Roussel
Preds Scout David Westby
"He’s an excellent two-way defenseman. He has very good hockey sense. Moves the puck out of his end, puts on great pressure to get by the forecheck. He competes very hard around his own end. It’s of a matter of him developing physically; he has a good-size frame on him and it looks like he will continue to fill out and get stronger. He’s got great work ethic, great character, all the intangibles in place to keep improving and develop into a very good player. "

Picks 41 and 42

Preds pick  at No. 41 big forward Zach Budish a big forward from Minnesota. Some thought if he had stayed healthy, he would have been in the mix for the top-5 this year. More on him later. At No. 42, defenseman Charles-Oliver Roussel.

Pick 33
Cal O'Reilly's younger brother Ryan picked by Colorado at No. 33.

10:07 am ET
And we're under way. Big trade to start off ... Florida Panthers trade Jay Bouwmeester to Calgary (check for more details).

Saturday, June 27 - 9:30 am ET
Back in Bell Centre at the table. Everyone's bustling around getting ready for the start of Day 2. It's raining outside in Montreal today, so that might limit the crowd in attendance.

Pick 30
Round 1 of the 2009 Draft is now in the books. Preds have 11 picks tomorrow, including the No. 41 and 42 selections (the 11th and 12th picks in the second round). But the Preds have a history of making trades after Day 1 to move up in the opening round of Day 2 -- did it last year to pick Roman Josi and few years earlier to grab Jordin Tootoo. Some interesting names still available, including a couple players most mock drafts had pegged as sure-fire first rounders.

Pick 27
Activity has picked up at the Preds table. There have been quite a few lengthy phone calls and David Poile has huddled with Paul Fenton and Jeff Kealty a couple of times. Looks like they are debating different trade offers. Should be interesting to see if anything pans out before the end of the first round; always the possibility this is setting the stage for a trade later in the draft.

19th Pick
Montreal selected local kid Louis Leblanc. Real cool scene in the building; local team selecting local kid -- the Bell Centre was rocking when it was announced. Before the Canadiens selected, a couple of calls came in to the Preds table. All pretty short calls, but the night might not be over for the Preds scouts.

More on Ryan Ellis
NHL Central Scouting’s Chris Edwards
“He's a really smart, heady defenseman. His puck movement is excellent and the way he moves the puck around the zone is excellent. He's a real high-end offensive guy. He's got a great shot and he gets it through to the net. A lot of guys have their shots blocked, but he's got a real knack for getting it through, and that leads to a lot of tip-in and rebound goals. He's a smaller guy, but he's not afraid of taking the body. He shows no fear of getting involved in scrums, he's not intimidated.”

Windsor Spitfires head coach Bob Boughner
"I've only been in the (OHL) three years and other coaches I talk to, they've never seen a defenseman have an impact in a junior game like Ryan Ellis. He seems to be in on every play defensively and offensively. If you come away from the game and you look at who was your favorite player, who played the best, his name always seems to come to mind. There are plays where he's making something out of nothing. And his biggest asset is his shot. He's got an NHL one-timer, he's got an NHL slap shot, and that's a dangerous weapon.”

Preds First Round Pick - Ryan Ellis, Defenseman, Windsor (OHL)
Ellis is an extremely gifted offensive defenseman. He stood out on Team Canada's Gold Medal World Junior Team. And has a Preds tie: his coach at Windsor is former Pred Bob Boughner. Got to run and talk to Ryan. Look for more info coming soon.

10th Pick
Phone calls are coming fast and furious. Looks like some interesting trade offers being pitched. The scouts are continually huddling by David Poile. Could get interesting.

Edmonton selcted Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson.

Ninth Pick
Ottawa is up at the podium and another call in to the table. After a meeting with Paul Fenton, David is back on the phone. Ottawa selected Jared Cowen, a defenseman many people projected to go in the No 4-6 range. Only Edmonton on the clock before the Preds pick.

Eight Pick
David Poile was on the phone after Dallas made its pick. Doesn't look like anything is up. There are a couple of players still available who the Preds scouts expected to be picked in the top-8.

Sixth Pick
The Coyotes strayed from most projections and selected Oliver Ekman-Larsson from Sweden, so the first minor surprise at the top of the draft. Also, two trades made already at this year's draft. Columbus and the NY Islanders swapped a bunch of picks including the No. 16 overall pick from Columbus to NY and the No. 26 overall pick from NY to Columbus ... four other picks were involved, but none from tonight. Philadelphia and Anaheim also had a major trade with the Flyers picking up All-Star defenseman Chris Pronger. Check out for more on both trades.

Fifth Pick
Well, LA selected Schenn. So far most expert projections have been pretty spot on. Things are still quiet at the Preds table -- another five picks before the Preds are on the clock at No. 11.

Fourth Pick
OK, this is where the draft starts to get interesting. A couple of potential options for the LA Kings. No surprises in the top-four, with the Thrashers picking Evander Kane, but several teams are rumored to be interested in Brayden Schenn, so strong possibility of a trade here.

Third Pick
Things are still quiet at the Preds table; no calls or trade discussions. But that’s not surprising. Things should start to heat up after this pick though … the first three selections went according to projections: Tavares-Hedman-Duchene.

Second Pick
No surprises at the top of the draft as the Lightning select Victor Hedman with the No. 2 pick.

First Pick
Draft is under way. There was a bit of suspense over the first pick, but in the end the Islanders selected John Tavares.

Friday, June 26 5:32 pm
The Preds staff just walked over from the hotel to Bell Centre. Everyone is set at the team's draft table. No trades announced yet.

Thursday, June 25
Tom Callahan's Draft Preview
The Preds scouts met all day, fine tuning the team's draft list and identifying the top prospects for all 12 of the team's draft slots. Much of the discussion during the morning meetings revolved around options at the No. 11 slot in the first round and the No. 41 and No. 42 slots in the second round. The afternoon discussions were more focused on the later rounds of the draft. At the end of the day -- before breaking for dinner -- GM David Poile went through mock trade scenarios to see under what circumstances the scouts felt there would be benefits to trading up in the different rounds (perhaps trading off some of the team's stockpile of picks) and under what scenarios the scouts felt there would be benefits to trading further back in the different rounds (perhaps adding more picks in this or future drafts).

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