Several big events on the day. Seth Ambroz sliding nearly out of the draft has to be considered one of them. Filatov getting ousted from the Columbus organization. The second round of the draft was dominated by Americans with nine, followed by eight Canadians and then then the rest of the world. Another member of the Sutter family has been drafted, and he too is Carolina Hurricanes property.
The least surprising surprise to me was the trade of Nikita Filatov out of the Columbus organization. How well he handled himself with the coaches and staff, and potentially other players is no longer relevant. How well the organization treated him is also meaningless. The choice of Nikita Filatov was the wrong one from the organizational standpoint. Just watching or reading one of his interviews from his draft year tells you he’s one of those larger personalities with a bit more swagger and edge than a lot of players. He’s got plenty of skill and silly speed, but was the round peg to a very square organization. Filatov going to the Senators where they’ve coddled the odd fragile ego or two, one or more of whom may of course still be in the organization is a much better fit. The Senators are possibly the only team in Canada who had a quiet building last year most nights. The team on the ice was hard for any hockey team to watch, and adding a potential game breaker to Alfredsson, Spezza, Karlsson could go a long way towards energizing the fanbase. Good move for all three parties if the Senators and Filatov mesh.
In a deal that was rumored before the start of the draft, Calgary shipped out Robyn Regehr, Alex Kotalix and a second round pick to Buffalo for $7,000,000 in cap space, Chris Butler, and Paul Byron. Butler has had two productive seasons in the AHL, and may be ready for the NHL full time. Byron was part of the defense off and on for the last three seasons in Buffalo, even seeing playoff time. For the Sabres it looks like they are trying for a defensive mentor for Tyler Myers and someone to take some of the pressure off Ryan Miller. Regehr led the Flames in both hits and blocked shots last season.
Seth Ambroz a pugnacious power forward fell much further than I think anyone could have imagined. He says his favorite player is former Vancouver Giant, and Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins left winger Milan Lucic. Ranked at #31 by Central Scouting I was surprised he was still on the board when the Bruins picked in the third round, and surprised even more when he was passed over again the fourth round. He has committed to the University of Minnesota for this fall, and that may have played a part in team choices, I’d also heard some small whispers about maturity, which generally surprise me not at all in 18 year olds and worry me less.
Despite some highly amusing internet speculation that Grimaldi’s strength of faith was preventing him from being drafted he did manage to get selected. The 5’6 center will have another smaller player to mentor him should he make it into the NHL in the next couple years. Brian Campbell is now a member of the Florida Panthers, and the two could be a hellacious one-two punch for the Panthers powerplay units at some point. If Sergei Samsonov is resigned they could form one of the shortest lines in the NHL.