I thought, well hell, FRB should do the same thing.
So Nate and I put up the bat signal, and got in touch with a number of folks whose opinions we very much respect, and they were kind enough to contribute a mock of the first round of The Draft, and we'll post one (or two, if we get a bit frisky) everyday leading up to the actual first round, June 24th.
And since I have no business hanging with the guests and their opinions, I'll get this half-assed attempt at accuracy and humor out of the way right now.
Here we go...
1. Edmonton...Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, C, Red Deer:
Oiler fans across the world rejoice. Wild fans pray for division realignment, because with Hall, MPS, etc., we're gonna get killed on a frequent basis. The downside of Edmonton being the perennial doormat...
2. Colorado...Gabriel Landeskog, LW, Kitchener
Not a surprise really, I know of a couple of folks who got Landeskog this high, if not higher. Again, we pray for realignment. Goddammit.
3. Florida...Jonathan Huberdeau, C, Saint John
Memorial Cup MVP. Too mature for video games. Stud. He'd look good centering Hugh Jessiman in Miami, in those red jerseys.
4. New Jersey...Mika Zibanejad, C, Djurgarden
The first real surprise, but the reality is that this will be the first of many. Anyways, Lou Lamoriello and David Conte are seemingly stocking up on Swedish prospects, so they add another one...who will replace Zach Parise when they inevitably have to trade him because he won't stay long term.
Just kidding Devils fans. Well, kinda.
5. New York Islanders...Dougie Hamilton, D, Niagara
And this is how their director of scouting got everyone on board with the pick.
6. Ottawa...Sean Couturier, C, Drummondville
He's projected by some to be a future all-star, but I think he's jumping at the chance to win a Calder Cup in Binghamton. Just a hunch.
7. Winnipeg...Mark McNeill, C, Prince Albert
That's right. You better all gasp collectively.
So, big day for the Winnipeg to-be-named-later franchise. And they take a kid who's a horse, but here's the rub- before they show Rick Dudley's merry band of scouts the door, they tell Kevin Chevel...chev...*trails off* that if McNeill was a winger and not a center, he'd be rated in the top 10 all year. Future Captain Material.
8. Columbus...Sven Bartschi, LW, Portland
*insert "reunited with Portland teammate Ryan Johansen here" line* Keep in mind that this may happen if Columbus doesn't trade the pick. You know, Minnesota could use that pick on top of #10...just sayin'.
9. Boston...Ryan Murphy, D, Kitchener
Not a bad haul for the Bruins- trade away a moody winger with one testicle and get Tyler Seguin, Jared Knight, and Ryan freaking Murphy in return. Closed Circuit to Brian Burke- trade Phil Kessel ASAP.
11. Colorado...Adam Larsson, D, Skelleftea
In a throwback to the early days of hip hop, GM Greg Sherman runs up and throws Gary Bettman off the stage, grabs the mic, and makes the pick because they love them some Larsson. If Fowler and Gormley can slide, Larsson can slide kids.
12. Carolina...Joel Armia, RW, Assat
Another Draft, another pure goal scorer added to Jim Rutherford's toybox. Cam Ward breathes a sigh of relief. Divisional rivals yell "FUCK!"
13. Calgary...Joe Morrow, D, Portland
Tim Erixon who?
14. Dallas...Mark Scheifele, C, Barrie
His development curve is skyrocketing upward. I'm sure he'll be happy to go to a franchise where there are ownership questions. I know I would.
15. New York Rangers...Rocco Grimaldi, C, USNTDP
We all know the spiel by now with Grimaldi...
He's still one hell of a player. And Randy Newman is weird as hell.
16. Buffalo...Scott Mayfield, D, Youngstown
Mayfield is one of the more toolsy prospects in this year's Draft, and Youngstown is pretty much a developmental hell hole. Darcy Regier simply looks at Chris Butler, and his Denver U. pedigree, and knows that Mayfield will be in great hands with George Gwozdecky.
17. Montreal...Matt Puempel, LW, Peterborough
Maybe the most pure goal scorer in this year's Draft, so the Habs are happy to get him. The media microscope in Montreal is pretty similar to the one in Peterborough, no?
18. Chicago...JT Miller, C, USNTDP
Heading to good hands in North Dakota. Likely a candidate for a 14 year contract after his ELC expires too.
19. Edmonton (from LA)...Jamieson Oleksiak, D, Northeastern
Oleksiak will play in the NHL, but what his game will be is dependent on how he progresses. Damn the Oil are gonna be filthy good for years to come.
20. Phoenix...Oscar Klefblom, D, Farjestad
Klefblom = Brent Burns with more physical maturity at the same age. Man...Klefblom, Ekman-Larsson, Yandle...what a great blueline Hamilton will inherit when the Phoenix experiment stops working.
21. Ottawa (from Nashville)...Ty Rattie, RW, Portland
Rattie models his game after Jason Spezza's. He does not, however, model his laugh after him though.
22. Anaheim...Jonas Brodin, D, Farjestad
Very smart, and very poised. Nice little value pick here.
23. Pittsburgh...Boone Jenner, C, Oshawa
A relentless, non-stop motor guy who may have some more offensive upside than some believe. Too bad that he'll have guys like Crosby and Malkin on the same team, and we know that they don't make their teammates better.
24. Detroit...Alexander Khokhlachev, C, Windsor
In the same class as Puempel and Armia in regards to goal scoring ability. Because having that skillset is something that Detroit sorely needs. Those punchless Red Wings...
25. Toronto (from Philadelphia)...Stuart Percy, D, Mississauga
Burkie likes this guy, so he takes him. Ya, that simple. Unless he trades this pick in order to move up.
26. Washington...Zach Phillips, C, Saint John
Nice little two way player with a nose for the net. Also, I'm trying to avoid the "Russian to Washington" mock draft cliche.
27. Tampa Bay...Nathan Beaulieu, D, Saint John
Some will think he should have gone higher, some think this is about right. Steve Yzerman is elated either way.
28. San Jose...Brandon Saad, LW, Saginaw
A year ago no one thought this was gonna happen, but here he is, almost falling out of the first round. The Sharks hope this is a wake up call for Saad, to put that proverbial chip on his shoulder.
And since Game 7 is tomorrow night...
Toronto (from Boston)...Tyler Biggs, C, USNTDP
The American has upside, truculence, intangibles, and is heading to Miami U. A kid after Brian Burke's heart.
Vancouver...Vladislav Namestnikov, C, London
Highly skilled, but a little smallish. Likely a candidate to score 30 goals playing with the Sedins at one point or another. Another exhibit for Minnesota hoping for divisional realignment.
So, that's my mock draft- another is coming down the line tomorrow.