Here’s what happened over the weekend!
To begin with, excerpts from Horror at the Hockey Draft, a mock Choose Your Own Adventure novel from Lighthouse Hockey. (It’s funny.)
This year’s Draft went a little unexpectedly; lots of defensemen chosen early meant that many kids analysts had thought would be in the top ten fell to later teams.
Here’s a list of who went in the first round, along with some interesting factoids from their NHL Draft profile pages.
- Nail Yakupov - Russia - Right Wing - Edmonton Oilers. His favorite website is nhl.com, his favorite video game is NHL ‘12, his favorite TV show is NHL Hockey… Some people would call this “focused”, others “obsessive”. I’d call it “boring”.
- Ryan Murray - Canada - Defenseman - Columbus Blue Jackets. Has four hockey-playing siblings. No one has much to say about him, and there’s nothing scandalous in his backstory.
- Alex Galchenyuk - USA - Center - Montreal Canadiens. Has lived in five different countries and speaks three languages. Is being snubbed as potentially having “the Russian factor”, even though he’s from the USA. (So it’s nonsensical in addition to being unfair.)
- Griffin Reinhart - Canada - Defenseman - New York Islanders. Has a cartoonish face that, in combination with his epic name, totally makes him a MMORPG character.
- Morgan Rielly - Canada - Defenseman - Toronto Maple Leafs. His favorite actress is Jennifer Aniston, which is just so… cute and old-school. ♥
- Hampus Lindholm - Sweden - Defenseman - Anaheim Ducks. Has a very intimidating baleful stare.
- Mathew Dumba - Canada - Defenseman - Minnesota Wild. His profile is so standard that I literally could not find anything interesting enough to mention. That’s probably a good thing?
- Derrick Pouliot - Canada - Defenseman - Pittsburgh Penguins. Favorite sport other than hockey is badminton. That’s a new one.
- Jacob Trouba - USA - Defenseman - Winnipeg Jets. His photo makes him look like he’s running for student council president. Very earnestly.
- Slater Koekkoek - Canada - Defenseman - Tampa Bay Lightning. Already practicing his “Kneel Before the Fierce Anger of My Righteousness” face.
- Filip Forsberg - Sweden - Center - Washington Capitals. The most embarrassing song on his iPod is one he made himself, about which he says, “It was not a top song, and I would not play it on the radio.” He also played baseball for two years, which (according to nhl.com) “is not a popular sport in Sweden”. And just look at his ears. This kid is clearly a geek, and I love him already.
- Mikhail Grigorenko - Russia - Center - Buffalo Sabres. Hated hockey when he first started because “he wasn’t very good”. It was a rumor for a while that he was secretly 20, but Russia’s domestic security agency says that’s not true. (Also, his favorite movie is The Notebook.)
- Radek Faksa - Czech Republic - Center - Dallas Stars. He spent five years of his childhood living in a hotel while he played hockey away from home and says (wistfully, I imagine) that his favorite home-cooked meal is pork, dumplings, and cabbage. Now I’m all sentimental and wibbly. And also hungry for dumplings.
- Zembus Girgensons - Latvia - Center - Buffalo Sabres. The highest-drafted Latvian in NHL history. Attending the University of Vermont in the fall.
- Cody Ceci - Canada - Defenseman - Ottawa Senators. I feel bad saying this, but Ceci looks and sounds sorta like that annoying guy we all know who thinks he’s cool but really, really isn’t. Maybe he’ll turn out to actually be really cool, though?
- Thomas Wilson - Canada - Right Wing - Washington Capitals. Gets straight As, runner-up for “Hardest Worker” in the OHL’s 2012 Western Conference Coaches Poll, favorite superhero is Superman. Also has a wholesome face and haircut. Gives off an air of serious incorruptibility. (Let’s all try not to take that as a challenge.)
- Tomas Hertl - Czech Republic - Center - San Jose Sharks. Favorite book is Twilight. Actually, the fact that he admits that so casually impresses me.
- Teuvo Tervainen - Finland - Left Wing - Chicago Blackhawks. Favorite movie is Saw, favorite video game is Call of Duty, bears an eerie resemblance to Draco Malfoy. I’m kind of scared of him now. He must be a good kid, though, right?
- Andrei Vasilevski - Russia - Goalkeeper - Tampa Bay Lightning. The lack of info on his profile makes him seem extra intimidating and mysterious. (Must be The Russian Factor. *ginormous eye roll*)
- Scott Laughton - Canada - Center - Philadelphia Flyers. Uniformly boring. Also plays lacrosse.
- Mark Jankowski - Canada - Center - Calgary Flames. Not much in his profile; comes from a hockey family and is pleasant-looking in a very, very lanky kind of way.
- Olli Maatta - Finland - Defenseman - Pittsburgh Penguins. His favorite book is the English dictionary, which, seriously? Who is he trying to impress? I would make fun of him for it, but he says he likes The Mentalist and Shawshank Redemption, so he’s probably kind of brainy, right?
- Michael Matheson - Canada - Defenseman - Florida Panthers. Likes Tom Clancy? Check. Tense, reserved goal celebration? Check. Very detailed description of favorite breakfast? Check. Yep, definitely a control freak.
- Malcolm Subban - Canada - Goalkeeper - Boston Bruins. Started skating at age 22 months. I’m not sure I even could walk at that age. Do you even count as a person yet? (Oh yeah, and he’s P.K. Subban’s brother, in case you somehow managed to miss that.)
- Jordan Schmaltz - USA - Defenseman - St. Louis Blues. He’s from Wisconsin, his favorite team is the Blackhawks, and he likes Tosh.0 and Scooby-Doo (ironically, I hope). In general, sounds like a very normal kid. (Although who says “hotcakes” instead of “pancakes”? Not people in Wisconsin, I will tell you that.)
- Brendan Gaunce - Canada - Center - Vancouver Canucks. Nhl.com: “His hockey hero growing up was Brendan Shanahan and the one thing most people don’t know about Gaunce is that he has done a bit of acting at school—most recently the play Hairspray in eighth grade.” WTF? Are those facts supposed to be connected? Now I’m imagining all kinds of possible things that Shanahan and Hairspray could have in common.
- Henrik Samuelsson - USA - Right Wing - Phoenix Coyotes - I don’t even… He looks like the jock/bully in a high school comedy. Is it the quasi-pompadour? Just go look at his face.
- Brady Skjei (pronounced “SHAY”—thank you, handy name pronunciation guide) - USA - Defenseman - New York Rangers. His favorite musician is Carrie Underwood. Also he’s completely adorable.
- Stefan Matteau - USA - Center - New Jersey Devils. Has collected more than 50 autographed hockey sticks throughout his hockey career. I’m pretty sure that makes him a nerd.
- Tanner Pearson - Canada - Left Wing - Los Angeles Kings. Not much info available on him. He went undrafted in 2010 and 2011. Also he has a very open face.
If you’d like to get to know a few of these kids better, here’s a video in which Puck Daddy asked them what animals they would most like to fight. It’s actually quite enlightening. For example, Yakupov seems very confused by the question and says, “A cat. Or a bear. A cat or a bear.” And Reinhart says he’d fight his own dog.
Also from Puck Daddy, awkwardlarious rookie photos.
So, who did we get besides Tervainen?
- 48 - Dillon Fournier - Canada - Defenseman. He’s 6’1” and only 173 lbs, so, as Hockeenight puts it, “he’s another one who will need to visit Old Country Buffet during Prospect Camp next month”.
- 79 - Chris Calnan - USA - Defenseman. Nephew of former Blackhawk Jeremy Roenick.
- [109 - Traded the pick to San Jose for #191 plus San Jose’s 4th rounder next year.]
- 139 - Garrett Ross - USA - Left Wing. Has been teammates with Brandon Saad, who was pretty excited to get him. Also, there’s video of him getting in a fight with Andrew Shaw. It’s pretty awesome and intense. I think Shawzy won.
- 149 - Travis Brown - Canada - Defenseman. Sounds like a solid pick? Nobody has much else to say.
- 169 - Vincent Hinostroza - USA - Center. He’s from Chicago, and he’s totally wriggling and tumbling all over himself because he got drafted by the home team. Sounds really smart but needs to develop physically.
- 191 - Brandon Whitney - Canada - Goalkeeper. He is 6’5”. Also, his favorite player is Mike Smith, which… just… Whatever, I’m pissed at Smith for being smug and a poor loser, but I’ll try not to let that get in the way of my liking Whitney.
- 199 - Matt Tomkins - Canada - Goalkeeper. No one knows anything about him. Hawks scouting director Mark Kelley says, “We look at him as a real nice project”, if that tells you anything.
So, in total, four forwards, two defensemen, and two goalies. You can watch interviews with them here.
In other news, Patrick Kane made a rogue tweet this weekend. He’s usually so careful to be boring as hell on Twitter (or maybe his handlers are careful), but this one made me do a double-take. I’m supposed to be reading between the lines there, right??? (Sadly, it’s not particularly clever, just bitter and childish-sounding. But then, Kaner’s loserness is the source of his charm.)
Blackhawks Prospect Camp will be July 9-13.
Meanwhile, according to various reporters’ “sources”, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Steve Montador could be traded. As much as I will appreciate never having to figure out how to spell Hjalmarsson again, I’m sad to see anyone go. :( Of course, not everyone shares my feelings; GM Stan Bowman told the media, “I enjoy this time of year.”
Besides the Draft, the Big News this weekend was all about trades.
First, the trade that set the internet all a-flutter on Saturday. Jordan Staal was traded from the Pittsburgh Penguins to the Carolina Hurricanes. (He also got married this weekend in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Several of his teammates were at his wedding; apparently there were lots of FEELINGS.) It was obvious that he had wanted to go; Staal made it no secret that he and his parents want him to play hockey on the same team as his brothers. Penguins GM Ray Shero said last week that he badly wanted to keep him; he offered Staal a 10-year contract extension on Thursday, but Staal turned it down, which made Shero “livid”, according to Sportsnet’s Louis Jean. In exchange for J. Staal, Pittsburgh got Brandon Sutter and this year’s 8th overall pick. Meanwhile, Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford made sure to reassure everyone that big brother Eric Staal had Nothing To Do with this business. Though one assumes he’s happy to have Jordan there. (Also, “Staal Aboard”, nhl.com? Really?)
The Penguins also traded defenseman Zbynek Michalek to the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for defenseman Harrison Ruopp, goalie Marc Cheverie, and this year’s #81 pick. Pittsburgh is reportedly maneuvering to make room for the New Jersey Devils’ Zach Parise, should they be able to acquire him. (The New York Rangers also intend to go after him.)
The Philadelphia Flyers traded backup goalie Sergei Bobrovsky to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for three draft picks. They also traded James van Riemsdyk to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Luke Schenn. Analysts are confused, because it seems like the Leafs got a way better deal on this one. The Flyers were kind of desperate for a defender, though, since it looks more and more like Chris Pronger isn’t going to get better. Little brother Brayden Schenn is beside himself with delight. He told Luke that getting to play with him is “a dream come true” and gushed to reporters, “Luke is my best friend. …We push each other, and he knows just what to say to get me going.” The (slightly) less effusive Luke added, “It’s hard to describe how cool it is.” All this trading, however, could get the Flyers a reputation. (Might want to keep your wits about you, Claude Giroux.)
The Dallas Stars traded center Mike Ribeiro to the Washington Capitals for a second-round pick and center Cody Eakin.
The Maple Leafs, in turn, traded goalie Jonas Gustavsson to the Winnipeg Jets for a conditional 7th-round pick next year.
The Boston Bruins traded forward Benoit Pouliot to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for forward Michel Ouellet and a fifth-round pick. They may also soon be trading Tim Thomas, who agreed to waive his no-movement clause. Which is kind of nice of him because now his team won’t be getting screwed by his salary and the cap. (I guess some other team will instead.) Who will even take him? Maybe some team who can afford to get $5 million closer to the cap but doesn’t actually want to pay $5 million. I guess that gets them some kind of advantage in revenue sharing? I’m not sure how it works.
The Anaheim Ducks traded defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky to the New York Islanders in exchange for a second-round pick next year. Another trade could be in their near future, too: Bobby Ryan screwed up this week (or made a bold play, depending on how you look at it). He told the media, “Anaheim to me has been a team over the past year that really has shown me nothing to prove that they want me here, unfortunately,” and “I gotta be honest with you. At this point, I don’t care. Move me… because it’s just tough going to the rink every day knowing that if something goes wrong, you’re going to be the guy moved.” He specifically mentioned that he’d like to play in Philadelphia. Ducks GM Bob Murray says he is “disappointed” and plans to “talk to Bobby personally when we get back from the draft and clear the air a little bit”.
The Los Angeles Kings have re-signed Jarret Stoll and Colin Fraser.
The Colorado Avalanche have signed Matt Duchene to a two-year contract.
Aaron Portzline at the Columbus Dispatch heard from “a very good source” that the Vancouver Canucks’ goalie Roberto Luongo has declined to waive his no-trade clause for anyone but the Florida Panthers (whom he played for in the past). That should put a crimp in the plans of the Blackhawks, who are rumored to be after him, and the Maple Leafs, who are also salivating after him but whose GM says the price the Canucks want for Luongo is not “reasonable”. Luongo has made it clear that he wants out, though—the Vancouver fans have not been kind to him—so Canucks GM Mike Gillis almost has to take some kind of trade.
NHLPA Executive Board meetings take place in Chicago June 25-27.
The Hockey Hall of Fame’s selection committee has its annual meeting this Tuesday.
The 2012-13 NHL schedule has been released.
Tommy Wingels of the San Jose Sharks and Vincent LoVerde of the Ontario Reign (ECHL) marched in the Chicago Pride parade this weekend.