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First Mock Draft of 2004

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02-28-2004, 01:43 AM
  #1
Brock
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First Mock Draft of 2004

I usually do three mock drafts per season, but I've been busy with school and what not so far this season, so I hadn't really had a chance to do one even though I love doing them. So here is my first one this year. I've got Wes O Neill opting in and Adam Pineault opting out, just what I think could and should happen.


1. Pittsburgh Penguins: Alexandre Ovechkin
At this point in time, their isn’t any doubt that Ovechkin is the number one overall pick, so this isn’t exactly a hard one to dispute. Ovechkin teams up with Marc Andre Fleury, back to back number one overall picks and the future of the franchise.

2. Columbus Blue Jackets: Evgeni Malkin
The Blue Jackets have two options here, Cam Barker or Evgeni Malkin. The lack of success from the Jackets WHL draftees so far in their franchise history leads to the fact they may shy away from Barker. And while the Jackets already have Rick Nash and Nikolazi Zherdev as dynamic goalscorers, the 2004 draft is top heavy with just that. Malkin is yet another big body who could line up with Rick Nash and make things incredibly difficult for opposing defenses who are already finding it tough bodying Nash alone.

3. Chicago Blackhawks: Rob Schremp
A very tough call at this position. The Blackhawks are currently weak on defense, and they have shown a direct passion for drafting out of the WHL the past couple of years. These two facts could help the cause of Cam Barker. However, defense is currently such a strong point of the Blackhawk prospect system, with the likes of Brent Seabrook, Anton Babchuk, Michal Barinka, Lasse Kukkonen, James Wiesnewski, Duncan Keith. And with the recent trades of Steve Sullivan and Alexei Zhamnov, the Blackhawks forward crop has taken a hit. Tuumo Ruutu, Pavel Vorobiev, Igor Radulov amongst others do represent a strong core for the future, but Schremp has such a strong game breaking offensive ability, an ability that could immediately ignite the organization. The Blackhawks aren’t one for drafting out of the OHL either, so this predicted selection doesn’t come without it’s questioning.

4. Washington Capitals: Cam Barker
The Capitals have shown much love to the Western Hockey League over the past few years and currently, the defense core is just in shambles. Steve Eminger and Nolan Yonkman are solid, but they can’t cure everything that ails the Caps. With much depth at forward, and with much depth at goaltending, it only makes sense for the Capitals to draft the best player available and the player who fits to their needs.

5. Carolina Hurricanes: Wojtech Wolski
Wolski is a prime sniper prospect who’s had his ups and downs throughout his OHL career. He’s a big body who has top line potential and the Canes have no doubt seen a lot of him while scouting their current large crop of OHL prospects. Compliments Eric Staal beautifully for the future and gives them a potential big body scorer now that Jeff O Neill could possibly be packing his bags.

6. Atlanta Thrashers: Rostislav Olesz
Olesz is a bit of a wildcard for the draft. He’s essentially this year’s Milan Michalek. A good overall winger who’s had questions about his potential offensively in the NHL. The Thrashers lack top end forward prospects, with only Jim Slater having a potential future on a scoring line.

7. New York Rangers: Drew Stafford
Stafford is another big potential power forward for the Rangers, giving them a one two winger punch with the Huge Specimen. He’s got a lot of skill and once he puts it all together, Stafford could be a real good one. While the Rangers sure could use a top flight center prospect, none of the ones on the board really interest them.

8. Phoenix Coyotes: Lauri Tukonen
The Yotes management under “The Great One” loves speed in their draft prospects. Tukonen is a speedy finish winger who brings a lot to the table. While there are a few solid WHL prospects on the table, the Yotes are definitely tempted by, Tukonen becomes their man.

9. Minnesota Wild: Alexandre Picard
Picard is a hardworking winger out of the QMJHL. He brings a little bit of everything to the ice, and his offensive output has been solid thus far. The Wild have been all over with their draft picks, not really following any method.

10. Anaheim Mighty Ducks: Mike Green
Mike Green is a slick skating, two way defenseman who seems to own varied opinions among the scouting world. I think he has a ton of potential and is one of my favourite players available for the draft. Anaheim could use a solid defenseman of his caliber and I think he could even go higher come draft day.

11. Edmonton Oilers: Marek Schwarz
With the recent struggles the Oilers have had in terms of goaltending, one could think that maybe they could use an upgrade. Jeff Druin Deslauriers is a solid goaltending prospect, but he’s not the type of player where you can “put all your eggs in one basket”. Prospect depth at the goaltending position is important, and Schwarz is an excellent prospect.

12. Florida Panthers: Wes O Neill
It’s still undetermined on whether O Neill will opt into the draft or not. But as of now, I’m counting him as in. O Neill is a big defenseman who’s got a lot of potential once he can cure some consistency problems. With Bouwmeester and Krajicek, and now O Neill, the Panthers have a mighty fine defense to go with a solid future offense.

13. Buffalo Sabres: Dave Bolland
Bolland is a guy who’s seen his star rise like none other over the course of this year. He’s come out of nowhere to star with the London Knights of the OHL. He’s a very good all around player who’s still yet to unlock some untapped offensive potential. The Sabres have shown a love towards the OHL in recent years, and have had some success there.

14. St. Louis Blues: Andrew Ladd
Ladd is a guy who seems very high on a lot of lists, but I’m just not sure why. He’s never really struck me as anything special. He’s got a good goalscorer’s touch, and he’s a hardworking, grinding winger. It also seems kind of strange seeing the Blues drafting up at the 14th overall spot.

15. New York Islanders: Ladislav Smid
The Islanders could use some help at every position in terms of prospect depth, with a rather weak system currently. Add in the fact that Robert Nilsson has had a disaster of a year so far. Smid is a good two way Czech defenseman, a big guy who gives the Islanders a solid defensive prospect, at which they currently lack.

16. Los Angeles Kings: Alvaro Montoya
The Kings drafted Ryan Munce last year, but Montoya is at another level and gives the Kings a solid, potential franchise goaltender. They’ve got a handful of prospects in the NCAA, so there is no doubt that they’ve seen a fair share of him.

17. Calgary Flames: Alexander Radulov
Radulov is the real enigma of this draft year. He seems to have major inconsistency problems, but when he’s on he has as much talent as anyone in this draft. Redline recently moved him up to number 3 on their draft chart, after a very solid showing for Russia at an international tournament.

18. Dallas Stars: Enver Lisin
Lisin is a Russian speedster who’s got a very good goalscorer’s ability. He has a high upside in the NHL because of his raw skills and speed. The Stars could use to take a gamble on a player like Lisin, and after taking Polak last year, maybe the Stars organization has decided to take a few risks.

19. Nashville Preadators: Kyle Chipchura
Chipchura is an interesting character. Some seem to really love him and some really don’t. He’s got a high skill level and a very good raw offensive ability. His finishing ability has been questioned though. His stats for this season aren’t incredibly flattering either. But the Predators have a lot of different prospects, a very solid mix of depth and Chipchura would be a welcome addition to their organization. Plus they love their WHL guys.

20. Montreal Canadiens: Evan Mcgrath
Mcgrath at this time last year was being considered a top 10 selection, with an outside shot at the top 5. With a solid Memorial Cup run, his draft status was soaring. However this season he hasn’t really improved the way many had hoped. He’s a very skilled, slick skating centreman who is an interesting selection if you want to take a chance. Mcgrath fits nicely into the Habs prospect system.

21. New Jersey Devils: A.J. Thelen
Thelen is a potential defensive stud, with very raw skills, being one of the youngest players in NCAA hockey. He’s got a solid skill set and he’s a competitor defensively. Thelen has the potential to move up higher than this on draft day. With the success of Parise this year, the Devils head back the NCAA route.

22. Vancouver Canucks: Oscar Hedman
Hedman is a solid two way defensive presence and gives the Canucks a prospect element they currently lack. Brian Burke is a big supporter of the BPA drafting method and Hedman could easily be considered this. He’s seen a rise in the rankings over the course of the season.

23. Boston Bruins: Jakub Sindel
A premium sniper prospect, Sindel has the potential to be a big time NHL scorer if his progression goes as planned. The Bruins have seen disappoint from their current crop of NHL forward prospects, and drafting another one would be suffice.

24. Toronto Maple Leafs: David Booth
David Booth is a powerful, talented winger with Michigan State. He adds an element to the Leafs prospect group that is currently absent. This is a pick that most likely won’t be Leaf property after March 9th however.

25. San Jose Sharks: Lukas Kaspar
Kaspar is a talented Czech winger who has some size and skill. CSB rated him very high on their mid term ratings. The Sharks have a pretty good depth, with solid prospects of nearly every shape and or form. Kaspar has solid potential.

26. Tampa Bay Lightning: Devan Dubnyk
Dubnyk is a big Western goaltender who gives the Lightning a potential franchise goaltender that should in theory be ready by the time The Bulin Wall is ready to hang them up. Every year, we think the Lightning are going to draft a franchise goaltender and every year they don’t. I think this year and with this pick it’s time.

27. Colorado Avalanche: Petr Pohl
Pohl has a lot of offensive potential, and the Avalanche desperately lack the type of prospect who can possibly be a top line contributor in the future. He’s been very inconsistent, but the offensive talent is present. The Avalanche can afford to take a chance here.

28. Ottawa Senators: Bryan Bickell
Alright, so maybe it’s a bit cliché that they draft the 67, but Bickell is a perfect compliment to the system. He’s a big, hard working forward who’s inconsistency offensively and physically leaves some to the imagination. If he can put it all together, he could be a very solid NHL’er.

29. Edmonton Oilers (from Philadelphia Flyers): Bruce Graham
Bruce Graham is a big, hulking centerman from the QMJHL who has seen his draft stock rise since the CHL top Prospects game where he put on a solid display. That performance made people sort of open up their eyes to his play. The Oilers are currently in a situation, where a big center with skill could be a great addition to the clubs future.

30. Washington Capitals (from Detroit Red Wings): Johannes Salmonsson
Salmonsson is a solid two way winger out of Sweden. He’s got good puck skills, he works hard and his skill set is solid. Salmonsson is a solid pick for the Caps who are just simply stocking their organization with talent.

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Old
02-28-2004, 01:54 AM
  #2
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Absolutely astounding, as usual.
I wish this could get the exposure it deserves on the prospect board, instead of being tucked away here.

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02-28-2004, 02:51 AM
  #3
Vlad The Impaler
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I echo Voodoo's thoughts. Well done as usual, buddy!

And now, I have to say "WTF", because I didn't know or remembered there was a mock draft board. That's kind of weird. I suppose it was due to some abuse and as usual, everybody has to pay for the few who go overboard

Anyways, some comments and questions:

Schremp 3rd: You sure you didn't let your own evaluation of Schremp color your views on this one? I mean, I have no problem with your evaluation of his talent. I could see him being 3rd on your rankings. I admit being surprised at seeing him 3rd on your mock. Interesting stuff.

Barker 4th: No quesiton they'd take him there. That's probably McPhee's wet dream! Expect them to move up to secure him. They won't just wait and take the chance for him to fall down.

Tukonen 8th: Seems kinda high.

Picard 9th: Wild won't repeat Bouchard's experiment. I don't think they have much faith in the Q as a developmental league, which leaves them having to play/sit the guy on the pro team once drafted.

Schwarz 11th: surprised you didn't put a goalie in the top 10. GMs would be smart if they did likewise

Bolland 13th: Sounds like a typical Sabres pick. i.e. wasted. I expect them to draft Chipchura. As an aside, I am completely unimpressed by the guy and think whoever picks him top 20 will not necessarly be sorry but will miss out on much better guys.

Very interesting that you have two more Q representatives in Pohl and Graham in the first round. I do not expect that. Pohl is a nice little player. Very talented. But he tends to lack a bit of creativity for such a skilled player. Graham is very raw and needs work. This is not the 2003 draft so both can make the first round. It just seems unlikely to me.

It's supposed to be a good year (in terms of depth, not necessarly extreme quality) for the Swedes, or so am I told. I expected one more to make the first round at least if what I hear is true.

Nice mock!

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02-28-2004, 10:52 AM
  #4
Brock
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vlad The Impaler
I echo Voodoo's thoughts. Well done as usual, buddy!

And now, I have to say "WTF", because I didn't know or remembered there was a mock draft board. That's kind of weird. I suppose it was due to some abuse and as usual, everybody has to pay for the few who go overboard

Anyways, some comments and questions:

Schremp 3rd: You sure you didn't let your own evaluation of Schremp color your views on this one? I mean, I have no problem with your evaluation of his talent. I could see him being 3rd on your rankings. I admit being surprised at seeing him 3rd on your mock. Interesting stuff.

Barker 4th: No quesiton they'd take him there. That's probably McPhee's wet dream! Expect them to move up to secure him. They won't just wait and take the chance for him to fall down.

Tukonen 8th: Seems kinda high.

Picard 9th: Wild won't repeat Bouchard's experiment. I don't think they have much faith in the Q as a developmental league, which leaves them having to play/sit the guy on the pro team once drafted.

Schwarz 11th: surprised you didn't put a goalie in the top 10. GMs would be smart if they did likewise

Bolland 13th: Sounds like a typical Sabres pick. i.e. wasted. I expect them to draft Chipchura. As an aside, I am completely unimpressed by the guy and think whoever picks him top 20 will not necessarly be sorry but will miss out on much better guys.

Very interesting that you have two more Q representatives in Pohl and Graham in the first round. I do not expect that. Pohl is a nice little player. Very talented. But he tends to lack a bit of creativity for such a skilled player. Graham is very raw and needs work. This is not the 2003 draft so both can make the first round. It just seems unlikely to me.

It's supposed to be a good year (in terms of depth, not necessarly extreme quality) for the Swedes, or so am I told. I expected one more to make the first round at least if what I hear is true.

Nice mock!
Well, with Schremp if you look at, all the other scouting agencies are moving him up. ISS recently had him at number 3 of their February rankings. Essentially its whether you have a problem with his supposed attitude or not. If you do, you seem to put him out of the top 10 like Redline, and if you don't, then he's in your top 5. I think Schremp offensive skill level is a perfect fit to the Hawks organizational depth at the moment. While I do think Tuumo Ruutu and Pavel Vorobiev will be excellent NHL'ers, I don't see them being backbone offensive stars. I do see Schremp being one.

With Picard and the Wild, well Picard is a totally different player then PM Bouchard, as you probably know because I know you do follow the Q. I don't think you can compare the situations that well. I really felt that Picard could be considered the BPA at that point.

As for Bolland, I completely disagree with you on him. But for quite a few of the 2004 draft eligibles, we have varied opinions. I wish I was in a sim league with you :p I really like Bolland. He's one of my favourites for the draft. I'm curious as to what you saw that you didn't like. Cause IMO it's very hard not to like him. He does pretty much everything very well, he's got great hands and IMO he's not shown us his complete offensive potential yet either.

As for Pohl and Bruce Graham. Well with Pohl, it's definitely risky thinking he could be a first rounder. There was a lot of talk early in the year, but he's really fallen due to inconsistency with his offensive game. But he does seem to have a high skill level. The Avs system is just so bare right now, that I think they have to take a risk with a guy who could potentially be a first liner. And Graham, well every year we see teams "reaching" for big bodies with skill. Bruce Graham is a big body with skill. I think he could go even higher then where I have him, like upwards of the late teens and high 20's. Simply because after the middle part of the first round, the picks tend to become a total crapshoot, there are a lot of guys who are sort of similar.

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02-28-2004, 10:55 AM
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Voodoo Daddy
Absolutely astounding, as usual.
I wish this could get the exposure it deserves on the prospect board, instead of being tucked away here.
Definitely agree.

I think the placement of this board is terrible, IMO it should be a branch off the prospect board, because while it may be "fantasy", it's talk about prospects.

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02-28-2004, 12:16 PM
  #6
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I think that Boris Valabik and Vaclav Meidl have a chance to go first round, much of that is due to their stature (6'6 and 6'4.5 respectively). Johan Fransson is another who it wouldn't be surprising to see gone by the end of the first round. How about Sami Lepisto? I also think TJ Hensick could surprise people and be gone in the first round as well, he's been tremendous for Michigan since the mid-term CSB's came out, but that's still a bit of a stretch.

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02-28-2004, 01:56 PM
  #7
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Well....a few comments....

Schremp- I've already told you this, but I might as well post it too. I don't see Chicago passing on Barker for Schremp. Ya, they have a fair amount of defence prospects, but nobody who could be a #1 at least in my opinion. That being said, I could see the Capitals trading up a slot or two to take Barker, and Chicago still ending up with Schremp. I believe the top four could end up on the teams you suggest just not in the natural draft order. Chicago won't pass on Barker for Schremp, at least IMO.

Schwarz- I think he's a great fit in Edmonton. There aren't many teams that need a top flite goalie prospect among the 5-15 range, but Edmonton is defenitely one of them.

Lisin and Sindel- I doubt either goes as low as you have them. Lisin especially, who is a top 10 talent and isn't a head-case either. I can't say I know much about Sindel, but from what I've heard, he's a tad too talented to drop to 23rd.

Chipchura- Gonna go with Vlad on this one. He'll go higher, even though I'm not a fan of his. I think he'll go ahead of Ladd to be honest, although you know I don't like either.

Andreij Meszaros- I'm pretty sure this guy gets selected in the first round. He was pretty good at the WJC and he is a pretty well-rounded blueliner. Boris Valabik is another guy who could get a nod in the first round, but I'm not as sold on him as I am Meszaros.


Good mock Brock. I think you've forced my hand, and now I'm going to have to come up with my own.

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02-28-2004, 02:18 PM
  #8
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As I keep saying, the Wild are really short on defenseman they have. They will probably trade for one but if O'Neill drops to them, I think there is a strong possibility they might pick him. Reason:

Wild Defensemen:
1. Filip Kuba
2. Willie Mitchell
3. Andrei Zyuzin
4. Nick Schultz
5. Brad Brown
6. Alex Henry
7. Zbynek Michalek

AHL:
1. Chris Heid
2. Eric Reitz
3. Maxime Fortunus (???)

CHL:
1. Georgi Misharin
2. Jean-Michel Bolduc

They have a total of 12 defensemen, Misharin and Bolduc will be like 4 years away and Michalek and Reitz are depth. Fortunus I don't have a good read on.

 
Old
02-29-2004, 06:14 PM
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brock
Definitely agree.

I think the placement of this board is terrible, IMO it should be a branch off the prospect board, because while it may be "fantasy", it's talk about prospects.
Mostly anyways. I have a fantasy draft going.

Very nice mock draft. How good is Hedman? What position does he play? I haven't heard too much about him, but I'm by no means some sort of draft guru...

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02-29-2004, 06:30 PM
  #10
Brock
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bandwagon
Mostly anyways. I have a fantasy draft going.

Very nice mock draft. How good is Hedman? What position does he play? I haven't heard too much about him, but I'm by no means some sort of draft guru...
Oscar Hedman is a Swedish defenseman. He's had a pretty good year and is in a tough race for the best Swedish available 2004 prospect. The Swedes have about 3 guys who are legit first round prospects, Hedman, Johannes Salomansson and Johan Fransson. Hedman and Fransson are sort of similar in nature.

www.eliteprospects.com

Check out some stuff there if you are more curious.

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03-03-2004, 07:15 PM
  #11
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Looks Nice, as a Panthers Fan i was Personally Hoping for Tukonen, but Wes O Neill sounds good too. two Questions though, where would Oneill Play? wouldnt he lose his NCAA eligibility? and why do you see Boris Valabik not being taken in the first?
BTW: you should really post this in the Prospects Board. This Board is buried off in the pits of HFboards.

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03-04-2004, 12:25 AM
  #12
Brock
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Takkie
Looks Nice, as a Panthers Fan i was Personally Hoping for Tukonen, but Wes O Neill sounds good too. two Questions though, where would Oneill Play? wouldnt he lose his NCAA eligibility? and why do you see Boris Valabik not being taken in the first?
BTW: you should really post this in the Prospects Board. This Board is buried off in the pits of HFboards.
Yeah, O Neill would have to play somewhere else next year. Either the AHL, or possibly the OHL (which was an option for him back in the day before he chose the NCAA route, heading to Green Bay of the USHL).

And Borik Valabik, well I'm personally just not that high on him. I think he's a big guy, he's a pretty good player, but I just don't see any special qualities in him, that make him a first rounder IMO. But he is a big, hulking defenseman and he very well could go in the first.

And if I posted this on the prospects board, it would just be moved here anyway.

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03-04-2004, 02:59 PM
  #13
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how old is Oneill? is he old enough for the AHL?

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03-04-2004, 10:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Takkie
how old is Oneill? is he old enough for the AHL?
Now Im only 99% positive on this one, but because O Neill is an NCAA prospect, he should be able to play in the AHL at any age, just as Ryan Kesler has this year. The Under 20 rule only applies to CHL players.

However, the 1% margin of error on this, is that O Neill is a Canadian native, and maybe the rule would be different for him because of his heritage.

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03-04-2004, 10:22 PM
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thestonedkoala
As I keep saying, the Wild are really short on defenseman they have. They will probably trade for one but if O'Neill drops to them, I think there is a strong possibility they might pick him. Reason:

Wild Defensemen:
1. Filip Kuba
2. Willie Mitchell
3. Andrei Zyuzin
4. Nick Schultz
5. Brad Brown
6. Alex Henry
7. Zbynek Michalek

AHL:
1. Chris Heid
2. Eric Reitz
3. Maxime Fortunus (???)

CHL:
1. Georgi Misharin
2. Jean-Michel Bolduc

They have a total of 12 defensemen, Misharin and Bolduc will be like 4 years away and Michalek and Reitz are depth. Fortunus I don't have a good read on.
The problem is that most NHL teams (if not all) take the best player available in the draft, not what they need the most. That's what kind of wrecks mock drafts. They tend to focus on what a team needs, not what would be the best player available at that position in the draft.

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03-12-2004, 11:49 AM
  #16
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Now would be the best time to do a mock draft since you now know some picks have been traded. You can estimate the placing of each team

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03-16-2004, 09:36 AM
  #17
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Nice work. Wish it wasn't buried down here.

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03-16-2004, 11:19 AM
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marshall
Nice work. Wish it wasn't buried down here.
Well That X Sharkie guy managed to get away with posting his there and keeping it there, so I guess I'll post my next one on that board.

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03-16-2004, 03:27 PM
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brock
Now Im only 99% positive on this one, but because O Neill is an NCAA prospect, he should be able to play in the AHL at any age, just as Ryan Kesler has this year. The Under 20 rule only applies to CHL players.

However, the 1% margin of error on this, is that O Neill is a Canadian native, and maybe the rule would be different for him because of his heritage.
O'Neil is a 17 year old freshman(could have just turned 18) but I think he is ineligible for the AHL, i dont know why hed wanna turn pro so quickly he should prove himself at the NCAA level first.

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03-16-2004, 05:38 PM
  #20
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I'd Rather have Mike Green anyway.

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03-16-2004, 05:48 PM
  #21
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All I have to say is.....MAKE THIS DAMN WELL HAPPEN. If NJ gets Thelen I will be more then pleased. Brock....nice work bg.

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03-16-2004, 06:05 PM
  #22
Jason MacIsaac
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brock
I usually do three mock drafts per season, but I've been busy with school and what not so far this season, so I hadn't really had a chance to do one even though I love doing them. So here is my first one this year. I've got Wes O Neill opting in and Adam Pineault opting out, just what I think could and should happen.


1. Pittsburgh Penguins: Alexandre Ovechkin
At this point in time, their isn’t any doubt that Ovechkin is the number one overall pick, so this isn’t exactly a hard one to dispute. Ovechkin teams up with Marc Andre Fleury, back to back number one overall picks and the future of the franchise.

2. Columbus Blue Jackets: Evgeni Malkin
The Blue Jackets have two options here, Cam Barker or Evgeni Malkin. The lack of success from the Jackets WHL draftees so far in their franchise history leads to the fact they may shy away from Barker. And while the Jackets already have Rick Nash and Nikolazi Zherdev as dynamic goalscorers, the 2004 draft is top heavy with just that. Malkin is yet another big body who could line up with Rick Nash and make things incredibly difficult for opposing defenses who are already finding it tough bodying Nash alone.

3. Chicago Blackhawks: Rob Schremp
A very tough call at this position. The Blackhawks are currently weak on defense, and they have shown a direct passion for drafting out of the WHL the past couple of years. These two facts could help the cause of Cam Barker. However, defense is currently such a strong point of the Blackhawk prospect system, with the likes of Brent Seabrook, Anton Babchuk, Michal Barinka, Lasse Kukkonen, James Wiesnewski, Duncan Keith. And with the recent trades of Steve Sullivan and Alexei Zhamnov, the Blackhawks forward crop has taken a hit. Tuumo Ruutu, Pavel Vorobiev, Igor Radulov amongst others do represent a strong core for the future, but Schremp has such a strong game breaking offensive ability, an ability that could immediately ignite the organization. The Blackhawks aren’t one for drafting out of the OHL either, so this predicted selection doesn’t come without it’s questioning.

4. Washington Capitals: Cam Barker
The Capitals have shown much love to the Western Hockey League over the past few years and currently, the defense core is just in shambles. Steve Eminger and Nolan Yonkman are solid, but they can’t cure everything that ails the Caps. With much depth at forward, and with much depth at goaltending, it only makes sense for the Capitals to draft the best player available and the player who fits to their needs.

5. Carolina Hurricanes: Wojtech Wolski
Wolski is a prime sniper prospect who’s had his ups and downs throughout his OHL career. He’s a big body who has top line potential and the Canes have no doubt seen a lot of him while scouting their current large crop of OHL prospects. Compliments Eric Staal beautifully for the future and gives them a potential big body scorer now that Jeff O Neill could possibly be packing his bags.

6. Atlanta Thrashers: Rostislav Olesz
Olesz is a bit of a wildcard for the draft. He’s essentially this year’s Milan Michalek. A good overall winger who’s had questions about his potential offensively in the NHL. The Thrashers lack top end forward prospects, with only Jim Slater having a potential future on a scoring line.

7. New York Rangers: Drew Stafford
Stafford is another big potential power forward for the Rangers, giving them a one two winger punch with the Huge Specimen. He’s got a lot of skill and once he puts it all together, Stafford could be a real good one. While the Rangers sure could use a top flight center prospect, none of the ones on the board really interest them.

8. Phoenix Coyotes: Lauri Tukonen
The Yotes management under “The Great One” loves speed in their draft prospects. Tukonen is a speedy finish winger who brings a lot to the table. While there are a few solid WHL prospects on the table, the Yotes are definitely tempted by, Tukonen becomes their man.

9. Minnesota Wild: Alexandre Picard
Picard is a hardworking winger out of the QMJHL. He brings a little bit of everything to the ice, and his offensive output has been solid thus far. The Wild have been all over with their draft picks, not really following any method.

10. Anaheim Mighty Ducks: Mike Green
Mike Green is a slick skating, two way defenseman who seems to own varied opinions among the scouting world. I think he has a ton of potential and is one of my favourite players available for the draft. Anaheim could use a solid defenseman of his caliber and I think he could even go higher come draft day.

11. Edmonton Oilers: Marek Schwarz
With the recent struggles the Oilers have had in terms of goaltending, one could think that maybe they could use an upgrade. Jeff Druin Deslauriers is a solid goaltending prospect, but he’s not the type of player where you can “put all your eggs in one basket”. Prospect depth at the goaltending position is important, and Schwarz is an excellent prospect.

12. Florida Panthers: Wes O Neill
It’s still undetermined on whether O Neill will opt into the draft or not. But as of now, I’m counting him as in. O Neill is a big defenseman who’s got a lot of potential once he can cure some consistency problems. With Bouwmeester and Krajicek, and now O Neill, the Panthers have a mighty fine defense to go with a solid future offense.

13. Buffalo Sabres: Dave Bolland
Bolland is a guy who’s seen his star rise like none other over the course of this year. He’s come out of nowhere to star with the London Knights of the OHL. He’s a very good all around player who’s still yet to unlock some untapped offensive potential. The Sabres have shown a love towards the OHL in recent years, and have had some success there.

14. St. Louis Blues: Andrew Ladd
Ladd is a guy who seems very high on a lot of lists, but I’m just not sure why. He’s never really struck me as anything special. He’s got a good goalscorer’s touch, and he’s a hardworking, grinding winger. It also seems kind of strange seeing the Blues drafting up at the 14th overall spot.

15. New York Islanders: Ladislav Smid
The Islanders could use some help at every position in terms of prospect depth, with a rather weak system currently. Add in the fact that Robert Nilsson has had a disaster of a year so far. Smid is a good two way Czech defenseman, a big guy who gives the Islanders a solid defensive prospect, at which they currently lack.

16. Los Angeles Kings: Alvaro Montoya
The Kings drafted Ryan Munce last year, but Montoya is at another level and gives the Kings a solid, potential franchise goaltender. They’ve got a handful of prospects in the NCAA, so there is no doubt that they’ve seen a fair share of him.

17. Calgary Flames: Alexander Radulov
Radulov is the real enigma of this draft year. He seems to have major inconsistency problems, but when he’s on he has as much talent as anyone in this draft. Redline recently moved him up to number 3 on their draft chart, after a very solid showing for Russia at an international tournament.

18. Dallas Stars: Enver Lisin
Lisin is a Russian speedster who’s got a very good goalscorer’s ability. He has a high upside in the NHL because of his raw skills and speed. The Stars could use to take a gamble on a player like Lisin, and after taking Polak last year, maybe the Stars organization has decided to take a few risks.

19. Nashville Preadators: Kyle Chipchura
Chipchura is an interesting character. Some seem to really love him and some really don’t. He’s got a high skill level and a very good raw offensive ability. His finishing ability has been questioned though. His stats for this season aren’t incredibly flattering either. But the Predators have a lot of different prospects, a very solid mix of depth and Chipchura would be a welcome addition to their organization. Plus they love their WHL guys.

20. Montreal Canadiens: Evan Mcgrath
Mcgrath at this time last year was being considered a top 10 selection, with an outside shot at the top 5. With a solid Memorial Cup run, his draft status was soaring. However this season he hasn’t really improved the way many had hoped. He’s a very skilled, slick skating centreman who is an interesting selection if you want to take a chance. Mcgrath fits nicely into the Habs prospect system.

21. New Jersey Devils: A.J. Thelen
Thelen is a potential defensive stud, with very raw skills, being one of the youngest players in NCAA hockey. He’s got a solid skill set and he’s a competitor defensively. Thelen has the potential to move up higher than this on draft day. With the success of Parise this year, the Devils head back the NCAA route.

22. Vancouver Canucks: Oscar Hedman
Hedman is a solid two way defensive presence and gives the Canucks a prospect element they currently lack. Brian Burke is a big supporter of the BPA drafting method and Hedman could easily be considered this. He’s seen a rise in the rankings over the course of the season.

23. Boston Bruins: Jakub Sindel
A premium sniper prospect, Sindel has the potential to be a big time NHL scorer if his progression goes as planned. The Bruins have seen disappoint from their current crop of NHL forward prospects, and drafting another one would be suffice.

24. Toronto Maple Leafs: David Booth
David Booth is a powerful, talented winger with Michigan State. He adds an element to the Leafs prospect group that is currently absent. This is a pick that most likely won’t be Leaf property after March 9th however.

25. San Jose Sharks: Lukas Kaspar
Kaspar is a talented Czech winger who has some size and skill. CSB rated him very high on their mid term ratings. The Sharks have a pretty good depth, with solid prospects of nearly every shape and or form. Kaspar has solid potential.

26. Tampa Bay Lightning: Devan Dubnyk
Dubnyk is a big Western goaltender who gives the Lightning a potential franchise goaltender that should in theory be ready by the time The Bulin Wall is ready to hang them up. Every year, we think the Lightning are going to draft a franchise goaltender and every year they don’t. I think this year and with this pick it’s time.

27. Colorado Avalanche: Petr Pohl
Pohl has a lot of offensive potential, and the Avalanche desperately lack the type of prospect who can possibly be a top line contributor in the future. He’s been very inconsistent, but the offensive talent is present. The Avalanche can afford to take a chance here.

28. Ottawa Senators: Bryan Bickell
Alright, so maybe it’s a bit cliché that they draft the 67, but Bickell is a perfect compliment to the system. He’s a big, hard working forward who’s inconsistency offensively and physically leaves some to the imagination. If he can put it all together, he could be a very solid NHL’er.

29. Edmonton Oilers (from Philadelphia Flyers): Bruce Graham
Bruce Graham is a big, hulking centerman from the QMJHL who has seen his draft stock rise since the CHL top Prospects game where he put on a solid display. That performance made people sort of open up their eyes to his play. The Oilers are currently in a situation, where a big center with skill could be a great addition to the clubs future.

30. Washington Capitals (from Detroit Red Wings): Johannes Salmonsson
Salmonsson is a solid two way winger out of Sweden. He’s got good puck skills, he works hard and his skill set is solid. Salmonsson is a solid pick for the Caps who are just simply stocking their organization with talent.
I will throw a couple picks at you becasue I respect your opinion so much, just want to get an idea for some of the selections.

- I don't se Malkin being selected by Columbus, thy allready traded for Svitov who I think they expect to be their future #1/#2 center. I also see Johnson and Klesla as the only good defensive prospects they have. I would expect them to trade down a pick or two to get Barker.

- Chicago needs a center? I would have thought Chicago would also trade down to get Schwarz. I feel their forward crew are among the best in terms of potential. They could also add a 1st rounder and maybe some 2nds to trade down.

- Totaly agree with the Carolina pick, Wolski is a Smyth/ONeill type player and with this pick you could see O'Neill being traded at the draft.

- Stafford is far too high, I seen him play a couple times and don't feel he has anything past 2nd line potential at best. I am not impressed with his season at North Dakota.

- I honestly don't see Suter's crew passing up McGrath, allthough he had a bad season this year he is a good centerman, shows plenty of grit in the corners and is an amazing playmaker. He also proved last year he is a big game player. Calgary may want to look into him for the upcomming draft.

- Pohl is interesting, I was hoping that he would drop to the 2nd round so NJ could trade up and get him. I like him becasue he plays like Vrana. Both those players together with some size on the wing would be nice for NJ Colorado has drafted many players from the QMJHL and it wouldn't surprise me for them to draft with Picard or Pohl.

I love your list, I would be interested if you could go two rounds?

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Old
03-16-2004, 09:30 PM
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonMacIsaac
I will throw a couple picks at you becasue I respect your opinion so much, just want to get an idea for some of the selections.

- I don't se Malkin being selected by Columbus, thy allready traded for Svitov who I think they expect to be their future #1/#2 center. I also see Johnson and Klesla as the only good defensive prospects they have. I would expect them to trade down a pick or two to get Barker.

- Chicago needs a center? I would have thought Chicago would also trade down to get Schwarz. I feel their forward crew are among the best in terms of potential. They could also add a 1st rounder and maybe some 2nds to trade down.

- Totaly agree with the Carolina pick, Wolski is a Smyth/ONeill type player and with this pick you could see O'Neill being traded at the draft.

- Stafford is far too high, I seen him play a couple times and don't feel he has anything past 2nd line potential at best. I am not impressed with his season at North Dakota.

- I honestly don't see Suter's crew passing up McGrath, allthough he had a bad season this year he is a good centerman, shows plenty of grit in the corners and is an amazing playmaker. He also proved last year he is a big game player. Calgary may want to look into him for the upcomming draft.

- Pohl is interesting, I was hoping that he would drop to the 2nd round so NJ could trade up and get him. I like him becasue he plays like Vrana. Both those players together with some size on the wing would be nice for NJ Colorado has drafted many players from the QMJHL and it wouldn't surprise me for them to draft with Picard or Pohl.

I love your list, I would be interested if you could go two rounds?
Thanks. Be glad to give you what I was thinking.

With The Blue Jackets and Malkin, well I don't include trades in my mocks, because well then they just get silly. But I do agree with you in the sense that if the Jackets get the second pick, I could see them trading down because they've already got some big body's who have skill. However, Malkin is also (at least it seems to be the consensus) the current no brainer at second overall. The general consensus seems that their is Ovechkin, then there is Malkin and then there are a bunch of other guys who could go. Malkin is a good talent and regardless of whether they could use help in other areas, you can't reject yourself the chance to draft another outstanding offensive talent. However, to contradict what I just ranted about, Cam Barker would look mighty good as a Blue Jacket. Aaron Johnson moves the puck very well, he's a solid defenseman, but I don't think he is a future top pairing guy.

With Chicago, again no trades, but I see what you are saying. I just like the fit of Schremp with Chicago. Thats the pick that seems to have gotten the most criticism, but I stand by it. Schremp is a top offensive talent. And I like Ruutu, awesome player, Vorobiev, Radulov, Yakubov, and dont forget Bell and Arnason. This team has talent offensively. However, Schremp tops off the "metaphorical cherry" if you will. His offensive talents would bring the best out of this group.

On Drew Staffford, I definitely disagree with you there. The few times I've seen Stafford play, he's impressed me a lot with a power game, great speed and just a good overall skill set. Sure he's inconsistent, but what young power forwards aren't? Just a varying opinion I guess.

I hope you are right on Evan Mcgrath. I'm a huge fan and I'm always rooting for him simply because I'm an Oakville native as well, and I watched him play for the Oakville Blades Junior A. He's just had a very disapointing year thats all. He was expected to step up and take over a serious offensive role with the Rangers this year, and he didn't. At times, he still looks a bit timid on the ice, and his strength is currently hurting him. He's got skills though, excellent playmaker as you mentioned, and he's got great wheels (among the best that I've seen in this draft class). But as much as I love him (maybe for biased reasons :p), something just seems to be missing for him right now. And even if he was much heralded going into the season as a top 10 selection, he took a step backward this season and that is never good for your first round aspirations. But due to the fact that this draft year is wide open after around the 15-20 mark, I don't see him falling out of the first regardless of his disapointing season. Like you said, someone is going to take a chance on him.

Pohl is a very interesting player. Sort of similar to Vrana as you said. I think he's got a lot of skill, and I think once he puts everything together, he could be a special player and a top notch offensive talent. I see the Avalanche taking a chance on someone like Pohl with their first rounder this year. The organization just doesn't have a forward right now that I see playing on a scoring line. Marek Svatos is the closest thing, and he can't stay healthy. The Avalanche have to take a gamble with the pick. If not Pohl, then someone like TJ Hensick.

My last draft of the year (near the draft), will be a two round one btw.

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03-25-2004, 08:04 PM
  #24
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Brock..

[QUOTE=Brock]Thanks. Be glad to give you what I was thinking.

With The Blue Jackets and Malkin, well I don't include trades in my mocks, because well then they just get silly. But I do agree with you in the sense that if the Jackets get the second pick, I could see them trading down because they've already got some big body's who have skill. However, Malkin is also (at least it seems to be the consensus) the current no brainer at second overall. The general consensus seems that their is Ovechkin, then there is Malkin and then there are a bunch of other guys who could go. Malkin is a good talent and regardless of whether they could use help in other areas, you can't reject yourself the chance to draft another outstanding offensive talent.

Your right on with what McLean has said.. he will go best available which would be OA EM or CB. Not news to you I'm sure.

How do you know so much about these players? Do you read various ranking publications or do you see them in person?

If you get a second would you give me some projections of what the CBJ would do with their 3 3rd rounders. If they can get OA, or EM, I would expect them to go defense and try to get some defensive prospects for depth. If you have names in mind and a brief bio of dmen that you expect to be late 2nd early 3rds I would be greatful. Thanks Brock - keep up the good work.

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03-26-2004, 11:16 AM
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blew Smoke

Your right on with what McLean has said.. he will go best available which would be OA EM or CB. Not news to you I'm sure.

How do you know so much about these players? Do you read various ranking publications or do you see them in person?
A little of column A, a little of column B. The OHL guys I get a chance to see quite often, whether it be live or on tv because I live in the GTA. There aren't to many WHL or QMJHL games on tv here though, except for the odd one that Sportsnet will broadcast. I have Directv too, so I also have the ability to watch some NCAA hockey. But European hockey, thats all second hand information (other then what we see at the World Juniors). As a writer here on HF, we basically share the knowledge with each other about prospects. Whenever one of us wants to know about guys playing in one league that we don't see, we ask, and if someone wants to know about someone in your area, they ask. A win, win relationship. I also do read a lot of various scouting publications.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blew Smoke
If you get a second would you give me some projections of what the CBJ would do with their 3 3rd rounders. If they can get OA, or EM, I would expect them to go defense and try to get some defensive prospects for depth. If you have names in mind and a brief bio of dmen that you expect to be late 2nd early 3rds I would be greatful. Thanks Brock - keep up the good work.
I would agree that defense could be an area that Columbus could go after in the 3rd round.

As per your request, a few defenseman that could fit your criteria.

Michael Funk - smooth skating, two way defenseman who plays with Portland of the WHL. He's a big guy, 6'4, and hasn't really grown into his frame yet. Not overly physical for his size, but even with solid offensive skills, he's still pretty solid in his own end.

Mark Fistric - Solid stay at home defenseman. 6'3, 230 and a monster. Despite his size, his skating isnt attrocious. Plays with Vancouver in the WHL.

Michael Sersen - Very good offensive defenseman. First overall selection in the Import draft last year. Plays with Rimouski of the QMJHL.

Brett Carson & Andy Rogers - The Calgary Hitmen patrol. Both big, tall lanky guys, at above 6'4. Carson is more offensive minded, where as Rogers is more defensive minded.

Mitch Maunu - Probably the best defenseman from the OHL this year (I'm not really a fan of Kyle Wharton who seems to be the other). Good two way defenseman. Physical, has offensive skills. Skating may be his only drawback.

Jonathan Siglet - One of those guys where if he enters, he'll currently lose his College eligibility. Plays for Bowling Green and he's got great potential to be a very solid two-way defenseman.

As per the European guys, I really don't know enough about some of the guys to give you scouting reports on them, but a few names could be, Richard Demen-Willaume, Anton Belov, Emil Axellsson and Sami Lepisto (but I doubt he falls that far)

Hope that helps and thanks for the comments.

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