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NHL Draft Coverage

Welcome to my somewhat live coverage of today's NHL Entry Draft. Once the draft starts, I'll try to be posting live updates on all the picks.

I'm gonna put all the new updates at the top of the post to make things easier for everyone.

That ends the first round. I'm gonna stop updating since I've run out of stuff to say.

New Jersey selects: Matthew Corrente

Who? Kind of a reach here. I didn't see his name in anybody's first round.

Phoenix selects: Chris Summers

Detroit trades their first round pick to Phoenix and Phoenix takes Summers. That makes three Wolverines in the first round.

Ottawa selects: Nick Foligno

Foligno sneaks into the end of the first round. Ottawa isn't really addressing a need here. They're just taking the best available player.

Dallas selects: Ivan Vishnevsky

The Stars pick up a good offensive defenseman who can skate well.

Calgary selects: Leland Irving

I'm surprised Calgary didn't pick Ryan White since he was available. Irving is a solid goalie for the future though.

St. Louis selects: Patrik Berglund

The Blues trade up and potentially get a sleeper. I really like the pick of Berglund.

Buffalo selects: Dennis Persson

The Sabres get a good offensive defenseman, which they needed.

Washington selects: Semen Varlamov

The Caps traded up for this pick. He was the best goalie left in the draft, and has a funny name.

Philadelphia selects: Claude Giroux

Philly gets a playmaking winger to go with their talented centers Richards and Carter.

New York Rangers select: Bobby Sanguinetti

Sanguinetti fell a lot due to some teams taking guys that were way lower on the board. The Rangers pick up a talented player for the spot they were drafting from.

Montreal selects: David Fischer

This was part of the deal where San Jose moved up for Ty Wishart. Fischer was at the very bottom of some people's first rounds. Again, nobody had him this high. Fischer is a good player though with a lot of potential. It makes sense that Montreal would trade down if they were interested in him.

Anaheim selects: Mark Mitera

The second Wolverine to be drafted. He went a little higher than expected as well. Anaheim has really wanted to add some defensive defenseman and Mitera is one of the best available.

Colorado selects: Chris Stewart

I love this pick, and I think it's a huge steal for Colorado to get him this late. Stewart is a freakish athlete, and I think once he gets some good coaching, he'll really take off.

Los Angeles selects: Trevor Lewis

Wow. LA traded up for this pick to pick a guy very few people had in the first round. I'm sure there's a lot of Michigan fans that aren't happy about this pick. Apparently the Wild gave up the pick and Patrick O'Sullivan for Pavol Demitra. Demitra is a top notch offensive talent, but I'm not sure I would have given up O'Sullivan. He was the Wild's best prospect. It's a good move if you're close to a championship, but the Wild are no where near that.

San Jose selects: Ty Wishart

Montreal traded their pick to the Sharks, who moved up to select Wishart. I like Wishart's potential.

Tampa Bay selects: Riku Helenius

The second goalie picked. Still only one defenseman taken. For whatever reason, I've been correct on both goalie picks. I saw people who had Helenius as the best goalie in the draft.

Vancouver selects: Michael Grabner

Wow, kind of a reach here. I didn't even have Grabner in the first round. Most other places had him towards the end of the first round, but I don't think I ever saw him this high. Interesting choice.

I'll be surprised if the Leafs don't take Chris Stewart here. And they don't.

Toronto selects: Jiri Tlusty

Don Cherry is probably going to throw a fit. The Leafs pass over the local kid for a Czech, who is a solid all-around player. Tlusty slipped a little farther than most people had him. If his goal-scoring ability can translate to the NHL, it's a very nice pick for Toronto. They need pure goal-scorers.

Atlanta selects: Bryan Little

As expected, the run on forwards continues. It should be interesting to see which ones pan out and which ones don't.

Los Angeles selects: Jonathan Bernier

Ha. Take that, anonymous commenter who told me there was no way Bernier would be picked here. The Kings get some much needed goaltending depth.

Florida selects: Michael Frolik

Everyone thought they would pick a defenseman, but apparently they didn't want to pass up on Frolik. His stock dropped a lot this season, but he's still a very talented offensive player.

Minnesota selects: James Sheppard

Meh. Sheppard was probably one of the best players available, but I'm not really excited this pick. Sheppard is more of a playmaker than a goal scorer. I think he'll be of a grinder in the NHL. But then again, the Wild were probably looking for another French-Canadian grinder.

Phoenix selects: Peter Mueller

Mueller was definitely the best player on the board. Phoenix was lucky to get him to fall to there. I think he could step in right away and help the Coyotes. Another potential pick gets stolen out from under the Wild. It should be interesting to see who they pick next here since there's no obvious pick.

New York Islanders select: Kyle Okposo

Okposo goes off the board before the Wild even get a chance to pick him.

Columbus selects: Derick Brassard

Now we reach the point where my picks start to suck. Columbus should be getting a good player in Brassard though.

Boston selects: Phil Kessel

This would have been the perfect opportunity for Minnesota to trade up and take a great offensive talent in Phil Kessel. The Bruins probably would have loved to trade down too. But the B's get a very good player. Now it's a matter of if they're willing to pay him.

Washington selects: Nicklas Backstrom

I miss my first pick. Washington takes the Swede over Kessel.

Chicago selects: Jonathan Toews

Chicago is probably going to want to get Toews in right away. Bad news for North Dakota.

Pittsburgh selects: Jordan Staal

I'm 2 for 2. I'm gonna enjoy it because this is probably the best it'll be. No trade yet, but the Pens could still deal Staal for Johnson, though I still think it's an awful trade for Carolina.

Our first trade of the day. Colorado sends Alex Tanguay to Calgary in return for Jordan Leopold and a 2nd round draft pick. The Flames weren't happy with Leopold's offensive production and were looking to deal him. They pick up a little scoring, which they could use.

St. Louis selects: Erik Johnson

No surprises here. Nobody made an offer sweet enough for the Blues. Johnson is a safe pick. My only concern is that he's at the same place Phil Kessel was last season. Coming off a great World Juniors as an underager, and now people will expect the world of him. Even if he plays well next season, whether at Minnesota or St. Louis, people will probably still be disappointed in him a bit.

There's a few trade possibilities that could happen today.

Blues GM Larry Pleau has said Erik Johnson will be the first pick in the draft unless someone makes them an offer they can't refuse. I have a tough believing they'll get a deal done before the draft though.

The biggest trade rumor has Carolina sending Michigan defenseman Jack Johnson to Pittsburgh for the second pick to draft Jordan Staal, the brother of their young star Eric Staal.

I've heard people describing this as a win-win situation for the teams involved, but I think Carolina would be crazy to make this deal. The Hurricanes are going to need to completely retool their defense since Bret Hedican, Glen Wesley, and Aaron Ward are all on their last legs as pros. Why not start that rebuilding with one of the top defensive prospects in all of hockey? Carolina has good young forwards, and if they're that intent on getting another Staal, they can draft Jared in two years. Or I'm sure there's like 8 more Staals coming after that.

Another potential deal involves the Wild trading their 9th and 17th overall picks in order to move up and take one of the top forwards in the draft. That would probably be a smart move by the Wild since what they really need is elite offensive talent.