by PuckStopsHere on 06/23/12 at 12:38 PM ET
The 2012 NHL Entry Draft is into its second day. While I feel compelled to give you my initial thoughts on the draft I know that it will be many years before any final impressions are made. It is hard to have any confidence on projections of 18 year old players, many of whom I have never seen play. If we look at historical averages about three players chosen this year will make the Hockey Hall of Fame. Most likely at least one of those players will not be chosen until Saturday’s portion of the draft. About five of the players selected will stay in the NHL for the 2012/13 season. Probably only two or three of them will make a significant impact and be core players on their teams. The others will burn a year on their entry level deal with little productivity.
Looking at this draft we see that there was a run on defencemen. Eight of the top ten picks play defence. Thus some highly touted forwards fell on draft day.
Filip Forsberg was selected 11th overall by Washington and Mikhail Grigorenko 12th overall by Buffalo. These are candidates to be steals in the draft as both were projected to be among the top few picks for most of the season.
It is probably easiest to comment upon the trades because these are players we have seen a lot more than most of the draftees. Pittsburgh offloaded quite a bit of salary in trading Jordan Staal to Carolina and Zbynek Michalek to Phoenix. Pittsburgh may have lost in the first round of the playoffs but the salary cap is preventing them from keeping that team together. Columbus tried to solve their goaltending woes by acquiring Sergei Bobrovsky from Philadelphia. While he has a lot of potential and may work out he isn’t a proven name. Columbus is trying to solve their goaltending issues on the cheap. Washington brought in Mike Ribiero from Dallas to try to replace Alexander Semin who is likely to leave via free agency. Lubomir Visnovsky goes from Anaheim to the New York Islanders. He is an aging defenceman who had a tremendous season in 2010/11 but failed to follow it up this season. He could make the biggest impact next season of the traded players.
Part of the story is the lack of trades for two big names that many thought were on the market. Rick Nash and Roberto Luongo were not traded - at least not yet.
The biggest winner on draft day? My guess is the Edmonton Oilers. If Nail Yakupov lives up to expectation they got themselves a star. It is hard not to be excited about his NHL prospects.
As always the NHL Entry Draft is a big event. It will be a significant event for many NHL teams. It will be years before we have a firm idea on who won and lost this year.
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