Time to start up a new thread for the new season. We'll ignore the fact that the forecast high today in Moncton is 32C.
Atlantic Division Players Selected in the 2014 NHL Draft:
- Nikolaj Ehlers, Halifax Mooseheads (first round, Winnipeg Jets)
- Ivan Barbashev, Moncton Wildcats (second round, Saint Louis Blues)
- Mason McDonald, Charlottetown Islanders (second round, Calgary Flames)
- Julien Pelletier, Cape Breton Screaming Eagles (fourth round, Columbus Blue Jackets)
- Clark Bishop, Cape Breton Screaming Eagles (fifth round, Carolina Hurricanes)
- Cameron Darcy, Cape Breton Screaming Eagles (seventh round, Tampa Bay Lightning)
- Olivier LeBlanc, Saint John Sea Dogs (seventh round, Columbus Blue Jackets).
As far as Barbashev is concerned, he had been projected to go as high as 18th in the draft, and it was certainly a surprise that he wasn't chosen in the first round, but going to the Blues is ideal for him. His former line mate on the Wildcats two years ago (Dimitrij Jaskin) is with the Blues organization and they are good friends. Jaskin was called up from the farm team and played 18 games with the Blues last year and it would be tremendous if they eventually became line mates on the team.
It was a little surprising that Vladimir Tkachev of the Wildcats wasn't chosen in the draft. He is certainly skilled enough.
- he only played 20 games with the Cats last year. He may be too much of an unknown quantity.
- he is quite small, which is a detriment with the modern NHL.
- he is Russian, which always raises the KHL factor.
If Tkachev performs as expected this year, and is seen as being committed to North American hockey, I'm sure he will eventually be taken as a free agent. There are lots of Wildcats playing professional hockey as former free agents.