The first round of the 2012 NHL draft has certainly been an eventful one. After a perhaps predictable first pick by the Edmonton Oilers, the Pittsburgh Penguins dropped a bomb by trading Jordan Staal to the Carolina Hurricanes, nabbing the eighth overall pick from Carolina in the process. Eight of the first 10 draftees play defense, marking the most defensemen to be taken in the top 10 ever. Zemgus Girgensons, selected 14th, is the highest-drafted Latvian. Two goalies were drafted and some amusing selections were made near the end. Check out a full list of draftees and more information about the first round below.
1. Oilers: Nail Yakupov
2. Columbus Blue Jackets: Ryan Murray
3. Montreal Canadiens: Alex Galchenyuk (the highest-drafted American since Zach Bogosian, who also went third overall, in 2008)
4. New York Islanders: Griffin Reinhart
5. Toronto Maple Leafs: Morgan Rielly
6. Anaheim Ducks: Hampus Lindholm
7. Minnesota Wild: Matt Dumba
8. Penguins: Derrick Pouliot
9. Winnipeg Jets: Jacob Trouba
10. Tampa Bay Lightning: Slater Koekkoek (pronounced like “cuckoo”)
11. Washington Capitals: Filip Forsberg
12. Buffalo Sabres: Mikhail Grigorenko
13. Dallas Stars: Radek Faksa
14. Sabres: Girgensons
15. Ottawa Senators: Cody Ceci
16. Capitals: Tom Wilson
17. San Jose Sharks: Tomas Hertl
18. Chicago Blackhawks: Teuvo Teravainen (announced by Brandon Saad, who is from Pittsburgh and received loud applause)
19. Lightning: Andrei Vasilevski (the first goaltender selected)
20. Philadelphia Flyers: Scott Laughton (welcomed with loud booing)
21. Calgary Flames: Mark Jankowski
22. Penguins: Olli Maatta
23. Florida Panthers: Michael Matheson
24. Boston Bruins: Malcolm Subban (brother of P.K.)
25. St. Louis Blues: Jordan Schmaltz
26. Vancouver Canucks: Brendan Gaunce
27. Phoenix Coyotes: Henrik Samuelsson
28. New York Rangers: Brady Skjei
29. New Jersey Devils: Stefan Matteau (son of a Rangers legend)
30. Los Angeles Kings: Tanner Pearson (in his third year of eligibility)
We have a trade to announce…
Aside from the big Staal trade, there weren’t too many huge in-draft swaps. The Flames traded pick number 14 to the Sabres for picks number 21 and 42. Mike Ribeiro was sent to Washington from Dallas for Cody Eakin and a second round pick this year. Lubomir Visnovsky was traded from Anaheim to the Islanders for a second round pick in 2013. Zbynek Michalek has been traded from the Penguins to the Coyotes for a third round pick and two prospects.
More things of note…
Per Columbus GM Scott Howson, he has no immediate plans to deal Rick Nash, but will keep working on things in the summer.
Toronto GM Brian Burke explained that he doesn’t like his selections to wear ball caps on the stage because they hide their faces.
Bobby Ryan may want a trade away from Anaheim, according to a report from the Camden Courier-Post. He said he would feel comfortable with Philadelphia, which is located near his hometown of Cherry Hill, N.J.
Rounds two through seven of the draft will be tomorrow and aired exclusively on NHL Network.
How did we do?
Check out the Rant Sports mock draft to see how accurate the predictions were.