1st pick: Patrick McNally, 115th overall, D, 6-2, 180, Milton Academy (Massachusetts-High School).
The skinny: After trading their first-round pick to Florida, the Canucks didn't have a selection until the fourth round, and leave the draft with fingers-crossed prospects, no sure things. McNally is the best hope. He slid because of a strong commitment to Harvard for the fall of 2011.
His father is an FBI agent and a former Ivy League football player. The Canucks say McNally is smart but couldn't explain why he'll spend an extra year in high school. They also say he's a self-starter, and he'll have to be because he won't be facing quality competition over the next two seasons.
How they did: The draft likely won't produce much, so the evaluation will be based on the trade for defenceman Keith Ballard and forward Victor Oreskovich. It cost wingers Steve Bernier and Michael Grabner, plus a first-round pick. That's steep.
1st pick: Maxwell Reinhart, 64th overall, C, 6-1, 180 Kootenay (WHL).
The skinny: By the time they finally got around to making a selection, the Flames relied heavily on bloodlines, choosing Max Reinhart (son of Paul) and John Ramage (son of Rob) with picks in the third and fourth rounds. Both of the fathers played for Calgary previously, and Rob was on their 1989 Stanley Cup championship team. The Flames didn't have a pick in either of the first two rounds, and while GM Darryl Sutter acknowledged that he tried to move up on Friday, he didn't think the price (surrendering an extra pick) was worth the return.
How they did: The Flames filled one small opening, by acquiring Miikka Kiprusoff's potential backup, Swedish goaltender Henrik Karlsson, in a trade with the San Jose Sharks for a sixth-round pick. It wasn't Sutter's usual draft-day haul, but that was largely because they'd previously traded their top two picks in this draft for Olli Jokinen and Rene Bourque respectively. In recent years, Calgary hasn't had a whole lot of luck in the later rounds; they'll need to cross their fingers that it'll be different this time around.
1st pick: Tyler Hall, 1st overall, LW. 6-0.5, 185, Windsor (OHL).
The skinny: Hall was the consensus best player available and Edmonton resisted the urge to draft for need, which might have given them Tyler Seguin, a centre, instead. Hall is projected as an impact power forward, someone who can score in the 40-goal range, play physically and raise the level of his game when the chips are down. The Oilers also got a Tyler who plays centre after all - but it was Tyler Pitlick, nephew of former NHLer Lance Pitlick, who plays for Minnesota State.
How they did: Centre Colin Fraser was the only warm body they picked up; he'll provide grit and energy in a fourth-line centre role. By trading Riley Nash, a first-rounder in 2007 to Carolina, the Oilers ended up with three picks in the second round and four of the top 48 players in the draft. If Pitlick, Martin Marincin and Curtis Hamilton all play, then it could go down in history as one of their best draft classes in decades. There is still work to do for GM Steve Tambellini, who needs to find a home for disgruntled defenceman Sheldon Souray and to figure out what to do about Robert Nilsson, Patrick O'Sullivan and Ethan Moreau, all of whom could be dealt or bought out.
1st pick: Jarred Tinordi, 22nd overall, D, 6-5.5, 205, (USA U-18).
The skinny: Montreal moved up five places to grab Tinordi, but they felt it was worth the investment it in order to land a physical stay-at-home defenceman whose father played a decade at a high level. If he can become the next Mike Komisarek, they'll be happy. Montreal didn't have another pick until the fourth round, where they landed Mark MacMillan, a point-and-a-half-per-game scorer for Alberni Valley in the BCJHL.
How they did: Montreal's draft record has been spotty of late, so if Tinordi turns out to be the real deal, it will go into the books as a successful year. A year ago, the Canadiens came to the draft knowing they were about to embark on a major rebuild - and accomplished most of it through free agency and postdraft deals. GM Pierre Gauthier stressed that change wasn't as critical this time around: He'd moved Jaroslav Halak out already prior to the draft and needs to re-sign Carey Price, but overall expressed a wish to let the group continue to grow and develop together.
1st pick: Jakub Culek, 76th overall, LW, 6-3, 185, Rimouski (QMJHL).
The skinny: Ottawa traded out of the first round to land defensive prospect David Rundblad from St. Louis and was without a second-round pick thanks to the Matt Cullen deal at the deadline. Thus Culek was their highest pick, a big body up front that needs to fill out but is capable of playing at both ends of the rink. If he matures into a Martin Hanzal or a Michael Handzus type of player, that will be a home run.
How they did: The biggest news was that Jason Spezza stays after all. The Senators couldn't find a fit for him - either in terms of the personnel or his seven-year, $49-million (U.S.) contract. Accordingly, the primary organizational goal now will be to get player and team back on the same page, since they'll need to fall in love all over again. In terms of moves at the draft, if Rundblad can play as a top-four defenceman in the NHL, it'll be a smart acquisition. He's 6-foot-2 and skilled, with good hockey sense, and since he was a first-rounder last year, he's likely a year closer to playing in the NHL than anyone they might have picked up this year.
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS
1st pick: Bradley Ross, 43rd overall, LW, 5-11.5, 175, Portland (WHL).
The skinny: The Leafs gave up John Hayes, one of last year's picks, to Chicago for the right to draft Ross in the second round. Ross was a mainstay on the Portland Winterhawks team that delivered two of the top five players in the draft - Ryan Johansen and Nino Niederreiter - on Friday night. Ross is an agitator in the Matt Cooke/early Darcy Tucker vein - perfect, in other words, for what GM Brian Burke is trying to accomplish with the Leafs.
How they did: Burke kept insisting he was in no hurry to trade defenceman Tomas Kaberle, and he was true to his word, rejecting every offer that came his way and holding out hope that teams will eventually pony up more once free agency begins - and not every team seeking a power-play quarterback fills its needs that way. Acquired from Anaheim for a fifth-rounder, Mike Brown's addition also fits Burke's modus operandi, giving them a middleweight tough guy presence. Burke's model up front is to deploy six skilled forwards on the first two lines and truculence and grit on the bottom two. Thus far, he is closer to completing Part 2 of the equation than Part 1.
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