2013 NHL Entry Draft: Updated (6/28) Mock Draft Two

In my final mock draft the largest change is found at the top. With the speculation coming out of Denver that the Avalanche will take a forward with the first overall pick I have promotes Finnish sensation, Aleksander Barkov to the top spot. Seth Jones falls to Florida at second overall. Nathan MacKinnon stays at three and Jonathan Drouin drops to Nashville at four. Curtis Lazar makes his first appearance in my mock drafts, dropping Nic Petan out of the top 30. Steven Santini also hops back in at 30th overall going to the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks. The breakdown and full mock are below.

Tom Zulewski posted his final mock draft earlier today. You can find my second mock draft here, as well as Tom’s updated mock draft. Additionally, you can find my initial mock draft here and Tom’s here.

Also, check out my Top 30 prospects list, as well as Tom’s Top 30.

Breakdown by League:

OHL – 8

QMJHL – 7

WHL – 7

SM-liiga – 2

SEL – 2

USHL – 2

SWE-2 – 1

KHL – 1

 

1. COL – Aleksander Barkov, C, Tappara (SM-liiga)

Most people have had Seth Jones locked into the first overall pick since the halfway point of the season. But now that the rumors are flying out of Denver, let the speculation begin. The current favorite is Nathan MacKinnon, but Colorado’s brass has also expressed interest in the Finnish sensation, Sasha Barkov. Barkov missed the cut for the 2014 NHL Draft by two weeks, yet has already dominated men in the Finnish Elite League. Easily the number one overall pick if he was born later, this 6’3” 210-pound center has the makes of a longtime NHL player. The son of a local legend has lived up to the hype and then some with Tappara. He is big, smart and plays with an unheard of maturity for a teenager. Some question his foot speed, but it only appears that way because he controls the tempo of the game and has outstanding positioning.

Other 2013 NHL Draft Possibilities:

Nathan MacKinnon, C, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)

Seth Jones, D, Portland Winterhawks (WHL)

Jonathan Drouin, LW, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)

Previous Pick: Seth Jones

 

2. FLA – Seth Jones, D, Portland Winterhawks (WHL)

Despite deserving the first overall pick, Florida gets its man with the second pick. Jones is one of the most complete and exciting prospects I’ve seen in years. His combination of size, smarts, mobility, and puck-handling skills are unmatched by any player in this draft. He is a generational talent with the ability to anchor the blue line at an All-Star level for a decade. If Colorado passes on Jones, I believe they will regret it. But if Jones isn’t selected first overall, he wont fall past second. It is possible teams may try and trade up to number one or two for Jones, but its too difficult to try and predict trades.

Other 2013 NHL Draft Possibilities:

Nathan MacKinnon, C, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)

Jonathan Drouin, LW, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)

Elias Lindholm, C, Brynas (SEL)

Previous Pick: Jonathan Drouin

 

3. TBL – Nathan MacKinnon, C, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)

It is very possible MacKinnon will go number one overall, seeing how Colorado fancies him so much currently. If he falls to third overall, Steve Yzerman will do cartwheels in the war room. MacKinnon entered this season as the top forward eligible for the 2013 NHL Draft and although he hasn’t improved his stock, he has done little to hurt it as well. If it weren’t for the emergence of Jonathan Drouin, MacKinnon would’ve garnered more attention on the star-studded Halifax squad. Born and raised in Halifax, MacKinnon refused to play with Bair-Comeau, which originally drafted him first overall, and forced a trade to his hometown team. This raises a red flag in my mind regarding his ability to lead a franchise after refusing to accept his role as the face of the Drakkar. MacKinnon’s performance in the Memorial Cup was outstanding garnering attention as the best performer in Saskatoon. His talent and potential is unquestioned and Stevie Y would love to add one of, if not the best offensive prospects in the 2013 NHL Draft.

Other 2013 NHL Draft Possibilities:

Jonathan Drouin, LW, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)

Elias Lindholm, C, Brynas (SEL)

Valeri Nichushkin, RW, Chelyabinsk (KHL)

Previous Pick: Same

 

4. NSH – Jonathan Drouin, LW, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)

Nashville is picking in the first round for the first time since 2010 and making its highest selection since its first draft. For a team lacking offense (29th in the NHL in goals-per-game) adding a flashy talent like Drouin would immediately lift the Predators production. After being largely overshadowed by his teammate, Nathan MacKinnon, Drouin blew the door open and exploded onto the scene this year with the Mooseheads. The silky Quebec native has the best hands since Patrick Kane. He is a human highlight reel who dazzles fans each night with his unique skill set. Drouin can stickhandle in a phone booth and usually comes out after breaking defensemen’s ankles. Smashville would welcome him appropriately.

Other 2013 NHL Draft Possibilities:

Elias Lindholm, C, Brynas (SEL)

Valeri Nichushkin, RW, Chelyabinsk (KHL)

Sean Monahan, C, Ottawa 67’s (OHL)

Previous Pick: Aleksander Barkov

 

5. CAR – Elias Lindholm, C, Brynas (SEL)

With this pick Carolina could add a stellar European prospect by taking the best player available. The Hurricane’s lack of depth on defense makes Darnell Nurse, Nikita Zadorov, or Rasmus Ristolainen a viable option, but Lindholm may be too good to pass up. The 18-year-old has already become a steady fixture for Brynas in the Swedish Elite League. The two-way forward has impressed everybody with his maturity and hockey sense at such a young age. The top-ranked Swedish prospect may not develop into a top scorer or point producer in the NHL, but he will provide steady play and brings a responsible game to any team.

Other 2013 NHL Draft Possibilities:

Sean Monahan, C, Ottawa 67’s (OHL)

Darnell Nurse, D, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL)

Nikita Zadorov, D, London Knights (OHL)

Previous Pick: Same

 

6. CGY – Sean Monahan, C, Ottawa 67’s (OHL)

This is a very difficult selection to predict with Calgary owning three first round selections and having no idea which direction GM Jay Feaster wants to go in. It is possible Calgary may want to move up from sixth overall for one of the elite prospects, or they could stay put and have their pick of the litter from the quality that remains. This is possibly the most important draft in the franchise’s history and its imperative the Flames get this one right. Sean Monahan’s selfless style of hockey and all-around skill makes him this year’s Sean Couturier. Monahan played on an awful 67’s team, yet stayed with his team through the struggles, instead of opting out for a contender. He has tremendous hockey sense, always appearing to be in the right place at the right time. The Brampton, Ont. native has posted back-to-back 78-point campaigns and was named captain this season in recognition of his leadership qualities. The Flames lost Jarome Iginla this season, but have the chance to replace him this year with a budding, young leader.

Other 2013 NHL Draft Possibilities:

Valeri Nichushkin, RW, Chelyabinsk (KHL)

Darnell Nurse, D, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL)

Nikita Zadorov, D, London Knights (OHL)

Previous Pick: Darnell Nurse

 

7. EDM – Valeri Nichushkin, RW, Chelyabinsk (KHL)

Edmonton completely revamped it staff and front office this offseason, so predicting where they are headed next is unpredictable. With a team loaded with budding talent the Oilers are not far off from being a legitimate Stanley Cup contender. Nichushkin, the young Russian sensation, has drawn comparisons to fellow countryman Evgeni Malkin in large part due to his size and speed combination. At 6’4” 200-pounds, Nichushkin is a boy in a man’s body. He flashes phenomenal skills and highlight reel abilities when streaming down the wing. His game-winning-goal in the WJC bronze medal game against Canada provided scouts with the ammunition they needed to press for him come draft day. The potential is there but Nichushkin needs to work on his defensive zone play and become more consistent on a nightly basis. He planned on spending the next two years in the KHL, but changed his mind and will turn down Dynamo Moskva to play in North America. The Oilers need big, strong wingers to open space for their small superstars and Nichushkin would look great playing along-side countryman Nail Yakupov.

Other 2013 NHL Draft Possibilities:

Anthony Mantha, RW, Val-d’Or Foreurs (QMJHL)

Darnell Nurse, D, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL)

Nikita Zadorov, D, London Knights (OHL)

Previous Pick: Same

 

8. BUF – Darnell Nurse, D, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL)

The son of a CFL wide receiver and nephew of former NFL quarterback, Donovan McNabb, Nurse is one of the fastest risers in this year’s draft class. It’s a given that Nurse is gifted with natural athletic ability, which is a large part of his meteoric rise up draft boards. He is big, physical and plays with a nasty mean streak. GMs and teams covet athletic, strong and tough blueliners. His 12 goals and 41 points this year are career-highs by far, creating the one-year wonder debate. With a hole in scoring defense, Buffalo may take a chance on Nurse given his point production this past season. His defensive play and nastiness cannot be disputed, but if his offensive production doesn’t match this year’s total, he may turn out to be a reach.

Other 2013 NHL Draft Possibilities:

Rasmus Ristolainen, D, TPS (SM-liiga)

Anthony Mantha, RW, Val-d’Or Foreurs (QMJHL)

Nikita Zadorov, D, London Knights (OHL)

Previous Pick: Nikita Zadorov

 

9. NJD – Anthony Mantha, RW, Val-d’Or Foreurs (QMJHL)

The Devils faithful may have little to cheer about this Sunday. New Jersey has just four total picks in the 2013 NHL draft, so each one must be a hit. They lost Zach Parise and David Clarkson may be joining him so scoring is a must with one of the Devils’ four picks. Mantha was the only player in the QMJHL to score 50 goals this year and was one of just three in the entire CHL to accomplish the feat. He is 6’4” 190-pounds and skates well. He may be the purest scorer in this draft class and has a lethal shot. The Devils may be wise to go with the best player available and Mantha is the best scorer in this draft.

Other 2013 NHL Draft Possibilities:

Frederik Gauthier, C, Rimouski Oceanic (QMJHL)

Valentin Zykov, LW, Baie-Comeau Drakkar (QMJHL)

Nikita Zadorov, D, London Knights (OHL)

Previous Pick: Sean Monahan

 

10. DAL – Frederik Gauthier, C, Rimouski Oceanic (QMJHL)

Dallas has four picks in the top 54 and a new GM who knows exactly what to do with them. Jim Nill was the mastermind behind the Detroit Red Wings’ drafts for nearly two decades and has loaded the Detroit prospect pool with NHL-caliber players. Now Nill has the chance to add another thoroughbred to Dallas’ stables. Gauthier isn’t the sniper Mantha is but he is a monster playmaker. He is gritty and has the physical measurements of a forceful player. Gauthier is 6’5” and weighs 210 pounds. He will most likely add a few more pounds, which should boost his tenacity in the hitting game on the ice. His strengths are in the faceoff dots and in his two-way style of play. He can win draws and play steady defense as a third defenseman in the corners. Gauthier had an opportunity to play at Harvard, but chose the CHL route to hone his skills against better competition.

Other 2013 NHL Draft Possibilities:

Rasmus Ristolainen, D, TPS (SM-liiga)

Valentin Zykov, LW, Baie-Comeau Drakkar (QMJHL)

Max Domi, C/LW, London Knights (OHL)

Previous Pick: Anthony Mantha

 

11. PHI – Rasmus Ristolainen, D, TPS (SM-liiga)

Flyers fans are going to get sick of seeing the same prospect in all three mock drafts. But, the fact is I don’t see Philly picking anyone else unless Ristolainen is gone. Philadelphia is in a tough position selecting at number 11. The elite prospects will be gone, leaving riskier decisions to be made just outside the top 10. In recent drafts the Flyers have used the best-player remaining strategy, adding some high risk/high reward forwards to the prospect pool. Philadelphia is very thin at defense and lacks any top pair prospects. Ristolainen would bring some much-needed size and nastiness to the blueline. He has played against men for two seasons already with TPS in Finland’s top league. His experience has served him well as the big blueliner has developed an offensive side to his game. At 6’4” 207-pounds Ristolainen would be a massive two-way threat if his offensive skills continue to develop. His strength is in the defensive zone, where he does a tremendous job defending the slot and the crease. His mean streak is prevalent when he is on the ice, which is something the Flyers’ D-unit has been missing.

Other 2013 NHL Draft Possibilities:

Ryan Pulock, D, Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)

Nikita Zadorov, D, London Knights (OHL)

Max Domi, C/LW, London Knights (OHL)

Previous Pick: Same

 

12. PHX – Max Domi, C/LW, London Knights (OHL)

The Coyotes are not a flashy organization nor do they harbor superstar scorers. Yet, they compete and find a way to win games. Phoenix needs more scorers and playmakers in its prospect pool. Max Domi, the son of Tie, has his father’s stature and competitiveness, yet brings more of a pure scoring threat than his father. Max plays bigger than his 5’10” 194-pound frame, and exhibits tremendous strength on the puck. He is fearless and brings a winner’s mentality to a team in desperate need of playoff success. Domi is a creative two-way player who dazzled Memorial Cup viewers with his between-the-legs saucer pass to Bo Horvat. He has raised his stock more than most with the long playoff run for the Knights.

Other 2013 NHL Draft Possibilities:

Nikita Zadorov, D, London Knights (OHL)

Ryan Pulock, D, Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)

Bo Horvat, C, London Knight (OHL)

Previous Pick: Frederik Gauthier

 

13. WPG – Nikita Zadorov, D, London Knights (OHL)

Winnipeg has depth defensively and needs more up-front help. But, with six picks in the first three rounds the Jets have leeway to move up or down or take the best player available. After a lengthy playoff run, ending in the Memorial Cup, Zadorov was able to benefit from the added face-time in front of NHL scouts. Zadorov is the classic long-term project with gifted size and high potential. Scouts and fans can drool over his mammoth size (6’5” 230 lbs.) and raw potential, but it is just that, raw. Zadorov is benefiting from a star-studded London team that is poised for a Memorial Cup run. He already has a man’s frame and could compete physically in the NHL right now. But, the rest of his game needs to come around. Zadorov cannot just be about size; he needs to hone his skills and develop his puck-moving skills. NHL history is littered with players gifted with size, but couldn’t cut it in the skill department.

Other 2013 NHL Draft Possibilities:

Bo Horvat, C, London Knight (OHL)

Adam Erne, LW, Quebec Ramparts (QMJHL)

Ryan Hartman, RW, Plymouth Whalers (OHL)

Previous Pick: Max Domi

 

14. CBJ – Ryan Pulock, D, Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)

The best slap shot in the draft. Pulock has by far the best upside offensively of any defenseman in the draft. Brandon’s captain has 41 goals and 147 points in 195 career WHL games. His slap shot has drawn comparisons to Dion Phaneuf’s and his leadership is similar as well. The reason Pulock’s stock has fluctuated throughout the first round is because some teams value potential more than production in the first round. Some scouts believe Pulock has shown his best game and has a lower ceiling than less-productive players. He was injured for the Top Prospects game and didn’t get a chance to showcase his abilities in the postseason, which may feed into his dropping stock. Since his name hasn’t been in the news lately, his stock has paid the price. Columbus’ new general manager, Jarmo Kekäläinen, is very intelligent and has a chance to grab a proven entity to bolster the blueline.

Other 2013 NHL Draft Possibilities:

Mirco Mueller, D, Everett Silvertips (WHL)

Bo Horvat, C, London Knight (OHL)

Ryan Hartman, RW, Plymouth Whalers (OHL)

Previous Pick: Same

 

15. NYI – Bo Horvat, C, London Knight (OHL)

After years of futility the Islanders are finally ready to attack the Eastern Conference. Thanks to the poor finishes, New York has stocked its cupboard with elite prospects at forward and defense. They could anywhere with this pick, depending on who is left on the board. This could be the place we see the first goalie taken, or perhaps another European. But, much like teammate’s Nikita Zadorov and Max Domi, Bo Horvat has seen his stock soar. Bo knows hockey. The reliable Knight has been a staple for London ever since his rookie season began last year. After learning to walk and run at the same time, Horvat used his experience from last season to springboard his sophomore campaign. He can play in every scenario of the game and is a valuable asset even strength, as well as on both special teams units. He is a meat and potatoes type of player, which seems to match the evolving image of the Islanders.

Other 2013 NHL Draft Possibilities:

Alexander Wennberg, C, Djurgarden (SWE-2)

Mirco Mueller, D, Everett Silvertips (WHL)

Ryan Hartman, RW, Plymouth Whalers (OHL)

Previous Pick: Same

 

16. BUF (From MIN) – Robert Hagg, D, Modo (SEL)

Hagg rose quickly in my second mock draft and jumps another spot this go-around. Hagg had the opportunity to plug into Sweden’s defensive core during the WJC, due to a concussion to last year’s sixth overall pick, Hampus Lindholm. Hagg was called upon often throughout the tournament to shut down opposing team’s top forwards. The 6’2” 204-pound blueliner has the size and leadership to be a long-time NHL player. He is physical and can play a rugged style. I have Buffalo taking a defenseman with its first selection and despite a deep prospect pool at the position I believe the team is in the midst of a remodel. Hagg could be one of the draft’s best defenseman six years from now.

Other 2013 NHL Draft Possibilities:

Steven Santini, D, USA U-18 (USHL)

Mirco Mueller, D, Everett Silvertips (WHL)

Ryan Hartman, RW, Plymouth Whalers (OHL)

Previous Pick: Ryan Hartman

 

17. OTT – Ryan Hartman, RW, Plymouth Whalers (OHL)

When we look back on this draft and examine the successes and failures, Ryan Hartman’s name will stick out. He has all the makings of a captain in the NHL. He is the ultimate team player, who is willing to do anything to win. He throws around the body well for a guy his size (5’11” 187 lbs.) and can back it up with his fists. He is a feisty, gritty guy that seems to have been plucked from the past generation and placed in present day. He has a blue-collar work ethic, yet has a finesse portion of his game as well. Hartman always finds a way to end up on the scoresheet and will rack up a few Gordie Howe hat tricks before he is done playing. Hartman can play wing or forward, and is responsible enough to provide help in the defensive zone. Ottawa plays a tough, hard-nosed style of play and would fall in love with Hartman’s attributes in a Senators’ sweater. The name says it all with this kid.

Other 2013 NHL Draft Possibilities:

Mirco Mueller, D, Everett Silvertips (WHL)

Valentin Zykov, LW, Baie-Comeau Drakkar (QMJHL)

Alexander Wennberg, C, Djurgarden (SWE-2)

Previous Pick: Robert Hagg

 

18. DET – Mirco Mueller, D, Everett Silvertips (WHL)

Despite being renowned as the best-drafting team in the league, Detroit hasn’t always hit on first-round talent. Many of the successful Red Wings’ have been overlooked and are plucked in the later rounds. A large part of that success comes from Detroit’s patience with its prospects. The last 18-year-old draftee to play a season with the Wings was Keith Primeau in 1990-91. In the past three years, 22 Detroit draft picks have combined for three NHL games. That is why is seems like Mirco Mueller fits here. The Swiss-born defender came to North America this year and benefitted from playing in the WHL. The 6’3” 184-pound defender has the size and potential to succeed in the NHL, but is still raw and will need two more seasons in the WHL to hone his craft.

Other 2013 HL Draft Possibilities:

Steven Santini, D, USA U-18 (USHL)

Samuel Morin, D, Rimouski Oceanic (QMJHL)

Madison Bowey, D, Kelowna Rockets (WHL)

Previous Pick: Same

 

19. CBJ (From NYR) – Curtis Lazar, C/RW, Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)

One of my fast-risers in my final mock draft Lazar has the makeup of a tough, gritty forward with a scoring touch. Columbus is in the midst of a front office change and adding character forwards like Lazar will make the change smoother. He can play center or wing and give versatility to a lackluster offensive unit. As a leader on Edmonton’s loaded lineup he helped lead them to a WHL title two seasons ago. Lazar is a batter who will fight his way onto a NHL roster. He may not be a top-six forward but he is a tremendous role player with a solid resume.

Other 2013 NHL Draft Possibilities:

Valentin Zykov, LW, Baie-Comeau Drakkar (QMJHL)

Kerby Rychel, LW, Windsor Spitfires (OHL)

Adam Erne, LW, Quebec Ramparts (QMJHL)

Previous Pick: Valentin Zykov

 

20. SJS – Adam Erne, LW, Quebec Ramparts (QMJHL)

With four picks in the first two rounds the Sharks can move up from 20th overall if they have a guy targeted earlier in the first round. The Sharks are long in the tooth and desperately need some young prospects with strong upsides that can contribute sooner rather than later. Erne is a physical, feisty winger who isn’t flashy but can put the puck in the net. He is highly productive and works hard in the dirty areas. Erne has the speed to match his growing frame (6’1” 195 lbs.) and uses both well. He has a scoring touch and equally competent playmaking ability. The one knock on Erne is his conditioning and willingness to stay motivated off of the ice. San Jose is aging and needs some young scorers to step up and eventually replace Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau. Erne would provide depth to a weak prospect pool at wing for the Sharks.

Other 2013 NHL Draft Possibilities:

Kerby Rychel, LW, Windsor Spitfires (OHL)

Valentin Zykov, LW, Baie-Comeau Drakkar (QMJHL)

Zach Nastasiuk, C/RW, Owen Sound Attack (OHL)

Previous Pick: Same

 

21. TOR – Zach Nastasiuk, C/RW, Owen Sound Attack (OHL)

Toronto has done a solid job in stocking young defenseman over the last couple of drafts, but lacks the offensive firepower necessary to move the team to the next level. Zach Nastasiuk is the ability to be something special. He is still raw and needs more seasoning in the CHL ranks as well as the AHL before appearing in the show. But when he gets there, he will stick and provide a competitive edge that should keep him in the lineup. He is a phenomenal penalty killer, with a serious ability to create offense short-handed. His puck skills are good and his hockey sense is great. As he continues to play on a solid Owen Sound team, Nastasiuk will be looked upon to take his game to the next level as he flourishes in the OHL.

Other 2013 NHL Draft Possibilities:

Hunter Shinkaruk, C, Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL)

Kerby Rychel, LW, Windsor Spitfires (OHL)

Alexander Wennberg, C, Djurgarden (SWE-2)

Previous Pick: Nic Petan

 

22. CGY (From STL) – Hunter Shinkaruk, C, Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL)

Columbus isn’t the only team with three first round picks in the 2013 NHL Draft. Thanks to wheeling and dealing at the trade deadline, the Calgary Flames added two additional first round picks to their own. Shinkaruk is a definitive offensive forward. He has put up monster numbers during his three-year tenure in the WHL. Scoring 100 goals and totaling 219 points in 193 career games proves Shinkaruk’s knack for finding the score-sheet. He lacks ideal size for the NHL and could afford to add some upper-body bulk, but Shinkaruk makes up for that with speedy feet and quick hands. He has arguably the best mitts in the league and is a weapon to create threats out of seemingly harmless situations. However, when the stick is not on his puck, Shinkaruk gets lost and needs to improve his positioning to round out his game. The Calgary native grew up playing in the Calgary Royals youth program and has been on the Flames’ radar ever since he laced up his skates. I originally had him slated sixth overall to Calgary, but he continually leaves me wanting more and could be one the biggest draft fallers.

Other 2013 NHL Draft Possibilities:

Kerby Rychel, LW, Windsor Spitfires (OHL)

Alexander Wennberg, C, Djurgarden (SWE-2)

Nic Petan, C, Portland Winterhawks (WHL)

Previous Pick: Same

 

23. WSH – Valentin Zykov, LW, Baie-Comeau Drakkar (QMJHL)

We are all aware of the concerns surrounding Russian players. After spending last season with CSKA-Krasnaja Armija Moskva in the MHL, Zykov traveled to Quebec to get a head start on his North American career. After posting 75 points and being named the QMJHL Rookie of the Year, the Russian proved that the transition was easy. Fit to play a North American style of tough, physical hockey and not the traditional Russian style, Zykov has the makings of a big power forward. He uses his size well and has great body control in the corners. He makes his living below the circles, grinding the puck out of the tough areas displaying his will and desire. Zykov could develop into a similar threat with seasoning. He has dropped from 10th in my initial mock, but that’s not because of him. It simply is because Zykov hasn’t played in a while and other prospects have garnered much more attention.

Other 2013 NHL Draft Possibilities:

Kerby Rychel, LW, Windsor Spitfires (OHL)

Alexander Wennberg, C, Djurgarden (SWE-2)

Zachary Fucale, G, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)

Previous Pick: Zach Nastasiuk

 

24. VAN – Zachary Fucale, G, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)

If and when Luongo is dealt, Vancouver will turn its focus solely on Cory Schneider. The focus, which has never seemed completely comfortable, may be short-lived for Schneider. Fucale is the top-ranked North American goaltending prospect in this year’s draft class. He plays for the equivalent of a QMJHL All-Star team, so he seldom is forced to steal a game for his squad. But, the positive side of this dilemma is that Fucale has been forced to keep his head in the game this year even when he’s not facing many shots. That is a tough quality to find in a 17-year-old, but Fucale displays a quiet confidence and maturity in the pipes. He is very good down low and exhibits fantastic side-to-side movement. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Vancouver continue its cycle of stockpiling goaltenders and churning them out to the league.

Other 2013 NHL Draft Possibilities:

Kerby Rychel, LW, Windsor Spitfires (OHL)

Alexander Wennberg, C, Djurgarden (SWE-2)

Joshua Morrissey, D, Prince Albert Raiders (WHL)

Previous Pick: Same

 

25. MTL – Ian McCoshen, D, Waterloo Blackhawks (USHL)

The Habs have six picks in the first three rounds so the likelihood they stay in this position is suspect at best. But, if they stay here McCoshen would add another prospect to a deepening pool in Montreal. The Canadiens seems to enjoy drafting and dressing American players, so McCoshen would fit the mold nicely. Standing 6’2” 207-pounds, McCoshen possesses the ability to become a 20-30 minute workhorse on the blueline. Joining Steven Santini next fall at Boston College, McCoshen will provide Jerry York with another big-bodied defender, who he will undoubtedly turn into a prolific skater. The Minnesota native has been described as a shut-down defender, using his stick well to get into passing lanes. There is an offensive upside to McCoshen’s game as he moves the puck well and can create offense from the blueline.

Other 2013 NHL Draft Possibilities:

Kerby Rychel, LW, Windsor Spitfires (OHL)

Alexander Wennberg, C, Djurgarden (SWE-2)

Joshua Morrissey, D, Prince Albert Raiders (WHL)

Previous Pick: Samuel Morin

 

26. ANA – Kerby Rychel, LW, Windsor Spitfires (OHL)

Anaheim has found great success drafting American-born players in recent years. Last year the Ducks selected American Nicolas Kerdiles, adding him to an American pool featuring John Gibson and Emerson Etem. Born in Los Angeles and growing up under the watchful eye of his father, the legendary Warren Rychel, Kerby has dealt with incredible expectations in Windsor. The spunky forward couples a thick frame with a talented scoring touch. The 6’1” 200-pound winger has back-to-back 40-goal seasons in addition to the occasional fight. Built with a power forward mold, the California native is still developing with a high ceiling. Rychel would fit right in with the Ducks.

Other 2013 NHL Draft Possibilities:

Alexander Wennberg, C, Djurgarden (SWE-2)

John Hayden, RW, USA U-18 (USHL)

Michael McCarron, RW, USA U-18 (USHL)

Previous Pick: Same

 

27. CBJ (From LAK) – Madison Bowey, D, Kelowna Rockets (WHL)

Columbus has a chance to build a strong core with three first round picks in a deep, talent-latent draft. The former two-sport star excelled at baseball, leading his team to the national title, but gave up the sport to focus on hockey. Bowey could be the next great defenseman to hail from Kelowna. Shea Weber, Duncan Keith, Luke Schenn, and Josh Gorges are a few of the talented blueliners to come from the Rockets. Bowey is a competitive, two-way defenseman with good size (6’0” 201-pounds) and a very good skating ability. Columbus could go anywhere with this pick, but Bowey would help bolster the blueline for years with continued development in Kelowna.

Other 2013 NHL Draft Possibilities:

Joshua Morrissey, D, Prince Albert Raiders (WHL)

Samuel Morin, D, Rimouski Oceanic (QMJHL)

Steven Santini, D, USA U-18 (USHL)

Previous Pick: Same

 

28. CGY (From PIT) – Joshua Morrissey, D, Prince Albert Raiders (WHL)

With Calgary’s third first round pick, the Flames need to bring in a puck-moving defenseman with offensive capabilities. Morrissey may lack prototypical NHL size for a defender (5’11” 182 lbs.) but makes up for it with his skill and skating ability. Born and raised in Calgary, Morrissey is another homegrown talent scouted by the Flames, after excelling with Prince Albert. He is a smooth-skating puck-mover with excellent offensive abilities for a defender. He is very competitive and has outstanding read-and-react skills on the blueline. Morrissey could be the powerplay quarterback Calgary desperately desires.

Other 2013 NHL Draft Possibilities:

Alexander Wennberg, C, Djurgarden (SWE-2)

Andre Burakowsky, LW, Malmo (SWE)

Jimmy Lodge, C, Saginaw Spirit (OHL)

Previous Pick: Same

 

29. DAL (From BOS) – Alexander Wennberg, C, Djurgarden (SWE-2)

Longtime assistant general manager with the Detroit Red Wings, Jim Nill, will take the reigns in Dallas after being very instrumental in Detroit’s draft success. We all know the European success Detroit has had, especially in Sweden. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Nill go the Swedish route again with Alexander Wennberg. The 6’2” 183-pound Swede plays with speed and possesses creativity with the puck on his stick. His potential as a skilled Swedish forward with strong hockey sense and positioning will be the strongest sell for any squad searching for the next great Swede.

Other 2013 NHL Draft Possibilities:

Samuel Morin, D, Rimouski Oceanic (QMJHL)

Michael McCarron, RW, USA U-18 (USHL)

Andre Burakowsky, LW, Malmo (SWE)

Previous Pick: Same

 

30. CHI – Steven Santini, D, USA U-18 (USHL)

As the Cup champion Chicago owns the right to the final pick in the first round. Thanks to the depth of this draft class the Hawks will get a quality player at this slot. They have a deep prospect pool so selecting a player who needs time to mature is a possibility. Santini is a long-term project that played for the USNTDP this season. He will enroll at Boston College in the fall and given Jerry York’s track record, I think it’s safe to say we are just scratching the surface on Santini’s potential. The 6’2” 205-pound blueliner will develop his speed and hockey sense in Chestnut Hill. His performance at the U18 WJC has raised his value and put him into a class of top-flight American defensemen. The American was named the WJC Best Defenseman after a tremendous tournament. Past winners of this award include Ryan Suter, Brent Seabrook, Kevin Shattenkirk, Erik Karlsson, Can Fowler, Adam Larsson, and Matthew Dumba. All of these selections went in the top half of the first round when they were drafted.

Other 2013 NHL Draft Possibilities:

Samuel Morin, D, Rimouski Oceanic (QMJHL)

John Hayden, RW, USA U-18 (USHL)

Michael McCarron, RW, USA U-18 (USHL)

Previous Pick: Ian McCoshen