Tag: 2011 draft

2010 NHL Entry Draft - Day 2

Some interesting stats from the 2011 NHL Entry Draft

(Want the full list of seven rounds worth of draft picks? Head over to Draft HQ. If you want PHT’s take on all 30 of Friday’s first round picks, click here. We also took a look at the surprising fall of Seth Ambroz, provided a profile of the first goalie drafted and shared the Carolina Hurricanes’ family-first selections of Keegan Lowe and Brody Sutter.)

With the 2011 Stanley Cup finals behind us, the 2011 NHL Awards done and the 2011 NHL Entry Draft completed, it’s time to move on to other hockey diversions: Hall of Fame debate and the mad scramble that is free agency.

Still, there might be a few of you who want to consume a few extra morsels of draft-related information, so we thought we’d share some of the most interesting bits from NHL.com’s stat-heavy look at the ’11 draft.

Region-related bits

Transfer deals, overseas scouting budgets and differing stereotypes make for some interesting fodder when you look at where the picks come from. One thing that stands out is the lack of Russians who were drafted: only eight were taken in 2011, just like last year. It seems like Swedes are the new Russians as of late.

1 — Players from British Columbia taken with the No. 1 pick in the draft. Edmonton made Ryan Nugent-Hopkins the first B.C. native ever selected with the first pick.

6 — Swedish players taken in the opening round of the draft, tying the mark set in 1993 and 2009 for the most ever. Three of them — Gabriel Landeskog (Colorado), Adam Larsson (New Jersey) and Mika Zibanejad (Ottawa) — went in the first six picks.

14 — Countries that had at least one player taken in the Entry Draft. Canada was tops with 79; Denmark, France, Lithuania and Ukraine each had one.

Teams who made the biggest waves and the smallest impacts

The Ottawa Senators probably had the best first round. They drafted three different players on Friday: Mika Zibanejad at No. 6, Stefan Noeson with the 21st pick and Matt Puempel at 24th. If GM Bryan Murray did well with those picks, his previous trades were worth it.

11 — Picks made by the Chicago Blackhawks, the most by any team. The Hawks had two picks in each of the first three rounds, one each in Rounds 4-6 and two in the seventh round, including the last pick — Swedish goaltender Johan Mattson. In contrast, Washington’s four picks were the fewest by any team.

117 — First pick made by the Capitals, the last team to make a selection. The Caps had dealt away their second- and third-round choices prior to the draft, then sent their first-rounder to Chicago on Friday night for forward Troy Brouwer. Washington took Norwegian goaltender Steffen Soburg with its first pick.

Family ties

As we discussed earlier tonight, the Carolina Hurricanes’ draft board could have looked like a family tree on Day 2 after they selected Keegan Lowe and Brody Sutter. Lowe and Sutter weren’t the only legacies in the 2011 draft, though.

4 — First-round picks whose fathers played in the NHL. The most notable was Connor Murphy, whose father, Gord Murphy, spent 14 years as an NHL defenseman and is now an assistant with Florida.

There is also an obscure stat about three former Edmonton Oilers having sons drafted in the top 100, but you can read John Kreiser’s full list of stat bits to find out more about that.

Swedes Gabriel Landeskog and Adam Larsson top mid-season rankings for 2011 NHL Entry Draft


While the NHL Entry Draft lacks the bloated three-day pomp and circumstance of its NFL equivalent, it’s possible that the draft has become a more immediate window into the league’s future than ever before. The reasoning is simple: younger, smaller players can succeed because the game rewards skill and speed far more than it did during the “Dead Puck Era.”

(It’s also fair to say that there might be a considerably larger influx of young talent, period.)

While NHL Central Scouting Director EJ McGuire says that this year’s more wide-open pool indicates that this isn’t a “Crosby draft year,” they did name two Swedes as the top prospects at this point: left wing Gabriel Landeskog and defenseman Adam Larsson. Landeskog plays for the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League while Larsson skates with Skelleftea AIK of the Swedish Elite League. If one of those two players manages to become the first pick of the ’11 draft, that player would become the first Swede to earn that honor since the Quebec Nordiques drafted Mats Sundin first overall in 1989.

(Want to peruse the rankings? Here are Central Scouting’s picks for North American skaters, North American goalies, European skaters and European goalies.)

Here is a little bit of insight regarding Landeskog from McGuire.

Topping Central Scouting’s list of North American skaters is power forward Gabriel Landeskog of the Ontario Hockey League’s Kitchener Rangers. Landeskog is currently sidelined with a high-ankle sprain suffered with Kitchener prior to joining the Swedish National Junior Team at the World Junior Championship two weeks ago. He re-aggravated the injury in the first game of the WJC after notching a goal and an assist in a 7-1 victory against Norway.

“He came over to North America as an under-age player and that’s unique in that most Swedes don’t,” McGuire said. “He’s a fearless forward who goes to the net and stays there.”

While many will lazily make the equation: “Adam Larsson” + “Swedish” + “defenseman” = Nicklas Lidstrom, it’s probably not fair to compare him to the best Swede of the last 20 years. It’s probably more balanced to compare Larsson to Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman, a fellow Swede and the second overall pick of the ’09 draft. One scout obliged and compared him favorably to the tall Tampa Bay blueliner.

Larsson, a Swedish defenseman whose exceptional puck-handling, poise and booming shot will have scouts and general managers considering their options, is the top-rated European prospect on the board.

One European NHL scout from a Western Conference team told NHL.com that Larsson might be ahead of where Victor Hedman was at the midway point of his draft year two years ago. Hedman was chosen by the Tampa Bay Lightning with the No. 2 pick in 2009.

“Hedman was allowed to do more with his home team in Sweden, so they let him be more active with the puck and try different things,” the scout said. “I think Adam Larsson plays a safer game. I certainly think he has the same potential as Hedman. He’s every bit as good with the puck and he might be a touch tougher. Hedman is a little bigger, but they’re both unbelievably good skaters. I think I would take Larsson over Hedman if I could, based on what I’ve seen the last three years.”

So there’s the lowdown on two players who might end up going first and second in the ’11 draft, but again, this is a pretty wide-open pool. Check out interesting behind the scenes footage of scouts discussing different prospects (including Ken Hitchcock’s “no pressure, kid” comparison between Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Joe Sakic) in the video below.