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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Voting

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  • BurningSensation

    Sam Gagner is the Oiler’s version of the Raptors AndrEA Bargnani. His offensive stats say he should be a player, but he costs you more with his rebounding and defense than he brings to the table. The stats are pretty clear, if the Raptors were to simply staple Bargnani to the bench the team improves.

    In Gagner’s case, the numbers are equally clear, even with his 8 point games, Gagner is a net liability on the ice. The Oilers could sign a ‘pure’ defensive center like Boyd Gordon, release Gagner outright and be further ahead. It’s clear Gagner is not helping the Oilers win games (given how few they have won with him around), so obviously Oiler fans would like to trade him for a young productive defensively responsible pivot who was at one time considered to be a top candidate to go first overall in his draft year.

    It just isn’t realistic. At all.

  • DSF

    To BurningSensation… I do agree that Schenn or Couturier have a bigger ceiling upside than Gagner does now…in the future… but it is just that…the future.

    Now, Gagner wins slightly…very slightly. I do also think that the Oilers should look at trading him in a package after re-signing him or use him with trade rights for going after a 2013 second rounder but the pick wont be very high like 30 to 35 range….probably 40 to 50 range.

    What about Gagner plus a prospect or a 2nd rounder being in a type deal package to Toronto for Gardiner or Reilly/plus a Toronto 3rd rounder?

    • BurningSensation

      Yeah, see that is where we disagree. There is no reason (at all) to think that Gagner is in any way a ‘good’ player. Despite being a primarily offensive player his points max out in the 40’s, and despite his offense he gives up WAY more than he brings, and that doesn’t appear to be getting any better (if anything it has actually gotten worse year over year).

      I can’t predict what the TO GM will do, but I wouldn’t trade ANY actually ‘good’ player for Gagner. Both Gardiner and Reilly are ‘good’ (and potentially great’) so if I were the Leafs boss I would just laugh at your offer.

      I’m deadly serious when I suggest that Gagner’s return in a straight up deal is likely a 2nd rounder. We know what he is now, and it isn’t woth a 1st rnd pick – even a low end one.

  • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

    Of all the rumours I’ve read about…..here’s one that seems more probable then some of the others…..

    Scenario…..If Monahan is available at 7 the Oilers take him…..if not..then they move the pick to Columbus in exchange for the 14 and 19 picks…(Oilers may have to add in a little sweetener whatever that may be)

    Columbus’s new GM (European guy)…..gets to take either Lindholm or Ristolainen….

    In this scenario we likely end up with a duo like Lazar and Rychel, or Lazar and Morrisey.

    So you have to ask yourself….who do you like more…..Lindholm…..or Lazar/Rychel….?

    PS. If we got really lucky we might even end up with something like Zadorov/Lazar….but it’s not likely

    So…..Lindholm.?……Nurse?…….or Lazar/Rychel is the question being posed.

    • BurningSensation

      Lindholm’s NHLE was the same as Barkov’s (40pts), and was well clear of Monahan’s 33.

      If the Oilers pass on Lindholm so they can trade down and select a 3rd line checking center in Lazar, as a Flames fan I will celebrate.

      • Truculence

        As I’ve stated many times before, comapring NHLE numbers amongst kids who in most cases are not carrying the mail in their respective leagues is a huge folly. We simply don’t have advanced stats to elucidate matters, and in their abscence NHLE is just a bad measure. For example, in reference to your aforementioned remonstrations that gagner sucks, if both Cotourier and Gagner were playing in the minors last year and put up the exact same number as they did in the NHL, you would apparently hail Gagner as the next Zetterberg and Coutourier as a “checking line center” based solely on their NHLE.

        Also, fyi, a lot of scouts think Lazar could be the next Mike Richards. Lindholm, he of a whopping 3 ES goals, could turn out to be nothing more than a good two-way second or third-line winger.

        That’s why scouts get paid the big bucks; they try to project who will or will not meet their ceilings.

        • BurningSensation

          Outside of your first paragraph, I don’t really disagree with anything you said.

          However, to make your case that using NHLE is ‘folly’ I think it would be reasonable to expect you to have an historical example of said folly – i.e. is there a good case of someone posting a high-end NHLE in a Euro league who came over and sucked a trunkful of dong?

          That said, it should be well understood that all sorts of factors will come into play along with a players NHLE;

          – quality of team
          – quality of linemates
          – ice-time (this is HUGE)
          – quality of competition

          etc.

          Few of which can be adequately measured in foreign leagues (or even the CHL)

          But that just means that NHLE isn’t the drop-dead argument solver some people pretend it to be, and that it needs to be qualified with other traditional scouting tools (like watching the kid play).

          • Truculence

            I didn’t say NHLE was completely useless, only that without context (which scouts should have through multiple viewings) it is almost useless, especially given the fact that, at this point, most of these kids are playing behind older kids or men and may not be that instrumental to their teams’ success. On the other hand, they might be. Hence, the need for advanced stats.

          • BurningSensation

            Again, nothing I dsagree with. NHEL is useful in context, and in the case of Lindholm vs. Monahan the context suggests that;

            Lindholm performed very well in a legit pro-league against men

            At WJC competition he was excellent (Monahan didn’t make the cut for Canada)

            He has legit NHL speed (high end) and well above average hockey sense. Monahan may match him on the hockey sense, but his wheels are sub-par for an elite prospect.

            All the context points to Lindholm IMO, and the NHLE backs it up.

            Sure he could just as easily be a swift checking winger as a top end center, but his ceiling is definitely higher, and I would take him before Monahan.

    • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

      Have a look at @71 and @78 for the two opposing points of view that lie at the heart of the debate for the oilers at this years draft….

  • BurningSensation

    Truth

    The argument is Gagner isn’t very good. Trot out all the statistics you like but if the Oilers felt Gagner was a keeper they wouldn’t have signed him to a one year contract last summer and he wouldn’t be without a contract now.

    The Oilers have for many years over-valued most of their assets and still Gagner and the Oilers haven’t come to terms. To be honest Gagner was a overpay last year.

  • Wax Man Riley

    Couturier will be better than Gagner for all of the reasons stated. Not much debating that. The only thing Gagner will do more of is score points… so that is something.

    BUT….

    Baertschi = Gagner …. if the Flames are REEEALLLLY lucky.

    • Truculence

      Baertchi actually realizes that his team also has a goal net and thus backchecks. He also plays with more grit, despite his size, than Gagner. Skills-wise they may be twins.

  • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

    Here’s the other higher probability scenario……posted by an ON member in another article…..

    Coppernblue wrote something about Sekera+16th for the 7th.

    EDM gets a top 4 LH guy in Sekera and can potentially take a D man that could slip like Pulock, Zadorov, Ristolainen, if they drop, and Morrisey or Bowey if not. Also a player like Erne or Lazar’d be good fits

      • Wax Man Riley

        Just checked out Sekera and he is two years removed from a decent year. That’s a big gamble for who goes at 7 IMO. We need someone that has immediate impact if we move down … We can agree It’s gonna be fun 🙂

  • DSF

    Wow…the Couturier vs Gagner war is going strong today eh….lol.

    Anyways, if there was a draft pick now for Gagner or Couturier…based on today’s facts for each player…Couturier would be chosen more often than not…and I agree.

    But, Gagner does have value in that he scores 40 plus pts in average. I would want and need a 2nd line centre to put up at least 65 plus in an 82 game season…consistently…plus play well defensively enough.

    However, Couturier is not way ahead of Gagner in stats just yet. He only has had one full 48 game season.

    That being said, I believe the Oil would have to make a two player (Gagner & say…Gernat or Hartikainen) plus the #7 type deal for Philly to even start to want to deal their #11 and Couturier….at the least.

    Without trading Ganer anyways, the Oilers can choose a Couturier type centre player at #7 wgo have more grit, good faceoff skills, and better skating too….though they are not as big as he is. Those two can be either one of Monahan or Horvat

  • Word to the Bird

    Man nothing pisses me off more than when people say “should have drafted him over this guy” what kind of argument is that? Sure in some cases it is the scouting staff but come on! If people were really so clever they wouldn’t have waited to pick up Weber or Subban in the second round, Benn in the fifth round, or Datsyuk in the seventh round. Other than the top 5-10 picks, the draft is an absolute crap shoot.

    • DSF

      Some teams have a great track record in drafting actual NHL players and others don’t.

      The teams that do, are very successful while the teams that don’t, finish 30th, 30th, 29th and 24th.

      It’s not a coincidence.

    • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

      Yeah….I’m always a little puzzled when some GM is a genius for taking a Datsyuk type in the 7th round……because what this really means is that that same GM and 29 others PASSED on the guy for SIX rounds……..IDIOTS!!!

  • Citizen David

    Just a heads up to those who don’t know, this article was posted nationwide so it’s not like us Flames fans are hitching a free ride on your wagon.

    On the Gagner debate: I agree that he’s about as useful as a poopy flavoured lollipop, he puts up points but bleeds them back and then some (not unlike our recently departed superstar…)

    But to suggest that he has little to no trade value is silly. I mean WE all know that he’s hot garbage, but have you guys seen the idiocy pulled off by NHL gms recently?

    Someone will get distracted by his marginally shiny boxcars and give up a decent return for him. And we’ll laugh…(or cry as Flames fans)

  • Mo Playoffs Mo Problems

    Putting all the Gagner vs. Couturier stats talk aside for a second, can we not agree that there is no way Philly will add another contract that is sure to exceed 3.5 mil/year?

    Even with buying out Briere and putting Pronger on LTIR, they are in no position to send an ELC out the door in exchange for the kind of money that Samwise and his agent are seeking.

    If MacT does sign Gags at a reasonable cap hit/term, then I think a deal involving Gags and Schenn ($3.1 and one year remaining) would be far more plausible than one involving Couturier.

    I assume that’s what MacT was talking about when saying signing Gagner was a priority. A reasonable cap hit and term make him an asset (even if his defensive stats are suspect, he contributes points and competes), if he gets done at 5 x 5 mil/year, then he’s a liability (*cough* Ales Hemsky *cough*), that would be immovable for anything but a bag of pucks and would certainly mean there wouldn’t be room for all of RNH, Schultz Jr., Yak, stud D-man they want to acquire, and this year’s first rounder in the long term.