Missed Opportunities: Three Undrafted Gems from 2012 NHL Draft
Photo courtesy of Mark Bell / Erie Otters
By Brian Huddle (@BrianHuddle)
A total of 211 players were selected by NHL teams in the 2012 NHL Draft. All were given the chance to throw on a jersey, smile for the cameras, answer countless questions asked by local and national media, and all were promised the start of a new possible career in pro hockey.
But what about those names who didn’t get called? Were there any unselected players in the junior and collegiate circuits that will make scouts kick themselves by next season?
Let’s look at a few who might do just that:
1. Dane Fox – C – Erie Otters
Despite the consistent rumors of off-ice struggles, Fox is an impressive hockey player. Contributing 54 points in 62 games is no small feat for a draft eligible. Fox put up 32 points in 34 games while playing down the lineup on the stacked OHL Champion, London Knights, before putting up 22 points in 28 games with the last place Erie Otters, following a trade.
2. Miles Koules – C/RW – Medicine Hat Tigers
If the last name looks familiar, it’s because he’s the son of former Tamba Bay Lightning owner, Oren Koules. Miles went from a highly regarded prospect early on to undrafted, following struggles with the U.S. Under-18 Team. The highly creative forward has plenty of offensive talent, which has been on display early in the preseason for Medicine Hat, whom he signed with, rather than fulfill a commitment to the University of North Dakota. He’s brought in five points in three games thus far, and has even donned the ‘A’ for his new team.
3. Max Iafrate – D – Kitchener Rangers
Another familiar name, NHL fans alike will remember Max’s father, Al Iafrate, as the big man with the big shot. Max was once seen as a player with similar attributes as his father, though the offensive production never came around in his first stop with the Plymouth Whalers. After a trade to Kitchener for last season, Max saw his game molded into that of a big strong defensive defender, as well as seeing his offensive totals rise.