The Hockey Independent crew has come together again; this time to piece together a 2012 NHL Mock Draft for your reading pleasure. The contributing authors to today’s piece will be Cris Cohen (New York Rangers), Seth Levin (New Jersey Devils), Alex Muscat (Detroit Red Wings), Bill Philp (Tampa Bay Lightning) and myself, Benjamin Woodward(Boston Bruins). Each of us have taken on the role of armchair general manager for the sake of this feature. All five of us will have the responsibility of making six selections in the draft, taking into account team needs, talent and other factors when making our decisions. We will be releasing the mock draft in six parts, with five selections in each.
Part II –> 6-10 (Anaheim, Minnesota, Carolina, Winnipeg, Tampa Bay)
Part III –> 11-15 (Washington, Buffalo, Dallas, Calgary, Ottawa)
Part IV –> 16-20 (Washington, San Jose, Chicago, Tampa Bay, Philadelphia)
Part V –> 21-25 (Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Florida, Boston, St. Louis)
Part VI –> 26-30 (Vancouver, Phoenix, New York Rangers, Los Angeles, New Jersey)
Without further ado, here is Part II of our 2012 NHL Mock Draft……
GM: Benjamin Woodward
Synopsis: With uber-prospect Justin Schultz nearly ready to make the jump to the NHL and budding superstar Cam Fowler already patrolling the Anaheim blueline, the Ducks’ defense corps look to be in good shape for the future. The addition of Griffin Reinhart will give Anaheim a player with the potential to become the legit top-pairing shut-down defenseman that’s been missing from their back-end. Not only is Reinhart a stalwart in his own end, but also isn’t afraid to jump up into the play and create offense, as evidenced by his 36-point (12G/24A) season for the Edmonton Oil Kings in 2011-’12. A rare combination of size, skill and skating ability is what sets this second generation prospect apart from the other blueliners expected to be called to the podium on June 22. Also, in an uncharacteristically small draft class, the possibility exists that Reinhart could be the only player standing more than 6’3″ drafted in the first round. That fact alone gives the Vancouver, BC native a major advantage heading into this year’s draft.
NHL Comparable: Brent Seabrook (Chicago Blackhawks)
GM: Cris Cohen
Synopsis: Impressive skating ability? Check. A willingness to punish the opponent with hard hits? Check. Leadership qualities? Check. The gift of offensive capabilities? Check. Dumba finished second on the Rebels in scoring in 2012 (20 G, 37 A in 59 games) and led all players in scoring at the 2012 World U18 Championship, where he captained Team Canada to a bronze medal. He plays far more physical than one might expect from someone who is 6′, 180pounds and will need to get bigger to give and take the punishment at the NHL level. Dumba plays a high-risk, over-aggressive style and will need to learn when to pick and choose his spots so as to not be a liability to his team. Dumba probably won’t make the jump to the NHL next year, as he will need time to continue to develop physically and improve on his defensive game.
NHL Comparable: Dion Phaneuf (Toronto Maple Leafs)
GM: Alex Muscat
Synopsis: Ceci’s stock rose as the season went on, finishing the regular season with 17 goals and 43 assists in 64 games with the 67s. He’s got great mobility, makes smart plays with the puck, and is rarely out of position. The Hurricanes need a quarterback on the power play and Ceci is that guy.
NHL Comparable: Brian Campbell (Florida Panthers)
GM: Seth Levin
Synopsis: The Winnipeg Jets can certainly use a mobile offensive minded defenseman for their team, and no one has more skating ability and offensive potential from the back-line in the draft than Morgan Rielly, from Moose Jaw of the Western Hockey League. Rielly is considered a gifted offensive skater, with great vision to see thing developing all over the ice and has been compared by some to former Winnipeg Jet and NHL great Phil Housley. Being that Rielly was limited to just 23 games this year (18 regular season & five playoff), because of an ACL tear in his knee is the biggest question mark hanging over Rielly. The fact he made it back for the playoffs and he contributed three assists in those five games should give some comfort to those concerns as he appears to have returned to health. While not a true defensive defenseman, Rielly offers too much upside offensively to pass up for Winnipeg at the 9th pick in the draft.
NHL Comparable: Dan Boyle (San Jose Sharks)
GM: Bill Philp
Synopsis: Despite his age (18) Trouba is a very polished defenseman with good size (6’2”, 194 lbs.) and tremendous skating ability in all three zones. He is the holy grail of NHL defensemen, a right handed, puck moving blue liner with a heavy shot. He is what the Lightning hasn’t had since Dan Boyle played in Tampa Bay. He should develop into a solid first pair defenseman with lefty Victor Hedman…a pairing that would dominate the Bolts back end for years to come.
NHL Comparable: Alex Pietrangelo (St. Louis Blues)
Filed Under: Anaheim Ducks • Carolina Hurricanes • Eastern Conference • Featured • Minnesota Wild • NHL • NHL Teams • Prospects • Rumors • Satire • Tampa Bay Lightning • Western Conference • Winnipeg Jets
About the Author: Boston Bruins writer for Hockey Independent. Have written for The Hockey Guys and SB Nation Boston. Follow me on Twitter @_BWoodward or shoot me an email at BWoodward.HI@gmail.com.