Thursday, June 3, 2010

Unsigned 2008 NHL Draftees

June 1 was the deadline for NHL teams to sign their 2008 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 1990, they will re-enter the draft in hopes of being selected again. If the player was born in 1989 or before, they become unrestricted free agents, free to sign with any team. Should one of those players born in 1990 slip through the draft upon re-entering, they too will become free agents. Those 1990 born players would obviously be free to return to the OHL next season as overagers (and most do) in hopes of earning that contract as well (ala Bryan Cameron).

Now that the deadline has passed, let's take a look at the nine OHL players who failed to receive a contract.

1990 Born Players Re-Entering the Draft:

Stephen Johnston - Windsor Spitfires
Jason Missiaen - Peterborough Petes
Nathan Moon - Kingston Frontenacs
Kyle DeCoste - Belleville Bulls
Matias Sointu - Sudbury Wolves
Mitch Gaulton - Erie Otters
Tim Billingsley - Mississauga St. Michael's Majors
James Livingston - Plymouth Whalers

1989 Born Players Who Now Become UFA's:

Julien Demers - Ottawa 67's

  • Not really anything overly surprising here. A group of players who just never really put it together or who have baggage that make them longshots for the NHL.
  • James Livingston is probably the one that surprises me the most (if I had to pick one) because I thought St. Louis was high on him, but he had a dreadful season and seems incapable of putting up the offensive numbers he's capable of. If he has a really strong offensive season as an overager, he could get another look from someone.
  • Julien Demers is unfortunate, but I think it comes down to what type of player he could be at the NHL level. Is he really good enough in one particular area to be an NHL level defenseman? Really similar to former Spitfire Mitch Maunu who's now patrolling the blueline for Lakehead of the CIS.
  • Lastly, Nathan Moon is a guy I guess Pittsburgh didn't feel confident in becoming an NHL player. His offensive numbers have declined the past three seasons and there's always the much talked about character and consistency issues. It'll be interesting to see who he plays for next year as an OA because something tells me it won't be Kingston. I just can't see him going back there.


Thomas said...

Livingston is incapable of putting up the numbers he's capable of? I got a chuckle out of that. I don't know if I'm surprised he wasn't signed or surprised that Brittain was signed. I'd sign Livingston over Brittain, as Livingston has some untapped potential, plenty of heart and strong leadership qualities. Brittain's strengths are that he's very big and is capable of growing a beard very quickly.

Anonymous said...

"Should one of those players born in 1910 slip through the draft upon re-entering, they too will become free agents." Yeah, but they'll be 100 years-old! LOLOLOL

Brock Otten said...

Ouch. Nice catch!

As for Livingston, Thomas I stand by that (at first glance) awkward sentence.

Long have we been predicting an increase in offensive output for Livingston. He has good hands and he should be producing more than he does...but for whatever reason, every season he fails to "break out." Maybe it's an effort thing, maybe a lack of on ice intelligence and anticipation. Who knows.

For the record, I would take Livingston over Brittain too.

Anonymous said...

If I recall none of the players mentioned were high draft picks so often times if the team that drafted you has other similar players allready under contract and no room for you in their system the release your rights. But Brock, you are correct most times the players just don't progress from their draft yr and teams sour on them. Good news for most of them is they have an OA yr to elevate their games and try and snag a pro contract after this upcoming season.