NHL Draft 2012: Lightning, Panthers Pick Their Future Stars

The 2012 NHL Draft takes place in Pittsburgh, PA as teams select the future stars of hockey.

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2012 NHL Draft Grades: Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning Underwhelm With Selections Says Expert

The 2012 NHL Draft was held last week, giving teams the annual opportunity to restock the cupboard with up and coming talent. In the wake of the draft, analysts are handing out grades for each team's performance last week. Grades from SB Nation's NHL hub do not look good for both the Florida Panthers and the Tampa Bay Lightning.

With just five total selections, the Panthers needed to make them count, but Matt Wagner says the team whiffed with their first-round pick.

The Panthers seemed comfortable picking at 23rd overall, but despite players like Henrik Samuelsson and Brendan Gaunce being available, they made the decision to reach for Michael Matheson instead. Matheson could provide some offensive punch from the blue line, but most expected him to be a second or third round selection. D

As for the Lightning, they had eight picks in the draft, highlighted by a pair of picks in each of the first two rounds. With four picks early in the draft, Tampa Bay should have graded out pretty well, right? Not so fast says Wagner.

Making several deals this weekend to garner extra selections, Steve Yzerman took a couple of gambles with his first round selections. On the one hand, he addressed clear areas of need when he drafted d-man Slater Koekkoek and goaltender Andrei Vasilevski, but both picks come with question marks, particularly the fact that Vasilevski may or may not make the jump to North America. Give him full credit for making bold moves, but the jury is out on if they'll actually pay off. C+

Both teams will be expecting those early impressions to improve once the season gets started.

For more on the Tampa Bay Lightning check out Raw Charge. For more on the Panthers, check out Litter Box Cats. You can check out more hockey news from around the league at SB Nation's NHL page

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2012 NHL Draft: A Recap Of The Panthers Draft Picks

The 2012 NHL Draft spanned two days and the Florida Panthers seemed to be very low key during that time. While other teams had as many as 10 picks in the draft, the Panthers only had five selections and no picks in the second or fifth rounds. Needless to say, the Panthers drive seemed very quiet.

Here is a look at each selection the Florida Panthers made in rounds one through seven with each player taken being broken down by round, overall selection and position that they play:

First Round

No. 23 Michael Matheson - D

Third Round

No. 84 Steven Hodges - C

Fourth Round

No. 114 Alexander Delnov - LW

Sixth Round

No. 174 Francis Beauvillier - C/LW

Seventh Round

No. 194 Jonatan Nielsen - D

For more on the Florida Panthers check out Litter Box Cats. You can check out more hockey news from around the league at SB Nation's NHL page

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2012 NHL Draft: A Recap Of Tampa's Selections

The Tampa Bay Lightning had eight selections in the 2012 NHL Draft with two each in the first and second rounds.

Here is a look at the team's complete draft selections broken down by overall pick, and position.

First Round

No. 10 Slater Koekkoek - D
No. 19 Andrey Vasilevsky - G

Second Round

No. 40 Dylan Blujus - D
No. 53 Brian Hart - RW

Third Round

No. 71 Tanner Richard - C

Fourth Round

No. 101 Cedric Paquette - C

Sixth Round

No. 161 Jake Dotchin - D

Seventh Round

No. 202 Nikita Gusev - LW

The Lightning also pulled off a trade on the second day of the draft when they swapped their fifth round pick and Michel Ouellet with the Boston Bruins for Benoit Pouliot.

For more on the Tampa Bay Lightning check out Raw Charge. You can check out more hockey news from around the league at SB Nation's NHL page

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2012 NHL Draft: Lightning Acquire Benoit Pouliot

The Tampa Bay Lightening have traded their fifth round pick in the 2012 NHL Draft along with forward Michel Ouellet to the Boston Bruins for forward Benoit Pouliot according to vice president and general manager, Steve Yzerman.

Pouliot is 25 years old and played in 74 Boston Bruins games during the 2011-2012 season. He scored 16 goals and 32 points while racking up 38 penalty minutes. He ranked third on the Bruins in game winning goals (five) and played in seven playoff games scoring a goal and collecting two points.

In his six year career he's skated in 257 NHL games between stints with the Minnesota Wild -- who took him fourth overall in the 2005 NHL Draft -- and the Bruins. He's also collected 53 goals and 104 points during that time.

For more on the Tampa Bay Lightning check out Raw Charge. You can check out more hockey news from around the league at SB Nation's NHL page.

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NHL Draft 2012 Results: Panthers Select Steven Hodges, Alexander Delnov In Saturday Early Rounds

The 2012 NHL Entry Draft is rolling along at a fast and furious pace on Saturday, as teams make selections in rounds two through seven. The Florida Panthers have only four total picks in the 2012 draft, with three taking place on Saturday. Two picks are in the books already, with the Panthers choosing Steven Hodges in the third round an Alexander Delnov in the fourth round. Via the team's official twitter feed:

Thirty slots later, Florida took Russian winger Delnov:

The Panthers have one selection remaining Saturday, in the sixth round, barring any trades. It is the 174th pick overall.

For more on the Florida Panthers check out Litter Box Cats. For more on the Tampa Bay Lightning check out Raw Charge. You can check out more hockey news from around the league at SB Nation's NHL page.

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NHL Draft 2012 Results: Lightning Select Dylan Blujus, Brian Hart In Second Round

The 2012 NHL Entry Draft continues on Saturday, after a exciting round one on Friday night. After a trade with the Florida Panthers, the Tampa Bay Lightning had two picks in the second round, using those selections to choose Dylan Blujus and Brian Hart. Via Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune:

Just 13 picks later, Tampa Bay was back on the board, utilizing the pick obtained from Florida:

For more on the Florida Panthers check out Litter Box Cats. For more on the Tampa Bay Lightning check out Raw Charge. You can check out more hockey news from around the league at SB Nation's NHL page.

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NHL Entry Draft 2012: Saturday Selections For Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning

The 2012 NHL Entry Draft continues on Saturday, after a exciting round one on Friday night. The Tampa Bay Lightning have just acquired another second round pick from the Florida Panthers, right before Saturday's proceedings are set to begin. Via the official twitter feed of the Lightning:

The 53rd pick was conditionally acquired by Florida from Philadelphia in the Pavel Kubina deal. Here are the Lightning draft slots on Saturday, in addition to the newly acquire 53rd pick:

Round 2, Pick #40
Round 3, Pick #71
Round 4, Pick #101
Round 5, Pick #131
Round 6, Pick #161
Round 7, Pick #202 (from Nashville)

A list of the Panthers selections on Saturday:

Round 3, Pick #84
Round 4, Pick #114
Round 6, Pick #174

For more on the Florida Panthers check out Litter Box Cats. For more on the Tampa Bay Lightning check out Raw Charge. You can check out more hockey news from around the league at SB Nation's NHL page.

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NHL Draft 2012 Results: Panthers Select Michael Matheson With No. 23 Pick In Round 1

The Florida Panthers made their one and only pick in Round 1 of 2012's NHL Draft on Friday night and selected defenseman Michael Matheson at No. 23. Matheson is committed to play for Jerry York at Boston College, but he's considered an elite prospect with loads of potential who's not expected to contribute for the Cats in the near future.

Matheson is a 6'1 Canadian who played for Dubuque in the USHL last season will need to add some bulk to his frame at BC. More on Matheson from SB Nation's Matt Wagner:

A native of Pointe-Claire, Quebec, Matheson was ranked 30th among North American skaters by NHL Central scouting. Considered an "effortless" skater, the 6'1" defender lead Dubuque in scoring by defensemen, and was tied for sixth overall on the club. He has committed to Boston College and will begin classes in the fall. His major issue is his size, given that he has yet to put bulk onto his frame at just 175 lbs.

For more on the Florida Panthers check out Litter Box Cats. You can check out more hockey news from around the league at SB Nation's NHL page, or watch SB Nation's YouTube channel:

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2012 NHL Draft: Lighting Select Andrei Vasilevski With No. 19 Pick

With their second pick in the top 20 of the 1st Round of the 2012 NHL Draft, the Tampa Bay Lightning selected Russian goalie Andrei Vasilevski with the No. 19 pick. Vasilevski joins defenseman Slater Koekkoek as the Bolts' two first rounders who will bolster the Tampa defense, which was a particular weak point in the 2011-2012 season.

The Bolts searched for answers in between the pipes all season, rotating Dwayne Roloson and Mathieu Garon for much of the year. While Vasilevski likely won't be the answer immediately, he could be the long-term solution in net. SB Nation's Travis Hughes has more on Vasilevski:

"...Vasilevskiy's draft stock started to rise after he split time in the World Juniors tournament for Team Russia, but the question of if he will go to North America or stay in the KHL is an obvious concern.

One of the most purely talented goaltenders in the draft, Vasilevskiy also has excellent positional skills and a willingness to take away shooting angles as he fills the net. Athletic and regarded as an excellent butterfly netminder, he could be part of the long term answer in net that Tampa Bay has sought for the last several years."

For more on the Lightning, visit Raw Charge. For the latest news and notes from around the league, check out SB Nation's NHL Hub.

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2012 NHL Draft: Tampa Bay Lightning Select Slater Koekkoek With No. 10 Pick

The Tampa Bay Lightning selected Slater Koekkoek with their first pick in Round 1 of the 2012 NHL Draft on Friday night. Steve Yzerman decided to go with a big defenseman in Koekkoek in the 1st Round. He's a prospect who could eventually pair nicely with Victor Hedman on the blue line in Tampa Bay.

Koekkoek's stock slipped a bit because of injury concerns, which limited his action last year with the Peterborough Petes in the Ontario Hockey League. More on Koekkoek's potential from SB Nation's Travis Hughes:

Despite his injury-shortened year and the stunted development that could potentially come from it, Koekkoek was still expected to be a mid-to-late first round pick.

His most valuable skills are his speed and puck-moving ability. Couple that with his big 6'2 frame and strong hockey sense and you have a guy with very high potential. It's a risky pick due to the injury but it could pay off.

The Lightning will select again with the No. 19 pick in the 1st Round.

For more on the Lightning, visit Raw Charge. For the latest news and notes from around the league, check out SB Nation's NHL Hub.

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NHL Draft 2012: Start Time, TV Schedule, Results And More

The Panthers have the No. 23 selection and the Lightning hold both the No. 10 and No. 19 selections in the 50th edition of the 2012 NHL Draft on Friday, June 22.

Date/time: Friday, June 22; 6 p.m. ET; Rounds 2-7 on Saturday, June 23; 10 a.m. ET

Where: CONSOL Energy Center, Pittsburgh, PA

TV: NBC Sports Network

Radio: Sirius XM Radio

First round order:

1. Edmonton Oilers
2. Columbus Blue Jackets
3. Montreal Canadiens
4. New York Islanders
5. Toronto Maple Leafs
6. Anaheim Ducks
7. Minnesota Wild
8. Carolina Hurricanes
9. Winnipeg Jets
10. Tampa Bay Lightning
11. Washington Capitals (from Colorado Avalanche)
12. Buffalo Sabres
13. Dallas Stars
14. Calgary Flames
15. Ottawa Senators
16. Washington Capitals
17. San Jose Sharks
18. Chicago Blackhawks
19. Tampa Bay Lightning (from Detroit Red Wings)
20. Philadelphia Flyers
21. Buffalo Sabres (from Nashville Predators)
22. Pittsburgh Penguins
23. Florida Panthers
24. Boston Bruins
25. St. Louis Blues
26. Vancouver Canucks
27. Phoenix Coyotes
28. New York Rangers
29. New Jersey Devils
30. Los Angeles Kings

For more on the Florida Panthers check out Litter Box Cats. For more on the Tampa Bay Lightning check out Raw Charge. You can check out more hockey news from around the league at SB Nation's NHL page, or watch SB Nation's YouTube channel:

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