Hedman And Hall Taken In KHL Draft, Tavares Passed On
Total Pro Sports – If there ever was a league that could challenge the NHL, it is the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). Yesterday during their draft of junior players age 17 to 20, they once again showed their willingness to compete with the biggest hockey league in the world.
This years top European prospect, Victor Hedman, expected to go in the top two at the 2009 NHL entry draft, was selected by Spartak in the fourth and final round, 83rd overall. That was of little surprise, but what may have turned a few more heads was the selection of Windsor Spitfires star Taylor Hall, going 89th overall to AK Bars. Hall is not eligible for this year’s NHL draft, but with the KHL’s minimum age being one year younger, he was on the list of possible selections.
One notable prospect who didn’t get taken was John Tavares, who is also slated to go in the top couple of picks at this years NHL entry draft. It was likely figured by most teams that he will no doubt be going to the NHL, and thus is not worth using a pick on. So what does that tell us about Hedman and Hall?
It is almost a sure thing that Hedman will also be playing in the NHL next season rather than the KHL, but him being a European may have Spartak believing in the possibility of keeping the young defenseman closer to home. As for Hall, with another year to wait before being eligible for the NHL draft, there is always the chance that he will take the money and go to the KHL, rather than remain in the OHL. Although he did not comment on the situation, his agent Darren Ferris did:
“He’s one of the best players I’ve seen in a long time, so I can see why they’d want to draft him. I wouldn’t have any immediate comment to say whether he’d go or not go. We haven’t even discussed it.”
It is an interesting decision for Hall, but one that he is likely to pass up for another shot at the Memorial Cup. Don’t expect this to turn into a big drama, but should Hall be tempted by the big bucks of the KHL, it could become an interesting summer story.