Annotated Mock NHL Draft 2010
21. DETROIT RED WINGS RILEY SHEAHAN – C
The Red Wings are another team that might well trade down, even out of the 1st round, and take a player like Justin Faulk (D), who suits their system better than anyone available at this spot in the rankings.
But on the off chance that they make a pick here, I think they could go for the best natural center, and best 2-way player left in the draft: Riley Sheahan.
Sheahan got himself arrested in late May for being intoxicated in public (the back of a buddy’s parked pick up truck on the U. of Notre Dame grounds), which is the reason he won’t be picked in the top 15 of this year’s draft.
He was, however, infinitely smarter than his team mate at Notre Dame, Kyle Palmieri (a 2009 Anaheim Ducks 1st round pick), who decided it would be a good idea to make a run for it when the cops showed up. Then, in a burst of inspiration, thought the best thing to do when tackled by police would be to make two attempts to grab the officer’s stun gun off his belt!
Next to Palmieri, Sheahan looks like a bloody genius. Anyway, all that happened here (with Sheahan) is that an 18 year old University Student had a few ‘pops’ outdoors, and got caught.
Of course, the U. of Notre Dame, being a Catholic school, kind of frowns on that sort of thing, and Mr. Sheahan may well find himself back in Ontario next year playing for an OHL team, which ironically might be the best thing for his development as a player, and a person.
22. PHOENIX COYOTES DYLAN MCILRATH – D
*Powerful, frightening, gigantic – he is the most feared player in Major Junior*
The Coyotes have a dire need for defensive prospects in their system, but whether they will take McIlrath or not depends on what type of defenseman they are looking for.
If they want a puck mover, they might opt for Jon Merrill (assuming he is still available), If it’s character, then maybe it would be Jared Tinordi.
But I think, having already gone for pure offense with their earlier pick (Burmistrov), they go for the creature scouts call ‘The Undertaker’.
23. BUFFALO SABRES BROCK NELSON – C/F
*THN: “One recent draft day trend for the Buffalo Sabres is sure to continue. They want to go big.”*
At 6’3” and 205 lbs, there are no concerns about Brock Nelson having the size to compete against men in the NHL. Oh, and he has great speed, and a terrific shot as well. Oh yeah, and great bloodlines (he is related to famous Christian family – Miracle On Ice….Christian Hockey Sticks etc.). And yes, his stat line from last year is unparalleled (he had 53 goals. And 95 points in only 31 games).
However, he has never played against the best players of his age group in any league, or tournament. He was simply able to overpower his opponents in his High School league, which he won’t be able to do in College, or in the AHL, or the NHL, so we’ll see how he does as time goes on.
Unfortunately, teams can’t play a wait and see game with this kid. He is draft eligible this year, and they have to make a decision on him now.
His upside is very high, and Buffalo is a team that needs size, skill, and speed up front, so I think they gamble that Brock will keep developing and become a top quality scorer in the Show.
24. ATLANTA THRASHERS JARED TINORDI – D
*Captain of the USA NTDP team, and son of former NHL d-man Mark Tinordi.*
NOTE: THIS PICK WAS PART OF THE KOVALCHUK TRADE WITH THE NEW JERSEY DEVILS.
At 6’5” and 205 lbs, Tinordi projects as a monster shut-down defenseman in the mold of Robyn Regehr. His puck handling skills are below average, but he can skate well for a big man, and he has some grit, and truculence.
Atlanta needs help pretty much everywhere, but Tinordi’s leadership, and shut down skills should mesh well with Zach Begosian and Tobias Enstrom’s offensive flair.
25. VANCOUVER CANUCKS ALEX PETROVIC – D
*Highly rated at the beginning of the season, his stock dropped after getting crushed in a fight with Dylan McIlrath (The Undertaker) in the Young Prospects Game.*
It really shouldn’t have mattered. McIlrath destroys everybody he fights, so it shouldn’t have affected Petrovic’s psyche. But it did.
I happen to think the fight changed the way Alex thought about himself, and the kind of hockey player he is. I think he made some changes to the way he played as a result of the fight, and scouts (who were still looking for him to be the tough, mean SOB he was last year) started downgrading him in their minds.
In fact, this situation might well be the catalyst that turns Petrovic from just another tough guy into the complete player he has the talent to be.
I think he is undervalued. Remember, at the beginning of the year he was rated as the third best prospect in the WHL, ahead of Etem, Niederreiter, McIlrath, Howden, and Johansen, and I believe he is the one defenseman available in the second half of the 1st round who has the greatest chance of becoming the true NHL stud that Vancouver so desperately needs.
He’s probably not ever going to be a big time NHL scorer, but he is a very good skater, is 6’4” and strong as an ox, and he has better puck skills than most of the defensemen who will be taken in the first round of this year’s draft.
The Canucks may well be able to trade down, and still be able to get Petrovic, but either way, they need this guy in their organization.
26. WASHINGTON CAPITALS JON MERRILL – D
*Big, strong, mobile defenseman, who has a great engine, and a will to win that is second to none.*
So why not take a Russian here? Evgeny Kuznetsov is clearly the best player available at this spot. He is a bit moody, and inconsistent, but with mentors like OV and Semin (if he is still with Washington in the years to come) surely they could harness his immense talent.
Or maybe Stanislav Galiev. He is smart, highly skilled, has played in North America for two seasons already, has an excellent personality, speaks fluent English, and is just a quality guy in every respect. Of course, he lacks strength and plays a bit soft – doesn’t go to the net much.
But I think the Caps won’t be able to pass up the guy ISS has ranked #11 in the world defenseman Jon Merrill.
Merrill should really be going in the top 15 of this draft.
He is 6’3”, 205 lbs., works his butt off, never gives up on a play, has a high hockey IQ, and has more offensive upside than his US NTDP team mate Derek Forbort. However, he has been taking a few (figurative) bricks to the head since the Draft Combine.
There have been whispers he fared among the worst of all the prospects during the team interviews, and of course, getting suspended from the US NTDP Team for ‘school/social’ misbehavior has not helped his draft position.
Still, if he can mature a bit at the University of Michigan over the next few years, his upside as a pro is huge.
27. MONTREAL CANADIENS JADEN SCHWARTZ – C
*His 83 pts. was the highest total recorded in the USHL since Thomas Vanek scored 91 in 2001/2002.*
He has all kinds of skill and speed to go along with a high hockey IQ, and he has already played for Canada (at the Ivan Hlinka Tournament).
Jaden is ranked at 18 by ISS, and 30 by THN, and he probably would have been taken earlier in this draft if he had played in one of the major junior leagues last year instead of the USHL, but he really wanted to continue on to Colorado College and play with his older brother.
Obviously, trying to predict who will be taken at this point in the first round is a mug’s game, but I think the Habs will go for the skill, and Schwartz is definitely the most exciting offensive player left on the board (other than the leprous Kiril Kabanov). .
28. SAN JOSE SHARKS CHARLIE COYLE – F
*If he switches from center to the wing next couple of years, he should develop into a solid 2nd line power forward in the Show.*
The Sharks have a ton of options here, and any one of about 7 players would suit them, as they are not desperate at any position organizationally. Well, maybe they could use a stud goaltending prospect, but I don’t think Calvin Pickard is anything to get excited over.
Being in pretty good shape as an organization, I think they take the best American player left on the board, let him play at Boston University for four years, and slot him in as their second line winger for the next ten years after that.
29. ANAHEIM DUCKS BEAU BENNETT - F
*California Kid is all offense – his 120 points last season was the most of any player eligible for this draft.*
NOTE: THIS PICK COMES COURTESY OF THE PHILADELPHIA FLYERS AND THE CHRIS PRONGER TRADE
According to TSN and Bob MacKenzie, NHL scouts have this offensive dynamo ranked anywhere from #10 to #50.
The problem is he played for Penticton in the BCJHL last year, and not in Major Junior (CHL). Also, he has the muscle mass of Calista Flockart - he really needs to add some bulk to his 6’1” frame.
Beau’s stock has been rising since the Draft Combine, and a SoCal kid getting drafted by the Ducks in L.A. sure makes for a great story, but whether he actually gets selected in the first round, or not, is really tough to predict. Anaheim played it pretty safe with their first pick in this draft, so they might be inclined to gamble a bit here.
30. CHICAGO BLACK HAWKS JOHN MCFARLAND - C
*Great speed, great shot, and talent to burn, but……..*
Please reread my introduction for why a guy with top 5 talent, like J.M. is going this late in the first round.
McFarland has the type of skills that would seem to mesh well with Chicago’s core players. He is very fast, is good defensively, and has sublime offensive ability. He can play any forward position, and seems to come alive in big game situations.
But the most important thing about Chicago taking him as their first round pick is that the Hawks have a secret weapon guaranteed to light a fire under JM’s butt: Jonathan Toewes.
There is no way Captain Serious lets McFarland glide through the regular season.
OTHER PLAYERS WHO COULD SNEAK INTO THE FIRST ROUND
Evgeny Kuznetsov - Only the ‘Russian Factor’ keeps him out of the first round
- At his best, scouts say he can be a dominating player.
Calvin Picard - Very good young goalie, who likes to challenge shooters.
- He’s not too small (6’1”), but his size may keep him from the top tier.
Stanislav Galiev - Gifted playmaker, but may not be aggressive enough.
- Needs to add some muscle, and go to the net more.
- NHL Scout: “…next year he could wake up, and tear the Quebec League apart”
Calle Jarnkrok - Scouts seem to like him, but his SEL numbers are pretty bad.
- Ranked #28 by THN, but only ranked #72 by ISS
Ludvig Rensfeld - Big Swede has good, but not great, skills across the board.
- Has played well internationally, but had a terrible WJC this year.
Tyler Toffoli - This kid has the best wrist shot to come out of Junior since Joe Sakic.
- Finished 8th in OHL scoring in 2009/2010
- He is not yet a complete player, and his skating needs to improve.
Other Notables (and why they are likely 2nd rounders):
Justin Faulk (size+defensively mediocre),Ryan Spooner (size+injury), Martin Marincin (very raw), Joey Hishon (size+injury), Kiril Kabanov (psycho Cowboy), Jordan Weal (tiny), Maxim Kitsyn (moody Russian), Ryan Martindale (lazy and inconsistent), Tom Kuehnhackl (no one’s seen him play – German Div.2)