NHL Draft: Three Undrafted Americans from 2012
By Andrew Weiss (@WeissFC)
56 Americans were selected at the 2012 NHL Draft in Pittsburgh and will forever wear the title of being an NHL Draft pick. Several other Americans went through the pain of hearing 211 names, not hearing their own.
Later this fall, these players will have the chance to prove 30 NHL teams wrong—proving they were worthy of a pick at the draft. Many of these players, if they continue to improve, will have the chance to be a part of the 2013 Draft class in their second year of eligibility. Below is a look at the Americans who may have a leg up on the competition when their respective seasons start.
1. Justin Kloos – C – Waterloo Black Hawks (USHL)
Kloos has the unfortunate distinction of being the first Minnesota Mr. Hockey Award winner since 2004 to not be drafted. USHL bound, Kloos has a chance to join the 25 other Minnesota Mr. Hockey Award winners to be selected at the draft next year. The undersized Kloos will play for a team loaded with forward talent in Waterloo this season. Even better, Kloos has benefited from playing alongside 2011-12 USHL Rookie of the Year Taylor Cammarata in the team’s preseason. The 2013 University of Minnesota bound player will likely put up points and receive more attention from scouts this year.
2. Cody Corbett – D – Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)
After bolting from Stillwater (Minn.) High School in favor of Edmonton last summer, Corbett had an impressive draft year. Corbett benefited from learning from top defensemen Mark Pysyk, Martin Gernat, and Griffin Reinhart, and with the exception of Pysyk, will benefit from playing alongside them again this year. Despite not being drafted, Corbett did participate in his hometown Minnesota Wild’s Development Camp in July and did not look out of place. Look for Corbett to continue to play his rugged style of play and put up even more points than the 30 he had last season.
3. Frank Vatrano – LW/C – Boston College (Hockey East)
The US National Team Development Program saw six forwards selected at June’s draft, but many felt there should have been a seventh in Vatrano. Vatrano finished fourth on the NTDP’s U18 in points last season with 35 in 60 games and equally impressive was his end of the year performance at the U18 World Championship. Playing on the second line, Vatrano showed his physical, two-way play, tallying two goals and two assists in six games. Like Corbett, Vatrano also received a development camp invitation, skating with Calgary in early July.