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Rundown of Predators’ Day 2 activity

PITTSBURGH – Here is a rundown of what GM David Poile had to say about all nine of his selections, including commentary from five of the draft picks who were present in Pittsburgh.

Round 2 (37th overall): LW Pontus Aberg

2011-12 team: Djurgarden (Sweden)
2011-12 stats: 47 GP, 8 G, 7 A, 15 P

Poile: “Good offensive upside, a guy that’s a little bit like a Steve Sullivan – our fans would certainly identify with that. He’s a guy that is very patient with the puck, holds onto it, gets a lot of offensive opportunities and hopefully someday is a guy that can play in the top two lines.”

Aberg: “I like to shoot the puck from everywhere on the ice. I like to use my speed, too. Maybe physicality, but that will come.”

Aberg idolized Peter Forsberg growing up and likes to watch Steven Stamkos and Alex Ovechkin.

Round 2 (50): C Colton Sissons

2011-12 team: Kelowna (WHL)
2011-12 stats: 58 GP, 26 G, 15 A, 41 P

Poile: “The best description is a Predator type of player – hard-working, two-way guy, leader, winner. We like those types of players; they find a way to get into our lineups. I don’t think he’s the most blessed as far as overall talent, but in determination he is.”

Sissons: “I definitely classify myself as a two-way forward. I model myself after a guy like Mike Fisher a little bit. I feel like I can produce offensively, play a physical game and play reliably defensively as well.”

Sissons has also tried to model his game after Ryan Kesler and Mike Richards.

Round 3 (66): LW Jimmy Vesey

2011-12 team: South Shore (EJHL)
2011-12 stats: 45 GP, 48 G, 43 A, 91 P

Poile: “In our ratings and throughout the hockey world in things that I have read, he seems to have come up in the ratings higher and higher. The guy may be a little bit of a late bloomer this year but is big, powerful, really good skater, going to college, seems to have some good hands, was a guy that was getting better and better.”

Vesey: “Next year I’m going to Harvard and I’m pretty excited … I’m a big forward that likes to carry the puck. My biggest asset is my goal scoring and hockey sense. I like to make plays in the offensive zone … I want to improve on my first few strides from a standstill.”

Round 3 (89): LW Brendan Leipsic

2011-12 team: Portland (WHL)
2011-12 stats: 65 GP, 28 G, 30 A, 58 P

Poile: “What I’ve been told is that this is one of those guys that is really hard [to play against] – a little bit [Jordin] Tootoo-ish, Brad Marchand. The best description would be that he’s not fun to play against. The opposition doesn’t like him too much; a guy that you love but they hate. Not really big in stature but plays really, really tough.”

Round 4 (112): C Zachary Stepan

2011-12 team: Shattuck-St.Mary’s (USHS)
2011-12 stats: 50 GP, 22 G, 43 A, 65 P

Poile: “Another kid that has got some good size and good skating with a little bit of an offensive upside. He’s going to Waterloo (USHL) next year then going to school, so lots of time to develop. Later in the draft, that type of a growth projection is good for players like that.”

Stepan: “I feel like I can fit right in as a power forward and work hard like the rest of them do; I think I’ll fit in perfectly for that and then hopefully work my way up to getting in a scoring or playmaking role. However the coach wants me to play, that’s how I’m going to play.”

Stepan likes watching Mike Fisher play and idolizes Zach Parise.

Round 4 (118): D Mikko Vainonen

2011-12 team: HIFK (Finland-Jr)
2011-12 stats: 2 GP, 0 G, 1 A, 1 P

Poile: “Big defenseman, not unlike the kid you’re going to see pretty soon that we just signed – Joonas Jarvinen. I like his size. Paul [Fenton] projected him a little bit to [Mattias] Ekholm. The big factor was the size and the skating – a very smooth skater.”

Vaionen: “I like to play a simple game and give easy pass to forward. Good positioning, play hard.”

Vaionen tries to model his game after Chris Pronger.

Round 6 (164): D Simon Fernholm

2011-12 team: Huddinge (Sweden-Jr)
2011-12 stats: 5 GP, 0 G, 1 A, 1 P

Poile: “6-foot-5 and really a good skater. These guys are going to take some time to develop. Lucas [Bergeron] was very bullish on him. Happy to get him.”

Round 6 (172): RW Max Gortz

2011-12 team: Farjestad (Sweden)
2011-12 stats: 18 GP, 2 G, 3 A, 5 P

Poile: “A Predator type of player – hard-working guy that has some pretty good skills. The thing the scouts said the most is that he is a hard player to play against.”

Round 6 (179): G Marek Mazanec

2011-12 team: HC Plzen (Czech)

Poile: “Not getting a lot of exposure, playing a lower level. Has got some pretty good size; I hope that doesn’t come to a surprise to you. We’ll see. We’re all hoping that we got the guy in the (sixth) round that nobody else got.”

 
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