Does Slater Koekkoek last until round 2? Photo courtesy Ontario Hockey League

Second Round Suggestions: Who Would You Pick?

As the weekend drew near, I asked our Twitter followers to forget about the first round for a little bit, and to focus on Edmonton’s second pick at 32nd overall.

Some of the responses were expected, others were a little more off the grid.

Here’s a list and a couple of lines about some selections chosen by various Twitter followers.

  • Henrik Samuelsson:  by far, the most common answer I received when I asked who the second round selection should have been, and it’s not a really big surprise as he finished the season in an Oil Kings sweater.  23 points (7-16-23) in 28 regular season games, 14 points (4-10-14) in 17 postseason.  A 205+ lb winger playing on the Oil Kings’ second line, the son of former NHL defenceman Ulf Samuelsson has a physical edge to game (surprise),  slated to be picked somewhere late in the first to middle of second round, depending on which list you like.
  • Jordan Schmaltz:  6’2″, 170-lb defenceman for the Green Bay Gamblers (USHL) put up 35 points (7-28-35) and 20 PIM in 46 GP.  A right handed shot who has put up some serious numbers in the USHL (23-62-85 in two full years), Schmaltz has committed to the NCAA’s University of North Dakota for the 2012-13 academic year.  Schmaltz is slated to go sometime in the second round.
  • Ludvig Bystrom – 6′, 180-lb defenceman for Modo (SEL).  Was a 29 point producer in Modo’s Under-20 SuperElite, and is a current mainstay on Modo’s big club (the same club Henrik Samuelsson was on before he became a member of the Oil Kings).  Will turn 18 in July, is only one of two current skaters on Modo under 18.  Bystrom is expected to go early second round, although he may be a late first round snag.
  • Slater Koekkoek – 6’2″, 200-lb defenceman for Peterborough (OHL).  A mainstay on Peterborough’s defence, Koekkoek put up 18 points (5-13-18) in an injury-shortened 26 game season (shoulder).  Koekkoek is a gifted two-way player and an excellent skater.  Koekkoek could easily be a first round pick in the draft.  Central scouting has him listed at 23rd overall, although Koekkoek could end up being a wild swing on the draft board due to his injury.
  • Daniil Zharkov – 6’3, 200-lb winger for Belleville (OHL).  Sixth in scoring on Belleville (23-13-36) in only 50 games played (collar bone injury) has great speed and puck control.  Zharkov has the capacity to be one of the best selections in the second round if his talent on offence continues to bloom.  Zharkov is slated to be a mid-second round pick.
  • Damon Severson – 6’2, 198-lb defenceman for Kelowna (WHL).  Second-leading scorer among Kelowna defencemen with 37 points (7-30-37) in 56 GP.  Severson is putting up some nice numbers with Kelowna, he could round out to be a stay-at-home defenceman with some upside on offence as his career progresses.  Severson is slated to be a mid-second round pick.

In most drafts, there are few certains after the first two or three picks.  Any one of these players could turn out to be franchise mainstays, or something else completely.  Keep in mind, each of these players are likely two years away from seeing the NHL.

Who do you go with at 32?

Let’s hear what you’ve got.

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