2012 NHL Draft Grades: Western Conference

PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 22: Nail Yakupov, drafted first overall by the Edmonton Oilers, poses for a portrait during Round One of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft at Consol Energy Center on June 22, 2012 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

With Round 1 in the books, it's time to grade the Western Conference based on Friday night's action.

Anaheim Ducks: Though the fate of Bobby Ryan remains a question mark, the pick of Hampus Lindholm raised quite a few eyebrows. Ranked as the fourth-overall European prospect, many expected him to go late in the first round. Genius or madness is the question that many will ask until he can show his skill at the NHL level. C+

Calgary Flames: It was reasonable for GM Jay Feaster to move down in the first round, particularly with the ability to add additional picks thanks to Buffalo, but his decision to make a significant reach in Mark Jankowski had many scratching their heads. Acquiring a player who most expected to be a mid-second round selection at best in the first round leaves a number of questions in the air. D

Chicago Blackhawks: With the addition of Teuvo Teravainen, Chicago gains another skilled winger in the mold of a Patrick Kane, but his speed and hands should hopefully overcome the concerns about his size that led to the Finnish forward falling in the draft. B+

Colorado Avalanche: With no first-round pick, the Avs are likely kicking themselves for giving up the pick that became Filip Forsberg to the Capitals. INCOMPLETE

Columbus Blue Jackets: Though GM Scott Howson made a solid selection in Ryan Murray, the lack of action on a Rick Nash trade is likely to haunt him through the draft and into July 1. Addressing their need for a goaltender by trading for Sergei Bobrovsky, his next target is expected to be additional scoring depth. B-

Dallas Stars: Radek Faksa is an interesting offensive prospect, but the most dramatic move from Dallas may have been trading Mike Ribero to the Washington Capitals for a promising defensive forward in Cody Eakin. B+

Detroit Red Wings: Without a pick in the first round, the Red Wings may face unexpected challenges in free agency if the trade market at the draft is any indication. INCOMPLETE

Edmonton Oilers: With a "can't miss" pick of Nail Yakupov, the Oilers still need to address glaring holes on their defense, either by free agency or trade. B+

Los Angeles Kings: Tanner Pearson may become a bona fide top six forward, but it took almost three years of draft eligibility before someone finally took a bite. The Kings are taking a gamble that his numbers are truly a product of talent and not simply being an over-age player. C-

Minnesota Wild: Some scouts feel that Matt Dumba could be one of the better defensemen out of this draft class, and Minnesota didn't need to reach for his selection despite the early run on defensive prospects. A good selection for GM Chuck Fletcher. B+

Nashville Predators: With no first-round pick, it was surprising that David Poile did not make a deal for the rights to pending free agents Shea Weber or Ryan Suter given the team's history of moving those assets for picks. INCOMPLETE

Phoenix Coyotes: Picking up a "legacy" player in Henrik Samuelsson, they may have also gotten a bit of a steal for the young forward at 27th overall. A-

St. Louis Blues: The pick of Jordan Schmaltz is going to be heavily debated -- he might be a great all-around defenseman once he makes the NHL, or he might be a major reach who will struggle to develop. Most expected him to go much later in the draft, with ISS ranking him 45th among North American skaters. C-

San Jose Sharks: Tomas Hertl could be a good addition to the Sharks' depth down the middle, but there are some questions about his skating. Overall, it's a pick that's hard to argue with given what was on the board. B

Vancouver Canucks: The Canucks management must have been thrilled to see Brendan Gaunce drop to them. A big, powerful skating center, he could be a fixture on their third line once he gets up to speed with the NHL game. A

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.