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Norsemen Draft History: Best Draft Picks

by Matt MacInnis | October 7, 2008, 2:10 PM ET
This is the second part of a two-part series that will look at the best, and worst, draft picks made by the Vancouver Island Norsemen since the organization took over the reigns of the draft responsibilities five years ago. Obviously not enough time has passed to assess the overall quality of the selection. But at this point in time one can determine if the prospect picked at the stage of the draft they were chosen was good or bad value. This determination is made based on a purely subjective system that randomly weighs draft position, performance to date and potential.

BEST NORSEMEN PICKS

Alexander Edler, D Drafted: 76th overall, 2004 The teams fourth pick in what will likely go down as the best draft in franchise history, Alex Edler was an unknown, unheralded defenceman from the middle of nowhere, Sweden. The rangy 64, smooth skating Edler is expected to play at least a few games this season with the Norsemen in a call-up capacity and could be a top four blue liner as soon as next season for the franchise. He has big potential and the team has high hopes for him. Johan Franzen, LW Drafted: 121st overall, 2004 Another big Swede, Franzen was one of the oldest players drafted that year and also made one of the most immediate impacts. After playing sparingly in 06-07, Franzen played all 82 games with the big club last season and is tentatively slated for second-line duty for the upcoming year. Franzen is a big part of the clubs future and has proven to be SICHL ready in a remarkably short period of time. Mikhail Grabovski, C Drafted: 178th overall, 2004 Grabovski still has a long way to go, but for such a late pick, he is showing the potential to be a scoring line player in just another year or two. He is a dynamic talent, but needs to develop his all-around game and become more physically assertive. The club likes what he brings to the table and is excited to see what he can do this season in the minor leagues. Sidney Crosby, C Drafted: 1st overall, 2005 An astute pick, perhaps not. Despite being remarkably obvious, the selection of Sidney Crosby has undeniably sparked a massive turnaround for the franchise as they went from the worst team in the league in 2005 one of the best in 2008 where they appear set to stay for the foreseeable future. Crosby is the best offensive talent in the SICHL and the face of the Vancouver Island Norsemen. Mike Weber, D Drafted: 59th overall, 2006 A very solid defensive defenceman, Mike Weber could be ready for action in the Norsemen lineup as early as 2009-2010. The organization loves his maturity on and off the ice and think he could be a leader for the club later in his career. A tremendously underappreciated young player, Weber has all the makings of a stellar SICHL defenceman for years to come. Jamie Benn, LW Drafted: 111th overall, 2007 Selected only two drafts ago, Jamie Benn was a relatively unknown winger plying his trade in the BCHL before the Norsemen surprisingly snapped him up in the Entry Draft. Fast forward just over 12 months and Benn was one of the most dangerous scorers in the entire WHL and continued his rapid pace of development.

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