The 2012 NHL Entry Draft kicks off tonight in Pittsburgh. Read on for some of the notable stories heading into Round One.

 

NHL draft floor always a busy place.

ESPN.COM: Scott Burnside interviews several NHL general managers for an insider’s view of what it’s like on the draft floor, especially during the first round.

USATODAY.COM: Kevin Allen with ten things you need to know about this year’s entry draft. Among them: speculation over potentially big moves involving some established NHL players, the expectation over what the Edmonton Oilers might do with the first overall pick, and the drama which could occur with the second overall pick.

COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson said he has no interest in attempting to move up to the first overall pick. Howson has the second overall pick, and said he’ll either retain it, or consider trading down.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: My guess? The Oilers, Blue Jackets and Montreal Canadiens, who hold the first, second and third overall picks respectively, will retain them. And I expect the Oilers will pick Nail Yakupov.

ARIZONA REPUBLIC: The Phoenix Coyotes hold the 27th overall pick, the lowest they sat with their first overall pick in franchise history, and GM Don Maloney is open to moving it, either up or down in the draft order.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Most GMs holding picks late in the first consider moving up or down, depending on their needs and who’s available. I found the Coyotes situation noteworthy because it’s the lowest they’ve been in the first round in their history.

NHL.COM: The NHL has released its schedule for the 2012-13 season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given the impending CBA negotiations and possibility of a shortened season, I call this “the wishful thinking schedule”. Fun fact: The Phoenix Coyotes remain on the schedule. No suggestions of them renamed Quebec City or Seattle. ;)

CBC.CA: The Nashville Predators recently re-signed forward Brandon Yip to a one-year, $750K contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Trade speculation is dominating this year’s entry draft more than in recent years. You can find all the latest speculation in my “Rumors” section, as well as updates regarding the Canadian teams in “Canadian Corner”.

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