: NHL Entry Draft:
VKW's 2013 Mock Draft(Top-30)
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02-25-2013, 11:16 PM
Join Date: May 2012
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.
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