Monday, June 17th
The 2013 NHL Draft is thirteen days away and I have never been more excited to see how the top end of the draft turns out.
Trying to put all of my biases aside as a prospect junkie, I still enter the 2013 draft believing this is an extremely exciting draft class and a chance for some struggling franchises to rebuild their teams.
For those who follow my work and thoughts, you are well aware of my love for prospects like Jonathan Drouin, Darnell Nurse, Sean Monahan, Hunter Shinkaruk and especially Bo Horvat. That’s without mentioning Nathan MacKinnon and Seth Jones, two franchise changing talents.
I know who I would select first overall, but who would your choice be? Defenseman Seth Jones or forward Nathan MacKinnon? Maybe, Jonathan Drouin, Aleksander Barkov or even Valeri Nichushkin, a player receiving plenty of late praise as a potential top 3 selection. In the end, teams selecting in the top 5 are adding a true franchise changing prospect and because of that, teams looking to move up into that range will have to pay dearly.
CBC’s Elliotte Friedman reported,
If you want to move into the Top 4, prepare to give up your first-born child.
The Calgary Flames and Colorado Avalanche refuse to confirm it, but the source is excellent: Flames general manager Jay Feaster recently made a bold move, offering his three first-round draft picks (sixth, 22nd, 28th) to Colorado for the No. 1 overall selection. The Avalanche said no. And the rebuff came fast.
My thoughts on the rumoured offer: The Flames are a franchise that lack depth so their three first round picks are extremely valuable to their organization. Hell, they will be forced to pay TJ Brodie, a defenseman who flourished after Bouwmeester was traded to St. Louis, because the organization lacks a similar blue liner to challenge him. The offer was a pretty poor offer but if the Flames can somehow get a bona fide stud through the draft in MacKinnon, Jones, or Drouin, then they should act aggressively.
The Colorado Avalanche are in an enviable spot in the draft holding the first overall selection but as a General Manager, I think I’d equally enjoy being Florida’s Dale Tallon (2nd), Tampa Bay’s Steve Yzerman (3rd) or Nashville’s David Poille (4th). Each of those three GMs are going to get an impact player who could step right into the NHL immediately and contribute.
If the draft unfolds as I expect, Jones, MacKinnon and Drouin will be selected with the first three picks (in some order) followed by Barkov at 4th. It gets interesting at Carolina when the 5th pick comes due with several game changers still available in that second teir (Nichushkin, Nurse, Monahan, Lindholm, Zadorov, Shinkaruk, among others). As a result, I won’t be surprised to see Jim Rutherford traded down from that 5th position as it should be a highly coveted pick.
The 2013 draft class can be broken down into tiers and it’s not surprising Colorado isn’t willing to move down lower than 3rd overall. Jones, MacKinnon, and Drouin are in a class of their own.
Hopefully by now, all of you have purchased the Dobber Hockey Fantasy Prospects Guide and gave my 100+ draft eligible prospect profiles a read. While you are there, glance over my mock draft as well. If you haven’t purchased this must have fantasy hockey resource then do so now.
Got any other 2013 NHL Draft questions, head over to my Q&A Thread and drop me a line.
“Who are some players who could fall in this draft class?”
I always get this question come draft time so I will throw out some names to watch for…
Hunter Shinkaruk – here is a player with some damn impressive offensive skills but scouts either love him or don’t. He is the exact player who tends to fall each year in the draft so don’t be surprised to see him slide into the mid teens.
Darnell Nurse and Bo Horvat –While I feel both have the potential to crack the top 10, these two OHL’ers represent players who have raised their draft stock as the season unfolded and that was well documented by the media. As a result, the media hype may have artificially inflated their draft stock to the point that some NHL teams don’t share the “top 10” opinion. Don’t be surprised to see Nurse as a mid-teen pick and Horvat as a top 20 rather than closer to 10.
Nikita Zadorov – He’s raw and he’s big but there are several other equally as impressive players who could be drafted around where Zadorov is ranked (approx. 10th) so there is a chance he falls.
Max Domi – If I am a team with several first round selections, I am taking a chance on Domi with my highest pick because I love his offensive skills but I can certainly understand if a team has its hesitations on selecting Max. If several teams share this latter feeling then Max Domi may have to wait a bit to see his name called.
Kerby Rychel – The big boy can score goals but his lack of consistency worries me a bit and even moreso, he doesn’t create his own scoring chances too often either. I have a feeling that Rychel could be a player (like Saad in 2011) that falls from a projected first round selection to the second round.
Anthony Mantha – One of the drafts’ most interesting prospects, Mantha has shown that he can score and that has some people ranking him around the 10th spot (too high IMO). His drive and consistency has been called into question several times and those are usually red flags for most scouts.
Conversely, “Who are some players who could surprise in the 2013 NHL Draft?”
Bo Horvat – Yep, Horvat is on both lists. What Horvat did in the 2013 OHL Playoffs and Memorial Cup was amazing and when you combine that ability to step up in big game situations with his strong character, projectable two-way NHL game and overall good kid personality, you have the ingredients of a top 10 talent.
Frederik Gauthier – Here is a kid with an outstanding mind for the game of hockey and his size, work ethic and complete game could force a team to draft him higher than most people believe.
Andre Burakovsky – A personal favourite of mine, Burakovsky showed rare offensive potential late in the season competing for Sweden at the U18 World Championships and for a team with a mid-first round selection, he would be a great pick up…considering most have him ranked outside of the top 20.
Samuel Morin –Huge defenseman with very good mobility has a chance to shock the draft as his name is being thrown around as a potential top 15 selection after being ranked outside of the opening round for most of the season. You’ve been forewarned.
That is it for today but please join me again as I look towards the upcoming 2013 NHL Draft on June 30th.
Thanks for Reading!