Well the Edmonton Oilers winning the draft lottery Tuesday night threw everything for a loop, didn’t it?
With everyone concentrated on the Columbus Blue Jackets and whether or not they’d be able to sell their fan base on Russian forward after the Nikolai Zherdev – Nikita Filatov failures, the Oilers went right ahead and threw everything for a loop.
There is doubt the Oilers would’ve been content drafting second and taking the likes of Ryan Murray to immediately boost a suspect blueline. Instead, they won the lottery and are now faced with too many questions to ponder just 18 hours after learning they’ll be drafting first overall for a third consecutive year.
Will they take Nail Yakupov first overall? Will they simply take Murray as undoubtedly planned? Will they trade down further and select any number of impressive blueliners that?
The answers to those questions may not be known until June 22nd.
Without the power of negotiating trades, here’s how the first 14 picks of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft could shake down.
- Edmonton Oilers – Nail Yakupov – RW – Sarnia Sting
The Oilers would be remised if they didn’t take the consensus top pick in the draft, adding Yakupov to the likes of Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
- Columbus Blue Jackets – Alex Galchenyuk – C – Sarnia Sting
Disappointed in missing out on Yakupov, the Blue Jackets turn their attention to his teammate in Galchenyuk.
- Montreal Canadiens – Mikhail Grigorenko – C – Quebec Remparts
The Canadiens are thrilled to welcome Russian centre Grigorenko to their fold, giving them an elite prospect down the middle who played just up the road.
- New York Islanders – Ryan Murray – D – Everett Silvertips
The Islanders could be the big winners of the draft lottery after having the Oilers initially pass on Murray, allowing the club to snap him up fourth.
- Toronto Maple Leafs – Filip Forsberg – LW – Leksand Jr.
There isn’t much to not like about Forsberg’s game, which will make him a great fit among the Maple Leafs forward core.
- Anaheim Ducks – Mathew Dumba – D – Red Deer Rebels
Though Teravainen is certainly tempting with another Finnish winger winding down his career, the need for a blue chip defenseman to join Cam Fowler makes Dumba the best fit.
- Minnesota Wild – Teuvu Teravainen – RW – Jokerit Jr.
The Wild are fortunate to snap up one of the draft’s fastest risers and a player who could develop some chemistry with fellow Finn Mikael Granlund.
- Carolina Hurricanes – Radek Faksa – C – Kitchener Rangers
The Hurricanes aren’t shy to draft players from Kitchener, and adding Faksa to the fold after Ryan Murphy in 2011 and Jeff Skinner in 2010 continues that trend.
- Winnipeg Jets – Jacob Trouba – D – NTDP-U18
With some nice development from forwards in the organization, it’s hard to turn away from one of the elite defensemen in the 2012 draft class if you’re the Jets.
- Tampa Bay Lightning – Morgan Rielly – D – Moose Jaw Warriors
Defensive depth in the draft begins to show with the draft as the Lightning grab perhaps the most offensively gifted blueliner in the class.
- Washington Capitals (via COL) – Brendan Gaunce – C – Belleville Bulls
The blend of grit, two-way play and competitive nature out of Gaunce can be of great benefit to a Capitals team looking for more of all three.
- Buffalo Sabres – Griffin Reinhart – D – Edmonton Oil Kings
One of the most intriguing packages on defense, Reinhart adds another dimension to the prospect core that will one day patrol the Sabres blueline.
- Dallas Stars – Cody Ceci – D – Ottawa 67’s
Ceci is one of the draft’s top-rising defensemen through the season and his play has made him an attractive addition to the team.
- Calgary Flames – Sebastian Collberg – RW – Frolunda Jr
In a further attempt to bring in offensive talent, the Flames opt with the smaller-yet-gifted Collberg to bolster the forward pool.