The 2012 NHL season has come and gone, along with the first-year player draft. This is an exciting time of year for hockey fans, even though they won't see their teams playing for several months.
This draft was one that will be remembered for a very long time for the talent that it produced. These guys will be skating for a long time.
However, there were several draft developments that struck me as surprising and disappointing. Enjoy!
The Dallas Stars selected Dimitry Sinitsyn with the second pick in the seventh and last round of the NHL draft. The UMass Lowell alumnus did not expect to hear his name called at all.
Sinitsyn had limited viewing in the Central Scouting Service's list of North American skaters, and thus was mostly unheard of. However, the young man will have an opportunity to live his dream.
If he can perform well in the minor leagues, the defenseman will get his chance someday.
The New York Islanders had a very strange draft.
They drafted Griffin Reinhart and Ville Pokka in the first and second rounds, respectively. They are both talented defensemen that will eventually make an impact.
It's the rest of the Islanders' draft that was questionable. All seven of their selections were defensemen! Defense was most certainly an area of need for New York, but this is overkill..
It's extremely unlikely that more than three of these players will stay with the organization beyond a year or two. There are only so many spots on a roster for the same position and the Islanders need more depth beyond just defense.
It's good to be a King—at least it is when your name is Tanner Pearson. The young man was drafted 30th overall, the final pick in the first round.
It's been a long road to the NHL for Pearson, but he finds himself in a phenomenal situation. The Kings just won the Stanley Cup and are a young team that will still get better.
It's likely that Pearson, who started his career in the Ontario Hockey League playing for the Barrie Colts, will play a huge role in that effort down the road.
Lisa Dillman of The LA Times reported following an interview with Pearson:
"If I was a betting man, I'd probably say tears were shed by my dad more than my mom," he said in a telephone interview Friday night.
Another disappointment, another slide about the New York Islanders. The Columbus Blue Jackets valued defenseman Ryan Murray so highly, they turned down a trade of the Islanders entire draft.
Aaron Portzline of The Columbus Dispatch stated:
"That's right, for the Jackets' No. 2 pick, the Islanders offered pick Nos. 4, 34, 65, 103, 125, 155 and 185. The bounty would have given the Jackets the following picks: 4, 31, 34, 62, 65, 95, 103, 125, 152, 155, 182 and 185."
This definitely has to be a major disappointment for the Islanders. If they were willing to give up that much to get this kid, he must be a can't-miss talent.
The Toronto Maple Leafs took Morgan Rielly fifth overall. The pick was pretty surprising because he was lower than the position for which he was drafted.
It's possible that the Maple Leafs saw the need for more defensemen following their acquisition of James Van Riemsdyk from the Philadelphia Flyers.
Rielly is probably still a year or two away from seeing the ice for the Maple Leafs. He's a bit of a project.
The Anaheim Ducks cleared some cap space ($5.6 million) by dealing L'ubomir Visnovsky to the New York Islanders.
But they didn't do a very good job of replacing the veteran in the draft. They used a second rounder to try and do so -- a highly questionable move.