This is the point in the NHL draft where established good teams can add to the winning foundation of their franchise, where good decisions result in extension of playoff streaks without much pressure on the players to step in right away.
The Columbus Blue Jackets used the #16 pick to select You-Tube sensation Sonny Milano who brings an element of flash and skill to the hard-working Blue Jackets club. He is the second American born pick in a row after Dylan Larkin.
The hometown Philadelphia Flyers had the #17 pick and they had the rousing ovation of the home crowd. They chose Travis Sanheim, defenseman from the Calgary Hitmen of the WHL. He is the fastest riser of the draft and really used a strong second half and great under -18 tournament to vault into the first round.
Minnesota picked Alex Tuch from the US NTDP at #18. He is a good all around player who doesn’t do anything spectacular but doesn’t have any outstanding weaknesses either. He is headed to school next year and will be a long-term project for the Wild.
Tampa used the first of their 2 first round picks (they hold the Rangers’ 28th pick), and used the Lightning to pick talented offensive blue-liner Anthony DeAnglelo. He is a Philadelphia native that has some of the best skill in the draft but also carries baggage, having been twice suspended last season for racial slurs that probably turned some teams off.
*TRADE ALERT* Finally a trade announced involving picks 20 & 179 for 27 & 62 in this year’s draft, meaning Chicago moved up 7 spots and the Sharks dropped 7 spots but got into the early 3rd round. This put Chicago on the clock, with the #20 pick.
Chicago continued the run of Americans by taking Nick Schmaltz, who is headed for one of the top NCAA programs, the University of North Dakota. He needs to work on consistency over the next two or three year as he develops in University.