Last night the NHL hosted the first round of their annual entry draft. It was broadcast on Versus, so chances are good that you didn’t know it was going on (unless you frequent WaB and for that, we thank you). As I outlined here, there was potential for a pretty wild day with trades and picks being sent all over the place. There was also potential for nothing to happen and for everything to go according to plan. Unfortunately, teams went with the latter option.
The biggest news of the day was Anaheim’s trade of Chris Pronger to Philadelphia for Joffrey Lupul, Luca Sbisa and two first round draft picks. Pronger will be an unrestricted free agent next year, so this is entirely too much. That being said, I’m happy to see him exit the Western Conference.
As expected, the Islanders selected John Tavares with the first overall pick followed by Victor Hedman to the Tampa Bay Lightning and Matt Duchene to the Colorado Avalanche.
With the fourth pick, the Atlanta Thrashers selected Evander Kane. As a headline on nhl.com so aptly put it, Kane became “the highest drafted black player ever.” Congratulations to him.
The LA Kings took Baryden Schenn whose brother Luke was taken last year by the Toronto Maple Leafs.
My St. Louis Blues selected another defenseman in David Rundblad with the #17 pick. I trust their scouting department, but some scoring really would’ve been nice.
The [Stanley Cup] losing Detroit Red Wings traded out of their first round pick. Probably a good move since they have had little success with it. It doesn’t matter when you find guys like Datsyuk and Zetterberg in the late rounds. They used their first pick of the second round to take former NHLer Ray Ferraro’s son, Landon. I wish nothing but awful things upon you.
The Pittsburgh Penguins and resident Red Wing vanquishers selected defenseman Simon Despres with the final selection of the first round. Despres was ranked as high at eighth by some scouting services, so that should make Pens fans happy. The rich get richer, I guess.
Before today’s second round, the Calgary Flames acquired the rights to Jay Bouwmeester from the Florida Panthers. The Flames gave up Jordan Leopold and a third round pick.
So there you have it, a pretty quiet NHL Draft, but an NHL Draft nonetheless.