Dean Lombardi, and members of his front-office team, will be heading to Montreal today to start a week of meetings and draft preparations. At this point, given everything that’s out there, I’m fairly confident in saying that the most likely scenario is Atlanta taking Evander Kane at No. 4 and the Kings taking Brayden Schenn at No. 5.
Who will the Islanders take first? Amazingly, that’s still unknown, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them take any of the top three prospects (Tavares, Hedman, Duchene). Latest word out of Tampa Bay is that the Lightning will take Hedman if he’s there at No. 2, and likely would take Tavares if Hedman goes first. That would set up Duchene to Colorado.
The wild card in all this could be the wily and unpredictable Brian Burke, who is thought to want to make a splash at the draft. One of the top three picks might be out of Burke’s grasp, but he is known to be very fond of Schenn, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Burke make a run at the Thrashers or the Kings.
It’s hard to remember a less-predictable draft in recent years.