With Day Two of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft commencing today, here’s a look back at the first round picks of the seven Canadian teams.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers center (and 2011 first overall pick) Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is excited over the addition of winger Nail Yakupov, whom the Oilers selected with the first overall pick in this year’s entry draft.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers took the best available player, rather than pursue a defenseman as some were calling on them to do. Given the depth of riches in young forwards the Oilers possess, they can always draw from that to land a top-two defenseman down the road if that need persists. If not, and should Yakupov develop into a star as expected, the Oilers could become one of the most lethal offensive teams in the league.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens rookie GM Marc Bergevin earned praise for his selection of Alexander Galchenyuk (whom some observers considered the best forward in this year’s draft) with the third overall pick.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It also put to rest a rumor which had the Canadiens shopping that pick along with defenseman PK Subban for a physical first line center.
TORONTO SUN: Morgan Rielly’s rehab from a knee injury helped convince Maple Leafs management to select him with the fifth overall pick.
WINNIPEG SUN: Don’t look for Jets first round pick Jacob Trouba to be in their lineup next season, as he intends to play for the University of Michigan Wolverines.
CALGARY HERALD: The Flames surprised many by trading down in the first round and selecting Matt Jankowski with the 21st overall pick.
OTTAWA CITIZEN: The Senators stuck close to home with their first round pick, selecting Ottawa 67s defenseman Cody Cici.
VANCOUVER SUN: In selecting Brendan Gaunce, the Canucks are hoping he’ll develop into a strong character player.