Kade Kolodjashnij in line for Saints’ No.3 draft pick

Kolodjashnij photoKade Kolodjashnij’s rise to the top end of NAB AFL Draft could continue, with the Tasmanian in contention for St Kilda’s pick three.

The half-back/midfielder is one of a group of prospects under consideration by the Saints for their prized selection, the club’s first top-10 pick since 2007.

The Saints’ early selection is likely to shape how the rest of the top-10 pans out, with Victorian half-forward/midfielder Jack Billings and South Australian pair James Aish and Matt Scharenberg also in that range.

While most believe Greater Western Sydney will take power forward Tom Boyd and hard-running midfielder Josh Kelly with the first two picks in the draft on November 21, the rest of the top five is in a state of flux.

Billings has been favoured to join the Saints but also has a number of suitors.

Having been heavily linked to the Gold Coast’s pick five, Kolodjashnij is also in the frame for the Western Bulldogs’ pick four.

Also in contention for the Dogs is Marcus Bontempelli, who shot up the draft order in the second half of the season. Bontempelli has many admirers from clubs holding top-10 selections, including the Giants, although they appear unlikely to take him with pick two.

Many recruiters ranked Scharenberg as the second best player available during the mid-year national carnival but with less than two weeks before the draft, he is hardest to place.

The utility, who sat out testing at last month’s NAB AFL Draft Combine because of a foot injury, has a group of interviews with clubs coming next week as they weigh up where he fits in the draft order.

The Saints’ decision will have a ripple effect, considering Kolodjashnij has been on the Suns’ radar for a considerable time.

If he gets past St Kilda and the Bulldogs, the Suns may face a choice between the tall and athletic Kolodjashnij and Aish, who is viewed as one of the best users of the ball in the draft pool and has played in back-to-back senior SANFL premierships for Norwood.

Aish spent a week at Gold Coast mid-season as part of his AIS-AFL Academy scholarship, where he impressed many at the Suns and housed with captain Gary Ablett.

Having played for Tasmania at last year’s NAB AFL Under-18 Championships, Kolodjashnij was a late inclusion to the Academy.