NHL Scouting Combine: 2013 NHL Draft loaded

By Tony Ambrogio (@SNTonyAmbrogio)
Getty Images

Getty Images

In the early morning hours of the NHL scouting combine, a high ranking team executive told me, “this draft features so many great kids.”
He went on to say, “I’ve been involved in countless interviews with prospects over the years, and this year was the best for interviews. There are just so many good quality kids.”
OK, so the crop available in the draft this year features young men of high character.
But can they play?
“I see 8 to 12 guys playing in the NHL from this draft next year,” said a team scout. “There’s a lot of high end talent.”
“You can compare this draft to the 2003 draft (one of the best all-time) in terms of quality and depth,” said a high league scouting guru.
“I felt bad stopping at a top 100 list,” said another draft guru, talking about his top 100 projection for the draft.
From talking to hockey people at the combine, teams with multiple draft picks in the first round can get a big head start on rebuilding their team.
Columbus with 3 first- round picks (14, 19 and 27), Buffalo (8 and 16), Dallas (10 and 28) and Calgary (picking 6, 22 and 29) certainly should benefit.
“This is a deep draft,” said a team scout. “For example, we could have a player rated 10th, while another team could have that same player at 30.”
“The best draft class I’ve seen in my 18 years of doing this,” said an editor of a draft publication. “Our #7 overall, Sean Monahan would have gone #1 in some past drafts.”
So while Seth Jones, Jonathan Drouin and Nathan Mackinnon made most of the headlines, this draft is more than just the big 3.

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