Mock Draft 1.0
Here we go….1-10 Only….
1. Edmonton Oilers – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins C Red Deer (WHL)– RNH is the best player in the draft, and with the number 1 pick, you use that on the best player. It just so happens that Edmonton is in need of a Number one Center and RNH is just that. He is as dynamic as they come and will look great centering Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle.
2. Colorado Avalanche – Adam Larsson D Skelleftea (SEL) – Many mocks are saying Colorado takes Gabriel Landeskog with this pick, but remember 2 things, first Defenseman like Larsson don’t grow on trees, and second, Colorado also has the 12th pick as part of the Erik Johnson/Chris Stewart trade. After trading top young defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk in that deal, he’ll be replaced with the smooth skating Larsson. The Avs will target wingers with that 12th pick.
3. Florida Panthers – Sean Couturier C Drummondville (QMJHL) – This is the wild card pick here. Florida already has 2 top young defenseman in Dmitri Kulikov and Erik Gudbranson, and they also drafted wingers Nick Bjugstad and Quinton Howden in last year’s 1st round. Florida GM Dale Tallon will look for the big 2 way center in Sean Couturier here. Tallon (who drafted Jonathan Toews with Chicago) knows the importance of having a player such as Couturier and won’t let an opportunity to get a top 2 way player pass him up.
4. New Jersey Devils – Jonathan Huberdeau C Saint John’s (QMJHL) – The Devils are already stacked at LW with both Ilya Kovalchuk and Zach Parise, and with a lack of a true number 1 center in their system (Travis Zajac is the closest they have), the Devils take the super talented Huberdeau here. One scout was quoted as saying that he’s never seen a junior player take such a big leap in just one year as Huberdeau has. The Devils will have a player they can slot right into their lineup and not look back.
5. New York Islanders – Gabriel Landeskog LW Kitchener (OHL) – Landeskog is a steal for the Islanders at 5. He is the most NHL ready player in the draft and will look great playing with John Tavares and Nino Niederreiter on the Isles first line. With 3 picks in the top 50, GM Garth Snow can take his time and add another big defenseman early in the second round or as he likes to do, trade his way back into the late first round.
6. Ottawa Senators – Ryan Strome C Niagra (OHL) – Strome is a highly skilled offensive player who will slot in nicely behind Jason Spezza (if Ottawa keeps him). Having 2 top defensive prospects in David Rundblad and Jared Cowan, Ottawa will add some firepower with Strome.
7. Atlanta Thrashers – Dougie Hamilton D Niagra (OHL) – Back to back Niagra picks here as Atlanta takes the big 2 way Hamilton with the 7th pick. Atlanta has Big Buff and Tobias Enstrom on D already but after taking Evander Kane and Alexander Burmistrov in the last 2 drafts, it’s back to building a strong D for the Thrashers.
8. Columbus Blue Jackets – Ryan Murphy D Kitchener (OHL) – With Fedor Tyutin considered their only offensive defenseman on the NHL team, and with young and very talented John Moore working his way to Ohio, the Blue Jackets take the explosive but smallish Ryan Murphy. Some scouts think if Murphy was 6’0, he would be the number one overall pick. He has outstanding skating and offensive skills, his only issues is he’s listed as 5’10 160lbs. Either way, the Jackets get themselves a heck of a player at number 8.
9. Boston Bruins – Jamieson Olesiak D Northeastern (NCAA) – Olesiak is a player who needs at least another year of college but he’s 6’7 and extremely tough. He would form a nasty tandem with Norris finalist Zdeno Chara and the Bruins can afford to wait a year or 2 for Olesiak to fine tune his skills.
10. Minnesota Wild – Mike Zibanejad C Djurgarden (SEL) – Zibanejad is a fast riser on the 2011 ISS list. He has great skill and will look great with fellow 1st round pick Mikael Granlund. The Wild have chosen more gritty players such as Colton Gillies and James Sheppard in years past, but the Zibanejad has too high a ceiling for Minnesota to pass up.
My next Mock Draft will be a full 30 team pick, but it’s too early to tell what the later teams will do (especially since the draft order hasn’t been set yet.
Filed Under: Boston Bruins • Colorado Avalanche • Columbus Blue Jackets • Eastern Conference • Edmonton Oilers • Featured • featured-bloggers • Florida Panthers • Minnesota Wild • New Jersey Devils • New York Islanders • NHL • Ottawa Senators • Winnipeg Jets
About the Author: The New York Islanders have been a huge part of my life since I was 7 years old, and during the past 27 years I have experience many ups and downs with this team. The back end of 4 straight Stanley Cups, the Drive for 5, the Easter Epic, trading of my heroes John Tonelli, and Kelly Hrudey. Mike Bossy's early retirement, Pat LaFontaine for Pierre Turgeon, Dale Hunter, David Volek, Ron Hextall, Al Arbour's retirement, Bill Torrey to Florida, Mike Milbury, John Spano, The Milstein's, Hoistgate, the sale to Charles Wang, Draft Day 2000, Alexei Yashin and Michael Peca, Milbury's "reassignement", 40 days of Neil Smith, Ted Nolan, The Lighthouse Project, Kate Murray, Scott Gordon, going from 5 to 7 to 9, Josh Bailey, John Tavares, Calvin deHaan, El Nino, the 2 Kirill's and hopefully.....much, much more. I have been an Islanders blogger for the past 3 years, starting on Myspace, then for IslesNation.com and currently for HockeyIndependent.com, and I have been selected to the 2010-2011 New York Islanders Blog Box. I am an IT Manager for a quite large facility working for a government agency. I am married for 7 years to an incredibly patient woman and am the proud father of a beautiful 1 year old daughter. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: Twitter.com/tonystabile