Annotated Mock NHL Draft 2010
1. EDMONTON OILERS TAYLOR HALL – F
*Halfway between Stamkos and Taveres as an NHL prospect *
Edmonton’s rabid fans are salivating at the ‘idea’ of getting Taylor Hall, and Steve Tamballini is not going to let them down.
Yes, the Oilers really, really need a top line center, but Hall is just too good to pass up. I mean; back to back Memorial Cup tournament MVP’s! Come on!
If Edmonton really wants to get a good young center, they can trade for one. Heaven knows they have enough young talent in their organization right now that they can let someone go in exchange for a center.
How about: Magnus Pajaarvi-Svensson to Boston for Joe Coburn and the 32nd pick in this year’s draft? Or maybe: Sam Gagner, Shawn Horcoff, and the 31st pick in this year’s draft to Ottawa for Jason Spezza?
2. BOSTON BRUINS TYLER SEGUIN – C
NOTE: THIS IS THE TORONTO MAPLE LEAF’S PICK FROM THE PHIL KESSEL TRADE.
*Steve Yzerman clone*
Seguin came to the NHL Draft Combine looking like he was sculpted by Michelangelo – man was he cut!
He looks like he could play in the NHL tomorrow, but I think he is actually at least 2 years away. He is, however, a terrific player with All Star potential - definitely not just a consolation prize for the Bruins organization.
3. FLORIDA PANTHERS CAM FOWLER - D
* A young Duncan Keith, but with higher offensive upside*
Good size, and speed; great puck handling ability, and vision; outstanding offensive instincts…..The heck with Duncan Keith, offensively speaking this guy might be Mike Green with size.
I think Florida will try to put this pick up for auction. They already have Kulikov, Robak, and Ellerby, and they really don’t need another young D-man. What they need is a highly skilled Center, with decent size and a bit of grit.
There is no sense in reaching for a center like Ryan Johansen here. Florida’s best bet would be to trade down, get an NHL ready center and a late 1st rounder in exchange, and then start worrying about what they are going to do with all the deadwood clogging up their current roster.
4. COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS ERIK GUDBRANSON - D
* The best 2-way defenseman in the draft.*
Columbus really, really, really needs a Grade A quality center in their organization. However, I don’t think you should make a top 5 pick based on need. With a pick in the top 5 you must take the best player available.
Were I in Scott Howsen’s shoes, I’d be trying to trade down and get Alex Burmistrov, or Riley Sheehan.
Of course, the Canucks would love to have either Gudbransen, or Gormley in their organization. I wonder if Jordan Schroeder and the 25th pick would do it? Ha Ha! Well, not likely, I guess, but a guy can dream can’t he?
5. NEW YORK ISLANDERS BRANDON GORMLEY – D
*Great hockey sense, matched with excellent mobility, in an NHL body*
Victor Terasenko might be the most obvious pick at this point in the draft, but the Isles, as always, are looking for a high quality two way defenseman.
Well, it doesn’t get much higher quality than Gormley – he is a potential Top Pair shut down guy, and even has some offensive upside.
6. TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING NINO NIEDERREITER – F
*WJC hero showed he was for real by dominating in the WHL in 2009/2010*
This is a tough pick for the Bolts. They really could use another top defenseman in their system, but with Gormley gone the best ones have all been taken. Maybe they reach for Derek Forbert here, but I think he’s already overvalued at #7 (where I have him going).
I’m not sure anybody really knows whether ‘El Nino’ will be a star in the Show or not, but the Lightning need to sell the game in their marginal market, and this big, good looking Swiss Mr. has the game and the charisma to generate a lot of buzz in TB.
HockeyProspects calls him a bigger, stronger, more skilled version of Vancouver’s Alex Burrows.
7. CAROLINA HURRICANES DEREK FORBERT - D
*6’4” 200+ lbs, and the No.1 defenseman on the US NTDP Team (under 18’s). What’s not to like?*
Forbert is a bit of a reach here, but the ‘Canes have young scorers coming out the proverbial wazoo. They need a top 4 defenseman, who can play a North American ‘in your face’ style. Forbert is big, strong, and can skate as well as any d-man in the draft. He’s a keeper.
8. ATLANTA THRASHERS RYAN JOHANSEN - C
* 2 years ago he was a 5’10” center with quick hands and slick moves. Then he grew…and grew…and grew.*
Atlanta has a bunch of intriguing prospects in the pipeline, but they are definitely a bit thin down the middle, so they pass on goal scoring sensation Jeff Skinner, and ‘Band Aid Boy’ Brett Connolly for a big, gangly kid with huge potential.
Ryan Johansen’s massive (and late) growth spurt has come attached with some massive questions. He is not your typical 6’3” power forward.
Scouts think his slightly awkward skating style will disappear once he grows into his body, and they think he will recapture the slick moves of two years ago once he packs some muscle on to balance his new height.
What they know is that he is a good kid with excellent hockey instincts. He has grown into his frame throughout the season, and has shot up the draft charts of both ISS and Central Scouting as a consequence. There is a real chance he will achieve something special in the NHL.
9. MINNESOTA WILD JEFF SKINNER – C/F
*Any player who can score 70 goals as a 17/18 yr old in the OHL deserves to be a top 10 pick.*
The Wild pretty much wasted their opportunities at the 2008 and 2009 drafts – two of the deepest drafts in the last 20 years, so they really need to make this year count. Unfortunately, this years draft is pretty even from #6 to #30.
Skinner had 50 goals in the Regular Season, and was huge in the 2010 OHL playoffs (20 goals in 20 games).
This is a smart player, with a good work ethic, a lethal shot, and a wealth of hockey sense. He’s not tiny, but if he was just a little bit bigger he would be a top three pick.
Some scouts think he needs to work on his skating, which is odd because he was once a nationally ranked Figure Skater, but with Luc Robitaille-like skills I think he’ll get by just fine.
10. NEW YORK RANGERS BRETT CONNOLLY - F
*Scout: ‘He has that Brett Hull ability to find seams in the offensive zone.’*
I’ve said all I need to say about Brett Connolly in the Introduction, so I won’t re-hash it.
The reason I think NYR will be the team that will take a chance on Brett’s wonky hips is Glen Sather. Sather is a gambler at heart, and I don’t think he will be able to resist the possibility of stealing a top three pick at the number 10 spot.