Annotated Mock NHL Draft 2010
11. DALLAS STARS MIKAEL GRANLUND - F
*A young Saku Koivu*
Intelligent and quick, with exceptional skills and great vision, this kid will juice up the stars offence for years to come.
There was some concern that Granlund might be smaller than his stats listed, and if he turned out to be 5’8” or 5’9” he would have dropped like Jordan Schroeder did last year.
But at the Combine he measured out at 5’10” 180 lbs, so Dallas should have no hesitation in adding this offensive wizard to their collection of fine young forwards.
12. ANAHEIM DUCKS AUSTIN WATSON – F
*Excellent 2-way forward, who can play either center or on the wing. *
Watson is an interesting case study. He was highly touted after his OHL rookie season, but got lost on the depth chart of the super powerful Windsor Spitfires. He then was traded to Peterborough where he went nuts and scored at a 2pts/game pace until the end of the regular season. Then, in the playoffs he kinda disappeared again. Weird.
13. PHOENIX COYOTES ALEXANDER BURMISTROV - C
*Has proven himself in the OHL with a powerful Barrie team*
NOTE: THIS IS CALGARY’S PICK FROM THE INSANE 2009 OLLIE JOKINEN TRADE.
Last summer Burmistrov was the fifth ranked Russian forward eligible for this draft, but by making the commitment to come to Canada and play in the tough OHL he managed to leapfrog all the others, and should become the first Russian taken in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.
Alex has excellent overall skills, a great motor – he works very hard, and a lot of try, but he needs to add muscle. The kid’s 6’0’’, but only weighs 159 lbs!
14. ST. LOUIS BLUES NICK BJUGSTAD - C
*Big, strong, fast, and skilled, Bjugstad was Minnesota’s ‘Mr.Hockey 2010’. *
Nick’s Uncle Scott Bjugstad played 9 years in the NHL, and most scouts think Nick has a chance to be a much better player than he was.
In fact, some scouts have Nick going higher than I have him. I suppose I am a bit biased against High School players going high in the first round - the Canucks experience with notorious 1st Rd. bust (and ‘Mr.Hockey’ finalist) Patrick White has made me remember the ridiculously poor quality competition these guys play against in their High School leagues.
In fact, one NHL scout tells a story about going to see 2009 19th overall pick Kris Kreider at a high school game last year. He went to get a coffee between periods, and there was Kreider with his sweater and shoulder pads off, eating a hot dog and chatting with a couple of girls.
Now compare that with a 17 yr old Major Junior player in Canada, who plays against the best Junior players in the world, then gets on a bus for a 4 hour ride back to his Billet’s house.
It’s a different world – professional coaching staffs, who teach NHL systems, packed stadiums, tons of pressure. All things being equal I would much rather take a kid who can excel in the furnace that is CHL hockey, than some kid who’s averaging 3+ pts./game against a bunch of guys who couldn’t make a Junior B squad in the Great White North.
15. FLORIDA PANTHERS EMERSON ETEM – F
THIS PICK IS COURTESY OF THE BOSTON BRUINS VIA THE NATHAN HORTON TRADE.
*SoCal native grew up 30 min. west of Anaheim’s Honda Center.*
I originally had the Bruins taking Jon Merrill here, but Florida certainly doesn’t need another defenseman, and besides, since the Draft Combine, rumors have been floating around that Merrill had the worst interviews by far of any player being considered for the 1st round. Also, scouts are remembering that he was suspended by the US NTDP Team for 8 games due to ‘community’ related issues late last season. Putting all that together, it seems he is destined to drop.
So what does Florida do? Well, I suppose they take the best player available.
Sure, maybe the Anaheim Ducks take this California kid at #12, but Austin Watson is a more versatile player. In any case, Anaheim’s ‘logical’ decision is Florida’s gain.
Etem is a player. Virtually every scouting report I’ve researched has had him going between 12th and 16th in this draft.
The kid is a lot like Mason Raymond was when he first broke into the league. He is lightening fast, but he really only has one move – beat the d-man to the outside with his great speed, then cut to the net. Still, he is reputed to be a heady player, and I think he will be able to expand on his repertoire of moves as he matures.
16. OTTAWA SENATORS MARK PYSYK – D
*A terrific, smooth skating, pass first kind of defenseman.*
With Etem gone, Ottawa is in a bit of a bind. They have Robin Lehner in their system, so they don’t need a goalie. What they desperately wanted was a highly skilled forward, but Pitlick, and Howden don’t really fit that description. The best fit would be Terasenko, but are they willing to risk the ‘Russian Factor’?
Well, if they don’t trade down, they are going to have to take some kind of a chance here. Or, then again, maybe not. I think they play it safe, and take Mark Pysyk – the most likely player at this spot to be a 12 year NHL pro.
Pysyk is not huge (6’1”), but he is very mobile. He has the ability to rush the puck out of the zone, or make confident, accurate passes to anywhere on the ice. He is used to playing big minutes, and in all situations, and his biggest attribute (other than his skating) is his high hockey IQ.
He played on a very poor team in the WHL, which probably skewed his stats, but he is the second best skater among d-men in this draft (after Cam Fowler), and that’s a skill you just can’t teach.
17. COLORADO AVALANCHE JACK CAMPBELL – G
*NHL Scout: “He is a franchise goaltender.”*
The best goalie in this draft, by a long shot, Campbell has won at every level. He was the 17 year old backup with Team USA at this year’s WJC, who came off the bench to beat Canada in the Gold Medal game.
Colorado’s organizational depth chart is a wasteland, a virtual desert, when it comes to quality puck stoppers. Also, they are so thin at the NHL level that the just resigned Peter Budaj (Peter Budaj!) to be their backup.
This is a match made in hockey heaven.
18. NASHVILLE PREDATORS TYLER PITLICK – C/F
*NHL Scout: “He’s a strong kid, who goes hard to the net, can score, and likes to hit. He’s (going to be) a solid NHL winger.”*
Boy, would Victor Terasenko ever be a steal for Nashville at this spot. But…. Nashville will probably never take another Russian in the first round again, after being shafted by Alexandre Radulov.
So they could take Howden, or Sheahan, or even Brock Nelson here, but I think this USA born, nephew of former NHL defenseman Lance Pitlick is the ideal combination of size, skill, and maturity for a team that needs offensive help quite quickly.
19. LOS ANGELES KINGS QUINTEN HOWDEN – F
*Might be the best two way forward in the draft.*
Every winning team needs at least one guy like Quinton Howden. He is a big (6’2”) strong guy, who works hard at both ends, is strong on the puck, and can score when he gets the chance.
He’s probably going to be a good, solid second line winger, with the ability to shut down opposition stars, and still get you 20+ goals a year.
20. PITTSBURGH PENGUINS VLADIMIR TERASENKO – F
*NHL Scout: “He might drop. And the team that takes him might end up getting the best player in the draft.”*
Finally, someone takes a chance on Terasenko.
He really is a great fit for Pittsburgh. The Pens are always searching for quality wingers (at bargain prices) to play with Crosby or Malkin, and with Terasenko they get a guy who will be on an entry level contract, but who has tremendous skill and poise.
And, of course, because it’s Pittsburgh, with it’s high international profile thanks to Crosby, Malkin, and Gonchar, there is very good chance Terasenko will come over to play in the NHL. If he was drafted by Carolina, or Nashville, or Phoenix, then who knows, the KHL might look pretty good to the kid.