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In what has become an increasingly familiar pattern, Calgary Flames general manager Darryl Sutter traded down in the entry draft Friday night, swapping the 18th overall pick to the St. Louis Blues, for the 24th pick and an additional selection in the third selection. The Blues used the selection to take Ian Cole from the U.S. Development team. Cole was ranked 81st by Central Scouting in its final ratings and was just 113th at mid-season. He is a 6-1, 211-pounder from Ann Arbor, Mich. who plays a stay-at-home style. One pick earlier, the New York Rangers finally took Alexei Cherepanov off the board, selecting him 17th overall. Most people think Cherepanov, a star of the Russian world junior team, might have been a top-five choice, had their been a transfer agreement between the NHL and the Russian Superleague. As it is, NHL teams appear to be shying away from young Russians in what is not considered a great year for them anyway.

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