The wait is almost over. Last year we started a new tradition with our team-by-team draft previews and we're just about ready to do it again for 2010. If you're one of the hundreds of email senders who have been clamoring for this year's previews (and by hundreds I mean two or three individual people) then you'll want to check back here tomorrow, June 1st, as we kick things off.
The 2009 series generated lots of feedback in the comments section and to our email in-boxes and we expect this year's version will be no different. We're changing things up a bit, more on that after the 'read more' click.
As a refresher, here's a link back to what we did last year. Some of the things we do this year you will recognize from 2009; the "Coming Down the Pipe" and "Draft Trends" sections were of particular interest to readers so they're back.
You will notice a new introduction with the team logos we're choosing to go with - not a big deal but we're opting to go with shoulder patches, 3rd jersey crests or old school versions of the NHL teams of today. No particular reason why other than it'll appear a bit different from what we've done in the past.
The first thing you'll see is a reminder of who the team selected in the first round last year and a brief recap of that player's performance this past season.
Next, we're introducing a "The Good, The Bad and The Unknown" section. Those headings should be pretty self explanatory but they will be our nominees as that team's best and worst draft pick of the last 5 years followed by an "unknown", meaning a player who cannot be classified as a hit or miss just yet. Perhaps someone who is just wrapping up their college career or is maybe just a late bloomer about to break into the NHL.
"Coming Down the Pipe" and "Draft Trends" will follow and the write ups will end with the mock picks from both Dean and I. Keeping in mind that these predictions have been locked in from the end of May until the previews are all revealed, we reserve the right to have a final mock draft in the days prior to the actual 2010 event on June 25th/26th.
We've decided to go in reverse order this year because we think counting down from 30th to 1st is more interesting. Since we're starting to release these before the Stanley Cup Finals are over though, that produced a bit of a problem since we don't know for sure who is actually going to be picking 29th and 30th.
In order to get over that hurdle we devised a highly technical and systematic way of determining who we have in the last two spots of round 1. OK, we flipped a coin and according to that 1981 quarter, the Chicago Blackhawks will win the Stanley Cup and pick 30th.
If this somehow makes it to the bulletin board in Philadelphia's dressing room... that's cool because one of us is actually hoping to see the Flyers win anyway.
So Chicago's draft preview will be first followed by Anaheim (via Philly) in the 29th spot. In reality, even if Philly comes back to win the Cup, the odds are that at that point in the draft, the two teams are looking at different players anyway.
Another improvement from last season, you won't have to wait a full day for each team preview to be released. This year we're doing two-a-days with the first hitting screens at 8AM Eastern time, the second at Noon. We'll continue to do that until the 30th-11th picks are done.
The top 3-10 will then come out, in reverse order, on a daily basis until we're left with just the #1 and #2 overall selections. Since revealing #2 one day and #1 the next would be a little anti-climatic, for the final time those two picks will be revealed on the same day (June 19th). For a complete day-by-day schedule, see below.
June 1st: CHI + ANH (via PHI)
2nd: SJ + MTL
3rd: WSH + VAN
4th: ATL (via NJ) + BUF
5th: PHX + DET
6th: PGH + LA
7th: NSH + COL
8th: OTT + BOS
9th: STL + PHX (via CGY)
10th: ANH + DAL
June 11th - NYR
June 12th - MIN
June 13th - ATL
June 14th - CAR
June 15th - TBY
June 16th - NYI
June 17th - CLB
June 18th - FLA
June 19th - BOS (via TOR) + EDM
We hope you'll appreciate the time put into these write ups. The draft is still almost a month away and we know that a lot can change with the stock of certain players between now and then. We take it seriously... but not too seriously if you know what I mean (see left).
We hope people will enjoy the information and our predictions and will even chime in and leave lots of comments. We look forward to reading yours.
See you tomorrow!