Saturday, June 21, 2008

NHL draft: After the gold rush...

Chances are, some of the same people who maintain baseball is boring might have watched all four hours of TSN's coverage of the first round of the NHL entry draft.

That was occasion for a fun little sociological experiment: How many picks would the NHL get through in the time it took the Blue Jays and Pittsburgh Pirates to completing nine innings of boring ol' baseball By unofficial count, when the final out of the ninth was made, the patrons were waiting on the 18th selection of the draft -- barely halfway through the proceedings. The Jays' farm club in Syracuse had finished its game about 20 minutes earlier, around the time of the 15th pick.

That being said, the pace has been picked up on Day 2 and the form calls to duly note the local selections. First things first: It's a little funny that there's any excitement over the Kingston Frontenacs having two players drafted. The Belleville Bulls, with a veteran team full of 19- and 20-year-olds, still managed to have three players taken.

Inverary's Mike Murphy, the Belleville Bulls goalie, went to the Carolina Hurricanes in the sixth round, 165th overall.

It's a little humourous that Orleans native Shawn Lalonde, the Bulls defenceman, was Chicago's third-rounder (68th overall). The Blackhawks took another D-man from Orleans, Ben Shutron (then of the Frontenacs), in the 2006 draft, but apparently couldn't sign him.

The biggest stunner among the Eastern Ontario contingent was that Kingston's Jamie Arniel, the Sarnia Sting centre, fell all the way from possible late first- or second-round selection to the Boston Bruins at 97th overall. (The Leafs were next up, which is kind of humourous.)

The educated guess yesterday on the Offsides roundtable was that only one Kingston Frontenac would be selected. Winger Josh Brittain, who's a Dustin Penner/Todd Bertuzzi type, was Anaheim's third-round pick. Crafty centreman Nathan Moon was nabbed by the Penguins in the fourth round, giving the Fronts a second selection. That matches the number of top-5 picks (Drew Doughty and Zach Bogosian) whom Kingston passed on when they had a chance to take them in the OHL draft.

Go ahead, look it up.

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