Day 2 of the NHL Draft passes quietly

By Jason Menard

The second round started off with a bang, with the long-rumored Jay Bouwmeester trade finally coming to fruition. Calgary obtained the blueliner for Jordan Leopold and its third-round selection. But like the first day showed, there was a lot of talk but very little action.

The second day of the draft was bookended by a pair of Finnish netminders, as the Islanders started day two with the selection of Finnish netminder Mikko Koskinen and ended just a few hours later when the Habs obtained the draft’s last selection and called Petteri Simila. But in the end, a draft expected to see multiple deals and much movement up and down the board didn’t happen that way.

Very little in the way of surprises emerged from rounds two through seven. In fact, the largest stretch — which came and went without a whisper from the masses — came at the top of round four when the Islanders selected Casey Cizikas with the round’s first-overall selection. Cizikas — a player with first-round talent — currently is facing significant legal hurdles in pursuing his NHL goals, so the pick can be classified as a medium-risk/high-reward selection.

The draft progressed at breakneck speed, which was only matched by the assembled team officials as they rushed from the Bell Centre to their various flights home. Even the crowd was subdued — its booing of hated rivals Toronto and Boston was muted and half-hearted in comparison to the previous night’s lusty exhortations of hate.

The final tally of draftees went as follows: defensemen lead the way with 70 blueliners hearing their names called. They were followed by 53 centers, 29 right wingers, 28 left wingers, and 21 goalies. An oddly described nine "unidentified" players were also selected. 

Canada led the way with 102 selections, followed by 55 Americans. The Year of the Swede culminated with 24 players from Sweden selected, followed by 10 Finns, a paltry seven Russians (a number that can be attributed to a lack of overall talent this season, as opposed to teams becoming leery of selecting Russian players because of transfer issues), five Slovaks, three Czechs, and one each from Belarus, Denmark, Germany, and the United Kingdom.  The 24 Swedes matches the number taken in 1999, 2000 and 2002 — when the draft was nine rounds.

The OHL was the dominant league with 45 players selected from its ranks. The two other CHL leagues were also well represented, as the WHL sent 31 players to the list and the QMJHL supplied 23. The USHL also continued its strong performance from the past few years, hearing 16 of its ranks called. Other leagues were sparsely represented, though the league reports 78 "others" were taken — a majority of those coming from the European ranks.

Obviously, 1991-borns were well represented, with 119 players with that birth year chosen. Sixty-eight 1990 birth dates, 22 1989’s, and one 1988 — the aforementioned Koskinen — rounded out this year’s draft class.

Over the next couple of weeks, keep checking for team-by-team reviews of the picks.