Ondrej Palat

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"In a normal world, USA Hockey's National Team Development Program holds a week-long tryout for players hoping to join the under-17 squad. This
year, the global Coronavirus pandemic put the kibosh on that, so the
NTDP brain trust picked the team based on the scouting they had done on
the age group for the past two years.
On paper, the NTDP will have another strong class headlined by names
such as Rutger McGroarty, Cruz Lucius and Maddox Fleming up front. On
defense, Tyler Duke is an intriguing 2022 NHL draft prospect and if his
new teammates have any questions about ‘The Program,' he is uniquely
Not only is Duke's older brother Dylan part of the current NTDP (as is
Lucius' brother Chaz, Seamus Powell's brother Eamon and Brady Berard's
brother Brett), but he has also lived 10 minutes from USA Hockey Arena
for the past six years. With Dylan wearing the Red Kemba Walker Uconn Jersey, White and Blue this season, Tyler's visits were even more frequent and
observing his older brother gave him great insight into the NTDP
“I learned a lot from him,” Duke said. “There was time management -
getting up early for school then heading to the rink right at noon, then
getting his schoolwork done. And on the ice he's a really hard worker
so I really look up to him.”
A smaller defenseman coveted for his puckmoving abilities and his shot,
Duke and his family live in Northville, Michigan, right next to
Plymouth, where the NTDP is based. His digs also allowed him to follow
his favourite future NHLer up close and in person the past couple
seasons - first at the NTDP, then down the highway in Ann Arbor at the
University of Michigan.
“My favourite NHL defenseman right now is Quinn Hughes,” he said. “He's a
smaller defenseman, can make a lot of good offensive plays, really good
skater, smart guy and smart with the puck.”
Originally from Ohio, Duke's move to Michigan allowed him to play for
elite minor hockey programs such as Belle Tire and Compuware, where his
teammates included current NTDPers Sasha Pastujov, Red Savage and Ty
Gallagher (Dylan, a center, led that team in scoring). And even though
the move didn't involve a lot of geographic distance, it has led to
quite the change in NHL allegiances for the youngster.
“Living in Ohio I was a Columbus fan Kevin Durant Texas Jersey,” Duke said. “But now coming to Detroit I've switched over to a Red Wings
fan - although they're having a rough go lately.”
As for colleges, Duke is committed to a school in another Midwestern
state, this time Indiana's legendary Notre Dame. So what attracted him
to the Fighting Irish?
“The coaching staff, I had a great relationship with them,” he said.
“And it's one of the best schools in the world; the education there is
awesome. Plus the hockey is awesome, too.”
Assuming everything stays as planned, that will set up a nice little
sibling rivalry in a few years because Dylan is committed to the
Michigan Wolverines. And given how closely Tyler has been paying
attention, it'll be hard for Dylan to fool his blueliner brother.
The NHL draft Kyrie Irving Duke Jersey, it has been said many times, is an imperfect science. The No. 1 pick
might end up a bust (hello, Nail Yakupov, the first selection in 2012),
while the last pick might end up one of the best players from his draft
year (hello, Patric Hornqvist, the 230th and final selection in 2005).
Here's a look at the best late pick in the 10 NHL drafts from 2006
through 2015. (Wondering why we didn't include the drafts from 2016 to
2019? Too soon, those prospects are still percolating.) We tried to
limit it to seventh-rounders, but a few fifth- and sixth-round picks
snuck onto the list as well.
There are also a couple of other late-round steals included for each
draft year. In some cases, these players may have turned out to be
better NHLers - but they were drafted earlier, so we're featuring the
most accomplished player who was taken the deepest in the draft."
Mathieu Perreault (sixth round, 177th overall by Washington): The
hardworking, middle-six winger ranks in the top 25 among 2006-drafted
players in NHL games, and he's in the top 20 in goals and points. The
latest-drafted player who has more games, goals and points than
Perreault? Brad Marchand, whom Boston nabbed in the third round with the
71st pick.
Other late-round steals: Leo Komarov (sixth round, 180th overall by
Toronto); Derek Dorsett (seventh round, 189th overall by Columbus).
Justin Braun (seventh round, 201st overall by San Jose): Larry Bird Indiana State Jersey Two hundred players were picked before Braun - and only 10 players were
taken after him - but the defensive defenseman sits 17th among
2007-drafted players in NHL games (669).
Other late-round steals: Carl Gunnarsson (seventh round, 194th overall
by Toronto); Nick Bonino (sixth round, 173rd overall by San Jose).
Jason Demers (seventh round, 186th overall by San Jose): Well, would you
look at that, the Sharks discovered a stay-at-home blueliner in the
seventh round for the second year in a row. Demers (658) ranks 15th in
NHL games among players drafted in 2008.
Other late-round steals: Cam Atkinson (sixth round, 157th overall by
Columbus); Jared Spurgeon (sixth round, 156th overall by NY Islanders).
Erik Haula (seventh round, 182nd overall by Minnesota): The first pick
in the last round ranks among the top 20 in goals and top 30 in points
among players drafted in '09. The only other seventh-rounder who
registered was Jordan Nolan, who won two Stanley Cups with Los Angeles
in a fourth-line role Lonzo Ball Ucla Jersey.Other late-round steals: Anders Lee (sixth round, 152nd overall by NY
Islanders); Darcy Kuemper (sixth round, 161st overall by Minnesota).
Frederik Andersen (seventh round, 187th overall by Carolina): Great pick
by the Hurricanes, if only they had signed him. They didn't, so
Andersen re-entered the draft two years later and went 100 picks
earlier, 87th overall, to Anaheim.
Other late-round steals: Mark Stone (sixth round, 178th overall by
Ottawa); Brendan Gallagher (fifth round, 147th overall by Montreal).
Ondrej Palat (seventh round, 208th overall by Tampa Bay): The Lightning
had themselves a draft to remember in 2011. Not only did they land the
two-way talents of Palat with the fourth-last selection, but they
snagged the best player in the draft, Nikita Kucherov, with the 58th
overall pick, and all six players they chose made it to the NHL (three
as full-timers, three for shorter stints). Vladislav Namestnikov was
Tampa Bay's first-round selection at No. 27.
Other late-round steals: Ryan Dzingel (seventh round, 204th overall by
Ottawa); Josh Manson (sixth round, 160th overall by Anaheim).
Connor Brown (sixth round, 156th overall by Toronto): Nobody out of the
seventh round in 2012 amounted to much at the NHL level, and Brown is
the best of an underwhelming bunch in the sixth round. The Jets nabbing
Connor Hellebuyck in the fifth round wasn't too shabby Michael Jordan North Carolina Jersey, though.
Other late-round steals: Connor Hellebuyck (fifth round, 130th overall
by Winnipeg); Alexander Kerfoot (fifth round, 150th overall by New
MacKenzie Weegar (seventh round, 206th overall by Florida): The
sixth-last selection in 2013 is coming off his third NHL campaign and
crested 20-plus minutes of average ice time - third among Panthers
defensemen - for the first time in his career.
Other late-round steals: Andreas Johnsson (seventh round, 202nd overall
by Toronto); Dominik Kubalik (seventh round, 191st overall by Los
Ondrej Kase (seventh round, 205th overall by Anaheim): The sixth-last
player chosen, Kase ranks among the top 25 in NHL games, goals and
points among 2014-drafted players.
Other late-round steals: Victor Olofsson (seventh round, 181st overall
by Buffalo); Kevin Labanc (sixth round, 171st overall by San Jose).
Markus Nutivaara (seventh round, 189th overall by Columbus): He's a
depth defenseman to be sure, but you have scroll all the way up to the
37th overall pick (Boston's Brandon Carlo) to find a 2015-drafted player
who has seen more action than Nutivaara's 244 NHL games."
Posted 07 Sep 2020

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