With the NHL potentially coming back soon, this series is a good time to look at where some current NHL stars were drafted. To be frank though, the 2012 draft was not a deep draft, and the parts that are deep, isn’t really the top of the draft.. The Edmonton Oilers took super
bust Nail Yakupov first overall over noted, and highly touted, second overall… Ryan Murray. While Ryan Murray isn’t a bad defenceman by any means, securing 110 points in 347 NHL games with the Columbus Blue Jackets, second overall is definitely a little high as you will see shortly.
While not every number one draft pick stays as the best of their draft class always, it is always a rare occurrence when the number one pick ends up not even being able to stay in the NHL, which makes this draft one of the most fun to look back at.
1st: Edmonton Oilers – Andrei Vasilevsky
Originally: Nail Yakupov
Picked in ‘12: 19th (1st round)
There’s not much to say about this pick, it's basically just another draft year, another Lightning player going first overall. This time it’s their netminder who has never posted a full season under .917 in his five years in the league. The reigning Vezina Trophy winner is a lock for the number one position in this redraft. Just thinking of Vasilevsky on a team with Connor McDavid up front is the stuff of nightmares for any team not named Edmonton.
2nd: Montreal Canadiens – Matt Murray
Originally: Ryan Murray
Picked in ‘12: 83rd (3rd round)
Matt Murray, in his rookie season, helped bring the Pittsburgh Penguins two Stanley Cups. That's right, the thing most players only get a shot at once or twice in their career, this young goalie achieved twice while technically in his first year. He had a rough 2019-20 season, but overall he has still put up some pretty decent regular season numbers and some rather stellar playoff numbers, with his highest save percentage coming during the second of the Penguins’ back to back championships where he posted an astounding .937. What an amazing year for goaltending (we aren’t done yet folks).
3rd: Columbus Blue Jackets – Frederik Andersen
Originally: Alex Galchenyuk
Picked in ‘12: 87th (3rd round)
Steady Freddy takes third place by a narrow margin. This was a difficult pick because I think there are two other players that could have realistically gone 3rd overall, supplanting Fred. Andersen gets the nod over the other two (you’ll just have to keep reading) due the consistency that he brings to almost every season and his slight edge in playoff performance. With the exception of the 2019-20 season, Andersen’s yearly numbers always hover around a .918 save percentage, with his last few seasons going like this: .909, .917, .918, .918, .919. Consistency like this is something that Columbus has long coveted. (Even more goalies coming!)
4th: New York Islanders – Filip Forsberg
Originally: Alex Galchenyuk
Picked in ‘12: 87th (3rd round)
Filip forsberg has had a really good career so far. He was originally drafted by the Washington Capitals and then later traded to Nashville in exchange for Martin Erat and Michael Latta before ever playing a game for the Capitals (yikes). Forsberg’s numbers have been steady throughout his young NHL career, hovering around 60 points and 30 goals every year, and while he is not going to win any scoring titles with those numbers, it’s perfect for a team that is as defensively strong as Nashville is. Forsberg has also proven that he can score in the postseason, grabbing 16 points in 13 games in 2017-18, and again 16 points in 22 games the year before. With the Island being a defensive minded team, a winger who can score is exactly something they could use.
5th: Toronto Maple Leafs – Connor Hellebyuck
Originally: Morgan Rielly
Picked in ‘12: 130th (5th round)
Hellebyuck has been through a lot in his young career, the biggest being having to deal with Winnipeg not having an Airport (boom roasted). In all seriousness, Hellebyuck has been a star for the Jets, proving to be a steady grace for them over the last few seasons. Even this season, with all the issues that the Jets had on defense, he has managed to put up a .922 save percentage and will probably just lose out on the Vezina trophy to Tuukka Rask or Vasilevsky. One of the reasons I couldn’t put Hellebyuck higher on this list is that he doesn’t have a lot of playoff experience, having only made the playoffs the last tqo years, but his numbers in those outings were very solid. There is no chance Toronto passes up on Connor Hellebyuck, given their consistent problem (prior to Andersen) in finding consistently competent goaltending.
6th: Anaheim Ducks – Morgan Rielly
Originally: Hampus Lindholm
Picked in ‘12: 5th (1st round)
Morgan Rielly is an amazing offensive defenseman, and as long as he is paired with someone that can cover his defensive gafs and is allowed to do his thing, he will give whatever team he is on many wonders. With a great 2017-18 campaign where he racked up 52 points in 76 games, he stepped it up another notch in 2018-19, managing 72 points in 82 games. Rielly is everything a team would want in an offensive defenseman, bundled with a calm respectable personality with tons of leadership. Now before we go on about him dating Canadian legend Tessa Virtue, we're going to move on to the 7th pick.
7th: Minnesota Wild – Hampus Lindholm
Originally: Matt Dumba
Picked in ‘12: 6th (1st round)
Now, when you look at the best players, you usually expect to see the highest point getters, the offensive studs, if you will. Well here we have one of the few defensive stalwarts of this redraft. Lindholm more often than not starts his plays in the defensive zone but still manages, on Anaheim no less, to finish almost always with a positive CorsiFor%. On top of that, you can expect a modest 30 points from him every year, which puts him in good company amongst defensive defenseman hitting their prime.
8th: Pittsburgh Penguins – Colton Parayko
Originally: Derrick Pouliot
Picked in ‘12: 86th (3rd round)
Parayko is one of the top defensemen of last year's Stanley Cup winning team, the St Louis
Blues. In this redraft we take that into consideration as well as the steady force he has provided the Blues in their own zone. He primarily takes defensive zone faceoffs and is good for around 30 points every year. The smallest of differences between him and Lindholm is that Lindholm overwhelmingly is on the ice for defensive zone faceoffs where Parayko just consistently starts in the defensive zone.
9th: Winnipeg Jets – Jacob Trouba
Originally: Jacob Trouba
Picked in ‘12: 9th (1st round)
It's not too often in these redrafts you see a player taken exactly where he was in the original draft, at least not when you get past the first five picks. Trouba has been a stellar defensemen for the Winnipeg Jets and New York Rangers. It’s unfortunate how his story in Winnipeg went but that seemed to be the path he wanted to take in order to be able to play for the New York Rangers. Trouba has put up decent offensive numbers in recent years, posting 50 points in his last year with the Winnipeg Jets. His defensive game has always been a little suspect, but that is just the way it is with most offensively minded defensemen.
10th: Tampa Bay Lightning – Teuvo Teravainen
Originally: Slater Koekkoek
Picked in ‘12: 18th (1st round)
Teravainen didn’t have the breakout start to his NHL career that some people on this list did. But he has silently built himself up to be a premier defensive forward and offensive threat. Posting 84 points over his first three seasons in the NHL, Teravainen exploded for 64 points in his second season with Carolina, following that up with 76 the next year and had a solid 63 points at the 68 game mark of this season before our current crisis ended the season. Teravainen has also received praise for the defensive side of his game, having received votes for the Selke trophy in the 2018-19 campaign.
11th: Washington Capitals – Tomas Hertl
Originally: Filip Forsberg
Picked in ‘12: 17th (1st round)
One of the very few bright spots with the current San Jose Sharks, Hertl is a 26-year-old rising star who amassed 74 points in 77 games during the 18-19 season. Unfortunately in a turn of events no one saw coming (*pause for laugh track*), he, along with the rest of the team, had an okay outing for the 2019-20 season, posting 36 points in 48 games before falling to a season-ending knee injury in January. Hertl has shown that he is capable of more and will be interesting to watch over the next few seasons. Hopefully the Sharks can grab some young talented players to play with Hertl.
12th: Buffalo Sabres – Shayne Gostisbehere
Originally: Mikhail Grigorenko
Picked in ‘12: 78th (3rd round)
Another product of an amazing 3rd round in the 2012 draft, Shayne Gostisbehere is almost a better player than his name (I really like it). Gostisbehere has posted roughly 40 points in almost every outing since he came into the league, coming in second place in Rookie of the Year voting to one Artemi Panarin, but beating an injured Connor McDavid by eight votes. Gostisbehere has been a solid defenseman for the Flyers over the last few years and while he didn’t have a particularly stellar past year, he has proven that he is a more than capable defenseman and deserves to be picked much higher than originally.
13th: Dallas Stars – Jaccob Slavin
Originally: Radek Faksa
Picked in ‘12: 120th (4th round)
Jaccob Slavin went from being taken at the end of the 4th round to being one of the top defensmen on the Carolina Hurricanes. Like Parayko and Lindholm, Slavin isn’t going to win the Norris Trophy by being the highest scoring defenseman. If he is going to do it, it is going to be on his defensive prowess. With that said, Slavin is still good for 30 points every year while also making his team more dangerous while he is on the ice, boasting some pretty good CF% over the last few years. Slavin has received votes for Norris every year since his second year in the league, but has never really gained a lot of attention for it. It’s safe to say that Slavin would be picked by the Dallas stars at 13th overall, easily.
14th: Buffalo Sabres – Joonas Korpisalo
Originally: Zemgus Girgensons
Picked in ‘12: 62nd (3rd round)
Korpisalo was one of the highest rated goaltenders coming into the 2012 draft, placing third among European goalies in the pre-draft rankings. Since then, he has only had one NHL season as a starting goaltender, and that was injury-riddled. Korpisalo still took the Panarin-less Blue Jackets and helped them stay competitive through the season, posting a .911 save percentage, the second highest mark of his career. Korpisalo has had a weird NHL career,
starting it off in 2015-16 playing 31 games and posting a solid .920, but he dipped to a .905 the next year and then hit .897 the next two seasons playing behind Bobrovsky. With Bobrovsky gone, the future is Korpisalo’s to take by the reins (If Elvis doesn’t take it from him). Even with all of that, Korpisalo is still a good pick to take at 14th overall.
15th: Ottawa Senators – Matt Dumba
Originally: Codi Ceci
Picked in ‘12: 7th (1st round)
There has been a lot of hype surrounding Matt Dumba in the last two years, understandably so following the 17-18 season where he posted 50 points in 82 games. Unfortunately, due to injury he wasn’t able to follow it up the next season, posting 22 points in 32 games (a very good pace). I have a hard time putting him on this list because his minutes seem extremely sheltered and results have only been mediocre. Of course you could say similar things for Morgan Rielly, but he has more consistently shown that he can be that offensive force. If Dumba has another fully healthy season next year (whenever that is), I’m looking forward to seeing what he can produce. Until then, he is an okay offensive talent with poor defensive numbers.
Honourable Mentions: Tom Wilson (16th overall), Alex Galchenyuk (3rd overall), Brady Skjei (28th overall), Ryan Murray (2nd overall), Olli Maatta (22nd overall), Alex Kerfoot (150th overall), Colin Miller (151th overall)