Gus Katsaros

Mock Draft

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NHL Mock Draft 2.0

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The big question now is, who will the Colorado Avalanche take first overall? Will it be former Denver native Seth Jones, or will the hiring of new head coach Patrick Roy sway the Avs to take Nathan McKinnon, a player Roy saw too many times when coaching in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.


We now know where everyone will draft save for the 29th and 30th picks respectively, and that will be determined once the Cup Final is over as the Stanley Cup winner will pick last and the other Finalist will pick 29th.


David Burstyn, McKeen's Hockey Director of Scouting, has put together the first round of the Mock Draft.


McKeen's Hockey has put out their top 120 picks for the 2013 Draft. In addition, they also preview the 2014 and 2015 Drafts as well as the top four players eligible in 2016. Click here to enter their site, it's a great buy.



1. Colorado Avalanche Seth Jones (D)


The Avalanche have a plethora of young forwards including Gabriel Landeskog, Matt Duchene and Ryan O'Reilly so building from the back-end out is imperative. Jones gives the Avalanche a legitimate first pairing defenseman who brings a winning attitude and strong athletic abilities to the table. Coupled with a strong point shot Jones could become a PP option as early as his rookie season. The son of former NBA player Popeye Jones, had 14 goals and 56 points in 61 games with Portland of the WHL.


2.  Florida Panthers  Nathan MacKinnon (C)


MacKinnon finished off strong in the final two rounds of the QMJHL playoffs before shooting out the lights at the Memorial Cup. MacKinnon gives the Panthers star power and is a player who can easily jump into their line up next season as his speed and hand skills are NHL ready. He missed 14 games in the regular season with a knee injury and still had 32 goals and 75 points in 44 games for Halifax but really took his offensive game to a new level in the playoffs with 11 goals and 33 points in 17 games.


3. Tampa Bay Lightning Jonathan Drouin (RW)


A dynamic player who oozes offensive skills, Drouin can score just as easily as he can make a nice pass. He would be a perfect complement to Stamkos in the next few years with some of the Lightning players such as Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis getting long in the tooth. The MVP of the Quebec League, Drouin had 105 points including 41 goals in just 49 games, finishing second in scoring by five points despite missing 19 games, and then led the league in playoff scoring with 35 points.


4. Nashville Predators Aleksander Barkov (C)


Barkov has already performed exceptionally well in the SM-Liiga, the top Finnish Men's league. He gives the Predators a first line center option and one who can produce offensively, playing with heightened temperament and intensity away from the puck which helps round out his game. Barkov finished ninth in scoring with 21 goals and 48 points, the all-time best for a player in Finland during his draft year, surpassing Olli Jokinen who had 14 goals and 41 points during his draft year.


5. Carolina Hurricanes Nikita Zadorov (D)


The mammoth Russian defender has sky-high upside as his skating and physical play complement his six foot, five inch frame like no other prospect available in this draft. Zadorov had six goals and 25 points for the London Knights in 2012-13 and has the potential to become a great shut down blueliner with the capability of contributing offensively in the NHL.  


6. Calgary Flames Elias Lindholm (C)

Lindholm had a great season in the top Swedish Men's league, competing against players 10 years his senior; not only did he produce offensively but he did not back down from physical confrontations.  Lindholm saw time as a top-six forward and rewarded his coach's faith in him with 11 goals and 30 points in 48 games. He is NHL ready.


7. Edmonton Oilers Darnell Nurse (D)


There may be a temptation to draft Monahan, however Nurse gives their pick more value and upside as a staunch stay-at-home defender whose value in the playoffs would be considerably higher as he can match-up well against other team's best.  Nurse had 12 goals and 41 points in 68 games at the Soo. He is the nephew of former NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb.


8. Buffalo Sabres Sean Monahan (C)


The Mississauga, Ontario born Monahan travels 60 miles down the QEW to ply his trade for the Sabres as he gives the team more size up the middle and is backed by a strong competitive streak. He had 31 goals and 78 points on a weak Ottawa squad. Some teams may want to move up and grab Monahan as he could end up being the first line center every team (with the possible exception of the Pittsburgh Penguins) looks for in a draft.


9. New Jersey Devils Valeri Nichushkin (RW)


Pending KHL contract may come into play however Nichushkin is a complete package whose athletic ability, skating skill, size and hands can break open a game singlehandedly. Nichushkin impressed everyone at the NHL Combine a couple of weeks ago and could still move up this draft class. He had only six points in 18 games in the KHL this season but starred in February's U18 five nation tourney in Sweden where he had five goals and 11 points in four games.


10. Dallas Stars Max Domi (C)


Dynamic torpedo is tenacious and a threat to score each time he has the puck. Unlike his father Tie, Max uses his hands to score and could get an audition next year with several openings up front for the Stars. He had 39 goals and 87 points for the OHL champion London Knights and was second in playoff scoring with 32 points in 21 games including 11 goals.


11. Philadelphia Flyers Samuel Morin (D)


Morin improved as the season progressed culminating with a sensational World U18 performance that saw him capture a gold medal. He gives the Flyers size and toughness and is just starting to scratch the surface of his potential. At 6'6/205 he has NHL size already and only needs to work on his puck skills. He had four goals and 16 points in 48 games for Rimouski of the QMJHL in 2012-13.


12. Phoenix Coyotes Bo Horvat (C)


Mr. Clutch in the OHL playoffs, Horvat  scored 3 GWG none bigger than a goal with a second left in Game 7 of the OHL Final to capture the league championship. Horvat can play on both special teams with success and thrived this season for Coach Hunter in a PK role as he won important draws and blocked shots. He had 33 goals and 61 points in the regular season but came into his own in the post-season with 16 goals to lead all OHL scorers.


13. Winnipeg Jets Curtis Lazar (C)


Lazar is a two-way forward who plays a hardnosed game and marries it with handsome offensive abilities. He competes away from the puck and will give the Jets a player who could potentially play on their top two lines but also do the dirty work to score his goals. Lazar started the season off slowly with only eight goals in his first 27 games but potted 30 in his final 45 to lead Edmonton of the WHL in goal scoring.


14. Columbus Blue Jackets Andre Burakowsky (LW)


Burakowsky struggled a little bit in league play but shined in International tournaments when pitted against his own peer age group. A blinding skater with great hands to match his speed, he scored 11 goals and 24 points for Malmo in the Swedish second division. His dad Robert played 23 NHL games for Ottawa in the 1993-94 season.


15. New York Islanders Alexander Wennberg (C )


The Islanders go for some skill with the addition of Wennberg; a player whose hockey sense and ability to play both ends of the ice makes him such a coveted prospect. He has great feet and is tenacious in pursuit. Wennberg won a silver with Sweden at the U20 World Championships, making the team as an 18-year-old.  He had 14 goals and 32 points in 46 games for Djurgardens of the Swedish Allsvenskan league.

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Gus Katsaros is the Pro Scouting Coordinator with McKeen’s Hockey, publishers of industry leading scouting and fantasy guide, the McKeen’s Annual Hockey Pool Yearbook. He also contributes to popular blog ... he can be followed on Twitter @KatsHockey
Email :Gus Katsaros

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