Thrashers man up with teen heartthrob

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Apparently, I need to give the Atlanta Thrashers a second look.

The struggling NHL franchise entered the draft on Friday with the third overall pick. Earlier in the day, the team announced the hiring of John Anderson as its new coach, injecting a bit of enthusiasm into weary fans.

Fast forward to Friday night. That’s when the team tapped Zach Bogosian for its top pick. Bogosian, a 6-foot-2, 197-pound jock who doesn’t even turn 18 until July, brings an immediate boost to the team’s defense that last season was about as solid as Swiss cheese.

He also brings smoldering good looks that will light up promotional materials and inject a bit of lust into fans. Well, at the least the gay and female ones.

“He’s a man,” Waddell said. “He’s a very physical guy. When you shake his hand, you know.”

Bogosian led the Ontario Hockey League’s Peterborough Petes in scoring last season but describes himself as a two-way player who takes care of defense first.

Some scouts compare him to Rob Blake. Others see the influence of Hall of Famer Ray Bourque, an assistant coach on the Cushing Academy team Bogosian played for in 2004-05 and 2005-06.

“I like to compare myself to Chris Chelios, the way he competes,” Bogosian said. “He plays with a mean streak, and I do, too.”

More on why Bogosian is such a tantalizing choice.

Photo: Frank Gunn, Associated Press

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