One Week In-How Are the Recently Drafted NHL Rookies Doing?
There are 13 rookies on NHL rosters who were drafted in either 2011 or 2012. Although one or two could be sent back to their junior teams shortly (this year, NHL teams have 5 NHL games to decide before the first year of a rookie's entry-level contract kicks in), most will stick with their NHL teams. All six of the 2012-drafted rookies were selected in the first round; of the seven selected in 2011, all but one of the prospects, Brandon Saad, was chosen also selected in the first round.
So who are these particularly young rookies, and how are they and their teams doing?
Although the Toronto Maple Leafs haven't seen a playoff game since 2004, and the team's regular season point totals have not improved much in the ensuing years, there is reason to believe that the Leafs are now on the cusp of becoming a playoff team. Tonight is the first night of the shortened 48 game season for Toronto, and there is no question that the team has turned a new Leaf. Gone is President and General Manager Brian Burke, who took over in November 2008. In is Dave Nonis, Senior Vice President and General Manager. Expect other changes in the coming weeks, but make no mistake about it, The Leafs could very well be a playoff team come the end of April.
The Brampton Battalion opened their 15th season in the league amid rumours of an impending move to another city. Those rumours came to fruition two weeks ago when Battalion owner Scott Abbott came to an agreement with North Bay to relocate the team next season. The OHL Board of Governors unanimously approved the deal on Monday.
So, with just over half a season remaining for loyal Brampton fans to get their junior hockey fix, there is no better time to look back at some of the best prospects to come out of the organization.
A total of 36 Battalion players have been chosen in the NHL Draft since 1999, third highest among OHL teams during that period, behind only Plymouth (42) and London (39). Of those 36 players, six were first round picks. Here is a look at where they are now.
Rostislav Klesla - Defenceman
4th overall, 2000 - Columbus Blue Jackets
Klesla became the first Battalion player to be drafted in the 1st round when the Columbus Blue Jackets picked him 4th overall in 2000.
After playing one season for the USHL's Sioux City Musketeers, Stan Butler chose Klesla 4th overall in the 1999 CHL Import Draft. In his first season, he scored 16 goals, 29 assists and 174 penalty minutes. Heading into the draft, he earned the CHL's 'Top Draft Prospect' Award and was named to the OHL's All-Rookie Team.
In his second season, he finished with 18 goals, 54 points and a +22 rating. He averaged a point per game in the playoffs, helping Brampton to a 1st round sweep of the Guelph Storm before eventually losing to Erie in the next round.
Klesla joined the Blue Jackets in 2001/02 and spent nine years with the club. He was the last Columbus player from the franchise's inaugural season still active on the team before he was traded to the Phoenix Coyotes in February 2011.
He is 2nd in NHL games played among Battalion alumni with 596, just ten behind Jason Spezza.
Klesla is currently playing for HC Ocelari Trinec, a team in the top tier of hockey in the Czech Republic. In 17 games, he has 1 assist, a +7 rating & 30 penalty minutes. His team currently sits in 6th place in the 14-team league.
Oct 21, 2012
Grand Rapids Griffins vs Toronto Marlies (AHL Regular Season)
GRG #28 RW, Jurco, Thomas (1992 Prospect) A young player with some good hands and is clearly a highly skilled player. He offers good support and options for his teammates to move the puck to and brings a good net-front presence as well.
2012 NHL Draft Selections' Strong Beginning to the 2012-13 Season
With the exception of three second round picks (Nic Kerdiles---Anaheim, # 36 overall; Brian
Hart--Tampa Bay, #53 overall; and Jordan Martinook--Phoenix, # 58 overall), all of the 2012
first and second round selections have seen action early in the 2012-13 season. Had there not
been an NHL lockout, several of these players would be skating for NHL teams, but, at this time,
of the 60 players selected in the first two rounds, 31 are currently playing in the CHL, 14 on
college teams, 9 are in Europe, and 6 are skating for AHL teams.
Several players in each of the CHL, Europe, the NCAA and AHL have quickly jumped out of the
gate. Of particular interest are the players mentioned below. All stats include games through the
October 22, 2012.
From Humble Beginnings, Jacob Trouba Shines
Predicting what a player will be like five years down the road is no small task, but it gets a little easier at the top of the draft. These are the players who, after countless viewings from scouts and interviews by front office executives, appear to be safe bets.
A common assumption is that a player with first round talent would have dominated each level of hockey that they have played, breezing through season after season as a proverbial man among boys. While it is true that every early first round pick seems to be a safe bet to develop into something special in the future, not all took the same path to hearing their name called on draft day.
One of junior hockey’s greatest expansion teams is celebrating its 10th season in 2012/13. The Everett Silvertips entered the WHL in 2003/04 and immediately made their mark by winning their division and then advancing to the league final before losing to Medicine Hat.
They set a CHL record with 80 points, the most by any expansion team, and head coach Kevin Constantine was named WHL coach of the year.
In nine seasons, they’ve won three division titles (03/04, 05/06, 06/07), one conference title (03/04) & one regular season title (06/07).
They have also produced 15 NHL picks, with all of them coming in the past seven drafts. Here is a look at the 1st-round picks that have come from the US-based team.
Brett Kulak was drafted by the Calgary Flames in the 4th round in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. He came out of nowhere last season and consistently provided solid play in the backend for the Giants. Kulak was a player we thought was a steal for the Flames, and will look to prove that was the case this season.
Kulak is a smart, poised defenseman. He looked like a veteran all season long even though it was his rookie year in the WHL. He makes it look very easy out there, and has a calming presence whenever he has the opportunity to move the puck.
All it took was one moment - a rut in the ice that changed the course of the season for Alex Galchenyuk. Nearly six months after sustaining a serious injury, he made his return to the line-up and was impressive in his outings during the remainder of the season. The way he played after his injury, coupled with the impressive showings in the massive amount of viewings from his rookie season, prompted us to raise Galchenyuk to the #1 spot for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
The 2010-11 Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins had an excellent balance of home grown talent, free agents, as well as players who came by way of trade. Although the 2011-12 team was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by Washington, the team accumulated 102 points during the 2011-12 season, finishing the regular season as the Northeast Division champion.
Six of the 25 players on the 2011-12 roster had been drafted by the team from 2003 through 2010, including two 1st round selections (Jordan Caron, Tyler Seguin), three 2nd round picks (Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, and Milan Lucic), and one 3rd round selection (Brad Marchand). All the others either came by trade or were signed as free agents.
Boston has had success with their drafts generally. With the exception of 2005 and 2007, in every draft year from 2003-2010, at least one of the players selected has become an NHL regular. The most successful recent draft year for the Bruins was 2003, when four of the nine players selected by Boston became regular NHLers, with three of those four spending significant time as members of the Bruins.
The current prospect pool within the Bruins organization consists of 37 players, including 28 players drafted by the Bruins, five skaters who were signed as free agents, and four that were obtained through trade.
Boston has very deep pool of goaltending prospects.