Thursday, June 26, 2008

NHL Entry Draft--Part 3

Four incoming Terriers and one 2009 recruit were picked on day two of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. Early in the fourth round, U.S. NTDP U18 teammates Vinny Saponari (photo) and David Warsofsky were selected back-to-back at #94 and #95 respectively by Atlanta and St. Louis.

Vinny Saponari

Following older brother Victor to B.U., Saponari, who played for Culver Academy before joining the NTDP, became the second Georgia-born skater drafted by the Thrashers. He discussed his excitement over his selection with the Atlanta Journal Constitution, while more coverage appeared on the Thrashers’s Web site, and and on the Associated Press wire.

USA Today reported the unusual way that Thrashers management first took notice of Saponari:

After the Atlanta Thrashers made Vinny Saponari the first true Georgian to be drafted by the NHL, general manager Don Waddell jokingly gave his daughter Chelsea credit for making the initial scouting contact.

"She Facebooks with him," Waddell said, laughing. "I just told him on the phone ... my daughter is older than you."

Waddell said his daughter had mentioned two months ago that she had met a player online from the U.S. National Training and Development Program.

"I said I don't know him that well and she said he was going to [Boston University] and I said if he is going to B.U. then he is a pretty good player," Waddell said. "Then he showed up pretty high on our list because our guys liked

The day after the draft, the Official Blogsite of the Thrashers reported:

Speaking of Vinny Saponari, he was in Duluth this morning at the Thrashers' youth summer hockey camp. He was on the ice with the kids and he did at least three TV interviews with local stations. ... It's a big deal for hockey in Georgia to have a kid that grew up going to Thrashers hockey camp get drafted by the hometown team.

David Warsofsky

Warsofsky, the super-skilled, diminutive defenseman, was the Blues’ choice early in the fourth round. St. Louis was a bit of a surprising destination as Warsofsky hadn’t had much contact with the club. The Marshfield, Mass., native, whose godparents are the parents of ex-Terrier captain and Bruins coach Mike Sullivan, talked about his draft day experiences with the Patriot Ledger and New England Hockey Journal and in a video interview with NESN. was one of several media outlets to compare his game to that of another smallish offensive defenseman, Brian Rafalski, the former Wisconsin All-American, who won the Stanley Cup with the New Jersey Devils and again this year with Detroit.

Several Blues’ fan blogs posted the McKeen’s predraft assessment of Warsofsky:
A mobile, puckmoving defenseman who can work in all three zones .. displays proper positioning on defense, as he does an effective job of cutting down angles and getting in the shooting lanes, not afraid to initiate contact and get in the face of opponents utilizes the boards well, particularly in pressure situations .. plays a clean game for the most part, as he makes safe and precise
passes in his own end .. has the capacity to skate the puck out of trouble as well .. can be dangerous in transition, as he possesses the gentle hands and smart vision to make a quality outlet pass also capable of keeping the puck and leading the rush himself does not look to shoot from the point that often, as he prefers to utilize his productive passing game to set up teammates .. however, he will pinch at times, as he loves to crash the net and be on the receiving end of a one-timer .. because of his puckmoving abilities, he sees regular time on the man advantage.
McKeen’s also published a post-draft recap of New England based draft choices, noting the common belief that if Warsofsky was a few inches taller, he’d have been a first or second round selection.

David Warsofsky (StL), D, U.S. Under-18 – fourth round, (95th overall) Committed to Boston University for 2008. Despite lack of size (5-9) he is an extraordinary player with exceptional skill, especially on the powerplay .. a smooth skater with a strong stride .. tremendous vision and really moves the puck up the ice well .. tremendous patience and poise with the puck and hockey sense.. great one-timer with rocket of a shot and accurate, especially on the PP .. has a pro-like shot and may have the best shot for someone his age or even older .. finds open areas on the PP for good shooting lanes .. can be physical if needed and strong along the boards .. logged a ton of icetime .. has the ability to shake checks with his quickness and stick skills and ability to take hits and keep going.

What Other Scouts Are Saying (Central Scouting): Warsofsky is a small, smart defenseman with quick feet. He has good speed jumping into the play and a big shot from the point. At his size, he needs to take better care of the puck and continue to get stronger, but overall, he comes to play and plays bigger than his size.

Synopsis: An excellent pick by the Blues and if he was even 5-11, he probably would be a first or second round pick. He is extremely talented and playing at Boston University will really help his development. He tallied 32 points (nine goals, 23 assists) in 48 games last season.

No comments:

Site Meter