June 17, 2008
Screenwriter William Goldman famously once said, "Nobody knows anything." We find this especially true about the NHL Draft. So with our time-honored cynicism, we present these pithy profiles of 2008's top prospects and five completely nonsensical reasons why they'll be busts.
Center Steven Stamkos of the OHL's Sarnia Sting is the top-ranked prospect for TSN, Central Scouting, ISS, RLR, THN and the rest of the alphabet. He's a speedy, aggressive offensive player that will be snatched up by the Tampa Bay Lightning with the No. 1 pick in Friday's NHL Entry Draft in Ottawa. He'll fit nicely with what appears to be the Bolts' new philosophy of winning every game 10-9 under celebrity coach Barry Melrose of ESPN.
But there are five
somewhat ridiculous reasons why everyone should avoid Stamkos like a Tampa strip club with double-coupon nights:
1. The Alexandre Daigle Thing. No one expects Stamkos to be the swaggering flake that Daigle was when he became the Ottawa Senators' No. 1 pick in 1993, before he subsequently was considered the biggest bust in NHL Draft history. But being the No. 1 Number One isn't an assurance of stardom; it takes a mental toughness and determination that can never be properly measured until a prospect becomes a pro. If Daigle showed anything, it's that enormous talent can be squandered on a journeyman's career ... albeit one that included a fling with vintage Pamela Anderson.
2. The Other Alexandre Daigle Thing. The Senators didn't exactly shy away from over-praising Daigle before selecting him, calling him a once in a lifetime player. Good to see the Lightning aren't into that sort of ... oh look, it's SeenStamkos.com, the Web site Tampa Bay created within about a week of winning the lottery. There's a very fine line between being an overhyped rookie with a pre-draft Web site and a veteran has-been with a neglected Geocities page.
3. His dream date is Carrie Underwood. Stamkos told the St. Pete Times that he's got a thing for the "American Idol" winner turned country music star. So his type is a flirty, tanned blonde country girl with musical aspirations that only dates jocks? And he's going to play in central Florida? Danger, Will Robinson, Danger!
4. He's addicted to "One Tree Hill." Stamkos told the St. Pete Times that he and some teammates watched seasons one through four of the CW soap on DVD during the season and "got addicted to it." He also said "probably girls will know it more than the guys," which is perhaps the most polite way of saying "I'm addicted to a chick show" we've ever heard. The last thing the Lightning need is for Stamkos to be distracted in his preseason preparations by constantly wondering if Lucas called either Peyton, Brooke or Lindsey from the airport to ask them to get married in Vegas. (Not that we ... uh.) And, of course, for him to be emotionally devastated when this crapfest is finally cancelled.
5. He's going to end up playing for the Leafs one day. Hey Tampa fans: You know how annoying those constant rumors are about Vincent Lecavalier going to play for his boyhood idols, the Montreal Canadiens? Well, Stamkos grew up a huge Toronto Maple Leafs fan.
So this is going to be much, much worse.
Up Next: Five reasons you don't want to draft Nikita Filatov.