This will be my second edition of my 2013 NHL Mock Draft. I made my first 2013 NHL Mock Draft on September 28, 2011. Now with the midseason in the CHL, I can get a better gauge on some prospects for the 2013 NHL Draft. In this draft, the Dallas Stars hold the top pick.
Think the Nail Yakupov hype is excessive because he is getting compared to Alex Ovechkin and tallied 101 points as a rookie? Just wait until next season, Nate MacKinnon is supposed to be the best NHL prospect since Sidney Crosby. A junior hockey team surrendered not one, not two, but 3 first round draft picks just to get MacKinnon to play for their team. MacKinnon also scored 5 goals in one game against the Quebec Remparts. Is getting compared to Crosby a good thing or bad thing with Crosby’s recent injuries? Will I have the Penguins winning the 2012-2013 Stanley Cup in this mock draft? Read the mock draft to find out.
1. Dallas Stars Nate MacKinnon C Halifax Mooseheads QMJHL Everyone is saying that MacKinnon is the next Sidney Crosby. MacKinnon played for the same AAA Bantam team as Crosby in Cole Harbour. He also played for the same high school as Crosby at Shattuck Saint. Mary’s. Just like Crosby, Nathan MacKnnon went #1 overall in the QMJHL Entry Draft. Two years after Crosby went #1 overall in the 2003 QMJHL Entry Draft he went #1 overall in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. There is a good chance MacKinnon could follow suit going #1 overall in 2013.
The Baie-Comeau Drakkar selected MacKinnon #1 overall. The Halifax Moosheads dealt their 2012, 2013, and a 2013 first round pick from the Quebec Remparts to the to Baie-Comeau Drakkar in exchange for Nathan MacKinnon one month after MacKinnon got drafted.
MacKinnon had 110 and 145 points in his 2 seasons at Cole Harbour. At Shattuck St. Mary’s High School he had 101 points on their Bantam team while posting 93 points on their under 16 team.
Last season in 40 games MacKinnon posted 45 goals and 48 assists in 40 games which is really impressive.
Nate MacKinnon has generated 26 goals, 36 assists, and 62 points in 43 games for the Mooseheads in his first year in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. MacKinnon can play as a two way forward at center or right wing just like Mikhail Grigorenko who is this years top QMJHL prospect in 2012.
Nate MacKinnon is being labeled as the second coming of Crosby. He scored a mind boggling 5 goals in a 6 to 4 victory over the Quebec Remparts led by Mikhail Grigorenko who is by far and away the top QMJHL prospect for the 2012 NHL Draft. Quebec has 3 wingers eligible for the 2013 NHL Draft that could go in the top half of the first round outside of Grigorenko who is a top 3 pick for the 2012 NHL Draft.
It seems skeptical to buy into the MacKinnon hype at this point. He scored 5 goals against a team with 4 potential first round picks on the wing in a 6 to 4 win. MacKinnon’s numbers have been consistent plus he has lived up to the hype for a future NHL prospect.
The Dallas Stars have needed a true line 1 game changing center since Brad Richards left. Ribeiro can be effective on the front 6. Ribeiro would be much more effective on the second line behind Nate MacKinnon. The Stars will not be picking high enough to get that player in 2012. The Stars may be in the running to land Nate MacKinnon in 2013.
The last time Dallas picked #1 overall they got a game changing line 1 center with Mike Modano. Maybe Dallas gets another center with this pick.
There is no reason for Nathan MacKinnon not to go #1 overall in 2013 unless he fails to live up to expectations over the next two seasons in Halifax. I really cannot see that happening with the talent around him.
MacKinnon’s points totals may not match Crosby, but MacKinnon has faced tougher competition at the junior level while posting impressive numbers. Crosby was in the juniors from 2003 to 2005. MacKinnon has been in the juniors from 2011 up until now. The junior leagues have gotten much more competitive since Crosby played in them 8 years ago.
MacKinnon is the clear cut #1 overall pick at this point. I have the Dallas Stars picking here in this second 2013 mock because A) I think they have a realistic chance of being the NHL’s worst team next season and B) The Stars are my favorite NHL team. Its way too early to speculate what could happen in 2013 so I’m just going to give the top player in this draft to my favorite team.
MacKinnon will be a franchise player in the NHL if he continues to produce out of this world numbers in the QMJHL. I really believe that if nothing bad happens to MacKinnon he will jump straight to the NHL having a Sidney Crosby or Ryan Nugent Hopkins type of impact as a rookie.
2012 First Round Pick Griffin Reinhart Defenseman Edmonton Oil Kings
2. Montreal Canadiens Hunter Shinkaruk Left Wing Medicine Hat Tigers WHL Hunter Shinkaruk is a line 1 left winger that has the versatility of a two way forward. Shinkaruk can move inside to center, but is better served on the outside at left wing. Shinkaruk can be used as a playmaker or a sniper. Shinkaruk has generated 40 goals, 32 assists, and 72 points in 55 games for the Medicine Hat Tigers.
Hunter Shinkauk is a player who can come in and be a line 1 starter on day 1 for the Montreal Canadians.
Montreal will need more depth at the wing in 2013 if they opt to pursue a center in the 2012 NHL Draft like many expect. I think Montreal goes with Alex Galchenyuk in 2012, sends him down to Sarnia for a year, and then brings Galchenyuk up to play on the 3rd line behind Tomas Plekanec.
2012 First Round Pick Alex Galchenyuk Center Sarnia Sting OHL
3. Tampa Bay Lightning Seth Jones Defenseman USA Under 18 Team USHL Seth Jones is the son of former NBA baller Popeye Jones. Jones is currently projected to be the #1 defenseman for the 2013 NHL Draft.
I gave the Lightning goalie Malcolm Subban with the 6th pick in my last 2012 NHL Mock Draft. I think the Lightning would give Subban one more year in the OHL with his brother Jordan Subban before calling him up to be the Lighning’s starting goalie full time in 2013.
Subban has a 1.93 goals against average with a .938 save percentage while playing in 20 games for the Bulls in 2011-2012. Subban has recorded a pair of shutouts. Its hard to justify an argument against Subban for not being a top 10 pick when you look at his stats. You rarely see goalies his age with a goals against average that is under 2 goals plus Subban has a save percentage of nearly .940.
Its hard to find a goalie that gifted straight out of the OHL. If Roloson leaves, I could see Subban beating out Mathieu Garon for the starting job. Garon will have one year left on his contract and rushing a goalie into the starting lineup is not the smartest decision to make when you have some aging players on defense.
The 34 year old Pavel Kubina has an expiring deal in 2012. Kubina will turn 36 by the time the 2013 NHL Draft roles around. Kubina will no longer be considered a line 1 defender by that time. Tampa Bay will need a line 1 defender who can compliment Victor Hedman. The Lightning have 2 long term line 2 defenders with Eric Brewer and Mattais Ohlund. Neither Brewer or Ohlund is capable of complimenting Hedman on the first line.
In the event that the Lightning draft Subban, the Lightning may be picking high enough once again in order to secure a blue chip defender. A defensive tandem featuring Victor Hedman plus Seth Jones along with Malcolm Subban at goaltender gives the Lightning an excellent overall first line with Steven Stamkos, Ryan Malone, Martin St. Louis, Victor Hedman, Seth Jones, and Malcolm Subban at goaltender. The Lightning could contend for a cup with this line.
Team USA’s Under 18 USHL team is loaded with defenseman. Team USA’s Under 18 Team has 6 2012 NHL prospects and 3 different 2013 prospects on defense. Seth Jones is the #1 defender on line 1. Jacob Trouba the top Team USA player in the 2012 NHL Draft compliments Jones on the first line. The one blue liner that anchors the entire core is Seth Jones. Jones really stands out compared to the rest of Team USA’s defenders.
2012 First Round Pick Malcolm Subban Goalie Belleville Bulls OHL
4. New York Islanders Anthony Duclair Left Wing Quebec Remparts QMJHL Mikhail Grigorenko is a playmaker and a sniper who can play center or right wing. Duclair is a pure left wing sniper who compliments Grigorenko’s game on the Quebec Remparts.
Anthony Duclair has generated 21 goals, 22 assists, and 43 points for the Remparts in 2011-2012. Duclair previously played with 2012 NHL draft prospect Michael Matheson on the Lac Saint-Louis Lions. Matheson was the team captain and Duclair was an assistant captain that made Matheson’s job easy.
Anthony Duclair could play on the Islanders right away on the 3rd line behind Matt Moulson and Nino Niederreiter at left wing right away in 2013. The Islanders are the doormat of the NHL when it comes to scoring chances.
Having Nino Niederreiter on the front 6 with Ryan Strome playing on the back 6 in 2013 will have this team ready to contend. Until then, the Islanders will remain in rebuilding mode with all of their draft needs on left wing and defense.
2012 First Round Pick Matthew Dumba Defenseman Red Deer Rebels WHL
5. Winnipeg Jets Jordan Subban Defenseman Belleville Bulls OHL The Jets usually pursue OHL prospects. Defense will be Winnipeg’s biggest need in 2013 if they do not take a defenseman in 2012.
Jordan Subban plays on the Bulls 3rd line as the #6 defender on the Bulls depth chart. Jordan Subban has potential to become a #1 defender that anchors a defense in the NHL one day. The Jets could draft Jordan Subban and develop him at their own pace without rushing him onto the team.
Previous Pick Brendan Gaunce Center Belleville Bulls OHL
6. Calgary Flames Sean Monahan Center Ottawa 67′s OHL Sean Monahan has the skill set for a line 1 player. Monahan can play anywhere on line 1, line 2, or line 3 at center for the Ottawa 67′s.
Monahan is a playmaker with 27 goals, 36 assists, and 63 points. Monahan will be able to become the Calgary Flames line 1 center if no dire upgrades are made within the next few years.
2012 First Round Pick Derrick Pouliot Defenseman Portland Winterhawks WHL
7. Phoenix Coyotes Aleksander Sasha Barkov Center Tappara SM Liiga Aleksander Sasha Barkov may not post the best stats. Barkov shows a lot of heart on the ice. Aleksander Sasha Barkov has the vision, passing ability, playmaking skills, and shooting power to be a deadly center.
Some believe Aleksander Sasha Barkov has the best chance to rival Nate MacKinnon for the #1 overall pick. Barkov has a chance to be an instant impact line 1 skater in Phoenix when 2013 rolls around.
2012 First Round Pick Jacob Trouba Defenseman USA Under 18 Team USHL
8. Anaheim Ducks Ryan Pulock Defenseman Brandon Wheat Kings WHL The Ducks need a line one defender who can compliment Cam Fowler. Ryan Pulock may be the solution to their problems. Pulock is a #2 defender on line 1 who could develop into a #1 defender on a teams first line.
2012 First Round Pick Filip Forsberg Left Wing Leksands Allsvenskan
9. Carolina Hurricanes Kerby Rychel Left Wing Windsor Spitfires OHL Kerby Rychel is sort of a poor mans Taylor Hall. Rychel has the ability to develop into a sniper with two way forward ability on the back 6 in the NHL one day. That is exactly what the Hurricanes should look for at this point.
2012 First Round Pick Mikhail Grigorenko Center Quebec Remparts QMJHL
10. Colorado Avalanche Adam Erne Right Wing Quebec Remparts QMJHL The Avalanche will need a right winger on the second line for 2013. Gabriel Landeskog and Peter Mueller could play the first line. TJ Galiardi could play the second line at left wing. A long term answer for your second line right wing would still need to be addressed.
Adam Erne is a line 4 right winger for the Quebec Remparts this season. In 2012-2013 Erne will earn a chance to be the line 1 right winger on the Remparts when Mikhail Grigorenko cracks an NHL roster spot being a top 5 pick in June’s 2012 NHL Draft. Erne is a two way forward who can play right wing or center. Erne is more effective at right wing.
Watching Mikhail Grigorenko will really help Adam Erne’s development next season. Erne has tallied 23 goals, 26 assists, and 49 points in 53 games for the Quebec Remparts in 2011-2012 after playing for the Indiana Ice of the USHL in 2010-2011.
2012 First Round Pick Traded it to Washington Capitals for Varlamov
11. Minnesota Wild Rasmus Ristolainen Defenseman TPS SM Liiga The Wild continue to add defensive players to solidify their defense. You can never have too many defenders plus the Wild are stacked with veterans and a young core of skill set players on offense.
2012 First Round Pick Matt Finn Defenseman Guelph Storm OHL
12. St. Louis Blues Curtis Lazar Center Edmonton Oil Kings WHL Curtis Lazar has 15 goals, 10 assists, and 25 points in limited action in 2011-2012. Lazar was the 2nd overall pick in the 2010 WHL Bantam Draft. Lazar will need some seasoning as a line 1 center in Edmonton before making the jump to the NHL. Michael St. Croix will likely be the Oil Kings top line center until he is eligible for the move to the AHL.
Lazar will get more chances. Lazar is a project player with huge potential. The Blues are looking for more project players hoping one maximizes their full potential.
2012 First Round Pick Sebastian Collberg Right Wing Frolunda Elitserien
13. Ottawa Senators Nick Sorensen Right Wing Quebec Remparts QMJHL Sorensen is a pure sniper at right wing. He may be able to improve other areas of his game by learning from Grigrorenko.
2012 First Round Pick Cody Ceci Defenseman Ottawa 67′s
14. Toronto Maple Leafs Max Domi Center London Knights OHL The Maple Leafs could use that line game changing playmaker. Max Domi is the son of Ty Domi. Max Domi provides incredible value here.
2012 First Round Pick Slater Koekkoek Defenseman Peterborough Petes OHL
15. San Jose Sharks Alex Forsberg Center Prince George Cougars WHL Alex Forsberg was the #1 overall pick in the 2010 WHL Bantam Draft. I have to believe Forsberg will get selected at some point in the first round. Forsberg could develop into a front 6 center.
2012 First Round Pick Brandon Troock Right Wing Seattle Thunderbirds WHL
16. Florida Panthers Connor Rankin Center Tri City Americans WHL The Panthers sort of have the luxury of taking the best players available and developing them at their own pace. I gave the Panthers Morgan Rielly in my 2012 mock so I will give the Panthers the best offensive player here to make things more interesting.
Rankin could develop into a line 2 center behind Jonathan Huberdeau in this situation. Huberdeau was drafted 3rd overall in 2011.
2012 First Round Pick Morgan Rielly Defenseman Moose Jaw Warriors WHL
17. Detroit Red Wings Eric Roy Defenseman Brandon Wheat Kings WHL The Red Wings will need a successor to Lidstrom. Eric Roy may rise up draft boards and become a top 10 pick. The Red Wings would be obtaining outstanding value with Eric Roy here.
2012 First Round Pick Phillip De Giuseppe Left Wing Michigan
18. Columbus Blue Jackets Eric Comrie Goalie Tri City Americans WHL Eric Comrie is the clear cut #1 goaltender for the 2013 NHL Draft. Comrie has a 2.57 goals against average and a .898 save percentage in his first year as a starting goalie. Comrie has shown flashes of brilliance in 2011-2012. Comrie has the tools at goaltender to become a first round pick.
You really cannot blame Columbus for wanting to take Comrie here. Steve Mason has been a liability in years past. New regimes take new goalies. Dallas got Jack Campbell as the goalie for the future in Nieuwendyk’s second year as general manager. Mike Milbury gave up on Roberto Luongo for Rick Dipeitro.
New GM’s prefer to draft their own goalie and develop that goalie for the future in the WHL and AHL before bringing them up to the NHL. That’s just the nature of the NHL.
2012 First Round Pick Nail Yakupov Left Wing Sarnia Sting OHL
19. Philadelphia Flyers Morgan Klimchuk Center Regina Pats WHL Morgan Klimchuk is a playmaker center. The Flyers may take the best offensive player here. Talbot and Schenn both have expiring deals in 2013. The Flyers will make major changes and opt to build through the draft if their big free agency moves fail to BUY them a championship. The reason I put buy in caps lock is because the Philadelphia Eagles tried the same tactic and it failed.
2012 First Round Pick Olli Maata Defenseman London Knights OHL
20. Washington Capitals Josh Morrissey Defenseman Prince Albert Raiders WHL The Capitals continue to take the best players available to increase their deep pool of prospects.
2012 First Round Picks Collin Olson Goalie USA Under 18 Team USHL and Zemgus Girgensons Dubuque Fighting Saints USHL
21. Los Angeles Kings Brent Pedersen Left Wing Kitchener Rangers OHL The Kings could use a blue chip sniper. The Kitchener Rangers always seem to develop an OHL player into an NHL player. Landeskog, Cody Sol, Ryan Murphy, and Jeff Skinner were Rangers in years past. Marcantuoni, and Faksa look like 2012 draft picks. Brent Pedersen has been impressive as a rookie for the Rangers.
Pedersen went 14th overall to the Rangers in the 2011 OHL Priority Selection. Pedersen has seen limited action as a rookie. Pedersen has 8 goals, 4 assists, and 12 points. Pretty impressive, for someone getting limited minutes.
2012 First Round Pick Nick Ebert Defenseman Windsor Spitfires OHL
22. Boston Bruins Bo Horvat Right Wing London Knights OHL Bo Horvat is a two way forward at center. The Knights move Horvat over to right wing sometimes due to depth. The Bruins may decide to take a flyer on Bo Horvat.
2012 First Round Pick Andreas Athanasiou Left Wing London Knights OHL
23. Buffalo Sabres Steve Santini Defenseman USA Under 18 Team USHL The Sabres love players with size. Steve Santini is a foot 2 205 pound defenseman that could develop into a future NHL player. Santini has to be considered here.
2012 First Round Pick Radek Faksa Center Kitchener Rangers OHL
24. New York Rangers Hudson Fasching Center USA Under 18 USHL Fasching has two way forward ability. Fasching can play anywhere on offense. The Rangers may want a long term project player to develop ith Fasching.
2012 First Round Pick Martin Frk Right Wing Halifax Mooseheads QMJHL
25. Vancouver Canucks Madison Bowey Defenseman Kelowna Rockets WHL Bowey is a 2013 prospect that was a preseason 2013 top 5 pick in August of 2011. Bowey has first round talent. Bowey falls this far because other players in this draft are really beginning to stand out.
2012 First Round Pick Mike Winther Center Prince Albert Raiders WHL
26. Nashville Predators Darnell Nurse Defenseman Sault. Ste. Marie Greyhounds OHL Darnell Nurse went 3rd overall in the 2011 OHL Draft behind the top 2 OHL prospects for the 2014 OHL Draft. Nurse should get drafted in the first round of the 2013 NHL Draft.
Nurse is an offensive defender with the skill set to develop into a two way defender. Nashville could add Nurse if he slips this far.
2012 First Round Pick Pontus Aberg Left Wing Djurgardens Elitserien
27. New Jersey Devils William Carrier Center Cape Brenton Eagles QMJHL I got the Devils reaching the Eastern Conference Finals in this mock by knocking off the 3 Seed Washington Capitals and 5 Seed New York Rangers before losing to the eventual Stanley Cup Champion in this mock draft.
William Carrier can be an effective playmaker center. Carrier and his teammate Cole Murphy could both be in the 2013 first round conversation. Right now, William Carrier seems like a safer bet at this point.
2012 First Round Pick Tom Wilson Right Wing Plymouth Whalers OHL
28. Chicago Blackhawks Kevin Ekman-Larsson Leksand Allsvenskan Kevin Ekman-Larsson is the little brother of Oliver Ekman-Larsson. Kevin gets to practice against highly touted left winger Filip Forsberg who is one of Kevin’s teammates on Leksand which helps too.
2012 First Round Pick Teuvo Teravainen Left Wing Jokerit Helsinki SM Liiga
29. Edmonton Oilers Jordan Maletta Center Windsor Spitfires OHL Congrats Edmonton, I got you as my Western Conference Champions in this mock draft. I had the Oilers picking 29th in this exact spot in my last mock. The Oilers will have Ryan Nugent Hopkins, Taylor Hall, and Eberle all with one year of experience on the first line. All three players had talent this year. There was some uncertainty about the chemistry of the line heading into the season. I think that will be patched up if the Oilers miss the postseason this year.
Adding a defensive game changer like Ryan Murray could do huge things for the Edmonton. I feel like Murray could be an immediate impact defender in the NHL. Murray got named team captain of the Everett Silvertips at age 16 in the WHL. Putting Murray on Edmonton makes the Oilers a force to be reckoned with because you will have RNH, Taylor Hall, Eberle, and Murray as blue chip players.
Cam Barker and Ryan Whitney can help stabalize the first line. Neither is a #1 defender on the first line of an NHL defense.
Edmonton will have so many prospects from the 2010, 2011, and 2012 draft in their system it will be ridiculous. Some of these players will get called up. Edmonton will lose to Pittsburgh, but learn from it and potentially become a dynasty again.
Jordan Maletta was the Windsor Spitfires 2011 first round pick. Maletta has the versatility to play left wing, center, or right wing. Taylor Hall was a Spitfires first round pick before joining the Oilers.
2012 First Round Pick Ryan Murray Defenseman Everett Silvertips WHL
30. Pittsburgh Penguins Nicholas Baptiste Right Wing Sudbury Wolves OHL Crosby and Staal are both in contract years. I have to imagine that the Penguins will be hungrier than any NHL team to bring a 2nd cup to Pittsburgh with all the expiring contracts. Malkin has an expiring deal in 2014 plus the Penguins have the lowest cap room. Bylsma did a great job getting the Penguins to the playoffs without Crosby or Malkin. The Penguins know their will be a high demand to bring a 2nd cup to Pittsburgh before Crosby’s deal is up.
I got the Penguins going with Nicholas Baptiste the right winger from the Sudbury Wolves here. Baptiste is a power forward at right wing. Baptiste went 6th overall in the 2011 OHL Draft.
2012 First Round Pick Colton Scissons Center Kelowna Rockets WHL