Hockey This Week

Hockey This Week | 2013 NHL Draft Mock Up 1.0 | By Tony Stabile

Hockey This Week | 2013 NHL Draft Mock Up 1.0 | By Tony Stabile

Tony Stabile’s 2013 NHL Mock Draft 1.0

In preparing for the NHL Draft this June 30th, there should be PLENTY of movement with both Calgary and Columbus holding three 1st round picks each. Couple that with the amnesty buyouts, and Free Agency beginning just five days after the draft, and you have a recipe for a fun day.

Let’s take a look at who might be going where….

1. Colorado Avalanche – Seth Jones D – Portland WHL
Jones, son of former NBA player and current assistant coach Popeye Jones, is a no brainer here. He possesses all the traits of a #1 defenseman. He’s big, strong, extremely intelligent, and can skate like few others. Jones is a huge fan of both the Avs and new team President Joe Sakic. Ironically, Sakic advised Jones’ father (then playing for the Denver Nuggets) on a path for young Seth when he showed love for the game of hockey. Any way you look at it, Jones will join the talented core of Matt Duchene, Erik Johnson, Gabriel Landeskog and Ryan O’Reilly.

2. Florida Panthers – Jonathan Drouin LW – Halifax QMJHL
Most everyone has Florida taking MacKinnon here, but I see it differently. The Panthers, already with Calder trophy winner Jonathan Huberdeau on board, take the ultra-talented Drouin here. Drouin is a pure goal scorer and could be magic playing alongside Huberdeau. His 105 points ranked him 2nd in the Q this last season (even though he played only 49 games), and during his team record 29 game point scoring streak, he netted 65 of those points. Most feel skills-wise, Drouin is 2013’s top player.

3. Tampa Bay Lightning – Nathan MacKinnon C – Halifax QMJHL
MacKinnon, most feel should be the 1st overall pick in 2013. I think he falls to the already talented Lightning. With Steven Stamkos, Victor Hedman, Teddy Purcell and the ageless Marty St. Louis, the Lightning will get another super talented player in MacKinnon. MacKinnon, who was the 2013 Memorial Cup MVP, is amongst the best skaters in this draft class. He’s also among the toughest. He plays a 200 ft. game, and is as clutch as they come as he netted 7 goals and 13 points in his 4 Memorial Cup games.

4. Nashville Predators – Aleksander Barkov C -Tappara FIN
Barkov is a big and talented two-way center. The Preds have always lacked that prime time offensive player, and Barkov is that guy. His 48 points in 53 games in the Finnish Elite league was impressive enough, but Barkov is also big on defense, which fits right into Coach Barry Trotz’ scheme. Barkov will be a huge addition for the disappointing Preds.

5. Carolina Hurricanes – Valeri Nichushkin RW – Chelyabinsk RUS
Nichushkin has world class talent. If he were not Russian, he might be in the discussion for the #1 pick in this draft. But he is Russian, and that’s why he falls to #5. Nichushkin is an excellent skater and he’s huge already at 6’4 and 205lbs. As ISS describes, he has eyes in the back of his head and is extremely strong on his skates. He projects as an offensive centerpiece and can also play some defense. Nichushkin has the chance to be a Superstar.

6. Calgary Flames – Darnell Nurse D – S.S. Marie OHL
Nurse, who is the nephew of former Eagles QB Donovan McNabb, is a huge pick for the Calgary Flames here. The Flames, who have three 1st round picks (after trading Jarome Iginla and Jay Bouwmeester at the deadline), take a high end defenseman – something their prospect pool is sorely lacking. Nurse is a big boy at 6’3 ½ and about 195lbs. He is an outstanding leader and as ISS puts it, “a ferocious defender.” He has the potential to be a captain someday and will be the shutdown defenseman Calgary has been missing since Dion Phaneuf.

7. Edmonton Oilers – Sean Monahan C – Ottawa OHL
While I think Edmonton may look to trade this pick, the logical choice here is Monahan. Monahan is an elite playmaker and is extremely strong on the puck. He has outstanding vision and has the ability to find his teammates anywhere. He has, as ISS describes, “jaw dropping” moves. Monahan could be a strong compliment to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

8. Buffalo Sabres – Rasmus Ristolainen D – TPS Turku FIN
Ristolainen makes sense for the Sabres here. They took two talented centers in the 2012 draft (Mikhail Grigorenko and Zemgus Girgensons), and traded Jason Pominville for another talented center in Johan Larsson. They also have talent on the wing with Marcus Foligno and Joel Armia, as well as in net with Matt Hackett on the way. Ristolainen is a mature, smooth skating defenseman who projects as a #2 defenseman. He can play in any role you need him to and is about as safe as prospects come.

9. New Jersey Devils – Zach Fucale G – Halifax QMJHL
This is the year the Devils choose Martin Brodeur’s eventual replacement. Fucale is a winner plain and simple. He is as technically sound as they come, and is extremely calm and mentally tough. He is coming off a season which he won 45 of the 55 games he played. He’s generally considered the best of 2013’s goaltending class.

10. Dallas Stars – Elias Lindholm C – Brynas SEL
Lindholm is the kind of player people pay to see. He can do a bit of everything and does it very well. He is a turnover machine (not giving it away, but taketh away), he is excellent in transition, and has fantastic hands. He is a dominant faceoff man and brings it every single shift. If he gets a little stronger, he will be dangerous.

11. Philadelphia Flyers – Nikita Zadorov D – London OHL
Zadorov could be the steal of this draft. He is huge (6’5 230 lbs), mean, and has blossoming offensive skills. He is a very effective shutdown defenseman who uses his size very well and is a very strong skater. He has a booming slap shot from the point, giving him an incredible upside. His decision making does need some work, but most feel with defenseman that takes time, especially with the big guys. Zadorov has the potential to be a top 4 shutdown D with PP potential.

12. Phoenix Coyotes – Bo Horvat C – London OHL
Horvat gives the Coyotes a solid 200 ft forward who could be their next captain. Horvat is a master in the faceoff circle, and is highly respected for his defensive game. His work ethic is top notch and he has captain written all over him. Horvat is the kind of player every successful playoff team needs in their lineup. With so much talent already on D, and with some depth in goal, Horvat makes a ton of sense for the Coyotes at 12.

13. Winnipeg Jets – Curtis Lazar C – Edmonton WHL
Lazar is just too good for the Jets to pass up here. Lazar has a great work ethic and is great in the clutch. His shot is outstanding and he is fearless out on the ice. He does need to show more consistency, but his shot and offensive potential is too great to slide past 13.

14. Columbus Blue Jackets – Max Domi C – London OHL
Domi, son of former NHL heavyweight Tie Domi, is an offensive dynamo. He has outstanding vision, skating skills, and is a flat out magician with the puck. He has a “never give up” motor on the back check and doesn’t shy away from the physical game. The problem is he’s only 5’9, and that may be a concern. With the Jackets having three picks in the 1st round, I see them all over the talented Domi here at 14.

15. New York Islanders – Hunter Shinkaruk C/LW – Medicine Hat WHL
While I have a feeling Islanders GM Garth Snow may look to trade down here to replace his traded 2nd round pick (for defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky), he may have to rethink that if Shinkaruk falls to 15. Shinkaruk is coming off an impressive season with Medicine Hat where he scored 37 goals and 86 points in 64 games. He is considered an extremely passionate player who works very hard and produces results. He has a great shot, slick hands, and has great hockey sense. As ISS puts it, Shinkaruk doesn’t take no for an answer. He’ll need to get stronger, but with a deep and expansive talent pool, Shinkaruk would have all the time he needs to develop.

16. Buffalo Sabres – Ryan Pulock D – Brandon WHL
After taking the safe Ristolainen at 8, the Sabres take another talented defenseman in Pulock at 16. Pulock displays poise and maturity on the ice, he plays a bit of a grittier game than Ristolainen and he has huge shot from the point. He shows flashes of dynamic offensive potential, though he can be a bit risky at times. He needs to take advantage of his shot and use it more. All in all, Pulock could become a very solid PP QB.

17. Ottawa Senators – Steve Santini D – USA U-18 NTDP
Santini is a big physical defenseman who plays with high intensity and is a “punishing” hitter. Santini comes off a very talented USA blue line and has shown great character and leadership. He’s a solid 6’1, 210lbs, and does all the little things on the ice that go unnoticed. He’s not flashy at all, but has the size, skill and skating ability to be a top pairing NHL defenseman. The NY Islanders are also highly interested in Santini.

18. Detroit Red Wings – Alexander Wennberg C – Djurgarden SEL
As if the Red Wings haven’t had enough success picking players out of the SEL, the very talented Wennberg falls to them at 18. Wennberg is a very smooth offensive talent who may have flown a bit under the radar this season. He put up 32 points in the SEL which is no easy task, and has shown good skating and puck skills. He also has great vision and has no problem finishing. He could blossom into an impact player.

19. Columbus Blue Jackets – Valentin Zykov RW – Baie-Comeau QMJHL
Zykov had a tremendous rookie season in Baie-Comeau. He finished with 40 goals, 75 points, and left a big time impression on scouts. This was a kid who wasn’t taken till the 76th pick in the CHL Import Draft. Zykov is an “exciting, fast, and intelligent offensive dynamo” writes ISS. He plays bigger than his 6’0, 210lbs frame and has great offensive instincts. He could turn into a top line player with goal scoring ability.

20. San Jose Sharks – Josh Morrissey D – Prince Albert WHL
It seems the WHL had a good season eh? Morrissey is a fantastic skater who is very confident and shows great vision. He’s offensive minded and loves to rush the puck. He has a good frame at 6’1 and 200lbs, and shows PP QB ability. With current PP QB Danny Boyle getting a little long in the tooth, Morrissey could be the perfect replacement.

21. Toronto Maple Leafs – Kerby Rychel LW – Windsor OHL
Rychel, son of former NHL’er and current Windsor GM Warren Rychel, is a big talented goal scorer who lacks work ethic. Rychel has a lethal shot and scored 40 goals for a struggling Windsor team this past season. If he brought his compete level up, he would be an elite prospect. He could become a Chris Kunitz type in the right situation.

22. Calgary Flames – Andre Burakowsky LW – Malmo SEL
With the pick they acquired in the Jay Bouwmeester trade, the Flames select the talented Burakowsky at 22. Burakowsky, also the son of a former NHL’er Robert, has the ability to grow into a top line winger and a big time point producer. He is very shifty with the puck and is an excellent skater. He can electrify at times and is a terrific puck possession player. He’s not an easy player to contain, needs to get a little stronger and some time to develop, but could be a steal this late in the 1st round.

23. Washington Capitals – Frederik Gauthier C – Rimouski QMJHL
Gauthier has the ability to become a premier 2nd line center. The fact that Washington already has a #1 center in Nicklas Backstrom, makes this pick a no brainer. Gauthier is a “very smart and hardworking kid,” writes ISS. He does whatever is asked of him and displays a competitive work ethic and leadership abilities. His size (6’5, 210lbs) and skating ability makes him an intriguing pick for the Caps.

24. Vancouver Canucks – Ian McCoshen D – Waterloo USHL
With the Canuck blue line showing some age, and their system loaded with puck moving defenseman, Vancouver can select McCoshen who ISS says “is no fun to play against.” McCoshen is a very good skater who is poised and composed on the blue line. He is as ISS states, “the total package on defense.” An excellent compete level coupled with a very good hockey sense, makes McCoshen a solid pick at 24 for GM Mike Gillis.

25. Montreal Canadians – Anthony Mantha RW Val d’Or QMJHL
Mantha, who recorded 50 goals for Val d’Or this past season, is a big skilled winger who lacks passion on the ice. He has the size, shot, and skating ability to be a top 6 scoring forward, but his lack of drive and his compete level make him a gamble. Mantha has an NHL shot already and at 6’4 is a good size, though he does not play a physical game at all. He has the tools to develop into a very good player, but does he want to be?

26. Anaheim Ducks – Michael McCarron – RW USA U-18 NTDP
Anaheim has a wealth of talented prospects including Emerson Etem, Rickard Rakell, Peter Holland, and Hampus Lindholm. Adding McCarron only strengthens that pool. McCarron is “a massive player who does his job and uses his size very well to create space and cause havoc,” says ISS. He has the potential to become a top quality NHL power forward. He needs some work on his skating, but his 6’5, 230lbs frame is too much to pass up at 26.

27. Columbus Blue Jackets – Ryan Hartman RW – Plymouth OHL
After selecting the dynamic offensive talents of Max Domi and Valentin Zykov, the Blue Jackets select the gritty Ryan Hartman at 27. Hartman plays a Brad Marchand type game, which is a two-way agitating forward that plays on both sides of the puck. ISS states that Hartman is “one of the most annoying and agitating players to play against in the entire draft. He’s not only agitating; he’s feisty, tough, and aggressive.” He plays a relentless in your face brand of hockey. Once Hartman learns to tone it down just a notch (can be a little reckless at times), he could be a nuisance to play against. Teams see how effective Marchand is for the Bruins as they are contending for their 2nd cup in 4 years.

28. Calgary Flames – Eric Comrie G – Tri-City WHL
The Flames go a little off the board here after selecting Nurse and Burakowsky earlier in the 1st round. Comrie, younger half brother of former NHL’er and Alberta native Mike Comrie, came into this season as the most hyped goaltender in this draft. A hip injury derailed his season, but he put up impressive numbers with Tri-City and showed enough hype to warrant 1st round attention. With Miikka Kiprusoff coming to the end of his career, Comrie could become the Flames goalie of the future. If he pans out, he could be a steal for Calgary at 28.

29. Dallas Stars – Chris Bigras D – Owen Sound OHL
Bigras is a fantastic skater who uses excellent stick work defensively and has some intriguing offensive skills. Bigras has great vision and his mobility and foot speed are tremendous. He has big time shutdown potential and could turn into a top 4 all around defenseman in time. He lacks ideal size (6’0, 190lbs) but his skating could make up the difference.

30. Chicago Blackhawks – Madison Bowey D – Kelowna WHL
With the last pick in the 1st round, the Blackhawks select the gritty and hardnosed Madison Bowey. Bowey is a “lunch pail type of player who wants to win every battle on every shift of every game,” describes ISS. He isn’t afraid to throw hits, is confident with the puck, and usually makes the right play. Bowey is very competitive and it seems to become contagious among his teammates when he gets going. Has the potential to be a 2nd paring defenseman who can drive his opponents crazy.

For Hockey This Week ….I’m Tony Stabile

Follow Tony on Twitter @tonystabile

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