22 teams in the NHL rght now are on the golf course. 8 teams are still battling it out for a chance to raise Lord Stanley. Despite all that, we have a good sense of where each team will pick and possibly who, even though that will be debated even more after the playoff are done. Last draft saw a huge media frenzy speculating whether the New York Islanders would take John Tavares or Victor Hedman. They instead took Tavares. Now, couple that with this race and it may be even more questionable the last couple of days leading up to the draft. Here’s my second version of the mock draft.
1. Edmonton Oilers select…Tyler Seguin (Plymouth Whalers, OHL)
The question of Taylor of Tyler will linger on for so many nights and hourse for Steve Tambellini, and his decision may come back to haunt him. Personally, I have a feeling they’ll go with Seguin as their top pick. First, he’s a centre, which they dearly need. Second, he’s got the faster and bigger than Taylor Hall. Third, he got better stats on a worser team than Hall. And Last, the Oilers will be in no hurry to bring their number one pick to Deadmonton, so Seguin has potential to develop in the better player.
2. Boston Bruins (via the Laffs) select…Taylor Hall (Windsor Spitfires, OHL)
Peter Chiarelli is literally doing cartwheels right now. His Bruins are destined to at least go to the Eastern Conference Final, and they still get the Number Two Pick wherethey completely fleeced Brian Burke. Now, they get an amazing product out of Alberta who will never quit. He’s got the heart and skill of another Steve Yzerman and always steps up in crunch time. The only question I see with Taylor is that he plays on a brilliantly talented team, so it remains if he can produce the same without amazing team mates.
3. Florida Panthers select…Erik Gudbranson (Kingston Frontenacs, OHL)
Big, strong fells from Ontario who is from the same mold as Chris Pronger. Plays great defensively and isn’t afraid to pinch in some times and score those timely goals. He’s a guy Florida needs ever since they lost Jay Bouwmeester.
4. Columbus Blue Jackets select…Cam Fowler (Windsor Spitfires, OHL)
A steal at #4 has already NHL size and amazing abilities on the back end and up front. He’s sort of a high-risk gambler who loves to join the rush quite often. Columbus has the offense to make it work, but desperately needs a PP QB.
5. New York Islanders select…Brandon Gormley (Moncton Wildcats, QMJHL)
The Isles need D here to compliment after taking Tavares and DeHaan last season. Gormley seems to be the perfect fit who is very responsible defensively and creates chances for his team mates. Also a huge team-first guy.
6. Tampa Bay Lightning select…Mark Pysyk (Edmonton Oil Kings, WHL)
The fourth D-Man in a row taken here is not far behind the first three but seems to be in the shadown after having terrific offensive stats on such as horrible team. Seems to be the new thing in Edmonton, eh?
7. Carolina Hurricanes select…Brett Connolly (Prince George Cougars, WHL)
Had a bit of an injury-plagued season with the Cougs but the dynamo seems to be everywhere on the ice. He was the top faceoff man in the whole CHL this year and played crucial minutes on a at best ok team. Carolina needs offense, and Connolly supplies it in an intstant.
8. Atlanta Thrashers select…Alex Burmistrov (Barrie Colts, OHL)
Great Russian player who plays more like a Canadian than a Russian, ironically. He’s big, strong, skilled, and very aggressive on the puck. A virtual replacement for Ilya Kovalchuk in Trashland without all the drama.
9. Minnesota Wild select…Mikael Granlund (HIFK, Finnish Super League)
Great talent out of Finland who reminds me of Teemu Selanne. Needs to beef up a bit but should be comfortable in the NHL. The new offensive system in St.Paul seems to be taking full rounds by taking Granlund.
10. New York Rangers select…Nino Niederreiter (Portland Winter Hawks, WHL)
Great World Juniors for the Swiss Forward played superb in his first season in North America and could be ready for full-time NHL play in not so long. Big reach which reminds me of Eric Lindros. Rangers get a steal here, gals.
11. Dallas Stars select…Ryan Johansen (Portland Winter Hawks, WHL)
Another team in desperate need of offense takes the seoncd straight Hawk in this Draft. Big forward who loves to get into the corners and play it rough. Also has world-class skill.
12. Anaheim Ducks select…Derek Forbort (U-18 USA NTDP)
Big strong D from the US who plays smilar to Scott Niedermayer, except with more offensive skill. Anaheim takes him with their first pick.
13. Phoenix Coyotes (via Flames) select…Jeff Skinner (Kitchener Rangers, OHL)
A need for a speedy blue chip prsopect proples the Yotes to take Skinner who had a great U-18’s for Canada.
14. St.Louis Blues select…Jack Campbell (U-18 USA NTDP)
Campbell’s the definition of a big-time goalie. He’s had a historic season, winning gold for the U.S. in the World Juniors and U-18’s. Great reflexes and his ability to steal games ia undeniable.
15. Montreal Canadiens select…Nick Bjugstad (Blaine H.S., USA)
Big power forward is exactly what the Habs need. The kid has also some good hands.
16. Anaheim Ducks select…Austin Watson (Windsor Spitfires, OHL)
Big guy who has the stuff made out of heroes. Needs to improve his skating, though.
17. Boston Bruins select…Dylan McIlrath (Moose Jaw Warriors, WHL)
Huge guy with great upside who may be the next Tyler Myers.
18. Ottawa Senators select…Emerson Etem (Medicine Hat Tigers, WHL)
After two straight years of picking polar opposite d-Men, the Sens take an offensively-gifted forward who never stops his motor and always sticks up for his team mates. May take some time to develop but the reward is worth it.
19. Colorado Avalanche select…Tyler Toffoli (Ottawa 67’s, OHL)
20. Buffalo Sabres select…Tyler Pitlick (Minnesota States, WCHA)
21. Nashville Predators select…Riley Sheahan (Notre Dame, CCHA)
22. Los Angeles Kings select…Quinton Howden (Moose Jaw Warriors, WHL)
23. Pittsburgh Penguins select…Jon Merrill (U-18 USA NTDP)
24. Detroit Red Wings select…Jarred Tinordi (U-18 USA NTDP)
25. Atlanta Thrashers (via Devils) select…Calvin Pickard (Portland Winter Hawks, WHL)
26. Washington Capitals select…Alexander Petrovic (Red Deer Rebels, WHL)
27. Vancouver Canucks select…John McFarland (Sudbury Wolves, OHL)
28. Phoenix Coyotes select…Stephen Johns (U-18 USA NTDP)
29. Chicago Blackhawks select…Mathieu Corbeil-Theriault (Halifax Mooseheads, QMJHL)
30. San Jose Sharks select…Brock Beukeboom (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, OHL)
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