Thursday, June 12, 2008

Saponari could be first NHL draftee from Georgia

Tonight I was scanning through a scouting service rank of players for next weekend's draft, looking for a certain Belarusian (don't ask), and saw Vinny Saponari's name. I had forgotten that this is his draft year. Saponari is a 6'0 right wing from Powder Springs, currently playing with the US National Team Development Program. Before that, he played for Culver Academy in Indiana (which is also where Brian Sipotz played). Here's an article on Saponari that gives more info. He's headed to Boston University, where his brother Victor also plays.

ISS (International Scouting Service) has Saponari ranked 225th among all skaters, and Central Scouting has him ranked 135th among North American skaters. To figure out his chances, note that there are 211 picks in the 2008 draft. If he is taken, he'll be the first native Georgian selected. The Thrashers had another Georgian in their system in 2006-07, goaltender Dave Caruso, but he was an undrafted free agent.

Teams often go after local products in the late rounds, so it's not at all unreasonable to think the Thrashers may select Saponari. That is, if another team doesn't do so first.

1 comment:

Brian said...

Interesting, I grew up going to school with Victor and still talk to him on Facebook sometimes- it would be very cool to see him get drafted someday as well!