Thursday, June 27, 2013

2013 NHL Mock Draft

Last week all of the on air personalities at the TEAM 1260 were asked to put together mock drafts for the station's website. You can find those HERE

There are a lot of varying opinions on where players will go this year which makes for an exciting draft day and I hope you'll join Taylor Medak, Marc Majeau and I for our coverage of the event on Sunday. We'll kick things off at 12:30 pm MST and we've got the clearance to go as long as you the listener want us to. We'll take you through all the picks, talk with media folk on location in New Jersey and we want to hear your feedback on what your favorite team does too.

But you came here to see my mock draft so time to get to it. It's the same as I put together last week with more detail and one exception which you'll see early on, feel free to compare the two for yourself. Also notice that the only TEAM 1260 guys brave (dumb?) enough to pick a complete top 30 were Lowetide and I.

Last note: This is a mock and NOT my own personal top 30. The difference would be that aside from Sasha Barkov and Rasmus Ristolainen, I'd be content letting other teams draft the Europeans high and I'd stick to North Americans. Why? The draft is a crapshoot already and, in my personal opinion, I'd want to remove as much potential risk as possible. 

Europeans are more likely to balk at AHL time, not all but some and that's a variable worth considering, because they can play professionally closer to home where they are more comfortable and probably make more money doing so. I would do the same if I were in their shoes so it's not a criticism of their character, but it's a potential hurdle, a headache that is easily avoided. 

I don't draft a Euro early unless I am confident that he can contribute to my NHL roster right away - like Barkov and Ristolainen.  Not Nichushkin, not Lindholm, not Zadorov, Not Zykov and not Wennberg. Good players all of them but I'm OK with someone else taking them because that means a good North American is still there for me to take. 

End Rant. Here is my mock draft:

Guy's 2013 Mock Draft

Photo: Getty Images

1. Colorado: Nathan MacKinnon C (Halifax) – Reports are now out that Patrick Roy has not only declared MacKinnon their pick but that he’ll center the third line for the Avalanche to start next season. I don't know that I completely buy it still but media out of Denver seems convince and they're in a much better position to judge how sincere that talk is so... 

2. Florida: Seth Jones D (Portland) – Perhaps not the guy they had believed they’d get a week ago but adding Jones further solidifies the Panthers defensive prospect group. 

3. Tampa Bay: Jonathan Drouin LW (Halifax) – “Stamkos from Drouin” is going to be heard on the PA system in Tampa for the next decade. Thought they might give significant consideration to Nichushkin but have been told that his combine interview was so dreadful that it completely turned Steve Yzerman off. Take it for what you will.  

4. Nashville: Sasha Barkov C (Tappara) – A young but pro ready center for the Preds who can bring some much needed offence with him from Finland. The more and more I hear and read the more I like and would at least consider taking him higher than this.
5. Carolina: Darnell Nurse D (Sault Ste. Marie) – The next best defenceman in the class of 2013 would become the ‘Canes top prospect although the organization is thin everywhere. Carolina is hard for me to read though and they could just as easily go European.  
Photo: Terry Wilson
6. Calgary: Sean Monahan C (Ottawa) – The rebuild is officially on and with three picks in the first round the Flames can address their many holes. A big, skilled center leads the picks. I don't think adding Corban Knight changes things for the draft. 
7. Edmonton: Rasmus Ristolainen D (TPS) – If the first 6 picks unfold as I listed above then I would fully expect the Oilers to trade back. If they don’t (or can’t), then a d-man who could contribute at the NHL level inside the next two years makes sense to me. I still believe plan A for Craig MacTavish is to move the pick for a roster player anyway.   
8. Buffalo: Valeri Nichushkin RW (Chelyabinsk) – Deep in prospects, the Sabres swing for the fence and take the highly skilled Russian then cross their fingers that he’ll come over, and stay, to play with friend Mikhail Grigorenko.
9. New Jersey: Elias Lindholm C (Brynas) – The defensively strict Devils take a defensively capable center. New Jersey has taken several Swedes in the last decade so have shown no trepidation that way.
Photo: Terry Wilson
10. Dallas: Nikita Zadorov D (London) – Their blueline is thinner than the prospect forward depth and the 6’5 Russian might be the best player available anyway.
11. Philadelphia: Bo Horvat C (London) – A high character, leadership type player that is reliable in all facets of the game.
12. Phoenix: Curtis Lazar C (Edmonton) – Adding to forward depth down the middle with the WHL linemate of fellow Coyotes prospect Henrik Samuelsson. 
13. Winnipeg: Ryan Pulock D (Brandon) – The Jets stay close to home and add a Wheat King to the pool of potential future blueliners.
14. Columbus: Frederik Gauthier C (Rimouski) – He’s a bit of a project but size down the middle for a team that is well on its way up the standings. Really enjoyed the conversation with him on the show a couple of weeks ago. 
Photo: Dave Chan
15. NY Islanders: Zach Fucale G (Halifax) – With boat loads of blueline and forward prospects the Islanders take the top rated netminder in the Class of 2013.
16. Buffalo (via Minn.): Hunter Shinkaruk LW/C (Medicine Hat) – Adding another scorer to the fold while following in the footsteps of former Medicine Hat Tiger star Tyler Ennis. Recent conversations I have had have boosted his stock with me a bit.
17. Ottawa: Max Domi C (London) – For no other reason than to imagine Domi Jr. playing on Domi Sr.’s  (and the Leafs’) Provincial rival.
18. Detroit: Valentin Zykov LW (Baie-Comeau) – Led all QMJHL rookies in scoring with 40 goals and 75 points but has a passport that will scare away some teams. Sounds like he shares some characteristics of Wings prospect Martin Frk.
19. Columbus (via NYR): Kerby Rychel LW (Windsor) – Back-to-Back 40-goal seasons with almost 100 PIMs. The 6’1, 205 lb power forward is a bit of a sleeper but proven genetics help push him up the list.
20. San Jose: Mirco Mueller D (Everett) – The organizational depth needs help everywhere and a steady two-way defenceman is a nice safe bet. The WHL put together a pretty impressive highlight package of him a couple of weeks ago. 
21. Toronto: Alex Wennberg C (Djurgarden) – Another reliable center fits the bill for the Leafs. Scouts speaking highly of him but they did the same last year of Sebastien Collberg and he slipped out of the 1st round.
22. Calgary (via STL): Josh Morrisey D (Prince Albert) – The Calgary native is taken by the hometown team that needs his offensive spark from the back end. A bit of a boom/bust candidate but might be the most offensive blueliner available. 
23. Washington: Samuel Morin D (Rimouski) – Raw 6’7 defenceman could turn out to be a steal for the Caps if Morin can reach his full potential. A late bloomer still just scratching the surface of what he might be able to become. He could go much earlier than this.
24. Vancouver: Madison Bowey D (Kelowna) – A well rounded defenceman already, Bowey could bust out as a premier blueliner in the WHL next season with the Rockets.
Photo: Steve Deschenes
25. MontrĂ©al: Adam Erne RW (Quebec) – More than a point per game in the QMJHL with above average size, two things the Habs are happy to add to their forward prospects.
26. Anaheim: Michael McCarron RW (US-NTDP) – A massive 6’5, 230 lb power forward headed to Western Michigan. Was one of the leading shot takers and producers for USA at the U18s and looks like a beast in his highlight video.  
27. Columbus (via LA): Shea Theodore D (Seattle) – Rounding out the three first round picks for the Jackets with a potential partner for 2012 1st rounder Ryan Murray.
28. Calgary (via: PGH): Ian McCoshen D (Waterloo) – A big, physical defenceman out of the USHL headed to Boston College for a couple of seasons. Assistant GM John Weisbrod showed a liking of collegians last year.
29. Dallas (via BOS): Robert Hagg D (MoDo) – An offensive defenceman with above average size but questionable skating? Dallas uses their extra pick to take a chance on hitting a home run.
30. Chicago: Steven Santini D (US-NTDP) – The Hawks have plenty of depth so have the luxury of waiting up to four years for the future Boston College Eagle to develop.  
Honourable Mentions: Anthony Mantha, Chris Bigras, Dillon Heatherington, Andre Burakowsky and Ryan Hartman.             

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