Michael Finewax

Mock Draft

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NHL Draft:The Final Mock

Saturday, June 29, 2013


21. Toronto Maple Leafs Kerby Rychel (LW)


Looking for goal scoring and a character player, Rychel becomes an immediate option as he is coming off back-to-back 40 goal campaigns and has one of the quickest releases in the draft. Can play with sandpaper when provoked, he has a sturdy frame to lay out hits. Rychel had 87 points for Windsor  in 2012-13 including a huge February as he had nine goals and 25 points in just 12 games.


The Maple Leafs could be looking at Emile Poirier if Rychel is gone.


22. Calgary Flames (via St. Louis) Adam Erne (LW)


Erne plays a high energy game and excels down low and on the cycle. He plays along boards well as he is a strong powerful body who shields the puck. Erne needs to curb his temper as he was guilty of taking some unnecessary penalties this season nonetheless he gives the Flames what they need, a gritty forward who can produce offensively. Led his Quebec team with 72 points including 28 goals this past season.


The Flames still need offense so if Kerby Rychel is available he could go 22nd overall.


23. Washington Capitals Frederik Gauthier (C)


A solid utility player with decent offensive upside, Gauthier still needs to fill out physically as he is six foot, four, weighing 215 pounds,  but has a large frame and can keep other top forwards in check. Salvaged a poor second half with an outstanding performance at the World U18 Championships. Gauthier started the season off strongly for Rimouski with 10 goals and 20 points in his first 18 games but scored only 12 goals in his final 50 games including the playoffs after returning from a broken jaw suffered in November.


The Capitals will look for the top player available and hope that someone will drop to them, just like last season when Filip Forsberg was ranked as high as second in a lot of mock drafts and fell to 11th.


24. Vancouver Canucks 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.


Burakowsky is falling down the draft board and the Canucks could pick Emile Poirier as new head coach John Tortorella likes players of Poirier's ilk. Of course, Tortorella could be long gone when the bottom players of the first round are ready to play in the NHL.


25. Montreal Canadiens Emile Poirier (LW)


Canadiens look to get more skilled while adding sandpaper as Poirier's game mirrors that of Brad Marchand while being a little less of a pest. The pugilistic forward worked his way up the depth chart of Gatineau and emerged as their offensive leader while also applying a ferocious back check and displaying strong determination away from the puck. Poirier had 32 goals and 70 points to go with 101 penalty minutes in 65 games.


After picking third last season, the Habs are thrilled to select 25th and will go to the Quebec League to pick Poirier as his type play is needed when playing divisional rivals Boston and Toronto.


26. Anaheim Ducks Chris Bigras (D)


A solid and dependable two-way threat, Bigras does everything well and has incredibly strong hockey sense in all three zones. Bigras was one of only a handful of players this season to win both a gold medal at both the Ivan Hlinka Memorial and the World U18 Championships. He broke out offensively with eight goals and 38 points in 68 games for Owen Sound of the OHL.


When getting down this deep into the first round, some teams could be trying to trade up to get the player they want. The Ducks are likely looking for blueline help after losing Jake Gardiner and Justin Schultz from their depth charts over the last three seasons.


27. Columbus Blue Jackets (via Los Angeles) Valentin Zykov  (LW)


Zykov scored 40 goals and helped Baie-Comeau reach the QMJHL finals. A beast down low with a laser beam of a shot however he can play with blinders on often overlooking a pass or getting hit as he doesn't see it coming, a cause for concern at the next level. Zykov led all QMJHL rookies with 75 points after playing for CSKA of the Russian MHL league in 2011-12.


The Blue Jackets could be looking at a goalie in this spot, especially with the status of Vezina Trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky still up in the air at this time. Zach Fucale would be the pick if they think that Bobrovsky is headed back to Russia to play in the KHL.


28. Calgary Flames (via Pittsburgh) Anthony Mantha (RW)


The Flames need help scoring goals and Mantha was one of only three CHL players to score 50 goals. Gangly frame and somewhat uninvolved at times, Mantha's shot and scoring dimension cannot be over looked. He also chipped in with 39 assists for Val d'Or in 69 games.


The Flames continue to need help up front and if Mantha is available at 28, it's a great pick. If not, they will look at Ryan Hartman or possibly Zach Fucale.


29.  Dallas Stars (via Boston) Jacob de la Rose (LW)


Jacob de la Rose helped Leksands earn a promotion to the SEL with his fine two way play. He excelled Internationally on the junior stage for Team Sweden as he used his sizeable frame to open up scoring lanes and eagerly drove to the net. He does a little bit of everything well and complements skilled players with his tireless work ethic. De la Rose had six goals and 12 points in 38 games this season.


Ryan Hartman should be considered at this point, as well as Zach Fucale.


30. Chicago Blackhawks Zach Fucale (G)


Despite the sensational play of Crawford, the Blackhawks need to add depth to their goaltending position and Fucale has the potential to be a starter in the NHL. Calm and poised he posted a 64-7 record en route to a QMJHL Championship and a Memorial Cup. He should get a strong look to be the starter for Team Canada at next year's WJC.


Others to consider in the first round include: Ian McCoshen (D), Tommy Vannelli (D), Mike McCarron (RW), Jason Dickinson (C), Ryan Hartman (RW) and Madison Bowey (D).


Michael Finewax is entering his 10th season as the Senior Hockey Writer and Editor for Rotoworld. You can follow him on Twitter @mfinewaxhockey.
Email :Michael Finewax

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