It has been confirmed that the Edmonton Oilers will have the right to choose between top prospects Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin. Either one of those players may become cornerstones of the franchise for years to come.
The Boston Bruins must be thanking the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight as they will get a shot at one of these players as well with the second overall selection in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.
There is no doubt that first round picks are expected to make a large contribution to the future of their respective franchises. However there are seven rounds in the current Entry Draft format.
The key to being a consistently successful franchise in the NHL is not only being able to draft well in the top five picks. It is also drafting well in the later rounds and finding serviceable NHL players.
He is a look at ten players in this years Stanley Cup playoffs that were former seventh round draft picks.
The 24 year old right winger from Vancouver, BC, Canada was selected in the seventh round of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft by the Chicago Blackhawks.
He spent the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons with the Blackhawks AHL affiliate the Rockford IceHogs. He was able to make the Blackhawks as an everyday NHL player last season.
In 159 NHL games he has scored 32 goals, added 35 assists and 123 penalty minutes, while posting a plus 10 rating. In 17 NHL playoff games he has scored no goals, added 2 assists and 12 penalty minutes, while posting a minus 1 rating.
He has become a valuable member of the Blackhawks playing on both the power play and the penalty kill this season. Look for him to score timely goals for the Hawks in the playoffs when their top guns are shut down by the opposition.
The 24 year old 5'11" 190lbs defenceman from Warren, MI, USA was selected in the seventh round of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft by the Boston Bruins
He spent from 2003-04 to 2006-07 playing at the University of Michigan. He then spent the 2007-08 season with the Bruins AHL affiliate in Providence. He was able to make the Bruins as an everyday NHL player last season.
In 142 NHL games he has scored 12 goals, added 30 assists and 67 penalty minutes, while posting a minus 2 rating. He appeared in one playoff game for the Bruins last season and did not register on the score sheet.
He sees ice time on the power play and in shorthanded situations for the Bruins. He will never be mistaken for a power play quarterback by any means. He is a workman type defenceman that will be limited to a 4-6 defender role at the NHL level.
Don't expect him to see him on any highlight reels during the playoffs this season. He should provide steady defensive play for the Bruins in the playoffs, however if they plan on going deep they will need him to contribute on the score sheet as well.
The 23 year old 5'11" 188lbs right winger Sollentuna, Sweden was selected in the seventh round of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft by the Nashville Predators.
He spent from 2005-06 to 2007-08 playing with Djurgardens IF of the Swedish Elite League. He then split the 2008-09 season with the Predators AHL affiliate the Milwaukee Admirals and the Predators. He was able to make the Predators as an everyday NHL player this season.
In 108 NHL games he has scored 32 goals, added 26 assists and 56 penalty minutes, while posting a plus 15 rating.
He has been a great surprise for the Predators this season potting 30 goals, with 10 of them being on the power play. He has largely replace the offense that left town when Alexander Radulov left town to play in the KHL this season.
The Predators hope that he can continue his goal scoring ways in the playoffs this season. He will have to if the Preds have any hope of knocking off the high flying Backhawks in the first round this year.
The 28 year old 6'4" 229lbs centerman from Fargo, ND, USA was selected in the seventh round of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft by the Buffalo Sabres.
He spent from 2002-03 to 2004-05 playing with the Sabres AHL affiliate the Rochester Americans. He was able to make the Bruins as an everyday NHL for the 2005-06 NHL season.
In 342 NHL games he has scored 52 goals, added 81 assists and 414 penalty minutes, while posting a plus 8 rating. In 25 NHL playoff games he has scored no goals, added 5 assists and 16 penalty minutes, while posting an even rating.
He has become a reliable third line centre that sees power play time when injuries arise. Most commonly this occurs when the often injured Tim Connolly is out of the line up. He is a big player who is not afraid to use the body to seperate his man for the playoffs.
The Sabres will need him to provide some clutch scoring for them this year in the post season. Timely goals and shutting down the opposition's best players will be his assignment in this years Stanley Cup playoffs.
The 25 year old 6'0" 190lbs defenseman from Mississauga, ON, Canada was selected in the seventh round of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft by the New York Islanders.
He spent the 2004-05 season playing with the Islanders AHL affiliate the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. He began his NHL career with the New york Islanders at the beginning of the 2005-06 NHL season. This season was his first full year with the Ottawa Senators as he was acquired during the 2008-09 campaign.
In 320 NHL games he has scored 29 goals, added 85 assists and 156 penalty minutes, while posting a minus 39 rating. In 5 NHL playoff games he has scored 1 goals, added 1 assists and 2 penalty minutes, while posting a minus 1 rating.
He showed in his 34 point rookie season in 2005-06 with the Islanders that he can be an effective puck moving defenceman. However since that season he has not posted more than 18 points. For him to be an effective and valuable player he will need to improve his point totals or his defensive play.
He will need to produce over and above his capabilities to give the Sens a chance to defeat the defending Stanley Cup champions in the first round this year.
The 27 year old 5'10" 185lbs right wing from Kosice, Slovakia was selected in the seventh round of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft by the Colorado Avalanche.
He began his NHL career with the Avalanche at the beginning of the 2005-06 NHL season. He has been fortune enough to play with such greats as Peter Forsberg and Joe Sakic during his time in Colorado.
In 316 NHL games he has scored 96 goals, added 68 assists and 207 penalty minutes, while posting a minus 4 rating. In 11 NHL playoff games he has scored 1 goals, added 5 assists and 2 penalty minutes, while posting a plus 3 rating.
His best season was his rookie year of 2005-06 when he scored 32 goals and 50 points. Since that time he has not cracked the 30 goal and 40 point plateau. This season has been especially disapointing season for Marek scoring only seven goals in 54 games.
I would be surprised to see him play a big role in the Avs playoff hopes this season. Moving forward he may hve a hard time finding a full time NHL job. Next season will be a defining one in his career.
The 28 year old 5'11" 195lbs center from Montreal, QC, Canada was selected in the seventh round of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft by the Calgary Flames.
He began his NHL career with the Calgary Flames at the beginning of the 2003-04 NHL season. He then played five seasons with the Flames prior to being traded to the Coyotes in the Olli Jokinen trade.
In 444 NHL games he has scored 89 goals, added 147 assists and 275 penalty minutes, while posting a plus 28 rating. In 33 NHL playoff games he has scored 2 goals, added 8 assists and 10 penalty minutes, while posting a minus 6 rating.
He is an excellent skater and is now entering the prime of his career. Coach Dave Tippett of the Coyotes has indicated that he likes Matthew's game. His speed leads into the team's quick transitional game.
Lombardi will need to become a better playoff performer than his past history indicates. Look for him to be a consistent 20 goal, 50 point second line center that plays on the power play.
The 25 year old 5'11" 190lbs center from Stevens Point, WI, USA was selected in the seventh round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft by the San Jose Sharks.
He began his NHL career with the Sharks at the beginning of the 2006-07 NHL season. Prior to this he played for the University of Wisconsin.
In 275 NHL games he has scored 83 goals, added 95 assists and 118 penalty minutes, while posting a plus 11 rating. In 25 NHL playoff games he has scored 6 goals, added 5 assists and 9 penalty minutes, while posting a plus 2 rating.
He has steadily improved since he entered the league. He is now a permanent fixture as a member of the Shark top six forwards. He is currently receving the benefit of playing time with the NHL's elite setup man. He was also a member of the Silver medal winning USA hockey team at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.
He will be a big part of the Sharks cup hopes this season. This may be last last chance for this core of players. Although look for him to remain a member of the Sharks regardless of any roster shake up.
The 34 year old 6'1" 205lbs goaltender from St-Martin-D'Heres, France was selected in the seventh round of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft by the Los Angeles Kings.
He began his NHL career with the Kings in 2003-04 playing in 41 games. He then became a regular NHLer when he began playing for the Montreal Canadiens during the 2005-06 season. He then spent 13 games and the playoffs with the Washington Captials at the end of the 2007-08 season.
The Blackhawks signed him as a free agent prior to the 2008-09 season. His time in Chicago has been somewhat of a disappointment losing his starting role to rookie Anitti Niemi this season.
In 272 NHL games he has won 129 games while posting 2.46 GAA and a 0.913 save percentage and 24 shutouts. In 16 NHL playoff games he has won 6 games while posting 2.73 GAA and a 0.917 save percentage and no shutouts.
It has been rumored that the Blackhawks may wish to get rid of his large contract in the off season. The playoffs will tell if Huet is indeed done in Chicago.