Looking Back at Round One of the 2012 NHL Draft

The first round is in the books and it featured a barrage of trades along with the 30 players selected.  Here I’ll take a quick look to see how I (and my sources) did in predicting tonight’s results.  The first round is the easiest one to pick, but precise predictions (player X going at #X) are almost impossible.  In the previous two drafts the best ratio has been Bob McKenzie in 2010 (6/30, I was one behind him that year and tied for first with him in 2011, going a measly 4/30).  This year has produced lower results overall (here I’m considering TSN (Bob McKenzie), FC (Future Considerations), RLR (Red Line Report), HP (Hockey Prospects), ISS (International Scouting Service), THN (The Hockey News), McK (McKeen’s):
TSN 5/30
HP/FC/ISS/McK 2/30
RLR/Eye on the Sens 1/30

I didn’t include Corey Pronman’s picks from Hockey Prospectus as part of my rankings, but he wound up going 3/30.

The more important thing to look at is how many players selected to be drafted in the first round actually were.  Last year I was tied with TSN for the most selections (25/30), while in 2010 I edged him out by one (26/30).  This year Bob was once again the champ and I dropped down in the pack:
TSN 27/30
McK 26/30
RLR 25/30
Eye on the Sens/THN 24/30
ISS/FC/HP 22/30
Corey Pronman 20/30

There were no truly off-the-board selections in the sense that all players picked were considered first-rounders by at least one source. Tanner Pearson was the lowest ranked player taken, but he was not the only player with only one first-round pick (Jordan Schmaltz being the other).  Henrik Samuelsson had the second least first-round selections with two.

The highest ranked players who were not selected were Matthew Finn (considered a first-rounder by everyone), Sebastien Collberg (only a second-rounder to HP), and Pontus Aberg (only a second-rounder to TSN).  No other players are near their uniformity of ranking.

Here’s the recap of the first round (correct publications in brackets):
1. Edmonton, Nail Yakupov (everyone except HP)
2. Columbus, Ryan Murray (TSN)
3. Montreal, Alex Galchenyuk (n/a)
4. New York Islanders, Griffin Reinhart (HP, TSN)
5. Toronto, Morgan Rielly (n/a)
6. Anaheim, Hampus Lindholm (n/a)
7. Minnesota, Matt Dumba (n/a)
8. Pittsburgh (from Carolina), Derrick Pouliot (n/a)
9. Winnipeg, Jacob Trouba (THN, TSN)
10. Tampa Bay, Slater Koekkoek (n/a)
11. Washington, Filip Forsberg (n/a)
12. Buffalo, Mikhail Grigorenko (TSN, HP)
13. Dallas, Radek Faksa (FC)
14. Buffalo (from Calgary), Zemgus Girgensons (n/a)
15. Ottawa, Cody Ceci (n/a)
16. Washington, Tom Wilson (n/a)
17. San Jose, Thomas Hertl (n/a)
18. Chicago, Teuvo Teravainen (n/a)
19. Tampa Bay, Andrei Vasilevski (n/a)
20. Philadelphia, Scott Laughton (n/a)
21. Calgary (from Buffalo), Mark Jankowski (n/a)
22. Pittsburgh, Olli Maatta (n/a)
23. Florida, Mike Matheson (n/a)
24. Boston, Malcolm Subban (McK)
25. St. Louis, Jordan Schmaltz (n/a)
26. Vancouver, Brendan Gaunce (n/a)
27. Phoenix, Henrik Samuelsson (ISS)
28. New York Rangers, Brady Skjei (n/a)
29. New Jersey, Stefan Matteau (n/a)
30. Los Angeles, Tanner Pearson (n/a)

I’ll have a full recap of the draft tomorrow.

Senators News: June 22nd

-This marks the one-year anniversary for Eye on the Sens.  Thanks to all my readers and twitter followers.  I also want to thank Black Aces‘ Jeremy Milks and Jared Crozier at Senshot for including a link to the site, Peter Raaymakers and Amelia L for occasional mentions on The Silver Seven, Owen Bourns who invited me to write for Sens Nation, the moderators at HFboards who let me post links there for awhile, and various other bloggers who have commented here over the past twelve months (Lyle Richardson from Spector’s Hockey, Ian Altenbaugh at Hockey’s Future, and worsteverything at Welcome to Your Karlsson Years).

-As widely reported, Erik Karlsson won the Norris trophy and Daniel Alfredsson won the King Clancy award.  As I’ve said before I don’t really care about the awards themselves, but I’m happy for the two Swedes nonetheless.

-It’s been re-confirmed that the Sens have qualified all their RFA’s except Craig Schira (so including Nikita Filatov despite his KHL contract); this was reported weeks ago, but apparently rumours about Filatov have been floating around since.

Tim Murray talked about how he expects the three top blueline prospects (Mark Borowiecki, Eric Gryba, and Patrick Wiercioch) to step up next season, “There’s always somebody coming behind you. It’s a cruel game. If your turn comes and you’re not ready for it, somebody else is taking your spot. They’re going to get a turn here shortly and they better grasp it.”  Murray also talked about the draft saying “We’re not convinced this is a great draft. The teams that have 11 or 12 picks say it’s a great draft and if we thought it was a great draft, it wouldn’t be hard to get more picks. We probably aren’t going to do that. I’ve been doing this for 20 years and in my estimation, it’s an average draft. There are some teams that think it’s a decent draft and there are other teams that don’t. So you have potential partners there in the fact that some teams will want picks and some teams will be happy to give up picks (and say) why don’t we wait until next year, when we like that draft a little better. So yeah, I think there could be a little moving and shaking tomorrow.

Pierre Dorion just keeps talking about the draft.  There’s not much new, but “You’re right, there’s not the ‘wow’ factor this year but I still feel personally, and I know my group of scouts feel the same way, come Saturday night when we’ve made seven selections, I think we’ll be very happy with the product that we’ve come away with.”  He also talked a little about Daniel Altshuller and Francois Brassard who came to Ottawa, “both good goalies. I would say Daniel is a bit bigger physically. Francois is skinnier. Daniel might be a bit better technically. Francois might be a bit quicker. But they’re both good guys and good goalies and will have a chance to have good NHL careers down the road.”

-Here are my draft predictions for Ottawa.  Speaking of the draft, Brian Costello at THN has borrowed the basic part of my draft analysis approach to produce a top-30 list (I’m sure the cheque is in the mail), although he doesn’t explain exactly how he’s blended the five lists he’s using (THN’s, Bob McKenzie’s, ISS, McKeens, and Future Considerations; or so he implies those are the sources, but it’s not explicitly stated) and come up with this (differences with my list are in brackets):
1 Nail Yakupov, RW
2 Filip Forsberg, RW
3 Ryan Murray, D
4 Alex Galchenyuk, C
5 Mikhail Grigorenko, C (7)
6 Griffin Reinhart, D (5)
7 Matt Dumba, D (6)
8 Morgan Rielly, D
9 Jacob Trouba, D (10)
10 Teuvo Teravainen, LW (9)
11 Cody Ceci, D
12 Radek Faksa, C
13 Hampus Lindholm, D (16)
14 Sebastian Collberg, RW (19)
15 Olli Maatta, D (14)
16 Derrick Pouliot, D (13)
17 Brendan Gaunce, C
18 Zemgus Girgensons, C (15)
19 Matthew Finn, D (20)
20 Slater Koekkkoek, D (18)
21 Thomas Wilson, RW
22 Andrei Vasilevski, G (24)
23 Tomas Hertl, C
24 Pontus Aberg, LW (22)
25 Brady Skjei, D
26 Colton Sissons, RW (27)
27 Scott Laughton, C (26)
28 Malcolm Subban, G (30)
29 Nicolas Kerdiles, LW (35)
30 Stefan Matteau, LW (32)

Ottawa 2012 Draft Predictions

Here follows predictions for Ottawa’s selections over the next two days.  Before getting into the specifics it’s worth looking at draft trends under Bryan Murray.  There’s not much to be drawn from the 2007 draft class given when Murray was hired, so I’ve left it out, but the four drafts since then are indicative.  First, a brief look at the picks and where they are now:

2008
1-15 Erik Karlsson (DR, SuperElit, Frolunda; WJC) – NHL
2-42 Patrick Wiercioch (DL, USHL, Omaha) – AHL
3-79 Zack Smith (C/LW, WHL, Swift Current) – NHL
4-109 Andre Petersson (RW/LW, SuperElit, HV71; WJC) – AHL
4-119 Derek Grant (C/LW, BCHL, Langley) – AHL
5-139 Mark Borowiecki (DL, CJHL, Smith Falls) – AHL
7-199 Emil Sandin (RW/LW, SuperElit, Brynas) – FA (unsigned)
2009
1-9 Jared Cowen (DL, WHL, Spokane; WHC-17) – NHL
2-39 Jakob Silfverberg (C/W, SuperElit, Brynas; WJC-18) – NHL/AHL
2-46 Robin Lehner (G, SuperElit, Frolunda; WJC-18) – AHL
4-100 Chris Wideman (DR, NCAA, Miami) – AHL
5-130 Mike Hoffman (C/LW, QMJHL, Drummondville) – AHL
5-146 Jeff Costello (LW, USHL, Cedar Rapids) – NCAA
6-160 Corey Cowick (LW, OHL, Ottawa 67s) – AHL
7-190 Brad Peltz (LW, USHS, Avon Old Farms) – NCAA
7-191 Michael Sdao (DL, USHL, Lincoln) – NCAA
2010
3-76 Jakub Culek (C/LW, QMJHL, Rimouski; WJC-18) – AHL
4-106 Marcus Sorensen (RW, SuperElit, Sodertalje) – FA (unsigned)
6-178 Mark Stone (RW, WHL, Brandon) – AHL/NHL
7-196 Bryce Aneloski (DR, USHL, Cedar Rapids) – NCAA
2011
1-6 Mika Zibanejad (C/RW, SEL, Djurgardens; WJC-18) – NHL/AHL
1-21 Stefan Noesen (C/RW, OHL, Plymouth) – OHL
1-24 Matt Puempel (LW, OHL, Peterborough) – OHL
2-61 Shane Prince (C/LW, OHL, Ottawa 67s) – OHL/AHL
4-96 Jean-Gabriel Pageau (RW, QMJHL, Gatineau) – QMJHL/AHL
5-126 Fredrik Claesson (DL, SEL, Djurgardens, WJC-18) – AHL
6-156 Darren Kramer (C/LW, WHL, Spokane) – AHL
6-171 Max McCormick (LW, USHL, Sioux City) – NCAA
7-186 Jordan Fransoo (DR, WHL, Brandon) – WHL
7-204 Ryan Dzingel (C/LW, USHL, Lincoln) – NCAA

That’s a total of 30 players, with 20 forwards, 9 defencemen, and 1 goaltender; 14 from the Canadian junior systems, 8 from the various US systems, and 8 from Sweden.  As for trends, 8 teams have had two players selected by the Senators (Frolunda, Brynas, Djurgardens, Ottawa 67s, Brandon, Spokane, Lincoln and Cedar Rapids).  In at least a few cases it seems that scouting one player has lead to the selection of another (Brandon Fransoo via Mark Stone and Bryce Aneloski via Jeff CostelloChris Wideman also played for Cedar Rapids).  The only trend among the Swedes is that most had international experience prior to being drafted and none are from the northern club teams.  Among the USHL selections (6), most have been from the West Division (Lincoln, Omaha, and Sioux City).  Of the Canadian selections 4 players have been from local teams (Mark Borowiecki, Corey Cowick, Shane Prince, and Jean-Gabriel Pageau), but are otherwise fairly spread out.  Thus far the only busts have been undersized Swedes (Emil Sandin and Marcus Sorensen).  I have to wonder if the Swedish flavour will be diminished by the absence of former scout Anders Forsberg.  The other trend is that the Sens try to make trades at the draft (be it the deal that landed Erik Karlsson in 2008, the trade to pick Michael Sdao in 2009, moving the first-rounder to get David Rundblad in 2010, or the deal that landed them Matt Puempel in 2011).

As far as what this means for this year’s draft we’ll have to wait and see, but there’s no reason to doubt that the team will make drafting blueliners and a goaltender a priority.  Ottawa has the following picks: #15, #76, #82, #106, #136, #166, and #196.  I think the odds are good that the Sens will try to trade up, likely sacrificing their third-round selections in the hopes of landing a goaltender (I do not believe they will use their first-round pick on a goalie).  However, if they keep all their picks here’s my guess at the players they will select:
1-15 Hampus Lindholm (DL 6’2 SuperElit Rogle) – the Swedish blueliner has been a popular selection in mock drafts for the Sens and there’s little reason to doubt he’s part of their discussions; other players to consider are Olli Maatta (DL 6’1 OHL London) or Derrick Pouliot (DL 6’0 WHL Portland)
3-76 Calle Andersson (DR 6’2 SuperElit Malmo) – a right-handed Swedish blueliner; could also see James Melindy (DR 6’3 QMJHL Moncton), Dylan Blujus (DR 6’3 OHL Brampton), or scoring winger Robbie Baillargeon (RW 6’0 USHL Indiana)
3-82 Esa Lindell (DL 6’2 Fin Jr Jokerit) – Finnish blueliner coming off a solid WJC-18; it could also be any of the players mentioned above or power forward Mitchell Moroz (LW 6’2 WHL Edmonton)
4-106 Erik Karlsson (LW 5’11 SuperElit Frolunda) – Swedish winger; it could also be Moroz (above) or scoring winger Kevin Roy (LW 5’10 USHL Lincoln)
5-136 Daniel Altshuller (G 6’2 OHL Oshawa) – the Sens brought him to Ottawa; could also be Roy (above)
6-166 Carter Rigby (LW 6’0 WHL Kelowna) – power forward; could also be Francois Brassard (G 6’0 QMJHL Quebec), another goalie brought to Ottawa
7-196 Mike McKee (DL 6’4 USHL Lincoln) – rugged blueliner; it could also be Zane Jones (LW 6’0 WHL Victoria) a rugged winger

So, if my analysis and predictions for the draft are 100% correct in terms of who is available when (unlikely), the list looks like this:
Hampus Lindholm (D) – a Swede and a blueliner
James Melindy (D) – would fill the QMJHL quota (one player each of the last three drafts)
Mitchell Moroz – the Sens like power forwards
Erik Karlsson – undersized Swedish forward with skill (and would be another player picked from Frolunda)
Daniel Altshuller (G) – they’ve said repeatedly they will pick a goalie
Carter Rigby – yet another power forward
Mike McKee (D) – tough blueliner in the mould of Michael Sdao (and would be another player from Cedar Rapids)