Through nine selections, the 2012 SB Nation NHL mock draft looks like this:
- Edmonton Oilers: Nail Yakupov, LW
- Columbus Blue Jackets: Filip Forsberg, RW
- Montreal Canadiens: Mikhail Grigorenko, RW
- New York Islanders: Alex Galchenyuk, RW
- Toronto Maple Leafs: Ryan Murray, D
- Anaheim Ducks: Matthew Dumba, D
- Minnesota Wild: Jacob Trouba, D
- Carolina Hurricanes: Teuvo Teravainen, F
- Winnipeg: Radek Faska, C
Here comes John Fontana from Raw Charge to announce the pick...
Hello and good day to you. I'd like to congratulate the 29 other team blogs on SB Nation for the completion of another outstanding season of snarky analytical goodness, fraternization and just damn fine hockey coverage. I also want to heap praise on SB Nation Editor-in-chief Tyler Bleszinski and Hockey manager Travis Hughes for their continued stewardship of our venerable and everlasting Sports Blog Nation network.
We pay homage to the host of the SB Nation 2012 Mock draft, the Internet, and thank them profoundly for their warmth and hospitality.
I'd also like to take this opportunity to send mock greetings to our loyal fans and readers congregating at a mock-watch party at Raw Charge. Our fans are the best in the league, bar none*!
Representing the hard work of myself, assistant managing editor Cassie McClellan, authors Clark Brooks, Clare Austin, Matt Amos, Tina Robinson, Dani Toth, Shaun Dulin and other people you've never heard of and guys you could care less about,.. With the 10th overall selection of the SB Nation 2012 Mock Draft, Raw Charge selects defenseman Griffin Reinhart of the Edmonton Oil Kings of the Western Hockey League.
(I hate when GM's and team officials pull that kind of crap at the real draft, don't you?)
*results may vary
Let's get down to business though. The thought - our thought, not necessarily Steve Yzerman's or Al Murray's thought - is to go defense with the selection. Lack of organizational depth on defense is a concern and, beyond Mark Barberio and Radko Gudas, it's hard to think of another defensive prospect in the Lightning system that has a date with the National Hockey League in the near future.
The 10th overall pick afford the Lightning a chance to bring in a top tier talent in a draft that is rife with defensemen. Unfortunately, the talents of Ryan Murray, Matthew Dumba and Jacob Trouba had already been selected through previous mock-draft selections by Pension Plan Puppets (representing the Toronto Maple Leafs, Battle of California (representing the Anaheim Ducks) and Hockey Wilderness (representing the Minnesota Wild) respectively. That left the likes of Olli Maatta, Morgan Rielly, Cody Ceci and Griffin Reinhart still on the board among North American skaters.
We opted for Reinhart, the 8th ranked North American skater in Central Scouting's final report, and the 10th ranked skater overall in the draft.
Reinhart has the pedigree of an NHL'er, as his father Paul played for the Vancouver Canucks and Flames organization (drafted by the Flames when they were still in Atlanta). His brothers, Max and Sam, also play hockey currently in the WHL, with Max having been drafted in 2010 by the Flames and Sam being WHL rookie of the year this season (and draft eligible in 2014).
When it comes to play, it would seem that Griffin's style meets what Tampa Bay has been doing on defense in general. From The Scouting Report's final rankings:
Reinhart's game has gotten stronger as the season has gone along and is making an impact more and more each game. Reinhart is an imposing frame and one of the taller WHL players. One of the real attractive aspects of Reinhart's game is his proficiency offensively as well as defensively. Offensively, he has a solid point shot, join into rushes but doesn't force the play, and makes crisp outlet passes. Defensively, he is positionally sound, and knows how to use his long reach. Reinhart takes the body effectively and doesn't go around looking to destroy the opposition. His toughness has been questioned but he answered the bell during the playoffs. Consistency and decision making are also areas where Reinhart will need to display improvement moving forward.
His size and frame are what draws attention, as well as playing in the more rough-and-tumble WHL. He's still a growing boy, so he should become more imposing with time. And time is what he should have to develop. And what could we expect with time? TSN's Craig Button said, in an Interview with TampaBayLightning.com:
[Reinhart] could be in the argument as one of the best defensemen from this draft in three or four years time," Button said. "He's got a blend of skill, hockey sense and power. He's maturing and growing."
What do you think? What are your thoughts? The NHL draft is 8 days from today.