PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 22: Brady Skjei, 28th overall pick by the New York Rangers, poses with Rangers representatives on stage during Round One of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft at Consol Energy Center on June 22, 2012 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
The night started off with the biggest debate heading into the draft, with who the Edmonton Oilers were going to take with their number one overall pick. The Oilers went with yet another young forward, and selected Nail Yakupov from the Sarnia Sting of the OHL. Following the Blue Jackets pick of Ryan Murray, and the Canadiens pick of Alex Galchenyuk, there were a lot of surprises as the rest of the teams began to make their picks.
One of the biggest surprises came when the Washington Capitals were able to steal Filip Forsberg as he slipped all the way down to the 11th overall pick. Forsberg was projected in the top three by Central Scouting, and definitely turned some heads tonight when he slipped down. The Calgary Flames also shocked a lot of people tonight by selectingMark Jankowski out of Stanstead College. Jankowski was projected to go early in the second round, and was even selected by us at Blueshirt Banter in SB Nation's mock draft. He has a tremendous upside, and Calgary obviously made the right choice with this kid.
Finally we came to the Boston Bruins who selected the younger brother of P.K. Subban, Malcolm. Just imagine that, the Subban brothers now on two teams that hate each other. Not to mention, the people in Boston aren't too thrilled with P.K. Subban. You couldn't have drawn that one up any better.
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Finally, after nearly four hours of anticipation, the New York Rangers took the podium with the 28th overall pick this year. The New York Rangers selected Brady Skjei (pronounced "Shea") from the U.S National Team Development Program out of Ann Arbor.
Skjei is a left handed defenseman who is considered "an elite skater" and "a horse" according to Gordie Clark, the Director of Player Personnel for the Rangers. Gordie has done a great job over the last couple of years when it comes to picking out players with raw talent, and it appears we will have another one on our hands here, soon enough.
We will move on to the biggest winner of the draft tonight, which would easily be the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Penguins were able to clear almost $6 million dollars worth of cap space tonight, and are now suddenly making a push for Zach Parise. With the biggest trade of the evening, the Penguins shipped Jordan Staal off to Carolina in exchange for the Hurricanes eighth overall draft pick, forward Brandon Sutter, and prospect Brian Dumolin. The Penguins also made a deal shortly after the first round was completed which sent Zbynek Michalek to the Phoenix Coyotes, while prospects Harrison Ruopp, Marc Cheverie, and a 3rd-round draft pick were sent back to Pittsburgh.
The Hurricanes weren't the only ones in the mix for Staal though, as Darren Dreger of TSN reported, the Rangers made a strong push to bring Staal to New York earlier in the afternoon. The increased interest from the Rangers forced Carolina to include Dumolin in the deal, which ultimately sealed the deal for the Penguins.
We also saw two other trades occur tonight as the Anaheim Ducks sent Lubomir Visnovsky to the New York Islanders in exchange for their 2013 2nd-round draft pick. The Washington Capitals and Dallas Stars also completed a deal, which saw Mike Ribeiro head to Washington, while Cody Eakin and a 2nd-round draft pick went back to Dallas.
I'll finish it off with some interesting news on the trading front. As the draft was going on, Bobby Ryan expressed his disinterest with the Anaheim Ducks, and ultimately stated that he doesn't care anymore, and just wants to be traded. Unfortunately his preferred destination is the Philadelphia Flyers, but the Rangers could be considered front runners in the deal.
It also appears that Rick Nash will likely remain a Blue Jacket until at least July 1st, as the Blue Jackets haven't made any progress with the teams involved. We will be back tomorrow with more draft coverage, as we recap the Rangers picks in rounds 2-7.