This is how I see the 2013 NHL Draft unfolding.
The Colorado Avalanche would like to thank the city of Newark and the New Jersey Devils for their great hospitality. We would also like to congratulate the
Boston Bruins Chicago Blackhawks on their Stanley Cup championship. With the 1st pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, the Colorado Avalanche are proud to select…
- Seth Jones – Colorado has one of the weakest back-ends in the NHL. Adding a stud defenseman with size, mobility, hard shot, and ability at both ends of the ice is exactly what the Avs need. Jones has franchise defenseman written all over him and we’ll see him in the NHL next season.
- Nathan MacKinnon – The Florida Panthers will be thrilled to land an elite center. He’s a powerful skater and tries to make something happen every shift. MacKinnon will be a perfect line-mate for Jonathan Huberdeau.
- Jonathan Drouin – Tampa has the opportunity draft Martin Louis Jr. There’s simply too much offensive skill for them to take anyone else. Drouin’s play making ability will ensure Steven Stamkos will continue to score a lot of goals for many years.
- Sasha Barkov – The Preds haven’t had much luck drafting or developing skilled forwards. They’ll take their time with one of the youngest players in the draft. Barkov has a strong 200′ game and the potential to be a #1 centre.
- Darnell Nurse – Carolina have a decent mix of top 6 forwards. Adding Nurse will hopefully be the right fit to play with Justin Faulk on the blue-line in a few years.
- Sean Monahan – The Flames will start their rebuild down the middle by taking the player their rivals up the highway want to draft. Monahan played on a bad team in Ottawa, but his scoring numbers suggest he’ll be a pretty good player.
- Valeri Nichushkin – Edmonton hold the 7th pick, but I doubt they keep it. The team they make a deal with will be getting Ivan Drago on skates.
- Elias Lindholm – Buffalo want to build their team down the middle. The Swedish center had a good season as a 17 year-old, and will help the Sabres add depth with Hodgson and Grigorenko at pivot.
- Nikita Zadorov – The big Russian defenseman will a good partner to play with Adam Larsson in a few years. At 6’5″ 230lbs he skates reasonably well.
- Bo Horvat – His strong play in the OHL playoffs and Memorial Cup have moved him up most rankings. Horvat is a good 2-way center with decent size. He has the potential to be a 2nd line NHL center in Dallas which would be a steal with the 10th overall pick.
Of course this is just a mock draft and a lot of things can happen between now and draft day. The ‘wild card’ will be Valeri Nichushkin. If Tampa takes him 3rd overall, I suspect there will be some movement with the 4, 5, and 7th picks.