Monday, June 8, 2009

Unsigned 2007 NHL Draftees

June 1 was the deadline for NHL teams to sign their 2007 draft picks to entry level contracts in order to retain their rights. Should a player not be signed, he would have two options depending on his current birth year. If the player was born in 1989, they will re-enter the draft in hopes of being selected again. If the player was born in 1988 or before, they become unrestricted free agents, free to sign with any team. Should one of those players born in 1989 slip through the draft upon re-entering, they to will become free agents. Those 1989 born players would obviously be free to return to the OHL next season as overagers in hopes of earning that contract as well.

Now that the deadline has passed, let's take a look at the seven OHL players who failed to receive a contract. All seven are 1989 born players and are eligible to re-enter the NHL draft in hopes of being re-selected.

Richard Greenop - Windsor Spitfires
Josh Unice - Windsor Spitfires
Zach Torquato - Erie Otters
Corey Syvret - Guelph Storm
Bryan Cameron - Belleville Bulls
Jacob Muzzin - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
Justin Taylor - London Knights

  • No surprises on Greenop, Unice, and Syvret IMO. Greenop, a good enforcer is no skilled or a good enough skater to be an effective NHL player. I'm sure he gets picked up as an overager next year for someone, although I doubt it's Windsor. Unice had a really poor year after starting off his OHL career well in Kitchener. I think he'll be back in the OHL as an overager, and should he rebound and play well, I could see him earning a professional contract. And Corey Syvret never took that big step forward offensively his brother Danny did. Dependable and intelligent defenseman, but IMO, not an NHL quality defender. I bet he returns to help anchor Guelph's blueline as an overager.
  • Not really surprised about Zach Torquato either, even though I was kind of hoping he'd get one. In reality, his game just didn't improve enough since being drafted. In fact, his point toals have gone down every year since. That being said, I like him as a player. He plays hard, has decent offensive skills and has developed into a leader for Erie. However, as an NHL player, I'm not sure he'd have a role. The skating just isn't good enough and he's not skilled enough to play a top 6 role, nor is he suited to be a bottom 6 checker. This could be a huge return for Erie though, who will be looking to improve even more on this year's strong season and having Torquato return as an overager would be massive.
  • Completely surprised about Bryan Cameron, Jacob Muzzin, and Justin Taylor. Cameron was one of the highest scoring wingers in the OHL over the past few seasons and if you read my blog regularly, it should come to no surprise to hear I'm a big fan of his playing ability. While the question remains as to whether he can remain an opportunistic scorer at the NHL level (because of his size), his skill level matched with his hockey sense and decent skating ability should have gotten him a contract. LA is somewhat notorious for being stingy with their contracts in recent years, with guys like David Meckler having to play in the AHL before earning one. I think Cameron is a solid bet to be re-drafted. If Dany Roussin can be re-drafted, Bryan Cameron can. Muzzin just appeared on my recent Sunday Top 10 about the top defensive defenceman. Hewas an OHL all star this year. And skating issues aside, he's a solid stay at home defender with NHL size, strength and untaped offensive ability. I'm a little more uncertain as to Muzzin's chances of being re-drafted, however I do like his chances of earning a contract somewhere, whether this summer or next year after his overage season. And Justin Taylor has developed into a pretty quality pest with offensive ability. He does a lot of the little things coaches ask and while he may not have the prototypical size of a player who plays the way he does, he's still effective at it. Like Cameron, I like Taylor's chances of being re-drafted late.

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