While each team is satisfied with their own picks, three choices from the 2012 NHL Draft in particular stood out as bargains.
Selected by the Calgary Flames in the sixth round, 165th overall, Coda Gordon is a unique player. He won’t bring anyone out of their seats with his highlight reel goals, but he will consistently have his name on the score sheet.
Gordon makes his living in the blue paint, sucking up rebounds and putting them in the back of the net.He doesn’t come without his fair share of risk though. Gordon lacks the physical traits to play a hardnosed game at the next level. He will also have to improve his foot speed so he can put himself in more positions to score. Gordon reminds me of Mark Stone. They both had the same question marks heading into the draft. If Gordon can grow and use his hockey sense to take his game to the next level, like Stone did, he could be the Calgary Flames diamond in the rough.
Another player with tons of value is Dalton Thrower, selected by the Montreal Canadiens in the 51st overall pick in the draft. Thrower is a steady two-way defenseman that moves the puck up the ice with ease, and isn’t afraid to mix things up physically. He was a complete beast for the Blades, consistently playing over thirty minutes per game. He is versatile enough to play the power play or kill penalties if he has to.
Thrower has a lot of untapped potential and I don’t think he has even scratched the surface yet. With chances to play in the Memorial Cup and possibly the World Junior Championship just over the horizon, Thrower will have every opportunity to grow and develop as a player. Future Considerations had him ranked 28th, but the Habs walked away with a true steal at pick 51.
I feel the Dallas Stars got excellent value by taking Seattle Thunderbirds power forward Branden Troock in the fifth round with the 134th overall selection. Troock plays a hardworking, in your face game that makes him tough to play against. He already has a pro ready frame and has shown to be a very smart player. Troock’s vision and offensive ability are both underrated and I feel like he is ready to explode offensively next season.
After strong performances in both the Top Prospects Game and the Under-18 World Championship, Troock has proven he can play when the stakes have been raised. There are some question marks surrounding him such as his overall skating and whether or not his offense will translate at the next level. While Troock still has a lot to prove, I feel as though his ceiling is incredibly high. The Stars definitely made a shrewd pick with the selection of Troock in the fifth round.
Unfortunately Cody Corbett wasn’t as fortunate as Troock, Gordon or Thrower, going undrafted in 2012.
He had a solid WHL campaign putting up 26 points in 54 games while also notching a plus-36 after playing high school hockey in Minnesota to start the season. Corbett plays a steady, quiet game that often goes unnoticed. His defensive game is best classified as safe, sitting in good position to shut his opponents down and doing whatever it takes to keep guys out of his crease. His size is already pro ready and he is deceivingly mobile for a player his size.
Corbett was able to produce on both the power play and penalty kill this year for the Oil Kings. He really is the type of defenseman that can do it all. I was surprised no one took a flyer on him in the middle to late rounds of the draft.