Tag:2011 NHL Entry Draft
Posted on: June 25, 2011 2:42 pm
Edited on: June 25, 2011 4:26 pm

Top-five NHL-ready draft picks

Erik Johnson (taken No. 1 overall by the St. Louis Blues in 2006) was the last top pick who didn’t spend any time in the NHL the following season. (It's been 22 years since a forward taken first didn't play immediately.) Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (taken first overall by the Edmonton Oilers on Friday) could break that trend, especially if he doesn't pack on some pounds this summer. With that in mind, CBSSports.com breaks down the five most likely players outside of Nugent-Hopkins to make an NHL roster out of training camp. Coincidently, three of the five are Swedes

  • LW Gabriel Landeskog (taken No. 2 overall by Colorado Avalanche) The consensus is that Landeskog doesn’t need to spend any time in the American Hockey League. He’s mature, both in his game and as far as his body in concerned. He played in the Swedish Elite League at age 16 and knows North American hockey game having played with the OHL’s Kitchener Rangers
  • D Adam Larsson (taken No. 4 overall by New Jersey Devils) The Devils hadn’t drafted a defenseman this high since Scott Niedermayer was chosen third overall in 1991. He has the size and is a physical player with stints on the Swedish national team. The question will be if the Devils can work out a deal to get him into camp. 
  • C Mika Zibanejad (taken No. 6 overall by Ottawa Senators) He’s confident he could stick with the Sens out of training camp, although another year in the Swedish Elite League could be in the offing. He’s a strong, gritty forward on both sides of the ice. 
  • D Dougie Hamilton (taken No. 9 by Boston Bruins) He dropped a bit in the draft, not that it’s a bad thing to head to the reigning Stanley Cup champs. At 6-foot-4, he has the size to step right into the NHL and with most teams it could be a given. The Bruins, however, are deep on the blue line (even if they don’t retain Tomas Kaberle), so it will be interesting to see if Hamilton lands a spot. 
  • D Nathan Beaulieu (taken No. 17 by the Montreal Canadiens) The lack of depth (at least before free agency opens) on the Habs’ blue line along with his pedigree gives Beaulieu at least a shot of making Montreal’s roster. He fell several spots from where most projected him to go in the draft, but that doesn’t take away the fact Beaulieu has a well-rounded game and may be NHL-ready. 

-- A.J. Perez
Category: NHL
Posted on: June 25, 2011 1:38 pm
Edited on: June 25, 2011 2:05 pm

Flames extend Tanguay, deal Regehr to Buffalo

Forward Alex Tanguay and the Calgary Flames agreed to a five-year contract, $17.5 million extension, the club's second major move on Saturday.

The singing of Tanguay, who was set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, was made possible as the Flames were able to unload defenseman Robyn Regehr. He waived his no-trade clause earlier in the day and was dealt along with forward Ales Kotalik and a second-round pick to Buffalo in exchange for defenseman Chris Butler and forward Paul Byron.

The Flames now have the highest cap number ($56.7 million), according to capgeek.com.

The Globe and Mail reports that GM Jay Feaster thinks the Saturday’s moves should be welcomed by one Flames player in particular:

“I think - no, I know - the guy with the biggest smile on his face in Calgary isn’t Alex, it’s Jarome Iginla,” said Feaster. “Jarome has made it very clear - that’s one guy he very much wants back and wants to play with.

“As we looked at the potential UFA market, we didn’t see a player that was going to replace him, or be as productive as we believe he can be. So we’re happy to have him back.”

It was a fair assessment, considering how important Tanguay’s playmaking was to Iginla’s 43-goal, 86-point season, good for sixth overall in the NHL scoring race. Iginla had had a couple of comparatively down seasons prior to Tanguay rejoining the team, so keeping their partnership together was an off-season priority for Feaster.

He described the situation, in which he shed $7.5-million in annual salary-cap charges in the deal with the Sabres, as emerging from “salary cap hell.” The moves created flexibility, and makes them younger, even if it creates a hole for a physical defenceman on the Flames’ blue line.
-- A.J. Perez
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com