MLHS 2013 Mock Draft – Part 2


ICYMI, check out part 1 here.

16th: Buffalo Sabres (from MIN) – ANTHONY – RYAN PULOCK

With our second selection of the day at 16, the Sabres are proud to select Ryan Pulock.

If I’m being honest, there are players still on the board I like better than Pulock, but considering I already drafted a forward for Buffalo, I felt I had to take a defenseman and Pulock was the guy. A lot of people thought he would be a top 10 pick going into the year, but his season was hindered by injuries, his team was worse, and it was his first year as captain. He’s a puck-moving defenseman with what has to be the hardest shot of anyone in this draft, and he has some physicality to his game as well.

17th: Ottawa Senators – MICHAEL – NIC PETAN

With the 17th selection in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, the Ottawa Senators (intense, prolonged chorus of boos to follow) are proud to select – from the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League, centerman Nicolas Petan.

Petan comes to the nation’s capital as the WHL’s top scorer with 120 points (tied with teammate Brendan Leipsic). He finished first in the league in assists, +/- and was a first team allstar. He also saw his point totals increase by 85 compared to last season, an almost unprecedented offensive outburst. Quite creative in the offensive zone, he seems to turn nothing plays into something dangerous almost every shift. While he has a good shot it’s his shiftiness and vision that make him such a scoring threat. He also a great first step and the ability to beat defenders either sweet dangles or a burst of speed.

There are two knocks on Petan’s game, the kinds that make him a ‘project pick.’ The first, and ironically the bigger of the two, is that he lists at a modest 5’9 and 165 lbs., quite a bit smaller than you’d like a top flight centreman to be. The second is that he played on an absolutely stacked Winterhawks team, so he’ll be hard pressed to repeat his incredible performance next season. But in the spirit of swinging for the fences, it’s hard not to like pure offensive dynamism and skill that Petan brings to the table. Could be the next Brendan Gallagher.

18th: Detroit Red Wings – MATT – JORDAN SUBBAN

Jordan Subban, because we’re used to Nick Lidstrom winning Norris…es, and apparently guys named Subban can do that really easily, without needing to deserve them.

19th: Columbus Blue Jackets (from NYR) – JON – ALEXANDER WENNBERG

The Columbus Blue Jackets are pleased to select with the 19th pick of the first round, from Djurgardens of the Swedish Tier 2 League, Alexander Wennberg.

Holy windfall Batman! The Blue Jackets went into this draft thinking they’d be making the best of the mid-round but have been able to land two prospects ranked in their (Jon’s) top ten. Ideally this pick would have been for a defenseman, but you can’t ignore a player this talented still on the draft board.

The biggest selling point on Wennberg is the way he sees the ice (though being one of the faster players in the draft doesn’t hurt either). If moved back to centre Wennberg could very easily be top playmaker in the years to come, and at the very least he’ll be a solid top six forward at whatever position he is needed at. Spending the year in the Swedish Tier two League, playing against older competition could have Wennberg ready to make a jump to the NHL sooner than a lot of the other players available.

20th: San Jose Sharks – BRIAN – FREDERIK GAUTHIER

With the 20th pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, San Jose is proud to select, from Rimouski of the Quebec Major Junior League: Frederik Gauthier.

We feel Gauthier brings the all important size down the middle and a top end defensive game. He’s been used on big stages to shut down the top opposition and we feel that’s a desirable quality long term for our organization as well as every organization. They say you need to ultimately draft the Sutter’s of the world to have them on your team, and we feel Gauthier will fill a similar role long term for us.

21st: Toronto Maple Leafs – ANTHONY – KERBY RYCHEL

With the 21st pick the Toronto Maple Leafs are proud to select Kerby Rychel.

I had planned on drafting Frederik Gauthier here, but Brian snagged him right before me with San Jose, so I decided between Mantha and Rychel and ultimately chose Rychel. He’s a 6’1 winger who is a goalscorer and all out hustle player. Rychel put up 39 points in his first 39 games before Alex Khokhlachev came back to Windsor, after which he put up 48 points in his next 29 games. Some consider that a knock against him, but scoring at a point per game pace in your draft is very good, so when you consider that he was well above that once he was paired with some talent, I actually consider it a positive. His skating needs work, but this guy should be an NHL player and he’s going to add scoring ability to the Leafs’ prospect pool.

22nd: Calgary Flames (from STL) – BLUE CHIP PROSPECTS – JOSH MORRISSEY

With the 22nd pick the Calgary Flames are proud to select Josh Morrissey.

Initially, I had this pick earmarked for Curtis Lazar — the perfect player to pick at this stage of the draft. What that strategy failed to recognize was that Lazar once saved Mislav’s dog from a burning building, which led to a dramatic boost in his draft stock.

As I mentioned earlier, I like swinging for the fences in the middle of the first round and after Calgary picked up a safe bet in Monahan early, they’ll roll the dice on ceiling with Morrissey. A fantastic skater and puck-mover, Morrissey has all the makings of a great powerplay defenseman. His transition defense is perfectly adequate though he doesn’t handle the cycle game particularly well in his own zone. Still, at this stage of the draft, Calgary is fortunate to be adding a player of his calibre.

23rd: Washington Capitals – MISLAV – ROBERT HAGG

With the 23rd pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, the Washington Capitals are pleased to select defenseman Robert Hagg from MODO Hockey (Sweden).

The Capitals organization was quite surprised when they saw Hagg available this late in the draft. This 18 year old uses an extremely high hockey IQ with a smart stick defensively while offering a well rounded game. While being a quality player in his own end of the ice, Robert possesses untapped offensive potential, is a good puck mover and has already featured as a standout for Sweden at the WJC. Along with those traits, Hagg has a solid frame and is still expected to fill out. We’re delighted to make him a member of the Washington Capitals.

24th: Vancouver Canucks – ALEX – Anthony Mantha

With the 24th selection, Vancouver takes forward Anthony Mantha from the Val-D’Or Foreurs of the QMJHL.

Anthony offers an exciting blend of size, skating and natural scoring ability that simply does not come around very often. We feel that with the right work ethic and commitment to improving at both ends of the ice, this is a kid with the potential to become a gamebreaker someday.

25th: Montreal Canadiens – MICHAEL – Mirco Mueller

With the 25th selection, the Montreal Canadiens are happy to select, from the Everett Silvertips of the Western Hockey League, defenseman Mirco Mueller.

Mueller has shot up the rankings in his draft year, his first since coming over from his native Switzerland. The left-shooting rearguard finished second in rookie scoring from a defenseman in the ‘Dub (behind No. 2 selection Seth Jones), with 31 points in 63 games. He sees the ice very well, and excels in the transition game using pin-point passing or good footspeed to carry the puck out of the defensive end. He’s also got an absolute rocket of a shot, and can work a power play.

He’s got ideal size for a defender at 6’3”, but at a scant 176 pounds he’ll definitely need to fill out before getting a shot with the Habs. Along with some added muscle and bulk, he’ll also need to improve upon his physicality. Modelling his game after Nik Lidstrom (cause seriously, who wouldn’t do that?), he relies on positioning to suffocate offensive players rather than levelling a big hit.

26th: Anaheim Ducks – BRIAN – RYAN HARTMAN

With the 26th selection in the 2013 NHL Draft, Anaheim is proud to select, from the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League: Ryan Hartman.

We feel that Ryan continues to add an important element to our hockey team with his agitating play and well-rounded game. Not only can he get under opponent’s skin real well, he brings an offensive ability to score and set up linemates, and play a good defensive game. As witnessed at the World Juniors he can play in a checking role, and we also feel there’s an ability for him to be a good complimentary scorer to ignite our more pure skilled players.

27th: Columbus Blue Jackets (from LAK) – JON – ADAM ERNE

With our third pick of the first round, 27th overall, the Columbus Blue Jackets are pleased to select, from the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior League, Adam Erne.

This was a tough pick. I really wanted to get Columbus a defenseman, but none of the players I would have considered fell far enough, and I couldn’t justify my reaching picks with Erne left up on the draft board.

What the Jackets are adding is one of the best power forward prospects available in the draft. He’s a player who will drive the net at an impressive top speed and he’s capable of playing in any situation. He’s primary a finisher so don’t expect too much creativity, just goals. Since the Jackets have picked twice prior to this selection they’ll be able to take their time on developing Erne who might be a bit more of a project.

28th: Calgary Flames (from PIT) – BCP – JT COMPHER

With the 28th selection, the Calgary Flames select, from the US National Team Development Program, JT Compher.

As I hinted at earlier, Curtis Lazar is a player who I think may have slipped a bit further than he should have on a lot of draft boards and, in my mind, he’s a great value pick-up for a team looking to add a Lazar-esque skill set. Compher is a very well rounded player. and a tenacious forechecker who has nice puck skills and a heavy shot. If the Flames were to add Monahan, Morrissey, and Compher then I’d say they’ve had an awfully strong draft. Knowing them though, they’ll probably take some kid from highschool who nobody was even looking at until the mid-third round.

29th: Dallas Stars (from BOS) – Samuel Morin

With the 29th selection, Dallas takes defenseman Samuel Morin from the Rimouski Oceanic of the QMJHL.

Samis another mammoth defenseman with good fundamentals and plenty of upside. We like his pedigree of success and his impressive performance for Canada at the World U-18’s. This is a player who has put in a great deal of work on his game and it’s showing as he seems to be improving every time he steps on the ice. Sam’s still a few years away from being NHL ready but we’re thrilled to welcome him into the organization.

30th: Chicago Blackhawks – MATT MISTELE – ?

The guy mock drafting for the Blackhawks in this slot really is terribly educated on the prospect pool beyond the top guys, so we’re going to trade this pick to Calgary in exchange for their 2014 first rounder. (Because we believe that pick will be high, and because there’s a 2014 draft-eligible kid named Matt Mistele currently playing for the Plymouth Whalers that we think looks pretty great.)