The second mock in our 1st Annual Mock Madness is our friend Daniel Chan. For those who don't Dan, he is the prospect guru over at Hockey Wilderness, the Minnesota Wild SB Nation blog and is currently unveiling his own top 30 prospect series for who the Wild should select. So without further adieu...
1. EDM NUGENT-HOPKINS, RYAN C RED DEER
Seemingly the most skilled forward in the draft. Nugent-Hopkins a centerman which the Oilers need to play alongside Hall and the rest of the talented wingers present in Edmonton.
2. COL HUBERDEAU, JONATHAN C SAINT JOHN
I believe Huberdeau has one of the best offensive upsides in the draft. Colorado would love to add a forward that can play wing alongside Duchene and Statsny.
3. FLA LANDESKOG, GABRIEL LW KITCHENER
Already loaded with Gubranson, Kulikov, Ellerby, Petrovic and Robak, the Panthers select Landeskog. I love the mix of oozing character, physical play and offensive skills.
4. NJD COUTURIER, SEAN C DRUMMONDVILLE
I am not sold on hype of Larsson being a franchise defenseman, but more on that later. While defense remains a large hole, I think Couturier has the offensive potential to fill in the Devil’s need for offensive prospects. He has a large frame and is extremely talented.
5. NYI LARSSON, ADAM D SKELLEFTEA
And later is now! I think Larsson can become a top pairing defenseman who eats minutes and plays on the second units, just not a franchise piece that a team can build around. Still, the Isles need a defenseman after stockpiling forwards like Tavares, Grabner, and Niederreiter. Doesn’t hurt that Larsson is also the BPA at this point.
6. OTT ZIBANEJAD, MIKA C DJURGARDEN
My personal favorite. I think he will continue to rise until draft day. He has a good frame, plays physical and has a good two-way game. I just think his total package will be highly demanded.
7. WPG HAMILTON, DOUGIE D NIAGARA
With only Paul Potma headlining the defensive group that can still be considered prospets, Winnipeg would love a potential top pairing defenseman that can sneak for the shot at times. He is also Scholastic Player of the Year which in my book says tons about your character off the ice.
8. CLB STROME, RYAN C NIAGARA
Some people might be wondering why I dropped Strome so far, I just happen to like everyone else better. But now at #8, he’s the BPA with dynamic offense and great creativity. While the Blue Jackets do already have Johansen, Strome just helps shore up the center position, a position that they have been trying fill for years. Not a bad idea to have some insurance.
9. BOS (via TOR) MURPHY, RYAN D KITCHENER
Like the Islanders, Boston have tons of talented forwards. Time to add some talent on the blueline and Murphy is that. He is offensively gifted with the puck and the Bruins have been missing that for some time.
10. MIN BAERTSCHI, SVEN LW PORTLAND
My favorite team. That’s right. The Wild need offense, and they find it in Swiss winger Baertschi. He is considered undersized but he’s a good 181lbs. If he can reach 200lbs, he’ll be quite durable. He has a wicked shot and knows how to score goals.
11. COL (via STL) SIEMENS, DUNCAN D SASKATOON
The Avs want to add some toughness and skill to their blueline and add both with Siemens. More than just a stay-at-home defenseman, Siemens can move the puck and has a good hard shot. He also skates very well and plays hard. He also has the toughness and grit the Avs will love.
12. CAR SCHEIFELE, MARK C BARRIE
Carolina seems to have little top end talent at all positions besides a chosen few, so the Canes don’t mind adding Scheifele. He’s a good two-way center whos recent play in the U-18 has some wondering if he some offensive talents hidden. He’ll go well next to last years pick Jeff Skinner.
13. CGY OLEKSIAK, JAMIESON D NORTHEASTERN
Calgary needs talent anywhere and everywhere in terms of prospects. Oleksiak gives them a good solid defenseman that has some interesting upside. If he doesn’t produce a top player like Tyler Myers, he can still become a Hall Gill, which the Flames would still love to have. Huge size, great mobility, big wing span, he will be useful in any role in the NHL.
14. DAL ARMIA, JOEL RW ASSAT
Great offensive upside but considered somewhat a risky pick, Dallas takes Armia because he is just so skilled. A goal scoring prospect with good size but needs to fill out and work on his play away from the puck.
15. NYR GRIMALDI, ROCCO C USA U-18
Like Dallas, the Rangers select a risky prospect but one with great upside. He may be tiny guy, but he’s a fit tiny guy. When he develops, he may not be big or tall, but the Rangers are going to have good sleep knowing that they selected a talented forward that will also be in great athletic condition.
16. BUF MCNEILL, MARK C PRINCE ALBERT
Compared to Ryan Getzlaf, I’m not convinced McNeil has the same type of high end offensive game Getzlaf possesses. Still, doesn’t take away from the fact that McNeil is a physical center that has good two-way ability and tons of character. The Sabres are pleased with their selection of Zack Kassian so why not one more gritty forward?
17. MON BRODIN, JONAS D FARJESTAD
Might be alone on Brodin but I think he’ll be a very solid defenseman in the future. Keeps his game very simple and very smart. The Habs don’t have a defenseman like him in the system so he will fit very well. He’ll look good next to Subban in the future.
18. CHI PHILLIPS, ZACK C SAINT JOHN
While the Blackhawks have good depth at center, they don’t really have a clear potential top-end talent. Phillips gives them just that. Questions whether he can produce without a star-studded team makes him a mid-late round pick but he still very skilled. May not be the best skater but he knows how to get open and into the right place.
19. EDM (via LOS) KLEFBOM, OSCAR D FARJESTAD
After picking RNH with their first pick, the Oilers will be looking to shore up their defense. They have good defensive prospects in Petry, Marincin and Teubert so adding Oscar Klefbom is an interesting idea. He has good size, mobility and very good offensive abilities. He’s flashy and will probably be a very exciting prospect to watch. He just has to make sure his flashy, offensive style doesn’t take away from his defensive responsibilities.
20. PHX PUEMPEL, MATT LW PETERBOROUGH
Average size, average speed but probably one of the best pure goal scorers in this year’s draft. The team has a very good looking core of defensemen with Ekman-Larsson and Gormley and is missing a goal-scorer prospect like Puempel.
21. OTT (via NAS) BEAULIEU, NATHAN D SAINT JOHN
Some people like Beaulieu, some people don’t. I’m the latter. I like him, just like the rest of the prospects better. But at #21, he’s BPA. Ottawa drafted a forward earlier on and will be looking for a home-run pick with their late first rounder, even though they already have a good group of defensemen. I may not like him as much as others but I have a hard time seeing him fall much further.
22. ANA JENSEN, NICKLAS LW;RW OSHAWA
Fowler was a steal for the Ducks, and with Sbisa, the team has a good defensive future. Now they want to add some scoring to their organization and Nicklas Jensen is skilled enough to do just that. Has the offensive ability and can skates very fluidly. His a few consistency issues but with a late round pick like #22, the Ducks take the gamble.
23. PIT MORROW, JOSEPH D PORTLAND
The Penguins lacks a PP defenseman in their prospect pool and Morrow will fill that need. Good shot, good vision, and solid defensively. He will need time to develop and gain experience playing top minutes in the juniors but the Penguins have time to do so. Could be a steal.
24. DET RATTIE, TY RW PORTLAND
The Wings would like to select a defenseman but don’t see the point of passing on an offensive prospect like Ty Rattie. He’s shifty, elusive and got very good playmaking skills. He doesn’t have the size to impress and doesn’t have the speed for a guy his size, but it has been noted, he has improved drastically this season. Red Wings will love this upward progression.
25. TOR (via PHI) JENNER, BOONE C OSHAWA
The Leafs do not much at center with Kadri being shifted to wing. The Leafs would love to add potential top nine forward Boone Jenner. Tons of character and heart, many view him as a bottom nine forward, but he has produced offensively for his Oshawa Generals so one has to wonder: does he have more?
26. WAS NAMESTNIKOV, VLADISLAV C LONDON
Russians to Capitals much be a cliché but Namestnikov does have some impressive playmaking and stickhandling skills that will have Washington very interested. Lacking strength and somewhat inconsistent, the Capitals will give the youngster tons of time to fill up his frame. The Capitals have a very well-rounded prospect pool so they don’t mind going for the high risk/high reward type of player.
27. TAM MILLER, JONATHAN C USA U-18
The Lightning lack a skilled center and choose J.T Miller. Miller had an underwhelming season until the U-18 where he became one of the top players in the tournament. Is one tournament enough? Tampa Bay will think so and with a late pick, they take him, confident he’ll make a solid NHLer.
28. SJS SAAD, BRANDON LW SAGINAW
The Sharks have almost nothing at wing in the prospect pool, so they go after Brandon Saad. Saad has disappointed this season but still has an interesting set of tools. Size, skating, two-way skills. Saad is similar to Flyer’s James Van Riemsydk in that they both have powerforward size but aren’t overly physical, but rely on their hockey sense to produce.
29. TOR (via BOS) BIGGS, TYLER RW USA U-18
Of course, I had to give the big, physical Tyler Biggs to Brian Burke. He may not have the best offensive upside, but with the Jenner selection, the Leafs feel they want a safe bet for an NHLer and take Biggs.
30. VAN JASKIN, DMITRI RW SLAVIA
Jaskin has all the skills to become a very good powerforward, but lacks the skating skills. Will many teams be confident enough to select Jaskin earlier on, with known skating flaws? I say no, they’ll pick other prospects. But finally at #30, the Canucks hope to get a home-run.
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