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A view inside the Nasville Predators draft

This is a view from the inside, how the Nashville Predators' GM and scout Sylvain Tremblay did operate for the 2011 NEFHL draft.

First of all, I had done a short list before the draft that was segmented by talent sections for the draft. Each section is in no particular order, I usually just take my final decision when I get to the pick.

1st section - Top 35 (which imo could slip into the 2nd round, as my first pick was #35):
Rattie, Jenner, Namestnikov, Morrow, Brodin, Scheifele, Phillips, JT Miller.

2nd section - Second rounders (35-60)
Ritchie, Noesen, Nieto, Lucia, Kucherov, Murphy, Sproul, Jaskin.

3rd section - Third/early fourth (60-100)
Cousins, John Gibson, Cramarossa, Quine, Labate, Shore, Fogarty, Hofmann, Tvrdon, Ouellet, Adam Lowry

4th section - Fourth/fifth rounders (100-150)
Leivo, Wittchow, Rieder, Jacobs, Edmundson, Nermark, Veilleux, Hudon, Kichton, Komarek, Friberg

5th section - Late draft picks (150-200)
Camara, Wuthrich, Franko, Fritsch, Straight, Serville, Mahalak, Boucher, Shalunov, Boyd, O'gara, Arzamastsev, Yarulin, Vance

6th section - The dumps, likely undrafted guys (200+)
Goodrow, Findlay, Liston, Beaupré, Cloutier, Sergeev, Henley, Francisco, Mitchell, McCormick, Steeves, Willick, Theoret, Sorenson, Wyszomirski

How did it go finally?

Unfortunately, at pick 35, no one was left from my list.
Rattie at #27 (NHL #32)
Jenner at #23 (NHL #37)
Namestnikov at #21 (NHL #27)
Morrow at #30 (NHL #23)
Brodin at #19 (NHL #10)
Scheifele at #12 (NHL #7)
Phillips at #14 (NHL #28)
JT Miller at #25 (NHL #15)

So I had to go with my 2nd list... From which Noesen was the only one picked (#34 - NHL #21). At 35, I wanted a big winger with skills and Ritchie fit the bill with his good U18 play at the end of the season. Between there and my next pick at #42, only Jaskin was picked at #38 (NHL #41). I wanted another big and skilled forward but at the same time, I knew Murphy wouldn't stay long available and I thought he (Murphy) had the biggest chance to go early in the real NHL draft. Nevertheless, I decided to add another speedy forward with a good shot in Mario Lucia (NHL #60), hoping that Murphy would still be there four picks later. The next picks only happened the next day and I was very nervous that Murphy would be gone. Two other players from my list were picked, as Sproul went #43 (NHL #55) and Kucherov went #44 (NHL #58). Finally, Murphy was still available at #46 (NHL #20) so I jumped on him. At #49, there was only one guy still available from my list but I still hesitated, as I had not planned that Mayfield would be available at that point. I decided to stick with my list and drafted Nieto at #49 (NHL #47) while Mayfield would last until pick #55 (NHL #34).

Then I had to wait until pick #86. A couple of players had been picked:
Cousins at #53 (NHL #68)
John Gibson at #37 (NHL #39)
Quine at #71 (NHL #85)
Labate at #48 (NHL #101)
Shore at #69 (NHL #82)
Hofmann at #61 (NHL #103)
Ouellet at #59 (NHL #48)
Lowry at #68 (NHL #67)

From my list, only Tvrdon, Cramarossa and Fogarty were remaining. While I really liked Cramarossa for his grit and heart, I thought his ceiling was lower than the other two guys left on my list. I decided to pick Tvrdon at #86 (NHL #115) and roll the dice since Redline Report had good words from him and friends thought he looked good at the start of the year with Gallagher (2010 Habs prospect). It was a tough decision, as I had also heard good things about Fogarty. However, I went with the highest ceiling.

I knew there was a lot of picks between this one and my next one (two rounds later), and when both Cramarossa and Fogarty started dropping past pick #100, I tried to obtain a 4th and then a 5th. Unfortunately, I was unable to get and extra pick and Cramarossa dropped all the way to #112 (NHL #65) and Forgarty deep down to #130 (NHL #72).

Disappointed, I looked ahead to my next pick at the bottom of my 100-150 section at #142. Once again, many were gone:
Leivo at #101 (NHL #86)
Rieder at #78 (NHL #114)
Jacobs at #62 (NHL #107)
Edmudson at #58 (NHL #46)
Nermark at #75 (NHL #93)
Hudon at #66 (NHL #145)
Kichton at #96 (NHL #127)
Komarek at #99 (undrafted)
Friberg at #81 (NHL #143)

There was only two remaining, Wittchow and Veilleux. With already four forwards drafted and only one defenseman, I was already tilted towards Wittchow. Then I looked back at both players profile before taking a decision... Redline was comparing Wittchow to James Wisniewski... Hence I picked Wittchow with pick #142 (NHL #154) and started praying Veilleux would make it to my next pick a round later. Unfortunately, he was snatched at #169 (NHL #102), just three picks before I ahead of my next selection.

When it was time to select once again, my list had taken a serious hit:
Camara at #132 (NHL #81)
Wuthrich at #106 (undrafted)
Franko at #158 (undrafted)
Fritsch at #91 (NHL #155)
Straight at #140 (undrafted)
Serville at #102 (NHL #78)
Mahalak at #119 (NHL #163)
Boucher at #65 (NHL #99)
Shalunov at #136 (NHL #109)
Arzamastsev at #125 (undrafted)
Yarulin at #146 (undrafted)
Vance at #159 (NHL #135)

There was only Boyd (NHL #177) and O'Gara (NHL #151) left to select from my list at #172 and #173 so it was relatively a no brainer to pick them up.

Lastly, I had four picks above #200 to play with. Only a few from my list were gone:
Goodrow at #137 (undrafted)
Beaupré at #182 (NHL #153)
Francisco at #139 (undrafted)
Willick at #228 (undrafted)
Sorenson at #227 (undrafted)

With my last four picks, I decided to go first with a goalie at #202, Liam Liston, then with a QMJHL player, a big winger with some upside, Samuel Henley, at #221 and with two OHL players who battled injuries in Zack Mitchell at #230 and Brett Findlay at #232. They all went undrafted which is often par for the course for these late picks. There's always hope these guys will catch the scouting communities' eye next year. From my 200+ list, only two were selected, Theoret (NHL #185) and McCormick (NHL #171).

In the end, the Nashville Predators are satisfied with their draft, although they wish they could have found a way to grab an early fifth and grab Steven Fogarty.