It’s Draft Day. It could also be called Trade Day.
In keeping with that tradition, the Ducks traded away defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky to the New York Islanders.
Anaheim in return will receive a second-round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft.
Visnovsky, 35, did not have a great season last year, with six goals and 27 points in 68 games. This was a poor follow up for the 2010-11 season when he had 18 goals and 68 points, which was the most in the NHL among defensemen that year.
At $5.6 million against the salary cap, Visnovsky was just too expensive for his production (or recent lack thereof.)
This year, the 2012 draft could also be called D-Day, as in Defensemen. With the exception of the first and third pick, every selection was a blue line guy.
It made sense then, that when the Ducks made their first draft pick at #6 it would be a defenseman. The Ducks selected Swedish blue liner Hampus Lindholm. Lindholm was slotted by the talking heads to go around 15th, but Anaheim has never been one to go a little off the board.
Lindholm is a big guy at 6’2″ and 195 pounds. The 18-year-old Swede split the 2011-12 season between Rogle’s junior and Allsvenskan teams; he recorded 5 goals and 17 points and a plus-25 rating in 28 games for their junior squad and one goal and four points in 20 contests for their senior club.
“I’m very happy,” Lindholm said. “I had meetings with the Ducks and had a feeling they might pick me.”
Scouting reports vary on Lindholm, but generally agree he is an all around two-way d-man with good size and mobility. Skates well. Hockey sense is impressive and so are his puck skills. Does not shy away from the rough stuff, although not an overly physical player. Used on the man advantage as well as in shorthanded situations. Sort of a late bloomer. Got better as the season went on. He has offensive ability, good vision and an ability to create plays. Solid, but not spectacular.
As with all draft picks, it is a crap shoot for future success, but you have to have hope.