PHILADELPHIA - JUNE 04: (L-R) NHL top prospects Taylor Hall, Cam Fowler, Tyler Seguin, Erik Gudbranson and Brett Connolly pose before Game Four of the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Final at Wachovia Center on June 4, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
We're gearing up for the Draft here at Anaheim Calling. Last week, Daniel gave you his picks (Emerson Etem at 12th and Calvin Pickard at 29th); this week, you get mine.
Before last year's Draft, I said the ideal situation for the Ducks would be to trade up to get Scott Glennie, the speedy goal scorer that they needed. Fast forward one year, the needs haven't changed and neither has the situation. The best shooters in the 5-10 range, Nino Niederreiter and Jeffrey Skinner, will probably get drafted in the 5-10 range. So, again, for the Ducks to get EXACTLY what they want, they'll have to trade up. My Glennie this year is Niederreiter, as his size and compete level make him the safer bet, but that also means Anaheim would probably have to trade higher to get to him than they would have to for Skinner.
I should also note that Bob McKenzie's recent Draft ranking for TSN has Vladimir Tarasenko at 16th. Based on his ranking, the players to heavily consider with 12-17 value are Alexander Burmistrov, Vladimir Tarasenko and then Emerson Etem. I think Burmistrov, despite his size, would be a good pick. And I really like the idea of Tarasenko, though I don't know how toxic his Russian ties have become that McKenzie stuck him at 16th. And then there's Etem...
Emerson Etem at 12th
I think it will ultimately come down to whether or not the Ducks like Etem. I'm convinced that "better" players will be on the board, but how many teams will consider if Jack Campbell is "better value" at their pick and ultimately decide they don't need to draft a goaltender in the first round? The Ducks need a scorer in the cupboard, and Etem offers that, along with a great deal of speed.
It's close though. It may come down to the interviews and the scouting staff's sense of the players available versus Etem. The Long Beach native amounts to a safety school at this point. But don't underestimate the importance of drafting the most valuable asset at 12th or the increased temptation to do so when you have two first round picks.
Charlie Coyle at 29th
Were you expecting me to say Kirill Kabanov? If the Ducks play it safe at 12, then I wouldn't be surprised if they went for the homerun with this pick. And that could mean Kabanov, but imagine the other people that could slip to 29, like John McFarland. So yes, playing it safe at 12th will make it tempting to take someone radioactive at 29th.
Still, for a safe pick at 29th, I like Coyle. At 6-2, 202, he's physically well developed, and that showed in his top 10 finishes in fitness testing (Anaerobic Fitness, Aerobic Fitness, Leg Power, Right Hand Grip and Pull Strength) at the NHL Combine. Madden already noted that fitness testing gets sprinkled into his final evaluation, and Coyle's not a bad reason to do it. People point to him playing in a lower league (the EJHL), but Coyle has proven he has the physical strength to keep pushing when he moves on to Boston University. And if the Anaheim scouting staff was impressed with his International play, they'll give him credit for his skill above the shoulders as well. There are a lot of good picks at 29th, but I think Coyle has a lot of underrated value, on par with some of the players who might even slip to 29th.