Tag:2011 NHL Draft
Posted on: June 25, 2011 5:46 pm
Edited on: June 26, 2011 11:07 am
 

NHL Draft: Grading each team for the weekend

Anaheim Ducks: I like the move trading down in the first round to get another early pick in the second from the Maple Leafs, assuming they weren't absolutely in love with any prospect on the board at No. 22. With the additional pick in Round 2 they grabbed who many felt was the top goaltender available in USA's John Gibson. In time, he could be excellent. Grade: B

Boston Bruins: The Stanley Cup champions were very quiet, as you would expect. They were picking from a position of luxury at No. 9 in the first round to finally wrap up the Phil Kessel trade and had to be ecstatic that defenseman Dougie Hamilton fell to them. They closed out with a goalie in the sixth round, a good idea to grab one at some point. Grade: A-

Buffalo Sabres: The Sabres only had one pick in the top 75, which they spent on Finnish winger Joel Armia at No. 16. From there they selected three centermen, in Rounds 3, 4 and 7. But their biggest move was trading for Robyn Regehr and Ales Kotalik for Chris Butler and Paul Byron. I think the move benefits Buffalo most with Regehr's physical presence. Grade: B

Calgary Flames: Out of just five players drafted, the biggest they picked was a goalie in the sixth round. Three of the other four picks are all less than six feet, including fourth-round choice John Gaudreau. Top pick Sven Baertschi could be a very nice pickup for offensive punch. The move of Regehr and Kotalik wasn't a great trade in its own right, but it was solid when you consider it allowed them to re-sign Alex Tanguay. Grade: C+

Carolina Hurricanes: The 'Canes weren't active shoppers, content to take their six picks in peace. Among them, they selected three centermen, two defensemen and a goalie. Would have liked to see a little more balance and somebody to play outside, but there's always a chance for position changes. Top pick Ryan Murphy is unquestionably most offensive defenseman in the draft, but he's allergic to defense. Grade: B-

Chicago Blackhawks: Chicago was incredibly busy, selecting 11 players over the weekend, including six of the top 80. First-round selections Mark McNeill and Phillip Danault are both high-character, gritty forwards, then in the second round they scooped up a slipper in winger Brandon Saad. The biggest move though was getting rid of big contracts in Brian Campbell and to a lesser extent Troy Brouwer, freeing up cap flexibility. Excellent weekend. Grade: A

Colorado Avalanche: The Avs did most of their heavy lifting on Day 1 of the draft, first sending John-Michael Liles to the Maple Leafs for a second-round pick. I don't like the move all that much, but it shows they are serious about rebuilding. But they had a big play in the first round, selecting Gabriel Landeskog at No. 2, and he'll step in right away. They also grabbed a few defensemen, including Duncan Siemens at No. 11, to fill the void. Grade: B+

Columbus Blue Jackets: Their biggest move came Thursday when they landed Jeff Carter from Philly. It did cost them a first-round pick and a Jakub Voracek, but they got a guaranteed top-notch contributor, so it's a good get. They also traded Nikita Filatov to Ottawa. Thought they might be able to get more for him than a third-round pick, but it was a good decision to move him as he was likely going to KHL instead of returning and it just wasn't working in Columbus. As for the draft, I like the pick of LW Seth Ambroz in the fifth-round best. He was the 31st ranked skater by NHL Central Scouting. Grade: A-

Dallas Stars: Everything really is bigger in Texas. The Stars' six draft picks average over 6-feet-3 and 201 pounds. The three defensemen have an average height of just over 6'5 and 212 pounds, highlighted by first-round selection Jamieson Oleksiak from Northeastern at 6'7. It will take a little bit of time, but they will soon could have the biggest blue line in hockey. Grade: B+

Detroit Red Wings: In classic Ken Holland fashion, the Wings weren't afraid to move back in the draft, trading out of the first round to grab three picks in the second. Their first selection was Saint John winger Tomas Jurco at No. 35. I'm a big fan of the kid and he is oozing with potential. They decided to get defenseman-heavy with five out of nine picks, but I'm not going to challenge Holland's track record in the draft. Grade: B

Edmonton Oilers: They came in to the draft in a great position, obviously holding the top spot, but also the 19th overall selection. Drafting Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was the easy, but right choice. With their second pick they grabbed Swedish defenseman Oscar Klefbom. While many point to his lack of offense as a concern, I'm very high on him as a project. They did draft two goalies, one in Samu Perhonen who most considered the top European goalie. Grade: A-

Florida Panthers: The first pick of Jonathan Huberdeau was a great selection as I will maintain he could be the best in this draft. The Panthers didn't have quite the same impact as last season, but still selected eight of the first 91 players, including 5'6 dynamo Rocco Grimaldi. The move everybody is talking about, though, is trading for Brian Campbell. It's not a bad move for Florida as it actually needs to take on salary just to get to the floor and he has some use for an inexperienced blue line. Grade: B+

Los Angeles Kings: They too hopped into the Philly salary shedding by snagging Mike Richards in exchange for Wayne Simmonds and Brayden Schenn. I love the addition for the Kings as it gives them two elite centermen in Richards and Kopitar. They didn't draft until 49th overall when they grabbed who I thought was the best goalie in Christopher Gibson, but didn't get any defensive help in any of their six picks. Would have liked to see at least one D-man. Grade: B

Minnesota Wild: I thought they made the best trade of the draft itself with their deal to get Devin Setoguchi, Charlie Coyle and San Jose's first-round selection -- which they used to get centerman Zack Phillips -- for Brent Burns and a second-rounder next year. They had a big need in offense and they addressed it for the current time with Seto. They also traded up to grab local favorite Mario Lucia, one of two Minnesota high-schoolers they drafted. Grade: A-

Montreal Canadiens: They patiently waited until the 17th pick when, much to the surprise of most, puck-moving defenseman Nathan Beaulieu was still on the board. For a team that's a bit thin on the blue line, he was the first of five defensemen they brought aboard. But Beaulieu was the only pick they had until the fourth round began, so they got great value and somebody who could prove to be a great pairing with P.K. Subban down the road. Grade: B+

Nashville Predators: I like the player they drafted with their first pick, No. 38 overall, but I don't like the fit. Magnus Hellberg is a very intriguing goalie prospect who stands 6'5, but going goaltender with your first pick, and making Hellberg the top goalie selected, was a bit surprising, especially when they have a still-young Pekka Rinne. After that they added a few guys who are a bit more stout, toughening up for years of Barry Trotz hockey. Grade: C

New Jersey Devils: With their first pick they took top defenseman Adam Larsson, who became the highest defenseman they drafted since Scott Niedermayer. But that's partly because the Devils don't often draft this high. And here they got a guy who most years would have gone first or second, but offensive needs above them dropped Larsson to New Jersey and I'm sure the staff has no qualms about that. Thought this was one team that could have stood to grab a goalie late. Grade: A-

New York Islanders: A lot of smoke before the draft was that they were showing the most interest in defenseman Dougie Hamilton, but they instead went out to get a Ryan Strome, a centerman they hope can be the yin to John Tavares' yang. He has great playmaking ability so it could be a great complement down the line. They got their big-bodied D-man in the second round with a nice selection of 6'4 Scott Mayfield from St. Louis, Mo., after trading Bruno Gervais to Tampa Bay Grade: B+

New York Rangers: Another team that was very quiet in this draft, they went up the middle with centers in their first three picks, starting with American J.T. Miller at No. 15 overall. It will be interesting to see how their last two picks develop, two defensemen who stand at least 6'3 and both weigh more than 205 pounds, you have to like where those guys are starting for blue line bruisers. But all in all, not much was happening for the Blueshirts. Grade: B

Ottawa Senators: My favorite team in this draft. They had a ton of draft picks entering the weekend and they made the most of them, spending two second-rounders to move into the first round for a third pick. Their No. 1 selection of Mika Zibanejad should be a good one, he's got a lot of power and grit. They got a lot of potential scoring with the other first-round picks in Stefan Noesen and Matt Puempel. They topped everything off by getting a talented but still unproven Nikita Filatov from Columbus for just a third-round pick. Grade: A+

Philadelphia Flyers: Philly did its work on Thursday with their three blockbuster moves. While they seem to have weakened the roster by getting rid of Carter and Richards, it allowed them to bring in Ilya Bryzgalov and clear some cap space to maneuver. And, the part many were forgetting on Thursday, gave them a high first-round selection, which they must be thrilled with. Sean Couturier was a preseason favorite as the best player in the draft class, so to get him at No. 8 was a great nab. Could help fill one of the holes that just opened. Grade: A-

Phoenix Coyotes: The pick of defenseman Connor Murphy in the first round carries with it plenty of risk. He missed a significant amount of time due to injury and he has a pretty long projection. This is another organization I thought would be well served to look at a goaltender, considering they are pretty thin all throughout the organization, including with the big club. It's a need they will certainly look to address via free agency. Grade: C

Pittsburgh Penguins: They really must have taken the best player available strategy as they went defense with their first two picks, starting with Joseph Morrow at No. 23. I thought they really could have used some forward depth in the organization considering they have seven defensemen under contract next year with the big club and a good amount more in the system. The last three picks (just five total) did go offense, though. Grade: C+

San Jose Sharks: I said it before and I'll say it again, I don't like the Setoguchi-Burns trade, and right after they signed Seto to a new deal? Ouch. Sure, the Sharks landed a great defenseman after losing Niclas Wallin from the back after last season, but the price is too steep for me. As a result of dealing their first pick, San Jose wasn't on the clock until pick No. 47, taking Boston University's Matthew Nieto. For a team that is in full-contention mode, the move addresses a need, but I just feel the cost was too high. Grade: D+

St. Louis Blues: The Blues sat out the first round, but had three selections to make in the second and came out alright. Their pick of Ty Rattie at No. 32 was a very good one, getting a first-round talent. He still needs to put on some weight, but I like his outlook. Their next two picks of winger Dmitrij Jaskin and 6'5 Canadian defenseman Joel Edmundson were solid. They were another team that spent two picks on goaltenders, but it's an organization that could use some reinforcement in the crease. Grade: B

Tampa Bay Lightning: With their first three picks (Rounds 1, 2 and 5) they went all Russian. In the first they grabbed Vladislav Namestnikov, a center who can also play wing and was projected by many to go a little higher. They followed that up with winger Nikita Kucherov then defenseman Nikita Nesterov. One thing is for sure, though, they didn't add much size in the draft with nobody over 6'0. They know something about short guys, though. Add a little something to the blue line now in a small deal for Isles D Bruno Gervais. Grade: B

Toronto Maple Leafs: Brian Burke came out to make some moves, and he did. The first was landing John-Michael Liles from Colorado, a player he long coveted. While Toronto has a slew of defensemen already, Liles is still a solid addition. He then made a swap with Anaheim to move up for two picks in the first round, using one to grab defenseman Stuart Percy. I'm not terribly high on the guy, but he's somebody they saw a lot of in Ontario, so at least they have a conviction. The other first-round pick was Tyler Biggs, a true power forward. All in all, they added a lot of prospects to the system. Grade: B+

Vancouver Canucks: No team was treated more rudely in Minnesota than the Canucks, taking the podium each time to a chorus of boos and mocking shouts, many calling for a new goalie. I'm sure they are in no hurry to push Roberto Luongo away, but they did draft goaltender David Honzik with their second pick of the weekend. Their first selection of Dane Nicklas Jensen is a very nice selection as he possesses potential to become a potent scorer when his game is more refined. Grade: B+

Washington Capitals: Were the Caps even present in the Twin Cities? Aside from a move to get Troy Brouwer from the Blackhawks in exchange for Washington's first-round selection. Because of that trade, the D.C. brass sat on their hands until the fourth round when they spent their first pick on a goaltender. I do think the addition of Brouwer will be welcome as a power forward, but they leave the draft without taking home much in the way of restocking the system. Grade: B-

Winnipeg Jets: Well let's just start off by saying nothing is going to take away from the high in Winnipeg right now as the Jets are back and this was the first true hockey steps as a franchise in the 'Peg again. With that said, their pick of Mark Scheifele at No. 7 came as a surprise. With Couturier still on the board, they seemed to reach a little early for Scheifele, but they said after the pick they had done their homework on him. With the rest of their picks, they added great size. But we won't rain on any parades here. Grade: B+

--Brian Stubits

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

Posted on: June 25, 2011 12:43 pm
Edited on: June 25, 2011 1:32 pm
 

Draft Day 2: Wild stay home, Oilers miss legacy

Wild how these stories sometimes unfold.

With the second round winding down, the Minnesota Wild, the host team for this year's draft in St. Paul, Minn., traded up to get another selection. The crowd in attendance then roared when they picked local product Mario Lucia, who is the son of University of Minnesota coach Don Lucia.

It was quite the storybook move that was perhaps the most notable selection of the second round. Then we came just second from another in the third round.

With the Edmonton Oilers sitting on deck, the Carolina Hurricanes spoiled a potentially great nostalgic selection. The 'Canes picked up Keegan Lowe, son of Oilers legend and current executive Kevin Lowe. It was still a great scene when, after meeting the Carolina staff and putting on the 'Canes jersey, Lowe went and shook hands with each of the people at the Oilers table, who you could see were a tad disappointed but very happy for Keegan, including Mark Messier. Afterward, Keegan said he asked the Oilers not to draft him because he wanted to make his own way in the NHL.

But the Wild weren't the only team that picked a local boy as the Senators drafted a player from the Ottawa 67's of the OHL in Shane Prince. And while San Jose isn't neighbors with Long Beach, but in the state of California, it sort of counts as the Sharks took Matthew Nieto.

Speaking of California draftees, have to mention Rocco Grimaldi. There was an outside shot Rocco was going to go in the first round and set history as the first player 5'6 or shorter to go that high. Instead, he went three picks into the second to the Florida Panthers.

To check out all the picks of Day 2 of the draft, click here.

-- Brian Stubits

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

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

NHL Draft: First round winners & losers

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



Posted on: June 24, 2011 4:56 pm
Edited on: June 24, 2011 6:48 pm
 

Maple Leafs acquire D Liles from Avalanche

Earlier today, we took a look at the trade market headed into the NHL Draft and noted that Brian Burke and the Toronto Maple Leafs would likely be one team making moves.

A few hours before the draft and they've already begun.

The Maples Leafs have traded for Colorado defenseman John-Michael Liles for a second-round pick.

In Liles the Leafs are getting a 30-year-old defenseman who has an offensive touch. Last season for the Avs, Liles had six goals and 40 assists. His 46 points were the second-highest total of his career, all spent in Colorado, behind his 49 points in 2005-06.

The Avalanche are clearly in a mode where they are starting over and covet the draft picks at this point and are willing to sacrifice players on the wrong side of 30 to get them.

For Toronto, it acquires somebody who can step in right now and contribute. While the Leafs are in a playoff drought (haven't been in since the final season before the lockout), they took a step forward last season, remaining on the outside of the playoff bubble into the final week. Perhaps Burke thinks he can put together a team that can make it into the postseason while still building for the long-term.

Also on Friday, the Leafs announced that they have hired former Thrashers coach Rick Dudley in a scouting role with the team. Dudley, not retained when the team moved to Winnipeg, is recognized as one of the sharper eyes of talent in the NHL and will begin with his new team starting with the draft tonight.

-- Brian Stubits

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


Posted on: June 24, 2011 2:21 pm
Edited on: June 24, 2011 6:54 pm
 

Possible trades to look for at the NHL Draft

Flyers GM Paul Holmgren got a head start on the trading at the NHL Draft, usually a very busy day of activity not only in the drafting, but in the player swapping. So before the GMs all gather on the same floor, here are some names that might have a different jersey by night's end.

Robyn Regehr: The Flames defenseman has reportedly been asked to waive his no-trade clause by the team, which is still awaiting word. That's because Calgary apparently has a deal in place to send Regehr to Buffalo, but some other suitors might be waiting in the wings, too. Regehr is a physical defenseman who brings plenty of grit and size (6'3, 225) to any blue line.

Kris Versteeg: Holmgren cleared enough room to sign Ilya Bryzgalov Thursday and is still under the cap to try and re-sign Ville Leino, Andreas Nodl and Darroll Powe. But just to help get everybody he wants on board, there might be another move or two to make, starting with Versteeg. Rumors begin swirling on Thursday that Versteeg had been traded to Florida, reunited with the GM that drafted him in Chicago, Dale Tallon. While those were false, there might still be some smoke to that fire. His contract calls for just over $3 million for next season before becoming a restricted free agent.

Ryan Smyth: The L.A. Kings veteran was rumored to be seeking a return to Edmonton, where he spent the majority of his career. The fit in Edmonton might not be ideal. But he could still be on his way out of town as Calgary continues to look more and more like the landing spot for Smyth, be it at the draft or after. Either way, it seems certain Smyth won't be back in Tinsel Town.

Toronto Maple Leafs: Brian Burke is always one of the busiest GMs at the draft, and this year figures to be no exception. “I’m not reluctant to move those firsts, based on the depth we’ve added the past couple of years,” Burke told the Toronto Sun. “If we can trade those picks and get better now, we’re going to." The names of Jean-Sebastien Giguere and Dion Phaneuf have been thrown out as potential targets in the past, especially for JSG after the Leafs signed James Reimer to a new contract earlier this offseason.

Florida Panthers: While the Panthers are looking to keep adding through the draft and thus don't seem too interested in getting rid of draft picks, they have a long ways to go before even hitting the salary cap floor of $48 million. According to capgeek.com, the Cats are only at $18 million committed for next season, which means they have to add a ton of salary, which could be ideal for any teams looking to unload some higher salaries.

Expect there to be a lot of trade activity in the next two days with the free-agent class this year not being a very strong contingent. A lot of teams looking to add that missing player or two could find the trade market a lot more suiting to their needs.

-- Brian Stubits

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


Posted on: June 24, 2011 12:50 pm
Edited on: June 25, 2011 12:41 pm
 

NHL Draft: First-round draft tracker

Round 1

1. Edmonton Oilers: C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
The Oilers pick a skilled forward with the first pick for the second straight year. They have the basis for a stellar top line for years to come. Question at this point is if he's durable enough to be NHL ready. Two thumbs up.

2. Colorado Avalanche: W Gabriel Landeskog
The Avs got a rarity, somebody who will be playing with them to start next season. A power forward on the wing who has captain written all over him down the line. Two thumbs up.

3. Florida Panthers: C Jonathan Huberdeau
A very talented player that had a big season in the QMJHL. He gives the Panthers size and great vision who can play on the top line at some point. Tremendous upside in this pick. Two thumbs up.

4. New Jersey Devils: D Adam Larsson
This could be the steal of the draft. Larsson in most years goes in the top two picks, but the need for offense among the top teams pushed him down to the Devils and they won't mind one bit. Two thumbs up.

5. N.Y. Islanders: C Ryan Strome
Strome is a guy who's stock was on the rise because he's a pure playmaking center. He does have some serious offensive skill. Isles elected to go offensive to pair with Tavares rather than defense. One thumb up (Stubits), one thumb down (Perez -- would have liked to see Dougie Hamilton here)

6. Ottawa Senators: C Mika Zibanejad
He goes a little higher than some projected, but this is a guy I love. Incredibly phsyical presence who can flat out lay the wood. Very intriguing prospect who just gave the Sens a lot of muscle. Two thumbs up

7. Winnipeg Jets: C Mark Scheiffle
A little bit on the thin side for a centerman at this point, Scheiffle is a surprise going here, seems to be a reach. But his numbers in the OHL are good, but this move comes from off the radar. Surprising to see him go before Couturier. Two thumbs down.

8. Philadelphia Flyers (from Columbus Blue Jackets): C Sean Couturier
Before yesterday the Flyers weren't even picking on Friday, now they leave with a guy that was once considered the best prospect in the draft? That worked out pretty well. Should help fill the hole down the line left by Richards and Carter. Two thumbs up.

9. Boston Bruins (from Toronto Maple Leafs): D Dougie Hamilton
This is a very fortuitous pick. Back to back sliding prospects go to Cup contenders as the rich get richer. He might not be ready for the NHL yet, but they don't need him to be. Boston addresses a bit of a blue line need in an outstanding prospect. Two thumbs up.

10. Minnesota Wild: D Jonas Brodin
He's a defenseman that logged serious minutes in the Swedish Elite League, no easy task. He doesn't provide a ton of offense, but he can hold down the blue line. Not an incredibly sexy pick, but a solid, workman like move. . One thumb up (Perez) one thumb down (Stubits -- would like to see a little more offense for the Wild).

11. Colorado (from St. Louis Blues): D Duncan Siemens
The Avs must have really liked Siemens and his physicality. On a day when they sent Liles out of town, a defensemen with offense seemed to be something they would look for. With Ryan Murphy and Nathan Beaulieu still on the board, questionable. One thumb up (Perez) one thumb down (Stubits -- Beaulieu would have been a good fit it they wanted a little more rounded pick).

12. Carolina Hurricanes: D Ryan Murphy
The most offensive defensemen in the draft, Murphy will be a sparkplug for Carolina and will be a power-play stalwart. The knock is can he play ANY defense? He's very small (5'6) and is a bit of a risk because of that, but can be a serious player. Two thumbs up.

13. Calgary Flames: W Sven Baertschi
Just the second winger taken on the night, he doesn't have a lot of size. Won't be confused much for a power forward. But he does a good job scoring and has plenty of skill. It's a good value pick for Calgary. Two thumbs up.

14. Dallas Stars: D Jamieson Oleksiak
Alright, serious potential with this guy and is the biggest player in the draft at 6'7. Many have tried to make comparisons to Chara at this point, but he's a very raw prospect. If the Stars are patient, he could develop into a great stay-at-home defenseman. Bit of a risk, but reward potential is tremendous. One thumb up (Stubits), one thumb down (Perez -- Beaulieu was still available).

15. N.Y. Rangers: C J.T. Miller
Good, not great size, the product of the American developmental system rose his game as the year went along. The Rangers filled a need here, trying to assess the offensive weakness they have up the middle. A good pick for where they want to go. Two thumbs up.

16. Buffalo Sabres: W Joel Armia
A kid with tons of potential to score, you have to love how he earned himself a spot on the top line of his club back in Finland. He has good height (6'3) and has a frame that can fill out. Certainly a skilled player that can hop into mix in probably two seasons, maybe sooner. Two thumbs up.

17. Montreal Canadiens: D Nathan Beaulieu
Nobody saw a slip this far for Beaulieu, but it's a match made in draft heaven for the Habs. They get a defenseman, a position they need, who has been playing in Quebec? Perfect. Down the line, he could be a very potent pairing with Subban on the blue line. Two thumbs up.

18. Chicago Blackhawks: C Mark McNeill
Chicago just picked up some muscle with this pick. McNeill will be a guy who gets dirty and plays a very tough brand of hockey. As you might assume, he plays at both ends of the ice and can score. Might be closer to the NHL than others above him. Two thumbs up.

19. Edmonton (from Los Angeles Kings): D Oscar Klefbom
Fantastic size for somebody on the blue line, he is a bit of an unknown player in that he didn't play much, but made a name for himself at the Worlds when Larsson went down. He's raw, but could be a great defender for time to come. Not much offense at all, but could be a stalwart. One thumb up (Stubits), one thumb down (Perez -- no offense)

20. Phoenix Coyotes: D Connor Murphy
Murphy wasn't on radars until lately because of his injuries. There isn't much in the way of tape to look at, he is not close to being ready and will head to Miami University. But has a nice pedigree being the son of Gord Murphy. One thumb up (Perez), one thumb down (Stubits -- just too long of a projection, too much can go bad).

21. Ottawa (from Nashville Predators): W Stefan Noeson
A product of Plano, Texas, yes Texas, he can certainly score. He put up 34 goals in the OHL last season, so you have to be excited about the scoring potential. Needs a little more grooming, so can't help the Senators right away, but still a nice prospect they can mold. Two thumbs up.

22. Toronto Maple Leafs (from Anaheim Ducks): W Tyler Biggs
Tough, physical, aggressive. That all describes Biggs, who might be the toughest player in the draft. A gritty guy who has captain qualities in him, he will attend Miami University next season. Son of former NHLer Don Biggs could use some more work on the non-physical aspects. Two thumbs up.

23. Pittsburgh Penguins: D Joe Morrow
A defenseman with the potential to be a two-way player, has shown a little capability to provide offense with six goals this season in Portland. Lauded for his ability to skate, Morrow might be a nice fit on the special-teams units. Nice pick. Two thumbs up.

24. Ottawa Senators (from Detroit Red Wings): W Matt Puempel
A pure offensive talent, Puempel could grow into a great scorer. But is he quick enough? That's the question, as is a hip injury that cost him some time last season in the OHL. Hip surgery should have him OK, but you never can no. The busy Sens clearly looking for some scoring tonight. One thumb up (Perez), one thumb down (Stubits -- can't get over the hip injury at such a young age).

25. Toronto Maple Leafs (from Philadelphia Flyers): D Stuart Percy
Racked up 29 assists playing in the OHL this season, he is a guy the Leafs had targeted and had seen him a lot coming from Ontario. Not a complete offensive player or not an overly phsyical player, Percy did play well in the end of the season, perhaps elevating his stock. One thumb up (Perez), one thumb down (Stubits -- always nervous about skyrocketing stocks).

26. Chicago Blackhawks (from Washington Capitals): W Philip Danault
A true captain type, the Blackhawks pick up a guy who will do whatever it takes. He has good all-around skills, but you love what he brings to the table that isn't on the ice, the intangibles. You do wonder if he ever sees the top lines. But if you like the guys that fight, this pick is for you. Two thumbs up.

27. Tampa Bay Lightning: C Vladislav Namestnikov
The Lightning get a good value at this pick, many thought Namestnikov would go much higher in the draft. He has versatility in that he could play at center or on the wing, so he can slide in where he fits best. He's Russian, but has ties to the USA so you aven't as nervous about other Russian player problems that sometimes pop up. Two thumbs up.

28. Minnesota Wild (from San Jose Sharks): C Zack Phillips
Distinguished himself playing on a very talented team that included Huberdeau, Phillips isn't the fastest player you will find on skates, but he has good vision and is a good passer. He had 57 assists last season. The Wild get a guy who has potential to slip into the top two lines at some point. Two thumbs up

29. Vancouver Canucks: W Nicklas Jensen
Jensen will fit right in with a team that scores like the Canucks do when he's ready. There is a lot of talent in this Dane and will make Vancouver that much tougher to defend. Could use a little more polishing and physicality, but you have to appreciate his ability to create his own shot. Two thumbs up.

30. Anaheim Ducks (from Toronto via Boston): W Rickard Rakell
The Ducks finish off the first round by going out of North America to get a Swedish forward. Rakell hit the scene when he filled in on the Swedish national team, but is not a player that is going to give a ton of offense. Still, a raw but talented player who will only grow. Two thumbs up.
Category: NHL
Posted on: June 24, 2011 10:39 am
 

Daily Skate: Winnipeg name today? Flyers not done

PEGGING A NAME: True North CEO Jim Ludlow told the Winnipeg Sun that a name for the team has to be announced very soon. Then Darren Dreger of TSN tweeted early Friday that Winnipeg was expected to release the name just before making the seventh pick in tonight's NHL Draft. Now clearly the overwhelming crowd favorite has been to bring back the name and logo of the Jets. Other names that have been floated around include the Falcons, Moose, Ice Bears and my personal favorite from the Twittersphere, the Phoenix. The question is which name would be best?

TAKING OFF: Philadelphia still has a lot to come after Thursday's flurry. Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News says the Flyers would love to move even higher in tonight's draft (they're at No. 8 after trading Jeff Carter to Columbus) as they covet Swedish winger Gabriel Landeskog. Now he figures to go No. 2 or No. 3 overall, so Philly would have to make a move to get him. One potential could be a deal with Dale Tallon and Florida at No. 3, who have been in talks about moving up as well as down. Yesterday there was a lot of smoke building about reuniting Kris Versteeg and Tallon via trade, and Seravalli says it makes a lot of sense, especially when you swap the team's first picks. If the Flyers don't go that route ... or even if they do ... they might take a serious shot at pulling Steven Stamkos from Tampa Bay if a new deal isn't signed by July 1. Far-fetched, but a possibility.

OH CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN: When the Flyers made their two trades yesterday, it didn't really enter GM Paul Holmgren's mind that he was shipping the team captain out of town. But one of myriad questions now for Philly is who wears the C next? CSN Philly says all signs point to Chris Pronger, who is no stranger to being captain, a position he held while playing in Anaheim and St. Louis. But Danny Briere (Buffalo) and Kimmo Timonen (Nashville) have also been captains at one point in the NHL and Timonen currently wears an A on his sweater.

SENATORIAL CAMPAIGN: For the first time in the franchise's history, the Ottawa Senators begin the process of rebuilding tonight. Since building up from an expansion franchise, the team hasn't been in a situation quite like this and the Sens have an arsenal of draft picks at their disposal, having 12 spread out over the seven rounds. That means there is little to no way the Senators don't leave the draft a) having stockpiled their organization with prospects or b) having made a tremendous impact on their roster and the draft by making some moves. Either way, silversevensens makes the argument this is the most important draft in Ottawa's history.

SOCAL HAS HART: In true Southern California style, Corey Perry took his two new trophies -- those would be the Hart and Rocket Richard -- to the Santa Monica pier for a photo op. Jeff Miller of the OC Register relayed a great story from the scenes where a little boy asked if they were celebrating a championship. When he was told no, that Perry was the MVP, the boy responded, "So he's like Kobe Bryant?" Kind of, kid, especially with that killer instinct he showed in the clutch this season.

-- Brian Stubits

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

Posted on: June 24, 2011 10:29 am
Edited on: June 24, 2011 10:48 am
 

2011 NHL Draft Live

Join Brian Stubits and A.J. Perez on June 24 at 6:30 p.m. for live coverage of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft as they answer your questions and break down all the action in St. Paul, Minn.

Category: NHL
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com