Today is the day that these young players have been dreaming of their entire life. To be drafted into the NHL. It is a magical day and I look forward to it every year. To see these young men as excited as they are when they hear their names announced. To see the elation and look of sheer pride and joy from their families. Then when they walk on stage, shake hands with Gary Bettman and he says "welcome to the NHL" is priceless.
Every once in a while you get a twit like Eric Lindros who refuses to wear the jersey of the team that drafted him. There is occasionally some levity, when Bobby Clark was announcing Philadelphias first round pick and forgot Claude Giroux's name, or when the Boffalo Sabres drafted Taro Tsujimoto (who does not exist). There is also heart break and anxiety on some kids faces as the names go by and they wait, and wait.
On to the good stuff, "We have a trade to announce"
Trade Rumors heating up!
Rick Nash, Bobby Ryan, Keith Yandle, and Jordan Staal have all been trending on Twitter in the last 24 hours.
Rick Nash has expanded his list of teams to seven. The New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, San Jose Sharks, Pittsburgh Penguins, Boston Bruins, Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks. The Toronto Maple Leafs are no longer on his list.
The rumored offers, or asking price for Rick Nash;
Philadelphia - JVR, Couturier, Bobrovsky and a pick
Boston - Tyler Seguin + Dougie Hamilton, Or Milan Lucic + Dougie Hamilton
San Jose Sharks - Joe Pavelski, Ryane Clowe and Jason Demers and a 1st round pick
Ottawa Senators (who are not on the list Nash provided) are trying to get in as well offering Mika Zibanejad, Nick Foligno, Ben Bishop and a first round pick.
Columbus is asking for a high return on Nash, and may not get it. If a Nash deal does not happen soon, this has the potential to get ugly. Remember Dany Heatley?
Jordan Staal turned down a $60 million 10 year contract extension as reported by TSN's Bob McKenzie. McKenzie believes this definitely puts Staal in play. While he may not be traded as soon as the Draft, or at all he is at least on the market. Carolina is the front runner here as Stall is likely to resign there to play with his brother.
Keith Yandle is being shopped by the Phoenix Coyotes as tweeted by Sport Net's Darren Millard. With Oliver Ekman-Larsson ready to take control of the blue line, and with youngsters David Rundblad, Brandon Gormley on the rise the Coyotes could use help up front, particularly at center.
A Yandle trade could have major fantasy impact. First, it moves Ekman-Larsson into the undisputed number one position with the potential to have a break out season similar to what Erik Karlsson did this year. Second, Imagine Yandle is moved to an offensive powerhouse such as Edmonton, or Pittsburgh!
Roberto Luongo could be traded this weekend or as soon as today before the draft. The Draft has been a busy day for Luongo as he was drafted first overall by the Islanders, traded to Florida, and traded to Vancouver on pervious draft days. Is today the next Luongo trade day? Assistant general manager Laurence Gilman admitted it's possible that a trade gets done in the near future.
"There is interest that’s in place right now," Gilman said. "It is conceivable that we could make a deal this weekend." Talks should escalate over the next few days, with staffs of every team so close together. The Canucks are open to trading with any team, but they've asserted that they'll remain patient and wait until the right deal comes along. "If we think we can get a player who is going to make us better, we wouldn’t bypass a potential trading partner," the assistant GM said.
The Ducks winger has struggled in Anaheim this year and is rumored to be available. Ryan would make a cheaper alternative solution form teams who miss out on acquiring Nash, or who are not on the Nash list.
Still nothing more than speculation on Schultz, but the Edmonton Oilers are beginning to look like the front runners here as he would have a top pairing role in Edmonton and would become a key franchise player along with Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Edmonton also provides the best fantasy value option for Schultz as well.
Pierre LeBrun said on TSN Insider Trading about Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks, "The Hawks are saying they've never once even thought about trying to deal him and haven't talked to any teams about him."
To get a last chance look at some great mock drafts prior to tonight's live draft here are some notable ones.
Fantasy Hockey Coach
TSN's Craig Button and Pierre McGuire
The Hockey Writers
NHL Mock Draft by Bob Mand
And not exactly a mock draft but Chris Ralph's 2012 NHL Entry Draft Fantasy-Based Top 100 Prospect Rankings is must read for fantasy hockey players looking ahead to their fantasy draft.
And finally the 2012 NHL MOCK DRAFT DATABASE has it all!
Fantasy Hockey Coach
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By: Peter Harling
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