Now that the Stanley Cup Finals are over, the upcoming NHL Draft on June 22nd is on everyone's mind with pre-draft rumors buzzing around the league. Teams are already focusing on trades and draft picks to start gearing up for next season.
Here's the latest buzz on the ice:
According to Aaron Portzline from bluejacketsxtra.com, the biggest news right now is that 18-year-old Ryan Murray could be the No. 1 overall draft pick this year at the NHL Draft. The defenseman has already been called up to play for Team Canada at the World Championships.
The word on the ice right now is that "Murray will go No. 1 overall to the Edmonton Oilers", but there's a chance that they Oilers could pass Murray up and the Columbus Blue Jackets (who pick second) will have the opportunity to claim him. And it is almost certain that they will.
And the Canadiens could really use a power forward like Filip Forsberg. Coming from Sweden, The Gazette reports that "Forsberg is ranked as the No. 1 European skater...and led his country to a silver medal at the World Under-18 Championships in April (where he was named the tournament's most valuable player)".
Now that's a good amount of credentials for Forsberg. Finishing at the bottom of their division with the third lowest points in the league, the Montreal Canadiens could really use a strong forward on the attack to crash the net and score goals. And right now, it looks like all signs are pointing to Forsberg being taken by Montreal.
Where will No. 1 Draft Pick Ryan Murray end up?
Justin Schultz of the University of Wisconsin was drafted No. 43 overall in 2008 by the Anaheim Ducks, but did not end up signing. The aggressive defenseman is now available as an unrestricted free agent, and appears to be a hot commodity amongst the "Wings, Vancouver, Philadelphia, Edmonton and the Rangers" (via The Detroit News).
It looks possible that the Carolina Hurricanes could draft Teuvo Teravainen from Finland. According to calgaryflames.com, the Hurricanes "hold the No. 8 pick in Friday's opening round of the 2012 NHL Draft". Teravainen enters the draft with an incredible skill set and an innate comfort with the puck. While he has defensive skills to improve upon, his passing abilities seem to be strong. Heading into the draft, Teravainen is ranked No. 2 behind Sweden's Fillip Forsberg among European forwards.
The 2012 NHL Draft will feature strong, prodigal-like draft picks. And if the rumors turn out to be true, these teams struggling in the league, have a lot to be excited about.