Round-by-round picks, team-by-team picks, analysis, player bios, more
That they’ve picked six times in the top six over the past 11 years tells you how things are going for the Thrashers. In Vancouver (WHL) center Evander Kane, they scooped up another piece of the puzzle, but a project just the same. A north-south power forward paralleled with Eric Staal and Jarome Iginla, at 176 pounds, Kane needs to beef up. He’s named after former world heavyweight champ Evander Holyfield, who makes his home in Atlanta. Some thought Vastra Frolunda left-winger Carl Klingberg (No. 34) might go late in the first round. He’s a gritty sort with offensive touch who’s been called a mix of Chris Kunitz and Kirk Maltby. U.S. under-18 right-winger Jeremy Morin (No. 56) has been likened to Brett Hull, an average skater with a lightning-fast release.
Jordan Caron doesn’t sound like a Bruin, but he plays like one. The Rimouski (QMJHL) center is a big body who goes to the net hard, doesn’t mind mixing it up and should be a decent NHL power forward. He enjoyed a big Memorial Cup tournament in May. The Bruins went for success and bloodlines in Windsor (OHL) left-winger Lane MacDermid (No. 112), a Memorial Cup winner who isn’t the greatest skater, but shares the character and leadership qualities that made his dad Paul a longtime NHLer. Prince Albert (WHL) defenseman Ryan Button (No. 86) is a mobile skater, but needs to bulk up his 6-1, 186-pound frame. Nepean (CJHL) center Ben Sexton (No. 206) is the son of Florida assistant GM Randy Sexton. He’s destined for Clarkson next season.
The Sabres sought to get bigger and they did it in one fell swoop, grabbing Peterborough (OHL) right-winger Zack Kassian, who’s legitimately tough and at 6-3 and 205 pounds, a physical presence. Just ask John Tavares. Kassian put him out of the CHL Top Prospects Game with a devastating bodycheck. In the fourth round at 104th overall, the Sabres reached back into their history, drafting Sudbury (OHL) right-winger Marcus Foligno, who was coached by his dad, former Sabre Mike, famous for the Foligno leap with which he celebrated every goal he scored. Goaltender Connor Knapp (No. 164) backstopped Miami to the Frozen Four and the Redhawks’ first berth in the NCAA final.
Florida UFA defenseman Jay Bouwmeester has hinted he wants to play in his home province of Alberta and that’s where his NHL rights reside after the Flames moved their third-round pick and the rights to UFA defenseman Jordan Leopold to the Panthers. Now all they have to do is sign Bouwmeester before July 1, after which he can go to the team of his choice. The last thing you’d expect two Sutters - Calgary GM Darryl and coach Brent - to do would be draft a Swede. Yet at No. 23, that’s what they did, grabbing Skelleftea defenseman Tim Erixon, who does kind of fit a Sutter mold. He’s not flashy, but he’s a very effective defender. Born in Port Chester, N.Y., he’s the son of Jan Erixon, an outstanding checking left-winger for a decade with the New York Rangers. The youngest player ever to suit up for Farjestad, right-winger Henrik Bjorklund (No. 111) has been compared to former Flames star Hakan Loob.
At No. 27, the Hurricanes went way off the board to tab Shawinigan (QMJHL) center Philippe Paradis, who most felt would be a second-round pick, some as late as the bottom of that round. He shoots the puck a ton and boosted his stock with a strong playoff as the Cataractes went all the way to Game 7 of the QMJHL final. Biddeford Tigers defenseman Brian Dumoulin (No. 51) was voted defensive player of the year in the Eastern Junior Hockey League. He’s destined for Boston College. Lulea left-winger Mattias Lindstrom (No. 88) was the first Swede drafted by the Hurricanes since 2004.
Wanting to add some bite to their lineup, the Blackhawks reached a bit to get that, grabbing Camrose (AJHL) defenseman Dylan Olsen, who is a big-time physical blue-liner and worked in Canada’s shutdown pair at the world under-18 championships with Islanders first-round pick Calvin de Haan. His dad Darryl Olsen played pro and had a cup of coffee with the Flames in 1991-92. Georgetown (OJHL) center Brandon Pirri (No. 59) is committed to RPI and is the highest draft pick from that school since Matt Murley went 51st to Pittsburgh in 1999. Quebec (QMJHL) center David Gilbert (No. 209) will require modification to his personal opinions before suiting up as a Blackhawk. He lists Detroit as his favorite team and Wings center Henrik Zetterberg as his favorite player.
Matt Duchene grew up a Colorado Avalanche fan and will live the NHL dream in his favorite team’s colors. He already owns autographed Patrick Roy and Joe Sakic jerseys and will soon get one of his own. The Brampton (OHL) center is considered an excellent two-way forward and is such a fanatic about the tools of his trade that he can detail virtually every NHL player’s stick design. Erie (OHL) C Ryan O’Reilly, the Avs second round pick at No. 33, is a leader type who has been a captain at every level of hockey. His older brother Cal plays for the Nashville Predators. At No. 64, Colorado took Kelowna (WHL) defenseman Tyson Barrie, an offensively-skilled blue-liner who is the son of ex-NHLer and current Tampa Bay co-owner Len Barrie. U.S. under-18 goaltender Brandon Maxwell is also the son of a prominent sports success story. His dad Brad, an assistant coach with the OHL’s Guelph Storm, is also a top trainer of standardbred racehorses.
Columbus Blue Jackets
The Blue Jackets opted to move down and gain additional picks in the second, third and fourth rounds, swapping No. 16 overall to the Islanders for No. 26. Then they moved up to No. 21, flipping picks with Anaheim, and they drafted Chicago (USHL) defenseman John Moore, who’s exactly what they need - a strong-skating defender with huge offensive upside. He’s supposed to go to Colorado College, but Moore’s OHL rights belong to Kitchener and he indicated he’d play junior if his NHL team felt it was in his best interests. U.S. under-18 defenseman Kevin Lynch was part of the Detroit Honeybaked program, where his teammates included fellow draftees Chris Brown, Drew Shore and Kenny Ryan, as well as Cam Fowler, destined to be a lottery pick in 2010. Exeter Academy defenseman Thomas Larkin (No. 137) comes from an interesting background. He was born in England and grew up in Italy, where he still summers, and played for the Italian team in the B division of the world under-18 championships. He’ll play at Colgate in the fall.
Strange move by the Stars. Desperate for defensive help and with some good ones there on the board at No. 8, they opted for Brandon (WHL) center/right-winger Scott Glennie, whose linemate in junior, Brayden Schenn, went three picks earlier to L.A. Coming off a broken elbow, he’s a competitor with solid offensive instincts, but at this stage, is Glennie what the Stars truly need? At No. 69, the Stars grabbed St. Michael’s (OJHL) defenseman Reilly Smith, whose older brother, Wisconsin defenseman Brendan Smith, was Detroit’s first-round pick in 2007. Des Moines (USHL) left-winger Alex Chiasson (No. 38) is a big body who eschewed playing at home in the QMJHL to pursue a U.S. college scholarship. He’s committed to Boston University.
Tavares to have major impact
NBC Sports' Pierre McGuire says the No. 1 overall draft pick will likely have a 'spectacular' career.
The next big thing
The Islanders selected John Tavares with the first pick in this year's NHL draft.
The nation grieved for those hurt, killed and affected by the Boston Marathon bombings. After one of the suspects was caught on Friday — following a day-long lockdown and manhunt — sports returned to Boston over the weekend.