Arctic Ice Hockey's First Annual NHL Mock Draft: Pick #12

ST PAUL, MN - JUNE 24: Sixteenth overall pick Joel Armia by the Buffalo Sabres stands onstage and puts on a Buffalo Sabres jersey during day one of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft at Xcel Energy Center on June 24, 2011 in St Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Hey all! Welcome to Arctic Ice Hockey's first annual NHL Mock Draft. Over the next thirty days, Ryan, Tim and myself will attempt to telepathically channel the minds of NHL General Managers as they complete their final rankings in preparation for the 2012 NHL Draft being held June 22, 2012 in Pittsburgh, PA.

In some instances, our analysis will require less insight than others *cough* *Edmonton* *cough*.

So without further adieu, we present our loyal readers with the twelfth overall pick of Arctic Ice Hockey's 2012 Mock Draft.

Darcy Regier: With the twelfth overall selection in this years draft, the Buffalo Sabres are pleased to select...


Zegmus Girgensons

Centre / Dubuque Fighting Saints - USHL

6-2

January 5, 1994
Hometown: Riga, LVA

Shoots: Left



GP G A P +/- PIM
2011-12 Dubuque Fighting Saints (USHL) 49 24 31 55 17 69

Rankings: CSS (18 NA), ISS (24), TSN (16), Hockey Prospectus (14)

The Skinny: The Sabres are one of the NHL's most youthful teams, but their system is bare, especially at the positions of centre and left wing. Girgensons is a big two way centre which will add some size to Buffalo's size issues at the position. More than just a big body, Girgensons has skill to match his grit as he displayed to scouts at this years World Junior Championships as a member of the Latvian team. Another mitigating factor for Buffalo is that Derek Roy has only one year remaining on his current deal, before becoming a UFA next off-season. Girgensons has a chance to make history at this years draft, being the first ever Latvian player taken in the first round.

Hockey Prospectus:

Girgensons had a quality second USHL season and has a good chance to be the highest draft selection to ever come from Latvia. Girgensons is a great do-it-all player who can create offense from his natural skill and still be a fan favorite because of his intangibles. Girgensons is an above-average skater with a technically sound stride and is pretty agile in tight spaces. His top speed isn't overly dangerous but still good meaning he will be able to skate with pros. Girgensons is a dangerous puck handler who I'd say is above-average to plus in that area as he can certainly make players miss and at times he can be a pretty flashy player. At other times, though, Girgensons can be a straight-ahead gritty type of power forward who drives the net, gets in people's faces after the whistle, and will lay out big hit after big hit. He also shows a diligent work ethic at both ends, and is very responsible and smart defensively for his age, which has garnered trust from his coach to play him in a lot of tough defensive minutes. Girgensons is pretty aware with the puck with a pass-first mentality. While I haven't seen high-end playmaking from him, he can certainly move the puck around and has pretty good vision. - Corey Pronman

AIH Draft Board

Pick Team Player Pos Nationality Amateur Club
1 Edmonton Oilers Nail Yakupov LW RUS Sarnia Sting (OHL)
2 Columbus Blue Jackets Mikhail Grigorenko C RUS Quebec Remparts (QMJHL)
3 Montreal Canadiens Alex Galchenyuk C USA Sarnia Sting (OHL)
4 New York Islanders Ryan Murray D CAN Everett Silvertips (WHL)
5 Toronto Maple Leafs
Filip Forsberg RW SWE Leksands IF (Allvenskan)
6 Anaheim Ducks Matt Dumba D CAN Red Deer Rebels (WHL)
7 Minnesota Wild Teuvo Teravainen LW FIN Jokerit Jr. (SM Liiga)
8 Carolina Hurricanes Morgan Rielly D CAN Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL)
9 Winnipeg Jets Radek Faksa C CZE Kitchener Rangers (OHL)
10 Tampa Bay Lightning Cody Ceci D CAN Ottawa 67's (OHL)
11 Washington Capitals (via COL) Griffin Reinhart D CAN Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)
12 Buffalo Sabres Zegmus Girgensons C LVA Dubuque Fighting Saints (USHL)

Community Draft Board

Pick Team Player Pos Nationality Amateur Club
1 Edmonton Oilers Nail Yakupov
LW RUS Sarnia Sting (OHL)
2 Columbus Blue Jackets Mikhail Grigorenko C RUS Quebec Remparts (QMJHL)
3 Montreal Canadiens Alex Galchenyuk C USA Sarnia Sting (OHL)
4 New York Islanders Ryan Murray D CAN Everett Silvertips (WHL)
5 Toronto Maple Leafs Filip Forsberg RW SWE Leksands IF (Allvenskan)
6 Anaheim Ducks Teuvo Teravainen LW FIN Jokerit Jr. (SM Liiga)
7 Minnesota Wild Matt Dumba D CAN Red Deer Rebels (WHL)
8 Carolina Hurricanes Morgan Rielly D CAN Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL)
9 Winnipeg Jets Radek Faksa C CZE Kitchener Rangers (OHL)
10 Tampa Bay Lightning Cody Ceci D CAN Ottawa 67's (OHL)
11 Washington Capitals (via COL) Jacob Trouba D USA USNTDP (USHL)

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