Friday, June 22nd – DRAFT DAY!
The Big Day is here…2012 NHL Entry Draft has finally arrived!
The NHL Entry Draft is a time for every franchise to add a top prospect to their system and, specifically, this season there are several interesting storylines to follow.
I am spitballin’ in the ramblings today posting random thoughts so please forgive me…
Blue Jackets will almost certainly trade Rick Nash over the course of the weekend and I’d expect a trade to go down sooner than later. I have a few hunches of where he might end up and these are the teams I think are leading the pack….
New York Rangers – Nash is a big name and the Rangers are always interested when a star becomes available. New York has the depth of prospects and roster players to get a deal done but they are going to have to depart with one of Kreider and/or McDonagh.
Ottawa Senators – A team that has the depth to make this trade become a reality. Rick Nash would fit in nicely alongside Jason Spezza.
San Jose Sharks – I am sure that Nash would love playing alongside Joe Thornton but I am not sure that Columbus should be too excited about who they could acquire given San Jose’s poor prospect depth.
Philadelphia Flyers: As TSN’s Darren Dreger pointed out, Paul Holmgren is a general manager gaining a reputation for making the “blockbuster deal”.
Jordan Staal turned down a 10-year contract extension from the Penguins yesterday fueling speculation that the young centre wants out. Shero will likely be forced to trade Staal, at some point, but I am not sure whether it happens this weekend. He still has another full season left on his contract and we rarely see players traded at this point in their contract.
Bobby Ryan is back on the trade block. In other news, the sky is blue and water is wet. Again, I don’t see the Ducks trading Bobby Ryan at this point in his contract but I am sure Bob Murray is receiving plenty of interest for this four-time 30-goal scorer.
Back to the draft!
Please check out my draft focused articles….
Alex Galchenyuk Draft Profile
Mikhail Grigorenko Draft Profile
Brendan Gaunce Draft Profile
Radek Faksa Draft Profile
Cody Ceci Draft Profile
Jarrod Maidens Draft Profile
My latest “Family Ties at the 2012 NHL Draft” features draft-eligible players who have family connections to past or present NHLers. Give it a browse…
At the Draft Table: Toronto Maple Leafs
At the Draft Table: Edmonton Oilers (written before they won the draft lottery)
2012 NHL Mock Draft Madness (my latest mock draft)
Yakupov10 vs. Ovechkin8 – Unjust Comparison?
I have never been so intrigued on draft day as I am this year. There are plenty of current NHL stars being rumored to be on the trade block and I have a feeling that teams are going to be very active, in terms of trading up and/or down, at the NHL Draft.
Oilers’ GM Steve Tambellini is under pressure to ice a more competitive team. It’s great that the Copper and Blue have great assets but now is the time for on-ice results to occur. The Oilers and Tambellini cannot afford to end up in the draft lottery again, progress needs to be made. This added pressure could force Tambellini to become active at the draft and/or July 1st.
As we know, University of Wisconsin defenseman Justin Schultz (Anaheim Ducks) is slated to become an Unrestricted Free Agent on Sunday. His rights will likely be dealt by the Ducks leading up to the draft. Edmonton has to be the favourite to land Schultz at this time but I would also place Vancouver (hometown province) and Toronto on his list of potential destination.
Brian Burke has had four years to get the Toronto Maple Leafs into the post-season and he has yet to fulfill his promise. Over the course of the next season there is a ton of pressure on Burke to get this team into the playoffs….and as a closet Leaf fan, that scares the hell out of me. Burke is a stubborn and aggressive general manager and he’s done well adding some solid prospects but for the most part they are unspectacular. The Leafs have a valuable fifth overall selection and can DEFINITELY add a game changer tonight…..if he stays patient. Well, patience isn’t a quality that Burke possesses on a regular day and with the added pressure for a playoff appearace I see Burke doing something very draft. In my opinion,
Burke needs to stay patient with his 5th pick and draft the best player regardless of position. If I am the Leafs’ scouting department, my list of targets at 5th goes…
My draft day hunch is that none of these players end up a Maple Leaf…but I hope I am wrong as anyone of these players would be a great addition to a unspectacular prospect cupboard.
On the other hand, I would love to see Brian Burke move up to grab one of Yakupov or Galchenyuk…even if it involves trading a Luke Schenn + another top prospect (not named Gardiner) to do so.
Luongo to Toronto? Meh, only if the price is right and it doesn’t involve moving the fifth or Gardiner. Regardless of whether Luongo ends up a Leaf or not, it should not happen this weekend. I do feel as though Luongo will eventually be a Maple Leaf as there aren’t many other teams that make sense.
For me, the Blue Jackets and New York Islanders are the two franchises that hold all of the power in how the 2012 NHL Draft unfolds. As I have mentioned time and time again, Columbus’ scouting team lived in Sarnia this season (literally for some scouts) and I really feel as though they should and will take a shot at Alex Galchenyuk. In my opinion, Columbus does not need Ryan Murray. They can add a strong defenseman with as much upside and ability (albeit with less NHL certainty) with their 2nd round selection. Alex Galchenyuk has the same strong character and leadership abilities as Murray possesses but he comes with a more marketable package.
Everyone expects Columbus to take Ryan Murray (and they could) especially after adding Craig Hartsburg to their coaching staff, who was Murray’s head coach in Everett and had a hand in naming him the franchise’s youngest captain. However, if the Jackets decide to take Galchenyuk then what does Montreal do? Columbus’ decision drastically affects Toronto’s decisions at number five too if Yakupov, Galchenyuk, and Forsberg are all off the board.
The Islanders always hold their cards close to their chest. The rumour mill has them eyeing Mathew Dumba or Filip Forsberg but their decision greatly influences what the Leafs do at 5.
This draft really has endless scenarios that could unfold and makes it very intriguing.
I should be involved in DobberProspect live draft day chat on the main page so please feel free to come join in the fun. Feel free to ask questions via twitter as well throughout the day as well (@RossyYoungblood).
Check the Ramblings throughout the day as I will update them with any relevant draft day news.
Give this spectacular feature on Radek Faksa a view