2012 NHL Entry Draft: Jordan Staal, Yakupov, Bobrovsky, Ribeiro, Visnovsky, Sutter
(6/23/12) A surprising development at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft in Pittsburgh on Friday. The Penguins went ahead and traded away Jordan Staal to the Carolina Hurricanes, in exchange for the Hurricanes' first round pick at the draft (2012), Brandon Sutter and prospect defenseman Brian Dumoulin. This comes just days after Jordan Staal rejected the Penguins' offer of a multi-million dollar extension over 10 years. Staal will now join his brother Eric in Carolina.
As we reported earlier, Jordan is coming off a career best point/game average (0.81) and a terrific first round playoff performance (6 goals, 9 points in 6 GP). We are a touch baffled as to why the Penguins would trade him away for so little, and we speculate that something else beyond the contract negotiations was going on behind the scenes.
As for Brandon Sutter, his fantasy value jumps as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins. In 82 GP last season he had 17 goals and 32 points. His career high is 21 goals and 51 points in his 2009-10 sophomore season. Sutter should slide in as the #3 center and get ice-time on the second powerplay unit.
There are a few other significant deals to report from day one of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft:
Sergei Bobrovsky is now with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Philadelphia traded away their backup for a second and fourth round pick at this year's draft, and a fourth round pick 2013. We doubt that Bobrovsky is the answer in net for Columbus.
Lubomir Visnovsky is now a New York Islander, joining Mark Streit for a fairly potent 1-2 punch on the back end. The Ducks accepted a second round pick in 2013 for the veteran defender. Visnovksy is coming off a down year, and this move will likely add a little skip to his step. The Islanders look like a decent team - even a playoff team - in 2012-13.
The final significant deal was between Dallas and Washington: Mike Ribeiro leaves the lone star state for the US capital, while Cody Eakin and a second round pick at the draft went to the Stars. The fantasy value of Jamie Benn, Loui Eriksson and Michael Ryder all take a hit with this deal, as Ribeiro has been the top set-up man in Dallas for the past two seasons. Eakin recorded 8 points in 30 games during his rookie season last year with the Caps.
As for the draft itself, the Edmonton Oilers used their number one pick overall to select the top prospect and right-winger Nail Yakupov (RUS) of the Sarnia Sting (OHL). The Columbus Blue Jackets selected defenseman Ryan Murray (CAN) of the Everett Silvertips (WHL) second overall, and Montreal took center Alex Galchenyuk (USA) of Sarnia (OHL) with the third overall pick. Meaning, no surprises in the top three.
There was a big run on D; 8 of the top 10 were all blue-liners, which meant that Mikhail Grigorenko (RUS/QMJHL) dropped all the way to number 12 - selected by the Buffalo Sabres. For a full run down on the first round, click here.