2013 NHL Mock Draft
Dante Martella and ScottC Wheeler
With the NHL Entry Draft just about 2 weeks away,
we’ve put together a couple of mock drafts. Enjoy and let us know how yours differ!
Scott’s Mock Draft
Colorado Avalanche: Seth Jones
Florida Panthers: Nathan MacKinnon
Tampa Bay Lightning: Jonathan Drouin
Nashville Predators: Aleksander Barkov
Carolina Hurricanes: Sean Monahan
Calgary Flames: Valeri Nichushkin
Edmonton Oilers: Darnell Nurse
Buffalo Sabres: Elias Lindholm
New Jersey Devils: Rasmus Ristolainen
Dallas Stars: Hunter Shinkaruk
Philadelphia Flyers: Nikita Zadorov
Phoenix Coyotes: Valentin Zykov
Winnipeg Jets: Andre Burakowsky
Columbus Blue Jackets: Anthony Mantha
New York Islanders: Ryan Pulock
Buffalo Sabres: Mirco Mueller
Ottawa Senators: Curtis Lazar
Detroit Red Wings: Fredrik Gauthier
Columbus Blue Jackets: Shea Theodore
San Jose Sharks: Bo Horvat
Toronto Maple Leafs: Kerby Rychel
Calgary Flames: Zachary Fucale
Washington Capitals: Chris Bigras
Vancouver Canucks: Ryan Hartman
Montreal Canadiens: Samuel Morin
Anaheim Ducks: Max Domi
Columbus Blue Jackets: Joshua Morrissey
Calgary Flames: Zach Nastasiuk
Dallas Stars/Chicago Blackhawks: Adam Erne
Dallas Stars/Chicago Blackhawks: Robert Hagg
Dante’s Mock Draft
1 – Colorado Avalanche: Nathan MacKinnon
Like much of the hockey world, I’m torn. By virtue of winning the draft lottery, the Colorado Avalanche will select 1st overall, and boy to they have a tough, but pretty much foolproof decision to make. The story line behind Jones playing his early hockey in Denver combined with the Avalanche’s team needs would seemingly make for an easy pick. That said, there’s a reason Seth and Nathan MacKinnon have jockeyed positions at #1 and #2 on scouting lists all year long. Ultimately, the high-flying MacKinnon is largely respected as the consensus best player available in the draft, with Jones certainly not far behind. I could see the Avs taking the hulking and cornerstone rearguard in Jones, but at the same time, I can’t see anyone looking at MacKinnon and saying “No thanks.” Either way, you can’t really go wrong.
2 – Florida Panthers: Seth Jones
The Panthers are chock full of quality forward prospects in Huberdeau, Grimaldi, Bjugstad, Howden and Hyman, and with the opportunity to add a player like Jones to stabilize their defense corps, Dale Tallon will be licking his chops as he makes the selection.
3 – Tampa Bay Lightning: Jonathan Drouin
The CHL player of the year…need I say more? Likely the forward with the most proficient puck skills in the draft, the shifty and speedy Drouin will make Lightning fans happy, and will sure look good alongside Steven Stamkos in the coming seasons (with Brett Connolly and Namestnikov coming through the pipeline).
4 – Nashville Predators: Aleksander Barkov
The Preds have never added an electrifying talent to their roster through the draft. High picks like Scottie Upshall, Scott Hartnell and David Legwand have produced some able and steady NHL producers, but none of them are the crowd-off-your-feet type of talents. They’ve drafted well defensively for years, and with a big 6’3” 210lbs young centremen waiting to be plucked in the draft, the Preds should be all over it. Already a mature two-way player, he’ll fit into their responsible system, but inject a much needed scoring punch over the years.
5 – Carolina Hurricanes: Valeri Nichushkin
With the additions of Jordan Staal and Jeff Skinner in recent years, the Canes have brought in some exciting talent. GM Jim Rutherford also wasn’t shy in adding enigmatic Russian sniper Alex Semin to the fold last season, so I’ll say that trend continues with the selection of a 6’4” mammoth offensive point getter.
6 – Calgary Flames: Sean Monahan
The rebuild is finally underway in Calgary. With Iginla traded and Kiprusoff set to retire, the Flames will need help all over the place, and there might not be a better way to start than with a young, strong, gifted two-way centre like Sean Monahan. Stuck on the OHL’s worst club this past season (Ottawa 67s), Monahan has still remained in the top-10 talk, and deservedly so. He’s a born leader, and excels at virtually every facet of the game.
7 – Edmonton Oilers: Darnell Nurse
The 6’5” rearguard is a very steady presence on the backend, and looks nice penciled in alongside Justin Schultz for years to come. The Oilers’ offensive weaponry is explosive and well documented, and with the responsible preaching of new coach Dallas Eakins set to kick-in a new era, this pick makes a ton of sense for the copper and blue.
8 – Buffalo Sabres: Elias Lindholm
The intelligent Swede will join a team that already boasts some quality young centremen in Cody Hodgson and Mikhail Grigorenko, but he’s too good to pass up.
9 – New Jersey Devils: Hunter Shinkaruk
The hosts of this year’s draft will please their fans with a high-skill selection. The organization needs a young forward to move forward with given the departure of Zach Parise, and while there are some good D to be selected here, Shinkaruk is an exciting goal-scoring talent.
10 – Dallas Stars: Rasmus Ristolainen
Sergei Gonchar is no long-term addition for the Stars, so look for Jim Nill to leave his inaugural draft as a GM with this smart pick in his back pocket. Another big and very strong defender, Ristolainen is adept at playing on both sides of the puck.
11 – Philadelphia Flyers: Nikita Zadorov
The 6’5” physical defenseman has broadstreet bullies written all over him. Pronger’s injury and the failed Shea Weber offer-sheet show the organization’s affinity for that bullish presence on the back-end. This is no comparison to those elite d-men, but this may be the Flyers’ chance to snag a punisher of their own in the draft. He’ll go a long way in protecting the skill of Giroux, Couturier, B. Schenn etc.
12 – Phoenix Coyotes: Frederik Gauthier
Dave Tippett preaches defense and responsibility. The Yotes can select this big and strong two-way centre that has rocketed up the depth charts in recent rankings.
13 – Winnipeg Jets: Max Domi
The highly-skilled Domi would add some needed offensive punch to the Jets’ lineup, particularly in light of the recent Burmistrov rumours that claim the youngster wants out of Winnipeg.
14 – Columbus Blue Jackets: Valentin Zykov
The Jackets seem to be doing well as the under-the-radar, hard-working team they’ve become post-Rick Nash, but they could add some quick and flashy skill in Zykov who scored 40 goals this year in the Q.
15 – New York Islanders: Zach Fucale
The Isles have some really talented players coming up at forward and defense (Strome, Niederreiter, Reinhart, De Haan), but continue to struggle in net. Where better than to start with the standout goaltender in the Moosheads’ run to the Mem Cup?
16 – Buffalo Sabres: Ryan Pulock
The Sabres nabbed a high-profile centre in Lindholm earlier in this draft, so now they can add to their future d-corps with Pulock.
17 – Ottawa Senators: Alex Wennberg
The Sens will soon see the departure of an important Swede in their organization (Alfredsson), but could welcome another in Wennberg. Known as a tireless worker and proven goal-scorer, the product of Djurgarden in the SEL possesses some of the qualities that endeared Alffy to the fans of the Ottawa.
18 – Detroit Red Wings: Curtis Lazar
The Red Wings love smart and responsible players, and that’s exactly what they’ll get in Lazar. Who better to learn from than Pavel Datsyuk?
19 – Columbus Blue Jackets: Mirco Mueller
Similar to the Sabres, the Jackets can now add a d-man in Mueller having added a good forward prospect earlier in the draft.
20 – San Jose Sharks: Anthony Mantha
The only CHL prospect to register 50 goals, Mantha would join Couture as the future of the Sharks up front.
21 – Toronto Maple Leafs: Bo Horvat
A strong and aggressive forechecker, Horvat brings a complete package to the table. His physical edge bodes well for a team trying to establish toughness as a hallmark of their game.
22 – Calgary Flames: Shea Theodore
With Monahan in the fold, the Flames can stock the D cupboard with smooth-skating Theodore.
23 – Washington Capitals: Kerby Rychel
The Caps hardly need offense, but Rychel could be a steal at this stage. He’s a very quick skater, a good offensive producer and has an element of fearlessness to his game that Adam Oates would certainly enjoy.
24 – Vancouver Canucks: Chris Bigras
A steady blueliner that isn’t flashy but gets the job done. Vancouver needs a reliable presence on the back-end moving forward.
25 – Montreal Canadiens: Ryan Hartman
Having added some skill in last year’s draft, the Habs could benefit from this versatile and high-energy forward.
26 – Anaheim Ducks: Zach Nastasiuk
The young power-forward could be a potential top-6 replacement down the road when the Ducks lose vets like Saku Koivu, Jason Blake and Teemus Selanne.
27 – Columbus Blue Jackets: Robert Hagg
A strong showing at the 2013 WJC could be a sign of things to come for the rugged defender. The Jackets finish up their successful first round with this two-way defender.
28 – Calgary Flames: Adam Erne
A good physical forward with net-drive. All characteristics that the Flames need.
29 – Dallas Stars/Chicago Blackhawks: Josh Morrissey
An effortless skater, Morrissey had a strong year with the Prince Albert Raiders in the WHL.
30 – Dallas Stars/Chicago Blackhawks: Robert Hagg
Good skating d-man that can rush the puck and put up points.
Well there you have it. A couple of looks at how we feel the draft might play out. Naturally, trades and team rankings will certainly alter the order and players included in the above lists, but it’s a fun exercise nonetheless. Who would you change? Who would you like to see the Leafs draft?
@dmartella12 and @scottcwheeler