After two long and emotionally draining days, the 2012 Entry Draft has been completed! Each organization has taken home their new toys and can now start the long process of figuring out which players may go best with whom.
And the fans will (hopefully) be prepared for when those lineups are decided.
So just who did Nashville bring home today? Well let’s take a peek.
The Predators’ first pick this year came in the second round. Pick thirty-seven overall went to one Pontus Aberg. The Swedish forward played with Djurgarden in the Elitserien league. Although he had an injury filled season, as many of the draft picks did, Aberg was still nominated for Rookie of the Year in Elitserien.
Once again in the second round, pick number fifty overall, went to Canadian from a familiar team. Center Colton Sissons was picked from the Kelowna Rockets – the same team captain Shea Weber played for before being drafted in 2003. Sissons is currently captain of the Rockets, something that was considered in drafting him.
Pick sixty-six (third round) went to an American winger, Jimmy Vesey. The Massachusetts boy earned the EJHL’s Most Valuable Player award and will likely return to play for Harvard University for the next season.
Next up is Canadian winger Brendan Leipsic. This was a late change, as the Preds traded a third round pick next year to have the Rangers’ third round pick this year. Leipsic made the list of the Top 15 Players in the WHL after stellar play during his post season play.
Moving right along to the fourth round, we find a little claim to fame. Pick 112 overall claimed Zachary Stepan, cousin the New York Rangers’ Derek Stepan. According to the scouts who pushed for this forward, Stepan has a very Predators’ like approach to his play. One day down the road this will definitely come in handy, but for the next year he is expected to play in the United States Hockey League and then head off to Ohio State.
The Predators took home a pair of D-men with their second fourth round pick and their first sixth round pick. Finn Mikko Vainonen and Swede Simon Fernholm are expected to make quite the impact on the blue line when their day comes in Nashville. Both players have size on their side and plenty of time to develop their game, with Vainonen at only seventeen years old and Fernholm heading back to Elitserien for the next season.
Finishing out the Nashville picks are Swede Max Gortz and Marek Mazanec of the Czech Republic. Gortz has the Nashville advantage in his play, staying down low with the puck and playing a defense minded game.
With Mazanec, the Predators finally, FINALLY have a goalie from outside the Scandinavian Peninsula. He boasts a .919 save percentage from this past season’s playoffs and the size (6 foot 4 inches) thatNashvilleis famous for in their goalies.
For a full run down of the stats of Nashville’s picks this year, check out the official draft board.
Be sure to keep an eye on all the new and returning prospects once the Predators development camp starts June 26 at the Centennial Sportsplex!