"Let’s make stuff up!"…er…the NHL 2008 Entry Level Draft

11:18 - I will be busy rooting for the Netherlands tomorrow but Kukla as always will have you covered with the second round.

10:59 - ...and that's it. 5 hours later the first round ends with 13 picks being swapped and some big names being moved. But we know what the most important thing is: Vancouver has a new Trevor Linden player in Cody Hodgson.

My first official note to Cody:

It's been 38 years and no Cup for Vancouver. You very well may have to be a central part of fixing that. No pressure, but the sooner the better ok? If you can't, that's ok; you're human and no one else has been able to do it either. But as a first rounder, we don't want you to implode. Just don't become Nathan Smith ok?

10:51 - Stevie Y is heading to the stage for Detroit. No matter who they pick expect them to be awesome while the other 29 players before this guy will be pumping gas in three years. Something like that. The Wings, clearly, have a pact with Satan and cannot be stopped when it comes to the draft.

Polite applause for Yzerman before they take McCollum, a big goalie from the OHL.

10:49 - The Hossa deal gives the Thrashers another first round pick and they select Leveille, a center with a great deal of quickness but apparently just learned that "off-ice conditioning" is an important part of training. McGuire: "He's a long way from becoming a NHL player."

10:40 - Anaheim moves their 28 pick to Phoenix for the 35th & 39th. The Coyotes have to be considered one of the big winners today. Most likely their days of being one of the doormat teams in the West is coming to a close.

Phoenix grabs Tikhonov. Two picks left.

10:37 - Caps take D-man Carlson, a Jersey boy sporting a bright yellow tie (just thought I'd mention that because I know you wanted to know). McKenzie just insinuated he's chubby. Irony.

10:36 - Eminger goes to Philly for a pick.

10:30 - ...and the talking heads are sad as Tyler Ennis from Medicine Hat goes to the Sabres, the first player projected to go tomorrow in the second round. Small, fast and skilled.

10:27 - The Sabres get their second pick of the first round and the conventional wisdom suggests goalie.

10:22 - Sutter needs a toy to play with Cammalleri and picks Nemisz, a center from the Windsor Spitfires. McKenzie calls him a big goal scorer but the skating needs work.

10:16 - Lamoriello finally decides he can go now and the Devils take Tedenby, a Swedish left winger with great speed. And he's small so Gionta and him can share the same high chair in the dressing room.

10:12 - The deliciously evil Minnesota Wild take defenseman Cuma who is comparable to ex-Canuck Steve Staios which means he'll be easy to yell at for Mike Keenan later in his career.

10:08 - The Devils just don't want to pick, moving their 23 for Minny's 24th and their third round pick next year.

10:00 - The Oilers and a frumpy looking Kevin Lowe are up. Sam Gagner's mullet is in tow for some reason. They select Eberle, a center who had a great season last year with the Regina Pats.

9:53 - Devils trade #21 to the Caps for #23 and #54. So the Caps look at some papers, play with their PC's and head to the stage to snag Gustafsson, a McKenzie-authorized wildcard with back issues yet a gleam in his eye. I don't know, but he has a fun last name and I'm sure Backstrom likes it.

9:49 - BREAKING NEWS: Hodgson has split the atom with his mind. My sources are following this lead closely...

9:47 - The NHL-sanctioned most hated team, the NY Rangers, and use the 20 slot to take Del Zotto, a defenseman who played in Oshawa last year.

9:39 - Flyers go 19th and take Sbisa, a big defenseman similar to Mark Streit.

9:36 - Preds grab Pickard, a goalie coming off 46 wins in the WHL last year. Ellis is now and this guy is next. Good moves by the Preds all around today.

9:30 - Ducks take Gardiner, another defensive project for Burke to mold into a guy who can step on Kesler's leg.

9:28 - Three minute video clip on Hodgson for your viewing pleasure.

9:21 - It's beantown's time now and the Bruins add Colborne, a big center who will be playing at the University of Denver next year. McGuire says he's a project and, as you know, McGuire is never ever ever wrong.

9:11 - Preds are up again but the Senators are talking to them now so it looks like another swap of picks...yup, first round picks plus the Sens third rounder next year. McKenzie is calling for a goalie, all the more crucial I guess because Emery is on waivers. The crowd is getting happy as Alfredsson is amongst the group that takes to the stage. Good move by the hometown crowd. Alfie calls out Karlsson, a Swedish defenseman so there goes the goalie idea. Insurance for Redden if he bolts.

9:07 - More on Hodgson from Hockey's Future:

Hodgson is a solid all around talent. He does not possess blinding speed, or flashy moves, but he tends to get the job done. He has developed into a fine two-way player. Hodgson is an extremely smart player who uses all of his skills in both ends of the ice. Excellent skater, very strong on the puck, can quarterback the powerplay. Hodson has very good hands and excellent on ice-vision.

9:04 - Carolina is walking to the stage now, the last of the non-playoff teams to pick. Hip hip hurray for bad teams! Ron Francis announces they take Boychuk, another smallish center with "explosive speed" and apparently the quickest guy in the draft.

8:58 - Dreger is pimping a Carolina/Vancouver trade involving Bieksa. Who knows.

The Kings go again and take another defenseman in Teubert. I wonder if the Kings are stocking up on D because they realize they still have no goalie. Or am I just being mean? Probably the latter.

8:52 - The Sabres and Kings sound like they are swapping picks: 12 for 13 and the Sabres third pick next year. Sabres take Tyler Myers, the monster defenseman at 6'7''.

8:46 - Blackhawks take Kyle Beach and take the media-dubbed "bad boy" on their hands.

8:45 - Sarah Orlesky returns to the screen and we at the Yankee Canuck are happy to see her again. Keep your hands off her Beacher.

8:44 - Here's hoping Cody can bring more of this when his NHL time comes.

8:38 - Here come the 'Nucks, but first a look back at Bourdon who was drafted in Ottawa. That's tough.All the Canucks brass have guitars on their suits in Bourdon's memory.

Mike Gillis begins the move to the stage with that "I'll smack the spit out of your mouth" look on his face. A Good look for him.

The crowd cheers for Bourdon and his family, very nice. Canucks proudly take Cody Hodgson, a 5'11'' Center who had 85 points last year and according to TSN is comparable to Chris Drury. The mouths are complementing him more on his leadership then offensive skills. So much for that Beach thing...

8:33 - Garth Snow gets up on stage and offers a weak shout out to Isles fans. Sheesh. Anyway, the Isles grab center Bailey. Your Vancouver Canucks are officially on the clock.

8:32 - WE HAVE A GILLIS ON THE PHONE CONFIRMATION. Just good to know our GM is out there doing that GM thing.

8:25 - The Coyotes, already big time winners, stroll up to the stage and the crowd salutes him. Very very cool. The Great One rattles off the name of Danish left winger Boedker.

8:24 - My sources tell me Gillis has picked up a phone and asked for assistance on how to dial out.

8:22 - Preds take Wilson, a 6'1'' center from Boston University. McKenzie just called him "jacked" with his shirt off. It's getting borderline disturbing what some of the color guys are calling these kids.

8:18 - Isles move their 7th pick to the Preds for Nashville's 9th and 40th picks. The Isles, from what I can tell, have 30 picks in the second round.

8:11 - Columbus takes Filatov which is a big win for them. People have obviously been raving about Filatov and he joins a team that needs that skill badly.

8:06 - Awww, poor Umberger. He heads off to the Blue Jackets or, more accurately, the money grubber went from the conference finals to the only current NHL team who has never played in the post season. The Blue Jackets move two picks (19 and 67) in this draft and get Philly's fourth rounder. What goes around...

8:02 - The Leafs chants begin while Schenn gets announced. I think McGuire just touched himself and talked into the mic at the same time, thereby breaking broadcast rules (I hope).

Again, where is Sarah? I feel incomplete.

My sources tell me Gillis is trying on speedos.

8:00 - Bettman announces a mouthful: Isles move 5 for 7 and the Isles get two options for further pick swaps later in this draft and next year. McGuire is beyond excited for the Leafs while the audience boos. A Leafs Suck chant would be hysterical right now.

7:57 - It just dawned on me I'm spending my Friday night watching Versus who is basically showing me grown men in suits looking at clipboards.

7:53 - Leafs made a trade with the Isles, swapping picks. 5th for 7th? Leafs want their D man come hell or high water.

7:48 - JD takes to the mic but no shout out to the Wings. TAKE THAT DETROIT FANS! Blues grab Pietrangelo, another defenseman. McGuire could care less, he's eyeing up Garth Snow with that "come hither" look in his eye. I think Bob McKenzie may have hit him off camera.

7:43 - Montreal moves two picks (their second pick this year and next year) for Alex Tanguay and #138 pick this year (I believe in the fifth).

7:38 - Thrashers crew takes to the stage. Don Waddell rocks the mic with another shout out to the Red Wings before taking Bogosian with their third pick. Another big D guy. Pierre McGuire calls it "gigantically positive". Yup. It's just that positive.

7:33 - Bettman doesn't get booed announcing the Jokinen trade and a smile crosses his grinch-like face.

An aside: both the Flames and Coyotes have done well so far IMO. And the Kings now have Johnson and Doughty to anchor their blueline which is great for a fanbase that has had little to get psyched for. Simply awesome to see all the Western teams doing well a half hour into this thing.

My sources tell me Gillis is getting a Diet Coke WITH lime. Never lemon, just lime. Bitches.

7:28 - And now the Crawford and Cloutier-less Kings roll up the podium and grab defenseman Doughty. A checked "wooo" overcomes the crowd. My sources tell me Gillis is still in the bathroom.

7:22 - OK, it's been 6 minutes since I last saw Sarah. Unacceptable.

7:20 - Jay Feaster certainly lives up to his last name and needs to lay off the buffets. Here's hoping Stamkos does a MAF-esque error and trips on his way up. You know, just for fun.

7:18 - Jokinen to Phoenix for Ballard, Boynton and the 49th pick. Damn, well done Dogs.

7:17 - Does Bettman ever not get booed? Does he go to church and they give him shit?

7:16 - Sarah Orlesky: You complete me.

7:10 - Note to the CBC TSN from hockey male fans all over the planet: GET THAT SARAH CHICK BACK ON TELEVISION RIGHT NOW. Get your equipment fixed and get her on TV with multiple closeup's NOW!

7:06 - Not sure what's up with Tangua but it sounds like he's moving somewhere east. Flames drop down in the draft but get a great young guy in Cammalleri. All that floor activity and I suspect the Vancouver camp is situated in the mens room.

7:03 - Fuck, Calgary got Cammalleri. Ugh...

6:56 - Eugene Melnyk gets to the podium and says Ottawa is the best hockey city in the world. This sounds like a good time to go to the bathroom before Stamkos puts on a Lightning uniform.

6:44 - Ray Shero isn't moving the Pens up in the first three rounds. After quite a run of incredible first round draft picks, he'll have to sit back and watch Gillis blow it. Just kidding.

6:26 - Cliff Fletcher is talking about Sundin and the Habs. Nice to know there are two Canadian teams losing their Swedish captains in the next few weeks. Just my thought, but Fletcher looks woefully nervous on camera.

******


The NHL Preview is streaming online now and the rumors keep popping up. I'll do my best to chuck up any I hear with Vancouver mentioned here, but I don't know why since apparently EVERYONE is being traded today if you read enough sources. No matter...the real thing starts shortly and we get to (finally) see the Gillis regime in action. Spine tingling I know.

FYI: To follow every single rumor, Kukla's normally awesome coverage has all you need. The guys over at Waiting for Stanley are sifting through all the media too.

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