My first, maybe only Mock draft of 2004

Discussion in 'Mock Drafts' started by Hossa, Apr 6, 2004.

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  1. Hossa

    Hossa Registered User

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    1. Washington: Alexander Ovechkin

    I know I?m really going out on a limb here, but I just have a hunch this guy will go #1. Nothing that can be said about Ovechkin, that hasn?t already been said. Washington will get a franchise player, a cornerstone up front to go along with their fantastic depth and stud young goalie. This is a guy who will step in and produce. Has already proven everything he needs to at both the Super League level and in the WJC.

    2. Pittsburgh: Evgeny Malkin

    Concussion issues aside, Malkin is the undoubted second overall pick this year. While the concussions are of some concern, it?s not enough to drop Malkin out of the #2 spot. Pittsburgh already has some great young forwards, but unless they are particularly high on Barker or even more unlikely Thelen, they will go with another forward here. Malkin, like Ovechkin, could hit the NHL running next year.

    3. Chicago: Robbie Schremp

    Schremp is a true wild card. Few question Schremp?s skills, but there are many who are not impressed with his attitude. Personally, I?m not buying into it really, as I think his early season issues were grossly blown out of proportion. He hasn?t had the greatest year offensively, but the skills are definitely there and London didn?t exactly focus their offensive strategy around him. Put him on a team where he?s the go to guy, he could have been right there with Locke and Perry for points.

    4. Columbus: Cam Barker

    The top defenceman in this draft, Barker is a gifted offensive blueliner who I?ve compared to Sergei Gonchar since very early on in the season. He?s got good size but he could stand to be more physical, and there are questions about his defensive game. Columbus gets their second stud young blueliner, and Barker will complement Klesla very well. He may need another season in the WHL to round out his all-round game, although his offensive game needs no refining.

    5. Phoenix: Rostislav Olesz

    Malkin is not the only one with injury concerns hurting their status. Once considered the undoubted third overall pick, a concussion sustained at the WJC on a Dion Phaneuf hit limited Olesz?s ability to play for the rest of the season. When he?s on his game, Olesz is a fantastic offensive talent who can make plays at a high pace. Olesz only adds to a collection of great young forwards in Phoenix, and could follow countryman Milan Michalek?s lead and come over next year to play in the NHL.

    6. New York Rangers: Wojtech Wolski

    A smooth skating, lanky center who didn?t break out as hoped this year, Wolski has some significant upside, but hasn?t showed the offensive ability hoped of him so far. For the Rangers, he gives them a potential first line center, who has the size to play in the Eastern Conference grind if he can bulk up. The Rangers have quite an impressive group of young forwards, but Wolski could be the leader of that group.

    7. Florida: Lauri Tukonen

    Florida has a lot of young players, but Tukonen could combine with Weiss and Horton for some great up front. Tukonen may not have the highest upside of the remaining players, but he?s a very good all-round player who has no major flaw. With good size and skating ability, Tukonen is a mature player who could make a fantastic second line player or complementary first liner. If the Panthers don?t go with Tukonen, I have a hunch they could go off the board a bit here, maybe taking Radulov for example, in an effort to hit a home run considering their depth.

    8. Carolina: A.J. Thelen

    Carolina is in a rebuilding mode somewhat by default. The plan was to be making the playoffs by now, but clearly that has not worked out well the last two years since their surprise Stanley Cup Finals berth. Thelen may not be ready next year, but he could be a stud blueliner for the Hurricanes for several years. Blessed with great offensive abilities and a good frame, Thelen is a riser who could very well go before Carolina?s pick.

    9. Anaheim: Drew Stafford

    I?ll admit I?m personally quite high on Stafford. He?s a big kid who?s already reasonably thick and his skating ability is impressive. Blessed with great hands, Stafford did not put up huge points this season but that is largely because he played on a deep college team. He?d look mighty fine on a line with Ryan Getzlaf and Stanislav Chistov down the road, and there is a fair bit of untapped offensive potential in this North Dakota winger.

    10. Atlanta: Andrew Ladd

    Going the other way from Stafford, I?m not that high on Ladd but I?ll trust those who have seen more of him that I haven?t seen enough of him to appreciate his abilities. Atlanta already has the top line talent, but Ladd could give them a great second line all-round player with some upside to him. Won?t ever be the highest profile player in Atlanta, but could be a very valuable second liner.

    11. Los Angeles: Marek Schwarz

    LA needs a young goalie like no other team in the league. Fantastically athletic and quick, Schwarz could be a great goalie in this league, but there are few teams who need a goalie in this draft. Not only is he athletic, but he is technically sound unlike the current Czech goalie in LA. Schwarz may not take long to hit the NHL, although he most likely is not ready yet.

    12. Minnesota: Enver Lisin

    Fast, speedy and talented, Lisin will need to show more of a willingness to engage in the rough stuff, but if he can develop his defensive game, he could fit in perfectly with the Wild?s trap and pounce game. The offensive ability is tantalizing, although the Wild may not unlock all of that ability under the Lemaire era. Nonetheless, a potential home run for a team that still could use offensive punch.

    13. Buffalo: Alexandre Picard

    A bit of a jack of all trades offensively, Picard has no major strength, with a fantastic all-round skill set. He could stand to improve his consistency big time, but that can come with time. Although not a power forward, he plays very physically for a skill player in the QMJHL. Buffalo gets another young forward who could fit very well into their system, although he needs at least one more year in junior, and possibly another in the AHL.

    14. Edmonton: Mike Green

    Edmonton has needed a powerplay quarterback since dealing Janne Niniimaa, and while Marc-Andre Bergeron could be the answer, Green could be not only a force on the powerplay but a great all-round blueliner for the Oilers. A Calgary native, Green is one of the older players expected to go in the first round and my hunch is he could make a serious roster push next year, especially if the Oilers picked him.

    15. Nashville: Dave Bolland

    A typical Nashville draft pick, Bolland plays a gritty, energetic game, and has hands to boot. On many nights, he outshone the aforementioned Robbie Schremp, a team-mate with London. Bolland is similar to the Ottawa Senators Mike Fisher, and Nashville loves hard working character types. While he may never be a top scorer, his complete game more than makes up for it.

    16. New York Islanders: Alexander Radulov

    The biggest wild card in this draft, he has supreme offensive talent, but has not had quite enough exposure for everybody to get a good read on him. He has questions about his skating and he is anything but a complete player with plenty of criticism about his attitude, but the hands are there. Where he goes I?m not sure, because somebody might be incredibly high on him, but I won?t slot him that high yet.

    17. St. Louis: Kyle Chipchura

    Despite a bad season offensively, Chipchura is still the top ranked North American according to Central Scouting as of now. He is if nothing else a safe bet to make the NHL, but his inability to score goals at the junior level thus far is of concern. St. Louis is anything but loaded for the future, and Chipchura is a solid selection at this point.

    18. Montreal: Ladislav Smid

    A team that has talent in almost every position for the future, Smid gives them another top defensive prospect that has impressive upside especially if he fills out. There is significant offensive upside with him, although he is not exactly a complete player. This would give them another young blueliner to go with guys like Markov, Hainsey and Komisarek.

    19. Calgary: Jakub Sindel

    Similar to Lisin in that he is small, speedy and offensively inclined, but Sindel is anything but a well-rounded player. For starters, he is only 167 pounds, and he refuses to play physical as a result. Calgary hasn?t had a pick this late in a while, and taking a gamble on Sindel isn?t a bad move. Sindel has dropped, but the skills are there.

    20. Dallas: Boris Valabik

    The Stars aren?t in great shape for the future on defence. They have one good young blueliner in Trevor Daley, who is 5?9. Valabik is the absolute opposite of Daley, standing 6?6 with mobility to boot. Playing in the OHL this year, Valabik slowly developed his all-round game and is a huge riser who may not be available at #20 on draft day.

    21. Colorado: Wes O?Neill

    With the cupboard as bare as it?s ever been, Colorado needs to restock. O?Neill is the best player left and that?s how the Avs will go about the draft this season. Although he hasn?t had the freshman season he had hoped, he is still a big, mobile and intelligent defenceman, although he doesn?t use his size well and may never be a huge factor offensively.

    22. New Jersey: Johan Fransson

    Although the Devils haven?t had a high draft pick in years, they are not short of young players like fellow perennial contender Colorado. They really don?t have any huge needs, although Fransson could give them another great offensive blueliner to go with Rafalski, Niedermayer and Martin.

    23. Edmonton via Philadelphia: Al Montoya

    Although Montoya has the talent to go earlier in this draft, goaltenders aren?t hard to come by in today?s NHL, and with Montoya?s consistency issues, he could fall to the Oilers for their second first rounder. Although Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers has potential, he isn?t a stud, and Montoya could be a fixture in Edmonton for years to come. The talent is there, the consistency is not.

    24. Vancouver: Oscar Hedman

    The Canucks liked their Swedes especially from the Modo system, and they could take another here. The need isn?t on defence, but Burke rarely drafts for need anyways and for good reason. Hedman is impressively mobile and is quite strong although not blessed with great size. He could take a few years to develop, but a good fit for the Canucks.

    25. Ottawa: Adam Pineault

    The Senators don?t always take the safe pick, although they usually know what they are getting themselves into as well. Last year?s top pick Patrick Eaves, a team-mate of Pineault?s at BC, had questions about serious questions about his health. Pineault is a very young player for NCAA hockey, and was once considered a sure fire top 10 pick. The Senators have needed a power forward for years, and rolling the dice on Pineault isn?t a bad idea.

    26. New York Rangers via Toronto: Lukas Kaspar

    A bit of a sparkplug who impressed at the WJC, Kaspar keeps his feet moving and has some offensive upside in him. He?s a very different player from Wolski, but he gives them another young forward with upside. It is entirely possible that he could rise up into the early 20s though, as he has a good frame, reasonable offensive ability and the willingness to play in all areas of the ice.

    27. Washington via Boston: Andreij Meszaros

    The Caps need a defenceman, and Meszaros is the best one left. He was impressive at the WJC for Slovakia, although he hasn?t had a great year this season. With decent size and all-round abilities, Meszaros has offensive upside, but he has a tendency to play soft. Washington could use young defencemen though, and this is a guy they wouldn?t pass up.

    28. San Jose: Roman Voloshenko

    Another Russian wild card, Voloshenko has decent size although unless he had a ridiculous growth spurt late in the year, he isn?t 6?6 like TSN lists him. There is skill there, and he had a good Five Nations tournament, but hasn?t quite done enough to go much higher in the first round.

    29. Tampa Bay: Evan McGrath

    Similar to Pineault, McGrath has dropped this year in large part because he has almost regressed after a great first season with Kitchener. He has a good set of skills offensively, and the hockey sense to be a complete player, but he is playing a very small game at this point. Tampa could take a shot on him though, and he plays a similar game to one of their young studs, Brad Richards.

    30. Washington via Detroit: Bryan Bickell

    Bickell is a guy who has great tools but he often forgets his tool box at home. One some nights, he can be a force with his speed, soft hands and willingness to use his big and thick body to pound the opposition into the boards. All too frequently though, he is a non-factor. With their third first rounder, the Caps might as well take a chance on a potential power forward.
     
  2. Lowetide

    Lowetide Registered User

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    Excellent read, Hossa. As an Oilers fan, I'd be pretty happy with Green and Montoya in the first round, although I'm hoping they go after Picard (if he's available).
     
  3. Brock

    Brock Registered User

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    Oh the irony Sean :)

    Your quote from my mock draft a little while ago...

    I want commission buddy!
     
  4. Chainshot

    Chainshot Give 'em Enough Rope

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    A well done piece Hossa, nice write-ups on the players and how you see them fitting in.

    And of course :D I have a comment... that if given the choice between Picard and Green at #13, Buffalo will likely go with the defenseman. Their prospect cupboard is pretty threadbare in terms of having any certain NHLers and unless a player is head-and-shoulders above a defenseman at that spot I would expect them to take Green.
     
  5. Hossa

    Hossa Registered User

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    That didn't happen.....ok it did.

    I guess I'm just not sold on Barker's defensive zone coverage this point. I actually wouldn't be entirely surprised if he goes a few selections lower than I had him ranked, although I'm sure every team has scouts who have seen more of him than me.
     
  6. Brock

    Brock Registered User

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    Alright, after sticking you with some irony, now some real comments.

    The only thing I'd really personally disagree on is Wes O Neill falling that far. IMO, If he opts in, He'll be a top 15 selection. He's got number one defenseman written all over him for the NHL, the potential is extremely high for him. I just don't see him falling that far if he opts in.

    Another thing is that I think Bruce Graham will be a first round pick. He's huge, he's quick and he's got offensive talent. I could even see him crawling inside the top 20 to be honest.

    Also, I know you like Bickell, and I like him too. But I don't see him being a first rounder at this point. His inconsistencies, combined with the fact that I'm not sure his potential is skyhigh, even when he's on. I think he's a solid pick around 40-50.

    But yeah, solid job.

    I like the Voloshenko one, he's a big bloody kid. And the Sharks have been known to go for a bit of a wildcard in the first.
     
  7. Hossa

    Hossa Registered User

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    I was toying with that for a while to be honest, although it looks like you and lowetide would probably flip flop picks apparently, but I just feel Picard would be a good fit in Buffalo. Not that I don't like Green, I really do, but it was just a feeling.
     
  8. dem

    dem Registered User

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    Great read
    Very well thought out draft

    Too bad it never goes down like that eh ;)
     
  9. PhoPhan

    PhoPhan Registered User

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    Well done, I like that Olesz could fall to Phoenix.
     
  10. Chainshot

    Chainshot Give 'em Enough Rope

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    Oh, I get where you're coming from, really. I look at the package---good in a lot of areas and a bit scrappy, and I see the kind of player that Luce and his scouts seem to enjoy drafting.

    It's just that with the near total lack of sure-fire NHL talent in their blueline stable, I would think they'll look defense over forward if they have guys ranked closely. If it's a clear cut case of BPA, then it could be anyone... even Schwarz. :lol :D :lol
     
  11. ParisSaintGermain

    ParisSaintGermain Registered User

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    Excellent work! Very interesting comments as well.
    I can see (hope) Phoenix picking Olesz at 5th!
     
  12. Bluenote13

    Bluenote13 Believe In Henke

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    Good Job Hossa.... Good top ten and a different view on the bottom 15 gets you points for creativity ;)

    Personally, I can't see Valabik & O'neil dropping that far down. Way too much size & mobility, as you pointed out.

    Also, the Ranger's might look at a Western player with Slats at the helm. He recently took a trip out west and got a look at Ladd & the Calgary D-men and Barker, supposedly was impressed by Ladd. Plus you mention ed Wolski as a Center? I thought he was primarily a winger?

    Edmonton will likely take Montoya with their first 1st rounder in that scenario, then take a puck moving D-man with their next 1st rounder.

    Good job.
     
  13. Hossa

    Hossa Registered User

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    You're right about Wolski as a winger primarily, although I personally like him more down the middle to be honest. Either way I think he's a good fit in New York and if given the chance between he or Ladd, I'd take Wolski ten times out of ten personally.
     
  14. Kick Save

    Kick Save Registered User

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    From a Ducks fan's perspective, nice job, Hossa. I think Stafford and Ladd both are logical picks for the Ducks. I also think they might take Thelen if he were still on the board.
     
  15. Vincent_TheGreat

    Vincent_TheGreat Registered User

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    I'm very dissapointed to not see Adam Berti on your list who I have as the third best OHLer behind Schremp and Wolski!
     
  16. I like Linsin but Picard might be well with the Wild...
     
  17. Hossa

    Hossa Registered User

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    I like Berti a fair bit, and if I did two rounds, he would have been around 31st or 32nd, no joke. He was right there along with Bruce Graham and a few others. I certainly wouldn't consider him the better prospect than Dave Bolland or Boris Valabik as a prospect though. Berti is a late first round pick in my opinion, and he just didn't quite sneak into my first round.
     
  18. KingPurpleDinosaur

    KingPurpleDinosaur Bandwagon Kings Fan

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    great draft, would love for kigns to pick up schwarz, but really highly doubt he's going to drop that far. But if he does, hey!, more power to us.
     
  19. Prussian_Blue

    Prussian_Blue Registered User

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    Hmmm... interesting. I hadn't considered Chipchura as an option for the Blues, because I figured that the top-rated player at mid-term wouldn't fall far enough for the Blues to have a shot at him.

    Chipchura would be a good pick for the Blues if he's still around when they pick. I like Lukas Kaspar a lot, however, and would like to see him chosen with the Blues pick. Kaspar's size is comparable to Chipchura, he made a good showing at several tournaments when the scouts were watching, he's been able to score goals at the junior level in the Czech Republic and has played regularly for Chemopetrol Litvinov in the Extraliga as well.

    I wouldn't necessarily agree that "St. Louis is anything but loaded for the future," however... it all depends on what position you're looking at. The Blues are set on defense for the next decade at least, with Pronger/Jackman/Backman/Salvador forming a nice core for youngsters like Matt Walker, Jame Pollock, Shawn Belle, Zach FitzGerald, Trevor Byrne, Aaron MacKenzie, and Brett Scheffelmaier to add onto.

    The Blues have two good European goalie prospects as well, Konstantin Barulin and Tuomas Nissinen.

    I'll admit they're not loaded at forward, but they do have three decent scoring prospects in Alexei Shkotov, Konstantin Zakharov, and David Backes... not to mention a kid I think will be a real sleeper, Juhamatti Aaltonen. All this guy does is score goals; he's been very nearly a goal-a-game scorer the last two years in the Finnish junior league.

    This draft is a chance for the Blues to add to their prospect list at forward, and all things being equal, they really oight to take the best forward propect available with the first pick, and maybe their second as well. They can get a good junior goalie prospect in the third round, where guys like Martin Houle, Michael Wall, Gabriel Bouthillette and Dan LaCosta should all still be on the table.

    PrussianBlue
     
  20. Missionhockey

    Missionhockey Registered User

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    The Devils need a defenseman but not a puck moving defenseman. Somebody that is a stay at homer kind of player.
     
  21. Hossa

    Hossa Registered User

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    I'll admit I'm not a huge Chipchura fan, and I wouldn't be surprised if the Blues passed on him depending on who is around. That being said, he's the top ranked player, so as inconceivable as it may sound, I may not know everything about him. Kaspar is a possibility, a guy who could go anywhere from 15 to 30 in my opinion, although I see him as going after that drop off that everybody is always talking about.

    The Blues are ok on defence, although I hardly think they'd hesitate to pick a blueliner. In fact, I thought long and hard about putting Valabik there, but in the end I decided against it. They defenitely don't have much up front. Ya, Shtokov and Zakharov have some skill, but they're still anything but top prospects. Aaltonen is a sleeper, but a 9th rounder nonetheless. Chipchura is a safe bet to be a solid third liner, and he could have some untapped offensive upside as well. This is a guy who's been touted for a while, so people see something.
     
  22. Hossa

    Hossa Registered User

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    When was the last time the Devils picked for need? ;)
     
  23. Divine Wind

    Divine Wind Guest

    Edmonton would be plenty happy with Picard as well. :) If we could land Picard/Green and Montoya in the first round, i would be more than happy. We don't need to make a pitch for a high pick unless it is a top 3, and the cost would not be worth any in this years top 3 IMO.
     
  24. Foppa

    Foppa Future Norris Winner

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    I'd crap my pants in joy if the Avs got Wes O'Neill. Makes some sense though. The Avs like college players and just dealt away to standout NCAA defensemen at the deadline in Ballard and Gilbert. Grabbing O'Neill at that spot would be terrific, even if the Avs need impact offensive forwards more than defensemen. (Although with Svatos' play and the dealing at the deadline, that may be debatable now)

    :bow:
     
  25. Prussian_Blue

    Prussian_Blue Registered User

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    I'd certainly take Chipchura if he fell to the Blues, but I think that, all things consdered, I'd rather have Kaspar. And I have a hunch that Jarmo Kekalainen will go with a European as the first-round pick this year, based on his record of drafting skilled Euro forwards for Ottawa when he was there.

    Yeah, I've given some thought to Valabik as well, but I honestly think that some of the guys I mentioned in my first post -- Belle and FitzGerald, specifically -- are as good as Valabik, and a year ahead of Valabik in their development.

    I know that the Blues, like everyone else, will go with the "best player available" theory, but I think the caveat this year is that, if there are two players of equal talent and one is a forward, the forward will get priority because the organization as a whole needs more skill at the forward position.

    Why not?

    Zakharov was a first-rounder on some lists last year, from what I hear, and Shkotov is as fast and as skilled as anyone. I'd be willing to bet that, if they were in an organization that gets more love -- like a Jersey or an Ottawa, for example -- they'd both be in HF's Top 50.

    Just going to the opposite end of the alphabet, we find Zednik and Zetterberg were also ninth-round picks. I'm quite sure I can find other examples, but if Aaltonen turns out as well as either of those, the Blues will have done very well for themselves with that pick.

    Just because a guy is a ninth-round pick does not automatically rule him out as a legitimate prospect.

    I agree, and as I said, I'd be glad to see the Blues get him. There are just a few players -- Kaspar, for example -- whom I think are more likely to be there, and whom I'd rather see the Blues get if I had my druthers.

    PrussianBlue
     
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