Syvret no stranger to draft-day letdown

MORRIS DALLA COSTA -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 2:26 PM ET

Most hockey people believe Danny Syvret will go somewhere between the second and fourth rounds in today's National Hockey League draft.

Syvret has heard it all before.

So when the NHL teams sit down to divvy up the best junior-age players on the planet today, Syvret will either be working out in London with his London Knights teammates or on the ice, looking to improve his game.

"I'm hearing the same thing you are," Syvret said. "But I've also been passed up in two drafts and I was supposed to be selected in those as well. So I'm not going to count on anything. If it happens, that's great; if it doesn't, I can come back to London and try to help that team win another championship."

The Knights captain has sat through two NHL drafts waiting for his name to be called. The issue has always been size, size, size.

Now he's the captain of a Memorial Cup champion and an Ontario Hockey League champion, he owns a gold medal with Canada's national junior team -- and he was voted the best junior defenceman in Canada last year.

That's got to be a sure ticket to being drafted.

"He's certainly very highly regarded," said his agent, Mark Guy of Newport Sport Management Inc. "My belief going into the draft and with the teams I've talked to, that he has a good chance to be an early pick in the draft. We're not talking about a first-round selection, but the first three rounds."

But even at that there's a difference of opinion on how high he'll go in the seven-round draft.

Central Scouting has him only ranked 71st among North American skaters. International Scouting Service has him at 47. The Hockey News has him ranked 35th overall.

"He'll get drafted," one scout said. "The new rules will help him. He's always been a strong skater. With the offensive zone expanding, the extra room on the power play won't hurt him. A lot of teams are going to be looking for smart hockey players."

What teams are interested?

"There's some serious interest in the second round and certainly some very serious interest in the third, if he got there," Guy said. "It's not fair to the teams we've talked to to tell anyone what they told us privately."

The Philadelphia Flyers are said to be very interested in Syvret. They have the 20th pick overall in the first round. It isn't likely he'd go there, but the Flyers also have picks 89 and 91. There is talk they like Syvret enough to make a deal to try to move up in the draft and take him earlier.

The New York Rangers have three picks in the second round and there are suggestions they may have an interest in Syvret.

Who really knows what's going to happen after the Pittsburgh Penguins pick Sidney Crosby No. 1 and Anaheim Mighty Ducks do what they can to deal the No. 2 spot?

And the Edmonton Oilers, who pick early in the second round and have at least two third-rounders, need an offensive defenceman.

The only other Knight player ranked is Josh Beaulieu and Central Scouting has him at 98 among North American skaters.

"I'm not putting myself in a position if something doesn't go right for me to be dejected," Syvret said.

"If anything does happen, that's great. If it doesn't, I'll have another year of getting quicker and stronger, play here and possibly move on."

When he is drafted, he probably won't be getting the news from watching the draft.

"I'm not really anxious. My dad told me television wanted to come to my house and videotape me while the draft was going on," Syvret said. "But I'm going to be on the ice, working out with some of the other guys. Hopefully, I'll get good news, but I'm not going to sit around and wait for it."

Guy believes the news will be nothing but good for Syvret.

"It's going to work out real well for him finally," Guy said. "It's been a long road for him, with some disappointments along the way in terms of the draft.

"But there'll be some teams kicking themselves Saturday, teams that had a chance to sign him prior to this year that didn't. Now it's going to cost them a pretty heavy draft pick."


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