Just thought I'd give this a little bump as all of these guys were drafted within the top 10 which comes along with some big expectations.
Ryan Murray - Drafted 2nd overall by the Columbus Blue Jackets. I liked this pick for the Jackets, but didn't overly like it for Murray. CBJ is starting to develop quite the defensive corps with Wisniewski, Nikitin, Tyutin, JJ, and Aucoin already taking up roster spots, Murray will have to compete against Erixon, Savard, and Moore for the remaining #6/#7 D-Slots. Long term I think he'll fit on the top pairing with JJ but that could be several years away.
Looking at him so far this year, he's off to a phenomenal start. The biggest knock against Murray has been his supposed lack of offensive game, but last year he put up 0.89 points per game when you adjust for league scoring, which put him behind only Dumba and Rielly. This year he already has 17 points in 21 games (0.81 points per game) despite the Everett Silvertips being an awful team again - they sit last in their division and are 5th last in GF in the entire WHL (with 3 of those 4 teams ahead of them being from the B.C. Division). He's also not only the leading D-scorer for his team, but the points leader among all skaters for his team. It's too early in the season for GF averages to be totally meaningful, so I won't bother adjusting for league scoring (at least at this time).
Griffin Reinhart - Drafted 4th overall by the NY Islanders. Awesome pick for the Isles whose blueline could really use some long term help. While I personally had Reinhart ranked behind Murray and Rielly, the Isles scouts obviously saw something they liked in Reinhart (and having viewed him live 10+ times last season, there's a lot to like).
Last year, Reinhart put up decent numbers playing for a powerhouse team but this year he has struggled offensively putting up a mere 5 points in 19 games (0.26 points per game), a sharp drop from last years totals which equated to 0.48 points per game once adjusted for league scoring; however, this is hardly Reinhart's fault. He is a defensive rock, is calm under pressure, and makes smart, simple plays and is arguably one of the best d-men defensively in the WHL, if not the CHL. He's not the type of player to rush the puck up the ice or shoot a ton, and often prefers to make smooth, crisp breakout passes. With the Oil Kings being a less powerful team this year, and them enduring a depleted blue line (Pysyk gone, Gernat injured, etc.) Reinhart has been leaned on heavily for defensive duties (a la Duncan Keith) and has only seen limited 2nd PP time for the most part. However, with the acquisition of David Musil and the eventual return of Martin Gernat, Reinhart should see some of the defensive burden lifted off him and I'd look for a strong second half of the season for him.
I still love the Ryan Suter comparison for Reinhart. Both are so smooth and collected when they play and are just so positionally sound. Ryan Suter has averaged 36 points per year during his career and while I know many think Reinhart has some untapped offensive potential, I'd expect him to hover around the mid-30's most his career with the odd spike into the 40's (same as Suter).
Morgan Rielly (aka the best player in the draft) - Drafted 5th overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs. Many felt TOR should have gone with a player like Grigorenko here (who coincidentally, is also lighting it up this year), but Rielly is proving to be a worthy pick. He finished off last year with an adjusted scoring rate of 0.94 points per game in a shortened season, good for the 2nd best adjusted points per game of WHL defenders (behind Matt Dumba). This year, he's picked up where he left off, posting 21 points in 20 games (good for 1.05 points per game) on a relatively average team (amongst these defenders, only Ryan Murray's team has scored fewer goals), good for 1st among D on the Moose Jaw Warriors and 2nd among team scoring.
Long term, Rielly is easily the most talented defenceman in Toronto's system and I'd eventually expect him to fit on the top pairing with Phaneuf. Furthermore, at this point Rielly has distinguished himself as the most offensively talented d-man in the 2012 draft class (if he wasn't already).
Matt Dumba - Drafted by Minnesota 7th overall. Despite the questions over his size and defensive decisions, Dumba had a fantastic draft year and had the highest adjusted points per game rate of any defender profiled in this writeup. This year he has not had quite as much success, posting 12 points in 20 games (0.6 points per game); However Red Deer is basically a middling team like Moose Jaw (and has only potted 1 more goal this year than the Warriors) and as such he has even less support than last year and Dumba has been forced to focus more on his defensive game. Despite this, he leads the D in scoring by a large margin (the next best has 6 points in 22 games) and he sits tied for 3rd in team scoring.
Minnesota should be a great fit for Dumba and while the signing of Suter and the emergence of Brodin has certainly added some competition he is still in a fantastic situation as Minnesota is still lacking for a clear offensive defenceman.
Derrick Pouliot - Drafted 8th overall by the Penguins. Pouliot certainly went higher than I, and many others expected, which just added an additional element of shock to the Staal trade. Derrick was always considered one of the most offensively talented defencemen out of this draft and he's proving it by putting up 18 points in 17 games (1.06 points per game), good for the best pace of all the players profiled here, and also a significant improvement upon his league adjusted 0.61 point per game pace last year. However, it's definitely worth noting that Pouliot plays for by far the best team out of any of the players profiled here as the Winterhawks sit 1st in their divison and 3rd in GF in the WHL. Considering Troy Rutkowski and Tyler Wotherspoon are also putting up near point per game numbers, I'm a little hesitant to buy into Pouliot's numbers at this point.
Pittsburgh is a fantastic team but Pouliot has a fair amount of competition in Despres, Maatta, Morrow, and others, though he is likely the most offensively talented of the bunch.
Brief Summary of Scoring
Draft Year League-Adjusted PPG Scoring:
1) Dumba 0.98 ppg
2) Rielly 0.94 ppg
3) Murray 0.89 ppg
4) Pouliot 0.61 ppg
5) Reinhart 0.48 ppg
Post-Draft Year Non-Adjusted PPG Scoring:
1) Pouliot 1.06 ppg
2) Rielly 1.05 ppg
3) Murray 0.81 ppg
4) Dumba 0.6 ppg
5) Reinhart 0.26 ppg
Based on the team they play for and the limited sample thus far, I would say Morgan Rielly and Ryan Murray are having the most impressive post-draft years of the group.