GM meeting likely to center on the draft; Preds hold 12 picks

Tuesday, June 2, 2009 at 1:00am
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POILE

Theoretically, when the National Hockey League’s general managers meet Tuesday in Pittsburgh it will be to discuss current issues related to the league. And they will do some of that.

But, put the heads of 30 different personnel departments together in a room, though, and the discussion — albeit informally — is bound to turn to the future, specifically the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, which will take place June 26-27 in Montreal.

“We’ll start to discuss the possible ways any and all of us might be able to use our draft assets,” Nashville general manager David Poile said. “… June is usually a busy month, and most of it is centered around the draft.”

Nashville currently holds 12 picks in this year’s draft, including two in the second round, two in the third round and three in the fourth round. Its first choice is 11th overall.

If the Predators use all of those selections, they will have their largest draft class since 2003, when the event was held in Nashville.

However, if Poile wants to move in the first — or any other — round, he clearly has options.

A year ago he started with the ninth and 15th overall selections. As a result of two separate deals, he moved up two spots from ninth to seventh to select forward Colin Wilson, and then dropped back three spots from 15th to 18th (and added a third-round selection) where the Predators chose goalie Chet Pickard.

Both of those trades were executed on June 20, the first day of the draft.

Thus, Poile is not going to make any deals in and around Tuesday’s meeting, but he might just lay the groundwork for some.

PREDATORS PICKS

FIRST ROUND (1)
• Regularly scheduled pick

SECOND ROUND (2)
• Regularly scheduled pick
• Pick from Minnesota, acquired with forward Ryan Jones for defenseman Marek Zidlicky

THIRD ROUND (2)
• Regularly scheduled pick
• Pick from Ottawa, acquired along with 2008 first-round selection (18th overall) for 2008 first-round selection (15th overall)

FOURTH ROUND (3)
• Regularly scheduled pick
• Pick from Toronto, acquired along with a 2008 seventh-round selection (207th overall) for 2008 fourth-round selection (106th overall)
• Pick from New York Rangers, acquired along with a 2008 seventh-round selection (201st overall) for 2008 fourth-round selection (11th overall)

FIFTH ROUND (2)
• Regularly scheduled pick
• Pick from Carolina, acquired along with a 2010 fifth-round selection for forward Darcy Hordichuk

SEVENTH ROUND (2)
• Regularly scheduled pick
• Pick from Philadelphia, acquired along with forward Tristan Grant for defenseman Janne Niskala