How Are the Top 10 Picks from the 2012 NHL Draft Faring During the Lockout?

Carol SchramFeatured ColumnistDecember 23, 2012

How Are the Top 10 Picks from the 2012 NHL Draft Faring During the Lockout?

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    It has now been six months since NHL teams gathered in Pittsburgh for their annual amateur draft.

    As the names were called and the prospects made their way down to the podium, every one of the top 10 picks looked to have a bright future ahead.

    We'd hoped to see a few of these faces playing in the NHL by now, but the lockout has put those plans on hold.

    Typically, defensemen take a little longer than forwards to develop, and there were a whopping eight rearguards taken in the top 10 in 2012.

    It's interesting to see how some players' paths to the big leagues look smooth, while others are facing some bumps along the way. Here's a look.

1. Nail Yakupov (RW)

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    Drafted By: Edmonton Oilers

    Current Team: HC Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk (KHL)

    2012 Stats To Date: 10-8-18 in 22 games, good for fourth place in team scoring

    Yakupov has missed a bunch of KHL games. First there were issues with his eligibility; then he took some time off to play in the Subway Super Series across Canada in November, where he recorded four points in six games. He hasn't dominated in the KHL, but as a 19-year-old, he doesn't look out of place in the men's league.

    2013 World Junior Team: Russia

    Previous World Junior Stats: 2012 0-9-9 in 7 games (Silver Medal)

    A dominant performance by Yakupov at this year's World Juniors on his home turf could really affirm Edmonton's decision to choose the Russian first overall and further augment its impressive stable of young forwards.

2. Ryan Murray (D)

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    Drafted By: Columbus Blue Jackets

    Current Team: Everett Silvertips (WHL)

    2012 Stats To Date: 2-5-17 in 23 games, good for seventh place in team scoring

    Silvertips captain Murray was having another strong season when he injured his shoulder during a Nov. 16 matchup against Victoria. The Canadian Press reports that he suffered a torn labrum in his left shoulder and will miss the rest of the season, as he needs six months to recover from surgery.

    2013 World Junior Team: Canada (injured)

    Previous World Junior Stats: 2012 0-3-3 in 6 games (Bronze Medal)

    Murray will be missed on Team Canada's blue line in Ufa this year. His shoulder injury is quite serious and raises question marks about his development into a top-flight NHL defenseman.

3. Alex Galchenyuk (C)

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    Drafted By: Montreal Canadiens

    Current Team: Sarnia Sting (OHL)

    2012 Stats To Date: 27-34-61 in 33 games, good for first place in team scoring

    Despite missing all but two regular-season and six playoff games during the 2011-12 OHL season while recovering from major knee surgery, Galchenyuk showed enough promise for Montreal to select him third overall. He has bounced back with an outstanding regular season so far in Sarnia.

    2013 World Junior Team: USA

    Previous World Junior Stats: N/A

    Ufa will mark Galchenyuk's first appearance on the World Junior stage due to his injury last year. Born in Milwaukee to Russian parents, he plays for Team USA.

4. Griffin Reinhart (D)

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    Drafted By: New York Islanders

    Current Team: Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)

    2012 Stats To Date: 4-10-14 in 31 games, good for ninth place in team scoring

    The son of former NHLer Paul Reinhart, Griffin was a standout for the Edmonton Oil Kings in 2012, helping them to reach the Memorial Cup tournament before falling to eventual champs Shawinigan.

    2013 World Junior Team: Canada

    Previous World Junior Stats: N/A

    With the NHL lockout allowing so many 19-year-olds to play at the World Junior Championship this year, Reinhart is one of just two 18-year-old skaters to make the team—his first appearance. He'll be expected to use his big body to play a shutdown role on the blue line for Canada.

5. Morgan Rielly (D)

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    Drafted By: Toronto Maple Leafs

    Current Team: Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL)

    2012 Stats To Date: 7-21-28 in 33 games, good for second place in team scoring

    Rielly played just 18 games for Moose Jaw in 2011-12 before tearing a knee ligament in late fall, sidelining him for World Juniors and the rest of the season. His credentials were still strong enough for the Leafs to choose him fifth overall, and they're hopeful they've targeted a blue-line standout.

    2013 World Junior Team: Canada

    Previous World Junior Stats: N/A

    Rielly and Griffin Reinhart grew up together in West Vancouver and will be making their World Junior debuts together for Team Canada as 18-year-olds. A strong performance in the Subway Super Series bodes well for Rielly in Ufa.

6. Hampus Lindholm (D)

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    Drafted By: Anaheim Ducks

    Current Team: Norfolk Admirals (AHL)

    2012 Stats To Date: 1-4-5 in 19 games, good for 13th place in team scoring

    The Ducks surprised when they selected Swedish defenseman Lindholm as the first European in the No. 6 spot at the 2012 NHL draft. As a member of the Norfolk Admirals, Lindholm started the season as the youngest player in the AHL this season and the youngest in Admirals history at 18 years, eight months and 23 days old (born March 1994).

    2013 World Junior Team: Sweden

    Previous World Junior Stats: N/A

    Lindholm was a key member of Sweden's 2012 U18 team. This is his first World Junior Championship.

7. Matthew Dumba (D)

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    Drafted By: Minnesota Wild

    Current Team: Red Deer Rebels (WHL)

    2012 Stats To Date: 7-10-17 in 34 games, good for fifth place in team scoring

    Going into the 2012 NHL draft, Dumba was known primarily for his big shot and big hits. There has been concern about the defensive part of his game, and so far his development looks to be a step behind many of the other defensemen chosen in the first round.

    2013 World Junior Team: N/A

    Previous World Junior Stats: N/A

    Born in July 1994, Dumba captained Canada's U18 team to its bronze medal in 2012. He was part of the final group of cuts from Team Canada's 2013 World Junior squad.

8. Derrick Pouliot (D)

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    Drafted By: Pittsburgh Penguins

    Current Team: Portland Winterhawks (WHL)

    2012 Stats To Date: 8-28-36 in 35 games, good for fourth place in team scoring

    As a defenseman, Pouliot has put up impressive offensive numbers on a successful Winterhawks squad that was wracked with scandal in late November. Coach/GM Mike Johnston was suspended for the rest of the year and the team also faced other sanctions after having been found guilty of recruiting violations.

    2013 World Junior Team: N/A

    Previous World Junior Stats: N/A

    Pouliot was one of the final cuts from Canada's 2013 World Junior roster on December 14. His international experience to date is limited compared to the players chosen before him.

9. Jacob Trouba (D)

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    Drafted By: Winnipeg Jets

    Current Team: University of Michigan (CCHA)

    2012 Stats To Date: 5-6-11 in 16 games, good for fifth place in team scoring

    Michigan native Trouba elected to go the college route at his local university. So far, he leads his team with 50 minutes in penalties over just 16 games. Of the top 10, only Trouba, Yakupov and Hampus Lindholm are playing at a level above Major Junior this year.

    2013 World Junior Team: USA

    Previous World Junior Stats: 2012 0-2-2 in six games

    After a disappointing tournament in 2012, Team USA is holding off on making its final cut until just before the World Junior tournament begins. Trouba has been logging significant ice time for Team USA in the tuneup games and is expected to be a key force on the blue line.

10. Slater Koekkoek (D)

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    Drafted By: Tampa Bay Lightning

    Current Team: Peterborough Petes (OHL)

    2012 Stats To Date: 5-20-25 in 35 games, good for second place in team scoring

    The Petes are having a rough year—last place in in the OHL as of December 22, with the kind of team upheaval that often accompanies a poor record. Koekkoek's offensive numbers are good, but he also leads the team with a woeful minus-22. Koekkoek is rumored to be possible trade bait for the Petes, with one more year of junior eligibility remaining after this season.

    2013 World Junior Team: N/A

    Previous World Junior Stats: N/A

    Koekkok did not get an invite to Canada's 2013 World Junior selection camp. Last year, he was sidelined with a shoulder injury in November, precluding his possible selection in 2012.

     

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