The 2012 NHL Entry Draft is an extremely strange draft in my eyes. Some players at the top of this draft have turned out to be complete disasters. For example, the Oilers taking Nail Yakupov turned out to be a complete debacle. The Islanders taking Griffin Reinhart 4th overall seemed like a bad pick at the time, until they flipped him to Edmonton in exchange for Matt Barzal. Reinhart was then claimed by Vegas. Even guys like Ryan Murray, Matt Dumba, and Derrick Pouliot have been alright in the NHL, but most certainly not top 10 picks.
There are some fantastic defenseman taken in this draft, such as, Hampus Lindholm, Jacob Trouba, Morgan Rielly, and a few others. 7 of my top 10 are actually defenseman. With that, let’s get into my top 10.
10.) Shayne Gostisbehere
Ghostbear is an excellent offensive defenseman and a great QB on the powerplay. He does come with some defensive flaws however, which he actually appears to have cleaned up quite a bit this season. Unfortunately, I don’t think we will ever see him shoot 11.2% again like he did in 2016 where he had that magical run.
9.) Brady Skjei
Skjei has been very impressive over these last two seasons. He is a very good all-around defender.
8.) Alex Galchenyuk
If Glach were drafted by any other team, there is a good chance he would be #1 on this list. He has been one of Montreal’s best offensive players in years where goal scoring is near impossible to come by. He is brutal defensively, which is more than likely why Montreal refuses to play him at center. But to give him fourth line minutes is absolutely ridiculous.
7.) Jacob Trouba
Trouba is a great physical defender for any good teams’ top 4. I think there is more of an offensive upside to Trouba than he shows however.
6.) Morgan Rielly
Rielly has been a bit of a project for the Leafs. He is clearly very gifted offensively, but has struggled from time to time in his own end. This season Rielly has taken the steps to becoming that number one defenseman the Leafs need him to be. But obviously, I’d like to see that in a larger sample size.
5.) Andrei Vasilevskiy
Vasilevskiy has been one of the best goaltending prospects since he broke into the league in 2015. He has answered the call to being a starting goalie by posting a .935% save percentage in 32 games so far this season.
4.) Jaccob Slavin
Slavin has been an incredible shutdown defenseman for Carolina. He is extremely responsible with the puck and is a bug minute eater. Slavin is a huge piece to the puzzle in Carolina’s rebuild.
3.) Filip Forsberg
Easily the best forward in this draft. Forsberg has been a consistent 60+ point guy since 2015. His playoff performance last season was also spectacular. He can score at 5 on 5 as well as on the powerplay. He is also a career 55% corsi player which makes me love him even more.
2.) Colton Parayko
Parayko is a steady, top-end defender with a great shot and fantastic instincts. He is so responsible with the puck and is so tough to get around. His ability to stay out of the penalty box is also astounding to me. There isn’t a thing I would change about his game, St. Louis is very lucky to have found him in the 3rd round of this draft.
1.) Hampus Lindholm
Lindholm is a fantastic number one defender on any team. He will not blow you away with his flashiness or anything like that. Much like Colton Parayko, Lindholm is a very steady and smart defender. I do think Lindholm still has more to show offensively however. He definitely has the skills, but has taken a shutdown approach to his game.