2012 NHL Mock Draft: Tracking the Stock of Projected 1st-Round Picks
With the first round of the playoffs done, the actual order of the 2012 NHL draft becomes a bit more predictable.
While the first 14 picks of the draft were determined by a lottery (which the Edmonton Oilers won), the remaining 16 are based on how far each playoff team makes it.
What we know now is that none of the teams that are eliminated will have a spot lower than 26th, and the last four picks in the order belong to the teams that make it to the conference finals and beyond.
(Draft order explained here.)
For the sake of this mock draft, we will assume that out of the teams remaining, those with the highest regular-season point totals will go the farthest.
This updated mock draft will reflect this, plus the change in prospect stock due to recent performance.
1. Edmonton Oilers
Nail Yakupov is still the top prospect in this season's draft. And that's not going to change unless something extreme happens.
The Oilers need defense in their system, but if they chose to keep the first overall pick, they can't pass on Yakupov.
Expect some type of trade from Edmonton either before or after the draft.
Yakupov is a 5'11", 189-pound right winger from Russia who played for the OHL's Sarnia Sting.
He totaled 69 points in 42 games this season after racking up 101 in 65 last season.
Stock: Still ridiculously high
2. Columbus Blue Jackets
Mikhail Grigorenko is a 6'3", 200-pound center from Russia who played for the QMJHL's Quebec Remparts.
He had a disappointing QMJHL playoffs, scoring 10 points in 11 games after totaling 85 points in 59 games this season.
Still, that may not be enough to deny him a spot as this season's second-best offensive prospect.
3. Montreal Canadiens
After drafting a defenseman in the first round of the past two drafts, look for Montreal to pick a forward in 2012 to help their relatively poor offense.
Filip Forsberg is a 6'2", 181-pound center from Sweden who played for Leksand of the Swedish league.
He totaled 17 points in 43 games this season with the Division 2 Senior league Leksand.
Forsberg won a gold medal with Sweden at the IIHF Under-20 World Championships.
4. New York Islanders
Ryan Murray is a 6'0", 201-pound defenseman from Canada who played for the WHL's Everett Silvertips.
He totaled 31 points in 46 games this season.
His value can only be considered on the rise after an invitation to play with Canada at a pre-competition camp for the 2012 IIHF World Championships. Canada's roster includes 2011 Hart Memorial Trophy winner Corey Perry and the 2011 NHL draft's first overall pick Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
5. Toronto Maple Leafs
Toronto should be drafting a forward and Alex Galchenyuk would likely be the best one available out of the remaining offensive players.
Galchenyuk is a 6'0", 198-pound center who plays for the OHL's Sarnia Sting. He is of Russian ancestry and was born in the United States.
Galchenyuk totaled 83 points in 68 games in the 2010-11 season. A knee injury limited his playing time this season, but he was able to showcase his talent with a late-season comeback.
He went pointless in two regular-season games, but totaled four points in six playoff games.
6. Anaheim Ducks
Mathew Dumba is a 6'0", 183-pound defenseman from Canada who played for the WHL's Red Deer Rebels.
He totaled 50 points in 64 games this season.
He was selected to be Canada's captain at the 2012 IIHF Under-18 World Championships.
Dumba led the tournament in scoring with 12 points in seven games.
7. Minnesota Wild
Morgan Rielly is a 6'0", 190-pound defenseman from Canada who played for the WHL's Moose Jaw Warriors.
He missed most of this season with a torn ACL. He totaled 18 points in 18 games before the injury. He was able to come back for the playoffs, where he totaled three assists in five games.
8. Carolina Hurricanes
Olli Maatta is a 6'2", 202-pound defenseman from Finland who played for the OHL's London Knights.
He totaled 32 points in 58 games this season. He is a good skater who plays well offensively and defensively.
Maatta's impressive playoffs could have his stock rise pretty high going into the draft. In 14 games, he had 19 points and is a plus-11.
9. Winnipeg Jets
The Jets do not have a quality defensive prospect in their system. They could use more help on the blue line both now and in the future.
Cody Ceci is a 6'2", 207-pound defenseman from Canada who played for for the OHL's Ottawa 67's.
He totaled 60 points in 64 games this season.
Ceci also had an impressive playoff performance, notching 15 points in 18 games.
10. Tampa Bay Lightning
Tampa Bay needs goaltending, but taking one of the top netminding prospects 10th overall may not be the best idea. The team could also use defense, like a number of teams in front of them.
Griffin Reinhart is a 6'4", 207-pound defenseman from Canada who played for the WHL's Edmonton Oil Kings.
He totaled 36 points in 58 games this season with a plus-23.
The defenseman totaled six points in 13 playoff games. The Oil Kings are now in the WHL's Championship Series.
11. Washington Capitals (from Colorado Avalanche)
Zemgus Girgensons is a 6'2", 198-pound center from Latvia who played for the USHL's Dubuque Fighting Saints.
He had 50 points in 47 games this season.
Girgensons recently attempted to play with a fractured jaw that may have ended his season. He will play for the University of Vermont next season.
12. Buffalo Sabres
Buffalo Needs to improve its size on offense. Radek Faksa is a 6'3", 202-pound center from the Czech Republic who played for the OHL's Kitchener Rangers.
He totaled 66 points in 62 games this season.
Faksa's production went down dramatically in the OHL playoffs, as he totaled a mere six points in 13 games.
13. Dallas Stars
Teravainen is a 5'11", 165-pound left winger from Finland who played for Jokerit of the SM-liiga.
He had 18 points in 40 games this season, but totaled eight in six tournament games at the IIHF Under-18 World Championships.
14. Calgary Flames
The Flames offense is anything but youthful. They may be inclined to add a young forward before looking for a defenseman.
Brendan Gaunce is a 6'2", 215-pound center from Canada who played for the OHL's Belleville Bulls.
He totaled 68 points in 68 games and was a plus-four this season, but was less impressive in six OHL playoff games as he totaled just three points and was a minus-two.
He was better in seven IIHF Under-18 World Junior tournament games, where he totaled four points and was a plus-four.
15. Ottawa Senators
Ottawa should look to replace its aging defensemen (Sergei Gonchar, Filip Kuba) with its first-round pick.
Derrick Pouliot is a 5'11", 186-pound defenseman from Canada who played for the WHL's Portland Winterhawks.
He totaled 59 points in 72 games this season, then impressively totaled 12 points in 15 playoff games.
16. Washington Capitals
Washington has two picks in this first round. If they take a forward with one, it would make sense to take a defenseman with the other.
Defenseman Jacob Trouba is a good all-around player who was with the USHL's National Development team.
He totaled 18 points in 22 games and was a plus-eight rating.
Trouba's stock might have dropped after the IIHF Under-18 World Championships, where he was a plus-five with three points in six games. Comparatively, teammate Seth Jones scored eight points with a plus-nine rating.
17. Columbus Blue Jackets (from Los Angeles Kings)
Columbus can choose to take this pick from the Kings, or wait for L.A.'s first-rounder in 2013. But with the team in a rebuilding mode and the Kings likely to improve next season (thus, their 2013 pick being later than their 2012 spot), Columbus will likely utilize their option and take this selection.
To balance their offensive selection of Grigorenko earlier in the draft, picking a defenseman could be a choice here.
Matt Finn is a 6'0", 195-pound defenseman from Canada who played for the OHL's Guelph Storm.
He has 48 points in 61 games this season and has more than doubled his point total from last season.
Finn has quality awareness for his age in terms of making smart plays. He could be a steal late in the round if he continues to develop rapidly.
18. San Jose Sharks
Tom Wilson is a 6'4", 203-pound right winger from Canada who played for the OHL's Plymouth Whalers.
He totaled 27 points in 49 games this season.
He had a very impressive playoffs, being a point-per-game player with 13 points in 13 games. The big winger was also a plus-10.
19. Chicago Blackhawks
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Brady Skjei is a 6'3", 200-pound defenseman from the United States playing for the USHL's National Development Team.
He has 21 points in 53 games this season and will be attending the University of Minnesota.
20. New Jersey Devils
The Devils have an uncertain future in net without a quality replacement for an aging Martin Brodeur.
The top goalie prospect is Malcolm Subban, brother of Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban.
Subban is a 6'1", 188-pound goalie from Canada who played for the OHL's Belleville Bulls.
In 39 games this season, he had a .923 save percentage and a 2.50 goals-against average.
Subban went 2-4 in six playoff games, but recorded a .917 save percentage while facing an average of 36 shots per game.
21. Tampa Bay Lightning (from Detroit Red Wings)
Like the Devils, the Lightning need a future in net.
Andrei Vasilevski is a 6'3", 204-pound goalie from Russia who played for the KHL's Tolpar Ufa.
In 27 games played this season, he had a .931 save percentage and a goals-against average of 2.23.
Vasilevski played in the IIHF Under-18 World Championships, stopping 130 of 141 shots in five games for a .922 save percentage.
22. Pittsburgh Penguins
Stefan Matteau is a 6'2", 210-pound center from the United States who played for the USHL's National Development Team.
The son of New York Rangers great Stephane Matteau totaled 32 points in 46 games this season.
Matteau was ineligible for the World Juniors, so he missed an opportunity to display his skills on a bigger stage.
23. Florida Panthers
Martin Frk is a 6'0", 198-pound right winger from the Czech Republic who played for the QMJHL's Halifax Mooseheads.
He had 29 points in 34 games this season.
In the playoffs, Frk has totaled 11 points over 16 games.
24. Phoenix Coyotes
Cristobal Nieves is a 6'3", 184-pound center from the United States playing for Kent High School in Connecticut. He totaled 39 points in 26 games this past season.
He is committed to playing for the University of Michigan.
25. Boston Bruins
Slater Koekkoek is a 6'2", 184-pound defenseman from Canada who played for the OHL's Peterborough Petes.
He had 18 points in 26 games this season. He is physical and talented both offensively and defensively.
He did not have an opportunity to play in the playoffs this season to improve his stock.
26. Vancouver Canucks
Colton Sissons is a 6'1", 189-pound center from Canada who played for the WHL's Kelowna Rockets.
He totaled 41 points in 58 games this season. He only played in four playoff games, totaling two points.
Sissons is captain of his team and regarded as a gritty two-way player.
27. Philadelphia Flyers
The Flyers have plenty of offensive depth, so they should look to take a defenseman.
Dalton Thrower is a 5'11", 189-pound defenseman from Canada who played for the WHL's Saskatoon Blades.
He has 54 points in 66 games, but just one point in four playoff games.
In addition to being a productive offensive defenseman, Thrower is very physical.
28. Buffalo Sabres (from Nashville Predators)
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Hampus Lindholm is a 6'2", 196-pound defenseman from Sweden playing for Rogle of the Allsvenskan.
He played at three different levels of Sweden's hockey league but spent the most time with the Rogle junior team, totaling 17 points in 28 games.
Lindholm is considered to be the top European defenseman available in this year's class. He totaled four points in six games at the IIHF Under-18 World Championships.
29. St. Louis Blues
Sebastian Collberg is a 5'11", 176-pound right winger from Sweden who played for the Elitserien's Frolunda team.
He totaled 17 points in 21 games with the junior-20 Frolunda team this season, then scored nine points in six games at the IIHF Under-18 World Championships.
30. New York Rangers
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