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Winners and losers from the first round of the draft

Ryan Kennedy
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Winnipeg's Patrik Laine (Photo by Jen Fuller/Getty Images) Author: The Hockey News

News

Winners and losers from the first round of the draft

Ryan Kennedy
By:

There were some pretty big surprises and some deep dives on Day 1. We're here to sort out what went down in Buffalo on one of the NHL's biggest nights

BUFFALO - So, who saw the draft going down the way it did? Be honest.

Yes, the top two picks were chalk. Toronto got their dominant center of the future in Auston Matthews, while Winnipeg added a savage scoring weapon in Patrik Laine. But who else won the night? And on the downer side, who lost in Buffalo? Here's a breakdown.

 

Winner

 

Finland: Even though Jesse Puljujarvi was leap-frogged by Pierre-Luc Dubois, Finland landed three of the top five picks, with Olli Juolevi rounding out the crew when Vancouver got him at No. 5. As a surprise bonus, raw center Henrik Borgstrom joined his countrymen in the first round. The University of Denver commit went 23rd overall to Florida.

 

Loser

 

Sweden: This was one of Sweden's worst first rounds in recent memory, with Alex Nylander as the lone flag-bearer. Sabres fans are stoked to have the gifted winger, as they should be. But no other kids from the proud hockey nation made the top-30. Rasmus Asplund and Carl Grundstrom were candidates, as was goalie Filip Gustavsson.

 

Winner

 

The BCHL: We all knew Tyson Jost and Dante Fabbro were going to be first-rounders and now the Penticton Vees teammates are members of Colorado and Nashville, respectively. But Detroit's selection of Chilliwack defenseman Dennis Cholowski made the night memorable for the Jr. A circuit. Cholowski has a ton of potential as an offensive defenseman and heading to St. Cloud State will help.

 

Loser

 

The WHL: The 'Dub' didn't do as badly as some originally predicted, thanks to late-round selections Brett Howden (Tampa Bay), Lucas Johansen (Washington) and Sam Steel (Anaheim), but they got rooked by the BCHL, which had three top-20 picks. The WHL only had one, when Carolina selected slick-skating offensive D-man Jake Bean 13th overall. But Jr. A gets the bragging rights out West this year.

 

Winner

 

The United States: It was a record-setting night for Americans, with 12 going overall. Trent Frederic, a David Backes-type center committed to Wisconsin, put the icing on the cake when Boston grabbed him 29th. But especially, St. Louis was the biggest winner of the night with five picks. Frederic, Clayton Keller, Luke Kunin, Matthew Tkachuk and Logan Brown all represent the city.

 

Loser

 

Ottawa: Nothing against Logan Brown - he has great potential and could be the No. 1 center the Senators need in the future - but Ottawa got mugged by New Jersey. The Devils somehow got a third-rounder from the Sens just to flip spots. Did they really want Brown, or was it a great bluff and Mikey McLeod was their guy all along?

 

Winner

 

Tall Guys: Riley Tufte (Dallas), Logan Stanley (Winnipeg) and Tage Thompson (St. Louis) all come in at 6-foot-5 or taller.

 

Loser

Goalies: None were taken in the first round. This is happening more frequently recently, as the position seems to be such a crap-shoot to prognosticate. Gustavsson and Carter Hart would have been the top options.

 

 

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Winners and losers from the first round of the draft