Just 10 days out and Colorado has dropped a bombshell. I don't do trades in my mocks, but I will note where I think they'll happen since I expect a few this year high up.
1 - Colorado Avalanche - C Nathan MacKinnon - Halifax (QMJHL)
Honestly, I see a trade here with Florida anyway, what other reason would Sakic have for coming out a week and a half from the draft if not to try to play the Panthers a bit? Avs don't need another centerman, but they'll get one here. Though Barkov has the versatility to play all 3 forward positions and word is that the Avs are extremely high on him, still the sensible move is trading down and getting what assets you can from the Panthers for doing so or drafting Mac yourself, and since I don't have trades in this mock, it's option 2.
Alternatives: C Barkov, W Drouin, trade down
2 - Florida Panthers - D Seth Jones - Portland (WHL)
Hard to say which way Florida would go here with the absolute certainty that they're drafting MacKinnon now gone. Jones is the BPA here, but is he what they need? I say no and they'll try to get whatever they can from Carolina to trade down into range to get one of the other 3 possible franchise centers in this draft. That said, I don't think Carolina is willing to pay the asking price, and may actually be looking to trade back themselves.
Alternative: W Drouin
3 - Tampa Bay Lightning - W Jonathan Drouin - Halifax (QMJHL)
Here things get interesting, I think Tampa takes Drouin here as the heir apparent for St Louis, but there's really no telling. If Jones is on the board here they might find it too hard to resist, but that said given some of the comments from Tampa's scouting I see them going with the high profile winger. Nichushkin is also a very strong possibility here as their scouting department came out with some strongly favorable statements on him not too long ago.
Alternatives: W Nichushkin, C Barkov
4 - Nashville Predators - C Aleksander Barkov - Tappara (FEL)
Well, the Preds end up with their guy, a big solid two-way centerman with strong offensive upside. If there's ever been a prospect that screams "future Nashville Predator" this guy is it. One of the youngest guys in the draft, and IMO he has the upside to make the teams in front of them regret passing on him long term. That said, given the Avs take on him, Barkov could easily go #1 leaving Jones to possibly freefall all the way to #4.
Alternatives: C Monahan, C Lindholm
5 - Carolina Hurricanes - W Valeri Nichushkin - Chelyabinsk (KHL)
There's no telling what the Hurricanes will do in this draft, and frankly trading the pick down a few spots makes the most sense as while they have a lot of needs, they don't have any specific needs that can be filled in a draft setting. That said, no trades here, and it sounds like a LOT of the Canes staff is high on Nichushkin to the point where Pete Friesen called him "Ivan Drago". If I were a betting man I'd say they try to trade down to #7 and end up taking Nichushkin anyway.
Alternative: C Monahan, C Lindholm, trade down
6 - Calgary Flames - C Sean Monahan - Ottawa (OHL)
Flames are thrilled to see one of the 4 high end centers fall into their lap, and to take the guy Edmonton's highly seeking in the process. It fills both team need and is arguably BPA.
Alternative: C Lindholm
7 - Edmonton Oilers - C Elias Lindholm - Brynas (SEL)
BPA here and Edmonton has made it known that they intend to select a centerman here at #7 if there's a high end one available. There's a chance there might not be, so I see them trying to trade up to #5 with the Canes to land Monahan.
8 - Buffalo Sabres - D Darnell Nurse - Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)
Might not be the ideal pick here, but I see the Sabres going for a guy they see as a possible top pair guy long term, especially with the struggles of Myers after signing that big extension.
Alternatives: D Ristolainen, D Zadorov
9 - New Jersey Devils - W Hunter Shinkaruk - Medicine Hat (WHL)
His size is one of the biggest reasons he's available here, one of the most dynamic players in the draft and with the Devils dearth of talent in the wings and possibly losing more of that talent this offseason, Shinkaruk fills team need both short and long term, though it might not be a bad idea for him to get one more year in the WHL.
Alternatives: D Ristolainen, D Zadorov
10 - Dallas Stars - C Aleksander Wennberg - Djurgarden (Allsvenskan)
Torn between Domi and Wennberg here, I see Wennberg as a more natural center long term which is more what Dallas needs. Solid, no-nonsense centerman with good playmaking and shooting ability.
Alternatives: D Ristolainen, D Zadorov, F Domi
11 - Philadelphia Flyers - D Rasmus Ristolainen - TPS (FEL)
The strong Euro trend of this draft continues, as Ristolainen represents both the BPA here and team need. Offensively I'm not sure what all he'll bring to the NHL level, but Rasmus should be a solid bet to be a top 4 guy if not top pair, and could be NHL ready very soon.
Alternatives: D Zadorov
12 - Phoenix Coyotes - C Bo Horvat - London Knights (OHL)
His strong showing in the Memorial Cup and OHL playoffs has changed my mind on this kid. I originally saw him as a late first, instead his emergence has led to me putting him in the early-mid. Also fills team need for the Yotes down the middle long term.
Alternatives: C Lazar, C Domi, W Gauthier, W Zykov, W Mantha, D Zadorov
13 - Winnipeg Jets - C Max Domi - London Knights (OHL)
While I think Domi projects better as a wing long term, he also fits a need for Winnipeg long term here.
Alternatives: C Lazar, W Gauthier, W Mantha, D Zadorov
14 - Columbus Blue Jackets - W Anthony Mantha - Val d'Or (QMJHL)
A solid offensive winger fits the bill for what Columbus needs long term, though they might look at one of the high end D available here and snag a forward a bit later.
Alternative: D Zadorov
15 - New York Islanders - D Nikolai Zadorov - London (OHL)
I can see the Isles going in a number of directions here, but I think there are only two sensible options: Zadorov and Lazar. Not sure which of the two I see as their pick and neither would surprise me.
Alternative: C Lazar
16 - Buffalo Sabres (via MIN) - W Valentin Zykov - Baie Comeau (QMJHL)
After selecting Nurse in the first, and centers for long term last year, I see the Sabres rolling the dice on the highly skilled offensive winger talent.
Alternative: W Gauthier
17 - Ottawa Senators - C Curtis Lazar - Edmonton (WHL)
BPA here, I think Lazar also represents the solid two-way centerman option behind Spezza and Turris that they're looking for long term.
18 - Detroit Red Wings - D Ryan Pulock - Brandon (WHL)
The Red Wings, while they have some solid prospects on the blueline, need to continue to rebuild that position. A guy at one time considered a fairly likely top 10 pick being available at #18 sounds too good to be true to Detroit.
19 - Columbus Blue Jackets (via NYR) - W Frederik Gauthier - Rimouski (QMJHL)
Just missing out on Pulock, I see the Jackets going BPA here and looking D their last second since that next tier on the blueline is pretty nice in its own right.
Alternative: W Hartman, D Morrissey, W Erne, W Rychel, D Mueller
20 - San Jose Sharks - W Ryan Hartman - Plymouth (OHL)
Not sure why but this guy just screams typical Sharks pick to me. Good offensive player with some grit and a great work ethic.
Alaternatives: D Morrissey, W Erne, W Rychel, D Mueller
21 - Toronto Maple Leafs - D Josh Morrissey - Prince Albert (WHL)
While the Leafs need center help long term, I don't see it available here. Morrissey is a high upside dman that may represent BPA here
Alternatives: W Erne, W Rychel, D Mueller, D Theodore
22 - Calgary Flames (via SL) - D Micro Mueller - Everett (WHL)
Since I had the Flames going center at #6 I see them taking a dman with their second of 3 firsts, with a need of both positions in a big way long term.
Alternatives: W Erne, W Rychel, D Theodore, D Hagg
23 - Washington Capitals - W Adam Erne - Quebec (QMJHL)
Erne's a solid offensive forward long term, something the Caps need to add back into their system after some of their highly touted prospects from the past few years have yet to pan out.
Alternatives: W Rychel, D Theodore, D Hagg, C Compher
24 - Vancouver Canucks - D Robert Hagg - Modo (SEL)
Hagg's a bit of a jack of all trades and had a nice showing at the WJC on Sweden's Silver side. The Canucks could use more depth with top pairing upside in their system and Hagg represents exactly that.
Alternatives: D Theodore, D Bigras
25 - Montreal Canadiens - W Kerby Rychel - Windsor (OHL)
A good goal scorer with a bit of an edge is exactly what the doctor ordered for the Habs long term, though going D here wouldn't be out of the question either.
Alternatives: D Theodore, D Bigras
26 - Anaheim Ducks - C JT Compher - USNTDP
With Koivu not getting any younger the Ducks have a need to find a good replacement for him long term. Enter Compher, who has a good two-way game, plays with an edge, and projects a lot like a Brandon Sutter type long term IMO.
Alternatives: W Burakowsky
27 - Columbus Blue Jackets (via LA) - D Shea Theodore - Seattle (WHL)
After missing out on Pulock their prior pick, Theodore represents BPA here and what the team could use the most in their system.
Alternatives: D Bigras, D Bowey, D McCoshen
28 - Calgary Flames (via PIT) - W Andrei Burakowsky - Malmo (Allsvenskan)
While a lot of people have Fucale going here, I don't see the Flames passing on a forward with this potential when they have a total stud like Gillies in their system in net to begin with.
Dallas Stars (via BOS) - D Chris Bigras - Owen Sound (OHL)
While I have the Stars going center at #10, I have them going D whichever of these two picks is still there. Bigras is a solid two-way dman prospect that should add to a nice group that the Stars have building already.
Chicago Blackhawks - D Madison Bowey - Kelowna (WHL)
Adds a BPA to the set of prospects that the Hawks already have in place, though selecting Fucale here instead would not surprise me in the least.
I'm not really a fan of Hagg for us there. We have plenty of all round defenders. I'd rather pick up a high-risk, high-reward specialist like Theodore or Morin.(complete opposite players, I know, but still)
As a Canes fan, I love that choice. I would prefer they take him with the fifth, however, rather than trading down. He is certainly worth the fifth, and draft status is very important to players, both personally and financially. I wouldn't feel right if he was denied a top five draft status because we were greedy. He might not appreciate that move either, I know wouldn't. It's not the best way to start a long term relationship. We need to make our pick feel like he is going to be a key part of our team plan, and we value him as a top five talent. Just an opinion from a non-GM of course.
Even though Morrissey is probably the most redundant prospect available for the Leafs, I could see them going with him as he has BPA written all over him...no complaints here.
Yeah, I agree on that. May be dumping into the Leafs strength right now but it's still best to take the best guy you have available. Gives some serious flexibility in trades to have that many bright spots in terms of defensemen.
Would much prefer Bowey at 29, better than Bigras IMO and fills more of a need.
I'd be fine with Wennberg or Ristolainen at 10.
Yeah it's funny is I see a lot of the dmen in that draft range REALLY close in terms of skill level. And they could go in just about any order, so Bowey over Bigras wouldn't surprise me at all. Neither would seeing McCoshen or Santini going in this range.
Originally Posted by wally31
I love the first two picks, but don't know enough about Andrei Burakowsky to know where I stand?
Either way, Monahan and Mueller is a great way to start our draft!
Good puck possession winger, though he needs to add about another 15-20lbs to his frame. Kindof bounced between the Allsvenskan and the Swedish junior ranks which held back his scoring a bit, but he played well at the U-18 level internationally. Showed more goal scoring touch then some expected at the U-18 Worlds considering most people think he's more playmaker then anything