Round-by-round picks, team-by-team picks, analysis, player bios, more
St. Louis Blues
For the fourth draft in succession, St. Louis went for a defenseman in the first round and the Blues may have got a steal when they scooped up Skelleftea defenseman David Rundblad, a highly-skilled offensive blue-liner who is a thinking man’s player. Not the greatest skater, but plays the game with poise. Portland (WHL) defenseman Brett Ponich (No. 48) has the size (6-6, 204) to be an impact NHL defender, but scouts question whether he’s got the required abrasiveness to go with his girth. Lada Togiliatti right-winger Sergei Andronov (No. 78) jumped in stock after a brilliant world junior tournament for the semifinalists from Russia. He’s got skill and can finish.
San Jose Sharks
After dealing away their top pick, the Sharks weren’t on the clock until the second round and pick No. 56. Defense was their mission and they found an old-school stay-at-home type in native Alaskan William Wrenn, captain of the world champion U.S. under-18 squad. A defensive-minded rearguard whose grandfather John Kenneth Powell was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1950, at the age of 14, Wrenn actually relocated from his home in Anchorage to California to play for the L.A. Selects. He’ll play college hockey at Denver next season. The Sharks made sizeable defenders a priority and followed up by taking Kingston (OHL) rearguard Tyler Doherty, who towers over opponents at 6-7 and 218 pounds, with the 57th pick. At No. 147, the Sharks tabbed London (OHL) center Phil Varone, a sleeper who displays plenty of speed and skill.
Tampa Bay Lightning
The Lightning were the happiest people in the Bell Centre when the Islanders took John Tavares first overall, leaving them the man they most coveted, MoDo defenseman Victor Hedman, at No. 2. The most-NHL ready player in this draft, he gives defensively-challenged Tampa Bay exactly what it needed - a front-line NHL rearguard who will fill a huge void. He’s built like Chris Pronger, but plays more like Nicklas Lidstrom. The Lightning added No. 29 in a deal with Detroit and used that first-round pick to grab Lethbridge (WHL) left-winger Carter Ashton, whose dad Brent went 26th overall to Vancouver in the 1979 draft and scored 284 goals in 998 NHL games. Undersized Barrie (OHL) center Alex Hutchings slipped from an expected second-round pick to No. 93, but the Lightning were willing to take the risk, considering the success they’ve enjoyed with Martin St. Louis. Erie (OHL) netminder Jaroslav Janus (No. 162) has a reputation for carrying teams further than they should go and was named the all-star goalie at the 2009 world juniors, even though Slovakia finished with a losing record.
Toronto Maple Leafs
The battle of Ontario heated up at the draft table, where the Leafs - left at the altar for the man they most wanted, Brandon center Brayden Schenn - grabbed London (OHL) center Nazem Kadri, the player the rival Ottawa Senators coveted most. A determined competitor capable of playing all three forward positions, Kadri will also face an adjustment period. He grew up a Montreal Canadiens fan. The Leafs went for championship pedigrees in the second round, tabbing right-winger Kenny Ryan of the world champion U.S. under-18 at No. 50. He’s headed for Boston College. Then with the 58th pick, Toronto grabbed defenseman Jesse Blacker of the Memorial Cup champion Windsor Spitfires. Right-winger Jerry D’Amigo (No. 158) was another member of the U.S. under-18 club who’s headed for RPI in the fall.
The Canucks were looking defense first, but when Minnesota (WCHA) right-winger Jordan Schroeder fell all the way from the top 10 to No. 22, they couldn’t resist. He’s got big-time offensive skill, but also many question his intestinal fortitude, noting that he’s vanished when playing on the biggest stage. They also gambled with their second pick, Brynas forward Anton Rodin at No. 53. He can play either wing, but is often referred to as a boom or bust choice by scouts, who feel he won’t be strong enough to compete at the NHL level. Western Michigan (WCHA) defenseman Kevin Connauton (No.83) will also need to bulk up his 6-1, 185-pound frame if the NHL is to be in his future.
The moment Farjestad center Marcus Johansson heard his name called by the Capitals, he made NHL history - the seventh Swede to go in the first round, a new record for that country. He’s a responsible, two-way center who played for the Swedish Elite League champions, but also has a history of concussion-related issues. Novokuznetsk defenseman Dmitri Orlov (No. 55) is a high-risk, high-return defender, often referred to as a “Riverboat Gambler” by scouts. A star for the Russian under-18 team, can he and Mike Green co-exist on the same blue-line? Swift Current (WHL) center Cody Eakin (No. 85) is the nephew of former NHLer Bruce Eakin.
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.