While the NHL draft is certainly focused on the future. there were a few really good, or really bad, picks in rounds 2-3 of the 2012 NHL draft that deserve our attention right now.
In hockey, more than any sport besides baseball really, the minor leagues are incredibly important towards the growth and future of the actual NHL club. If a team can draft a stud right off the bat, push him through the minors and get him onto the big club in an impact role—they're doing their job as an organization.
That said, teams can also set themselves back by making poor draft picks, especially in the middle rounds. There's a ton of value that can be found, but there's also a ton that can be lost.
With that in mind, here's a look at the best and worst selections from rounds 2-3 of the 2012 NHL draft.
Winnipeg Jets: Lukas Sutter, C, Saskatoon, Round 2, Pick 39 overall
The Sutter name is very strong in the NHL. Lukas' uncle is Darryl Sutter, newly crowned Stanley Cup champion head coach of the Los Angeles Kings, and his father played in the league. At the very least the Jets have to know that they're going to be getting a true, blue hockey player with this pick.
At 6'0'', 215 pounds his stature lives up to his hockey heritage. He also notched 28 goals and 31 assist in 70 games with the Saskatoon blades, so don't be surprised if he quickly makes his way up to the big club.
New Jersey Devils: Damon Severson, D, Kelowna. Round 2, Pick 60 overall
This is a pick that is going to pay dividends for the Devils in the future. If we learned anything about them in the Stanley Cup Final, it's that their defense was susceptible to giving up a bunch of goals at once.
They need to shore up the defense, and at 6'1'', 190 pounds Severson is a great prospect. At just 18 years old, he'll only continue to grow, and with proper training he could become a huge piece of the Devils' defense in the future.
Detroit Red Wings: Martin Frk: RW, Halifax, Round 2, Pick 49 overall
While it's tough to question a team so dominant at drafting as the Red Wings, I have to disagree with this pick here. The Wings desperately need to start thinking about the future of their defense, especially with captain Nick Lidstrom retired, so going with an offensive pick here is a mistake.
This is also a kid who only played 34 games in 2011-12 due to injury, making this pick even more questionable.
Detroit's defense needs a new look. We all know their offense is going to be okay spearheaded by Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, so the fact that they didn't address the defense here is disappointing.
Detroit Red Wings: Jake Paterson, G, Saginaw, Round 3, Pick 80 overall
I hate to keep hating on the Wings, but this is another questionable pick. With Jimmy Howard in net the future of the goalie position is not in question, and even if it was Detroit has always been able to snag good, veteran goalies.
While I understand drafting for the future of the position here is smart, I still would have much rather seen an immediate need, and future need, filled with a defensive draft pick. This was essentially a waste of value.
Overall, rounds two and three had to be disappointing if you're a Red Wings fan. They should have addressed their dire needs before supplementing positions in which they are already strong.