Mock draft number four comes to us from Bryan Reynolds, mastermind of the Wild SB Nation site Hockey Wilderness and contributing writer to another half-dozen sites. Odds are if you've been on a hockey site, you've read Bryan's work; he's the Jude Law of writers. While not a prospects expert, Bryan does closely follow the NHL and was kind enough to give his two cents. So whether you agree or disagree (hello Avalanche fans) with Bryan Reynolds, here's the next mock.
Edmonton Oilers- Adam Larsson - Being run by Kevin Lowe has its advantages. It also has some supreme disadvantages. One of those disadvantages is that he thinks he knows better than his scouts, and will choose based on gut feeling alone. He'll take Larsson just because he can.
Colorado Avalanche - Gabriel Landeskog - There's just no way the Avs are taking some elitist with a hyphenated name. They'll let Nugent-Hopkins fall just to make him suffer. Also, they don't really need him, so they'll find justification for it. Meanwhile, Avs fans will burn down the Pepsi Center.
Florida Panthers - Jonathan Huberdeau - the Panthers have a new GM, a new coach, and a fan base that most likely has given up on them. They sold off as many of their players as they could to load up on young talent. With the best player still on the board, Tallon will stick to his draft sheet and select the third best player in the draft.
New Jersey Devils - Sean Couturier - Loophole Lou knows he has cap problems. He also know that if he drafts Nugent-Hopkins, he will have to sign him to the rookie max. Having no way to do so, he drafts Couturier knowing he can bury him in the CHL for a couple more years, and then bury him in the AHL after that.
New York Islanders - Dougie Hamilton - Garth Snow was my vote for the Summer's Eve award over at Hockey Wilderness as the biggest douche in the league. The guy just reeks of poor leadership and defended Trevor Gillies not once, but twice. He knows Nugent-Hopkins isn't going to ever sign a deal to play on Long Island. So, it is with pride the Islanders select the next Cam Barker.
Ottawa Senators - Ryan Strome - What can be said here? Ottawa is not the best drafting team. You would think Doug Risebrough was involved somehow. In my mock draft, Ottawa goes to the podium with the intent of selecting the biggest steal in draft history, only to have second thoughts and grab Strome.
Winnipeg Crappy Markets - Sven Baertschi - It doesn't matter who they select, the team won't be around in ten years anyway.
Columbus Blue Jackets - Duncan Siemens - This is where Wild fans start to get nervous. Columbus drafted Rick Nash, someone who would look absolutely spectacular playing next to Mikko Koivu. They know how to draft talent, they just are great with developing it. As the Blue Jackets walk to the podium, some one yells out "Remember the Alamo." Confused at the reference, the Jackets lose their draft list and just take the guy with the funniest name.
Boston Bruins - Alexander Khokhlachev - With a Cup in hand, and cheeseburgers to now spare, the Bruins take the smallest player in the draft. When asked why they didn't take Nugent-Hopkins, the Bruins issue a press release that says, "No thanks. We're good for 40 years."
Minnesota Wild - Chuck Fletcher, stunned at the idiocy that has marched to the podium before him, sits silently for a minute before walking slowly to the podium, blinking rapidly and shaking his head. As he approaches the mic, he stammers a bit through congratulating the Bruins and thanking the fans in Minnesota for 10 years of support.
As he is about to announce his pick, Greg Sherman runs to the podium and yells "OH MY GOD WHAT HAVE I DONE?!!?! We take the NUGE!" Now sobbing, Sherman continues... "Oh sweet mother of mercy, we take Nugent-Hopkins." Please, Fletch, PLEEEEASE give us the Nuge."
At this point, security drags Sherman away from Fletcher, and Fletcher steps back to the mic.
"With the tenth pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, the Minnesota Wild proud, and frankly shocked, to select Ryan Nugent-Hopkins from Red Deer."
At this point, parades are planned and statues built in honor of Chuck Fletcher. Then... mysteriously, I wake up in a drunken haze on the corner of 7th and Sibley after celebrating the Canucks losing the Stanley Cup in their own barn. It was all a dream. Damn it... it was all a dream.
Here is the way the first round goes down:
Edmonton Oilers - Ryan Nugent Hopkins
Colorado Avalanche - Gabriel Landeskog
Florida Panthers - Jonathan Huberdeau
New Jersey Devils - Adam Larsson
New York Islanders - Sean Coutourier
Ottawa Senators - Ryan Strome
Winnipeg - Sven Baertschi
Boston Bruins - Doug "Don't call me Dougie" Hamilton
Minnesota Wild - Mika Zibanejad
Colorado Avalanche - Jamie Oleksiak
Carolina Hurricanes - Ryan Murphy
Calgary Flames - Mark McNeil
Dallas Stars - Rocco Grimaldi
New York Rangers - Duncan Siemens
Buffalo Sabres - Mark Scheiffele
Montreal Canadiens - Nathan Beaulieau
Chicago Blackhawks - Joel Armia
Edmonton Oilers - Boone Jenner
Phoenix Coyotes - Matthew Puempel
Ottawa Senators - Vladislav Namestnikov
Anaheim Ducks - Zack Phillips
Pittsburgh Penguins - Oscar Kelfbom
Detroit Red Wings - Jonas Brodin (how do the not select the Swedish defenseman?)
Toronto Maple Leafs - Ty Rattie
Washington Capitals - Joe Morrow
Tampa Bay Lightning - Tyler Biggs
San Jose Sharks - Scott Mayfield
Vancouver Canucks - Mario Lucia
Toronto Maple Leafs - Nicklas Jensen
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