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Draft difficult to predict after top picks

Updated: June 26, 2004, 8:58 PM ET
By Scott Burnside | Special to ESPN.com

From Montreal to Minnesota, from the lofty to the lowly, it'll be business as usual at this weekend's annual NHL entry draft in Raleigh, N.C., the ultimate exercise in whistling past the labor graveyard.

With current NHL players already making plans to play abroad or run in marathons or look after the kids when the 2004-05 season is put on ice in mid-September, the draft weekend will offer starkly different images of the state of the game -- the promise of the future in the form of almost ...

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