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June 29, 2012
NHL Draft Wrap-Up
Southeast Division

by Corey Pronman


These reviews are not meant to be in-depth player profiles, for those you can find my player reports here. I generally spend time during the year gathering info on players I consider top three round talents or those I think will go in the top three rounds, therefore I do not go in-depth into later round picks.

Carolina Hurricanes
Player			Position		Selected (HP Rank)
Phil DiGiuseppe		Left Wing		38 (53)
Brock McGinn		Left Wing		47
Daniel Altshuller	Goaltender		69
Erik Karlsson		Left Wing		99 (54)
Trevor Carrick		Defense			115 (95)
Jaccob Slavin		Defense			120
Brendan Woods		Left Wing		129
Collin Olsen		Goaltender		159
Brendan Collier		Left Wing		189 (101)

Day 1: No pick.

Day 2: DiGiuseppe is a very skilled forward who skates well and plays a fine physical game. He needs to bulk up a lot, and I thought his decision making looked on and off which led me to rank him lower than where I figured he would get picked. McGinn is a player I've heard had pro potential, but I have no notes on him. I was very impressed by Karlsson in international play in regards to his skill level; he's a small player who will need several years, but that's a great upside pick in the mid-rounds. On the flip side, Carrick is a safe, projectable defensive defender who plays the body a lot and is a good skater. Collier has fan favorite written all over him as he has an off-the-charts on-ice work ethic and a fine skill level to combine with it.

Summary: Even with no first round pick, the Hurricanes managed to get a decent amount of talent into their system. They got a nice mixture of upside and projectable prospects, and while currently I don't see any of these picks being significant prospects, there's a possibility to produce several pros from this class, which is good for a team whose first pick was at 38.

Florida Panthers
Player			Position		Selected (HP Rank)
Mike Matheson		Defense			23 (31)
Steven Hodges		Center			86 (80)
Alexander Delnov	Left Wing		114
Francis Beauvillier	Left Wing		174
Jonathan Nielsen	Defense			194

Day 1: Matheson is an extremely talented player with high-end skating and puck-moving skills, but he's a risky selection. His physical game and defense are issues, so I could see him being great value where the Panthers got him, or he may not even play 100 games. They have a deep system, though, so I don't mind taking a risk on a guy like Matheson who has so much talent.

Day 2: Hodges didn't produce as I expected him to, but he has a ton of talent between his skating, puck skills, and vision. His main weakness is his size, and I've heard scouts label him as "soft" in regards to physical play. I didn't rank Delnov due to lack of notes, but he was impressive at the Under-18's and he showed flashes of very impressive puck skills on top of being a good skater. Beauvillier is a high-end skater, but I don't see another impressive element to his game.

Summary: Florida had few picks but took several risky shots at talent. As mentioned, they have a deep, talented system already, so I don't mind the risk because their three top picks can provide value, if not significant value relative to their draft slot if they hit on them. There's also a chance this draft produces zero pros.

Tampa Bay Lightning
Player			Position		Selected (HP Rank)
Slater Koekkoek		Defense			10 (23)
Andrei Vasilevski	Goaltender		19 (63)
Dylan Blujus		Defense			40 (56)
Brian Hart		Right Wing		53 (48)
Tanner Richard		Center			71 (100)
Cedric Paquette		Center			101
Jake Dotchin		Defense			161
Nikita Gusev		Left Wing		202 (32)

Day 1: I figured there was a chance a team was going to be very high on Koekkoek. He was a guy with a ton of hype coming into the season, and when he played in the summer for Team Canada, he played on a top four with Matt Dumba, Morgan Rielly, and Griffin Reinhart and didn't look out of place. I don't buy tremendous upside from Slater as I see him as more of a safe player, but I know some scouts just love his potential. Vasilevski is one of the more impressive goalie prospects I've seen the last few years. I'm not a fan of taking goalies this high, but he's a very good one. He's big, athletic, advanced with his reads, and has dominated everywhere he's gone the last few years.

Day 2: Blujus was very impressive as a puck mover this season, and while his skating needs work, I like his offensive potential. Hart is a big body winger with impressive hands and a high-end shot, but he's a below-average skater and could use his body a little more to be a true power forward. Richard is a solid player in several aspects of the game; he doesn't have a standout skill, but he skates and handles the puck fine and finds a way to be effective every game. Gusev was as predictable a seventh round pick as there'll ever be; he's a very good friend and teammate of top Lighting prospect Nikita Kucherov and the two have a unique chemistry together. He's a high-end skill player who can dazzle on the ice and is more than worth the risk.

Summary: I wasn't really all that thrilled with what Tampa did on the first day, but they went and got a fair amount of talent on the second day of the draft. Overall, I really like the upside and depth they added to their system although I thought they left even more value on the table in the first round.

Washington Capitals
Player			Position		Selected (HP Rank)
Filip Forsberg		Right Wing		11 (4)
Thomas Wilson		Right Wing		16 (76)
Chandler Stephenson	Center			77 (62)
Thomas DiPauli		Center			100 (125)
Austin Wutrich		Right Wing		107
Connor Carrick		Defense			137 (113)
Riley Barber		Right Wing 		167 (105)
Christian Djoos		Defense			195
Jaynen Rissling		Defense			197
Sergei Kostenko		Goaltender		203

Day 1: I like Forsberg a lot. He has top-line tools and I love the value Washington got for him. Most people in the industry I've talked to saw him as a top-five talent, but throughout the season I heard several scouts say they don't buy top line skill from him, which may have led to him ending up at 11.Wilson has elite physical tools in terms of his size and how he uses it. He wins all his battles and lays bone-crunching hits. I'm not buying top-six ability, but I know scouts who say him in the OHL playoffs liked what they saw offensively. I don't think he's a goon, but more a good third-line type.

Day 2: Stephenson is a fine skater with a ton of puck skills, but he has an underwhelming physical game. DiPauli is a fine all-around player who has solid hands, skates at decent level, and has a desirable on-ice work ethic; more was expected of him coming into the year, but he has enough intangibles to be a bottom line type of player and there is enough potential for him to plausibly outperform his draft slot. Wutrich has good size and speed and is a safe low-upside pick. Carrick has good offensive tools between his skating and vision on top of being a gritty player, but his decision-making is suspect. Barber has good hands and decent speed on top of an admirable physical game. He was underwhelming at the Under-18's, but turned heads at several points throughout the season and was one of the USNTDP's better forwards. Djoos is a small defender who is a fast, agile skater and has good but not great offensive upside, and just missed my top 125.

Summary: Despite the Wilson pick that I wasn't a fan of, I thought the Caps got a fine haul. Forsberg is a fantastic prospect and Wilson a very projectable one, and on Day 2 Washington added a fine mixture of upside and depth. This draft could produce several pro players but there will be several discussions for the next few seasons on Washington's first round selections.

Winnipeg Jets 
Player			Position		Selected (HP Rank)
Jacob Trouba		Defense			9 (12)
Lukas Sutter		Center			39 (97)
Scott Kosmachuk 	Right Wing		70 (61)
Connor Hellebuyck	Goaltender		130
Ryan Olsen		Center			160
Jamie Phillips		Goaltender		190

Day 1: Trouba was a fine selection talent-wise around that range. He's not a sexy pick, but he's a plus skater with solid offensive tools, good in his own end, and very physical.

Day 2: Sutter is a very gritty player with good hockey sense, but lacks the skating and offensive tools to threaten on the score sheet and looks like a bottom-six type of player. Kosmachuk skates well and has some skill to go with a good work ethic. His skill set is the kind that projects him as a tweener who would only be okay in a scoring role, but very good in a third-line role.

Summary: The Jets had few picks, and generally took little risk with their selections. Trouba is a very good prospect, but in terms of value, he's likely the only real take from this draft class.

Corey Pronman is an author of Hockey Prospectus. You can contact Corey by clicking here or click here to see Corey's other articles.

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NHL Draft Wrap-Up (06/30)

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