The 2013 NHL draft will change the face of the league.
As with any draft, there were plenty of talented players who found new homes on Sunday. A couple at the drop of the first round have the potential to take their careers to incredible heights.
None were more high-profile than Seth Jones. He ended up being selected with the fourth overall pick by the Nashville Predators. Jones was far from the only player who will go on to star in the league, though.
It was also intriguing see what the reigning champion Chicago Blackhawks would do to improve their team. They were very active on draft day and made some polarizing moves.
Here are full draft grades for each team, followed by a breakdown of three teams who had some of the more notable drafts.
|Full 2013 Draft Grades|
|Anaheim Ducks||No. 26 Shea Theodore, D||B|
No. 8 Rasmus Ristolainen, D;
No. 16 Nikita Zadorov, D
No. 6 Sean Monahan, C;
No. 22 Emile Poirier, LW;
No. 28 Morgan Klimchuk, LW
|Carolina Hurricanes||No. 5 Elias Windholm, C||A-|
|Chicago Blackhawks||No. 30 Ryan Hartman, RW||B+|
|Colorado Avalanche||No. 1 Nathan MacKinnon, C||A-|
|Columbus Blue Jackets||
No. 14 Alexander Wennberg, C;
No. 19 Kerby Rychel, LW;
No. 27 Marko Dano, C
No. 10 Valeri Nichushkin, RW;
No. 29 Jason Dickinson, C
|Detroit Red Wings||No. 20 Anthony Mantha, RW||B+|
|Edmonton Oilers||No. 7 Darnell Nurse, D||B|
|Florida Panthers||No. 2 Aleksander Barkov, C||C-|
|Los Angeles Kings||None||C+|
|Montreal Canadiens||No. 25 Michael McCarron, RW||B|
|Nashville Predators||No. 4 Seth Jones, D||A|
|New Jersey Devils||None||B|
|New York Islanders||No. 15 Ryan Pulock, D||B+|
|New York Rangers||None||C|
|Ottawa Senators||No. 17 Curtis Lazar, C/RW||B|
|Philadelphia Flyers||No. 11 Samuel Morin, D||C|
|Phoenix Coyotes||No. 12 Max Domi, C/LW||B|
|San Jose Sharks||No. 18 Mirco Mueller, D||B|
|St. Louis Blues||None||B+|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||No. 3 Jonathan Drouin, LW||A|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||No. 21 Frederik Gauthier, C||B|
No. 9 Bo Horvat, C;
No. 24 Hunter Shinkaruk, C/LW
|Washington Capitals||No. 23 Andre Burakovsky, LW||B+|
|Winnipeg Jets||No. 13 Joshua Morrissey, D||B-|
Chicago Blackhawks: B+
The Stanley Cup champions aren't resting on their laurels. The Chicago Blackhawks had a strong draft, and moved some veterans in the process.
If you were to judge the team's draft on just prospects alone, it was very good.
Ryan Hartman is a hometown guy and about as good of a player as you could expect to get that late in the first round. He's got a lot of skills on the offensive end of the ice, but he's not afraid to get physical either.
Anthony Louis was also a great value pick in the sixth round. You can't expect to get a ton of quality that late in the draft. However, the Blackhawks managed to find a player who has a lot of skills and will play a role for the franchise down the line.
Perhaps the biggest news from Chicago came in the form of the two trades the team made, per its official Twitter account.
Dave Bolland is on his way back to his hometown, Toronto... for picks #51 and #117 this year, and a 4th rounder next year.— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) June 30, 2013
Another Blackhawks trade to announce: Michael Frolik to Winnipeg for picks #74 and #134 in this #NHLDraft.— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) June 30, 2013
It's hard seeing a player like Dave Bolland traded away. After all, he scored the winning goal in Game 6. Trading him was a good move, though, and it's good to see Chicago leaving sentiment at the door.
Getting rid of Michael Frolik was a bit of a questionable move. It was done with the cap in mind, but Frolik had a huge role on the penalty kill for the Blackhawks.
That trade is the reason the team gets knocked slightly for what was a generally strong draft.
Colorado Avalanche: A-
Some might have been surprised to see the Colorado Avalanche pass on Seth Jones and select Nathan MacKinnon instead.
While Jones would have given the team a much-needed defenseman, MacKinnon will work out just fine.
He's a beast on the offensive end. MacKinnon has both the skill and athleticism to produce in the league next season. The Avalanche are getting a player who can contribute immediately and turn into one of the biggest stars in the league. MacKinnon is exactly the kind of player you would hope for in a top pick.
Chris Bigras was also a good selection in the second round, and he gives Colorado the defenseman it had to get in the draft. He's a very smart player on the ice and his positional intelligence is through the roof. Bigras doesn't have the kind of potential that could have made him a top pick. Instead, he's a safe selection who should become a consistent contributor down the road.
Nashville Predators: A
The Nashville Predators managed to nab the what could be best player in the draft in Seth Jones. Not only that, the Predators were able to find a long-term replacement for Ryan Suter, whom they haven't replaced since he signed with the Minnesota Wild.
ESPN's Craig Custance nailed exactly what the Jones pick meant for Nashville.
So the Predators lose a franchise American defenseman last summer and have a chance here to replace him with another.— Craig Custance (@CraigCustance) June 30, 2013
You can't underestimate what kind of impact Jones can have on the franchise. There's what he brings on the ice in terms of talent, which is significant considering his potential. Then there's the off-ice impact that can come with drafting a black, American player so highly. Jones can become the face of the franchise and open up Nashville to a new segment of fans.
After Jones, the Predators could have not had any picks, and they would still have hit this draft out of the park.
Jonathan Diaby was also a good pick in the third round. He's a physical, athletic defenseman.
It's clear Nashville came in with a plan for the draft. It wanted to improve defensively, and it did exactly that. Jones and Diaby should be contributors for years to come.