The 2012 NHL draft may not have been the biggest attention grabber in the world, and largely went in line with most NHL betting tips, but it did create a few lasting impressions and memories. Here’s five of the best.
Defence dominated the first round of the draft and there was always a chance that this may happen, as the draft was top-heavy with quality defensive players. But we were still surprised as to how many blue-liners went in the first round.
In case you lost count there were 13, equalling the record for most defencemen taken in the opening round back originally set in 1996.
The Penguins have done well out of the draft thanks to some clever wheeling and dealing by GM Ray Shero.
Pittsburgh came into the draft with just one pick at 21st overall in the first round, but they actually ended up with the eighth pick overall after dealing Jordan Staal to Carolina and, with Zbynek Michalek on his way back to Phoenix, they ended up with even more prospects.
All we can say is ‘well played Mr Sheo’.
Speculation was rife that Nail Yakupov would go as the No 1 pick and there was no doubt in the mind of Edmonton’s GM, Steve Tambellini, who grabbed Yakupov to add to his scoring firepower, which already includes NHL picks Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Taylor Hall, and Jordan Eberle.
Rick Nash was another name that kept on cropping up in draft chatter and some though it might be the right time for the Blue Jackets and GM Scott Howson to make a deal to include Nash.
For the moment they are hanging onto Nash, but keep an eye on that one, as it could all change when Zach Parise finds a new home after July 1st.
Rather like Nash – Roberto Luongo was another name that was regularly at the centre draft rumours.
He ended up still in Vancouver, but, again, like Nash, there is still time for things to happen in this narrative.