SB Nation's 2010 NHL Mock Draft, Part One: The Complete First Round

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2010 NHL Mock Draft, 30th Pick: Chicago Blackhawks Select Jaden Schwartz

With the 29th pick in the 2010 SB Nation NHL Mock Draft, our Chicago Blackhawks bloggers at Second City Hockey select...

Jaden Schwartz, Tri-City Storm (USHL)

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photo via nhl.com

From Western College Hockey Blog's prospect profile on Schwartz:

Jaden Schwartz first got noticed in a big way in 2007-2008, when he broke scoring records held by NHL stars Vincent Lecavalier and Brad Richards at the famous Notre Dame Prep School in Saskatchewan.(Despite that, it should be noted Schwartz likely won't even be the first player off that Notre Dame Midget team to be picked in the draft, with that honor going to Brandon Gormley. Another ND teammate, Sean Couturier, may be next year's top overall pick) Schwartz, despite not being the biggest player, hasn't stopped scoring since. After a successful season in the SJHL, Schwartz decided to raise the level of competition in his draft year and play for Tri-City in the USHL. He did nothing less than impress by leading the league in scoring.

That wraps up our first round. Thanks to all the bloggers who participated.

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2010 NHL Mock Draft, 29th Pick: Anaheim Ducks Select Beau Bennett

With the 29th pick in the 2010 SB Nation NHL Mock Draft, our Anaheim Ducks bloggers at Anaheim Calling select...

Beau Bennett, Penticton (BCHL)

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photo via www.thehockeynews.com

From Anaheim Calling:

Bennett was briefly listed in the ISS Top 30 after putting up monstrous offensive numbers in the BCHL with Penticton. He's a Gardena, CA native who played for the Junior Kings and participated in the Ducks West Coast Prospects Camp, so Anaheim should have plenty of scouting reports on him. He's also committed to Denver, and the Ducks like the WCHA for development. Ultimately, though, I picked him here because he has speed and a strong shot, the two things I sacrificed to grab Johansen at 12th. I consulted fellow SBN Ducks blogger Earl Sleek and seriously considered Tyler Pitlick, who managed to fall to 29th in our mock draft, but Bennett was a strong fit for the cupboard.

The final pick belongs to Chicago.

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2010 NHL Mock Draft, 28th Pick: San Jose Sharks Select Tyler Toffoli

With the 27th pick in the 2010 SB Nation NHL Mock Draft, our San Jose Sharks bloggers at Fear The Fin select...

Tyler Toffoli, Ottawa 67's (OHL)

From Fear The Fin:

Toffoli has all the tools to become an elite scorer in the NHL, the only concern is his size. He's not necessarily small, but he needs to better fill out his 6'0" frame to become an effective NHL player. He's been compared often to current Sharks star Dany Heatley; although these expectations may be a bit lofty, it's exciting to think that a late first round pick is met with such potential. It's likely due to the fact that he's a polished scorer; Toffoli trailed only Taylor Hall, Tyler Seguin and Nazim Kadri in AHL scoring. That's pretty elite company.

Two picks left, belonging to Anaheim and Chicago.

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2010 NHL Mock Draft, 27th Pick: Montreal Canadiens Select Ryan Spooner

With the 27th pick in the 2010 SB Nation NHL Mock Draft, our Montreal Canadiens bloggers at Habs Eyes On The Prize select...

Ryan Spooner, Peterborough Petes (OHL)

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photo via thehockeynews.com

From In Lou We Trust's prospect profile on Spooner:

Yet, despite the praise from the director of CSS, Spooner's ranked in the second round.   Why? His size certainly doesn't help; like Bennett, he needs to get stronger.  However, he may not be getting any taller.  The injury certainly forced him to miss a good part of the season and comeback into the OHL playoffs cold.  So there could be some questions resulting from absence; namely, how would a fully healthy and "in form" Spooner would have been in the playoffs?  Enough to make a difference?

Per the NHL.com scouting profile, Spooner did represent Canada at the U-18 level both in the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament (a U-18 summer tourney) and the World U-18 tournament. It's a good sign that he has been talented enough to represent Canada at the U-18 level. In the Hlinka tournament, Canada was fantastic. They won the whole tournament in impressive fashion over Russia, 9-2 in the final.  Yet, Spooner only contributed one goal and two minor penalties in four games.

However, Canada was very bad in the World U-18s, falling into the relegation round (they survived relegation, fortunately).  Spooner only put up two goals in Canada's disappointing venture in Belarus.  Again, he's still developing and these are short tournaments. Besides, I don't know how his coaches utilized Spooner on Canada's roster. Maybe he wasn't on a scoring line? Yet, they are against top competition - U-18 national teams - and you'd like to see offensive players actually put up some points against them.  This could be a reason why Spooner is a projecting as a first round pick/early second round pick instead of earlier in the draft.

Three more picks tomorrow morning, as well as the unveiling of a complete second round.


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2010 NHL Mock Draft, 26th Pick: Washington Capitals Select Brock Nelson

With the 26th pick in the 2010 SB Nation NHL Mock Draft, our Washington Capitals bloggers at Japers' Rink select...

Brock Nelson, Warroad High School (Minnesota)

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photo via thehockeynews.com

From Japers' Rink:

Nelson, a 6-3, 205-pound center from the same high school that produced T.J. Oshie, is described as a "hard-skating power-forward" with "soft hands and an excellent shot" that projects to be a second-line center. He doesn't have "any glaring weaknesses as he plays well in all three zones" and will "make his presence known with his strength and ability to get to the net." Put it all together and Nelson "has the size, speed, competitive level, and even bloodlines to be a very good pro." Bloodlines, you say? Yep - Nelson's uncle is former Caps and Miracle-on-Icer Dave Christian, a member of one of pucks' premiere families... and we know how George McPhee loves those bloodlines.

The next pick belongs to the Montreal Canadiens.

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2010 NHL Mock Draft, 25th Pick: Vancouver Canucks Select Jarred Tinordi

With the 25th pick in the 2010 SB Nation NHL Mock Draft, our Vancouver Canucks blogger at Nucks Misconduct select...

Jarred Tinordi, US National Team Development Program (USHL)

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photo via nhl.com

From Die By The Blade's prospect profile on Tinordi:

Tinordi is a towering presence on the ice. He is a physical stay-at-home defenseman that could become a top-four defenseman if he develops his game. He skates well for a big man and has been blessed with some very good mobility that allows him to make some athletic plays.

He is a natural born leader, which is evident by him being the captain of the USNTDP U-18 team this season and the U-17 team the second half of last season. His leadership will help him develop into an everyday NHL player.

The next pick belongs to the Washington Capitals.

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2010 NHL Mock Draft, 24th Pick: Atlanta Thrashers Select Evgeny Kuznetsov

With the 24th pick in the 2010 SB Nation NHL Mock Draft, our Atlanta Thrashers bloggers at Bird Watchers Anonymous select...

Evgeny Kuznetsov, Chelyabinsk (KHL)

From The Cannon's profile of Kuznetsov:

Kuznetsov is a highly talented Russian center currently playing for Traktor Chelyabinsk in the KHL. He is the exact definition of high-risk, high-reward. First, there's the threat of either not coming over or bolting back to Russia if he doesn't get his way. Then, there is the fact that he is one of the most inconsistent players in the draft. When he's on- he's explosive and can put up gobs of offense. The problem is, he's not "on" as often as he needs to be. A team could get a superstar if he slips.

Six picks remaining in the round. Three tomorrow, three Friday.

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2010 NHL Mock Draft, 23rd Pick: Buffalo Sabres Select Dylan McIlrath

With the 23rd pick in the 2010 SB Nation NHL Mock Draft, our Buffalo Sabres bloggers at Die By The Blade select...

Dylan McIlrath, Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL)

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photo via www.mjwarriors.ca

From Die By The Blade:

I had a few power forwards in mind but with players like Austin Watson and Riley Sheahan off the board, I was forced to look in another direction. I narrowed down the choices to USNTDP U-18 defenseman Jared Tinordi and Moose Jaw Warriors defenseman Dylan McIlrath. The final decision was to select the toughest player in the draft, Dylan McIlrath.

McIlrath is a big, tough kid that plays with a chip on his shoulder. He makes his presence felt every time he steps on the ice and opposing forwards always take note of where he is. He had 169 penalty minutes playing for Moose Jaw in the WHL and many of those minutes were accumulated by protecting his goalie. That has been an issue in recent years with players taking liberties with Ryan Miller with little or no repercussions.

One more pick tonight, and it belongs to the Atlanta Thrashers.

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2010 NHL Mock Draft, 22nd Pick: Phoenix Coyotes Select Quinton Howden

With the 22nd pick in the 2010 SB Nation NHL Mock Draft, our Phoenix Coyotes bloggers at Five For Howling select...

Quinton Howden, Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL)

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photo via tsn.ca

From The Cannon's prospect profile on Howden:

A first round draft pick of the Moose Jaw Warriors in the WHL's 2007 Bantam Draft, Quinton Howden started slow, but quickly picked up the pace in the 2009-2010 season, more than doubling his point production from the 30 points he had in his rookie season and boosting his +/- from an abysmal -37 to a respectable +14 this year. Playing for both the WHL's Team West and Team Canada's U-18 squad, Howden shows a great deal of potential if he can continue to grow into his body and improve his play away from the puck.

Next up, the Buffalo Sabres.

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2010 NHL Mock Draft, 21st Pick: Detroit Red Wings Select Riley Sheahan

With the 21st pick in the 2010 SB Nation NHL Mock Draft, our Detroit Red Wings bloggers at Winging It In Motown select...

Riley Sheahan, Notre Dame Fighting Irish (NCAA)

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photo via nhl.com

From Winging It In Motown:

Much has been made about a team with a deep talent pool taking a flyer on the highly skilled, but oft-troubled, Kirill Kabanov, but Sheahan is a classic Red Wings pick. No, he's not a defenseman (of the last nine first round draft picks made by the Wings, 8 have been defensemen), but he is a collegiate player, giving him and the team the entire duration of his eligibility -- rather than the usual two years -- to make a decision about signing him to a pro contract. Knowing the Red Wings' penchant for allowing prospects to over-ripen, someone with three years left at Notre Dame could be an attractive commodity.

The next pick belongs to the Phoenix Coyotes.

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2010 NHL Mock Draft, 20th Pick: Pittsburgh Penguins Select John McFarland

Got slightly behind on the pickin' with the crazy hockey news day that was Tuesday. We shall catch up today with five picks. With the 20th pick in the 2010 SB Nation NHL Mock Draft, our Pittsburgh Penguins bloggers at Pensburgh select...

John McFarland, Sudbury Wolves (OHL)

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photo via thehockeynews.com

From Pensburgh...

We agreed that the Penguins, given the 20th pick, the likeliness of him dropping and the whole mentality of "pick the best player available," that John McFarland from the OHL's Sudbury Wolves is a great pick.  Over the years (and by that we mean, his obvious growing years), McFarland has garnered comparisons to a grittier Nik Zherdev (vomit) and Chris Kunitz (tolerable).  In 2008, there were talks of him possibly being the number one pick in this upcoming class but there's a sense of wonderment as to why or how he fell off that track so fast.  I don't think there is any reason for concern though, mainly because I feel the Pens can really make a steal with this pick if McFarland does drop to the 20th pick.  Perhaps the issues resided in a lack of focus or distractions off the ice, but I'm going to chalk it up as being McFarland's boredom due to a lack of competition, if only because it helps justify our pick.

Detroit is up next.

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2010 NHL Mock Draft, 19th Pick: Los Angeles Kings Select Jon Merrill

With the 19th pick in the 2010 SB Nation NHL Mock Draft, our Los Angeles Kings bloggers at Jewels From The Crown select...

Jon Merrill, US National Team Development Program (USHL)


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photo via thehockeynews.com

From Jewels From The Crown:

6'3"+, 198lbs, ranked 11th by ISS, Central Scouting 21st (NA skaters), gold medal for US-U18 this past year, Freshman at University of Michigan in the fall (which he committed to four years ago). Also, he's an Okie.

Conventional wisdom has the Kings picking a forward, but I think Lombardi will pick the best player available, and will have no problem picking someone who won't be ready for several years. Also, Lombardi's love of Red Berenson is legendary.

When I spoke to Merrill last week at Ann Arbor's Yost Arena, he told me he was excited about the prospect of -- wait, that didn't happen. I'm a blogger.

Next up today are our Pittsburgh Penguins bloggers at Pensburgh.


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2010 NHL Mock Draft, 18th Pick: Nashville Predators Select Austin Watson

With the 18th pick in the 2010 SB Nation NHL Mock Draft, our Nashville Predators bloggers at On the Forecheck select...

Austin Watson, Peterborough Petes (OHL)

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photo via OHL

From On the Forecheck:

On the surface, fortune has favored the mock Predators. At 6'3 and 187 pounds, Austin Watson could stand to add some bulk, but that will come with age - he's 17. Watson excels in the hard areas of the ice, never shying from a battle in the corner or taking a beating in front of the net. Watson is considered one of the top penalty killing and shot blocking prospects in the 2010 draft class, and projects to be a 60 point NHL scorer in the mold of Ryan Kesler. He wasn't given much of a chance to display his offensive talents while with Windsor (home of Taylor Hall, Adam Henrique, and Zack Kassian), but the move to Peterborough (20 points in 10 games) brought out some tantalizing scoring and playmaking ability. Essentially, Austin Watson appears to be made for Nashville Predators hockey. His superb defensive ability and above-average scoring potential makes him one of the more 'can't-miss' prospects in the draft, particularly considering the system Barry Trotz employs.

Three more picks tomorrow.

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2010 NHL Mock Draft, 17th Pick, Colorado Avalanche Select Jack Campbell

With the 17th pick in the 2010 SB Nation NHL Mock Draft, our Colorado Avalanche bloggers at Mile High Hockey select...

Jack Campbell, US National Team Development Program (USHL)

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From The Cannon's prospect profile of Campbell:

Jack Campbell is a goaltender for the US Nation Team Developmental Program in the USHL. Campbell is the 2nd highest rater goaltender amongst North American players. In November of 2009, Jack had de-committed to the University of M*chigan to jump to the OHL where he signed with the Windsor Spitfires. In my most humble opinion, I love that he opted not to go to college at that school.

He will play for Windsor in the upcoming 2010-11 season.

The next pick belongs to the Nashville Predators.

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2010 NHL Mock Draft, 16th Pick: Ottawa Senators Select Alexander Burmistrov

With the 16th pick in the 2010 SB Nation NHL Mock Draft, our Ottawa Senators bloggers at Silver Seven select...

Alexander Burmistrov, Barrie Colts (OHL)

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photo via ontariohockeyleague.com

From Silver Seven:

According to scouts, Burmistrov would bring the Senators game-breaking offensive talent complemented well by his respectable defensive skills. He's listed as the NHL Central Scouting's #11 ranked North American skater. His biggest issue presently is that he's a far too skinny 159 lbs, although with time he should be able to pack a few more pounds on to his six-foot frame. He's also been knocked for problems with consistency, so that's another issue NHL teams would look for him to address.

The next pick of the day belongs to our Colorado Avalanche bloggers at Mile High Hockey.

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2010 NHL Mock Draft, 15th Pick: Boston Bruins Select Emerson Etem

With the 15th pick in the 2010 SB Nation NHL Mock Draft, our Boston Bruins bloggers at Stanley Cup of Chowder select...

Emerson Etem, Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL)

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photo via thehockeynews.com

From Stanley Cup of Chowder:

The #1 rule of drafting is to take the best player available. The buzz about the Bruins' second pick in the draft is that they are targeting a defenseman, but with most the draft's premier blueliners already off the board in the mock draft I went with the best player still in the stands. The 6'0" 190 lb right winger played his junior hockey with the Medicine Hat Tigers of the WHL, where he posted 37-28-65 totals in 72 games. He is ranked 8th among North American skaters by Central Scouting.

Etem grew up in the "hockey hot bed" of Long Beach, CA, where he learned to the game by playing roller hockey before taking his game to the ice. Etem attended Shattuck-St Mary's in Minnesota, a prep school that is known for churning out NHL players. Some of the school's alumni include Sidney Crosby, Zach Parise, Jonathan Toews, Jack Johnson, Ty Conklin, Joe Corvo, Patrick Eaves, Ryan Malone, Kyle Okposo, and Drew Stafford.

That's it for today's picks. Three more tomorrow.

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2010 NHL Mock Draft, 14th Pick: St. Louis Blues Select Nick Bjugstad

With the 14th pick in the 2010 SB Nation NHL Mock Draft, our St. Louis Blues bloggers at St. Louis Game Time select...

Nick Bjugstad, Blaine High School (Minnesota)

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photo via vintageminnesotahockey.com

From St. Louis Game Time:

Game Time's choice, however, is Minnesota’s 2010 "Mr. Hockey," Nick Bjugstad. He’s big at 6’4, 187, and at only 17 years old, probably still has growing and filling out to do. The scouting report on him is that he’s a good skater with an excellent shot, decent faceoff skills, and leadership qualities. Personality-wise, he’s driven; he accelerated his high school coursework so as to graduate early this year at attend the U. of Minnesota in the fall, which tells us he’ll work like a fiend to accomplish a goal.

The Blues like to take Americans in the first round, and drafting a guy who’s going to college gives them four years to keep him on the reserve list without having to sign him, instead of the two years they get for a junior player. For a cash-strapped organization, that’s a plus, and it’s a route the Blues have taken many, many times in the past.

A big, skilled, intense forward who is a born leader… exactly what this organization needs right now.

The next pick belongs to the Boston Bruins delegation at Stanley Cup of Chowder.

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2010 NHL Mock Draft, 13th Pick: Phoenix Coyotes Select Mark Pysyk

With the 13th pick in the 2010 SB Nation NHL Mock Draft, our Phoenix Coyotes bloggers at Five For Howling select...

Mark Pysyk, Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)

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From Five For Howling:

Ranked 11th in the last ISS rankings, Mark Pysyk is a solid defenseman who could contribute to the big team sooner rather than later. While DMen typically take a little longer to develop, Pysyk has been a good player on a terrible team in the WHL the Oil Kings may not have played well, by Pysyk has eaten up minutes for them and been solid on the blueline. He's not the highest scoring guy, but plays an effective shutdown game and hits hard. He's only 18, but with another year in Junior to grow a little more he could see action with the Coyotes the year after. I'll get up more later today about the kid, but with the Coyotes needing more defensive prospects, they can't go wrong with Pysyk.

Learn more about Pysyk and why the Coyotes should take him next weekend at Five For Howling.

The next pick of the day, 14th overall, belongs to our St. Louis Blues bloggers at St. Louis Game Time.

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2010 NHL Mock Draft, 12th Pick: Anaheim Ducks Select Ryan Johansen

With the 12th pick in the 2010 SB Nation NHL Mock Draft, our Anaheim Ducks bloggers at Anaheim Calling select...

Ryan Johansen, Portland Winter Hawks (WHL)

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photo via soobumimphotography.com

From Anaheim Calling:

Johansen is generating some Top 10 buzz, which has been steadily snowballing after his playoff performance with the Portland Winterhawks. He's a big, gifted playmaker, though he showed off some defense this year. He's not necessarily the player-type the Ducks will look for at 12th, however. Despite drafting two forwards in the first round last year, I think they're probably in the market for a speedy goal scorer and may seriously consider trading up to get a shot at Jeff Skinner or Nino Niederreiter. Their goal scorer alternatives at 12th (Emerson Etem or maybe Alexander Burmistrov) may force them to seriously consider anyone who falls out of the Top 10, defenseman or forward, as I did here.

That's it for today's picks. Check back tomorrow for Day 5.

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2010 NHL Mock Draft, 11th Pick: Dallas Stars Select Derek Forbort

With the 11th pick in the 2010 SB Nation NHL Mock Draft, our Dallas Stars bloggers at Defending Big D select...

Derek Forbort, US National Team Development Program (USHL)

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photo via thehockeynews.com

From Defending Big D:

The Stars traded their top defensive prospect, Ivan Vishnevskiy to the Thrashers in the deal for Kari Lehtonen, leaving them with Philip Larsen as the top rated blue liner in their system. He is the only defenseman in the Stars top 20 prospects outside of Hubert Labrie, who I'm guessing most Stars fans haven't heard of. The Stars' defensive cupboard is bare and Derek Forbort is where they need to start the re-stocking.

Forbort, by all accounts, is an impressive combination of size and skill. Projected by many to be a top pairing guy in the NHL, the 6'5", 198 pounder is good on the penalty kill, willing to blocks shots and can hold his own in the offensive end. While not a "pure puck mover", Derek scored 4 goals and 10 assists in 26 appearances with the U.S. National U-17 team in 2009-2010 and is described as an excellent skater for his size. He is committed to the Univeristy of North Dakota in the fall. The Stars are mock-happy to mock-draft the young man from Duluth, Minnesota, and continue a tradition of outstanding American players (Modano, Hatcher, Guerin, etc) in Texas.

The next pick in the draft belongs to the Anaheim Ducks and our bloggers at Anaheim Calling.

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2010 NHL Mock Draft, 10th Pick: New York Rangers Select Jeff Skinner

With the 10th pick in the 2010 SB Nation NHL Mock Draft, our New York Rangers bloggers at Blueshirt Banter select...

Jeff Skinner, Kitchener Rangers (OHL)

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Convenience: he's already used to the Rangers uniform.

From Blueshirt Banter:

In Skinner the Rangers get a notable scorer at the OHL level. His 50 goals in the 64 regular season games he participated in were awesome, but it was his 20 goals in 20 games playoff games are what stood out for us. In the end, 70 goals in 84 games is too good to pass up. Gaborik can't be the only goal scorer on the Rangers, Skinner is an easy pick here.

Next on the clock, the Dallas Stars delegation at Defending Big D.

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2010 NHL Mock Draft, Ninth Pick: Minnesota Wild Select Mikael Granlund

With the ninth pick in the 2010 SB Nation NHL Mock Draft, our Minnesota Wild bloggers at Hockey Wilderness select...

Mikael Granlund, HIFK (SM-Liiga)

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photo via hifk.fi

From Hockey Wilderness:

Regarded as one of the smartest players in the draft, undersized forward Mikael Granlund has drawn comparisons to Saku Koivu. Granlund has the hands, smarts, and drive to create highlight real plays, which helped him win the SM-Liiga Rookie of the Year, the top professional league in Finland. While very talented, some criticize his small size and his lack of speed but Granlund tries to make it up with elusive skating and high intensity play. The Minnesota Wild will love to add this talented offensive forward to their prospect pool which lacks any bluechip forward.

Read more on Granlund over at Hockey Wilderness.

That does it for the picks on day three. Check back tomorrow for three more selections from the New York Rangers, Dallas Stars and Anaheim Ducks.

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2010 NHL Mock Draft, Eighth Pick: Atlanta Thrashers Select Brett Connolly

With the eighth pick in the 2010 SB Nation NHL Mock Draft, our Atlanta Thrashers bloggers at Bird Watchers Anonymous select...

Brett Connolly, Prince George Cougars (WHL)

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photo via Western Hockey League

From Bird Watchers Anonymous:

With Nino Niederreiter off the board the Thrashers take the winger from the WHL. He has star talent but missed much of the season with a hip injury. Most observers say that on pure talent Connolly is a top 5 talent, the question is his health. Thrashers have done their due diligence (don't forget Atlanta took Patrik Stefan despite concussion concerns). One Thrashers scout said that he's "never seen him have a bad game"--the team likes his potential.

For more on Connolly, head over to BWA.

The final pick on day three belongs to the Minnesota Wild, via Hockey Wilderness. They are on the clock.

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2010 NHL Mock Draft, Seventh Pick: Carolina Hurricanes Select Nino Niederrieter

With the seventh pick in the 2010 SB Nation NHL Mock Draft, our Carolina Hurricanes bloggers at Canes Country select...

Nino Niederreiter, Portland Winter Hawks (WHL)

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From Canes Country:

As one of the youngest players in the draft, we feel that Nino Niederreiter has the best possible upside than anyone else available on the board.  At the U20 World Championships, as a 17 year old he performed better than most of his 19 year old counterparts and was selected to the tournament all star team.  The ISS describes him as, "Gritty and intelligent shooter who always seems to come up big when called upon. An extremely good forechecker who works hard and competes in all situations."  His NHL potential?  "Powerplay trigger man and top line power forward." 

That's just what the doctor ordered for the Hurricanes.

Get more on Niederreiter at Canes Country.

The next pick, the eighth in the draft, belongs to our Atlanta Thrashers bloggers at Bird Watchers Anonymous. They are on the clock.

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2010 NHL Mock Draft, Sixth Pick: Tampa Bay Lightning Select Vladimir Tarasenko

With the sixth pick in the 2010 SB Nation NHL Mock Draft, our Tampa Bay Lightning bloggers at Raw Charge select...

Vladimir Tarasenko, Novosibirsk (KHL)

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photo via thehockeynews.com

Tarasenko is the first European player to be selected in our draft.

From Raw Charge:

While the Lightning have multiple needs, none appear to be greater than adding scoring depth on wing.  Tarasenko (labeled "a poor-man's Alex Ovechkin" and also compared with Pittsburgh Penguins Evgeni Malkin) may be looked at as a risk due to his obligations to play in the KHL, but Steve Yzerman's approach of patience coupled with Tarasenko's own stated desires to play in the NHL, make this a risk worth taking for the Bolts.    Tarasenko is undersized (5'10") by comparison to Ovi and Malkin, but size should not be the reason to write off ability.

For more on their pick, visit Raw Charge.

That's it for today's selections. Our first pick on Friday will be the seventh of the draft, and it belongs to the Carolina Hurricanes delegation at Canes Country.

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2010 NHL Mock Draft, Fifth Pick: New York Islanders Select Eric Gudbranson

With the fifth pick in the 2010 SB Nation NHL Mock Draft, our New York Islanders bloggers at Lighthouse Hockey select...

Eric Gudbranson, Kingston Frontenacs (OHL)

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photo via cyberpresse.ca

From Lighthouse Hockey:

While the scoring knack and size of Brett Connolly is tempting, the Islanders have bad luck with players possessing hip X-rays in their medical records. Having selected forwards with their last three top-10 picks (Kyle Okposo 2006, Josh Bailey 2008, John Tavares 2009), the Islanders go for blueline help in 2010.

Erik Gudbranson is big, he's mean, and he addresses a void in the Islanders' system, which is heavy on smaller puck-moving blueliners and light on snarl. Gudbranson on the 2011-12 Islanders blueline paints a pretty picture...

Click on over to Lighthouse Hockey for the full breakdown on Gudbranson.

Next up today, our Tampa Bay Lightning bloggers at Raw Charge will announce their pick.

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2010 NHL Mock Draft, Fourth Pick: Columbus Blue Jackets Select Brandon Gormley

With the fourth pick in the 2010 SB Nation NHL Mock Draft, our Columbus Blue Jackets bloggers at The Cannon select...

Brandon Gormley, Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL)

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photo via thehockeynews.com

From The Cannon:

A defenseman with exceptional puck moving skills and decision making ability, Gormley fits the Jackets' need for offensive punch at the blue line and defensemen who can play a puck-possession game under new head coach Scott Arniel. A well rounded player who can serve on both the PP and PK, he has the potential to become a future top pairing defenseman for the CBJ.

For more on Gormley and why the Jackets picked him, head over to The Cannon.

Up next today, the New York Islanders, via Lighthouse Hockey, have the fifth selection. They are on the clock.

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2010 NHL Mock Draft, Third Pick: Florida Panthers Select Cam Fowler

With the third pick in the 2010 SB Nation NHL Mock Draft, our Florida Panthers bloggers at Litter Box Cats select...

Cam Fowler, Windsor Spitfires (OHL)

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From Litter Box Cats:

It's exceptionally easy to lump all of Florida's needs into a simple generalization along the line of "everything". While that may be utterly true - where the club stands pre-draft and the trades that inevitably shadow this franchise at said point - the arrival of GM Dale Tallon thankfully takes the argument further into "building for the next five years" territory rather than the recent "building for the next five months" scheme (implemented for a dizzying array of reasons)we've all grown accustomed to from our friends in Sunrise.

Head over to LBC for full justification on the third pick.

The Columbus delegation from The Cannon will be first up tomorrow. Be sure to check back.

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2010 NHL Mock Draft, Second Pick: Boston Bruins Select Tyler Seguin

With the second pick in the 2010 SB Nation NHL Mock Draft, our Boston Bruins bloggers at Stanley Cup of Chowder select...

Tyler Seguin, Plymouth Whalers (OHL)

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From Stanley Cup of Chowder:

I'm not going to sit here and act like an expert on a junior hockey player I have never seen play. All I know is that Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin are the class of this year's draft. The Copper & Blue selected Taylor Hall with the #1 pick, so we were stuck with NHL Central Scouting's #1 ranked North American skater.

According to what I have read and heard, Hall is more of a pure goal scorer, while Seguin is more of a playmaker, who makes the players around him better. I think the Bruins need more of what Taylor Hall brings, but if the Oilers take Hall, the B's are still getting a special player in Seguin.

The 6'1" 172 lb centerman finished first in the OHL with 106 points this season (48-58-106) and was awarded the Red Tilson Trophy this season as the OHL Most Outstanding Player.

Head over to Stanley Cup of Chowder for the full rundown on Seguin.

Florida, via Litter Box Cats, is on the clock.

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2010 NHL Mock Draft, First Pick: Edmonton Oilers Select Taylor Hall

With the first pick in the 2010 SB Nation NHL Mock Draft, our Edmonton Oilers bloggers at The Copper & Blue select...

Taylor Hall, Windsor Spitfires (OHL)

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photo via windsorstar.com

Here's what Scott Reynolds at The Copper & Blue has to say about Hall, and their choice to take him over Tyler Seguin:

Seguin's improvement now doesn't seem to suggest that he will continue to improve more as time goes on than Hall.  And at this point, that's why I still favour Hall.  Hall's points per game this season was 1.85 compared to 1.68 for Seguin.  Including playoff results, the gap swells to 1.85 and 1.61.  That strikes me a pretty non-trivial difference.  I understand that the goal is to pick the guy who will be the best in five years and not the guy who's the best today but so far I haven't heard any reason to believe Seguin is the one who's more likely to improve.  If there's no reason to believe one guy has a better chance at improving than the other, you may as well take the guy who's better today.  And it would seem that the guy who's better today is Taylor Hall.

They're still lobbying for a trade over at C&B, and despite the reality that it could actually happen in the real draft, we're not allowing it. The Edmonton delegation will have to accept that reality or feel the wrath of The League.

The Boston group from Stanley Cup of Chowder is on the clock.

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2010 SB Nation NHL Mock Draft: The Edmonton Oilers Are On The Clock...

Beginning today, SB Nation will kick off our annual NHL Mock Draft. Our 30 team blogs (well, some teams aren't able to participate because their teams hate the draft -- ahem, Toronto and Philadelphia) will pick on behalf of their teams, and three picks will be announced a day as we work through the first round in preparation for the real NHL Draft next Friday.

Here's the full schedule:

June 16: Oilers, Bruins, Panthers
June 17: Blue Jackets, Islanders, Lightning
June 18: Hurricanes, Thrashers, Wild
June 19: Rangers, Stars, Ducks
June 20: Coyotes, Blues, Bruins
June 21: Senators, Avalanche, Predators
June 22: Kings, Penguins, Red Wings
June 23: Coyotes, Sabres, Thrashers
June 24: Canucks, Capitals, Canadiens
June 25: Sharks, Ducks, Blackhawks

Despite the pleas of our Edmonton and Boston bloggers, there will be no trades. We'll bring you the action here as it happens, and we'll direct you to our team blogs for full breakdowns of each pick.

Edmonton is on the clock.

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