Mock draft of NHL's first round

 

 
 
 
 
Draft hopeful Nail Yakupov takes part in the NHL combine on June 1. The Edmonton Oilers hold the rights to the first overall pick, and Yakupov is widely considered to be a star in the making.
 

Draft hopeful Nail Yakupov takes part in the NHL combine on June 1. The Edmonton Oilers hold the rights to the first overall pick, and Yakupov is widely considered to be a star in the making.

Photograph by: Frank Gunn, THE CANADIAN PRESS

More on This Story

 

The National Hockey League will hold its annual entry draft this weekend, beginning with the first round Friday in Pittsburgh.

Here's just one way things might shake down with the top 30 picks:

1. Edmonton - Once again, Oilers add an offensive dynamo to their stable, this time Russian RW Nail Yakupov . . . 170 points in 107 games in two winters with OHL Sarnia . . . Five-foot-11, 190 pounds.

Central Scouting Service: No. 1; International Scouting Service: No. 1; The Hockey News: No. 1.

---

2. Columbus - Blue Jackets, too, grab a Russian star, C Mikhael Grigorenko, who produced 85 points in 59 games for QMJHL Quebec . . . Six-foot-three, 200 pounds.

CSS: No. 3; ISS: No. 2; THN: No. 3.

---

3. Montreal - In a draft loaded with top-end defencemen, D Ryan Murray goes first. The two-way leader with WHL Everett had 31 points in 46 dates . . . Six-foot-one, 201 pounds.

CSS: No. 2; ISS: No. 3; THN: No. 4.

---

4. New York Islanders - Mathew Dumba, dashing defender of WHL Red Deer, recorded 57 points, including 20 goals, in 69 games . . . Six feet, 183 pounds.

CSS: No. 11; ISS: No. 6; THN: No. 5.

---

5. Toronto - Maple Leafs land steady up-front presence with RW Filip Forsberg, who is big enough to be truculent (six-foot-two, 181 pounds). He had 17 points in 43 games in Sweden's second division.

CSS: No. 1 international skater; ISS: No. 4; THN: No. 2.

---

6. Anaheim - Knee injury limited D Morgan Rielly to only 18 games (and 18 points) for WHL Moose Jaw, but splendid upside kept him in the mix . . . Six feet, 190 pounds.

CSS: No. 5; ISS: No. 8; THN: No. 6.

---

7. Minnesota - Wild gets local-boy Jacob Trouba, a native from Rochester, Minn., and a defensive ace who is bound for the University of Michigan . . . Six-foot-two, 196 pounds.

CSS: No. 9; ISS: No. 5; THN: No. 9.

---

8. Carolina - D Griffin Reinhart, with bloodlines (ex-NHLer father Paul) and size (six foot four, 207 pounds), is a two-way blue-liner . . . Had 36 points in 58 games for WHL Edmonton.

CSS: No. 10; ISS: No. 10; THN: No. 8.

---

9. Winnipeg - Jets add spice to blue line with heavy-shooting D Cody Ceci, who churned out 60 points, including 17 goals, in 64 games for OHL Ottawa . . . Six-foot-two, 207 pounds.

CSS: No. 6; ISS: No. 9; THN: No. 10.

---

10. Tampa Bay - C Alex Galchenyuk, who, because of knee issues, played only two games for OHL Sarnia. But in 2010-11 he rattled off 83 points in 68 games . . . Six-foot-one, 198 pounds.

CSS: No. 4; ISS: No. 16; THN: No. 7.

---

11. Washington (from Colorado) - Expect pure offence from RW Sebastien Collberg, owner of a snappy shot. He had seven points in six games for Sweden at the WJC . . . Five-foot-11, 174 pounds.

CSS: No. 3 international skater; ISS: No. 11; THN: No. 14.

---

12. Buffalo - Sabres get size and offence with C Brendan Gaunce, a six-foot-two, 215 pounder who had 68 points in 68 games for OHL Belleville. Brother Cameron is a Colorado pick.

CSS: No. 13; ISS: No. 7; THN: No. 17.

---

13. Dallas - C Radek Faksa, at six-foot-three and 203 pounds, is a blossoming power forward. The Czech native, as a rookie, produced 67 points in 62 games for OHL Kitchener.

CSS: No. 7; ISS: No. 17; THN: No. 11.

---

14. Calgary - Flames fill need for a two-way defender with D Olli Maatta, a six-foot-two, 202 pounder who recorded 32 points in 58 games for OHL London. Not a sexy pick, but future shut-down guy.

CSS: No. 8; ISS: No. 12; THN: No. 20.

---

15. Ottawa - Well-rounded D Matthew Finn collected 47 points in 61 games for OHL Guelph. At six feet and 195 pounds, he's a steady presence with offensive upside.

CSS: No. 16; ISS: No. 13; THN: No. 18.

---

16. Washington - Unfazed by size, Caps grab LW Teuvo Teravainen (five-foot-11 and 161 pounds). He holds top-end skill, recorded 12 goals in 11 games with Jokerit's juniors.

CSS: No. 2 international skater; ISS: No. 29; THN: No. 12.

---

17. San Jose - D Derrick Pouliot, with excellent offensive instincts, knows how to contribute as he potted 59 points in 72 games for WHL Portland . . . Five-foot-11, 186 pounds.

CSS: No. 12; ISS: No. 19; THN: No. 13.

---

18. Chicago - Committed to the University of Minnesota, D Brady Skjei, by all accounts, is a wonderful skater, but not a dominant force . . . Six-foot-three, 203 pounds. 

CSS: No. 19; ISS: No. 14; THN: No. 26.

---

19. Tampa (from Detroit) - Latvian C Zemgus Girgensons, at six-foot-one and 201 pounds, is nearly ready for the NHL. He recorded 44 points in 43 games for USHL Dubuque and has committed to Vermont.

CSS: No. 18; ISS: No. 20; THN: No. 16.

---

20. Philadelphia - D Ludvig Bystrom skated 20 games in the Swedish Elite League this past winter. He's mobile, poised and defensively aware . . . Six-foot-one, 187 pounds.

CSS: No. 8 international skater; ISS: No. 22; THN: No. 19.

---

21. Buffalo (from Nashville) - A shoulder injury hampered D Slater Koekkoek, but he remained on the radar. He had 18 points in 26 games for OHL Peterborough . . . Six-foot-two, 184 pounds

CSS: No. 23; ISS: No. 18; THN: No. 23.

---

22. Pittsburgh - Skilled enough to play most of the season in the Swedish Elite League, LW Pontus Aberg recorded 15 points in 47 games for Djurgarden.

CSS: No. 6 international skater; ISS: No. 15; THN: No. 22.

---

23. Florida - D Dalton Thrower is an old-schooler, scrappy but well-rounded. He amassed 54 points, and 103 penalty minutes, in 66 games for WHL Saskatoon . . . Five-foot -11, 189 pounds. 

CSS: No. 26; ISS: No. 21; THN: No. 29.

---

24. Boston - RW Thomas Wilson, at six-foot-four and 203 pounds, is rambunctious. In 49 games, the Toronto native provided OHL Plymouth with 27 points and 127 penalty minutes.

CSS: No. 15; ISS: No. 36; THN: No. 25.

---

25. St. Louis - C Tomas Hertl is a playmaker. With Slavia in the Czech men's league, the six-foot-two, 198-pounder registered 25 points in 38 games.

CSS: No. 5 international skater; ISS: No. 23; THN: No. 24.

---

26. Vancouver - Canucks get a player who could be well-rounded, D Mike Matheson. Lots of tools, which he's taking to Boston College . . . Six-foot-one, 180 pounds.

CSS: No. 30; ISS: No. 25; THN: No. 27.

---

27. Phoenix - Tough LW Stefan Matteau provides muscle. The six-foot-one, 210 pounder collected 93 penalty minutes in only 18 games in the USHL.

CSS: No. 17; ISS: No. 24; THN: No. 30.

---

28. New York Rangers - D Hampus Lindholm has upside . . . Not assertive, but dependable . . . Split season with Rogle's junior and men's sides . . . Six-foot-three, 196 pounds.

CSS: No. 4 international skater; ISS: No. 41; THN: No. 15.

---

29. New Jersey - RW Colton Sissons is a go-getter . . . Captain of WHL Kelowna, but not overwhelming offensively (41 points in each of the past two winters) . . . Six-foot-one, 189 pounds.

CSS: No. 14; ISS: No. 26; THN: No. 40.

---

30. Columbus (from Los Angeles) - Brother of you-know-who, G Malcolm Subban starred for OHL Belleville (25-14-0, 2.50 GAA, .923) . . . Six-foot-one, 188 pounds.

CSS: No. 1 domestic goalie; ISS: No. 2 goalie; THN: No. 48.

Calgary Herald

scruickshank@calgaryherald.com

Twitter.com/CruickshankCH


 
 
 
Font:
 
 
 
 
Draft hopeful Nail Yakupov takes part in the NHL combine on June 1. The Edmonton Oilers hold the rights to the first overall pick, and Yakupov is widely considered to be a star in the making.
 

Draft hopeful Nail Yakupov takes part in the NHL combine on June 1. The Edmonton Oilers hold the rights to the first overall pick, and Yakupov is widely considered to be a star in the making.

Photograph by: Frank Gunn, THE CANADIAN PRESS

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles and blog posts. We are committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion, so we ask you to avoid personal attacks, and please keep your comments relevant and respectful. If you encounter a comment that is abusive, click the "X" in the upper right corner of the comment box to report spam or abuse. We are using Facebook commenting. Visit our FAQ page for more information.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Your voice
How are you finding your favourite teams on Rogers new TV package?
 
Just fine, no problems
I am baffled by all the choices and the different channels
My team is blacked out sometimes
No worries, I have NHL Centre Ice
Doesn't matter, my team sucks