Sports Illustrated's most recent 2012 NHL mock draft has the Edmonton Oilers taking winger Nail Yakupov, as expected. After that, it's defenseman Ryan Murray to the Blue Jackets, center Alex Galchenyuk to the Canadiens, and winger Filip Forsberg to the Islanders. At No. 22, the Penguins take winger Thomas Wilson.
One scout described Wilson to me as this year's Taylor Pyatt. "He won't do much for you in the regular season, but you'll see what he's worth in the playoffs." Probably the toughest player among the top-tier prospects, Wilson's big and physical and strong on the cycle. He goes hard to the net and always gives an honest effort. But don't expect the kid to score much unless you have blueliners who can bank it in off his backside from the point. "He hasn't got much of a shot," another scout said. Of course, Mario Lemieux turned Warren Young into a 40-goal scorer. You never know what Sid or Geno could do with this kid.
The NHL ranks Wilson No. 15 among North American skaters. That might not sound like a terribly inspiring pick, but there will be plenty of excitement in the draft for Pittsburgh sports fans -- not only is the draft itself in Pittsburgh, but the trade rumors surrounding Jordan Staal should create plenty of intrigue as well.