In case you missed it, NHL Central Scouting released their midyear prospect rankings. For most of the sports watching world—and even the hockey world—this was a minor blip on the sports radar during National Mark McGuire Steroids Day. But for the few, the diehards, these are the rankings that will fuel hope and debate for the next 6 months.
I won’t lie—I’m an admitted draft junkie. Most of it stems from the fact that the Kings are usually eliminated by January and all I have left is the draft to look forward to. When you’re two choices are Spring Training baseball and hockey prospects, I’ll choose the Brampton Battalion, MoDo and the Kelowna Rockets every time.
As I was pouring over the newly released prospect rankings, I started to think about the things that separates the Draft Junkie from the regular sports fan. Here are some of the signs that you are becoming a draft junkie—or you already are one. If at the end of this list you realize that you have a problem, don’t fight it. Just accept it.
You are one of the few if…
- One of the highlights of your season was when Los Angeles was officially announced as the site for the 2010 Draft. Visions of In-N-Out, the Sunset Strip and half-naked women (or men) have been dancing in your head ever since.
- The first thing you do when you look at any European list of prospects is try to figure out who the next Alexander Radulov will be.
- You think that Central Scouting is International Scouting Service’s bitch.
- You’ve already signed into NHL.com to see if you can purchase a Carolina Hurricanes jersey that is lettered with “Hall” on the back. Yet, you are hesitant in making the purchase because you can’t figure out how to spell “Seguin” correctly.
- You know that HF Boards went down because of a HUGE spike in traffic when the Central Scouting rankings were announced. And you know that you helped contribute to it.
- You think that Pat Falloon jokes are still funny (which, by the way, they are).
- You know that when you’re trying to figure out which team needs what in the first round, you don’t even need to bother paying attention to the Red Wings.
- You think back to the look on Brian Burke’s face last year when the Kings selected Brayden Schenn—and you wonder what the NHL can do to top it!
- You know that Mikael Granlund from Finland is supposed to be the next Saku Koivu. Immediately, you start looking for a younger brother to draft.
- When your team DIDN’T pick Tomas Tatar in the 2nd round, it may or may not have ruined your entire Saturday.
- You might have to shank someone at the NHL Network if they decide to limit their coverage on Draft Day. Shank.
- You still think back to last season and wonder what would have happened at Nassau Coliseum if the Islanders went with anyone NOT named John Tavares.
- Even your wife (or husband) knows who Jake Campbell is.
- You think that NHLTweetUp.com should have an entire page listed for the draft. Just like they did last year in Montreal, only with more English.
- You can’t look at Toronto’s place near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings without thinking about the Boston Bruins.
- You think that Alexandre Daigle had world class speed and got a raw deal in the NHL.
- You don’t know if you should be rooting FOR or AGAINST your team in March because there’s a pretty sweet left winger coming out of Sweden this year.
- You wonder out-loud if the Windsor Spitfires could compete with the Carolina Hurricanes. You amend the comment to say, “Could they compete with an AHL team,” but you still mean the Hurricanes.
- You TiVo as many WJC games as you can—simply to be able to go back and watch the games again “in case you want to check out a prospect.”
- You know that Evgeny Kuznetsov is one of the best prospects coming out of Europe this season, which immediately makes you think of the following:
1. I wonder if he’s related to Maxim?
2. Dmitry Chesnokov must already know him, right?
3. I can’t believe we got that guy with Sean Avery. #tradefail
- You think that E.J. McGuire has the best job in the world—and you think that you could do it better.
- You simply refer to Bob McKenzie as “The Man” and expect everyone to know who you’re talking about.
- On the night of the World Junior Championships Gold Medal game, your co-host asks you “Hall or Fowler” within the first 10 minutes of your podcast.
Update: I contacted the Los Angeles Kings and have confirmed that the 2010 Entry Draft will be held at Staples Center. There has been debate whether the actual draft would be held at Staples Center or Nokia Theatre at LA Live. This should clear up any misunderstandings.