Recapping The Preds 2012 Draft
After comparing the conversations in the Preds scouting meetings to the results Nashville posted on draft day, the Preds should be ecstatic about this year's class. The first five picks were all prospects involved in the scouts pre-draft conversations for Nashville's selection the slot before.
Pontus Aberg and Colton Sissons were part of the group the scouts were targeting for the No. 37 pick. Sissons was a prospect the scouts felt would be a great fit for the organization, a player the scouts described as someone who would instantly become a favorite among Barry Trotz & staff. His skill and intangibles made him an ideal candidate for the No. 37 pick, but when Aberg was still around at No. 37, the game-breaking offensive talent became too alluring for the Preds to turn down. Most of the pre-draft scouting scuttlebutt showed Aberg gaining significant attention by teams late in the first round, but Nashville's scouts were very happy when he was still around Day 2.
During the meetings leading into the draft, the scouts would have gladly opened the draft with either of Aberg or Sissons at No. 37, followed with Vesey and Leipsic at No. 50 and No. 66, to end up with all four was beyond a pipe dream.
Vesey was targeted at the No. 50 slot, but he was bumped when Sissons was still on the board. Leipsic was viewed as a "we don't want to miss this guy" selection at No. 66, which made it all the more alluring for David Poile to trade for the later third round pick as Leipsic remained on the board.
Much like Leipsic, Stepan was also mentioned in contention for the 66th pick, but with an eye that he might be able to slip through to the fourth round, just an even further "bonus" for the Preds 2012 class.
The end of the draft class, Vainonen, Fernholm, Gortz, and Mazanec, were each slotted in where the team ultimately picked them. Fernholm was talked about earlier in the draft, but the Preds used strategy on the floor, sensing they could get more value in a trade from the 5th round selection (Nashville flipped it to the NY Rangers for a 5th round pick next year) than for any of the 6th rounders, the staff took a gamble that Fernholm was under-scouted by other teams and was likely to slide through an extra round. In the end the Preds got the guy they wanted in Fernholm and an extra pick to play with for next year's draft.
It will be several years --- usually three-to-five years out --- before the talent selected in this year's draft class can fully be evaluated, but for at least one night the Preds scouts will be able to bask in the way their plan played out on this year's draft floor.