NHL Draft 2012: 8 Biggest Storylines Resulting from the Weekend
The NHL draft has once again come and gone. This year's draft didn't really have the hype of past drafts, mainly because there weren't many prospects who had the expectations to become the next Wayne Gretzky or Mario Lemieux, but there was still a ton of talent.
There were a few big trades and a few players who decided to put themselves on the block as the offseason really kicks off.
Here are the eight biggest storylines that were produced by the 2012 NHL Draft weekend.
Nail Yakupov Goes No. 1 Overall
For the third straight year, the Edmonton Oilers had the first overall pick of the draft, but this year there was some speculation over who they were going to select.
The Oilers have piled on young offensive talent, so some believed that Edmonton was going to go with the top defenseman in the draft, Ryan Murray.
The Oilers ended up going with Yakupov, who many believed to be the best player in the draft. It will be entertaining to watch the young, explosive offense that the Oilers now have on the roster, but it will be interesting to see if they find a way to keep the puck out of their own net with a limited defensive core.
Flyers Send James Van Riemsdyk to Toronto for Luke Schenn
Not the blockbuster trade of the weekend, but this was a solid move for both teams. The Flyers have more than enough power on the offensive side of the ice, and although van Riemsdyk has a huge upside, Philadelphia had to make a move to improve its blue line.
Schenn stands at 6'2" and around 230 pounds, which will bring some much-needed physicality to the back end of the Flyers. He also will be reunited with his brother, Brayden Schenn, a 20-year-old center for Philly.
General manager Paul Holmgren has also maintained confidence that he will re-sign prospective free-agent defenseman Matt Carle.
Malcolm Subban Gets Drafted by the Bruins
This is just a great story and is something that will be fun to watch for years to come. P.K. Subban has already made a name for himself as one of the best young talents in the game today while playing for the Montreal Canadiens.
His brother, Malcolm Subban, was rated by many as the best goaltender, although he was the second taken, in this year's draft. The Boston Bruins grabbed him with the 24th overall pick and have themselves a young goaltender who can push Tuukka Rask as he fills the void for Tim Thomas.
The story? The Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins have arguably the most heated rivalry in the entire NHL, and they have for some time. It will be great to see the brothers lace up the skates against each other for years.
If we're lucky, we might even see a Subban vs. Subban shootout one day.
Pittsburgh Penguins in the Hunt for Zach Parise and Ryan Suter.
The Penguins made multiple moves in the last couple of days to free up close to $6 million in cap space and take a run at some notable free agents in the offseason.
Two of the biggest names on the board are Zach Parise, the captain of the New Jersey Devils, and Ryan Suter, one of the more consistent and solid defensemen in the NHL.
The Penguins have a ton of offensive firepower and I believe that they will be more intrigued to throw a lot of money toward Ryan Suter in order to fill some gaps on the defensive end. But it isn't hard to imagine the possibility that the Penguins could get both free agents.
If I had to guess, I believe that Parise is going to go to the Detroit Red Wings and Suter will end up a Penguin.
Rick Nash and Roberto Luongo Stay Put
I was really hoping that at least one of these guys would get sent somewhere so we can all stop contemplating the "what if" scenarios and have a definitive answer.
But that day is still yet to come.
I would be shocked if both of these guys weren't moved before the beginning of next season, but we will just have to wait and see what happens, as a deal couldn't be made during the draft weekend.
Lubomir Visnovsky Traded to the New York Islanders
In perhaps the second-biggest trade of the weekend, the New York Islanders sent their second-round pick in 2013 to the Anaheim Ducks for defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky. This is a huge acquisition for the Islanders, and sort of a head-scratcher from the Ducks' standpoint.
The move was likely made by Anaheim to clear up cap space to have a shot at re-signing Bobby Ryan.
Visnovsky had a breakout year during the 2010-11 season, where he had 18 goals and led all defensemen with 68 points. In my mind, he should have won the Norris Trophy for the NHL's best defenseman, but ended up being snubbed by the nominating committee.
He fell off a little bit last year, only accumulating 27 points in 68 games, but the Islanders finally have a consistent, accomplished and veteran defenseman that they have needed for years.
Bobby Ryan Wants to Go to Philadelphia
It appears that Bobby Ryan has had enough of the Ducks and is looking for a change of scenery. Here is an excerpt from an interview Ryan had with Randy Miller, a reporter for the Courier Post:
"I take things personally," Ryan said. "Anaheim to me has been a team over the past year that really has shown me nothing to prove that they want me here, unfortunately. Obviously, it's not the ideal situation. When you get drafted, you want to win championships with that team and every time they look to add a piece to the puzzle, I'm the piece going the other way.
"I gotta be honest with you. At this point, I don't care. Move me ... because it's just tough going to the rink every day knowing that if something goes wrong, you're going to be the guy moved."
Ryan and his father would later make remarks that would seem like he would prefer to be sent to the Flyers (from Yahoo! Sports).
Jordan Staal Gets Traded to Carolina on His Wedding Day
Jordan Staal had one hell of a Friday. The date June 22, 2012 was going to be a memorable date regardless of whether or not he was traded because it was the date of his wedding.
Staal actually found out that he was traded during the wedding reception (per the Boston Herald).
Staal recently turned down a 10-year, $60 million contract from the Pittsburgh Penguins, so it was pretty obvious that he was going to be on the move. The Pens actually got a lot of value for him and cleared up a lot of cap space.
In return for Staal, Carolina sent center Brandon Sutten, defenseman Brian Dumoulin and the eighth overall pick to Pittsburgh. The eighth overall pick ended up being defenseman Derrick Pouliot out of Portland in the WHL.
The Staal brothers have always been close and it only seems right that Jordan will have the opportunity to play with older brother Eric in Carolina.
I can't wait for the Hurricanes to play the Vancouver Canucks: Sedins vs. Staals.