NHL Draft 2011 Results: The 10 Biggest Surprises and Risks of the First Round

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NHL Draft 2011 Results: The 10 Biggest Surprises and Risks of the First Round
Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

The 2011 NHL Draft was a night that saw several players rise and a handful of players fall.

Skaters such as Dougie Hamilton and Sean Couturier were believed to have top five potiential, but would their availability match the needs of the teams who possessed these picks?

In an environment such as this where all the GMs in the league come together in one room, a lot of things could happen.  The Philadelphia Flyers already made noise the day before the draft by trading away two players many viewed as franchise guys to make space for a goaltender, and to get younger.

And rumors beyond that for all other teams were swirling.

Toronto Maple Leafs brain trust Brian Burke was believed to be interested in trading up in the draft if particular players fell down the rankings, while the rebuilding Edmonton Oilers and Colorado Avalanche needed to balance the interest in their slew of picks with the site for the future of the squads.

Overall it was a fun night for some teams, including the home team Minnesota Wild, that saw Gary Bettman approach the podium with the only words outside of "It's an honor to present the Cup to.." that will garner him cheers.

Those words being, of course, "we have a trade to announce."

In a rapid reaction, here are the 10 biggest surprises and risks surrounding the first round of the 2011 NHL Draft.


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