Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Draft Season

In the next two days some of the most entertaining and potentially important events will take place in the NBA and the NHL. The direction of teams and the balance of power could be affected for years to come. Thursday evening the NBA will be holding its draft and Friday the NHL will be doing the same for it’s brand. This is a fun time for fans who like to speculate on who is better, who should go where, where players will go and what deals are out there to be made.

There are some subtle differences between the way we will view each of these entities. In the NBA there are only 2 rounds and 2nd round players are a long shot at best for not only getting any playing time but just making the team. The players who are drafted will enter the league next year and be on the roster and playing. Another thing is that with the popularity of the NCAA Tournament plenty of people are well aware of the majority of at least the mane of the players that are going to be coming out, which allows for fans to identify and be more familiar with who their team is selecting.
In the NHL it is different. There are multiple rounds and sometimes there hidden gems late in the selection process. The players are younger and come from junior teams in smaller locations with minimal coverage. Outside of the very top players there are many 1st round picks that there are a lot of players that people just don’t know unless you either research or follow junior hockey. Players selected past the number 4 or 5 pick have little or no chance of playing in the league. Most will be sent back to junior or stay with their club teams overseas for more seasoning and for the players to mature. It will usually take 2-3 years before many players even make the team, let alone make an impact.

The beauty of the NHL Entry Draft is that there is usually the most wheeling and dealing on the floor as compared to the other major sports. There has already been one significant deal in the NBA so far but there usually not a lot of movement. In the NHL GMs seem to get a little more trigger happy and the potential for players and picks being moved is much greater and makes for some fun and exciting viewing.

Both drafts have to potential to help shoot a team towards the top or make other teams tumble to the bottom in the years to come. Every draft has some sleepers and others have their busts and only time will tell who will emerge as the victor.

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