MOCK!

I don’t do mock drafts, but with this year’s edition of the draft full of more plot twists than a Whodunit, I thought it might be fun. Hope you enjoy it!

TOP 5

  • Colorado at #1: L Jonathan Drouin. Drouin’s outstanding season is too difficult to ignore. Does more than anyone else to contribute to goals, the most difficult thing to do in the game. I think he is a special offensive player.
  • Florida at #2: C Nathan MacKinnon. Absolutely a plug and play, he should step in immediately and should be an early Calder favorite.Could certainly go number one overall. 
  • Tampa Bay at #3: D Seth Jones. Incredible that he could fall this far, and the Lightning would have to consider themselves extremely fortunate to land a franchise defenseman at this number. If the two Q players do go off the board as I’ve described, suspect the Lightning will receive a lot of offers for this selection.
  • Nashville at #4: C Sasha Barkov: This is the selection I’m most comfortable with in the top 5. Nashville needs a franchise C and Barkov is a plug and play.
  • Carolina at #5: L Valeri Nichushkin. The big Russian had an enormous impact on the draft at this year’s NHL combine. I think he has a huge impact on the Oilers selection at #7.

FIVE THROUGH TEN

  • Calgary at #6: C Elias Lindholm. Lindholm has an impressive resume and could come to the NHL next season. Among the best offensive players available in this year’s draft.
  • Edmonton at #7: C Sean Monahan. Outstanding 2-way center with enough offense to be considered a strong 2line C candidate when he arrives in the NHL. This is a ‘perfect fit’ for Edmonton.
  • Buffalo at #8: D Darnell Nurse: If Monahan isn’t there, I expect the Oilers to take Nurse or deal down. Buffalo takes Nurse and he could come quickly to the NHL.
  • New Jersey at #9 D Rasmus Ristolainen:  A nice range of skills, could play sooner than later. NJD will like the fact that he has played in a league against men and flourished. 
  • Dallas at #10: C Curtis Lazar: Another perfect match for team and player. Lazar impresses with spirited play and attention to defensive detail, and is tough to play against. The offense helps too.

ELEVEN THROUGH TWENTY

  • Philadelphia at #11: C Fred Gauthier. Perfect Flyer selection. Don’t worry, Oilers will have their chance to get him when Holmgren decides to trade good players again.
  • Phoenix at #12: C Hunter Shinkaruk: Phoenix takes the best pure offensive player remaining in the draft. They’ll have to wait a couple of years (probably) but he should impact the offense on arrival.
  • Winnipeg at #13: C Bo Horvat. Winnipeg stays where they are and get an outstanding center who probably has enough offense to play on the second line when he arrives as an NHL player. Great value.
  • Columbus at #14: C Max Domi. Solid offense and a determined player, I do think his draft number suffered a little because of his Memorial Cup performance.
  • New York Islanders at #15: L Anthony Mantha. Scored 50 goals in the QMJHL this past season, and there is some talk he is NHL ready. The Islanders have to like the combination.
  • Buffalo at #16: C Alex Wennberg. Taking a defenseman in the top 10 allows the Sabres to reach a little for this lanky Swede who has a nice range of skills.
  • Ottawa at #17: L Kerby Rychel. A trending prospect, skilled and with a mean streak. Ottawa passes on some nice defensive options to take him, reaching a little.
  • Detroit at #18: D Ryan Pulock. A nice selection at this number, Pulock can do it all and has a plus shot. Best of all, the Red Wings will be very patient with him.
  • Columbus at #19: D Josh Morrissey. Fast, skilled and a player who impressed everyone with his season.
  • San Jose at #20: C Nicolas Petan. Small but very skilled. His offensive potential gets him here.

TWENTY-ONE THROUGH THIRTY

  • Toronto at #21: D Nikita Zadorov. Big Russian defender falls with the other blue in this draft, but represents solid value for the Leafs at this number.
  • Calgary Flames at #22: G Zachary Fucale. The Flames start the march of masked men in this draft by taking the highest ranked G on Craig Button’s board.
  • Washington Capitals at #23: L Adam Erne. Skill winger has some toughness, should cover this bet.
  • Vancouver Canucks at #24: C JT Compher. Skill C is also an agitator.
  • Montreal at #25: C Laurent Daupin. Impressive skill, maybe a slight reach.
  • Anaheim at #26: L Artturi Lehkonen. Undersized skill winger with terrific potential.
  • Columbus at #27: D Mirco Mueller. Smart defender with plenty of skill.
  • Calgary at #28: D Madison Bowey. Terrific skater, good value at this number.
  • Dallas at #29: R Valentin Zykov. Physical skill player, he’s the return for Jaromir Jagr. Quality NHL prosect.
  • Chicago at #30: C Ryan Hartman: Physical player, tough to play against.

As for the Oilers, I think they could pick 4th, 7th, 10th, 13th or trade out of the first round altogether. Completely unpredictable. What a week!

  • Nice mock LT.

    I’m close but no way I have Lazar ahead of Horvat or Shinkaruk.

    The rest is solid though, call it personnel preference on the Lazar.

    I would love to see the Oilers o two things at the draft, move up to 5 th.

    Make a deal with NJD on there pick as well.

    NJD have to see the writing on the wall, this is the one team that I think will be a lottery team next year, I’m not sure Lou wants to give away a lottery pick?

    • Supernova

      Wes,

      I have Horvat, Lazar, then Shinaruk.

      I think you and I have traded posts in the past about these 3, and are pretty much in agreement on how we view them.

      After having seen Shinaruk play live about 60 times, I am very confident he needs to play with high skill players.

      I see NJ taking a chance on Shinkaruk.

      I can see buffalo and Dallas in on either Horvat or Lazar.

      Mocks are hard because you are trying to predict teams not overall players.

      Shinaruk could be a star but he needs the right situation more than the other two.

      • I like your choices, and good points, I also think Shinkaruk is fairly one dimensional, but it’s a good one to have.

        Hard to say if his game will come around? I think it’s easier to teach defensive positioning then it is to be a gifted offensive player, that’s why I switch the two (Shinkaruk vs Lazar)

    • Word to the Bird

      Something about NJ is that they still owe that 1st round pick to the league for the Kovalchuk fiasco.
      So if they at a bottomfeeder next year as you say, they best dump this year or it could get a little embarrassing.
      Correct me if I am wrong but I am pretty sure this is correct.