With the sheer depth of this year’s draft, it was inevitable that some top-level talent would slip into the second round and even beyond, but teams made sure most of those blue-chippers were scooped up early on the second day.
The Quebec League, which was shockingly shut out on the first day, rebounded in the second round with goaltender Jake Allen leading the charge. Allen, who shot up the charts thanks to a brave playoff effort in St. John’s and a gold medal with Canada at the Under-18s, is now a member of the St. Louis Blues. Ironically, Allen noted he had just been working out in Calgary last week with fellow netminder Chris Mason, who was just acquired Friday by the Blues from Nashville.
Goaltenders were quite prominent in the second round. Along with Allen, three other netminders went; Jacob Markstrom was the first selection, going to Florida, while Peter Delmas ended the round with Colorado. Dallas tabbed Owen Sound’s Tyler Beskorowany as well.
Teams also seemed to concentrate on players who will need a bit more time to develop. Patrick Wiercioch went to the host Senators and the defender bound for the University of Wisconsin looks poised to take off.
Wiercioch was highly touted heading into his season with the USHL’s Omaha Lancers, but injuries slowed him down. The B.C. native still managed to put in a good show, however, ending his season with a dynamite playoff run.
Toronto also picked up a potential gem in Jimmy Hayes. The former U.S. NTDP product (who also played for Lincoln in the USHL) has a really good frame to build on and famously served as Colin Wilson’s training buddy during the draft combine. The Massachusetts native (with the great Bah-ston accent) initially seemed a little taken back by the hordes of Toronto media which beset upon him in the interview room, but acquitted himself well, noting he hopes to develop into a Ryan Getzlaf-type power forward.
The most curious event of the second round was Jared Staal going AWOL. Despite being chosen 49th overall by Phoenix – more or less where he was expected to go – the fourth Staal brother was nowhere to be found by the press.
Zac Dalpe and Brandon Burlon were two potential first-rounders who were instead snapped up in the second. Both will be attending NCAA schools after playing the season in the Junior-A ranks.
Finally, if Brian Burke is leaving Anaheim in the near future, he’s certainly not showing it in his selections. The GM tabbed Minnesota high schooler Jake Gardiner in the first round and BCHL up-and-comer Justin Schultz in the second. The pair will both play defense for the University of Wisconsin next season, where they will likely spend a few campaigns getting their NHL games prepared. Just in time to restock that potent Anaheim blueline.
The Hockey News will cover the NHL Entry Draft from all angles with live coverage and up-to-the-minute pick-by-pick updates on both June 20 and 21 in our Draft Central.
Ryan Kennedy is a writer and copy editor for The Hockey News magazine, the co-author of the book Hockey's Young Guns and a regular contributor to THN.com. His blog appears Wednesdays and his features, The Hot List and Year of the Ram, appear Tuesday and Thursday, respectively.
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