Michael Finewax

In The Crease

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2013 NHL Draft: Round One

Sunday, June 30, 2013


21. Toronto Maple Leafs - Frederik Gauthier (C)


Gauthier is a very solid two-way player, who uses his well-developed hockey sense to make plays at both ends of the ice. His mature game will translate well in the NHL, though he isn't viewed as a game-changing prospect. Gauthier showed some offensive ability this year, scoring 22 goals and registering 60 points in 62 games in his first season with Rimouski. However, it is his defensive play that is his ticket to the NHL. He’s strong in the faceoff circle and is very effective on the penalty kill. Though he doesn’t use his 6'3" frame to physically intimidate his opponents, he understands how to use his body in the cycle game and in shielding defenders from the puck. With some more development, he projects as a prototypical second or third-line player who could be used against an opposing team's top line. The Maple Leafs sure could use this type of player but will likely have to wait a year or two before he can contribute in NHL.


22. Calgary Flames (via St. Louis) - Emile Poirier (LW)


Poirier might not be the biggest offensive threat, but he plays a competitive, aggressive game and could bring the blend of penalty minutes and points that fantasy owners love. He's not slow, but his skating could use some work as he can be awkward in that regard. He had 70 points and 101 penalty minutes in 65 QMJHL games in 2012-13. He could stand to beef up and should be regarded as a bit of a long-term project.


23. Washington Capitals - Andre Burakowsky (LW)


Burakowsky is a "tweener" right now – too good for the Swedish junior team but not yet good enough for the pro team. He plays with a "give me the puck" mindset and has exceptional offensive tools with great speed, though his 11 points in 43 games with Malmo this past season were somewhat disappointing. Constantly on the move, the winger has a knack for finding open spaces to generate offense. Even though he performs well in tight checking, he is not a player who asserts himself in the dirty areas for offense, mostly due to the fact that his body is still maturing. Burakowsky is an average player on defense but his calling card is offense. In time, he has the potential to be a game breaker.


24. Vancouver Canucks - Hunter Shinkaruk (LW)


Despite his small stature, Shinkaruk is one of the most aggressive forecheckers in the draft. He is an exceptional skater and keeps defensemen off-balance on his offensive rushes. He’s not overly physical, but he's willing to take a hit to advance the puck. When he has the disc, Shinkaruk is dangerous and can score by crashing the net or utilizing his plus shot. He was captain of this year’s Medicine Hat squad, and produced excellent results in back-to-back seasons, scoring 49 goals last year and registering 86 points in 64 games this season. Defensively, Shinkaruk will need to add some bulk if he's to make a difference in his own end, but his persistence and puck skills will help him get out of trouble in the meantime. Shinkaruk may think he can contribute in the NHL right away, but it is likely he will need at least a year of seasoning before he makes the jump.


25. Montreal Canadiens -  Mike McCarron (RW)


McCarron is a bit of a risky pick as scouts have been divided on his future. If he is the sum of his parts, then he could be a great pick for Montreal, but he can leave observes unsatisfied given all his skills. At 6-foot-5, 228-pounds, he's certainly a big man and he moves nicely for one. He'll also use that size to his advantage and consequently has potential as a two-way forward at the NHL level. He had 10 points and 84 penalty minutes in 19 USHL games last season.


 26. Anaheim Ducks - Shea Theodore (D)


Shea Theodore is a strong-skating offensive defenseman who sees the ice very well, boasts a great shot and possesses pinpoint passing accuracy. He lacks strength, a physical edge and defensive prowess, but he can quarterback a power play and rush the puck with exciting moxie. Theodore finished in the top of WHL defenseman in scoring with 50 points in 71 games, but has also compiled a disappointing minus 50 rating in his two years with the Thunderbirds. Modeling his game after Mike Green, Theodore’s ability to create and manufacture offense along with his gifted ability to identify and execute good plays are the primary reasons why he is a top pick, but patience will be needed as he develops strength, positioning and defensive awareness over the rest of his junior career.


27. Columbus Blue Jackets (via Los Angeles) - Marko Dano  (C)


One thing is certain with Dano--he’s going to be an offensive player. Beyond that, it’s tough to say how good he will become (top-end forward or average player) and what his ultimate upside will be. The Austrian-born pivot combines good speed and strength with a solid presence around the net and decent puck awareness, but he’s still a bit of a project. In the World Junior Championships, he led Slovakia with nine points in six games, though he struggled in the KHL with just seven points in 37 games. Still, there is a lot to be said about an 18-year-old playing in arguably the world’s second-best league. It would behoove him to come over to North America as soon as possible in order to adapt to an NHL style of play.



28. Calgary Flames (via Pittsburgh) - Morgan Klimchuk (LW)


Klimchuk flew under the radar on a pretty weak Regina team this season. However, he had an impressive year just the same, registering 76 points in 72 games, while showing the ability to play at both ends of the ice. Klimchuk has quick hands and feet, and uses his exceptional speed to pressure opponents off the puck. He’s very good on the powerplay and can even be used on the point, as he has a knack of getting hard shots through to the net. He’s a bit undersized, but competes hard in the corners. He won’t wow anyone at the NHL level, but he could develop into a very serviceable player. Calgary had three picks in the first round and replenished their forward depth with Klimchuk, Elias Lindholm, and Emile Poirier.


29.  Dallas Stars (via Boston) - Jason Dickinson (RW)


Dallas acquired this selection from Boston as part of the Jaromir Jagr trade. Dickinson has seen his stock drop over the past few months in part due to his relatively poor second half of the season. However, he has huge potential and is only scratching the surface of his offensive skill set. He improved his production in 2012-2013, registering 47 points, but scouts point to his plus-19 rating after finishing a minus-15 in his rookie year as the greatest indication of his progression. He has very quick hands and uses his creativity to set up teammates for scoring chances. Some scouts are concerned with Dickinson’s consistency issues and his lack of compete level, as he seems to take shifts off at times. If he can gain some strength and become more reliable on a nightly basis, he has a real chance to become a very good offensive player in the NHL.


30. Chicago Blackhawks - Ryan Hartman (C/RW)


Hartman made a name for himself in his first season removed from the United States National Team Development Program playing for the Plymouth Whalers of the OHL. He's known for his gritty, agitating style of play, as he finished with 120 PIMs in 56 games. However, he is deceptively effective offensively as his 60 points for Plymouth this past season will attest. He's also a gifted skater. While Hartman may take poor minor penalties at times, he’s one of the best in the draft at rattling his opponent. Moreover, he's very versatile and can fit in on lines with different types of players. He sustained a severe cut on his wrist early in the OHL playoffs, but returned later in Plymouth's post-season run. The prevailing thought is that the injury won't be an issue going forward.

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