2012 NHL Draft: Devils, Islanders And Rangers Wrap Up Selections

The 2012 NHL Draft continues Saturday. Keep it here for all the news about the Rangers, Devils and Islanders

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2012 NHL Draft Results: First Round Pick Stefan Matteau Expected To Be Great Fit For Devils

With their first round pick in the 2012 NHL Draft, the New Jersey Devils selected center Stefan Matteau, son of NHL veteran Stephane Matteau. The same Stephane Matteau, in fact, who had the game-winning goal that knocked the Devils out of the 1994 Stanley Cup playoffs. The irony wasn't lost on the son:

"I met with the Devils a few times, but obviously knowing the history of my name, I guess it's surprising," Matteau said. "But I couldn't be more thrilled."

The 6-foot-1, 210-pound Matteau has earned praise for his physicality, something he thinks makes him a great fit for the Devils:
"Just their physicality and the way they never stopped," Matteau said. "The Final was a tough go, but they still didn't back down and that's how I play. I go hard to the end and it's a good fit for me."

David Conte, director of scouting for the Devils, had similar thoughts:

"He was a player we wanted, it was a style of player we needed, it was a perfect fit and we're thrilled to have him and he's thrilled to be with us."

"He's big, he's strong, he's aggressive, he's an excellent skater. Not to demean his father, who broke our hearts one year, but he's a better skater than his father, he's well-schooled in hockey, he understands the professional hockey life. He's lived it his whole life. We're very happy to welcome him to our family."

As with all prospects Matteau has a lot of development to go through, but there's no doubt that Devils fans are wondering if the son might be able to do for them what the father did against them.

For more on the Devils and the 2012 NHL Draft, stick with SB Nation New York. For dedicated Devils news and analysis, head over to In Lou We Trust.

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2012 NHL Draft Results: Rangers Pick Brady Skjei 'Couldn't Have Asked For A Better Team'

The New York Rangers selected defenseman Brady Skjei in the first round of the 2012 NHL Draft, 28th overall. BlueShirts United caught up with the young man in Pittsburgh and talked to him about what it meant to be drafted, and specifically to be drafted one of the original six teams in the NHL. Skjei said he was overwhelmed with excitement, and "couldn't have asked for a better team to be drafted by." As he put it:

"I've always been a big New York Rangers fan, the whole year my dad and me were saying the best team to play for would be the Rangers, just the way they play and the city to live in."

Skjei has drawn comparison to Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh, and he echoed those comparisons. Referring to himself as a "smooth skating two way defenseman," the 6-foot-3, 200-pound young man noted that skating was the best part of his game, but also that he had "a lot of room for improvement" and that he had to keep growing.

The Rangers official website noted Skjei's accomplishments in his young career:

Skjei, 18, skated in 60 games with the U.S. National Under-18 Team (USHL) last season, registering four goals and 19 assists for 23 points, along with 36 penalty minutes. He established USHL career-highs in games played, assists, points, and penalty minutes. Skjei tied for seventh on the team overall in assists, and tied for third among team defensemen in points and ranked fourth in assists.

The Lakeville, Minnesota native helped Team USA capture the gold medal at the Under-18 World Championship, recording one assist, 10 shots on goal and a plus-10 rating in six tournament contests. His plus-10 rating led all tournament skaters.

Skjei is a player with a ton of potential, and time will tell whether Rangers fans have as much reason to be excited as Skjei does.

For more on the New York Rangers and the 2012 NHL Draft, stick with SB Nation New York. For dedicated Rangers news and analysis, check out Blue Shirt Banter.

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2012 NHL Draft Results: Islanders Players React To First Round Moves

The New York Islanders had the fourth overall pick in the 2012 NHL Draft, but that wasn't the only move they made Friday night. Shorly before making their selection the team traded their second round 2013 NHL Draft selection to the Anaheim Ducks, getting defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky in return. They followed that up by drafting another defenseman, Griffin Reinhart, addressing needs on defense in both the immediate and long-term future. The official Islanders website spoke to some current Islanders players, who sound quite pleased with the decisions:

"I thought [Visnovsky] was a real good pickup for us," [Islanders forward Matt Moulson] said. "I had a chance to play with him a bit in LA and he’s an extremely skilled defenseman. "He’s been in this league for awhile. He knows what’s going on in the locker room, he knows how to play the game well and he knows how to teach younger guys."

The 6-foot-4, 207-pound Reinhart may be one of those younger guys Visnovsky has a chance to teach. Reinhart was a major contributor to the Edmonton Oil Kings' Western Hockey League playoff run, something not lost on Islanders GM Garth Snow:

"We were ecstatic to have the opportunity to select him," Snow said. "He’s obviously got size and hockey sense. He comes from a winning program and he’s going to fit in great with our young core."

It was a big draft for the Islanders defense. With two moves in the span of just a few minutes, the Islanders gave fans something to look forward to next season and well beyond.

For more on the New York Islanders, stick with SB Nation New York. For dedicated Islanders news and analysis, head over to Lighthouse Hockey.

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NHL Draft 2012: New York Islanders Draft Defenseman Griffin Reinhart With Fourth Pick

The New York Islanders on Friday night selected defenseman Griffin Reinhart with the fourth pick of the 2012 NHL Draft at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh.

Reinhart (6-foot-3, 206 pounds) plays for the Edmonton Oil Kings in the Western Hockey League. He's the son of former NHL player Paul Reinhart, a defenseman for the Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks. Just before the Islanders drafted Reinhart, they made a trade with the Anaheim Ducks to land veteran defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky for a second-round pick in the 2013 Draft.

NHL Central Scouting ranked Reinhart No. 10 among North American central skaters. In three seasons with the Oil Kings, Reinhart has 18 goals, 43 assists and 74 penalty minutes in 105 games. During the Oil Kings' run to the 2011-2012 WHL Championship, Reinhart had two goals, six assists and 20 penalty minutes in 20 games. A physical specimen, Reinhart doesn't have the most upside of other defensemen in the draft, but he is expected to develop into a steady two-way blueliner.

For more coverage of the Islanders, visit our blog Lighthouse Hockey. See SB Nation's NHL Hub for more coverage of the 2012 NHL Draft.

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2012 NHL Draft: New York Islanders Acquire Defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky From Anaheim Ducks

The New York Islanders on Friday traded a second-round draft pick in the 2013 NHL Draft to acquire defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky from the Anaheim Ducks, according to a report (Arthur Staple's Twitter). The Isles made the trade before their first pick at the 2012 NHL Draft in Pittsburgh at Consol Energy Center.

The veteran defenseman has played the last three seasons with the Ducks after beginning his career with the Kings. In 68 games last season, Visnovsky scored six goals and had 21 assists. Visnovsky could give the Islanders' power-play a much needed boost and the defensive core a veteran presence. In his career, Visnovsky has scored 47 goals and has racked up 174 assists on the power play.

For more coverage of the Islanders, visit our blog Lighthouse Hockey. See SB Nation's NHL Hub for more coverage of the 2012 NHL Draft.

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