The National Hockey League draft came and went while I was on vacation, but I heard no one took my future boyfriend Mikhail Grigorenko until the 12th pick. What? Oh, I’m sorry, I guess the Islanders don’t need offense, my bad. Well, to be fair to the fake New York, they need everything. Don’t worry, there’s only 9 1/2 more years left on Rick DiPietro’s contract. Yowza!
Rather than fumble through the entire first round of the draft in one post, I’m going to split it up and talk first about my most hated ice hockey fantasy position, the Defenseman. Teams were taking in Defensemen like they were cocaine and the GMs were Todd Fedoruk. Thirteen of the thirty teams went Dee-p for Dee in the first round. It was quite the Dee-lite for teams that want to emphasize protecting the goalie. Is that a record? What, do I look like the Elias Sports Bureau here? I’m writing this on a typewriter, for crying out loud! The important question is whether any of these goons are good for fantasy purposes.
Ryan Murray: The Bluejackets snagged Murray with the second overall pick. Ranked very highly, he scored 46 points in 70 games in 2010-2011 and 31 points in 46 games last season. That was all in 2 seasons in the WHL. The problem, at least from my perspective, is that most of those points came as assists, and Columbus ranked in the bottom 5 in points. I foresee him with the Jackets this season, but I don’t see him with my fantasy team.
Griffin Reinhart: With the 4th overall pick, the Islanders chose 6’4″ Griffin Reinhart. While wearing a sweater tied around his neck, he used his cricket bat to score 12 goals and 24 assists with 38 PIM in 58 games last season for the Edmonton Oil Kings. I imagine the Islanders will let him develop a bit in the AHL or wherever they’re going to put him, but there is an outside chance you will see him on the Islanders’ roster in 2012.
Morgan Reilly: Now this guy is more my style. In his first year in the WHL, he scored 28 points in 65 games. Boring, you say? I agree! However, the following year, he scored 18 points in 18 games and then tore his ACL. Now that’s exciting. I would imagine his leg will be fine by the start of the year, but I also don’t expect him to start in the NHL right away. Tuck this name away and let’s come back to it in 1-2 years.
Hampus Lindholm: Hoping that Lindholm will Hampus opposing teams’ offense, the Quack Attack went with the svelte Swede with their fist round pick. There is no reason to expect him on NHL ice this upcoming season, but if for some reason he did, I would wait and see. He didn’t put up impressive numbers in any one category, which I suppose isn’t too strange as he is only 18 and hasn’t played North American style hockey. Whatever! See you in a few, Hampus.
Mathew Dumba: He’s not even old enough to vote in the U.S., which is fine because he is a Canadian. In the WHL last season, he scored 57 points and tallied 67 PIM in 69 games. That is delicious, and unlike that funnel cake ice cream sandwich I ate last week, it should sit well in the future. Once he’s old enough to shave, Minnesota will give him a whirl. However, in deeper keeper dynasty-er leagues, he should already be owned. Yeah, I said it.
Derrick Pouliot: In exchange for Jordan Staal, one of Pittsburgh’s picks was Pouliot. He’s a big game lefty that scored 11 goals and 48 assists in 72 games in the WHL last season. Not enough? How’s 79 PIM for you? He’s supposedly very good on the powerplay, which is a bonus. As with most teenagers, he probably won’t start on NHL ice just yet, but he is definitely someone to keep an eye on.