PLAYER JOURNAL: MARC CRAWFORD
Marc Crawford Journal Entry Two | Read Entry One
June 26, 2006
It was nice to be back in Vancouver for the 2006 NHL Entry Draft and the NHL Awards Show. I thought the city did a great job hosting both events. When you're in a great hockey market like that one, the Awards Show is almost like a mini version of the Oscars. Hockey fans had a chance to see the great, young superstars in our game like Ovechkin, Crosby and Phaneuf. I thought it was a very entertaining forum for the hockey fans assembled in Vancouver.
As far as the Draft, I think it gave fans a sense of what direction we're going in. We're going to try to assemble an organization full of young prospects and try to get better in that age group. Dean Lombardi and the scouting staff put a lot of work into preparing for the Draft and I think they were prepared for all possibilities. When it came time for action, they were very decisive.
I'm very impressed with the two players we picked in the first round. Those players could become the cornerstones of our franchise a few years down the road. I've heard nothing but wonderful things about goaltender Jonathan Bernier and the talent that he has. We know we've got a superstar prospect. That should be very encouraging for the fans of Los Angeles. Trevor Lewis is a highly regarded prospect who has committed to attend the University of Michigan. This kid may be closer to being ready to play than any of us think. He's an extremely talented center-iceman. He's a good shooter and an excellent playmaker. I think he's got a chance to be a great player.
We also added probably the top scorer who wasn't in the NHL last year in Patrick O'Sullivan. I think he's similar in a lot of ways to what Pavol Demitra was like at the same age. I know he scored at a tremendous pace with Minnesota's farm team – the AHL's Houston Aeros – last year. We're looking forward to him making the next step to the National Hockey League. He's a scorer, great shooter and he has great hands. We're hoping he'll be a great scorer for us for years to come.
As far as my coaching staff, we're a lot closer to being finished on that front. I would think that we'd have an announcement hopefully as early as next week and certainly by the time we have our development camp in Los Angeles in July. Most of the good people, the people who I think are the best candidates, are becoming available now. Those are the people we're pursuing. There is a lot of interest and I'm excited about the staff that we're putting together.