The Nation Network’s 2013 Mock Draft continues, with the close of the first round.
The Top 20
Some brief notes on the voting for 11-20: Bo Horvat and Nikita Zadorov were neck and neck, with Max Domi slightly behind, after which there was a sharp drop, followed by Ryan Pulock and Curtis Lazar and then another sharp drop. After Lazar, the remaining prospects were grouped extremely close together by our readers. Eight different players received multiple votes to go in the 11th overall spot and didn’t end up making the top-20.
All profiles are my own views, based in some cases to some degree on personal viewing but more generally based on a reading of scouting reports – in particular, from Future Considerations, Hockey Prospectus, The Hockey News, and TSN. The candidates:
Madison Bowey (WHL: 69GP, 12-18-30). The right-shooting defenceman’s greatest gift is likely his mobility and his ability to make a good outlet pass. His offensive totals have been good but not spectacular, he has good size (6’1”, 201 pounds) but doesn’t play an overly physical game, and like most young players he needs to get a little tighter defensively.
Pavel Buchnevich (KHL: 12GP, 1-1-2). Hands and hockey sense stand out as superb, and he certainly has top-six talent in the NHL. His skating gets mixed reviews – Future Considerations loves that part of his game, but Corey Pronman quotes one scout who describes it as only average. The KHL factor is another consideration, as is his lack of bulk. This is a player who could go anywhere in the draft: Corey Pronman has him at 17, while he doesn’t crack the top-100 of The Hockey News.
Andre Burakovsky (SWE2: 43GP, 4-7-11). The 6’1” Burakovsky gets top marks for his vision in the offensive zone and his skating, and he’s seen as a player with a potentially massive offensive upside. His physical game is hit and miss, and his defensive positioning could apparently be improved upon.
J.T. Compher (USHL: 21GP, 7-17-24). He only stands 5’11”, but Compher’s strength and tenacity mean height isn’t a major issue. There are questions about his offensive ceiling – he has good skills in all areas but lacks high-level scoring tools – but he’s seen as a character forward that plays a physical, defensively responsible game.
Laurent Dauphin (QMJHL: 62GP, 25-32-57). Dauphin gets strong marks for his vision, and he’s a good skater with some elusivity too. He’s 6’ but thin at 170 pounds (or less, depending on the outlet) and he needs to bulk up because while he’s apparently very willing to engage in physical battles he isn’t strong enough to win as many as he could.
Jacob De La Rose (SWE2: 38GP, 6-6-12). The 6’2” right wing plays a tough two-way game and is seen as a safe pick because he’s already such a physical competitor and has excellent defensive awareness. Speed, toughness, and character are all seen as strengths; the only question is whether his offence is good enough to play on a skill line – some feel he has the necessary tools, others expect him to end up as a checker.
Jason Dickinson (OHL: 66GP, 18-29-47). A 6’1” forward listed variably at centre and left wing, Dickinson likely would have been selected higher if the draft were held in January – he started strong and trailed off as the year continued. He needs to bulk up, but he does have solid offensive instincts and is blessed with excellent hockey sense.
Zachary Fucale (QMJHL: 45-5-3, 0.909 SV%). The less-heralded teammate of Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin is still without question the consensus top goalie of the 2013 Draft. He has solid size and is seen as positionally sound and economical rather than flashy. Was a first-team QMJHL all-star.
Robert Hagg (SWE Jr.: 28GP, 11-13-24). A 6’2” defenceman who also played 27 games in Sweden’s men’s league (picking up one assist), Hagg is a high-end skater with excellent vision and passing ability, a hard shot and a competent physical game. His own-zone work gets mixed reviews.
Ryan Hartman (OHL: 56GP, 23-37-60). Hartman plays a complete game on right wing: he hits, he scores and he defends. An above average skater, the only things keeping Hartman from going earlier are a combination of a) below average size (5’11”, 180 pounds) for such a physical player and b) questions about how his offensive ceiling is in the NHL.
Connor Hurley (USHL: 11GP, 1-7-8). If he was one day younger, Hurley would be going in the 2014 Draft. Hurley spent most of the year playing high school hockey before moving over to the higher-quality USHL. He’s a little on the raw side, but the 6’1” left wing has solid skating, offensive tools, and hockey sense.
Morgan Klimchuk (WHL: 72GP, 36-40-76). A good offensive player who puts as much effort in on the backcheck as he does while scoring. Klimchuk is a good skater, can pass and shoot with equal ability and thinks the game well at both ends of the ice. On the downside, the left wing isn’t overly big and doesn’t add much physically.
Artturi Lehkonen (FIN: 45GP, 14-16-30). Lehkonen is not only a pure goal-scorer with fantastic numbers, but scouts rave about his hockey sense. He plays either wing, has good vision but is primarily a shooter, and despite being undersized (roughly 5’10”, 155 pounds) he has plenty of grit to his game. Corey Pronman notes he suffered from concussion problems this season.
Michael McCarron (USHL: 19GP, 5-5-10). McCarron is a 6’5”, 225 pound right wing, and size and strength are unsurprisingly the biggest positives on his resume. He gets the “skates well for a big man” tag, and his offensive game gets mixed reviews – maybe he’s a power forward putting it all together, or maybe he’s a fourth-liner at the NHL level.
Ian McCoshen (USHL: 53GP, 11-33-44). Another big (6’3”, 200+ pounds) defenceman, McCoshen was born in August and so is at the younger end of his draft class. He’s seen as a two-way defender – his skills lie primarily on the defensive side of the puck but he put up legitimate numbers in the USHL. He’s a solid skater and he’s calm under pressure, but he could be more physical.
Samuel Morin (QMJHL: 46GP, 4-12-16). Morin is listed at either 6’6” or 6’7”, depending on the source, and aside from the fact that he’s massive the most remarkable thing about him is that he can skate. His offensive upside gets mixed reviews – the point totals suggest he’ll strictly be a stay-at-home guy in the NHL – and so does his hockey sense, with some praising is defensive game and others questioning his positioning. Plays a physical brand of hockey.
Mirco Mueller (WHL: 63GP, 6-25-31). Jumping between scouting reports, I started feeling whiplash – there simply is no consensus on this guy’s ultimate ceiling and there is significant disagreement over how good he is now; some love him, some don’t like him at all. What is known is that he’s a 6’4” defender with at least solid puck skills, good skating, smarts, and the need to bulk up. Some project him as high-end complete defenceman, others say he’ll be steady in his own end but nothing special.
Nicolas Petan (WHL: 71GP, 46-74-120). I’m just going to defer to Edmonton Oilers head scout Stu MacGregor on this one:
Nicolas Petan’s an extremely exciting, skilled, competitive, passionate, offensive centreman that’s 5’8.5”. Has the drive to score and wants to be a high-end offensive player. He has to get bigger and stronger. He’s not getting any taller but he’s got to make sure that he’s strong enough and continues to play at that same level of intensity as he moves forward to pro hockey. Obviously, there’s another one of those circumstances that you have to deal with in making some decisions, but he’s going to be a player that’s going to have a chance to play in the National Hockey League just because of that high skill level and desire to play.
Kerby Rychel (OHL: 68GP, 40-47-87). A power winger with decent size, good bloodlines (his father is former NHL’er Warren Rychel), a strong physical game and outstanding scoring totals, Rychel is somehow not in the upper tier of the 2013 Draft Class. A big part of the reason is skating: it’s often criticized and seen as only average-ish. Beyond that, he’s more of a meat-and-potatoes generator of offence than overly creative, which has some wondering how high his ceiling is in the NHL.
Steven Santini (USHL: 25GP, 0-5-5). What separates the 6’2”, 205 pound Santini from other tough defensive defencemen is his skating – he has good top speed and is quite mobile in his own end. He hits – but according to scouts he’s a disciplined hitter, taking the opportunities when they come but not leaving position to do so – and fights and projects as a shutdown guy in the NHL. Passing is a question mark; some reviews like his ability to outlet while others criticize him as unimaginative.
Shea Theodore (WHL: 71GP, 19-31-50). A 6’2” defenceman who patterns his game after players like Erik Karlsson and Mike Green, Theodore’s skating, passing and shot give him the potential to be an impact NHL defenceman. He is, however, likely some distance away from realizing that potential – he lacks physical strength and his defensive game is a work in progress.
Valentin Zykov (QMJHL: 67GP, 40-35-75). A power winger with significant bulk for his age (he’s generally listed at either 6’ or 6’1” but 205+ pounds), Zykov is known for a willingness to go to the net with the puck, win battles along the boards, and backcheck defensively. Given that his skating gets middling marks, he’s essentially the reverse of the traditional Russian stereotype.
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Also: the plan was only to do the first round of the draft this way, but if there is significant interest than we could continue into the second round, doing surveys for the 31-45 and 46-61 slots. Please advise in the comment section if there is interest in doing so. Edmonton has the 37th and 58th picks, Winnipeg has the 43rd and (likely) 61st selections, and Toronto has the 50th pick. Calgary and Vancouver both dealt away their second round selections.