The NHL Entry Draft is this Friday, so we welcome you to the 2010 NHL Mock Entry Draft presented to you by Inside Hockey’s very own Anthony Curatolo. We are not going to go the standard route here, likely to take some short cuts. However, do not be alarmed as all the facts will be incorporated. With that being said, there is plenty of speculation that outside of the top five picks in this years draft, most of the players selected will be project type players with no serious immediate impact.
And now, for the draft… With the first overall selection in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, GM Steve Tambellini walks to the podium inside of the Staples Center and thanks LA for it’s generous hospitality and begins the first order of business.
1) Edmonton Oilers: Taylor Hall
Hall has all the tools to go first overall. Although some have their doubts, he possesses offensive weapons that can not be duplicated.
2) Boston Bruins: Tyler Seguin
Hall or Seguin, Seguin or Hall. Either way it’s a smart choice for the top two teams to take the top two stand outs of this years draft class. Seguin, some believe, is the best forward in this draft. It will be fun to see what each player does when they finally touch NHL ice.
3) Florida Panthers: Erik Gudbranson
The Panthers, now led by GM Dale Tallon, are still attempting to replace the loss of Jay Bouwmeester on their blue line. Dimitri Kulikov will develop into a fine blueliner, but Gudbranson is a can’t miss prospect.
4) Columbus Blue Jackets: Brandon Gormley
The Blue Jackets need defensive help and with Gormley likely falling to four, they would be crazy to pass him up. Rest assured, the Fowler hype has calmed with the spike in ratings Gormley has acquired. And rightfully so. He will be a beast on the blue line for Columbus.
5) New York Islanders: Nino Niederreiter
There is a storm brewing on Long Island, and “El Nino” will make his mark in tearing up the NHL when he arrives. Outside of Hall and Seguin, Niederreiter, in my opinion, is the most skilled forward in this draft and for John Tavares and company, he would make quite the line mate. An absolute can’t miss and do not pass type of prospect.
6) Tampa Bay Lightning: Cam Fowler
New blood in town, as GM Steve Yzerman is next up to the podium to select his first ever draft choice for the Tampa Bay Lightning. A dream drop for Yzerman and the Lightning organization. Victor Hedman does not have the offensive talent that Fowler does. A power play quarterback in the making. Fowler will eventually team up with Steven Stamkos on the top power play unit for the Bolts, and before you know it the team will be back as one of the stronger organizations in the Eastern Conference.
7) Carolina Hurricanes: Ryan Johansen
The big bodied Center will help Carolina as soon as he is ready to go in the NHL. He might even take that second line role almost upon his NHL entrance. However, when that will happen remains to be seen.
8) Atlanta Thrashers: Derek Forbort
Thought they have a young blue line and some quality kids ready to step up, they also have plenty of offensive and goaltending depth. Forbort at number eight seems to go somewhat off the board, putting him into the top ten when he truly is ranked in the middle of the draft for a reason. However, his skills can not be overlooked and Atlanta will continue to add to their organizational depth with Forbort.
9) Minnesota Wild: Nick Bjugstad
Like we witnessed in 2006, when the Canucks selected Michael Grabner, Bjugstad will go to Minnesota as the hometown boy gets drafted slightly off the board. When the comparisons come in and state you have similar skill set to Ryan Getzlaf, it’s a no brainer.
10) New York Rangers: Jeff Skinner
Scoring 27 goals in his rookie campaign in the OHL two seasons ago was close to a double up in his second full season with Kitchener. This kid is a very gifted offensive talent. Comparisons to Derek Roy of Buffalo could finally give the Rangers a future first line Center they are desperately searching for. The “steal” of the draft. Click here to read a profile I wrote about Skinner…
11) Dallas Stars: Dylan McIlrath
The Stars need help on the blue line. McIlrath is circulating as the fourth best defensive prospect to draft however, we all know how things are different from a team by team standpoint. As long as he is still available at eleven, there is no other player the Stars should draft. “One of the most intimidating players in the WHL” says many scouts around the league. A can’t miss for Dallas.
12) Anaheim Ducks: Jack Campbell
The Ducks are eventually going to need someone to call up and replace Jonas Hiller and at 12, Jack Campbell is the perfect choice. His stock rose massive proportions from his WJC performance, helping USA capture Gold over Canada. He has the skills to be a star stand out in this league when his time comes. And at 6’2″, he can be a monster for the Ducks between the pipes.
13) Phoenix Coyotes: Austin Watson
Time to restock the cupboard as trade deadline deals sent out a lot of talented youth. The Kyle Turris situation still is left with plenty of question marks but the team needs to realize that Watson has the skill to be with the club in a few seasons time. Ryan Kesler v 2.0
14) St. Louis Blues: Mikael Granlund
The Blues will be handed a gift as a “scouts say” top ten prospect falls to #14. With the tools to be a top six forward (not a first liner), you can sense a Saku Koivu type from his game…oh yea, and he is from Finland. He uses his average frame to his advantage being very strong on the puck.
15)Florida Panthers: Alex Burmistrov
The Panthers will have a glorious player fall into their lap at this selection in the first round and will not pass it up. His name has been discussed as an elite offensive talent with great hands and great hockey sense. Anyone compared to Pavel Datsyuk can not be overlooked.
16) Ottawa Senators: Mark Pysyk
Senators need defense and Pysyk at 16 makes all the sense in the world. He is a smart defenseman but his injury history has hurt his development. Surely, that can change and Pysyk just needs to add some muscle to his game, which will help his fluid skating and great hockey sense.
17) Colorado Avalanche: Calvin Pickard
The Avalanche will put a piece into the depth of their organization where they truly lack by drafting the second best goalie in this draft. Many feel Pickard might fall to the second round but for the Avalanche, unless they decide to take a defenseman (likely), I personally think it will be Pickard or bust.
18) Nashville Predators: Beau Bennett
Watching his stock rise as the draft approaches has Preds’ brass drooling. Highly unlikely he goes in the first half of the first round is a blessing for the Preds’ organization. They have no desire to draft a defenseman as they have one of the best defensive depth charts around the league. Watch for this move to happen and shock plenty.
19) Los Angeles Kings: Emerson Etem
A versatile forward that will fit the Kings system well. He has gifted hands, great speed and is key in the crease area. Although lacking in two-way play, GMs know that with proper development that will come. LA will be very happy with Etem on board.
20) Pittsburgh Penguins: Vladimir Tarasenko
One team who will not worry about the transfer issues for Russian players will be the Penguins. And with Tarasenko falling this far in the draft, he is a can’t miss pick at 20 for Pittsburgh.
21) Detroit Red Wings: Jonathan Merrill
6’3″, 200 pounds, and a rock on the blue line. With Lidstrom and Rafalski not getting any younger, look for the Wings to go hard on a d-man and with Merrill still on board, they can secure a potential Marc Staal type to the future of their blue line.
22) Phoenix Coyotes: Jarred Tinordi
Another big defenseman out of the USA U-18 NTDP who is built like a truck. With Michalek all but ready to pursue a new team, and the prospect group in Phoenix somewhat on the mediocre side, the Coyotes will enjoy developing Tinordi and bringing him on board with the big club when the time permits.
23) Buffalo Sabres: Tyler Pitlick
The best way to describe what Pitlick will bring to the Sabres organization is a reliable player that will be a solid contributor in the NHL. He has decent speed, great size, good balance and plays with an edge.
24) Chicago Blackhawks: Quinton Howden
A grinding third-line force with smart defensive abilities is the type of game Howden brings and the ‘Hawks could surely use a player of this role. Might take a bit longer than expected to be NHL ready, but with the stock of the draft all but shored up with the prior 23 picks, expect Howden to not fall any further with Chicago on the clock.
25) Vancouver Canucks: Alexander Petrovic
For a team that cannot get it together on the blue line very well, Petrovic comes in at #25 and though he still needs to fill into his body, with physical maturing that will happen. He is a gifted player with offensive ability and can control the blue line well. The only key here is development.
26) Washington Capitals: Evgeny Kuznetsov
Although he is signed for two more seasons with his KHL club, he has vowed to participate in the training camp of the team that selects him. With the Capitals roster pretty much shaped out for this season minus a few holes, they can take the gamble in drafting the skilled forward and worry about bringing him over to North America in the near future.
27) Montreal Canadiens: Riley Sheahan
A big boy with a great two-way sense can give the Canadiens something they desperately need: Size. Click here for a great read on Sheahen…
28) San Jose Sharks: John McFarland
Being a 20-goal scorer in the OHL might not stand out to some, but with his build, as a forward could help his stock as a first round draft pick. The Sharks have plenty on the defensive side and in nets on the depth chart, so look for them to take a forward at #28. McFarland should be available at this spot and with some guidance, could be a solid player in the NHL.
29) Anaheim Ducks: Brock Nelson
A very big boy with a great outburst of speed. He can score and hit, and plays smart hockey. The Minnesota scouts say he could be the best drafted prospect out of Minny. A late first round pick to have his development come at the NCAA level where he will spend time with the University of North Dakota. A smart scout staff will not let Nelson drop into the second round.
30) Chicago Blackhawks: Kirill Kabanov
Since they were able to acquire a second pick in the first round, the Hawks will take a chance on Kabanov, who has the offensive talent to be a beast up front for any team that can correct his head issues. He’s gifted, but “special” as well. A high risk/high reward type pick, but at 30, why not?
Inside Hockey readers, I invite you to the NHL Hot Stove – where you can obtain a good read on a mock draft with a small description of the players the writers there felt would be selected at the given draft slots.
I also give you an announcement: We at The Hockey Guys hope you can join us for our live draft chat which will run all day in duel format with RLDHockey.net on Friday, June 25th 2009 from 10 a.m. until the conclusion of the first round. You can find the event by clicking the “Live Events” tab at the top of the page, or by clicking here…