Defencemen Are A Clear Strength In The 2012 NHL Draft

The first round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft took place in Pittsburgh yesterday and it brought with it a lot of surprises and shocks. Even the first overall pick, which the Oilers eventually used on stud forward Nail Yakupov, was subject to some pre-draft speculation.

The common theme of the first round, however, was undoubtedly defencemen. Eight of the first ten selections were blueliners, and this has some analysts comparing the 2012 draft pool to the 2008 edition, in which notable stars Drew Doughty, Alex Pietrangelo and Tyler Myers were drafted.

Below are the complete first round results:

  1. Edmonton -Nail Yakupov – RW – Russia
  2. Columbus -Ryan Murray – D – Canada
  3. Montreal -Alex Galchenyuk – C – United States/Russia
  4. NY Islanders – Griffin Reinhart – D – Canada
  5. Toronto – Morgan Rielly – D – Canada
  6. Anaheim – Hampus Lindholm – D – Sweden
  7. Minnesota – Mathew Dumba – D – Canada
  8. Pittsburgh -Derrick Pouliot – D – Canada
  9. Winnipeg Jets – Jacob Trouba – D – United States
  10. Tampa Bay – Slater Koekkoek – D – Canada
  11. Washington – Filip Forsberg – RW – Sweden
  12. Buffalo -Mikhail Grigorenko- C – Russia
  13. Dallas – Radek Faksa – C – Czech Republic
  14. Buffalo – Zemgus Girgensons – C – Latvia
  15. Ottawa – Cody Ceci – D – Canada
  16. Washington – Tom Wilson – RW – Canada
  17. San Jose – Tomas Herti – C –  Czech Republic
  18. Chicago – Teuvo Teravainen – RW – Finland
  19. Tampa Bay – Andrei Vasilevski – G – Russia
  20. Philadelphia – Scott Laughton – C – Canada
  21. Calgary -Mark Jankowski – C – Canada
  22. Pittsburgh – Olli Maatta – D – Finland
  23. Florida -Mike Matheson- D – Canada
  24. Boston -Malcolm Subban -G – Canada
  25. St. Louis – Jordan Schmaltz – D – United States
  26. Vancouver – Brendan Gaunce  – C – Canada
  27. Phoenix – Henrik Samuelsson – C – United States
  28. NY Rangers – Brady Skjei – D – United States
  29. New Jersey – Stefan Matteau – C – Canada/United States
  30. Los Angeles – Tanner Pearson LW – Canada

In my opinion, there were quite a few possible steals in this draft. Teravainen should have gone much earlier than he did and same goes for Forsberg at 11. Chicago and Washington will be thrilled that they were able to draft such highly talented players at their draft positions and Mikhail Grigorenko at #12 to Buffalo is another notable steal, as he has the potential to be a top line center in this league.

Of course, as with any draft, we won’t see most of these picks for at least 2-3 years, if ever. On the other hand, some of the drafted players will inevitably become stars or even superstars in the league in the years to come.

Who do you think will eventually be the top player in this draft?

1 Nail Yakupov (RW)  Russia Edmonton Oilers Sarnia (OHL)
2 Ryan Murray (D)  Canada Columbus Blue Jackets Everett (WHL)
3 Alex Galchenyuk (C)  Russia
 United States
Montreal Canadiens Sarnia (OHL)
4 Griffin Reinhart (D)  Canada New York Islanders Edmonton (WHL)
5 Morgan Rielly (D)  Canada Toronto Maple Leafs Moose Jaw (WHL)
6 Hampus Lindholm (D)  Sweden Anaheim Ducks Rögle (Allsvenskan)
7 Mathew Dumba (D)  Canada Minnesota Wild Red Deer (WHL)
8 Derrick Pouliot (D)  Canada Pittsburgh Penguins (from Carolina)1 Portland (WHL)
9 Jacob Trouba (D)  United States Winnipeg Jets US NTDP (USHL)
10 Slater Koekkoek (D)  Canada Tampa Bay Lightning Peterborough (OHL)
11 Filip Forsberg (RW)  Sweden Washington Capitals (from Colorado)2 Leksands (Allsvenskan)
12 Mikhail Grigorenko (C)  Russia Buffalo Sabres Quebec (QMJHL)
13 Radek Faksa (C)  Czech Republic Dallas Stars Kitchener (OHL)
14 Zemgus Girgensons (C)  Latvia Buffalo Sabres (from Calgary)3 Dubuque (USHL)
15 Cody Ceci (D)  Canada Ottawa Senators Ottawa (OHL)
16 Tom Wilson (RW)  Canada Washington Capitals Plymouth (OHL)
17 Tomas Hertl (C)  Czech Republic San Jose Sharks Slavia Praha (ELH)
18 Teuvo Teravainen (RW)  Finland Chicago Blackhawks Jokerit (SM-liiga)
19 Andrei Vasilevski (G)  Russia Tampa Bay Lightning (from Detroit)4 Tolpar Ufa (MHL)
20 Scott Laughton (C)  Canada Philadelphia Flyers Oshawa (OHL)
21 Mark Jankowski (C)  Canada Calgary Flames (from Nashville via Buffalo)5 Stanstead College (HS–Quebec)
22 Olli Maatta (D)  Finland Pittsburgh Penguins London (OHL)
23 Mike Matheson (D)  Canada Florida Panthers Dubuque (USHL)
24 Malcolm Subban (G)  Canada Boston Bruins Belleville (OHL)
25 Jordan Schmaltz (D)  United States St. Louis Blues Green Bay (USHL)
26 Brendan Gaunce (C)  Canada Vancouver Canucks Belleville (OHL)
27 Henrik Samuelsson (C)  United States Phoenix Coyotes Edmonton (WHL)
28 Brady Skjei (D)  United States New York Rangers US NTDP (USHL)
29 Stefan Matteau (C)  Canada
 United States
New Jersey Devils US NTDP (USHL)
30 Tanner Pearson (LW)  Canada Los Angeles Kings Barrie (OHL)