Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Week Eight Waiver Draft Recap Part Two

The picks are coming fairly quickly now and when I'm writing this piece, we've only got a few more picks left to accomplish in the first round, so I'm just going to keep motoring through the recap of what we have already. Already we've been through the first five picks, now we'll sift through picks six through twleve, also giving some of the historical results from people in the same draft position.

The sixth pick in the Draft belonged to Benson. He got rid of Jiri Hudler, who has been playing in Europe, since he couldn't get a new deal with the Red Wings when he became a restricted free agent this summer, due to salary cap restrictions. So, he was a big, fat zero for the first eight weeks of the season, but he'll be replaced by Ryan Malone of the Lightning, who has been playing with the top line players there in Tampa and picking up points all the while.

Being in 12th spot gave Benson the 6th pick this time around and both previous years saw the 12th place team (Don in 2009 and Peter in 2008) finish in 10th position after the final games have been played. That's somewhat of a coincidence. Malone should be a good pick for Benson, so I would assume better things than 10th at the moment.

The seventh pick in the Draft turned out to be a swap of Atlanta goaltenders for Larry. Larry decided to gamble on Kari Lehtonen to start the season, but that ended up blowing up in his face, because Lehtonen hasn't returned to the Thrashers from off-season surgeries. Ondrej Pavelec has been the biggest benefactor of the injury to Lehtonen and will now play in place of Lehtonen on Larry's team, as well as the Thrashers.

From the 11th spot in the standings, Jeremy moved up to 6th spot in 2009 and Don stayed at 11th in 2008, so there is some hope for good things in this case.

At the eighth pick of the draft, Trevor has decided to let the Mule loose in order to pick up another clutch European. Trevor's decision to drop Johan Franzen came from Franzen's current injury, which should be keeping him out for another couple months at least, which could be just in time for the second waiver draft for a pick-up. In Franzen's spot, Trevor elected to go with Maxim Afinogenov, who has been meshing well with fellow countryman, Ilya Kovalchuk in Atlanta. This could be a pretty hot move, as both players have been hot of late.

The eighth pick has seen good times and bad times in previous years. This is the lowest pick in the waiver draft to finish in the money, which was in 2008 when Clayton took the 10th spot and moved it all the way up to 2nd. On the other hand, Dale B. took the 10th spot and dropped it all the way down to 16th at the Waiver Draft, so maybe its cyclical.

At the draft, Allan stands right in the middle at 9th spot. He was hoping that Afinogenov would last one more pick, but was unlucky in those hopes. So, in lieu of the bad news, he decided to drop Andrei Kostitsyn of the Canadiens, who has been suffering from some poor play this season and decided to swap him for Brendan Morrison of the Capitals, who has been revitalizing his career in Washington, seeing the occasional shift with some of the big guns on the team. This could be a pretty savvy move.

From the middle, teams have not done much better through the waiver draft. In 2009, Ryan remained in 9th position after being in the same position at the draft, while in 2008, Jeff dropped down to 12th spot in the final standings.

The tenth pick of the draft saw the first defenseman get picked up, as Ryan decided to drop the oft-injured Joni Pitkanen of the Hurricanes for rookie phenom, Michael Del Zotto of the Rangers. Pitkanen returned to the shelf last night, while Del Zotto continues to turn some heads, playing on the top power play unit for the Rangers, showing off some great skating and puck handling skills. It was somewhat surprising that he lasted this long in the draft.

The eighth position in the standings has also not fared well after the waiver draft. In 2008, Dieter dropped down one position by the end of the year to 9th spot, while Wes dropped down to 11th spot in 2009. If Del Zotto can keep up his pace, Ryan will have a good shot at keeping pace.

The third goalie of the Waiver Draft was moved at pick number eleven. Stuart wasn't getting much out of Vesa Toskala, if anything at all, so the switch was on to a goaltender that would be playing for a team that can win in front of him and that search finished up finding Antero Niittymaki of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Niittymaki has been able to steal minutes away from Mike Smith and actually pull off some wins, so this could be a pretty big pick for Stuart this year.

The 11th pick in the draft (for the seventh place team) has done alright in the past. In 2008, John B. moved up one position to sixth, while Marcus took the pick all the to fourth in 2009. Those are some fairly promising results.

Finally in this review, we come to the 12th pick, where Wayne decided to go the defenseman route as well, dropping Paul Martin of the Devils and picking up Matt Carle of the Flyers. Carle has been on and off the shelf a bit this year, but when he has been playing, he has played well, picking up 12 points 17 games for the Flyers. He should be an adequate replacement for a defenseman who is injured at the moment.

Teams who have had the 12th pick have failed to reach the money later on in the season, but Wayne will look to change that. Benson did climb to 5th from his 6th position at the draft in 2008, while Larry didn't get any luck in 2009, dropping down to 14th by the end.

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