2012 National Hockey League Entry Draft (first round) open thread

Welcome to CONSOL Energy Center and the 2012 NHL Draft (By Matt Wgner / CBJ Cannon)

WHERE:CONSOL Energy Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
WHEN: 7 PM EDT
MEDIA: NBC Sports Network, TSN
COVERAGE: NHL.com, Bolt Prospects, SB Nation

And so we arrive at the date we've been waiting for since the Lightning's season ended in April. Draft day. The date where teh Bolts and 29 other franchises begin restocking their coffers of prospects and assets (and hopes) in order to resume their process of becoming...

For the Lightning and what to expect tonight, expectations shifts with each and every mock draft that has guessed what the nine preceding teams do with their selections and what is left over.... Let alone what the Lightning want.

It's a guessing game of names, but it's a much more complicated process for the scouts and executives that have been overseeing and reviewing data for the past several months in preparation for today. Even after all that work, the ultimate decision comes down to one man and one man alone -- Vice President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Steve Yzerman.

...and the Force is strong with this one.

Tampa Bay selects 10th overall in the 1st round, as well as 19th overall. Depending on pacing of picks by the other teams that select before them, all should be said and done by 9:30 PM.

It's time to speculate, it's time to wonder aloud, it's time to contemplate the proverbial tomorrowseason. Welcome to the 2012 NHL Draft.

Our friends over at Bolt Prospects have nailed down a speculative list of the top 15 players amassed by Amateur Scouting Director Al Murray. It's all guess-work and, of course, not everyone is going to agree with those names... But the guessing is what's who the Lightning have ranked highest on the board.

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