Saturday, June 27, 2009

Pens draft Simon Despres 30th overall.....J-Bo's rights traded to Calgary

The Penguins selected defenseman Simon Despres from St. John (QMJHL) with their 1st round pick. Despres was regarded as one of the best defenseman in the draft. He's a big man at 6'4 and 206 lbs. And last season he collected 32 points in 66 games, with 2 g and 32 a. He's a big guy who posesses a great 2-way game. Has an excellent first pass out of zone and carries both good defensive skills as well as offensive.

My Take: Despres was probably the best player available in terms of potential at #30. Ferraro and Drew Shore were out there but Shero chose to go with defense. Despres seems like a mix of Scuderi and Letang. His only flaws are seeing the play in front of him. He was projected to go higher in the draft but a bruised hip during the year seemed to lower his stock. He'll be a solid 3rd of 4th D-men in the near future for the Pens and it's awesome to see that he was rooting for the Pens in the finals.

"I was wanting them to win the Stanley Cup this year," he said. "Mario Lemieux and Crosby and Malkin and all those guys. It's a great honor, and I'm very excited."

2nd ROUND pick: The Pens selected another defenseman with the 60th overall pick, Philip Samuelsson, the son of former Pens bruiser Ulf Samuelsson. Philip is 6'3 and 198 lbs but he isn't as physical and punishing of a defenseman as his father was. At 17, he's known as an excellent defensive defenseman and he helped Team USA win the gold this year in the under-18 world championships.

The Panthers finally dealt Jay Bouwmeester's rights, trading him to the Calgary Flames for defenseman Jordan Leopold and a 3rd round pick in this year's draft. Bouwmeester was leaving Florida so it was just a matter of time. At least Florida got something in return. Leopold is a solid 3rd or 4th defenseman to have on a team. He's relatively young at 28 and has had a lot of playoff experience.

Now Calgary has the right to negotiate with J-Bo before July 1st. He will be seeking a 5-6 mil/yr deal. Imagine the Calgary blue-line with Phaneauf and J-Bo, then Reghyr and Sarich, that's just scary. Phaneauf is a more physical version of J-Bo but both complement each other well, should be fun to watch Calgary.

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