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...
Centre / Dubuque Fighting Saints - USHL
January 5, 1994
Hometown: Riga, LVA
|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.
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
|1||Edmonton Oilers||Nail Yakupov||LW||RUS||Sarnia Sting (OHL)
||Sarnia Sting (OHL)|
|4||New York Islanders||
||Everett Silvertips (WHL)|
Toronto Maple Leafs
||Filip Forsberg||RW||SWE||Leksands IF (Allvenskan)|
|7||Minnesota Wild||Teuvo Teravainen||LW||FIN||Jokerit Jr. (SM Liiga)|
|8||Carolina Hurricanes||Morgan Rielly||D||CAN||Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL)|
||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
Sarnia Sting (OHL)
Columbus Blue Jackets
Mikhail Grigorenko C RUS Quebec Remparts (QMJHL)
Alex Galchenyuk C USA Sarnia Sting (OHL)
New York Islanders
Ryan Murray D CAN Everett Silvertips (WHL)
Toronto Maple Leafs
Jokerit Jr. (SM Liiga) 7
Red Deer Rebels (WHL)
Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL)
Radek Faksa C
CZE Kitchener Rangers (OHL)
Tampa Bay Lightning
Ottawa 67's (OHL)
Washington Capitals (via COL)
Who will the Buffalo Sabres draft with the twelfth overall selection in the 2012 NHL Draft?
Pontus Aberg (6 votes)
Zegmus Girgensons (4 votes)
Olli Matta (6 votes)
Griffin Reinhart (11 votes)
Other (provide name in comments) (1 vote)
28 total votes