Nation Network 2013 Mock Draft: Day 2

Photo: Alaney2k/Wikimedia

Yesterday we asked readers network-wide to vote their choices for the first 10 slots in this year’s entry draft. The results are in; which teams landed which players?

The Top 10

1. Colorado Avalanche: Seth Jones. There was a strong push by Nathan MacKinnon in what most readers see as a two horse race; in the end the potential franchise defenceman won out.

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2. Florida Panthers: Nathan MacKinnon. Florida adds a dynamic centre who likely would have been the first overall pick last summer.

3. Tampa Bay Lightning: Jonathan Drouin. While there are rumours that the Lightning will go off the board a little and take a chance on Valeri Nichushkin, the voters here play it safe, drafting Jonathan Drouin, the final member of the consensus upper-tier in this year’s draft.

4. Nashville Predators: Aleksander Barkov. No surprise here either; the big centre had a stellar season in Finland and will become a cornerstone piece in Nashville.

5. Carolina Hurricanes: Valeri Nichushkin. Nichushkin was the first player to really elicit a range of reaction – some had him ranked first overall; others outside the top-10 entirely. Ultimately he goes to Carolina with the fifth overall pick.

6. Calgary Flames: Sean Monahan. Calgary is expected to take a big centre, and Monahan certainly qualifies. He is an excellent prospect with a wide range of skills and won a three-way race against Lindholm and Nurse.

7. Edmonton Oilers: Elias Lindholm. This was the single-tightest vote on the board, with Lindholm just squeaking past Nurse in voting. Edmonton adds a high-quality centre, but not size, with this pick.

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8. Buffalo Sabres: Darnell Nurse. Nurse falls to the eighth spot, narrowly behind Lindholm but ahead of Shinkaruk by a mile. Buffalo adds a massive defenceman who can play the game and brings snarl.

9. New Jersey Devils: Hunter Shinkaruk. New Jersey had a lot of options here and this was by no means unanimous, but Shinkaruk – the smallish WHL winger known for speed and goal-scoring – was the final choice of our readers.

10. Dallas Stars: Rasmus Ristolainen. Ristolainen ranked significantly higher than 10th overall on some charts, and captures the final spot in our top-10, but not easily. He faced significant challenges from a number of players just outside – in particular Nikita Zadorov, Bo Horvat and Max Domi.

Selections 11-20

Unlike yesterday, today there will be no ranking of the players involved; they are presented in alphabetical order. The scouting reports are my own and are intended as summaries of other sources, including TSN, The Hockey News, Hockey Prospectus, Future Considerations as well as others.

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Pavel Buchnevich (KHL: 12GP, 1-1-2). Hands and hockey sense stand out as superb, and he certainly has top-six talent in the NHL. His skating gets mixed reviews – Future Considerations loves that part of his game, but Corey Pronman quotes one scout who describes it as only average. The KHL factor is another consideration, as is his lack of bulk. This is a player who could go anywhere in the draft: Corey Pronman has him at 17, while he doesn’t crack the top-100 of The Hockey News.

Andre Burakovsky (SWE2: 43GP, 4-7-11). The 6’1” Burakovsky gets top marks for his vision in the offensive zone and his skating, and he’s seen as a player with a potentially massive offensive upside. His physical game is hit and miss, and his defensive positioning could apparently be improved upon.

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Max Domi (OHL: 64GP, 39-48-87). Smallish winger is an “offensive dynamo” and gets pegged by The Hockey News as a power forward despite generally being listed at 5’9” or 5’10” because he plays such a fearless game (he’s also expected to play at 200 pounds or more at the NHL level). His effort level is questioned by some, and Future Considerations says that “self-control and maturity are still a work in progress.”

Adam Erne (QMJHL: 68GP, 28-44-72). The winger is a good skater, he’s strong on the puck, and he has goal-scoring ability. He isn’t seen as a strong offensive player otherwise, and he isn’t a high-end player in any category, but he has a well-rounded skillset. One scout The Hockey News quoted indicated that fitness might be an issue right now, but that he had potential to be even better if he his conditioning improved.

Zachary Fucale (QMJHL: 45-5-3, 0.909 SV%). The less-heralded teammate of Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin is still without question the consensus top goalie of the 2013 Draft. He has solid size and is seen as positionally sound and economical rather than flashy. Was a first-team QMJHL all-star.

Frederik Gauthier (QMJHL: 62GP, 22-38-60). A 6’5” centre who skates well for his size, Gautheir gets good grades as a defensive forward and an intelligent player. What he lacks is a willingness to play a tough physical game, and his offence is open to question.

Robert Hagg (SWE Jr.: 28GP, 11-13-24). A 6’2” defenceman who also played 27 games in Sweden’s men’s league (picking up one assist), Hagg is a high-end skater with excellent vision and passing ability, a hard shot and a competent physical game. His own-zone work gets mixed reviews.

Ryan Hartman (OHL: 56GP, 23-37-60). Hartman plays a complete game on right wing: he hits, he scores and he defends. An above average skater, the only things keeping Hartman from going earlier are a combination of a) below average size (5’11”, 180 pounds) for such a physical player and b) questions about how his offensive ceiling is in the NHL.

Bo Horvat (OHL: 67GP, 32-28-60). Horvat’s trending upward since the NHL Numbers consensus rankings because he can do it all. He’s tough, plays a 200-foot game, scores goals and skates, too. The only question is how high is ceiling is offensively.

Morgan Klimchuk (WHL: 72GP, 36-40-76). A good offensive player who puts as much effort in on the backcheck as he does while scoring. Klimchuk is a good skater, can pass and shoot with equal ability and thinks the game well at both ends of the ice. On the downside, the left wing isn’t overly big and doesn’t add much physically.

Curtis Lazar (WHL: 72GP, 38-23-61). Lazar gets high marks for character and defensive play; he’s also seen as good skater and a safe pick. The question is how much offence he will generate in the NHL, because despite strong goal-scoring numbers he is seen by some as a player who lacks the creativity to be a top-six forward in the NHL. Read more at Oilers Nation.

Artturi Lehkonen (FIN: 45GP, 14-16-30). Lehkonen is not only a pure goal-scorer with fantastic numbers, but scouts rave about his hockey sense. He plays either wing, has good vision but is primarily a shooter, and despite being undersized (roughly 5’10”, 155 pounds) he has plenty of grit to his game. Corey Pronman notes he suffered from concussion problems this season.

Anthony Mantha (QMJHL: 67GP, 50-39-89). The 6’4” winger skates well and is a one-shot scorer, but he doesn’t play the physical game scouts would like to see. He’s also at the old end of the draft curve (he missed being eligible for the 2012 Draft by less than a weak) and outside of his shot he’s not seen as overly creative offensively by the consensus.

Samuel Morin (QMJHL: 46GP, 4-12-16). Morin is listed at either 6’6” or 6’7”, depending on the source, and aside from the fact that he’s massive the most remarkable thing about him is that he can skate. His offensive upside gets mixed reviews – the point totals suggest he’ll strictly be a stay-at-home guy in the NHL – and so does his hockey sense, with some praising is defensive game and others questioning his positioning. Plays a physical brand of hockey.

Josh Morrissey (WHL: 70GP, 15-32-47). Size is the issue here – the WHL defenceman is listed at 5’11”, 182 pounds. Otherwise there is a lot to like: he’s smart, he’s an excellent skater, his offensive tools are good and he relishes playing a physical game.

Mirco Muller (WHL: 63GP, 6-25-31). Jumping between scouting reports, I started feeling whiplash – there simply is no consensus on this guy’s ultimate ceiling and there is significant disagreement over how good he is now; some love him, some don’t like him at all. What is known is that he’s a 6’4” defender with at least solid puck skills, good skating, smarts, and the need to bulk up. Some project him as high-end complete defenceman, others say he’ll be steady in his own end but nothing special.

Ryan Pulock (WHL: 61GP, 14-31-45). Nobody doubts his elite shot, and Pulock has a strong puck-moving abilities, too. The trouble is his size and skating both fall into the average range, and there are mixed reports on his defensive play, which seems to be solid but unexceptional.

Kerby Rychel (OHL: 68GP, 40-47-87). A power winger with decent size, good bloodlines (his father is former NHL’er Warren Rychel), a strong physical game and outstanding scoring totals, Rychel is somehow not in the upper tier of the 2013 Draft Class. A big part of the reason is skating: it’s often criticized and seen as only average-ish. Beyond that, he’s more of a meat-and-potatoes generator of offence than overly creative, which has some wondering how high his ceiling is in the NHL.

Shea Theodore (WHL: 71GP, 19-31-50). A 6’2” defenceman who patterns his game after players like Erik Karlsson and Mike Green, Theodore’s skating, passing and shot give him the potential to be an impact NHL defenceman. He is, however, likely some distance away from realizing that potential – he lacks physical strength and his defensive game is a work in progress.

Alexander Wennberg (SWE2: 46GP, 14-18-32). 6’1” forward can play either wing or centre; he skates well, has good offensive tools and hockey sense that makes him both a threat to score and a good defensive forward. He needs to add bulk to his frame.

Nikita Zadorov (OHL: 63GP, 6-19-25). Another big defenceman (6’4”, 200 pounds according to the NHL site; most media outlets list him at 6’5”, 230 pounds), Zadorov is seen as a bit of a project. He’s a dominant physical player and extremely strong, and he fares well enough in other areas – he skates well given his size, makes a reasonable first pass – to be of real interest. The trouble is that while he has a lot of tools they haven’t come together yet; he’s raw defensively and lacks high-end offensive upside. If it all comes together, though, he could be an elite shutdown defender.

Valentin Zykov (QMJHL: 67GP, 40-35-75). A power winger with significant bulk for his age (he’s generally listed at either 6’ or 6’1” but 205+ pounds), Zykov is known for a willingness to go to the net with the puck, win battles along the boards, and backcheck defensively. Given that his skating gets middling marks, he’s essentially the reverse of the traditional Russian stereotype.


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      • Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!

        Maybe I should correct myself, after what the Oilers end up doing with the seventh pick, is where I stop caring. I’m fine with trading down, but it either has to upgrade an important position like 2nd line LW or 2nd line C, or we have to get talent outright such as a top pairing D man.

        I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, our first and Gagner for Philly’s first and Couturier. I know Philly is bully on him but I think this benefits both teams greatly. Plus it won’t be such a reach to pick Hovart, Lazar, or Gauthier at Philly’s spot, giving us good depth up the middle for years to come.

        • BurningSensation

          I’ve said this before but it bears repeating, Calgary and Edmonton fans have to stop with these trade fantasies that don’t involve actual high-end assets miraculously landing you a high-end asset.

          There is nobody so interesting at #7 available that Philly would ever deal Couturier and their 1st for the #7 pick and Gagner. It just isn’t going to happen. No, throwing in Hemsky isn’t going to do it either. No, piling on the Maricin’s, and Arcebello’s isn’t going to change Holmstrom’s mind.

          In the case of Edmonton, the only way to move up (or to get Couturier) is to trade one of the big 6 (Hall, Eberle, RNH, Schultz-the-good, Yakupov or Klefbom). Period.

          All speculation that anybody will give you anything of superior value for Gagner should just stop. It’s embarassing.

          In Calgary’s case the same thing needs to be said for moving up to #4 by moving the other 2 picks, and Cammalleri. Nobody is going to give us a franchise player Cammalleri. No, adding Tanguay (our version of Hemsky) to the deal will not make it better.

          That all said, I can see scenarios where either team moves up, if Edmonton flips one of their big 6, or if Calgary puts Baertschi/Brodie and a package of 1sts together, they could indeed move up or make a big trade for an impact young player.

          But it won’t be for Gagner, or Hemsky, or Tanguay or Cammalleri.

          • Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!

            In what world is a rookie of two years who has yet to crack 30 points and a plus rating in the NHL, who plays a third line checking role, and only wins 43.4% of his faceoffs to date, higher value than a six year NHL veteran who is only 24 years old, who has yet to have less than 40 + points in a full season, who can play the wing, who is shorter but listed at the same weight of 191lb, and has the same faceoff win percentage over a longer career?

            I know Philly likes Sean and they think he’s the future and whatever, but he has not shown he is going to be that guy with his point totals, plus minus, or face off percentage. So how or why is this guy such superior value for Gagner? Potential? Because he might be better at some point? Pahleese. If you’re a GM and you have a chance to upgrade at the centre position with a proven 6 year 40 + point guy who is also still getting better and better as his points this year showed, and you don’t do it because the rookie you’ve had for two years has been okay, then you would make a terrible GM.

            This trade does benefit both teams, especially if Monahan or Nichushkin is available. It’s clear Philly has enough Simmonds and not enough Briers and Girouxs. They need talent and getting the 7th pick plus an upgrade of scoring talent help their team. Plus Gagner gets to play with size which is likely to help his defensive game. And Couturier gets to come here and play a larger role with some skill, which will help his scoring totals.

          • Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!

            Reality check:

            Couturier is much more valuable than Gagner.

            Don’t just compare points. It’s embarrassing considering you live in a big Canadian hockey market (I’m assuming…. or am I? dun dun dun…).

          • Ducey

            I suggest dealing with his argument instead of just attacking him.

            I myself have some concerns about why someone would think Couturier > Gagner. He has 4 inches and a few pounds on Sam but otherwise Sam kills him in every boxcar there is – including PIM’s – which show that Couturier doesn’t use his size.

            I am aware that Couturier does fine in some advanced stats but that doesn’t change the fact he doesn’t score enough and isn’t going to scare anyone.

          • Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!

            I was trying to be funny.

            Read BurningSensation’s post above. It’s a very real argument why Couturier is much more valuable than Gagner.

          • BurningSensation

            Couturier literally took on the toughest minutes a center can face and holds his own. Gagner pads his stats against the soft parade and on the powerplay but continually gets worked over by even mediocre opposition 5v5.

            It’s not even close. Couturier is bigger, stronger, younger, cheaper and brings more to the table than Gagner.

            In fact the whole point of your trade exercise is that he is markedly better than Gagner – or else why would the Flyers be getting back the #7 for their #15?

            Gagner is the posterchild for players who produce points that are ’empty calories’, and get killed everywhere else. I’d be surprised if Edmonton could get a 2nd rnd pick for him straight up, let alone a deal that brings in a Couturier.

          • Quicksilver ballet

            You realize you’re just saying things right. Bigger, stronger, younger? Are these things reflected at all in the score column? The fact that he’s younger, is that what he brings to the table? Oh sorry I forgot old man Gagner can’t skate with the youngins anymore. As much as I hate arguing with DSF, at least he brings some numbers to back up his argument (albeit cherry picked, but evidence non the less). You are just saying stuff with nothing to back it up.

            First of all, he was fourth on his team for facing the toughest competition, whereas Gagner was 5th on the Oilers. So don’t tell me Couturier faced a barrage of the most difficult lines in the universe, while Gagner got nothing but a soft parade. Gagner got his position in competition 2nd line scoring. Likely he would have faced more difficult but I would imagine they weren’t keen on shoving his linemate Yak out against the league’s most difficult.

            Second, Couturier didn’t have great line mates, he’s a player that needs skill to be good, not a player that makes those around him better, which fits perfectly in my trade scenario that would have him playing with skill like Yak, and have Gagner going to make those around him a bit better and more dangerous.

            Fine if you disagree, but don’t just say he’s this and that, which have no numbers to back them up, all that is opinion. And in this case it’s misinformed opinion because all your points aren’t right.

          • BurningSensation

            Fine, let’s get it on then.

            – Couturier is trusted with a preponderence of defensive zone assignments and tilts the ice the other way.

            – Couturier takes more zone starts in the defensive end for the Flyers than any other player.

            – Couturier was tasked with over 19% of his teams total face-offs (an increase from his rookie year).

            – Couturier had the 4th toughest minutes for his team, and he was dragging around legendart snipers like Zach Renaldo and other scrubs while doing it.

            – Scroll down to the bottom and see how Couturier’s efforts affect superstar competititon like Malkin;

            In short, he’s ridiculously good at stopping the opposing teams best center.

            – Couturier doesn’t even get regular second unit powerplay time to pad his stats.

            – Gagner, by contrast, gets obliterated in the advanced stats department. In particular the +/- On60 of -1.02 indicates that whatever the quality of competition he faced, they were schooling him.

            – Couturier is only 20 and has lots of room to grow. Gagner has essentially hit his peak years (24-27) and is still a 40 point player who gets killed by tough competition.

            In short, these two players could not be less alike. One is a very good 2-way center with upside, the other is Sam Gagner.

          • DSF

            I went through this yesterday but it seems you didn’t understand it.

            Couturier faced the TOUGHEST competition among Philly centres…playing with Scott Hartnell on the 3rd line.

            He started only 32.5 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone but finished in the offensive zone 44.7 percent of the time.

            Gagner started 51.4 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone.

            Couturier has a Corsi Rel of +2.1 meaning his team outshot the (tough) opposition while he was on the ice.

            Gagner’s Corsi Rel was -4.3, meaning he was consistently outshot by the softer opposition he was playing.

            Sam Gagner scored 21 points at evens while Couturier scored 11

            Couturier played only 1:29/G on the PP while Gagner played almost twice as much at 2:55.

            If you were to take away half of Gagner’s PP time, make him start in the offensive zone only 31 percent of the time AND have him play against the toughest competition, he would wilt like a week old bouquet.

            If Couturier had his PP time doubled, got to start in the Ozone more than half the time AND got to play much weaker competition, I expect this would be no contest.

            Bottom line is that Couturier who is THREE AND A HALF YEARS YOUNGER than Gagner, is already a much better two way hockey player.

          • aloudoun

            Honestly I could not care less if the Oilers got a bag-of-pucks for Gagner but I simply can’t watch another year of him wearing the Oiler colors.

            Makes me nauseous when he talks about himself working towards being an elite centre, then stands still in the defensive zone clutching onto is peewee hockey-stick.

            A perfect example of someone playing in the show two years before they should.

            Gagner for Couturier is pretty funny

          • BurningSensation

            I completely agree. Tanguay, cammi, hemsky and gagner are not valued assests. If boumeester (a first pairing d man) gets u a mid first and 2 no names, what does gagner (small, avg talent second line center on a poor team) get? Where would gagner play in chicago? La? Pitt? Maybe on the 3rd line as a skilled winger.. That’s not worth coutourier and an 11th in the deepest draft since 03. Not even close

  • I’m gonna go off the board here with number 15 being Connor Hurley..not in who I think will be picked 15th but where he should’ve been when we look back three years from now. Actually I think he could end up being a top ten quality player but I’ll put him at 15 just to be safe..
    Very talented, Smart player..youngest in the draft and he’s got a lot of room to fill out..over six feet already but pretty light at around 180.

  • Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!

    Jonathan Willis wrote:

    Will wrote:

    Ugh, good job putting this together Willis, but honestly after 7, I have a hard time caring.

    The thing that struck me was how reasonable MacTavish’s point about trading down seems after researching the depth picks for this draft. There is going to be quality available midway through round two.

    I have a hard time caring at 7 if the best we can do is Nurse or Nichushkin. I really hope MacT trades the pick if that’s the case.

    I really liked Couturier in 2011 draft. I’ve never wanted a man so bad for so long……

    • Lofty

      Gotta keep in mind the crap shoot that the draft is. Picking 7th is the 4th or 5th best pick the oil have had in the last 30 years aside from the last 3 1st overalls. The organization needs to select an NHL’er at #7. No matter the position of the player, a top 15 pick needs to add a future roster player. These picks are the difference between having a good team for a year or two and having a perennial playoff contender. Entry level years are so much more important in the salary cap world.

      • Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!

        I totally agree with you. The draft is the best way to add value to your team in a cap world.

        But if this draft is as good as people say it is, I don’t want the Oilers to pass on an effective center for a shut-down d-man at 7th overall.

        Trade up to get a better player or trade down to get two similar players. Just don’t waste a quality pick on ‘Robyn Regehr’.

  • Ducey

    The Oilers should go with a Defenseman at #7. I don’t like Monahan (he seems like MAP v.2) and they can get the second best Dman at 7.

    There are lot of C’s available that they should be able to pick with their second rounder and they can take a goalie with their other second rounder (from ANA).

    • Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!

      I disagree with this.

      There are no defensemen in this draft that project to be that 30 min/game cornerstone d-man every team is looking for.

      Why waste a 7 overall on a decent first/second pairing d-man that won’t put up a lot of points and won’t make an impact for 3 – 4 years?

      I have a faith in MacT right now. I doubt he drafts a d-man at 7. In fact, I’m willing to make a bet on that.

  • Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!

    If the rumours are true. I would do gagner for couturier and 11th in heart beat. I’d also do 7th, to T.O for Gardiner and 21st. I’d then try to package up 11 to try to get Hartnell from PHI. He’d be perfect. Conversely, a combo of Hovart/Lazar and Robert Hagg with those picks would be great. That’s bold and it improves both D and C depth now, and in the future. IF those rumours have any weight. Not bad ideas, but i doubt insider info on those ones.

      • Quicksilver ballet

        Notice how I said, IF rumors are true, and I really doubt they have actual insider info on these. Some of the sources are out of T.O though, (blogs etc.) for these trades. The only embarrassing thing about that post is the fact that you can barely read well enough to understand it. Of course, you’d do that trade in heart beat, they’re a great deal, FOR US. But if someone outside of Oilersville is dreaming these sorts of things up (unequal of not – which i feel they are as well), for ASSETS that we have, it speaks to some perceptions out there about the types of things we have to work with and the strength that we carry towards getting quality. This is other fans proposing to fleece their own teams for what we have. Its much better than what we’ve heard the past few years, Omark plus for Weber trash, coming from Oil fans. Weber for Omark plus coming from their mouth sounds a lot sweeter.