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On the eve of the Draft

June 21, 2007

Less than 24 hours from finding out who the pick for the Kings will be, things are not getting any clearer as to who or what the Kings do with the Pick. Assuming the Kings don’t trade the pick then they will get Cherepanov, I believe this because the Dean drafts the best player on the board period, I realize there is a need to stock the cupboard with young solid Defenseman but with the amount of picks we have this year and next, this would be a logical time to pick Cherepanov. Consider that Dean loves that a player that has great hockey sense and that is one of the first attribute that he looks for. This blurb is from NHL.com-

“Cherepanov has been sensational in the Russian league during the fall. … Scored points in seven games in a row in October – on his way to beat records scored by Malkin and Ovechkin! … He has excellent hockey sense, excellent soft hands and is very smart on ice. … Has a good selection of shots. … Plays with passion and great attitude. … Could be the next Russian superstar.” – Denis Neznanov.

Has excellent hockey sense? HMMM. Granted there might be problems of Cherepanov coming over to play in the NHL, and Dean made mention in Rich Hammond’s Blog about Alexei Cherepanov-

(What do you think about Cherepanov and the possibility of getting him to come to theNHL?)

“I don’t think anyone questions his ability. When he wants to bring it, he’s a pretty good player. As far as the other things, you just don’t know. Obviously the Russian landscape has changed, not only in terms of their ability to get them over here but with the money the Russians can pay. You have to make sure he wants to be a NHL player and doesn’t turn into the Morozov category, where he’s a young guy in the prime of his career who turns down $3 million and goes home”

All that said I just don’t see Dean passing up on Cherepanov when we have solid but not bona fide defensemen in the pipeline. The question that comes up is whether Alzner is a blue chip prospect or will he just be solid…come tomorrow my money is on Cherepanov.

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