Monday, April 13, 2009

Quest For The Holy Grail Update: The John Tavares Sweepstakes

With the official 2009 NHL Entry Draft Lottery taking place tomorrow evening, I thought we should revisit the teams' percentage shots at winning the big prize - the #1 overall pick in June! I have also added the prospect by each respective team, based on my recently posted The Hockey Spy's NHL Entry Draft Rankings.

This time of year when you think of the "Quest For The Holy Grail", you think of a grueling Cup run to have members of the victorious team engraved on the chalice of Lord Stanley. Tomorrow, however, the Holy Grail is the prize position of the winner of the NHL 2009 Entry Draft lottery - John Tavares. If you happened to forget just how talented this kid is, take a lot at the above video clip of a goal scored at this past year's WJC.

Coming into this hockey season, hockey experts projected Victor Hedman would likely be the 1st overall selection this June. An elite d-man with mammoth size and outstanding skill, he's the type of guy you can build a franchise around. While that may very well still be the case, Tavares has risen atop of this year's draft crop and is now the consensus #1 pick after the fantastic WJC tournament he had. The elite centerman is the Next "Next One"!

Tavares has just recently shattered the OHL all-time goals record with 215, after sniping a hat-trick on Mar. 8 in a London Knights 4-3 victory over the league-leading Windsor Spitfires.

As of Apr. 13/09, here's a lookout teams with the highest projected percentage chance of landing Tavares, that is the 1st overall pick in the 2009 Entry Draft (courtesy of TSN's Lottery Lookout ):

Team (% Chance of Winning*, % Chance of Winning 1st Overall Pick):

1. New York Islanders (25%, 48.1%) = John Tavares
2. Tampa Bay Lightning (18.8%, 18.8%) = Victor Hedman
3. Colorado Avalanche (14.2%, 14.2%) = Matt Duchene
4. Atlanta Thrashers (10.7%, 10.7%) = Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson
5. LA Kings (8.1%, 8.1%) = Evander Kane
6. Phoenix Coyotes (6.2%) = Jared Cowen
7. Toronto Maple Leafs (4.7&) = Braydon Schenn
8. Dallas Stars (3.6%) = Jordan Schroeder
9. Ottawa Senators (2.7%) = Ryan Ellis
10. Edmonton Oilers (2.1% = Dmitri Kulikov

* % Chance of Winning = chance the team's ball will get drawn in the lottery
** = "Player" is what prospect the team would get based on The Hockey Spy's current Draft Rankings {This is not a mock draft - stay tuned for The Hockey Spy's Mock Draft}
***Note: A team cannot move up more than 4 positions (thus only the bottom 5 teams have a shot at #1 overall) and a team cannot mov down more than 1 position.

The Islanders could use a potential franchise player like Tavares to help try and turn this team around. The Lightning, with Vinny and Stamkos already patrolling the middle, might be tempted to grab d-man Hedman even if they win the draft lottery. One thing is for certain: the winner of all the losers will be one thrilled franchise!

Interestingly, in the 13 years since the lottery has been introduced (not counting the SC87 post-lockout draft when everyone had an equal shot), only 6 out of the 13 teams with the highest percentage chance actually went on to get the #1 overall pick. In fact, in the past 9 weighted lotteries, only 2 of the teams with the highest percentage change indeed landed the coveted position. Obviously then - nothing is etched in stone at this point. Have no fear Islander Faithful, however, as the worst they can do is #2 overall. If that happens to be one Victor Hedman, you might just end up with the best player out of this draft!

Stay tuned as The Hockey Spy infiltrates the amateur hockey ranks to uncover in depth previews, prospect profiles, rankings and mock drafts via Eagle Eye Scouting - your source for inside coverage of the NHL 2009 Entry Draft.


The Hockey Spy,  Apr 14, 2009, 10:01:00 PM  

Not much drama unfolded tonight as the Isles win the lottery! Everything went down exactly as expected.

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