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 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, New Jersey, Los Angeles)
Without further ado, here is Part III of our 2012 NHL Mock Draft……
GM: Benjamin Woodward
Synopsis: With the luxury of two selections in the first sixteen spots of the 2012 Entry Draft — by way of the Semyon Varlamov trade –, the Washington Capitals will be able to simply choose the best player available when their turn comes up at no. 11. In this case, that player is Teuvo Teravainen. This skilled Finn is one of the most deadly snipers available in this year’s draft class and has produced at a much higher level than some of the other highly ranked European prospects. His eighteen points in forty games while skating with Jokerit of the SM-Liiga were truly an impressive showcase of Teravainen’s first class offensive skill set. While his defensive game is far from polished, Teravainen holds the potential to become a first line NHL player in the not-to-distant future.
NHL Comparable: Martin St. Louis (Tampa Bay Lightning)
GM: Cris Cohen
Synopsis: The 18-year-old Czech put up decent offensive numbers in his first season playing in North America, posting 29 goals and 37 assists in 62 games with the Kitchener Rangers. But that does not tell the whole story as Faksa also plays a physical game and is willing to back check. His board work is solid, mostly due to his 6’3”, 200-pound frame that also makes him difficult to knock off the puck. Faksa needs to improve on his skating and he does not dazzle in any one particular aspect of his game, but his reliable, 2-way style makes him an enticing choice.
NHL Comparable: Patrice Bergeron (Boston Bruins)
GM: Alex Muscat
Synopsis: In his second year with the Bulls, he was the “Bull” in a China Shop as he led the team in scoring (28 goals and 40 assists in 68 games) and he wasn’t shy from the physical stuff as well (68 penalty minutes). He’s got the size (6″2′, 212 lbs) and tools to make it as a dominant two-way center in the NHL. The Stars are stockpiling on big, strong players and with Mike Ribiero as the only legit scoring threat down the middle, selecting Gaunce would be a no-brainer.
NHL Comparable: Jordan Staal (Pittsburgh Penguins)
GM: Bill Philp
Synopsis: Maatta is as experienced as it gets, having already played in two World Junior Championships. He is patient with the puck is makes solid breakout passes. The first selection in the 2011 CHL Import Draft is a smart player, overflowing with a keen hockey sense. Maata is as good as it gets in the defensive zone. He has great endurance and can play 30 minutes a night easily.
NHL Comparable: Ryan Suter (Nashville Predators)
GM: Seth Levin
Synopsis: The Ottawa Senators will go for the “best player available” here to fit the mold of their team, and Ludvig Bystrom is another skilled European that can add a nice offensive complement to Erik Karlsson on the backline. Bystrom is a skilled skater and good distributor, making you feel he should be able to develop into a nice power play quarterback option down the road. His biggest “weakness” has been that he sometimes passes on open shots and instead overpasses at times. His shot definitely can use a little bit of development, and the more confidence he’s able to develop in it will surely take care of the tendency to over pass at times. He isn’t the most physical guy, has somewhat average size (6’0”, 198 lbs), but he doesn’t necessarily shy from contact either, mixing it up when the situation calls for it. Bystrom put up very solid numbers in the Swedish Elite League, scoring 29 points (7 G, 22 A) in 34 games in the for Modo’s U-20 team. He also was good enough to play in 20 games with the parent club. While some people may think Bystrom should go lower in the first round, I think his upside will entice a team like Ottawa to select Bystrom a little higher than some pundits think.
NHL Comparable: Tomas Kaberle (Montreal Canadiens)
Filed Under: Buffalo Sabres • Calgary Flames • Dallas Stars • Eastern Conference • Featured • NHL • NHL Teams • Ottawa Senators • Prospects • Rumors • Satire • Washington Capitals • Western Conference
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.