NHL Draft: 5 Top Storylines from the NHL Draft
I would love to be the cell phone carriers of each NHL team's front office during draft week. I can only imagine how many emails, text messages and phone calls these general managers, coaches, vice presidents, scouts, etc., exchanged.
The NHL Draft is an exciting time for teams, players and fans. Names are called. Mothers are kissed and future superstars walk across the stage in front of millions of viewers.
Many of the best storylines from the past two draft days occurred outside the draft which included a number of trades that sent big names across the league.
Here are the top five storylines from the past two draft days.
5. The Draft Itself
The 2012 NHL draft itself was supposed to be the top story in the NHL for the weekend, but trades took over that spot handily. Still, there are some notables from the draft class.
No. 1 Overall Pick: Nail Yakupov, Edmonton Oilers
Yakupov is dubbed the next "Russian Rocket." If he lives up to that potential, the Oilers may have one of the most potent offenses in the league for a long time.
Eight of the first 10 selections were defensemen.
The Tampa Bay Lightning traded for Nashville's backup goaltender Anders Lindback earlier, yet they still picked a goaltender with the 19th pick, Andrey Vasilevskiy. The Bolts also nabbed the best name in the draft Slater Koekkoek, a Canadian defenseman, to address blue line issues.
Top Countries Drafted
Canada, 14 picks
USA, 6 picks
Russia, 3 picks
4. Jets Nab Jonas Gustavsson
The Winnipeg Jets have one of the better No. 1 goaltenders in the league in Ondrej Pavalec, but that didn't stop them from acquiring one of Toronto's top goaltenders in Jonas Gustavsson.
Gustavsson started 42 games for the Maple Leafs in 2012, going 17-17-4 with four shutouts. Gustavsson's era in Toronto is now over, but he can still compete for the top spot with Pavalec.
The Jets started Pavelec in 68 games last season. He went 29-28-9 so the competition is there nightly, but the Jets could now have one of the top goalie tandems in the league.
Not a bad pick up considering the Jets only lost a 2013 conditional seventh-round pick. A bit of a slap in the face to Gustavsson, don't you think?
3. Northeast Rivalry Heats Up
With the 24th-overall pick, the Boston Bruins looked to replace Tim Thomas, assuming he stays away from the game of hockey for a season. They did so by looking to arguably the top goaltender in the draft in Malcolm Subban.
OK, a good team needs a good prospect to fill a hole. What's the big deal? Well you see, the Canadiens were interested in drafting Malcolm Subban, probably at 33rd. Why? He is the brother of current Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban.
Boston stepped in and swiped the younger Subban away from Montreal, and the rivalry gets kicked up a notch without even dropping the puck.
2. Sergei Bobrovsky
The Philadelphia Flyers put an added vote of confidence in goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov on Friday. The Flyers sent backup goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for three draft picks.
Bobrovsky has a chance to be the top goaltender in Columbus, if he can beat out Steve Mason.
The Blue Jackets, who many considered to be sellers in the draft as they looked to complete a deal for their captain Rick Nash, turned into buyers, sending away a second- and fourth-round pick in 2012 and a fourth-round pick in 2013 for Bobrovsky.
The fact that Nash stayed is noteworthy as well. The Blue Jackets appear to be trying to put together an exciting product that can compete. The timing is great for the Jackets with the 2013 NHL All-Star Game being held in Columbus.
We will see if it translates into wins in the Buckeye state.
1. All in the Family NHL Edition
The NHL completed a few blockbuster trades during the draft, two of the biggest trades brought sets of brothers together.
First, Jordan Staal turned down a 10-year extension offer from the Pittsburgh Penguins earlier this week. Friday, during his wedding and in front of some of his Penguins teammates, Staal was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes, where he will play alongside his older brother and team captain, Eric.
In exchange, the Penguins got the 'Canes first-round pick, which they used to draft Derrick Pouliot, forward Brandon Sutter and defenseman Brian Dumoulin.
This is potentially a huge deal for Carolina, adding a skilled-forward in Staal that could be a top-producer on the 'Canes top line.
The Flyers continued to deal with a man-for-man trade of forward James van Reimsdyk for Toronto's Luke Schenn.
An interesting move to say the least, as James van Reimsdyk is an energy player, who has shown he can score goals and get under opponents' skin.
Van Reimsdyk scored 24 points in an abbreviated 43-game season with the Flyers.
Luke Schenn joins his younger brother, Braden, on the Flyers. Luke is a consistent minute-man on the blue line. He played in 79 games last season and recorded 22 points. His minus-6 rating is concerning, but Toronto wasn't anywhere near the level that Philadelphia was on last season so those numbers are a little bit skewed.
It will be interesting to see who gets the best out of this deal.
I think van Reimsdyk will break out if he can stay healthy.
It's been a fun week so far. The countdown begins until opening night in October.
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