I really wanted to put up something regarding the upcoming entry draft, but to be honest, there are way too many folks out there who know much more about these young fellows than I do. So I wondered, how am I going to do this? Wouldn’t it be great if I could rely on someone else to do it for me?
Lo and behold, an email solved the problem.
Leafer Sutherland at the The NHL Arena has compiled a mock draft in preparation of the real thing which will be held in Los Angeles June 25 and 26. Below is his forecast, plus an invitation for anyone to join them on these days when the real thing’s going on.
” This is an open invitation to join us on Friday June 25th (7PM EST) and Saturday June 26th (1PM EST) for the 2010 Entry Draft GDT.
As in years past, we will continue to bring you the latest news, rumors and analysis that you’ve come to expect from us.
Draft day is a big event for us at the Arena. So we hope you can share it with us.”
The NHL Arena Staff Team
The LS 2010 Mock Draft
1. Edmonton Oilers- LW/C Taylor Hall (Windsor OHL)
Much like Tavares last season, pundits have tried everything to give reasons as to why the best player in the draft shouldn’t be taken first.
2. Boston Bruins (from Toronto)- C Tyler Seguin (Plymouth OHL)
While the center position might not currently be Boston’s biggest hole, you simply do not pass on this type of prospect. Even if it means adding a much needed trade chip elsewhere in your line up.
3. Florida Panthers- D Cam Fowler (Windsor OHL)
Fowler’s stock has dropped some over this past season, but one thing all scouts can agree on, is that this is a guaranteed NHLer.
4. Columbus Blue Jackets- D Brandon Gormley (Moncton QMJHL)
Maybe not as flashy as some other defenders in this draft, Gormley can do one thing well… eat big time minutes. And personally, this would be my first choice among defenders this draft.
5. New York Islanders- RW Brett Connolly (Prince George WHL)
Most mock drafts might have Gudbranson listed here, but we all know that Garth Snow is famous for drumming to his own beat. Connolly might present a lot of risk, due to injury and a year’s worth of lost development time, but he’s just the type of player you don’t mind taking that risk on.
6. Tampa Bay Lightning- RW Nino Niederreiter (Portland WHL)
All eyes will be on rookie GM Steve Yzerman at the draft table, as we aren’t sure what to expect from him. But in the end, I’ve got a hunch that character will win out and El Nino will be the guy.
7. Carolina Hurricanes- D Erik Gudbranson (Kingston OHL)
With enough talent coming up the ranks in the forward position, Rutherford can take a chance on the rough and tumble rearguard.
8. Atlanta Thrashers- C Jeff Skinner (Kitchener OHL)
Would make for a nice one-two punch with Evander Kane.
9. Minnesota Wild- C/RW Vladimir Tarasenko (Sibir KHL)
The Wild haven’t got a whole lot on the shelf when it comes to prospects, so look for them to take the surest upside they can.
10. New York Rangers- C Ryan Johansen (Portland WHL)
Here’s a player who’s stock may have risen the most this past season.
11. Dallas Stars- G Jack Campbell (USNTDP)
Having lost out to the Leafs for the services to both Gustavsson and Rynnas, I think this is the bullet they will bite with their first round pick. Given their stable of goaltending, it would be a wise choice.
12. Anaheim Ducks- RW Emerson Etem (Medicine Hat WHL)
A feel-good hometown boy story.
13. Phoenix Coyotes (from Calgary)- C/RW Mikael Granlund (HIFK, SM-liiga)
Given that Phoenix fans will just be happy to be here, Maloney has the opportunity to draft anyone he wants really, without backlash. Granlund may be small, but he has shown that he can compete with players of both size and experience.
14. St. Louis Blues- C Alexander Burmistrov (Barrie OHL)
Once upon a time, St Louis appeared to be set in the center position. But given that Oshie appears better on the wing and Berglund is up in the air, Burmistrov might be the guy they are looking for.
15. Boston Bruins- D Jon Merrill (USNTDP)
Given the number of picks this team has acquired, you can expect them to take this chance on a player that doesn’t happen to play center. Picking up both Sequin and Merrill would put a stud on both ends of the rink.
16. Ottawa Senators- C Nick Bjugstad (Blaine USHS)
The forward position is in need of the undertones of a rebuild. Ottawa lost out on Kadri last season and instead went with a defender. Not this year.
17. Colorado Avalanche- D Dylan McIlrath (Moose Jaw WHL)
The Avs are well stocked on defensemen already. But what they do not have, is an heir apparent to Adam Foote.
18. Nashville Predators- C Evgeny Kuznetsov (Chelyabinsk, KHL)
Poile might change things up a bit and not select a defender in the first round. Personally, I think Kuznetsov will prove to be the best Russian in this draft.
19. Los Angeles Kings- RW Beau Bennett (Penticton BCHL)
Last year in Montreal, the Habs received the biggest ovation when selecting hometown boy Louie Leblanc. This year, the way the chips are falling, LA might do the same with California native Beau Bennett.
20. Pittsburgh Penguins- RW Tom Kuehnhackl (Landshutt Ger-2)
Definitely not the sexy choice, but this is a team that could use a prospect that can pay dividends while still on his ELC. Plus it doesn’t hurt that this guy is a winger.
21. Detroit Red Wings- LW Kirill Kabanov (Moncton QMJHL)
Take an enigmating Russian with unquestionable ability, put him under the wing of star centerman Pavel Datsyuk and for the next several years people will question how you continually receive great talent without ever having high picks to draft with.
22. Phoenix Coyotes- D Mark Pysyk (Edmonton WHL)
As stated with their previous pick, Maloney has a lot of freedom at this draft. Pysyk is all steak and little sizzle… but he’d make the perfect #3 type behind Handle and OEL.
23. Buffalo Sabres- LW Quinton Howden (Moose Jaw WHL)
As seen in the past couple of drafts, this team drafts big to make up for the current wave of prospects. This is the perfect opportunity to add another 6’4 forward who may have not yet stopped growing.
24. Atlanta Thrashers (from New Jersey)- C Greg McKegg (Erie OHL)
Given that this is their second pick in this draft, they might want to stockpile on forwards. This franchise is a long way away from it’s Heatley/Hossa and now Kovalchuk days.
25. Vancouver Canucks- D Jarred Tinordi (USNTDP)
Scouts claim this prospect is very close to being ready for the jump. And we know the Canucks could use a cheap defensive defender.
26. Washington Capitals- RW Austin Watson (Peterborough OHL)
Watson’s upside is unclear. But given the team that is selecting him here, he’ll have tremendous talent both at center and on the opposite wing.
27. Montreal Canadiens- C Riley Sheahan (Notre Dame NCAA)
We’re starting to take notice of the College path this team has been taking in recent years.
28. San Jose Sharks- LW/C Ludvig Rensfeldt (Brynas Jr.)
Expect Doug Wilsont to take a concerted effort in trying to acquire the type of chips playoff teams are made of.
29. Anaheim Ducks (from Philadelphia)- D Derek Forbort (USNTDP)
Possibly lower than most mock drafts, Anaheim could use the defensive help in the bank. Forbert is a bit of an enigma mind you, due to how raw he is currently. If it does work out, mind you, we’ll be comparing Pronger to Sbisa/Forbert for years to come.
30. Chicago Blackhawks- C Jaden Schwartz (Tri-City USHL)
Great playmaker, built like a bulldog with no skating deficiencies. Not bad for 30th overall.