Ray Shero and the Draft Table Part Two
Continuting from today's earlier post, let's take a revisionist look at the second and third drafts under Ray Shero in 2007.
Rd1 Pick 20 - Angelo Esposito (Center) - What was once a concensus number one pick dropped to 8th among the final rankings of North American skaters and took an even further free fall during draft day. When selected, Shero even alluded to his potential tradeability and sure enough was part of the blockbuster deal that sent Pascal Dupuis to the Penguins along with future and inconsequential considerations that ended up being Marian Hossa (haha). Even if the Penguins didnt win the Cup that year and Hossa left for Detroit in the offseason, I can still thumbs up this selection. Among those selected after Espositio included Max Pacioretty (22nd) and David Perron (26th).
Rd2 Pick 51 - Keven Vielleux (Centre) - Early on the knock, as often is with just about any prospect not in the first round, for Vielleux was inconsistency. But what really derailed him was just being so brittle with injuries. Only played 75 regular season games in three seasons in Wilkes-Barre. Oscar Moller went next at pick 52, TJ Galiardi went 55th, and the last pick of round two was Wayne Simmonds.
Rd3 Pick 78 - Robert Bortuzzo (Defense) - The Pens acquired this pick in a trade dealing Chris Thorburn. Alex Killorn was picked one pick prior and nothing else of note was picked in the third round. Bortuzzo does contribute to the bottom pair in Pittsburgh so couldn't have done any better here.
Rd3 Pick 80 - Casey Pierro-Zabotel (Centre) - Man Shero liked centers eh? This pick was obtainied in a trade sending off Dominic Moore. Moore is no world beater but we didnt have use for him? While the pick didnt come close to panning out, there wasnt much of anything else the Pens could have done at this point. Next pick of any value was Alec Martinez at 95.
Rd4 Pick 111 - Luca Caputi (Left Wing) - A sizeable prpspect that seemingly was unable to use it well ended up traded for Alexei Ponikarovsky in a trae deadline deal. Even though Ponikarovsky didn't fit in well at all as a Penguin, I would still have made that trade 100 times out of 100 as Caputi wasn't going to make it either. No one of note picked nearby except maybe Mike Santorelli at pick 119.
Rd4 Pick 118 - Alex Grant (Defense) - A defenseman this late has some strong strengths with obvious flaws that need worked out. Grant's was a lack of gap control and while being a decent offenseive defenseman, he had no quickness to help round him out to reach the next level. But you can't really say that the Pens should have picked Jamie Benn (who went at pick 129) because he was under the radar for just about everyone, except Dallas.
Rd5 Pick 141 - Jake Muzzin (Defense) - Muzzin had a herniated disc at 16 which got his OHL career off to a slower start and thus after three years the Penguins decided to relinquish his rights. Only after an improvement in his overage year was he able to latch on with the LA Kings where he still plays. No one else of note nearby that pick, despite the Penguins not signing him, still made the right pick here. That's the game sometimes.
Rd6 Pick 171 - Dustin Jeffrey (Center) - Carl Hagelin was picked three spots earlier but Jeffrey started out well in his first stint as a Penguin. Unfortunately his knee injury set him back to a seemingly never ending nacho line. Yet still, from the 07 draft onward, no one drafted by Shero has scored more goals than Jeffrey's 15. Imagine if they got Nick Bonino (173) instead. Panned out ok for a round 6 pick, not easy to complain.
I can thumbs up 3 of the 7 picks, Esposito (only for the Hossa trade, big botch otherwise), Bortuzzo, and Muzzin. Only botch, in my opinion, is Vielleux while the others were middle road. So after two drafts I have 6 thumbs up picks out of 12 picks. Next up, 2008.