Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2013 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical draft profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Sports is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! For a Complete Listing of all our 2013 Draft Articles Click here.
Instead of our normal draft profiles today, I continue with the first round of my NHL Mock Draft. Be sure to read Picks 1-15 in Part 1, and Picks 16-30 in Part 2. Today I bring you picks 31-45. We’ll finish the 2nd round tomorrow.
Some things to keep in mind:
- If you click the player’s name, you will get a link to their draft profile.
- The rankings are pure “Best Player Available” and are my opinion only. The mock draft takes into account team style of play, the prospects already in the team’s system, and prior draft trends – this is another reason why I haven’t followed the ranks exactly.
- I also realize that I have ranked some players far outside of the consensus, and as such those are my ranks, but not necessarily my prediction of where a player will be picked.
- I have assumed the New Jersey Devils will not forfeit their first round pick this year as punishment for the Kovalchuk Circumvention ruling, (they must pick one year between 2011-2014 to forfeit a first rounder). I am guessing that with the draft in New Jersey, and after missing the playoffs with a relatively highy pick, this is not the year they will forfeit the pick.
- The Stanley Cup final will determine the order of picks 29 and 30. I am going to assume the Hawks at 30th due to regular season points. Of course it could be the Bruins (pick owned by Dallas) and only time will tell.
- I am doing a mock draft with no trades (except those that have already been made).
31) Florida Panthers – Mirco Mueller, D
Previous Pick – Nathan MacKinnon, C
The Panthers have the 31st pick as the NHL Draft lottery only effects the first round, not every round. They got their franchise centre at 1st overall, and so here they look to add a defenceman, and take the big two way Swiss Defender from the Everett Silvertips.
32) Colorado Avalanche-Mike McCarron, RW
Previous Pick – Seth Jones, D
The Avalanche take the huge RW from the US NTDP. They love the size and physical game he brings. I’ve got him ranked a lot lower, but I think this is the area he actually gets taken as some NHL team will go for the truculence* he can add.
33) Tampa Bay Lightning- Shea Theodore, D
Previous Pick – Jonathan Drouin
After boosting the offence with their first pick, Steve Yzerman looks for a puck moving blueliner with his second pick. Theodore is an outstanding skater, who just loves to create offence from the back end.
34) Montreal Canadiens (from Nashville) – Jacob de la Rose, C/W
Previous Pick – JT Compher
After years of ignoring Sweden, the Habs have taken 4 Swedish players in the last 3 drafts. They add another here, taking the physical power forward out of the SEL. Its unclear right now if de la Rose will be a Centre or a Winger in the NHL, but the Habs have a need for this type of player in the system at both positions, so they grab him here.
35) Carolina Hurricanes -Arturri Lehkonen, RW/LW
Previous Pick – Valeri Nichushkin
The Canes took the big Russian power forward with their first pick. Now they a shifty and skilled winger out of finland with their second pick. Lehkonen has had a very strong season playing against men in the SM-Liiga.
36) Montreal Canadiens (from Calgary)-William Carrier, LW
Previous Picks – JT Compher, Jacob de la Rose,
Its deja vu all over again as the Habs are back on the clock after picking at 34. This 2nd rounder is a remnant of the 2012 Mike Cammalleri/Rene Bourque trade. The Habs go for yet another power forward, taking William Carrier from Cape Breton. Born in LaSalle, Quebec, Carrier goes to the closest thing to a home town team.
37) Edmonton Oilers – Justin Bailey, C/RW
Previous Pick – Darnell Nurse
New Oilers GM Craig MacTavish wants a bigger, tougher team, and he continues the run on big forwards taking Bailey out of Kitchener. Bailey has a ton of potential, but really needs time to develop. With all the young Oilers forwards already on the big club, he’ll be given that time, and could be a real impact player down the line.
38) Buffalo Sabres -Morgan Klimchuk, LW
Previous Picks – Ryan Pulock, Bo Horvat.
The Sabres took an offensive defenceman, and a two way centre with their first two picks. With their third pick, they look to find a sniper on the wing, and are very pleased to see Morgan Klimchuk is still available.
39) New Jersey Devils – Nicolas Petan, C
Previous Picks – Sean Monahan, C
Petan tied for the scoring lead in the WHL this season. He’s got a ton of skill but size is the big knock on him and the reason for this fall. The Devils had great results taking a very skilled forward who fell due to size in 2003, and they try to replicate the feat here with Petan.
40) Dallas Stars – Jason Dickinson, C/LW
Previous Picks – Valentin Zykov, Rasmus Ristolainen
The Stars add a big and skilled centre to their prospect pool. Dickinson has fallen this year due to inconsistency, but he has the skill. This is the type of talented falling who Detroit has taken a lot of in recent years (Athanasiou, Frk, etc) and now Jim Nill brings the philosophy of taking a chance on talent and developping it to Dallas.
41) Philadelphia Flyers- Eric Comrie, G
Previous Pick – Nikita Zadorov
The Flyers have searched high and low for a goalie, for what seems like forever now. While not an immediate solution to the problem, they look to try drafting and developping a long term solution in Eric Comrie. The half-brother of former NHL Mike Comrie, Eric was great for Tri-City until an injury derailed his season.
42) Phoenix Coyotes- Laurent Dauphin, C/LW
Previous Pick – Hunter Shinkaruk
The Coyotes have a fantastic stable of young defencemen. This draft is all about adding offensive firepower to their prospect pool. In Shinkaruk they got off to a great start at LW, and add to it with Dauphin, who plays a committed two-way game, and really shone for Team Canada at the Under 18 Tournament.
43) Winnipeg Jets - Steven Santini, D
Previous Pick: Max Domi
The Jets added some fire power in round one, and they’d like to do so again in round two, but when they see Santini still on the board they just can’t resist. The Jets hope that the talented defence first defender will combine with Trouba to lead the Winnipeg defence for years to come.
44) Columbus Blue Jackets -Chris Bigras, D
Previous Picks: Josh Morrissey, Anthony Mantha, Ryan Hartman
The Blue Jackets are blessed with a ton of picks here, as this is their 4th pick in the top 44. The team can really afford to forget needs and just keep taking the best player available every time they step to the podium. Here they take Chris Bigras who is a solid but unspectacular two way defenseman. He’s one of those players who really can do everything at a high level, but nothing that is elite.
45) Anaheim Ducks (from New York Islanders) – #42 Anthony Duclair, LW
Previous Pick Robert Hagg
This pick was acquired last summer when the Ducks traded Lubomir Visnovsky to the Isles. After adding yet another defenceman in the first round, the Ducks decide to add offence at this pick taking Duclair, the speedy winger from the Quebec Remparts. If they can develop Duclair, he will cause major problems for opponents with his speed and shot.
Check back tomorrow for another NHL Draft feature.
For a listing of NHL Mock drafts around the internet, please check out our friends at the NHL mock database.
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