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BLUELINE BONANZA

An inside look at the top 10 North American defensemen heading into the 2012 NHL Entry Draft

Monday, 06.11.2012 / 4:27 PM / Features
By Kevin Snow  - Sabres.com
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BLUELINE BONANZA
While much has been made of the high-end offensive talent available at the top of the year\u2019s draft class, there are a slew of North American defensemen that could dominate the first round on Friday, June 22. In fact, eight of the top 12 players ranked by NHL Central Scouting are blueliners.

While much has been made of the high-end offensive talent available at the top of the year’s draft class, there are a slew of North American defensemen that could dominate the first round on Friday, June 22. In fact, eight of the top 12 players ranked by NHL Central Scouting are blueliners.

Leading the way is Ryan Murray of the WHL’s Everett Silvertips, a steady two-way defender who is considered to be the “surest thing” of all the defensemen in this year’s draft. Projected to go fourth overall by both The Hockey News and McKeen’s Hockey, the six-foot-one, 201 pound Murray has also been ranked as high as second overall by Steven Hoffner of NHL.com, who considers him to be the “best all-round defenseman in the draft.”

In terms of offensive defensemen, they don’t get much better than Matt Dumba and Cody Ceci, who put up 57 and 60 points respectively this season. Dumba also has a physical element to his game, while Ceci is a talented playmaker with a big body who rocketed up draft boards as the year went on.

After Murray, the draft projections for the other defensemen are all over the map despite their Central Scouting Rankings. The Hockey News has Dumba going fifth overall, followed by Morgan Rielly (sixth), Griffin Reinhart (eighth), Jacob Trouba (ninth) and Ceci (10th). McKeen’s has Dumba-Reinhart-Rielly going sixth through eighth, with Trouba at 10th and Ceci sliding all the way down to 12th – where the Sabres are currently scheduled to make their first pick of the draft.

Ryan Murray

North American Skater - Everett, WHL
Final Rank: 2 Midterm Rank: 3
Position: Defenseman Shoots: Left
Height: 6' 0" Weight: 201
Born: September 27, 1993 Hometown: White City, SK
Born in: Regina, SK, CAN

Morgan Rielly

North American Skater - Moose Jaw, WHL
Final Rank: 5 Midterm Rank: 5
Position: Defenseman Shoots: Left
Height: 6' 0" Weight: 190
Born: March 9, 1994
Born in: Vancouver, BC, CAN

Cody Ceci

North American Skater - Ottawa, OHL
Final Rank: 6 Midterm Rank: 16
Position: Defenseman Shoots: Right
Height: 6' 2" Weight: 207
Born: December 21, 1993 Hometown: Orleans, ON
Born in: Ottawa, ON, CAN

Olli Maatta

North American Skater - London, OHL
Final Rank: 8 Midterm Rank: 6
Position: Defenseman Shoots: Left
Height: 6' 2" Weight: 202
Born: August 22, 1994
Born in: Jyväskylä, FIN

Jacob Trouba

North American Skater - USA U-18, USHL
Final Rank: 9 Midterm Rank: 9
Position: Defenseman Shoots: Right
Height: 6' 2" Weight: 193
Born: February 26, 1994
Born in: Rochester, MI, USA

Griffin Reinhart

North American Skater - Edmonton, WHL
Final Rank: 10 Midterm Rank: 8
Position: Defenseman Shoots: Left
Height: 6' 4" Weight: 207
Born: January 24, 1994
Born in: North Vancouver, BC, CAN

Mathew Dumba

North American Skater - Red Deer, WHL
Final Rank: 11 Midterm Rank: 7
Position: Defenseman Shoots: Right
Height: 6' 0" Weight: 183
Born: July 25, 1994 Hometown: Calgary, AB
Born in: Regina, SK, CAN

Derrick Pouliot

North American Skater - Portland, WHL
Final Rank: 12 Midterm Rank: 10
Position: Defenseman Shoots: Left
Height: 5' 11" Weight: 186
Born: January 16, 1994 Hometown: Weyburn, SK
Born in: Estevan, SK, CAN

Matthew Finn

North American Skater - Guelph, OHL
Final Rank: 16 Midterm Rank: 15
Position: Defenseman Shoots: Left
Height: 6' 0" Weight: 195
Born: February 24, 1994
Born in: Toronto, ON, CAN

Brady Skjei

North American Skater - USA U-18, USHL
Final Rank: 19 Midterm Rank: 18
Position: Defenseman Shoots: Left
Height: 6' 3" Weight: 200
Born: March 26, 1994
Born in: Lakeville, MN, USA

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Hodgson 72 20 24 -26 44
T. Ennis 80 21 22 -25 43
D. Stafford 70 16 18 -19 34
C. Ehrhoff 79 6 27 -27 33
C. Stewart 63 15 11 0 26
C. Conacher 79 7 19 1 26
T. Myers 62 9 13 -26 22
Z. Girgensons 70 8 14 -6 22
M. Foligno 74 7 12 -17 19
J. McBain 69 6 11 -13 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Neuvirth 4 8 2 .921 2.78
J. Enroth 4 17 5 .911 2.82