The "Russian Factor" has become a buzzword among main stream media types of late, especially in regards to the nationality of potential lottery draft picks Yakupov and Grigorenko. Further the Don Cherry's of the world will tell you a Canadian or North American player has heart while a Russian or European is enigmatic. Let's take a look at a couple soon to be UFA's and discuss media perception of these players vs. their actual results.
In part two of my annual mock draft, picks 11 thru 20 are highlighted as I try to predict which prospects go where. Day two of my mock draft brings the Calgary Flames front and center at number 14. Will they take a forward or will they take a defenseman? Derrick Pouliot is a name to watch for when Jay Feaster and co. make their selection.
The NHL season has come to an end but the fun is about to begin. Friday is the 50th anniversary of the NHL Entry Draft as it takes place in Pittsburgh. With Mock Draft’s and trade rumors flooding the internet, everyone wants to know who is going where and who is picking who. Today post features picks 21-30.
Bob McKenzie of TSN has reported via Twitter that "Bobby Ryan is 'available' again." Acquiring Ryan would immediately strengthen Detroit's offensive core and bring the size necessary to compete in the contemporary NHL.
With the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs coming to a close in the next month, free agency and trade rumors will take on a life of their own as teams will try to improve through the two aforementioned avenues. After staying relatively quiet in the free agent market the last couple of years, the New York Islanders could use the addition of a player via a trade. (VancityAllie/Flickr)
One of those players could be Jarome Iginla, and the Islanders should consider targeting the right winger for a number of reasons.
Since Iginla's contract will expire once the 2012-2013 season is completed, the move could backfire on the Isles if the winger chooses to pursue free agency during the 2013 off-season. However, a deal to get Iginla could drastically improve the Islanders' offense and give the team a bit more than a bonafide scoring threat and rugged veteran. Acquiring Iginla could show other free agents that the Islanders are serious about taking their rebuild to another level and are trying to surround John Tavares with some established talent.
The playoffs might be further out of sight, and the reality that the Islanders aren't a playoff team has become more and more apparent with every weakening loss, but this is not the time to "fail for Nail."
Nail Yakupov is considered to be the obvious choice for the number one overall pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. The 19-year old Russian sniper scored 101 points (49 goals, 52 assists) in 65 games played for the Sarnia Sting of the OHL. He currently has 31 goals and 37 assists for 68 points for Sarnia and is a +14. The Islanders, like every other team in the NHL, could certainly benefit from having another scoring winger added to their line-up.
So why do I say that the Islanders shouldn't look to drop in the Eastern Conference standings?