The post about what we think we need in the upcoming draft brought out the response that people thought that the lowest priority was the defence.
So far this year, the evidence points elsewhere. We are at the bottom of the heap in Goals Against in both the AHL and the NHL. We can speculate as to the reasons for that if we want. The truth is we have a larger quantity of potential prospects than we had, so we are building something. However if prospects like Wiercoch, Gryba and Borowiecki etc. were as close to NHL ready as we seem to think we would be doing better in the GA Department in Bingo.
At the NHL level, we have moved mountains with our defence recently, and we have a group of aged veterans and another group of offensive-minded high level prospects. And as a group we are not defending well... so we have alot more building to do in that area. If we want to move Kuba and Gonchar out at the trade deadline, we will have to go to the FA or trade front to replace them... or the draft.
If we end up having only one first round pick, then that leaves the FA or trade route to shore up the defence in the immediate future.
There are plenty of dmen with 5th and 6th potential in this years draft but as usual the best ones are at the top of the first round. So if the best player available happens to be a forward, we have alot of work to do to bring in the kind of dmen that will give us the GAA that we need to contend.
I believe that the forwards that we have and the ones coming up will provide the offence that we need. Hopefully Z'jad will be that coveted 2nd line center we crave. Third and fourth liners we have galore, and perhaps the only need there is for more PK specialists who can also fill the 3rd and 4th line roles.
We need more goalie prospects, and that crapshoot can come in the later rounds of the draft.