2012 NHL Draft Grades: Rookies Who Will Lead Teams into the Playoffs Next Year
For teams who did not make the playoffs last year, like the Buffalo Sabres, the players they drafted in the first round could help them get back to the postseason.
Teams who made the playoffs but fell short of their ultimate goal, such as the Washington Capitals, will also hope rookies can help lead a deeper playoff run next year.
Let's look at three rookies who will make an impact their team's playoff runs next season.
Filip Forsberg, Washington Capitals
The Capitals needed to score more goals in their second-round series with the New York Rangers this past season, but didn't have enough offensively-skilled forwards to trouble top goaltender Henrik Lundqvist.
Forsberg should be on the Capitals' roster next season and will give them a speedy, goalscoring winger that can excel in any style of hockey.
The Capitals will make the playoffs next season and Forsberg will give them the depth they need for a better chance at making the Eastern Conference Finals.
Pick Grade: A
Mikhail Grigorenko, Buffalo Sabres
Will Buffalo make the playoffs next season?
Mikhail Grigorenko might not be in the NHL next year, but the Sabres would be smart to bring the young center to the team for the 2012-13 season.
With the Sabres close to becoming a serious contender in the Eastern Conference, there's no need for them to delay Grigorenko's arrival to the NHL.
The Russian forward's passing skills will make wingers Thomas Vanek, Nathan Gerbe, Tyler Ennis and Drew Stafford better players next season.
Pick Grade: A-
Teuvo Teravainen, Chicago Blackhawks
The Blackhawks have disappointed in the last two playoff tournaments, and rookie Teuvo Teravainen can be the difference they need offensively to get past the first round again.
If Teravainen can score goals and give the Blackhawks solid depth on the wings, they won't need to make a major move for a forward at the trade deadline.
Teravainen was a steal at pick 18 and will have a fantastic rookie season for Chicago.
Pick Grade: B+
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