Photo Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Mock Draft 1.0 – Post Lottery Edition

The Draft Lottery has come and gone. Your dreams of the Oilers landing Rasmus Dahlin have been smashed. The fantasy of adding Svechnikov or Zadina to McDavid’s wing is no more. It’s not all doom and gloom though. Ladies, gentlemen and all my fellow draft nerds out there it’s officially mock draft season!

The Oilers fell from ninth to 10th, which isn’t near as bad as the year they fell down from second to fourth and missed out on Patrik Laine. TSN 1260 Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie joined my show on Friday and said there is a clear top nine in this year’s draft. At first, that doesn’t sound like good news for the Oilers but there is always at least one off the board pick in the top ten so I’m guessing Peter Chiarelli will have a chance to get his hands on one of Bob’s top nine.

Ok, enough with the chit chat, here is my first Mock Draft of the season. Enjoy, or feel no joy at all.

1. Buffalo Sabres – Rasmus Dahlin (D)

The Sabres won’t hesitate to select Dahlin so I didn’t bother taking the time to come up with some creative reason for them to pass on the Swedish sensation. It would make sense to have Dahlin join Rasmus Ristolainen on the Sabres top pair for the next decade or so. Is Dahlin the piece that finally brings the Sabres back to respectability? I’m not sure I will go that far but worse case scenario we have the first ever Rasmus-Rasmus d-pair in the history of the NHL….I think.

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2. Carolina Hurricanes – Andrei Svechnikov (RW)

Why have the Hurricanes basically been a tweener for the last ten years? The common answer seems to be the fact that they don’t have a game breaker. That’s about to change. I spoke with two OHL scouts while putting this piece together and they both told me that he has solidified himself as the clear-cut number two prospect in this draft. Teravainen-Aho-Svechnikov could eventually become the significant offensive trio the Hurricanes have been desperately lacking. On the other hand Svechnikov could realize the owner appears to be a control freak and simply request a trade to avoid the madness.

3. Montreal Canadians – Filip Zadina (RW)

The Habs are desperate for offence, Zadina provides that at an elite level. Marc Bergevin, as a desperate GM, may be willing to listen to all options for this pick so he might be a target to move down. Trading out of a top-three spot in this draft would be a major mistake in my opinion. One more thing to think about here. The Canadiens do have a history of using first round picks on players from the United States. If there was one surprising off the board pick I could see the Habs pulling the trigger on Oliver Wahlstrom at three.

4. Ottawa Senators – Brady Tkachuk (LW)

The Senators actually already have a pretty solid group of prospects up front. Logan Brown, Colin White, Drake Batherson, Alex Formenton and Filip Chlapik headline an intriguing prospect pool for the Sens. What I’m saying is the Senators have a greater need on the blue line long term but Tkachuk is likely too solid of a prospect to pass up at four. The Senators may be able to trade down a couple of spots, pick up an extra pick and land a d-man anywhere from five to ten.

5. Arizona Coyotes – Quinn Hughes (D)

If the Coyotes plan on moving Oliver Ekman-Larsson at some point over the next 12 months they may want to stock up the blue line. Hughes already has a year of NCAA hockey under his belt. He skates well enough and thinks the game at a level that could lead to him making his NHL debut before the age of 20.

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6. Detroit Red Wings – Jesperi Kotkaniemi (C)

There are so many defensemen still on the board here but the Red Wings have only used one first rounder on a d-man in the last ten years. Kotkaniemi’s stock has been rising thanks to a solid U-18 tournament. He is drawing comparisons to both Alexander Barkov and Mikko Rantanen in their draft years. The way I see it the Wings only have one centre among their top ten prospects so I could see them being the team that pulls the trigger on Kotkaniemi a little earlier than some expect.

7. Vancouver Canucks – Evan Bouchard (D)

Evan Bouchard is thought by many to be the second-best defenseman in this draft so at this point it’s a no-brainer for the Canucks. Bouchard has been an absolute workhorse in London and scouts believe his offensive game will translate well into the National Hockey league.

8. Chicago Blackhawks – Oliver Wahlstrom (RW)

This is my mock draft and even I am surprised that I let him slide this far. I could see Wahlstrom going as high as three and would be shocked if he falls below eight. It also seems like things always fall the way of the Hawks, cough, cough, DeBrincat, cough cough. Wahlstrom simply scores goals and last time I checked you still need goals to be successful in the NHL.

9. New York Rangers – Adam Boqvist (D)

Boqvist is an all-world talent offensively but has dealt with concussions issues this season. I honestly believe concussion concerns would be the only reason he’s still on the board at nine. He isn’t a big guy but has a booming shot, which helps him as a weapon on the PP. He may have the most upside among defensemen not named Rasmus.

10. Edmonton Oilers – Noah Dobson (D)

The Oilers are in a prime spot waiting for one of the so-called top nine in this draft to slide down to them in the ten hole. In this first version of my mock that player is Noah Dobson. He is a defenseman that checks off a lot of boxes for the Oilers. He’s 6’3, shoots right, is an incredible skater and was a point-per-game player in the QMJHL this season. In the end, I believe the Oilers will end up taking whichever one of the top five d-men is still on the board at ten and as of today, I think it could be Dobson.

And The Award Goes To……

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Defenseman Most Likely To Join Dahlin In The Top Three – Adam Boqvist

Player Most Likely To Fall Out Of The Top Ten – Jesperi Kotkaniemi

Player I’d Like To See On The Board At Ten For the Oilers – Adam Boqvist

Team Most Likely To Move Down – Ottawa Senators

Team Most Likely To Move Up – New York Rangers

Recently by Dustin Nielson

  • What-a-Mike

    I believe that Keith Gretzky will be the strongest advisor in this draft with Chiarelli making the official call. From what I’ve heard, Gretzky has been choosing very good draft picks consistently …. on record. Being at #10 and not moving up or down, IMO, I believe the Oilers have already decided to first try for a RHD kid, and then secondly, if need be, a top skating and shooting prospect. Those type good size (6 feet plus/strong) RHD kids are such as Bouchard, Dobson, or Bode Wilde. If not any of these kids then the Oilers should go for forwards like any of Wahlstrom, Kotkaniemi, or Farabee…. maybe even Veleno/Hayton…. if available. I would keep the 10th pick for any of these kids. The Oilers need very good prospects this year as the cupboard is only now starting to fill up. With what is coming to the Condors now as AHL rookies and with the one very good prospects coming back, the Oiler will start to get into much better farm team strength. I’m looking at not only with the uopcoming Seattle expansion coming in but also looking at how empty of new picks teams… like the Flames (no picks for rounds 1, 2 and 3 this year already) … are going to be the next two years. The Oilers have been running empty far too long and its time to keep adding.

  • Rama Lama

    I have confidence that PC will somehow turn this pick into a trainer, skate sharpener, hockey sticks, or a Wayne Gretzky bobble doll.

    He is that kid that every one wanted to trade with because he was willing to give up his Bobby Orr first edition card for a half eaten peanut butter and Jelly sandwich.

  • Oil9744

    Boqvist at 9 or 10? No way that’s happening, he’s probably going 5th I’d say over Hughes, and we’re not getting Dobson either, Ty Smith is a very good defencemen who runs the power play with the Spokane chiefs, was captain for team canada and him and Yamamoto are great friends and teammates already so I can see the oilers getting him at 10, He’s under sized and shoots left but has a ton of upside to his game, Bode Wilde is a bigger 2 way dman who still has some offence side to his game and is a right shot so he would still be a good pick up, I’m hoping the oilers trade the pick for a good NHL defencemen at the draft but if they use the pick I’m thinking it will be one of those two guys. I hope your right about Dobson though.

    • WhoreableGuy

      Man, I hope Button is right for once and he’s still there at 10.

      Remember he signed Roman Turek to a 4 year deal for $19 million after he had like a good first 15 games to a season? It’s kind of equivalent to trading an unprotected 1st Round pick for Travis Hamonic.

  • Facts

    Joe Veleno (if thats how his name is spelt) is the guy to watch as a sleeper coming out of this draft. Could turn into a top 6 center or a bottom 6 AHLer. Knowing our luck the Oilers “brain”-“trust” will pick him and he’ll turn into a dud.

  • What-a-Mike

    If anyone thinks the Oilers should make a trade package for a top RHD or even LHD, and/or top 6 winger now then where is the money for these guys. You got the young three core guys of McD, Drai, and Nuge (do not trade these guys) at what now?…26 mil per year. Then the Oilers are absolutely stuck with Kucic, Sekera, and Russell on NMC at 15 mil per year. That’s about 41 mil. The only way for a trade is one of Lucic, Skea and Russell wanting to leave…and with the season these three just poorly had…who in their right minds of the other 30 teams would want these three? The core of McD, Nuge and Drai…with young guys Nurse, Larsson, and Klef make the team going forward very good (if all stay healthy and keep improving). With the team able to draft well enough and kids in the AHL playing very good enough, the future of playoffs will come back fast enough. In one to two yrs, Sekera and Russell have limited trade agreements and the Oil pick up a very good RHD like Bouchard, Dobson, Wilde or…. then one of Ty Smith/Boqvist, they will be close enough for the NHL at that time with Ethan Bear, Caleb Jones, Lagesson, and/or Mantha also coming up on the blueline. Keep the 10th!!!! and build up the farm team now. How many times are people going to keep repeat asking to get a top very good RHD prospect… in drafts and/or deals (without losing trades or assets)….and develop the kid…but don’t do anything for this?

      • fasteddy

        Based on what evidence exactly? Look up his drafting….I don’t actually believe GM’s have much to do with the draft other than calling out the names at the podium, but if you want to give them the credit/criticism, look up his track record; it’s below avg at best.

  • LordRuggles

    I think grabbing a rhd is the best bet, and as for trading the pick: I will posit that a second round pick and a prospect could still pry a piece away from a team looking for a change.

  • LordRuggles

    It is not often in a draft that there are so many highly touted right hand defenders, which is a position the oilers seem to struggle to fill, this is a golden opportunity to grab a great prospect to fill that hole down the road, why squander this chance? Would you rather have Faulk and have to pay him millions in two years, or have a stud on the ascent on an elc?

  • TKB2677

    I keep flipping back and forth if I would trade the pick or keep it. I don’t think the Oilers roster is a dumpster fire but they have some holes and the Oilers need help NOW. They could use help up front and on defense. A first rounder is ALWAYS the most valuable at the draft. There is the potential that they could package the first with something to get a player who would immediately step in and help them. There is also always the chance that a draft pick doesn’t work out. Yakupov was the consensus #1 by pretty much ever scouting service and he’s a borderline NHLer. The issue I have with drafting a player especially if it ends up being a dman is the time it will take for that dman to make the league. If you go down the list of dmen drafted, they usually take at least 4 yrs to truly make the team and contribute. There is the odd one that is sooner but that’s pretty rare. You can look at the Oilers. Nurse was drafted in 2013. He went back to junior and played 1 more yr. Then made the team in his 20 yr old season. He probably should have went back to junior but he didn’t. This season was probably his best year and he still had his ups and downs. The previous seasons, he was pretty erratic. Count them up, that is 5 seasons from when he was drafted. You can look at other teams. Ellis on the Preds. Played 2 more season of junior after he was drafted, then spent the next 2 seasons in the AHL/NHL then in his 5th season after his draft was in the NHL full time. That is just 2 examples, there are tons more with very similar timelines.

    So that is why I wonder about trading it. The Oilers should be in win now mode. If they draft a dman which so far unless some teams go crazy and let one of the few high end forwards drop a long way, all the mock drafts seem to show that a dman will end up being who is available. Waiting 4-5 seasons for a guy they draft this year to make the team full time and maybe be playing passable NHL hockey is a long freaking time.

  • Hockey123

    1. Buffalo Rasmus Dahlin
    2. Carolina Andrei Svechnikov
    3. Montreal Filip Zadina
    4. Ottawa Adam Boqvist
    5. Arizona Quinn Hughes
    6. Detroit Noah Dobson
    7. Vancouver Brady Tkachuk
    8. Chicago Evan Bouchard
    9. New York Oliver Wahlstrom
    10. Edmonton Jesperi Kotkaniemi if gone then Barrett Hayton

  • Arfguy

    If possible, I’d aim for a defenceman who is more mobile than a shooter. I think you can show players how to shoot and pass, but I don’t think you can train a player to be a good skater.

    Having said that, I’d like to see if the Oilers can get a Ryan Merkley. Merkley was suggested by someone on this forum. From the very little I see of him, I see potential from strong breakout skating, to strong awareness in the offensive zone. I like Dobson, but I think Merkley would be a better choice. No way we can get both of them, is there?

    • Hitman77

      If Boqvist, Bouchard, Hughes, and Dobson are gone by 10, I take a long look at Merkley. From I what I’ve read, he’s a dynamic offensive RHD. Yes, there are concerns about his defensive side of the game but he’s high risk, high reward. Also heard questions about his character but if he tried anything stupid in the bigs, Looch or Kass would probably tune him in.

  • WillyWonka

    If Chia is smart he trades the pick and other pieces for a top defenseman. The team is not in rebuild mode but is in win now mode or at least it should be

      • Tooleybuc

        Only 1 prospect interests me, Brady Tkachuk. Chia should be aggressively trying to move into the top 3-5, to secure Tkachuk. All other prospects (especially D-men) are too risky, short of the number one guy. Why take a risk at this point in the McDavid era? Go after the SURE thing. Tkachuk is the perfect winger to play alongside either McDavid or Draisaitl for the next 10 years. It’s a no brainer. What I can’t figure out is why the Oilers were dumb enough to win game 82 (in overtime), just to slip back a couple of picks. What a bunch of morons.