My 2011 NHL Draft Top-30

Jonathan Willis
June 23 2011 10:03AM

I know the hockey world is swamped with mock drafts and top-30 lists at the moment, but I thought I’d add one more – mine. This is not a mock draft; rather, this is how I rank the players I feel are the top-30 prospects for tomorrow’s draft.

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Defending Keith Ballard

Cam Davie
June 22 2011 12:20PM

Keith Ballard doing what he does best.
Honestly, was there anything more majestic this season for the Canucks than a Ballard hip check?
(Photo by Darryl Dyck/AP)

Keith Ballard had a tough year. Of that, there is no doubt.

Starting with off-season surgery, Ballard wasn't quite able to hit his stride in a system and role different than anything he had seen on his two previous teams. With Florida and Phoenix, Ballard was a high-minute, shut-down defenseman and thrived in that role. In Vancouver, he was a bit player on the blue line - a role into which he never did sink his teeth.

So Ballard had a rough go of it. Blocked shots, turnovers, giveaways, constant views from the press box in the playoffs, even as teammates were felled with injuries and suspensions. What do the Canucks do with Keith Ballard?

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Stacking the deck on draft day

Cam Charron
June 21 2011 05:06PM



I want to point you all in the direction of a fantastic bit of research written last week by CIS Blogger and math graduate Rob Pettapiece. Rob expands on research he did into the CHL draft and found that players born earlier in the year were more likely to get drafted than players born later in the year. He divided the players into four camps, 'Q1' through 'Q4' and concluded that, since there were 4.3 times more Q1 players drafted, there are teams that make decisions, particularly in the late rounds, based on player size and strength rather than observable skill.

"If you’re down to “projectability” at that point, rather than stats and performance, then fine, pick the tallest kid if you have no other information about them."

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Colin Campbell's Failure To Communicate

Jonathan Willis
June 21 2011 01:41PM

As those of you who follow me on Twitter know, last night I was listening to Colin Campbell’s interview with the Fan 590 from earlier in the day and passing along some choice quotes. It was a bizarre interview in a lot of ways, ranging from Colin Campbell’s anger at the victims of hits from behind to his feelings that those pesky emails that were revealed earlier this season were totally appropriate to his not so subtly-worded desire to take a picture of his son, Marc Savard and the Stanley Cup and shove it up Tyler Dellow’s keester.

There was another point in the interview I found especially noteworthy however, one that I felt deserved more than 140 characters of consideration.

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Agony, Tradition, Hope.

Thomas Drance
June 21 2011 10:00AM

It's been hard to deal with, but in a contest of wills, the Bruins won. Now it's time for the Canucks, and their fans to look forwards.
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Canucks fans tend to be pretty emotional, and I'm no different. It shouldn't come as a huge surprise then, that I haven't written a single word on the Canucks since last Wednesday's game 7 pantsing, and the thoroughly embarrassing riot that followed. It has been a rough week.

I watched Monday's game 6 at a bar, and within minutes regretted it. It's tough to be in public when the Canucks get blown-out, and the game 6 loss left me particularly dejected. Not even good company, delicious wings and ribs were enough to cheer me up.

I spent Tuesday in a fatalistic stupor, and though I managed to work up a certain false arrogance for Wednesday, I had a premonition of what was to come. I watched the game at home, I wasn't going to spend another night moping in a bar. Even before the first goal was scored, the game was agony.

To twist what Pat Riley said about the Heat-Mavs NBA Finals series recently – it's hip and popular to say that the Canucks choked, but really the Bruins went out and took the cup. Lets give credit where it's due: the Bruins dominated those last two games. Tim Thomas clearly got good value for his soul – because that old man was unbeatable. In game 7, the Bruins simply wanted it more and played a great game to ensure their Cup victory.

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