Are the Canadiens still on a power play?  I didn’t realize Ben Dreith was now an NHL referee. A few Patriots links leading up to Draft Day and the Bruins’ game 7 against Montreal tonight.

Patriots Are In Position: Belichick likes draft possibilities by Shalise Manza Young of the Boston Globe has some quotes from Bill Belichick leading up to the draft, noting “that there are a lot of defensive linemen that are going to be drafted high in this draft; a lot in the first round.  I think there will be a lot of guys taken in the first round, high second round.”  Belichick also notes that although some college teams have switched to a 3-4 defense that does not alter his approach to evaluating players, and he gives his thoughts on going into the draft with no free agency beforehand.

Patriots Have Needs As Annual Draft Approaches – Glen Farley of the Patriot Ledger gives a detailed position-by-position breakdown of the Pats roster and needs, from quarterback to specialists heading into tomorrow’s draft.

What Do The Patriots Look For When The Patriots Draft A Receiver – Christopher Price of WEEI writes about the three-cone drill, and three possibilities for the Patriots: Alabama’s Julio Jones, Maryland’s Torrey Smith, and Oregon’s Jeff Maehl.

Who do you think the Patriots will draft? Be sure to enter into PatChick’s annual Olde-Tyme PatsFans Draft Contest for 365 days of bragging rights as this site’s resident draft expert.  Right now J.J. Watt, Cameron Heyward, Danny Watkins, Cameron Jordan and Muhammed Wikerson are among the top choices by the majority of entrants.

Draft Twists Could Benefit The Pats: strategic challenges like this year’s NFL draft are right up Bill Belichick’s wheelhouse – Mike Reiss of espnBoston is joined by Todd McShay, Michael Smith, Tedy Bruschi and Andy Hart in a discussion about who the Patriots should draft Thursday.  Belichick is quoted as saying “I’ve never gone into a draft saying we have to get a guy at this position, or that particular person. I don’t think that’s a very good way to go into the draft. We’ll approach this the way we have the others — the best value for our team and all the factors that go into it.”  Those are words of wisdom fans of the Patriots should commit to memory.

Jabaal Sheard Moves On After Mistake by Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald and Jabaal Sheard Could Be Patriots’ Second-Round Option by Jeff Howe of NESN are two looks at the Pitt Panther defensive end who would likely be converted to outside linebacker should he end up in Foxboro.  Howe’s piece primarily sticks to the facts, with some thoughts on why the Pats would or would not draft him; he says if he does end up with the Pats it would be at #33, or lower if they trade down.  Guregian (a beat writer vastly  under appreciated by many Pats fans, in my opinion) takes a more detailed and insightful look at Sheard, his past history, and what can be expected from him.

Guregian also writes that Cameron Jordan Perfect Fit For Belichick, noting that “trying to figure out what Bill Belichick wouldn’t like about Cameron Jordan is like trying to what toy a kid would reject at FAO Schwarz” and that “from a Patriots perspective, he’s almost too good to be true.”

A Pats fan, a Bills fan and a Chiefs fan walk into a bar.  Alright, not quite, but WEEI’s Christopher Price talks Pats draft possibilities with a Bills and a Chiefs blogger in Talking 2011 NFL Draft With WEEI.com and SB Nation.  The three talk about several draft prospects, including Anthony Castonzo and Cam Newton, as well as several trade possibilities such as one that would result in the Pats ending up with WR Julio Jones.

In this video at CSNNE, Bill Belichick tells Tom Curran that Draft Trades Are For Players, Not Picks.  The Pats coach explains that “you don’t want a pick, you want a particular guy.  So based on how you can get that player, that’s what really drives the trade.  Who do you trade with?  You trade with a team that can put you in position to get you the player you want.”