Blog Entry

NHL Draft: First round winners & losers

Posted on: June 25, 2011 12:33 am
Edited on: June 25, 2011 5:55 pm
 

NHL Draft night in Minnesota turned into Hockey Night in Canada.

It all started with the Winnipeg franchise announcing its nickname would be the one all the fans back in Manitoba hoped for, the Jets. Then Edmonton had the first selection again and picked up a superstar in the making in Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

Between the seven teams that now call Canada home, there were 11 selections made in Friday night's first round. That included two for Edmonton, three from Ottawa and two from Toronto. Those are some quick ways to rebuilding in a top-heavy draft.

Then among the teams with only one pick, Montreal had to be pretty pleased with its outcome. Waiting patiently at No. 17, talented two-way defenseman Nathan Beaulieu -- expected by many to go in the top 10 of the draft -- fell all the way to them. Taking the podium to a chorus of boos -- the only low moment on a night of great moments -- the Habs snatched up the defenseman who plays his junior hockey in Quebec.

We even had a bit of an old-fashioned Alberta battle between Calgary and Edmonton, who were apparently both fighting to get Ryan Smyth from the Kings. While the trade wasn't ever made official on the night, it looks like the Oilers won, getting back a player who spent much of his career in the orange and blue.

Yes, it was a good night north of the border.

Winners

Ottawa Senators: Sens GM Bryan Murray was very busy, entering the night with two first-round picks and making it three without sacrificing anybody on his current roster. In their three picks, he selected an entire line, going center then two wings. It's a good start to a rare rebuilding process in Ottawa, something that we haven't really seen since the organization was born.

Toronto Maple Leafs: Brian Burke was his old usual self, dealing on draft day. He got it started before the draft by acquiring defenseman John-Michael Liles from the Avalanche in exchange for a second-round selection. Then he improved his draft position in a draft-pick swap with Anaheim to grab a very physical power forward in Tyler Biggs. But the best move of the night was getting Liles, a good puck-moving defenseman.

Chicago Blackhawks: If for no other reason than finally unloading the albatross of a contract that is Brian Campbell. Wouldn't you know it, they found a willing partner in the man that originally signed Campbell to the massive deal, Dale Tallon in Florida. The Panthers have a ridiculous amount of cap space, so the burden isn't heavy and the Blackhawks don't get much in return (Rostislav Olesz, who makes more than $3 million per year despite a career high of 14 goals in one season). Then they picked up two forward prospects with high character. Not a bad day's work.

Minnesota Wild: I wasn't in love with their first selection in Jonas Brodin, a good defenseman from Sweden, but that's because I felt they needed to add more offense. Then they made a deal with San Jose and brought in immediate help with Devin Setoguchi and a first-round talent in Charlie Coyle as well as another pick in this year's first round, which they used on center Zack Phillips from Saint John in the QMJHL with great passing ability. And they were the host. So, kudos Minnesota.

Losers

San Jose Sharks: So they not only traded out of the first round, but sent Setoguchi packing along with their first-round pick from last season? Sure, they got an excellent defenseman in return, but they essentially traded three first-round picks for Brent Burns and a second-round selection. They obviously saw a need to bolster the blue line, but the move seems a bit excessive.

Phoenix Coyotes: This is a team for which you have to wonder how much longer the window can stay open -- perhaps it closes a bit with Ilya Bryzgalov gone -- so then they drafted a player with some injury questions who projects as a long-term prospect? The selection leaves something to be desired for me.

Pittsburgh Penguins: They had the chance at a few very solid forward prospects when they came to the podium at pick No. 23, but instead elected to take a defenseman who isn't necessarily a guy who figures to be able to command the power play, something the Penguins were lacking last season. It wasn't the worst of nights, but I thought an offensive guy would have been the better fit.

-- Brian Stubits

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl on Twitter or @BrianStubitsNHL



Comments
kkjyywlpo
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 16, 2011 8:49 am
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Since: May 16, 2011
Posted on: June 26, 2011 6:28 pm
 

NHL Draft: First round winners & losers

I can't even decipher what you are trying to say, but yes, they were booing the fact that he was speaking French and then started chanting USA USA for some stupid reason.



Since: Oct 12, 2006
Posted on: June 25, 2011 7:20 pm
 

NHL Draft: First round winners & losers

How about pointing to the Habs as big losers. Sure, they grabbed a decent defenceman with some potential in the first round, but for a team who has so much trouble scoring, taking 5 d-men [out of 7 picks] and not a sniff of up-front offensive potential [and no real offense on the farm], I have to scratch my head a bit.



Since: Dec 1, 2006
Posted on: June 25, 2011 6:38 pm
 

NHL Draft: First round winners & losers

Woops.  I didn't mean "you"... your.



Since: Dec 1, 2006
Posted on: June 25, 2011 5:24 pm
 

NHL Draft: First round winners & losers

You one of the most classless and stupidest?  They were responding to Montreal... I would consider it classless, but not in the top (or bottom) fifty in the history of what I witnessed.



Since: May 16, 2011
Posted on: June 25, 2011 5:04 pm
 

NHL Draft: First round winners & losers

Beaulieu is from southern Ontario and can't speak French at all; his father is a Franco-ontarian thus the last name. Minnesota fans booing Gauthier when he was speaking French and then chanting USA USA was one of the most classless and stupidest things I have ever seen. Nice job Minnesota.



Since: Nov 23, 2007
Posted on: June 25, 2011 3:42 pm
 

NHL Draft: First round winners & losers

The Wild did very well...Unloading injury prone Burns and picking up some young pieces to the core of the team.....



Since: Dec 1, 2006
Posted on: June 25, 2011 3:15 pm
 

NHL Draft: First round winners & losers

Another thing was I do believe the multiple 1st round picks should stand out as better, because the talent was so deep down the top 30-50 players... Burke and Leafs and Ottawa, did not sacrifice a lot to get more picks in the 1st round... the lower picks were no certain locks... the 1st rounders may not be locks, but certainly better chances of success than the lower tiered draftees.



Since: Dec 1, 2006
Posted on: June 25, 2011 3:11 pm
 

NHL Draft: First round winners & losers

I agree with Stubits... ALMOST any team picking in the first round was a winner, except a few questionable picks by some teams that seemed to have different needs than what they went for.

Still, I think Couturier could be the top pick in this draft.. he was buried statistically by an entire team in the Sea Dogs... the entire Seas Dogs team had high points and plus/minus... Couturier did it with a couple of players, and he is young.  By the time I am proven right or wrong, I will have long forgotten this comment though, lol... looking at a few years for him to develope.

The price for the Sharks I think may be been a little high, but unloading Seto at his peak of value was possibly smart... No Joe, so no show fo Seto.  He is about to disappear like Chris Angel should have done during the awards show. (IMO)



Since: Apr 16, 2008
Posted on: June 25, 2011 12:14 pm
 

NHL Draft: First round winners & losers

If I listed every team that made one excellent pick on the night, the list of winners would be huge. Every team that I listed as winners made more than one move on the night and did a lot on the day. That doesn't mean that Boston and Philly didn't just get steals in the the draft, they each did. The rich certainly got richer.


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