2012 NHL Draft: Seven Sleepers from First Round

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2012 NHL Draft: Seven Sleepers from First Round
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images
Pittsburgh hosted the 2012 NHL Draft June 22-23

The first round of the 2012 NHL Draft produced a lot of surprises. Perhaps the one that stands out the most is that nine of the first 10 picks were defencemen.

Most top picks are expected to make the NHL quickly if not in their first year. They are not only the most talented of their brethren, but are usually going to the teams in most need of their services.

Almost every expert agrees that the hardest position to make the transition to the NHL at is the blue line. Morgan Rielly, Derrick Pouliot, Jacob Trouba and Slater Koekkoek are coming onto teams too deep on the blue line to crack the active roster long enough to be ineligible to play in juniors, where their teams will want to have them seasoned.

However, there are four defencemen who are sleepers waiting to contribute in the 2012-13 season. There are also forwards taken by perennial contenders who might make their NHL debuts sooner that expected.

Note: Profile information for each pick was taken from NHL.com.

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