2013 NHL Mock Draft
By Christian Roatis (@CRoatis)
I’m sure you’ve seen a million of these by now but I thought I’d throw my two-cents in. Here’s how I see the Top 30 going down:
1. Colorado Avalanche: D Seth Jones – WHL
Let’s be honest, not only is he the consensus number one available prospect but he also has ties to the area. He learned the game in Denver where his father played for the NBA’s Denver Nuggets and was a die-hard Avs fan growing up. A match made in heaven.
2. Florida Panthers: C Nathan MacKinnon- QMJHL
MacKinnon is believed by many to be a sure-fire franchise centerman and would give the Panthers great depth up the middle with rising star Jonathan Huberdeau already having completed his rookie campaign this past season.
3. Tampa Bay Lightning: LW Valeri Nichushkin – KHL
Steve Yzerman has taken a liking to selecting Russians during his tenure as GM and his scouting staff has made it be known they like Valeri Nichushkin, a lot. With many scouts believing he’s a top 3 talent in this draft, TBay makes it a reality. He’s NHL ready now and if he cracks Tampa’s roster, he’ll play next season.
4. Nashville Predators: LW Jonathan Drouin – QMJHL
For a team needing scoring help bad, having a point-producing dynmao like Drouin fall to them is a dream come true.
5. Carolina Hurricanes: D Darnell Nurse – OHL
Canes GM Jim Rutherford has made it known he wants a Top 4 defensemen and if he can’t acquire one prior to making the selection, he picks up the potential stud defensemen. Although Aleksander Barkov would seem like a no brainer – Carolina already has great depth at center, so they go with organizational need.
6. Calgary Flames: C Aleksander Barkov – SM-Liiga
Flames fans rejoice. The only thing better than getting a future franchise centerman is that they took him one pick ahead of Edmonton.
7. Edmonton Oilers: C Sean Monahan - OHL
Craig MacTavish has said he’d love to add a good two-way centerman like Aleksander Barkov. With him taken a pick previous, Sean Monahan is the next best thing. The 7th pick is however up for grabs if they can acquire something that will help them now, so there’s no guarantee that Edmonton even makes this pick.
8. Buffalo Sabres: C Elias Lindholm – SEL
Buffalo goes with best player available, snagging the highly skilled Swedish centerman. Combine this pick with the pickups of Cody Hodgson and Mikhail Grigorenko via trade and draft respectively last year, Buffalo’s future looks bright at center.
9. New Jersey Devils: C Hunter Shinkaruk – WHL
Give him a couple years and he’ll make Devils fans forget all about that Parise guy.
10. Dallas Stars: D Nikita Zadorov – OHL
Dallas already has a number of strong D prospects and they add yet another in Zadorov. The Russian tower of power could form a twin tower duo with fellow Stars giant Jamie Oleksiak on the blueline in the near future.
11. Philadelphia Flyers: D Rasmus Ristolainen – SM-Liiga
If you followed THG top dog Dustin Leed on Twitter in and around the trade deadline, you’d probably get the sense that the Flyers could use a smooth skating, puck moving defensemen that isn’t completely oblivious of his own end. Enter, Rasmus Ristolainen.
12. Phoenix Coyotes: C Max Domi – OHL
With goals hard to come by in the desert, the ‘Yotes hope Domi can remedy that in the near future. His hardnosed, tenacious style of play could make him a fan favourite in no time, possibly remedying the lack of ticket sales too. If not, congratulations Quebec City, you’ve got yourselves a heck of a player.
13. Winnipeg Jets: D Ryan Pulock – WHL
The Jets drafted a solid, defensive defensemen last year in Jacob Trouba, this year they continue to add to their defensive depth with the hard shooting Brandon Wheat King captain.
14. Columbus Blue Jackets: C/W Bo Horvat – OHL
The great two-way forward with offensive skill fits the Jackets system like a glove.
15. New York Islanders: LW Andre Burakovsky – SWE-2
The Islanders have one of the best systems in the league – stocked with just about everything – so they can afford to take a swing at what most are calling the boom or bust of the draft.
16. Buffalo Sabres (from the Minnesota Wild): D Josh Morrissey – WHL
They took a forward with their first pick of the first round, so they go with a defenseman with their second selection. A great offensive defensemen with tremendous skating ability, Morrissey could be running the Buffalo power play in no time.
17. Ottawa Senators: LW Adam Erne – QMJHL
The natural goal scorer has been surrounded by questions about his effectiveness in the absence of a playmaking centerman. Good thing Ottawa’s got a few of those.
18. Detroit Red Wings: C Alexander Wennberg – SWE-2
Good all around offensive player. Will be given plenty time to develop due to Detroit’s ridiculous organizational depth at the forward position.
19. Columbus Blue Jackets (from the New York Rangers): D Robert Hagg – SWE-JR
The second of their three first round selections is used to pick up the calm, responsible Swedish rearguard. Takes care of his own end first but also has a heavy shot and underrated offensive awareness.
20. San Jose Sharks: LW Anthony Mantha – QMJHL
The hard shooting Mantha could add another dimension to an already potent Sharks offense. The 50 goal scorer could form a deadly duo with center man Logan Couture is the not too distant future.
21. Toronto Maple Leafs: LW Kerby Rychel – OHL
The natural goal scorer adds a lacked dimension to the Leafs prospect base.
22. Calgary Flames (From St. Louis): LW Morgan Klimchuck – WHL
The Calgary product has blazing speed and a very heavy shot. Could be trading one-timers with Sven Baertschi on Dome ice in no time.
23. Washington Capitals: C Curtis Lazar – WHL
Thrilled that he slipped to 23, Washington picks up a hardworking, hard shooting, two-way goal scorer.
24. Vancouver Canucks: D Steven Santini – USHL
Gritty and hardnosed, Santini projects to be a solid shutdown defender with some offensive upside.
25. Montreal Canadiens: G Zach Fucale – QMJHL
This pick is based off the Canadiens saying they’d look to shore up the lack of goaltending depth in the organization through this years draft. They also have 2 of the first 6 picks in the second round so they could potentially snag Tristan Jarry there and get someone else at 25. Nonetheless, the consensus number one goaltender in this years draft is worth the gamble.
26. Anahiem Ducks: C Frederik Gauthier – QMJHL
Ducks add a player who remind me a lot of the guy they got wearing the “C” in Disneyland. Big, fast, great two-way game, Gauthier could give the Ducks the second line center they’ve been searching for.
27. Columbus Blue Jackets (from LA Kings): C Ryan Hartman – OHL
When he’s not pissing you off with a chirp here and whack there, he’s doing it by scoring.
28. Calgary Flames (from Pittsburgh): D Mirco Mueller – WHL
The acquisition of Mueller lessens the sting of trading Jarome Iginla. With a good two-way skill set, the Swiss defender looks to be a future anchor on the Flames blue-line.
29. Chicago Blackhawks: D Samuel Morin – QMJHL
With a very deep system, the ‘Hawks take the raw but tremendously toolsy blueliner.
30. Dallas Stars: C JT Compher – USHL
With the last pick of the first round – second Top 30 pick – Dallas goes for the hard hitting, goal scoring forward