It's Getting Draft-y
Posted By: Aaron Sims
The NHL Draft begins a week from today at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. As of this writing, Milwaukee’s parent club does not own a first round pick. Nashville traded its selection to Ottawa for Mike Fisher earlier this season.
If Nashville doesn’t acquire a first-round pick, it’ll be just the second time in franchise history that it will not make a selection in the first round. The Predators did not own a first-round pick in 2006, but its first selection, Blake Geoffrion, spent much of this past season with Milwaukee.
Since joining the AHL in 2001, 17 former first-round draft picks have played in at least one regular season or playoff game with the Admirals. Twelve of the 17 selections were made by parent club Nashville. Two players were former picks of the New York Rangers (Hugh Jessiman and Jamie Lundmark). Two were selected by Washington (Kris Beech and Reggie Savage) and one by Boston (Bryan Smolinski).
The highest selection to appear in action as an Admiral is David Legwand. The second-overall selection of the 1998 draft played in three games on a rehab stint with the Admirals in the 2005-06 season.
Three former Admirals were selected with the 7th overall selection: Kris Beech, 1999; Ryan Suter, 2003; and Colin Wilson, 2008. Another three were selected with the 18th overall pick: Ryan Parent, 2005; Chet Pickard, 2008; and Austin Watson, 2010.
Brian Finley (6th overall in 1999) and Chet Pickard (18th overall in 2008) are the only former first-round goalies to play for the Admirals in the AHL.
In terms of regular season games played, Brian Finley has played the most of the former first-rounders in Milwaukee with 161. The rest of the list:
Dan Hamhuis – 144
Hugh Jessiman – 141
Jon Blum – 134
Scottie Upshall -123
Ryan Suter – 63
Kris Beech – 48
Chet Pickard – 43
Colin Wilson – 40
Jamie Lundmark – 34
Alexander Radulov – 11
Austin Watson - 5
David Legwand – 3
Reggie Savage -1
Bryan Smolinski, Ryan Parent and Ryan Ellis have only appeared in playoff games for the Admirals.
Upshall has appeared in the most playoff games with 33.
Upshall also leads in goals (50) and points (105). Hamhuis leads the assists category with 59 while Jessiman leads in penalty minutes with 211.
Scott Hartnell is the only first-round selection of Nashville’s to never appear in a game with the Admirals.
Former Admirals forward Shane Willis celebrated his 34th birthday June 13. Willis played the first game of the 2007-08 season at Peoria and was hit in the head by Yan Stastny (who wasn’t penalized and should have been). The injury ended Willis’ year and, basically, his career. He played 33 games the next season before hanging up the skates. That team had four 20 goal scorers (Antti Pihlstrom, Matt Ellison, Josh Langfeld and Mike Santorelli). Willis was a proven commodity at this level. It would’ve been interesting to see how the team would’ve fared with a healthy Shane Willis.
Other recent birthdays: Steve Begin turned 33 on June 14th, Roman Josi and Matt Halischuk each celebrated a birthday on June 1 and Brett Palin will be 27 on June 23.
Congratulations to former Texas Stars coach Glen Gulutzan and former Houston Aeros coach Mike Yeo. Both were promoted today to become the head coaches of the parent clubs (Dallas and Minnesota, respectively). Buzzwords are prevalent in coaching. Those buzzwords are used when describing their respective teams last season: detailed, smart, disciplined. Right now, three teams from the West Division need a new head coach next season. Milwaukee’s Lane Lambert will serve as an assistant in Nashville this year.
Happy Father’s Day!