Saturday, June 18, 2011

2011 NHL Mock Draft - Your Canadiens

Greetings all, and welcome to the first ever Dan's Daily Dose - Your Canadiens Mock Draft. Today we will look at a suggested pick for each selection of the first round, and you will also be shown the pick-by-pick results of some other "Expert" Mock Drafts for comparison. That means THIS is the only Mock Draft that you NEED! On Tuesday, your Top 10 list will go more into detail on who the Habs may pick, but for now, here we are!

As Gary Bettman gets to the podium to call the Edmonton Oilers to the stand, he stuns the crowd with those words all hockey fans love to hear: "We have a trade to announce!"

The Edmonton Oilers trade the first overall selection, nineteenth overall selection, and defenseman Alex Plante to the Florida Panthers in return for the third overall selection and defenseman Erik Gudbranson.

We know from reports earlier this week that Florida really wants Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, the top rated prospect in this year's draft, just as we know that Oilers GM Steve Tambellini is open to listening to offers for the top pick. Edmonton's organizational needs are in nets and on the blueline, so adding Gudbranson (the 3rd overall pick a year ago) and then drafting Adam Larsson seems like a homerun for the team, as both could be in the line-up as soon as this year. Why does Florida do it? See the pick below.

And... on to the draft.

1) The Florida Panther select Ryan Nugent Hopkins, C, Red Deer (WHL)

Florida is in all-out rebuild mode and has needs virtually across the board, so they go for the homerun swing in grabbing the player with the biggest star potential from this year's draft. Along with Jacob Markstrom in nets and Dmitri Kulikov on the blueline, the team now has a high profile prospect in each of the three areas.

Steven Hoffner's Pick: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Edmonton)
Mike Morreale's Pick: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Edmonton)
Adam Kimelman's Pick: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Edmonton)
Hockey's Future Staff Pick: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Edmonton)
Red Line Report's Pick: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Edmonton)'s Pick: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Edmonton)
TSN Mock Draft: Adam Larsson (Edmonton)
M.A. Godin's Pick: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Edmonton)

2) The Colorado Avalanche select Gabriel Landeskog, LW, Kitchener (OHL)

Outside of Nugent-Hopkins, there is quite a bit of debate on the order of the rest of the Top 5 - 8 picks or so. Landeskog to me is the next best offensive talent available, and after trading forward Chris Stewart in the deal to acquire Erik Johnson during the past season, the Avalanche had an arguably NHL-ready forward to play alongside Matt Duschene or Paul Statsny. This also fits well as many consider Landeskog one of the most NHL ready players available, and Colorado has a history of allowing kids to jump straight to the NHL if they feel they can handle it. Of course, the Florida-Edmonton trade is dependent on the Oilers talking to the Avalanche to be sure they won't take Larsson here.

Steven Hoffner's Pick: Gabriel Landeskog
Mike Morreale's Pick: Gabriel Landeskog
Adam Kimelman's Pick: Gabriel Landeskog
Red Line Report's Pick: Gabriel Landeskog's Pick: Jonathan Huberdeau
TSN Mock Draft: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
M.A. Godin's Pick: Jonathan Huberdeau

3) The Edmonton Oilers select Adam Larsson, D, Skelleftea (SWE)

Edmonton's young forward group already includes Taylor Hall, Magnus Svensson-Pajaarvi, Jordan Eberle, and Linus Omark, while their back-end needs some help. Larsson is more NHL ready than other top blueliners Nathan Beaulieu, Ryan Murphy, and Dougie Hamilton, so he becomes their selection. The Oilers know they have a small window to build a championship team before their multitude of prolific young stars need big pay raises, and thus in adding Gudbranson and Larsson, they get that much closer.

Steven Hoffner's Pick: Jonathan Huberdeau (Florida)
Mike Morreale's Pick: Adam Larsson (Florida)
Adam Kimelman's Pick: Jonathan Huberdeau (Florida)
Hockey's Future Staff Pick: Gabriel Landeskog (Florida)
Red Line Report's Pick: Jonathan Huberdeau (Florida)'s Pick: Adam Larsson (Florida)
TSN Mock Draft: Gabriel Landeskog (Florida)
M.A. Godin's Pick: Gabriel Landeskog (Florida)

4) The New Jersey Devils select Jonathan Huberdeau, C, Saint-John (QMJHL)

The Devils are deep with young players on the wings (following Zack Parise and Ilya Kovalchuk are youngsters Mattias Tedenby and Jacob Josefson), but need to add down the middle and on the blueline. Given the players available at this pick, Huberdeau has the greatest potential.

Steven Hoffner's Pick: Nathan Beaulieu
Mike Morreale's Pick: Jonathan Huberdeau
Adam Kimelman's Pick: Adam Larsson's Pick: Gabriel Landeskog
TSN Mock Draft: Jonathan Huberdeau
M.A. Godin's Pick: Adam Larsson

5) The New York Islanders select Sean Couturier, C, Drummondville (QMJHL)

The Islanders are slowly and quietly emerging from the depths of despair with a strong group of young prospects, but need a second center to take some of the weight off John Tavares' top line. At 6'4", Couturier can certainly shoulder the load, and will be supported by quality young wingers like Nino Niederreiter and Michael Grabner.

Steven Hoffner's Pick: Adam Larsson
Mike Morreale's Pick: Dougie Hamilton
Adam Kimelman's Pick: Dougie Hamilton
Hockey's Future Staff Pick: Jonathan Huberdeau
Red Line Report's Pick: Dougie Hamilton's Pick: Dougie Hamilton
TSN Mock Draft: Ryan Strome
M.A. Godin's Pick: Sean Couturier

6) The Ottawa Senators select Mika Zibanejad, C, Djurgardens IF (SWE)

With a few young defenders ready to make the club (David Rundblad, Jared Cowen), the Senators look to bolster their depleted offense with Zibanejad. Mika seems like a perfect fit to play with Ottawa's Swedish core and be mentored by aging Senators' captain Daniel Alfredsson.

Steven Hoffner's Pick: Dougie Hamilton
Mike Morreale's Pick: Sean Couturier
Adam Kimelman's Pick: Mika Zibanejad's Pick: Sean Couturier
TSN Mock Draft: Sean Couturier
M.A. Godin's Pick: Dougie Hamilton

7) The Manitoba / Winnipeg Unnameds select Dougie Hamilton, D, Niagara (OHL)

The new Winnipeg franchise is likely to want to make some big moves to increase excitement over the summer, so they take the approach of adding the best player available as an asset to the club. While the team has greater needs offensively than on D, they may dangle some of their bigger name blueliners on the trade market to fill in the gaps.

TSN Mock Draft: Dougie Hamilton
M.A. Godin's Pick: Ryan Strome

8) The Columbus Blue Jackets select Ryan Murphy, D, Kitchener (OHL)

The Blue Jackets have a desperate need for some puck movers on the back end, which is where Murphy fits the bill perfectly. Despite concerns over his size (5'10", 166 lbs), Murphy's offensive abilities are unquestioned, and he should be a future powerplay quarterback. The other need would have been at center, but Ryan Johansen should have a good chance at making the club in the near future to shore up that position.

Steven Hoffner's Pick: Sean Couturier
Red Line Report's Pick: Sean Couturier's Pick: Mika Zibanejad
TSN Mock Draft: Ryan Murphy
M.A. Godin's Pick: Ryan Murphy

9) The Boston Bruins select Nathan Beaulieu, D, Saint-John (QMJHL)

Boston looks at Ryan Strome as falling in the draft, but can only shake its head and sigh. As no club offers up enough to move into this pick, the Stanley Cup champions pass on the center (an area where they are incredibly deep) and draft by need with their final pick from the Phil Kessel-to-Toronto trade in selecting Beaulieu to eventually step into an aging and shallow D group.

Steven Hoffner's Pick: Sven Baertschi
Mike Morreale's Pick: Nathan Beaulieu
Adam Kimelman's Pick: Nathan Beaulieu
Red Line Report's Pick: Nathan Beaulieu
TSN Mock Draft: Jonas Brodin
M.A. Godin's Pick: Nathan Beaulieu

10) The Minnesota Wild select Ryan Strome, C, Niagara (OHL)

Minnesota's forward group is aging, and Mikko Koivu will need offensive support down the middle, so Strome, the slider to this point, lands with the Wild. With thunderous applause from the draft's home crowd, the Wild knows they lucked out, as if Strome develops as projects, this could end up being a steal akin to the Kings getting Anze Kopitar with the 11th pick in 2005.

Mike Morreale's Pick: Mika Zibanejad
Adam Kimelman's Pick: Sean Couturier
Red Line Report's Pick: Mika Zibanejad's Pick: Nathan Beaulieu
TSN Mock Draft: Sven Baertschi
M.A. Godin's Pick: Mika Zibanejad

And Mr. Bettman returns to the podium. "Boooooo," cries the crowd. "We have a trade to announce." The boos turn to cheers.

The Colorado Avalanche trade the 11th overall selection to the Buffalo Sabres in return for the 16th overall selection, the 107th overall selection, and a 2nd round pick in 2012.

The Sabres know they will be drafting a defenseman, and with the run on blueliners earlier, don't want to risk the next name on their list disappearing. Colorado got their man Landeskog earlier and are happy to add a 2nd rounder for next year's draft while confident they'll still get the next player they want at 16.

11) The Buffalo Sabres select Duncan Siemens, D, Saskatoon (WHL)

It is at this point of the draft where picks become a little harder to predict, but there is no doubt that Buffalo needs to find some help on D, where Siemens is the best choice remaining. At 6'3", Siemens may look small standing next to Tyler Myers, but the defender's two-way game will provide some support in an area where the Sabres lack depth.

Steven Hoffner's Pick: Daniel Catenacci (Colorado)
Mike Morreale's Pick: Duncan Siemens (Colorado)
Adam Kimelman's Pick: Duncan Siemens (Colorado)
Hockey's Future Staff Pick: Sven Baertschi (Colorado)
Red Line Report's Pick: Oscar Klefbom (Colorado)'s Pick: Duncan Siemens (Colorado)
TSN Mock Draft: Mika Zibanejad (Colorado)
M.A. Godin's Pick: Oscar Klefbom (Colorado)

12) The Carolina Hurricanes select Sven Baertschi, LW, Portland (WHL)

Based on comments from their General Manager, the 'Canes are at risk of losing a number of forwards to free agency this summer, potentially including Erik Cole, Jussi Jokinen, and Chad Larose. Baertschi isn't particularly big, but as with Jeff Skinner last year, this won't scare Carolina away.

Steven Hoffner's Pick: Duncan Siemens
Mike Morreale's Pick: Jonas Brodin
Red Line Report's Pick: Nicklas Jensen's Pick: Sven Baertschi
TSN Mock Draft: Nathan Beaulieu
M.A. Godin's Pick: Sven Baertschi

13) The Calgary Flames select Mark McNeill, C, Prince George (WHL)

Calgary picks up an Alberta native that plays a position they've been struggling to fill for a while. With their existing centers getting up there in age, the 6'2" McNeil should come along just in time.

Mike Morreale's Pick: Oscar Klefbom
Adam Kimelman's Pick: Sven Baertschi
Red Line Report's Pick: Mark Scheifele's Pick: Mark McNeill
TSN Mock Draft: Zack Phillips
M.A. Godin's Pick: Mark McNeill

14) The Dallas Stars select Joel Armia, RW, Assat (FIN)

After giving up James Neal to address a weakness on the blueline in acquiring Alex Goligoski, the Stars add a new 6'3" offensive prospect to their ranks. Already playing against men in Finland's top league, Armia may be able to make a quick transition to the NHL within a year or two.

Steven Hoffner's Pick: Mark McNeill
Adam Kimelman's Pick: Mark McNeill's Pick: Jamieson Oleksiak
TSN Mock Draft: Mark Scheifele
M.A. Godin's Pick: Duncan Siemens

15) The New York Rangers select Mark Scheifele, C, Barrie (OHL)

It is no secret around the league that the Rangers are looking to add scoring at the center position with all of the Brad Richards talk, and while Scheifele will still be a few years away, he provides a potential future fixture on a team that generally prefers to "build" via free agency.

Steven Hoffner's Pick: Mika Zibanejad
Mike Morreale's Pick: Mark McNeill
Adam Kimelman's Pick: Boone Jenner
Red Line Report's Pick: Rocco Grimaldi's Pick: Joseph Morrow
TSN Mock Draft: Mark McNeill
M.A. Godin's Pick: Mark Scheifele

16) The Colorado Avalanche select John Gibson, G, USA U-18

After trading down, Colorado takes their man, adding a goaltender after last year's 2nd rounder Calvin Pickard had an average-to-disappointing season in the WHL (but playing on a subpar team). Between Pickard and Gibson, the Avalanche may finally be able to put the rotating door in their crease to rest before too long.

Steven Hoffner's Pick: Mark Scheifele (Buffalo)
Mike Morreale's Pick: Mark Scheifele (Buffalo)
Adam Kimelman's Pick: Zack Phillips (Buffalo)
Hockey's Future Staff Pick: Jamieson Oleksiak (Buffalo)
Red Line Report's Pick: Jonas Brodin (Buffalo)'s Pick: Jonas Brodin (Buffalo)
TSN Mock Draft: Jamieson Oleksiak (Buffalo)
M.A. Godin's Pick: Joseph Morrow (Buffalo)

17) The Montreal Canadiens select Boone Jenner, C, Oshawa (OHL)

It's been a few years since the Habs have made a first round selection out of the CHL, but Jenner plays a two-way game that the team loves. A 6'1" center with significant offensive upside, the pick isn't risk-free, but at 17, you have to choose between a potential steal or a safe-but-unspectacular player. (Edit: See Other Options)

Steven Hoffner's Pick: Zack Phillips
Mike Morreale's Pick: Joseph Morrow
Adam Kimelman's Pick: Jonas Brodin's Pick: Boone Jenner
TSN Mock Draft: Brandon Saad
M.A. Godin's Pick: Boone Jenner

18) The Chicago Blackhawks select Matt Puempel, LW, Peterborough (OHL)

Chicago is in a position where they can gamble, and Puempel is a high-risk high-reward type pick. With injuries limiting his games played, he has produced above a point-per-game clip in each of his 2 seasons in the OHL and could someday replace some of the offense the 'Hawks lost after their Cup win.

Steven Hoffner's Pick: Vladislav Namestnikov
Mike Morreale's Pick: Sven Baertschi's Pick: Zack Phillips
TSN Mock Draft: Oscar Klefbom
M.A. Godin's Pick: Zack Phillips

19) The Florida Panthers select Jamieson Oleksiak, D, Northeastern (HE)

Having sacrificed Gudbranson to acquire this pick from the Oilers, the Panthers replace him with this draft's behemoth in 6'7", 240 lbs Oleksiak. The blueliner may require some time to grow into his body as a player, but the Panthers are a few years from putting any form of contender on the ice anyway, so he may fit in well. If the Oilers were to keep this pick, they'd also take Oleksiak.

Steven Hoffner's Pick: Jamieson Oleksiak (Edmonton)
Mike Morreale's Pick: Jamieson Oleksiak (Edmonton)
Adam Kimelman's Pick: Christopher Gibson (Edmonton)
Hockey's Future Staff Pick: Duncan Siemens (Edmonton)
Red Line Report's Pick: David Musil (Edmonton)'s Pick: Oscar Klefbom (Edmonton)
TSN Mock Draft: Joseph Morrow (Edmonton)
M.A. Godin's Pick: Jamieson Oleksiak (Edmonton)

20) The Phoenix Coyotes select Joseph Morrow, D, Portland (WHL)

The Coyotes have shown a tendency to sometimes go off the board for a steal, and while Morrow at 20 isn't a huge reach, he is a defenseman identified as a potential sleeper that may have teams that pass on him regretting it. Phoenix won't make the same mistake with this offensive D-Man that many clubs did in overlooking Mike Green.

Steven Hoffner's Pick: Christopher Gibson
Mike Morreale's Pick: Scott Mayfield
Adam Kimelman's Pick: Mark Scheifele
Red Line Report's Pick: Sven Baertschi's Pick: Nicklas Jensen
TSN Mock Draft: Matt Puempel
M.A. Godin's Pick: Nicklas Jensen

21) The Ottawa Senators select Tomas Jurco, RW, Saint-John (QMJHL)

After picking up Zibanejad, the Sens grab a second European-born offensive weapon. Jurco's skill is undeniable, so he is a good fit for an Ottawa team already stocked with many "safe" third or fourth line types.

Steven Hoffner's Pick: Joseph Morrow
Mike Morreale's Pick: Nicklas Jensen
Adam Kimelman's Pick: Brandon Saad
Red Line Report's Pick: Joseph Morrow's Pick: Mark Scheifele
TSN Mock Draft: Ty Rattie
M.A. Godin's Pick: Rocco Grimaldi

22) The Anaheim Ducks select Zack Phillips, C, Saint-John (QMJHL)

The fourth player selected from Saint-John in the first round, Phillips is an important pick for the Ducks as their entire second line nears retirement. After addressing a gap on D with a huge steal in Cam Fowler last year, Phillips helps to refill the cupboard offensively.

Steven Hoffner's Pick: Scott Mayfield
Mike Morreale's Pick: Matt Puempel
TSN Mock Draft: Joel Armia
M.A. Godin's Pick: Joel Armia

23) The Pittsburgh Penguins select Nicklas Jensen, LW/RW, Oshawa (OHL)

To keep their trifecta of star centers together, the Penguins will need a continuous supply of affordable offensive wingers, so taking the best one still on the board is a natural choice. With a 6'3" frame, the Danish-born Jensen (who likely would have gone earlier if not for the traditional "Fear Due to Birthplace Effect") may someday help create room for Sidney Crosby.

Mike Morreale's Pick: Brandon Saad
Adam Kimelman's Pick: Phillip Danault
Red Line Report's Pick: Jamieson Oleksiak
TSN Mock Draft: Tyler Biggs

24) The Detroit Red Wings select Scott Mayfield, D, Youngstown (USHL)

Detroit is famous for taking their time with the kids they draft, letting them develop in lower leagues until they are certain they are ready. But, players like Brian Rafalski and Nicklas Lidstrom don't grow on trees, so even if Mayfield may not be ready to step into a starring blueliner role in time to catch the flame, he adds another future two-way blueliner to the pipeline.

Steven Hoffner's Pick: Nicklas Jensen
Mike Morreale's Pick: Rickard Rakell
Adam Kimelman's Pick: Joseph Morrow
Red Line Report's Pick: Connor Murphy
TSN Mock Draft: Connor Murphy
M.A. Godin's Pick: Tomas Jurco

25) The Toronto Maple Leafs select Oscar Klefbom, D, Farjestad (SWE)

Brian Burke surprises fans with a non-traditional pick, looking to an offensive European blueliner to some day fill the void left by the departure of Tomas Kaberle. Klefbom is one of the youngest players in the draft, yet has already played against much older competition in the Swedish Elite League as a 17 year old.

Steven Hoffner's Pick: Matt Puempel
Mike Morreale's Pick: Boone Jenner
Adam Kimelman's Pick: Jonathan Miller
Red Line Report's Pick: Duncan Siemens's Pick: Matt Puempel
TSN Mock Draft: Rocco Grimaldi
M.A. Godin's Pick: Matt Puempel

26) The Washington Capitals select Jonas Brodin, D, Farjestad (SWE)

With talented youth at every position, the Capitals make Brodin the second consecutive Farjestad defenseman to go. With Mike Green and John Carlson as young offense-first blueliners, Brodin's defensive game should help round out a strong group in the future.

Steven Hoffner's Pick: Connor Murphy
Mike Morreale's Pick: Alexander Khokhlachev
Adam Kimelman's Pick: Vladislav Namestnikov
Hockey's Future Staff Pick: Alexander Khokhlachev's Pick: Brandon Saad
TSN Mock Draft: Rickard Rakell
M.A. Godin's Pick: Jonas Brodin

27) The Tampa Bay Lightning select Christopher Gibson, G, Chicoutimi (QMJHL)

Looking at the Lightning's current roster, the only true hole is between the pipes. Their prospect depth chart shows no imminent answer either, so no time like the present to take a future starter in Gibson (no relation to other top ranked netminder, John Gibson, by the way).

Mike Morreale's Pick: Connor Murphy
Adam Kimelman's Pick: Nicklas Jensen's Pick: Jonathan Miller
TSN Mock Draft: Duncan Siemens
M.A. Godin's Pick: J.T. Miller

28) The San Jose Sharks select Alexander Khokhlachev, C/LW, Windsor (OHL)

Sensing their window of opportunity slowly closing, the Sharks gamble on an undersized Russian forward whose skill and two-way game may allow him to adapt to the NHL quicker than most players available at #28. Khokhlachev can play either center or the wing, important in San Jose where players tend to be shifted from year to year.

Steven Hoffner's Pick: Shane Prince
Mike Morreale's Pick: Phillip Danault
Adam Kimelman's Pick: Jamieson Oleksiak's Pick: Scott Mayfield
TSN Mock Draft: Nicklas Jensen
M.A. Godin's Pick: Tyler Biggs

29) The Vancouver Canucks select Ty Rattie, RW, Portland (WHL)

No, the Canucks aren't about to draft Roberto Luongo's successor following a disappointing Stanley Cup Finals performance. It was just as evident that secondary scoring is a need in Vancouver, so they add a western Canadian kid who will look big... on a line with Jordan Schroeder, that is.

Steven Hoffner's Pick: Adam Clendening
Adam Kimelman's Pick: Alexander Khokhlachev
Hockey's Future Staff Pick: Stuart Percy (Toronto)
Red Line Report's Pick: Brandon Saad (Toronto)'s Pick: Vladislav Namestnikov
TSN Mock Draft: David Musil
M.A. Godin's Pick: Connor Murphy

30) The Toronto Maple Leafs select Brandon Saad, LW, Saginaw (OHL)

While Burke would like to draft a center with his second pick of the first round, that will have to wait until pick #39, as the 6'2", 211 lbs power-forward in-the-making seems like a true Burke type.

Mike Morreale's Pick: Stuart Percy
Hockey's Future Staff Pick: Tomas Jurco (Vancouver)
Red Line Report's Pick: Kale Kessy (Vancouver)'s Pick: Stuart Percy
TSN Mock Draft: Stuart Percy
M.A. Godin's Pick: Dmitri Jaskin

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