Nathan MacKinnon headlines a strong group of 2013 draft eligibles who will be playing at the 2013 World Junior Championships. Canada has an unusually large number of draft eligibles–three–and each of them looks like they’ll be strong prospects for the 2013 entry draft.


  • #29 L Jonathan Drouin, Halifax (QMJHL): The Rocket man from this year’s draft/WJ roster, Drouin is being considered my many a lock for the lottery region this coming draft. Undersized, ridiculous hands. 48 points in 24 QMJHL games this season. Craig Button: "When he’s on the ice he’s always dangerous. That and the chemistry that he and MacKinnon have developed have made them as threatening a duo as there is in junior hockey.  They intimidate opponents and electrify fans, and have certainly excited NHL scouts with their play to this point."
  • #23 C Nathan MacKinnon, Halifax (QMJHL): Offers a wide range of skills combined with an eagerness to engage. He might be special, and is strong and  a powerful skater. 52 points in 30 Q games, including 22 goals. Craig Button: "His skating is excellent with first step quickness that is exceptional. It allows him to beat defenders and create opportunities in a flash. He has great hands and is able to manoeuvre the puck in the tight areas. His shot is quick and accurate and he doesn’t allow goalies to get a read on it. He is forceful and at times may be inclined to shoot first rather than consider passing options, but his playmaking is very good. He’s a single-minded player in his approach and his determination, along with his skill, allows him to have an impact the game and to do so at the most important times. A clear cut No. 1 centre."
  • #17 R JC Lipon, Kamloops (WHL): 19-year old passed through the NHL draft twice but teams are kicking themselves now. He’s 22-35-57 in 34 games and is getting all kinds of attention for his talent and effort. His head coach Guy Charron: "When you’re 16 or 17, you may have an image of what you think you are as a player, but sometimes you need direction. I know as a 16-year-old, JC thought he was what he is now, but he wasn’t ready for that. He was the type of player who would sometimes play fourth line, or third line, some games he would be very good. In the last couple years, he’s really matured and determined what kind of player he needs to be. Now he’s getting the dividends of his commitment."


  • #3 D Seth Jones, Portland (WHL): Oh. My. God. What a prospect! 31, 8-20-28 so far in the WHL, he’ll be one of the first two names off the board at the draft.Craig Button: "Seth has the rare combination of skill, size and power which allows him to impact the game in multiple ways and in just about any conceivable situation. He is blessed with great athletic ability and he moves about the ice with ease and with the ability to use his skating to his advantage either defensively or offensively. He understands how to use his advantages to gain the upper hand and whether it is a skill situation or a physical situation, he’s able to do it a forceful manner. He is an excellent passer who remains composed under pressure and he has a heavy and hard shot which poses considerable challenges for goalies. He takes charge on the ice in some way and the word that comes to mind when you watch him is ‘unique.’ A cornerstone defenceman."
  • #18 F Cole Bardreau, Cornell (NCAA): Bardreau is not a skill player, but is effective as a defensive forward and plays an aggressive game. Bardreau has a great motor on him and isn’t afraid to throw his body around. He’s also got a great on-ice work ethic.
  • #21 L Ryan Hartman, Plymouth (OHL): I’ve read that he plays a powerforward game, but at 5.10 that sounds like an accident waiting to happen. Skilled forward, he is 32, 12-17-29 in the OHL this season. Redline Report: "He’s a feisty, prickly competitor who spent the last two seasons playing for U.S. NTDP. Last year, he had 16 goals, 41 points and 136 penalty minutes. His father played college soccer at South Carolina." Craig Button: "If Hartman was two inches taller, we’d call him Bill Guerin."


The Mayans are tough to factor, but that aside hockey fans get a great look at the very best talent available in the 2013 draft this Christmas. Seth Jones and Nathan MacKinnon represent the top level talent, but I’d suggest we should keep our eyes on men like Lipon and Hartman too.

Up next: the Swedes, the Finns and the Swiss.


  • DSF

    What does it all mean?

    Columbus has 3 (count ’em) first round draft choices.

    With John Davidson now in charge, the Jackets are going to get much better very quickly. (if they survive nuclear winter)

      • DSF

        Howson is no longer running the show.

        John Davidson and Craig Patrick are.

        The STL Blues finished with 109 points last season.

        The Oilers, led by Kevin Lowe and Steve Tambellini finished with 74.

        I know where I would put my money.

  • Lowetide

    DSF: I haven’t really followed their scouting department–has there been any changeover since JD arrived? I worry less about Columbus in the draft as opposed to Detroit, NJD or toronto.

    • DSF

      Not seeing it.

      Larsson and?

      I think Columbus is in a very special place in the upcoming draft.

      They have already solidified their defense with Tyutin, Nikitin, Johnson and Ryan Murray and with Tim Erixon, John Moore and David Savard on the way.

      Boone Jenner, Ryan Johansen, Matt Calvert and Cam Atkinson all look like the real deal at forward so, if they can find the right scoring forwards (and maybe Seth Jones), they should be able to make a quick leap up the standings.

      Trading Nash, reminds me of the trade of Brent Burns from Minnesota to San Jose.

      Minnesota ended up with Devin Setoguchi, Charlie Coyle and Zack Phillips in that trade and now have signed Ryan Suter to replace Burns.


      With the Nash trade, the Jackets also acquired Dubinksy, Ansimov and Erixon.

      Makes you wonder what the Oilers could have done if they had traded Hemsky when he had value.

      • Good take on CBJ.

        Agreed with Booner, I am not sold on Johansen after last year going from first line to fourth.

        Now that they have Dubinsky who can play center and Anisimov I don’t see where Johansen fits in? maybe a deal there I think which could be parlyed into another high pick for CBJ.

        Not a huge fan of Jack Johnson as well.
        I suspect if CBJ gets even an average goaltender they will leap frog a lot of WC teams.

      • DSF

        One can objectively look at the moves being made by other franchises and appreciate them without “loving” them.

        If Columbus can manage to draft the right three players in the first round (no guarantee of that) they are in prime position to rebuild their franchise in very short order.

        With JD and Craig Patrick in charge, I think there’s a pretty good chance they get the job done.

        How would you like a defense that features:

        Seth Jones-Ryan Murray

        Fedor Tyutin-Jack Johnson

        Nikita Nikitin-Tim Erixon

        John Moore-David Savard


          • 24% body fat

            You’ve started hating Petry! How come you can look at any other teams prospects who haven’t played any games and declare them an amazing future group while hating the future oilers d that has Justin Schultz, Klefbom, Petry, Marincin, Smid, Musil, Tuebert, Gernat, Simpson, Fedun, (and Probably Ryan Pullock since MacGregor has already declared his love for him) and say that’s garbage! I’m not even sure if you watch hockey.

          • geoilersgist

            I was trying to come up with a reason you could think Columbus has a bright future and Edmonton’s is terrible. I couldn’t. You like Brassard and think Gagner sucks. Listing a perennial basement dwelling team with all their prospects and saying that they are just three first round picks away from being good is ridiculous. Many teams are three first round picks from being greatly improved. I don’t understand. It’s just wrong. Edmonton has Taylor freaking Hall! And Jordan Eberle, you may have heard of him. He’s pretty good. Ryan nugent-Hopkins, Nail Yakupov. Maybe you just didn’t know these players were on Edmonton.

          • GVBlackhawk

            When I read your comment it actually made me laugh out loud. Thanks for brightening my day with your satire!

            “…Johnson would immediately be the Oilers #1D”.

            Too funny. Keep those gems coming please.

  • Time Travelling Sean

    Coyle and Phillips haven’t even played a game yet, and Setoguichi regressed a little last year but is still a pretty decent secondary player.

    Also Suter is making 7.5M for the next 13 years, have fun with that.

    Also that CBJ forward group doesn’t look very impressive, granted they’re just starting their rebuild/retool.

    Also when did Hemmer have value when we were rebuilding? How many teams want a guy on the IR?

    • DSF

      This is all about projection.

      Yakupov hasn’t played a game either.

      The CLB forward group is still relatively weak but does already have some fine prospects in Johansen, Atkinson, Brassard, etc. If they can pick up 2 or 3 blue chip players in the draft, they could be very good, very soon.

  • Time Travelling Sean

    So they have a very good blue chip player in Johansen, Brassard, a player who is as good as Gagner, maybe a little better, and a 5’8 player in Atkinson who has played all of 27 games. They just need 3 more players?

    We have Hall, Eberle, Hemmer, RNH, Gagner, Smyth, and Jones and we still finished 29th.

    Our D is weaker than theres, but don’t forget Erik Johnson was a 1st overall pick too. Barker was a 3rd overall, Jack Johnson was as well, and so was Bogosian, so D men are sort of quirky, or prone to not panning out more often than elite forward prospects.

  • RexLibris

    New Jersey does have to forfeit either this year or next. I believe they have to declare at least 24 hours prior, so they can wait until after the lottery (presumably) and then make the call.

    Massive, unbelievable screw-up if you ask me. Should’ve forfeited last year.

    About Columbus, they not only have three picks, but if we do go to a wholesale lottery akin to 2005, their chances skyrocket relative to other teams. They not only have a great shot at 1st overall, but they could take two picks and trade up, or maybe even conceivably land two in the top five. Howson may have driven the bus into the ditch, but the rewards seem to be piling up.

    It would have been nice if Tambellini could’ve swindled Howson once before he got replaced.

    All that being said, the right calls will have to be made with this good fortune.

    As for Columbus’ scouting staff, they were largely cleared out the day after the draft. Fired only a few hours after consummating their entire season’s work.

  • Oilertown

    You mean the Ryan Murray that is out for the whole year and like you say DSF if there is no year what’s the chances of Columbus picking that high give it a rest already you make me want to puke.

    • GVBlackhawk

      Smid and N. Schultz are so much better defensively than Johnson. It’s not even close.

      Petry is more well rounded than Johnson because he actually has a modicum of defensive ability.

      J. Schultz is more offensively gifted than Johnson.

      And to top it off….Johnson’s contract is atrocious.

      • longbottom/P.Biglow

        Time for you to stop evaluating players from NHL13 or 12 or 95 or whatever.
        Please watch a freaking game.
        wheww feels better to get that off my chest.
        I have never seen a guy with so much blind hate for the Oilers and still have very little to say.

        Now I won’t comment on his Hockey IQ as he does bring up the odd good point and I am considered the homer of all homers here and just about everywhere else, but WOW to consider Columbus’s future brighter than Edmontons?? ( I do believe that is what he was getting at with his trolling.)

        • Max Powers - Team HME Evans

          He’s an antagonist. He has no real opinion he just wants to generate controversy, which generates attention which is what he really wants.

          He knows CBJ’s future is not brighter than the Oilers. Just saying that is going to ruffle alot of peoples feathers which is, again, why he did it.

          BTW I enjoy your posts, Longbottom, and have read a couple of your blogs, albeit quite a while ago. Good stuff.

  • The Oilers Shot Clock

    Columbus is in good shape to turn things around. So is Edmonton. Hemsky is just one good season away from reclaiming his value. The Penner trade was very solid. Gagner might be the backup plan but he’d still fetch a return if we moved him. How he plays this season, and who we draft in the first round this summer will determine if he’s going somewhere else I’d suspect. Stanley Cup champs have holes in them too.
    Im glad Omark might get a shot with Detroit, and Im even happier he has some form of value now.Less than a year ago we almost gave him away for free. What does he fetch?…a third-fourth if more than one team is interested? What would we need to add to Omark to get Abdelkader? We need another full timer who can make players like Eager and questionable callups redundant(Lander).

  • The Soup Fascist

    Speaking of Columbus … Stauffer was peddling Gretzky as the next commish. I see very little chance of that happening.

    When this mess is cleaned up and Bettman moves along – am I crazy to think John Davidson would be a very good commissioner of the NHL? Ex-player, GM, president, media wag with a good head for business. Well respected around the NHL. Plus in a couple years he will be fresh off a Stanley Cup win with Blue Jackets – sorry couldn’t help myself DSF.

    But seriously I think he would be great.

  • Rogue


    Who is the little Fox???????????

    I would also like to thank Lowetide for all the Great articles. It keeps me interested in hockey,as there is not much else to keep that spirit alive. And thanks for the Girls, too!

    Merry Christmas!!

  • Romulus' Apotheosis

    is there any wowy info on the Druin/MacKinnon connection?

    It would be interesting to see if one is driving the ship (somewhat) alone.

    ps. ripping on Smid is the single dumbest thing ever.