VKW's 2013 Mock Draft(Top-30)
So I thought I might try my hand at this, based on current NHL standings. Criticism is welcome.
1) Nathan Mackinnon
With Mackinnon and Jones being the consensus 1-2 punch(although Drouin is hot on their heels), Columbus will decide to play it safe and take Mackinnon, as defensemen are generally harder to predict in their development(See E. Johnson, Hedman, etc.) Mackinnon is a guarantee to be a cornerstone of their franchise for years to come, as well as addressing their biggest need for high end skill up front.
2) Seth Jones
With the way the current defense has been playing and Myers dramatically underperforming, it's hard to see any reason why Buffalo would turn down the hands-down best defenseman in the draft, especially given the future depth at forward they have with Hodgson, Ennis, Armia, Grigorenko, and Girgensons to with the still relatively young Vanek and Pominville. Defense is the greatest need for the Sabres, and Jones is the BPA, so this pick is a no-brainer.
3) Jonathan Drouin
For the Capitals, they'll simply go BPA. Drouin is the most talented player left on the board, and his dynamic offensive skill might help reignite the former powerhouse, possibly giving new life to Ovechkin, Backstrom, and Green after their prolonged slump.
4) Aleksander Barkov
With Huberdeau moving to wing and Florida's current defense already consisting of young studs in Gudbranson and Kulikov, a true number one centre is the most glaring need. Barkov's high end talent and experience playing in a men's league will give the Panthers an immediate impact player who will be a major building block for them moving forward.
5) Rasmus Ristolainen
With the Avalanche's blueline arguably the worst in the league, in part due to injuries, but mainly due to lack of depth, they will make looking for a potential top-pairing defenseman their top priority. Ristolainen's high-end potential makes him worth taking in the top-5, especially for a team that has an embarassment of riches at centre.
6) Elias Lindholm
The Islanders could benefit from an impact player at virtually any position, but assuming Strome moves to Tavares' wing, and having just drafted Reinhart last year, and Neiderreiter having an extremely disappointing rookie season and his subsequent request to be traded, centre looks to be the best position the Islanders would look to improve, and having Tavaes-Lindholm as a 1-2 centre punch moving forward would be the envy of every team in the league.
7) Sean Monahan
While Jets fans everywhere pine for the day that hometown boy Jonathan Toews comes to Winnipeg, in the meantime they'll have to "settle" for drafting his clone. A great all-round player with intangibles galore, Monahan is a great pickup for the Jets.
8) Ryan Pulock
After 3 years of drafting fantastic offensive talent, it's now time to overhaul their defense, and for a player like Pulock to fall into their laps like this, the future looks bright indeed for Edmonton. A great all-round defender, Schultz, Pulock, Smid, and Klefbom would make for a great core top-4 moving forward.
9) Hunter Shinkaruk
Shinkaruk is a dynamic offensive talent, and might just become the number 1 centre the Flames have lacked for so long. His ceiling is quite high, and although his game might be better suited to wing, with Iginla winding down the Flames will need some young offensive talent to help shoulder the load going forward.
10) Darnell Nurse
Having shot up the rankings this past year, by dint of hard work and perserverance Nurse makes it into the top-10 of one of the deepest drafts in some time. The Wild have an admirable prospect pool at the moment, and at this point you can't go wrong taking the big, all-round defender with leadership qualities.
11) Max Domi
This small but highly skilled forward will help add another eventual scoring threat to their lineup. Columbus needs some high-potential players to act as core pieces to which their other players can rely on to generate offense, and Domi certainly has the offensive flair to do so.
12) Adam Erne
Here Columbus decides to preempt the eventual need for grit in their top-6 by drafting the most highly touted power forward of the draft. Scoring is still the greatest need for the Jackets, and drafting 3 players all likely to become solid top-6 players will help continue a dramatic turnaround for this struggling franchise.
13) Josh Morrissey
This highly skilled offensive defenseman would fit the Flyers system to a tee. Morrisey is just what they need to help revitalize a defense missing Pronger and eventually Timonen.
14) Curtis Lazar
The Coyotes would be very happy to get this complete two-way forward who would suit their system very well. While he's slowly been falling in the draft rankings, he still has the potential to be a very good top-6 centre able to play a well-rounded game, this is an easy pick for Phoenix.
15) Nikita Zadorov
This big-bodied, shutdown defenseman would be a boon to the defensively-starved Dallas blueline. He's very close to being NHL ready, and will be able to contribute to the team possibly as soon as next season. He and Oleksiak will form a towering defensive core that not many would take lightly.
16) Valeri Nichushkin
Through a combination of the Russian factor and team needs, Nichushkin, while being bonafide top-10 talent, will fall, like so many previous draftees who elect to develop in Russia after being drafted. Nevertheless, the Lightning should be very happy with this extremely talented forward, especially given Yzerman's recent penchant for drafting Russians.
17) Alexander Wennberg
As the Sharks current forward core begins to age, They will need to focus on drafting some high upside players to help replace the decline in scoring. Wennberg is such a player, having rapidly climbed the draft rankings with his undeniable skill.
18) Anthony Mantha
This big, talented forward who is absolutely tearing up the junior leagues would do great to complement the already potent forward core of the Staals, Skinner and Semin. Coupled with a young D core comprised of Faulk, Murphy, and McBain, the Hurricanes will be an exciting team to watch for years to come.
19) Frederick Gauthier
At 6’5, Gauthier is no midget. And with his superb defensive game, he’d fit right in with Nashville. And while there is some concern about his skating ability, with his offensive skill, defensive ability, and size it’s very unlikely he doesn’t make the NHL.
20) Bo Horvat
A prototypical Detroit pick, Horvat does well at every facet of the game, and has really started to produce in the OHL. However, he still has plenty of upside, and to be developed slowly in Detroit's system is probably the best choice for him.
21) Robert Hagg
With the roster and prospect pool at wing full to bursting with high end talent, a natural left-handed defenseman who is good all-round would be a good fit for St. Louis, who have Pietrangelo and Shattenkirk locking down the right side of their top-4. And while Hagg would be a good fit for almost any team, it's the Blues who snag him at this point in the draft.
22) Zach Fucale
Easily the highest ranked goaltending prospect of this draft, Fucale easily has franchise potential. With no outstanding goaltending prospect in their pool, and Reimer and Scrivens' inconsistencies(especially given Reimer's injury concerns), the time has come to buy insurance via the draft. The Leafs unexpected success has put them out of range of the highly touted franchise centre prospects, but goaltending is at least as important, if slightly more risky, to take care of.
23) Andre Burakovsky
With a solid blueline and defensive prospect pool, if there's one thing New Jersey needs, it's wingers. Burakovsky is a high-potential forward who will be a bit of a project to develop, but given the Devils penchant for succeeding regardless of the circumstances, they can afford to wait.
24) Kerby Rychel
By and large, the most consistent problem the Canucks have had recently is that scoring dries up at critical times. Rychel is a dynamic goal-scorer, and his skating and physicality fit well with the direction the Canucks are trying to move in.
25) Valentin Zykov
This gritty, physical forward would be a great fit for the Bruins and their style of play. He may not have the highest upside, but he's a player that you win with.
26) Shea Theodore
The Senators' defense is in need of a youth movement, and while Karlsson and Cowen would be leading the way, both have suffered severe injuries, and with Gonchar and Phillips on the decline, more young defensemen are needed. Theodore is another highly touted defenseman that seems a safe bet to become a top-4 defenseman.
27) JT Compher
This energetic forward would help create space for the already talented Pittsburgh roster and serve as a great complementary player to help further improve an already lethal offense.
28) Anthony Duclair
No mock draft is complete without having Montreal draft a French Canadian(I kid, I kid), but Duclair has plenty of upside and with the proper development could become a steal for the Habs looking back.
29) Jason Dickinson
With Getzlaf an upcoming UFA and Koivu getting up there in age(not that you'd know it watching this season), The Ducks could use some extra insurance at centre, and while Dickinson has been very hot and cold, if he can work on his consistency, he would become a fine player for the Ducks to have.
30) Nic Petan
On fire to start the season, Chicago can afford to take a chance on probably the biggest boom/bust prospect in the draft. Petan has fantastic hockey sense in all facets of the game, but his size is the greatest barrier to his transitioning to the NHL.
I like it from my teams perspective. Absolutely take MacKinnon over Jones. We need scoring help. That is an understatement.:laugh: Good skill from the other two picks.
As a Leaf fan, being in that position with those players available.... Fucale is a no brainer. Excellent choice.
Both Reimer/Scrivens are doing well for us this season, and that'll allow less pressure on Fucale to make the jump instantly. No doubt he's a superb talent, but he is not NHL ready..
If we aren't taking Fucale, I think I want Connor Hurley.
Love the PHX pick.
Love Wennberg to the Sharks. I'd think about Gauthier, but Wennberg's my guy.
Stars have no need for Zadorov with Oleksiak, Nemeth, Dillon, and to a lesser extent Vance.
Not a bad pick at all, but we'd take Wennberg or Gauthier before Zadorov, IMO. Would take Nichushkin above anyone else, but I'm not sure our FO is sold on Russians, especially one with as much risk as Nichushkin has.
The thought of:
Goligoski - Oleksiak
Dillon - Zadorov
Nemeth - Larsen
Makes me drool. So much size, and that's not even including Daley, Rome, or Jo. Benn. Vance and Bystrom could end up being NHLers too one day.
Would still rather go with a forward though. Benn, Roy (if he re-signs), Eakin, Faksa, and Gauthier/Wennberg down the middle is just dirty.
Anyways, thanks everyone for the comments. Glad I could make so many people happy.
Great pick for Montreal, Duclair will fit well in Montreal, and the fans will love him.
Way too early for Duclair. Habs have 3 2nd round picks and could probably get him with one of those pick. I understand the french canadian link but Timmins drafted Americans more than anything else in the first round since he`s been head scout. Dickinson would be more appropriate IMO
Other than my team`s perspective, very good analysis . Good job!
Not sure about Duclair, as it was already mentionned, I think we could snatch him up in the 2nd round.
Other than that, probably the best mock I've seen this year
Will be interesting to see where the rest of the defensemen are taken after Jones is off the board. I don't see Ristolainen going top 5 myself. I would rank Nurse as the next best defenseman available followed by Ristolainen and Zadorov.
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