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Ten Years Later: Revisiting the 2012 NHL Draft

This week marks the 10-year anniversary of the 2012 NHL Draft – so with that impending anniversary, and the 2022 iteration coming up in just a few short weeks, it seems prudent to take a look back at what was, and what’s been in the years since.

Obviously, the big disclaimer with any post like this is: hindsight is always 20/20. It’s easy for us today, in 2022, to look back on that year’s draft class and mutter under our breath about the misses, and other team’s hits. It’s hard to know where a player is going to wind up in the long run, and so many different factors come into play that anything can truly happen.

The top three that year are great evidence of this: Nail Yakupov, Ryan Murray & Alex Galchenyuk.

Yakupov came to the NHL immediately and spent four seasons with the Edmonton Oilers. He jumped around to the St. Louis Blues and Colorado Avalanche before his time in North America ultimately ended in 2018. He went on to sign with SKA St. Petersburg, played there for two seasons and spent one year with Khabarovsk Amur before joining his current team, Omsk Avangard.

Murray played parts of seven seasons with the Columbus Blue Jackets from 2013-2020, but his time there was often marred by injuries. After playing with the New Jersey Devils in 2020-21, he’s spent this season with the Colorado Avalanche. He’s skated in 432 NHL games to date, putting up 128 points.

Galchenyuk spent this season with the Arizona Coyotes and has bounced around quite a bit over the last few years. After six seasons with the Montreal Canadiens, he’s played for Arizona (in a previous stint), Pittsburgh, Minnesota, Ottawa and Toronto. Over the past 10 years, he’s skated in 643 NHL games and accrued 354 points.

There were few other notable names that came out of that year’s draft. Nikita Gusev was picked by the Tampa Bay Lightning 202nd overall; Connor Hellebuyck was selected 130th by Winnipeg, and Jaccob Slavin went at 120 to Carolina. Toronto picked Connor Brown at 156, and Brady Skjei went 28th to the Rangers.

Other names: Tom Wilson, Tomas Hertl, Teuvo Teravainen, Andrey Vasilevsky.

Our friend Vinnie Hinostroza went 169th to Chicago, while Colin Miller went at 151.

With all that said… who did the Sabres pick ten years ago, and where are they now?

Mikhail Grigorenko (1st round, 12th overall)

  • Current team: CSKA Moscow, KHL (41 GP, 18-15-33)
  • Last NHL team: Columbus Blue Jackets (2020-21)
  • Stats with the Sabres: 68 GP, 6-8-14
  • NHL stats: 249 GP, 26-50-76/

Zemgus Girgensons (1st round, 14th overall)

  • Current team: Buffalo Sabres, NHL (56 GP, 10-8-18)
  • Stats with the Sabres/NHL stats: 545 GP, 71-85-156/

Jake McCabe (2nd round, 44th overall)

  • Current team: Chicago Blackhawks, NHL (75 GP, 4-18-22)
  • Stats with the Sabres: 353 GP, 18-59-77
  • NHL stats: 428 GP, 22-77-99/

Justin Kea (3rd round, 73rd overall)

  • Current team: No longer playing; now an AHL referee
  • Last team: Toledo Walleye, 2018-19
  • No NHL/Sabres stats/

Logan Nelson (5th round, 133rd overall)

  • Current team: Tucson Roadrunners, AHL (5 GP, 0-0-0)
  • Also played with the ECHL’s Rapid City Rush this season (56 GP, 22-38-60)
  • No NHL/Sabres stats/

Linus Ullmark (6th round, 163rd overall)

  • Current team: Boston Bruins, NHL (41 GP, 2.45 GAA, .917 sv% – regular season)
  • Stats with the Sabres: 117 GP, 2.78 GAA, .912 sv%
  • NHL stats: 158 GP, 2.69 GAA, .913 sv%/

Brady Austin (7th round, 193rd overall)

  • Current team: Tappara Tampere, SM-liiga (52 GP, 4-9-13)
  • Last NHL team: Buffalo Sabres, 2016-17
  • Stats with the Sabres/NHL stats: 5 GP, 0-0-0/

Judd Peterson (7th round, 204th overall)

  • Current team: None, it appears he is no longer playing
  • Last team: Cincinnati Cyclones/Rochester Americans, 2018-19
  • No NHL/Sabres stats/

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