Erik Erlendsson covers the Tampa Bay Lightning for The Tampa Tribune.
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NHL Draft Day 2
Posted Jun 21, 2008 by Erik Erlendsson
Updated Jun 21, 2008 at 01:46 PM
Sorry about the lack of posts last night, the wireless internet here inside Scotiabank Place worked about as well as a squirrel running a car engine on one of those exercise wheels - it showed signs of life, but in the end it just didn’t have enough in the tank to get the car moving.
Today isn’t much better, even though the IT folks here are doing their best to get it all back online. Myself, I’m done with it so I pulled out the old Air Card and fired it up (I foolishly left in my hotel room, which was a 45-minute drive away from the building last night). I don’t think my bosses are going to be very happy with the roaming charges when they see the bill next month, but I simply can’t provide enough to you fine loyal readers (although after last night, maybe you aren’t so loyal any more) Hopefully they can get the wireless running with what has to be about the 50th reboot/reconfiguration so that I can save my job and not run up a huge air card bill.
Anyway, not much to report. Last night was really rather anticlimactic. Not much to talk about really, other than perhaps the wide smile that Steven Stamkos could not wipe off his face. We hope to be able to catch up to him again today to see if everything has sunk in with the young man.
The second round is moving right along so it shouldn’t be long before we get to Tampa Bay’s pick at the No. 62 pick. I’ll have it up as soon as possible, wireless or not!!!!
Tampa Bay just traded it the first pick in the third round to San Jose in exchange for the 117th overall pick (in the fourth round), replacing the fourth-rounder sent to Los Angeles), the 147th (fifth round) and a third-round pick in 2009. Guess this means they didn’t feel real good about who they might pick at that spot in regards to being an NHL player, as Jay Feaster suggested when he spoke with us on Thursday. San Jose, by the way, selected center Justin Daniels out of Kent High School in Connecticut. He was ranked No. 100 among North American skaters by Central Scouting.
Here’s Tampa Bay’s first pick of Day two, the 117th overal pick acquired from San Jose: center James Wright from Vancouver of the Western Hockey League.
A 6-foot-3 center, he had 13 goals for Vancouver last season, played in the Top Prospects game and was a member of the 2007 Memorial Cup championship team. Sounds like a project pick based on this comment from Central Scouting:
NHL Central Scouting’s Blair MacDonald
“At 6’3”, he’s probably the type of player that is going to keep getting better and better as he progresses. He might still be two or three years away, but last year as a rookie, in Vancouver’s run to the Memorial Cup, he was probably their best centerman down the stretch. He was out with mono for a bit this year and his ice time tailed off, but he’s one of those players who is underrated. He’s a very good positional centerman and he’s good on the forecheck – he does a lot of the dirty work. I think the more he plays with better players the better he’ll get offensively.”
Here is pick No. 122, the first pick of round five:
Spokane goaltender Dustin Tokarski
Tokarski is a 5-foot-11 goaltender who was named the MVP of the Memorial Cup after posting a 4-0 record and a 1.72 goals-against average and a .953 save percentage.
Here is pick No. 147:
Bramptom right winger Kyle DeCoste
Here is pick No. 152, the first pick of the sixth round:
Moncton defenseman Mark Barberio Appears to have some offensive upside and played against the opposing top lines on a nightly basis.
Here is pick No. 160: Defenseman Luke Witkowski, a 6-foot-2, 200 pound converted defenseman from Ohio Junior Blue Jackets who McKeen’s Hockey says: “can play the physical game and handles the puck well’‘. The 18-year-old is committed to Western Michigan University
Here is pick No. 182: Left wing Matias Sointu out of Ilves Jr. in Finland. Sounds undersized at 5-10 and 150 pounds, but did score 21 goals and 40 points in 41 games this past year.