Grading an NHL draft immediately after it takes place is like tasting a cake after all the ingredients are together, but before you've actually given them time to bake. The draft is an imperfect science at best, which is why giving this crop some time to gestate is the only way to accurately judge the winners and losers. Still, the early returns suggest that a few clubs got a leg up on the competition with some savvy choices or aggressive asset management.
Here are the teams we viewed as coming out on top after the weekend's festivities, and a couple that left Montreal with more questions than answers.
This could turn out to be a career-making weekend for new GM
Lupul is a talented, if streaky, winger who gives the Ducks a nice option in terms of secondary scoring. Sbisa, a 2008 first-rounder with 39 games of NHL experience under his belt, can step right into a blueline role at a price that might allow Murray to re-sign UFA
Murray then used his two first-rounders to take centers
Odds are that new GM
You can make the argument that the Preds needed another defenseman like Nashville needs another country music hopeful, but the inspired choice of
Hard not to be a winner when you select first overall,
And don't overlook the potential impact of second-rounder
Years of incompetent drafting contributed to the woeful state of the franchise, but new GM
There was only one player acquired during the draft who's a lock to improve his new team's immediate fortunes and that's Pronger. Say what you want about the price paid by
They aren't the all-knowing draft wizards they're painted to be, but the Wings might have picked up a couple of players who could make significant contributions down the road in second-rounders
Hard to get excited about this team's work at the draft table, either.