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Last year it was Matt Cullen and Radim Vrbata. Who will it be this year? While all eyes are on Marian Hossa in Detroit, Brian Campbell in Chicago, Wade Redden in New York or even Jaromir Jagr in Russia, you can set your sights on these late-round potential gems at your draft table.
Jason Krog to Vancouver
The background: He’s an AHL superstar who will probably spend the season in the minors yet again. However, he is on a one-way deal the and the ‘Nucks are desperate for offense. It says here that Kyle Wellwood is a bust and Pavol Demitra is most comfortable on the wing. That leaves Krog, unless the team feels that Ryan Kesler is a second-line player. He’s not.
Draft him: in the last round, but only if your draft is down to 35-point players. Don’t risk it if your draft does not go that deep.
Yann Danis to N.Y. Islanders
The background: His six games in the NHL were all impressive and he was arguably the best goalie in Montreal’s camp last fall. Politics (Cristobal Huet, Carey Price and Jaroslav Halak were all being groomed as potential star starters) pushed him down to the AHL where he floundered. While Joey McDonald has a one-way deal, it is for close to the minimum and Charles Wang won’t mind paying him in the AHL if Danis impresses. Rick DiPietro gets hurt every season and if it ever gets serious, then Danis could surprise. The bigger problem is – how many games will this team win?
Draft him: only if DiPietro gets hurt and you need a third goalie.
Jason Williams to Atlanta
The background: He was on pace to clear 65 points last season before he was derailed by injury. Prior to the lockout, he was a little brittle, so definitely beware. That being said, he gets the first-line right wing job by default. That means Ilya Kovalchuk s