Sunday, June 24, 2012

NHL Draft Grades 2012

Anaheim Ducks B- - Anaheim had a decent draft. Picked 5 Dmen and my motto is, when in doubt, pick a Dman. A blend of safe picks mixed in with some home run shots. Picked Hampus Lindholm D at #6.
Value Pick - Nicolas Kerdiles #36 - Kerdiles was a player that I had going in the first round. Thick bodied scoring power forward could stand to play a little tougher, but should be a handful in and around the net.
Reach Pick - Kenton Helgesen #187 - A player that I felt fairly certain wouldn't get picked in the draft. Defensive minded Dman with very limited offensive potential.

Boston Bruins D - Didn't have a lot of draft picks to work with. Only had two picks in the first four rounds. Picked a goalie with their first pick, something that I'm not an advocate of, but something they had to do out of necessity. Didn't get great value out of a lot of their picks. Picked Malcolm Subban G at #24
Value Pick - Seth Griffith #131 - Stout overager that could become a versatile player much like Brad Marchand plays on the current Bruins team. Had a breakthrough season with the Knights.
Reach Pick - Matthew Grzelcyk #85 - With the lack of picks the Bruins had, I'm not sure they could afford to take a gamble on an undersized Dman who has yet to find his offensive game.

Buffalo Sabres B+ - First three picks were hit it out of the park good, everything after that was pretty meh. Sabres really strengthened center play in this draft. Picked Mikhail Grigorenko C at #12. Picked Zemgus Girgensens C at #14
Value Pick - Mikhail Grigorenko #12 - Its rare you could get a player ranked after pick 5 or so that could play for your team as soon as next year, but Grigorenko can. I had him going in the top 5, steal of a pick. Offensive dynamo, coachable, and willing to learn.
Reach pick - Justin Kea #73 - Seems like a pick that was taken strictly on his height and weight. Very much a project with a small window of potential.

Calgary Flames B- - Outside the first round, I thought the Flames had a decent draft. Other than Mark Jankowski, didn't take too many gambles and found some nice projectable players. Picked Mark Jankowski C at #21
Value Pick - Coda Gordon #165 - A player I had projected to go in the 2nd round, fell to the 6th round for the Flames. Gordon screams NHL player to me. Very cerebral player with offensive potential.
Reach Pick - Mark Jankowski #21 - Jankowski is an intriguing prospect with a wide variety of skills, but if you are taking a player that has been playing in a low profile league, you better be darn sure about him.

Carolina Hurricanes B - Traded away their first rounder to acquire Jordan Staal, but still had nine picks to play with after that. Solid value throughout their draft but no real home run shots. No first round pick.
Value Pick - Collin Olson #159 - I really liked his game at the U18s for Team USA. Very square goaltending that has pucks stick to him. Not overly athletic but has strong technique.
Reach Pick - Brock McGinn #47 - Only got into 33 games this past year. There is some talent here, but it hasn't come through yet. A definite reach pick for a 2nd rounder.

Chicago Blackhawks C+ - Chicago had a fair draft. Didn't really get any steals, although its debatable whether Teuvo Teravainen will become one. Solid, but not spectacular draft. Picked Teuvo Teravainen C at #18
Value Pick - Brandon Whitney #191 - A goaltender I had pegged to go in the 4th round the Hawks got in the 7th round. Big, athletic goaltender has intriguing upside.
Reach Pick - Matt Tomkins #199 - Small but quick goaltender from the AJHL. Fresh off picking a goalie 8 picks earlier, you'd figure they would take a gamble at another position.

Colorado Avalanche C- - Only had 5 picks in the draft and no first rounder. Pick from the group that have labels of boom/bust. Picked 5 forwards. No first round pick.
Value Pick - Michael Clarke #132 - Clarke has been a player with intriguing upside. Has the ability to play an all around game, but needs to improve on his point totals.
Reach Pick - Mitchell Heard #41 - Not a big fan of overagers taken this early. Heard is a fine player, character kid, but is likely near the end of his potential. It just seemed like they were better value picks on the board.

Columbus Bluejackets B - Columbus addressed some needs but also overdrafted at some positions. One of those "could have better, could have been worse drafts". Ryan Murray D was the right pick for them at #2.
Value Pick - Gianluca Cucuruto #182 - Curcuruto started off the season as a potential first rounder, but struggled on a lacklustre Sault Ste Marie team. There is a lot of potential in his game, as a mobile, puck moving Dman, but needs a strong bounce back year. Well worth the risk while everyone else was drafting overagers at this point.
Reach Pick - Joonas Korpisalo #62 - As you can see, I'm not a big fan of picking goalies back to back, especially Columbus where they have holes all over their system. Columbus picked goaltender Oscar Dansk with the #31 pick then followed that with this pick of Korpisalo. Even then, I'm not sure he was the best goaltending option on the board.

Dallas Stars B+ - The Stars had a rock solid draft. Getting good vaule in many picks and not reaching too far with any of them. Addressed a pleathora of positions. Picked Radek Faksa C at #13
Value Pick - Branden Troock #134 - A player I had projected for the third round. Troock has the build and ability of a budding scoring power forward, but he needs to work on strength and having a better sense of the game. A project, but one that could have huge benefits down the road. Had an off year with a weak Seattle team this past season.
Reach Pick - Henri Kiviaho #144 - The depths of my prospect encyclopedia is vast, but I'm not familiar with this pick. But the reason of me listing him as a reach speaks more to the other picks that I view as solid. Even this pick here could turn out to be something positive. Its not inconceivable that everyone drafted above Kiviaho, could be wearing a Dallas Stars jersey at some point. That's some great drafting.

Detroit Red Wings B- - Detroit didn't have a first rounder but did manage to find decent value throughout the draft. But for Detroit standards, this draft for them is a smidge subpar. No first round pick.
Value pick - Martin Frk #49 - After having a supbar, injury riddled season, Frk finished the season strong with Halifax. A player that I had projected in the 1st round, slipped to the back half of the 2nd round for the Wings. Potential power forward type.
Reach Pick - Jake Paterson #80 - There were a lot of fine goaltending prospects taken in this area, but I thought Paterson was a bit of a reach here. Not an overly large goaltender, has a similar stature to current Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard.

Edmonton Oilers B - Oilers drafted some solid prospects, when they picked them a little curious. Very winger heavy. Picked Nail Yakupov RW at #1
Value Pick - Daniil Zharkov #91 - A player that I had pegged for early in the 2nd round, was the last pick of the 3rd round. One thing he has is hands, but will have the propensity to remind Oilers fans of Dustin Penner.
Reach Pick - Mitch Moroz #32 - I know the Oilers need bigger, stronger forwards, but with all of the capable Dmen on the board, they could have had a bigger bang for buck here. A project.

Florida Panthers D- - My biggest draft loser on the night. A lack of picks and not good value in any of these picks. Florida's pool is ripe with talent, so they can afford a down year. Picked Michael Matheson D at #23
Value Pick - Francis Beauvillier #174 - I had Beauvillier picked as a 4th rounder, Florida got him in the 6th round. I think has the potential to become an effective defensive forward/penalty killer.
Reach Pick - Steven Hodges #84 - I had him pegged as more of a 6th or 7th rounder if picked at all. Projects to be a 2way center but has a long way to go on both sides of the puck to get to that point. Florida used a 3rd rounder on him.

Los Angelas Kings B - Even though the Kings didn't have a 2nd or 3rd rounder, they managed to find some decent value in the latter rounds. Tanner Pearson LW #30, is a solid first pick that can help them in the very near future.
Value Pick - Nick Ebert #211 - "Mr. Irrelevant" Nick Ebert was the last pick of the draft. A far cry for a player touted to go in the top 10 at the beginning of the season. Talk about extremes, should have gone somewhere in middle of all that. Very much worth the gamble in this spot.
Reach Pick - Collin Miller #151 - An overager that played on a weak Sault Ste marie team. I figured he wouldn't have been picked at all, but the Kings took a 5th round flyer on him.

Minnesota Wild C+ Outside of the Mathew Dumba, not overly enamoured with this draft for the Wild. 3 of the 7 picks are US high schoolers, nothing wrong with picking in their own back yard. Wild may need more immediate help. This is a team that could have used some drafted overagers. They ended up picking one in Daniel Gunnarsson. Picked Mathew Dumba D at #7
Value Pick - Christoph Berstchy #158 - Bertschy is a dynamic, diminutive, Swiss forward that coul become something or nothing, kind of reminiscient of a Linus Omark pick. Well worth the risk.
Reach Pick - Rapheal Bussieres #46 - Don't really hate any of the Wild's picks, but very neutral on a lot of them. Bussieres I had projected to go late in the 2nd round. A boom/bust type pick when the Wild could have stood to draft a little more safe. He plays hard but what his impact will be on a major league team will remain to be seen.

Montreal Canadians A - My draft day winner. Solid picks and value up and down their draft board. Could have used one more Dman and one less forward but that would be nitpicking. I had Collberg as a late 1st, Thrower as an early 2nd, ditto for Bozon, Vail as an early 3rd, Hudon as a 1st rounder that they picked in the 5th round! Outstanding draft. Picked Alex Galchenyuk C at #3
Value pick - Charles Hudon #122 - I can understand scouts concerns when it comes to Hudon. Not big, not fast. But what he does have is strong hockey instincts and an idea on how to create offense utilizing everyone on the ice. The ultimate boom/bust pick.
Reach Pick - Erik Nystrom #154 - Only because I didn't have him ranked and every other pick was so darn strong.

Nashville Predators B- The Predators dealt their first rounder at the trade deadline. Got good value out of their 2nd round picks. After that a mix of Europeans and American borns. No first round picks.
Value pick - Pontus Aberg #37 Aberg was a player I had going mid first round. Speedy scoring forward should help rebuild Nashville's offensive attack.
Reach Pick - Jimmy Vesey #66 Big point producer playing in a smaller league. Very wary of these types of players. Drafted as an overager. Committed to Boston College, so he is headed in the right direction.

New Jersey Devils B- - Love the first two picks, after that their draft is pretty meh. Surprised they kept their 1st rounder after having gone to the cup final, as they need to fork over one first rounder back to the NHL in one of the next couple seasons. They did manage to get good value out of it by drafting Stefan Matteau. Picked Stefan Matteau C at #29
Value Pick - Damon Severson #60 - I had Severson touted in the last few picks of the first round and went at the end of the 2nd round. Severson has Brent Seabrook type potential.
Reach Pick - Ben Thomson #96 - I hate labeling players goons, but Thomson is a bottom of the lineup type player that brings energy to the table. Limited offensive upside. Drafted as an overager.

New York Islanders C+ - Solid first three picks, but the value feel off from there, even their first pick Griffin Reinhart felt like a bit of a reach. Strange that they drafted all Dmen with their 7 picks. Islanders are known to be strange. Picked Griffin Reinhart D at #4
Value Pick - Ville Pokka #34 - Had him going in the early 20s. He and Reinhart could form a solid pair a few years down the line. Offensive minded Dman.
Reach Pick - Loic Leduc #103 - Wasn't on my radar but the Islanders felt the need to use a 4th rounder on him. Has size and plays tough.

New York Rangers B- - Rangers only had 4 picks, but got decent return on those picks. 2 Dmen, 2 forwards. Picked Brady Skjei D at #28.
Value Pick - Calle Andersson #119 - Had him ranked as a mid 4th rounder, but even I think I had him too low. Probably should have been an early to mid 3rd rounder. Grabbing him at the end of the 4th round is a nice fetch.
Reach Pick - Brady Skjei #28 - Only a slight reach as I had him ranked #38, but with the lack of picks, made this the biggest reach.

Ottawa Senators C+ - Ottawa had a nice first pick and then the draft deteriorated from there. Draft filled with reaches. Ottawa not having a 2nd rounder hurt as there was a lot of nice value in that round. Picked Cody Ceci D at #15.
Value Pick - Cody Ceci #15 - Love Ceci's game an all around defender that can contribute in all zones. Very heady player. Had him ranked #10 and going at #5 in my mock draft.
Reach Pick - Chris Driedger #76 - Had a very inconsistant year with the Hitmen. Had long bouts where he fought the puck. Worthy of a draft pick, just not a 3rd rounder.

Philadelphia Flyers D- - Flyers draft was filled with reaches. Very close to Florida for worst draft of the weekend. Even their first pick Scott Laughton, I had pegged for the second round and I like that pick. Picked Scott Laughton C at #20.
Value Pick Scott Laughton #20 - Had him ranked at #55, and that was there best value pick. Some compare him to Mike Richards, I think its a stretch, I'm thinking more of a Colin Fraser type.
Reach Pick Anthony Stolarz #45 - A goaltending that was vaulting up the standings at the end of the year. A bit of a stretch to literally come out of nowhere and become a 2nd round pick. I thought Jon Gillies who was drafted in the 3rd round would have been a better pick.

Phoenix Coyotes B- - Phoneix found some good value in the mid to late rounds of their draft. Picked 4 of 8 Dmen. Picked Henrik Samuelsson C at #27
Value Pick - Niklas Tikkinen #148 - Recently converted from forward to D. An interesting prospect with a lot of physical tools but is learning a new position. Definitely boom/bust but worth the gamble in that spot.
Reach Pick - Jordan Martinook #58 - Another drafted overager who is likely to be donning a pro uniform and become a solid pro, AHL or NHL remains to be seen. I think they could have waited another round or two to pick this player and if they would hve lost out, the loss wouldn't have been severe. Typical forward that Phoenix seems to like.

Pittsburgh Penguins B - Penguins had 9 picks. Picked from a nice variety of positions, drafted 2 goaltenders, that might be overkill. Love the way the Penguins are stacking up on defense. Some great currency to spend there. Picked Derrick Pouliot D at #8. Picked Olli Maatta D at #22.
Value Pick Anton Zlobin #173 - Zlobin has the potential to ride shotgun in the Crosby/Malkin era. Zlobin was an overage pick with great natural offensive instincts. Kind of reminds me of Miro Satan with his ability to navigate in and out of traffic.
Reach Pick - Derrick Pouliot #8 - I had Pouliot pegged for the back half of the 1st round but when the Penguins drafted Olli Maatta with the 22nd pick, it kind of evened everything out.

San Jose Sharks D - Another team with a subpar draft. Loved the Hertl pick, but everything was a mess after that. Picked Tomas Hertl C at #17
Value Pick - Tomas Hertl #17 I had Hertl ranked 12th, so he fell a smidge, but this is a solid pick and getting them ready for the post-Joe Thornton era. They have options with him, store him or convince him to come to North America.
Reach Pick - Chris Tiernay #55 I didn't have Tiernay ranked in my top 100 and the Sharks felt the urge to use a 2nd rounder on him. To go with the fact they had no 3rd rounder. That's working without a net.

St. Louis Blues D - Blues had 8 picks but poor value in all of them. Draft filled with reaches and projects. At least they picked from a nice blend of positions. Picked Jordan Schmaltz D at #25
Value Pick - Sam Kurker #56 - Even though it was a reach, it was their best value pick. I had him rank #96 but like the potential he possesses. Potential mean, scoring power forward in the making. But a long way away from seeing the pros.
Reach pick - Nick Walters #116 - I had him pegged as a 7th rounder if picked at all. A dman with some nice skillset but is struggling to find his way. If Ryan Murray doesn't return to Everett, he will really get thrown in the deepend next year.

Tampa Bay Lightning C+ - I thought Tampa reached a bit in their first rounders but found some value in their 2nd rounders. All in all, a very even draft for them. Picked Slater Koekkoek D at #10. Picked Andrey Vasilevski G at #19
Value Pick - Nikita Gusev #202 - This player is offense in a bag. Potential Marty St. Louis replacement if he decides NHL over KHL. Big time potential in this player even though he's diminutive. Great 7th round gamble.
Reach Pick - Andrey Vasilevski #19 - Most NHL ready goaltender, but not sure he'll end up being the best one of he bunch. Risky pick in a lot of ways in 1) he's a Russian not playing in the CHL and 2) he's a goaltender, the double whammys of picking the first round.

Toronto Maple Leafs C+ - Did well considering they only had two picks in the first four rounds. Didn't swing for the fences in the later rounds. Picked Morgan Rielly D at #5
Value Pick - Matt Finn #35- Had Finn pegged for the bottom part of the firt round. Leafs continue to stockpile defense. Good plan as its the only way they will be getting their center.
Reach Pick - Morgan Rielly #5 - When you only have 2 picks in the first 4 rounds there isn't much to choose from. I had Rielly ranked 8th and being picked in my mock draft 9th. So the "reach" part is pretty negligible. Still a solid pick for the Leafs.

Vancouver Canucks C - Vancouver had a solid first pick and then a bunch of swings for the fences. Vancouver found their 3rd line C for the future. Picked Brendan Gaunce C at #26
Value Pick - Brendan Gaunce #26 - I had him ranked #14. If you can't have the best players, its good to have the players that can shutdown the best players. Gaunce is that player with modest offensive upside.
Reach Pick - Alexandre Mallet #57 - Another overager in the 2nd round. Its like they are trying to recreate Alex Burrows with this pick, they might, they might not, it just seems a little off the board.

Washington Capitals B- - Capitals had a very uneven draft. They'd make a good pick and follow it up with a bad one. One of those, "could have been better, could have been worse" type drafts. Picked Filip Forsberg LW at #11. Picked Tom Wilson RW at #16
Value Pick - Riley Barber #167 A player that I had ranked in the early third round, the Caps got him in the 6th round. A swiss army knife type player that can play in a variety of roles and play with energy. Very effective player, lots of hustle.
Reach Pick - Tom Wilson #16 - Everyone wants to compare him to Milan Lucic. Might be strong enough eventually but is still a pretty clunky skater. I think its a stretch and the Caps may have drafted a player with 4th line potential in the 1st round. I had him ranked 44th.

Winnipeg Jets B+ - Solid draft for the Jets the 2nd time around. Only had 6 picks to play with but found really good value in 4 of them. Picked Jacob Trouba D at #9
Value Pick Ryan Olsen #160 - Something intrigues me about Ryan Olsen. I want to think that he will eventually be a strong 2nd line center but he has a long way to go to get there. Has the projectable frame to do so.
Reach Pick Jaime Phillips #190 - Interesting pick from a goaltender that only played 11 games on a Tier 2 Ontario club. Must have some high intel on that one.

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