NHL Mock Draft: Players 1-10 (Part 3 of 3)
Below is part 3 of the November version of the 2013 NHL Mock Draft. This article covers players 1-10. Players 11-20 can be found here. Players 21-30 can be found here. (Note: Rankings are based on a combination of several scouting reports coupled with CHL games that I have watched.)
- Nathan MacKinnon (F – Halifax Mooseheads – QMJHL): MacKinnon has drawn comparisons to Sidney Crosby because he is from the same town, Cole Harbour, and has been considered the best forward prospect in this draft class for awhile. MacKinnon will likely play a winger position in the NHL.
- Seth Jones (D – Portland Winterhawks – WHL): Jones may be the most NHL ready of the 2013 draft class as he could be inserted as a bottom pair defenseman for an NHL team on day one. Scouts love his hockey IQ and his 6’3” 200+ pound frame.
- Sean Monahan (C –Ottawa 67s – OHL): The biggest move up draft boards since the CHL season began is the move of Monahan as he is now a consensus top-5 pick. Monahan’s future looks bright as a top-6 forward either in the center or on the wing.
- Aleksander Barkov (C – Tappara – SM-Liiga): Barkov is a fantastic Finn that combines great size and offensive ability. The 6’2” 205 pound centerman has caught the eye of scouts with his puck-handling skills. Several scouts believe he still believe that Barkov’s skating needs to improve but believe the overall talent is there.
- Hunter Shinkaruk (C – Medicine Hat Tigers – WHL): Shinkaruk is one of the best pure scorers in the 2013 draft and could be considered a speedy sniper. He had 49 goals and 91 points last season in the WHL. His smallish size (5’10” 166 lbs) may give some scouts pause but his offensive skills are undeniable.
- Ryan Pulock (D – Brandon Wheat Kings – WHL): Pulock is the best offensive-defenseman in the draft. He scored 19 goals and 60 points last season in the WHL. Pulock’s upside is a double-digit goal scorer who can quarterback a power play.
- Elias Lindholm (C – Brynas – Swedish Elite League): Lindholm is the prototypical playmaking, pass-first centerman. He may work his way into the top-5 before all is said and done. Scouts are keeping a close eye on Lindholm as he is now playing with men in Sweden’s best league.
- Rasmus Ristolainen (D – TPS – SM-Liiga): Ristolainen’s size stands out as he just turned 18 years old and is 6’3” 203 pounds. He is playing in his second season inFinland’s top hockey league with TPS. Ristolainen translates as a two-way defenseman whose footwork and hands are loved by scouts.
- Curtis Lazar (C – Edmonton Oil Kings – WHL): Lazar is a speed demon who already has elite skating ability for his age. Scouts are concerned about his offensive game translating to the NHL. Lazar’s upside is Logan Couture. His downside is Gilbert Brule.
- Valeri Nichushkin (C –Chelyabinsk – MHL): Nichushkin has a rare combination of size (6’4” 196 lbs) and offensive skills. He skates well for his size and can get himself in position in good goal-scoring areas, according to scouts. His draft stock may be hindered by the fact that he chose to stay in Russia instead of playing in Canada’s juniors.