Final 2012 Mock NHL Entry Draft

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While the Los Angeles Kings, and their millions of fans who just jumped on the bandwagon, celebrate the team’s first Stanley Cup championship, the other 29 teams in the league are gearing up for next season.  The top priority of these teams:  the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.  The draft takes place June 22 and 23 from Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, PA.  With the Edmonton Oilers winning the draft lottery, they will select the first pick for the third straight year, the first time since the Quebec Nordiques of 1989-91.  Who will the Oilers take? Who will everyone else select?  To find out, continue after the jump.

 

 

1.  Edmonton Oilers

Nail Yakupov, RW, Sarnia (OHL) [31G – 38A – 69 Pts]

The Oilers continue to rebuild, despite having so many young, dynamic players.  While the desire to grab a franchise defenseman is there, this draft is very, very deep defensively.  The consensus is that Yakupov is the best offensive player, and you can’t pass that up.

 

 

2.  Columbus Blue Jackets

Ryan Murray, D, Everett (WHL)  [9G – 22A – 31 Pts]

The biggest storyline around the Blue Jackets will be if they finally trade Rick Nash.  If they do, that could completely change their draft day plans.  Right now, they need a defenseman who can score, something the team really has never had.  Murray can be that player, and possibly soon the true face of the franchise.

 

3.  Montreal Canadiens

Alex Galchenyuk, C, Sarnia (OHL)  [0G – 0A – 0 Pts]

The American born Galchenyuk (yes, he was born in Milwaukee while his father played for the AHL Admirals) is one of the draft’s biggest mystery.  He missed all but two games of the regular season after injuring his knee in the preseason.  He had four points in six playoff games though, and has possibly as much upside as the first pick Yakupov.

 

4.  New York Islanders

Griffin Reinhart, D, Edmonton (WHL)  [12G – 24A – 36 Pts]

While the Islanders continue to struggle on the ice, and off the ice in finding a home, the talent has slowly come together.  Adding another strong defenseman to the system might finally put them over the hump.   Reinhart is a big, strong kid who can get physical with teams like the Rangers, Flyers, and Devils night in and night out.

 

5.  Toronto Maple Leafs

Filip Forsberg, C, Leksand (SWE-2)  [8G – 9A – 17 Pts]

While the Maple Leafs continue to try and find their identity under GM Brian Burke, their true problem seems to be in net (Roberto Luongo anyone?).  Forsberg gives them another swift, puckmoving forward.  The only caveat is that he has already announced that he will return to Sweden next year.  Another year away from Toronto will likely be better for his development in the long run anyway.

 

6.  Anaheim Ducks

Teuvo Teravainen, LW, Jokerit (FIN)  [11G -7A -18 Pts]

The youngster more than held his own in Finland’s highest league.  While he may not come directly to the NHL, he gives the Ducks another young, skilled forward.  And with Teemu Selanne coming back for another year, Teravainen doesn’t need to step in right away.  But once Selanne retires, Teravainen will make sure Anaheim doesn’t miss The Finnish Flash’s scoring.

 

 

 

7.  Minnesota Wild

Matthew Dumba, D, Red Deer (WHL)  [20G – 37A – 57 Pts]

The Wild have their savior coming this season in Mikael Granlund, and are still looking for a saver on defense.  The defensive corps is young and has upside, but very few show the killer instinct of a top 2-4 defenseman.  Dumba not only gives them some offensive skill on the back end, but also leadership (he was captain of Team Canada at the U-18 Worlds), something missing on the blue line after the trades Brent Burns and Nick Schultz in the last year.

 

8.  Carolina Hurricanes

Mikhail Grigorenko, C, Quebec (QMJHL)  [40G – 45A – 85 Pts]

Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos has always coveted a high scoring Russian forward, and Carolina might get their own Sergei Federov finally.  Grigorenko his a skilled and talented player, but has seen his appeal drop in the minds of hockey personnel recently.  He has as much upside as any player in this draft, but has just as much caution about him at this time.

 

 

9.  Winnipeg Jets

Cody Ceci, D, Ottawa (OHL)  [17G – 43A – 60 Pts]

The Jets are still on a high after having a team back this past season.  Their first ever pick, Mark Scheifele, showed great promise in his limited appearance last year, and the team nearly won a division title in the first year back.  Adding Ceci to the mix gives Winnipeg another high scoring blueliner to have on the ice when Dustin Byfuglien is not.

 

10.  Tampa Bay Lightning

Morgan Rielly, D, Moose Jaw (WHL)  [3G – 15A – 18 Pts]

The Hurricanes found a superstar in this range in Jeff Skinner a couple years ago, and they could get another franchise cornerstone in this draft with Rielly.  He has great hands and upside, but is coming off an injury that kept him out of most of the past season.  Before and after the injury though, he was about a point per game player on the blue line.

11.  Washington Capitals (from Colorado)

Jacob Trouba, D, USA-18 (USHL)  [9G – 22A – 31 Pts]

The Capitals have big questions coming up.  A new coach, restricted free agents, and what way the direction of the franchise all need to be answered this summer.  Trouba gives them a possible replacement to somebody like Mike Green.  He is big and skilled, and still very young.  Trouba will attend Michigan this fall.

 

12.  Buffalo Sabres

Radek Faksa, C, Kitchener (OHL)  [29G – 37A – 66 Pts]

The Lightning were something of a disappointment after the thrilling playoff run of the season prior.  While the goaltenting wasn’t as strong, their forwards also started showing a bit of age, save for possibly the best player in the game right now:  Steven Stamkos.  Faksa gives them another center behind Stamkos, possibly becoming the heir apparent to Vinny Lecavalier.

 

13.  Dallas Stars

Matt Finn, D, Guelph (OHL)  [10G – 38A – 48 Pts]

While the Stars went huge last year on the blue line (6′ 7″ James Oleksiak), Finn gives Dallas a scoring defenseman for the future.  Finn led his team in scoring, and gives the team more talent to restock the back end of the system.

 

14.  Calgary Flames

Brendan Gaunce, C, Belleville (OHL)  [28G – 40A – 68 Pts]

Gaunce is a big, strong scoring forward who can throw his body around, and get to pucks in front of the net thanks to his impressive athleticism.  The Flames will get another hulking forward who can take some of the pressure off of star Jarome Iginla in both the scoring, as well as the offensive zone pressure.

 

15.  Ottawa Senators

 Hampus Lindholm, D, Rogle (SWE-2)  [5G – 12A – 17 Pts]

Lindholm has some good size, and has shown the ability to play with the men already.  He split time between the first team and the second division. Against players his own age he was almost a +1 plus/minus per game.  While he won’t be over right away, Lindholm will give Ottawa another scoring defenseman for the future to go with recent Norris winner Erik Karlsson.

 

16.  Washington Capitals

Derrick Pouliot, D, Portland (WHL)  [11G – 48A – 59 Pts]

The high scoring defenseman should slot in well in Washington, who could find themselves looking for a replacement to Mike Green in the possibly near future..  Pouliot might not be the biggest blueliner, but he won’t back down and isn’t afraid to stand up for himself or his teammates.

17.  San Jose Sharks

 Olli Maata, D, London (OHL)  [5G – 27A – 32 Pts]

The young Finn Maata made the move from the Finnish leagues to the OHL last year, and it turned out pretty well.  Maata led rookie defensman in scoring last year, and has the size to play in the rugged Western Conference.

 

 

18.  Chicago Blackhawks

Mark Jankowski, C, Stanstead College (High-QC)  [53G – 41A – 94 Pts]

The left handed center has rocketed up the scouting charts this season after tearing up the Quebec high school league.  Jankowski’s grandfather played for the Blackhawks in the 50’s, and his great uncle, Leonard “Red” Kelly, won eight Stanley Cups during his career.  This type of pedigree, and his high scoring, could make him a future fan favorite in Chicago.

 

19.  Tampa Bay Lightning (from Detroit)

 Brady Skjei, D, USA-18 (USHL)  [4G – 18A – 22 Pts]

After the Lightning wrangled a first pick from the Red Wings in the essentially three team deadline deal, they can grab a strong defenseman for the future.  Skjei is big and mobile, and will likely be the first player taken from Minnesota in this draft.  While Skjei might be a couple years off, he will give Tampa a strong piece for their future.

 

20.  Philadelphia Flyers

Zemgus Girgensons, C, Dubuque (USHL)  [24G – 31A – 55 Pts]

A native of Latvia who has only been in North America for a few years, Girgensons will attend Vermont in the fall.  He led Dubuque in scoring, and has seen his numbers increasing in each successive year of acclimation to the North American game.

 
21.  Buffalo Sabres (from Nashville)

 Thomas Wilson, RW, Plymouth (OHL)  [9G – 18A – 27 Pts]

The Sabres get the player who they’ve supposedly been coveting in this draft after grabbing another big player with their earlier pick.  Despite missing some games due to injury last year, he still racked up quite a few points, and a lot of penalty minutes.  Wilson brings some grit and size to the forward corps, something Buffalo seems to be missing recently.

 

22.  Pittsburgh Penguins

 Dalton Thrower, D, Saskatoon (WHL)  [18G – 36A – 54 Pts]

The Penguins showed how good they are when healthy, with or without Sidney Crosby in the lineup.  However, when Crosby was in the lineup, they looked much stronger, until the playoffs.  The backline seem to disappear, and adding a player like Thrower could be something that Pittsburgh definitely needs.  Thrower, who nearly tripled his scoring from the year previous to last, gives the Penguins a breakout specialist to get the puck up to the big guns.

 

23.  Florida Panthers

Mike Winther, C, Prince Albert (WHL)  [32G -24A – 56 Pts]

The Panthers’ moves last offseason miraculously paid off, and led to a division title.  While those players are all back, they’re also another year older.  Winther could give the Panthers something that they never really had in their entire existence:  a homegrown goal scorer.

 

24.  Boston Bruins

 Tomas Hertl, C, Slavia (CZE)  [12G – 13A – 25 Pts]

Hertl has been playing in the top Czech Republic league the last couple years, and still managed double digit goals, as well as a very strong plus/minus rating.  The Bruins get a strong, rugged forward who should mesh well in the Bruins’ culture.

 

 

25.  St. Louis Blues

Slater Koekkoek, D, Peterborough (OHL)  [5G – 13A – 18 Pts]

The Blues get one of the best names in the draft, not to mention a smart player who showed a tremendous offensive outburst before injuring his shoulder and missing the last half of the season.  In fact, Koekkoek outscored a number of the defensive prospects in this draft at a tournament last year.

 

26.  Vancouver Canucks

Martin Frk, RW, Halifax (QMJHL)  [16G – 13A – 29 Pts]

While the Canucks biggest offseason question will be what to do with the logjam in net, they also don’t want to do too much to disrupt the team that seems to still have a window for a championship.  Frk won’t be a contributor right away, but has offensive skill to help in the future.  Despite playing in only 34 games due to a shoulder injury, Frk still managed almost a point per game.

 

27.  Phoenix Coyotes

 Tanner Pearson, LW, Barrie (OHL)  [37G – 54A – 91 Pts]

Pearson has been a late bloomer in terms of other talent in this draft, but he might end up being the best goal scorer of them all.  The Coyotes, who perennially seem to desire more offense, could get a steal this late in the draft.  Cheap, young, and offensively gifted is just what the situation in Phoenix needs.

 

28.  New York Rangers

Stefan Matteau, C, USA-18 (USHL)  [15G – 17A – 32 Pts]

Matteau, the son of former Stanley Cup winner Stephane Matteau, will play in the QMJHL next year, but gives the Rangers another young playmaker who might help solve New York’s scoring problems.  He has size and hands to do damage offensively, not to mention physically.  Shows the same spark that drove his father to a long career.

 
29.  New Jersey Devils

Sebastian Collberg, RW, Frolunda (SWE)  [0G – 0A – 0 Pts]

Collberg spent much of the past year playing against the men in the Elite League, but didn’t register a point there.  However, he averaged almost a point per game against players his own age, and also was second in scoring at the World Juniors for Sweden.  Collberg gives New Jersey another offensive weapon, and a potential replacement for Zach Parise.

 

30.  Los Angeles Kings

Michael Matheson, D, Dubuque (USHL)  [11G – 16A – 27 Pts]

The depth of the Kings defensive corps is definitely aging, and Matheson gives LA another strong young blueliner to throw into the mix.  Matheson will attend Boston College in the fall, which should help him round into a very strong defender with high end offensive capabilities.

 

 

 

bryan vickroy the sports bank

 

 

Bryan Vickroy has an addiction to hockey, and is willing to partake in all its forms.  He is skating extra shifts for The Sports Bank, covering the Minnesota Wild, the NHL, and NCAA hockey all year long.  Look for new articles throughout the week.  He can be followed on Twitter at @bryanvickroy.  If you’d prefer to speak in more than 140 characters at a time to him, he can be reached at bryan.vickroy@gmail.com.

 

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