2013 PuckScene Mock Draft

Our own take on the first round of Sunday's NHL Draft in Newark.

A t long last, we’ve made it to the day of the NHL Draft. With that brings the first ever PuckScene Mock Draft. I have made all 30 selections for the first round today in Newark with a little explanation as to why I slotted each player into a particular slot.

Please remember this is a mock draft – I do not, nor do I claim, to have any inside knowledge on what players a team will pick. These are merely opinions and mildly educated guesses.

1 Colorado Avalanche Seth Jones D Portland Winterhawks
Regardless of predraft posturing, Seth Jones is the player that Colorado needs more than anyone. The only reason that they would possibly pick a forward here is to trade away one of the abundance of young ones they already have.
2 Florida Panthers Nathan Mackinnon C Halifax Mooseheads
A franchise center to complement the franchise forward they have in Jonathan Huberdeau should keep Florida from picking this early again for some time.
3 Tampa Bay Lightning Jonathan Drouin LW Halifax Mooseheads
A prolific scorer compared to Pavel Datsyuk, the combination of Drouin and Steven Stamkos is simply scary to imagine. They could potentially become the new Datsyuk and Zetterberg.
4 Nashville Predators Aleksander Barkov C Tappara
Everything about Barkov screams Predator…he’s big, he’s physical, he plays the two-way game that Barry Trotz loves…and he has that scoring touch that Nashville has always sought but never acquired.
5 Carolina Hurricanes Darnell Nurse D Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
Carolina has picked a North American with their first pick in each of the last 12 NHL Drafts. While Nichushkin seems to be the logical pick here, I took their history into consideration. It wouldn’t be a bad pick – Nurse and 2011 first rounder Ryan Murphy should be Carolina’s defensive pairing of the future.
6 Calgary Flames Sean Monahan C Ottawa 67′s
Calgary has a plethora of picks in the first round, but should use the first one to pick their future captain. Monahan, who captained a dismal Ottawa team, has the potential to eventually fill the role that Jarome Iginla vacated.
7 Edmonton Oilers Nikita Zadorov D London Knights
Edmonton has done a pretty solid job loading up on young, talented forwards. With the acquisition of Justin Schultz last summer and the not that old Ladislav Smid in the lineup, Zadarov – who some scouts rank better than Nurse – seems to be the logical pickup here.
8 Buffalo Sabres Valeri Nichushkin F Traktor Chelyabinsk
With the first of their 2 first round picks, Buffalo gets a bit of a steal here. I was honestly surprised he fell this far…and I’m picking. With the 8th pick, they may have a forward who is already to make the leap to the NHL and begin contributing. Nichushkin was the KHL’s rookie of the year last year and could excel in Buffalo.
9 New Jersey Devils Elias Lindholm C Brynäs
Lindholm might be the most underrated forward in the draft and Lou Lamoriello has never had a problem drafting from Europe. A center who can also play at wing, Lindholm could provide some of the pop that Zach Parise took with him.
10 Dallas Stars Hunter Shinkaruk LW Medicine Hat Tigers
Dallas doesn’t have much depth in their forward corps at all right now. Meanwhile, Shinkaruk has shown a scoring touch in Medicine Hat that every team would want.
11 Philadelphia Flyers Zachary Fucale G Halifax Mooseheads
Philadelphia has tried virtually everything to get a franchise goalie. Unless a trade goes down between now and the time their pick comes up, they’re going to need someone to save them from Steve Mason.
12 Phoenix Coyotes Alexander Wennberg C Djurgården
By the time Wennberg is ready to make the leap, Shane Doan will likely be near or at the end of his career. Phoenix is going to have to make their forward corps younger at some point.
13 Winnipeg Jets Rasmus Ristolainen D TPS
Once you get outside about the top 10, teams tend to take the best player available because they will not be able to make an impact for a while. Ristolainen, a big strong Niklas Kronwall-esque defenseman, has been projected near the top 10 by several services.
14 Columbus Blue Jackets Ryan Pulock D Brandon Wheat Kings
Columbus has 3 first round picks, so can afford to pick all over the place. Pulock adds a scoring factor and can become a decent two-way defenseman.
15 New York Islanders Josh Morrissey D Prince Albert Raiders
Morrissey consistently falls around this spot in most draft guides. The power play is reportedly right in his wheelhouse.
16 Buffalo Sabres Bo Horvat C London Knights
With the second pick in the first round, Buffalo gets a player that is almost the polar opposite of their first pick. The ISS has named Horvat the best defensive forward in the draft class.
17 Ottawa Senators Andre Burakovsky C Malmö
Ottawa picks up a Swedish center who might be ready to move to the NHL by the time that other Swedish center of theirs decides to hang up his hat.
18 Detroit Red Wings Curtis Lazar C Edmonton Oil Kings
A hard-working center, Lazar has the chops to become a 2nd-3rd line scoring threat for the Wings.
19 Columbus Blue Jackets Frederik Gauthier C Rimouski Oceanic
Gauthier ranks as the second best defensive forward in the Draft, per the ISS. Columbus has 3 first rounders, so they can afford to pick a cornucopia of styles.
20 San Jose Sharks Anthony Mantha RW Val-d’Or Foreurs
Mantha scored 50 goals in just 67 games this year. If he can convert that into the NHL…look out!
21 Toronto Maple Leafs Max Domi C London Knights
Every year, there is a prospect who is rated fairly high and plummets in the Draft. If Domi is still here, is there really a doubt that Toronto would take him?
22 Calgary Flames Samuel Morin D Rimouski Oceanic
At 6’6″, Morin takes up a lot of space. That’s a pretty decent quality for a stay at home defenseman to have. With some more bulk to his 205 pounds, Morin could become a very hard guy to move off the puck.
23 Washington Capitals Valentin Zykov LW Baie-Comeau Drakkar
Washington is probably going to take a Russian sniper every time they get a chance to take one.
24 Vancouver Canucks Robert Hagg D MODO
A heavy shooter with power play skill, Hagg’s style of play has been compared to John Carlson’s. Also, he’s Swedish, which the Canucks tend to like.
25 Montreal Canadiens Adam Erne LW Quebec Remparts
Erne is a determined, physical player that likes to go to the net, scoring 28 goals in 68 contests last year.
26 Anaheim Ducks J.T. Compher C USNDT
Described as “tenacious” and “crafty”, Compher could become one of Bruce Bourdreau’s favorite toys.
27 Columbus Blue Jackets Kerby Rychel LW Windsor Spitfires
With their third and final first rounder, Columbus picks up a player who has scored 40 goals in each of his last 2 seasons with Windsor.
28 Calgary Flames Nic Petan C Portland Winterhawks
The 5’8″ center had one heck of a breakout year in Portland, ringing up 120 points and adding another 38 in the playoffs after having just 35 last season and 0 in the playoffs.
29 Dallas Stars Mike McCarron RW USNDT
A big forward who, per the ISS, uses his size to “create space and cause havoc” would be a perfect fit for the Dallas Stars.
30 Chicago Blackhawks Mirco Mueller D Everett Silvertips
Possibly the best player remaining, Mueller is a puck moving defenseman with very good hockey sense.

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A native of Franklin, Tennessee, Patten Fuqua is the managing editor of PuckScene.com. He earned a Bachelor’s of Science from Belmont University in Journalism and Broadcasting.