Top prospects like Nail Yakupov, Ryan Murray and Alex Galchenyuk may be off the board, but there is still plenty to be settled in the 2012 NHL draft. The second day of the draft will take place on Saturday as rounds two through seven are set to commence. As important as the first-rounders are, the second day is where the success of a franchise is often determined.
There have been countless All-Star and even Hall of Fame-caliber players taken outside the first round over the years and there promises to be several such players taken this year as well. On top of teams searching for diamonds in the rough, there promises to be plenty of wheeling and dealing. Big names like Jordan Staal and Mike Ribeiro were traded on Friday, but the volume will probably be greater over the course of the rest of the draft.
Here is everything you need to know about when and where to watch the closing rounds of this year's NHL draft as well as which players to watch for on the draft's second and final day.
Where: Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh
When: Saturday, June 23 at 10 a.m. ET
Watch: NHL Network (USA) and TSN (Canada)
Top Remaining Players to Watch
He may not wow you in any one area, but defenseman Matt Finn may very well be the best all-around player remaining on the board. Finn is a very smooth skater, but his best asset is probably his decision making. He isn't going to hang his teammates out to dry as he almost always makes the smart play with the puck whether he is controlling it in the offensive zone or trying to exit the defensive zone with players hounding him.
His size is decent at 6'0" and 192 lbs., but he could afford to add a little more bulk and become more of a physical presence. At his worst, Finn is a utilitarian defenseman who can play solidly on the second or third pairing. He isn't going to hurt the team that drafts him in any way and is the type of blueliner that every team needs to fortify the back line.
Because of how much emphasis there is on size in the NHL currently, it wasn't particularly surprising to see winger Sebastian Collberg fall out of the first round. The speedy Swede is supremely talented offensively, but his 5'11", 176-lb. frame worries a lot of people. Even so, Collberg has a lot of upside as a dynamic player in the NHL because his skating is explosive, but at the same time he isn't afraid to go to the dirty areas.
Collberg's success at the next level will depend on his ability to deal with the physicality of bigger players that he is sure to encounter. Collberg would have been an ideal player right after the lockout as smaller skill guys flourished, but things are different now. Collberg isn't quite as small as guys like Martin St. Louis and Brian Gionta, but if he has a similar dogged effort then he'll be just fine.
Considered one of the top American players in the draft, forward Nicolas Kerdiles will be a perfect second-round selection for any team. His offensive upside may not be as high as some of the players taken ahead of him in the first round, but Kerdiles is an all-around player who has what it takes to make it to the NHL within a couple years and stay there.
He is 6'2" and 200 lbs., and isn't afraid to use that size. He could stand to be a bit more physical, but he uses his body well to go to the high-traffic areas and wreak havoc. He is capable of playing center or wing and he is equally good at setting up his teammates as he is scoring himself. Kerdiles is a strong two-way forward and promises to be a big-time steal for whichever team ultimately decides to take him.
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