NHL Draft 2012 Results: Martin Frk and the 5 Biggest Steals of Day 2
Pavel Datsyuk. Pavel Bure. Henrik Zetterberg. Luc Robitaille.
What do those four names have in common?
Well, not one of those players was taken on the first day of the draft. In fact, not one of those players was even drafted in the top 100 picks of their respective drafts.
Those names are precisely why the second day of the NHL entry draft should never be ignored. You never know just who may emerge as an All-Star-type player from Rounds 2 through 7.
Let's take a look at seven names that could turn into this year's versions of Pavel Datsyuk or Henrik Zetterberg.
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Coming into the 2011-12 hockey season, Martin Frk appeared to be a lock to be taken in the first round of this year's NHL entry draft.
After having his season cut short thanks to a concussion, however, Frk slipped to somewhere around 30th on most draft boards (Bob McKenzie of TSN had him around pick No. 32, hockey prospectus had him at No. 33 and NHL.com listed him as the 20th best North American skater in the draft).
At the combine, Frk was able to impress scouts, posting one of the top five times on the bike and proving that his concussion problems don't seem to be a lingering problem.
On Saturday, Frk ended up dropping all the way to pick No. 49, where he was scooped up by the Detroit Red Wings (an organization with a reputation for finding solid players outside of the first round).
If Frk can avoid re-injuring his head, there is no doubt that he will end up as a steal at selection No. 49.
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Daniil Zharkov was the first of a few players that look like they had the "Russian Factor" working against them.
Despite being ranked in Craig Button's top 60, No. 28 overall by HockeyProspectus.com and 32nd among North American skaters by NHL.com, Zharkov fell all the way to the 91st pick of the draft, when he was finally taken off the board by the Edmonton Oilers.
Zharkov may be a project-type of player, but the ceiling on his offensive play is extraordinary.
According to HockeyProspectus.com, Zharkov is extremely gifted when it comes to puck-handling, scoring ability and skating ability.
While he needs to work on his defensive game and also needs to learn to pass the puck more often, he still has the promise and talent to have been taken much higher than with the last pick in the third round.
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Nikolai Prokhorin is one of the biggest draft day slides of 2012.
Ranked by HockeyProspectus.com as the the 22nd-best available draft prospect, as well as the ninth-best European skater (right behind second-round pick Ville Pokka) by NHL.com, Prokhorin was passed over 120 times before being taken with the 121st overall selection by the Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings.
Because Prokhorkin is fairly young, he tends to be overlooked.
The 18-year-old center, however, is extremely skilled and will end up being one of the biggest steals of this year's draft as the last pick of the fourth round.
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How on earth Nikita Gusev fell as far as he did in this year's draft is beyond me.
After being labeled the 20th-best European skater available in this year's draft by NHL.com and as the 32nd overall draft prospect by HockeyProspectus.com, Gusev saw himself drop all the way to the seventh round and the 202nd overall pick.
Despite his lack of speed (which is magnified by the fact that he's only 5'9"), Gusev has absolutely incredible hands and was one of the premium playmakers available on Day 2 of the draft.
Tampa Bay was very fortunate to have been able to take him as late as they did.
Photo Courtesy of www.eliteprospects.com
Calle Andersson is another player who may have been undervalued by NHL teams because of the fact that he plays overseas.
The 18-year-old Swedish defenseman is supposed to be very comfortable with the puck and can start or join rushes into the offensive zone from the back end.