NHL Mock Draft 2011

The NHL 2011 Entry Draft is almost here! Since our blogger mock draft fell through, I'm doing my own. After researching every team's needs, I came up with a pretty decent draft board. Only time will tell how many picks I get right, if any!

Top Prospect's Section from hockeysfuture.com

1. ADAM LARSSON - Defence, Skelleftea AIK
Last Year's First Round Picks: Taylor Hall (1)
Top Prospects: Martin Marincin (D), Jeff Petry (D), Tyler Pitlick (C)
Edmonton has so many young players up front that they can use this number one pick on Larsson. I have heard that if the Oilers do want him, they can trade down, but Larsson is also worth the number one pick. Let him develop in Sweden before bringing him over.

2. GABRIEL LANDESKOG - Left Wing, Kitchener
Last Year's First Round Picks: Joey Hishon (17)
Top Prospects: Joey Hishon (C), Calvin Pickard (G), Stefan Elliott (D)
Colorado needs a winger to play with Matt Duchene. Landeskog is not your typical European forward; he is built like a truck and plays with lot's of heart. He will make an immediate impact on the Avs roster, unlike Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who will likely spend a season in the AHL or junior.

3. RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS - Center, Red Deer
Last Year's First Round Picks: Erik Gudbranson (3), Nick Bjugstad (19), Quinton Howden (25)
Top Prospects: Jacob Markstrom (G), Erik Gudbranson (D), Nick Bjugstad (C)
Florida won't be able to pass on Nugent-Hopkins' talent. Will he turn into a Nathan Horton, Jay Bouwmeester or Roberto Luongo? A star in the wrong place? Only time will tell.

4. JONATHAN HUBERDEAU - Saint John, Center
Last Year's First Round Picks: none
Top Prospects: Jon Merrill (D), Mattias Tedenby (LW), Jacob Josefson (C)
New Jersey is in rebuild mode, and what better than to grab the guy that lead his team to the Memorial Cup Title? Huberdeau might fall a little bit in the draft, but his recent play has earned him plenty of attention.

5. SEAN COUTURIER - Center, Drummondville
Last Year's First Round Picks: Nino Niederreiter (6), Brock Nelson (30)
Top Prospects: Nino Niederreiter (LW), Travis Hamonic (D), Calvin de Haan (D)
The Isles have some decent defense prospects, now it's time to restock up front. Even with John Tavares and Josh Bailey drafted in 09 and 10, Couturier might be third times a charm. Bailey isn't playing like a top 10 pick, and Tavares needs time to grow. Imagine Couturier and Tavares on their top two lines.

6. MIKA ZIBANEJAD - Center, Djurgardens
Last Year's First Round Picks: none
Top Prospects: David Runblad (D), Jared Cowen (D), Robin Lehner (G)
With all the defenceman in their system, including Runblad and Lehner, Ottawa needs a presence up the middle other than Jason Spezza. Zibanejad can be that guy. Very skilled and can grow at his own pace.

7. RYAN STROME - Center, Niagra
Last Year's First Round Picks: Alexander Burmistrov (8 )
Top Prospects: Carl Klingberg (LW), Patrice Cormier (C), Spencer Machecek (RW)
With a gapping hole at center, the Winnipeg franchise has to take Strome. I can't believe I put the Jets logo there. I apologize. Strome and Zibanejad might be interchangeable.

8. RYAN MURPHY - Defence, Kitchener
Last Year's First Round Picks: Ryan Johansen (4)
Top Prospects: Ryan Johansen (C), Nikita Filatov (LW), John Moore (D)
I just have a feeling Murphy is ending up in Columbus no matter what. He is a great puck mover, kind of like Ryan Ellis. Even though he is small, he has a cannon shot. Columbus could use some defensive prospects anyways.

9. DOUGIE HAMILTON - Defence, Niagra
Last Year's First Round Picks: Tyler Seguin (2)
Top Prospects: Jordan Caron (RW), Ryan Spooner (LW), Maxime Sauve (C)
Kitchener and Niagra will dominate the draft early. It's not often the Cup Champ picks 9th, but now we get to see who the B's get for Phil Kessel. Hamilton is the logical choice, being the top rated North American defenceman.

10. SVEN BARTSCHI - Left Wing, Portland
Last Year's First Round Picks: Mikael Granlund (9)
Top Prospects: Mikael Granlund (C), Marco Scandella (D), Matt Hackett (G)
Minny will take Bartschi due to it's excess of defence depth. With Tyler Cuma and Marco Scandella waiting to make the jump, the Wild will need some forwards. Bartschi is the best available guy and will fit Minnesota perfectly.

11. DUNCAN SIEMENS - Defence, Sakatoon
Last Year's First Round Picks: Joey Hishon (17)
Top Prospects: Joey Hishon (C), Calvin Pickard (G), Stefan Elliott (D)
Two picks in the top 11 will really help the Avs this year. They addressed a need in drafting Landeskog, so now they round it out with a defensive steal with Siemens. He reminds me of another d-man with the same first name.

12. JAMIESON OLEKSIAK - Defence, Northeastern
Last Year's First Round Picks: Jeff Skinner (7)
Top Prospects: Zac Dalpe (C), Zach Boychuk (C), Justin Faulk (D)
I don't think the Canes can pass on a guy like this. With Joni Pitkanen most likely gone, it leaves them very weak on the back end. Oleksiak is a monster at 6'7, so getting a guy like that could help. He could turn out like a Tyler Myers clone.

13. TYLER BIGGS - Right Wing, US NTDP
Last Year's First Round Picks: none
Top Prospects: Greg Nemisz (RW), Mitch Wahl (C), T.J. Brodie (D)
Calgary is known for a tough style of play, and Biggs fits the mold. He was rated much higher than his CSS rankings go, but dropped a little bit. I think he'll be taken higher than his current rating. The Flames won't go wrong with this pick.

14. MARK McNEILL Center, Prince Albert
Last Year's First Round Picks: Jack Campbell (11)
Top Prospects: Jack Campbell (G), Phillip Larsen (D), Alex Chiasson (RW)
Who better to replace Brad Richards with? He's a big centerman who can score. The Stars will probably be looking for a forward come draft day.

15. BOONE JENNER - Center, Oshawa
Last Year's First Round Picks: Dylan McIlrath (10)
Top Prospects: Chris Kreider (LW), Ryan McDonaugh (D), Christian Thomas (RW)
Jenner is a big man with soft hands. I think the Rangers need a guy like that. They have too many soft guys in my opinion. And with a guy named Boone, you know he's tough.

16. NATHAN BEAULIEU - Defence, Saint John
Last Year's First Round Pick: Mark Pysyk (23)
Top Prospects: Zack Kassian (RW), Jhonas Enroth (G), Luke Adam (C)
I doubt Beaulieu will go this low in the draft, but if he does the Sabres will snatch him up. With M-A Gragnani poised to make the jump, the defence cupboard needs restocking.

17. ZACK PHILLIPS - Center, Saint John
Last Year's First Round Pick: Jarred Tinordi (22)
Top Prospects: Danny Kristo (RW), Louis Leblanc (C), Jarred Tinordi (D)
The Habs will get a great passer in Phillips. He will be able to run a powerplay up front and has been compared to Adam Oates.

18. MARK SCHEIFELE - Center, Barrie
Last Year's First Round Picks: Kevin Hayes (24)
Top Prospects: Nick Leddy (D), Dylan Olsen (D), Jeremy Morin (LW)
The Hawks should take Scheifele if he falls this far. He is a dependable centerman who carried a bad Colts team.

19. JOEL ARMIA - Right Wing, Assat
Last Year's First Round Picks: Taylor Hall (1)
Top Prospects: Martin Marincin (D), Jeff Petry (D), Tyler Pitlick (C)
With Larsson already taken, the Oilers will grab Armia. He might be the steal of the draft. He is a Finnish player that will need time to develop like Larsson, but watch out when he's ready to play in the bigs.

20. BRANDON SAAD - Left Wing, Saginaw
Last Year's First Round Picks: Brandon Gormley (13), Mark Visentin (27)
Top Prospects: Oliver Ekman-Larsson (D), Brett MacLean (LW), Brandon Gormley (D)
With Ekman-larsson and Gormley in the fold, Phoenix can turn its focus on forwards. Saad was a rookie in the OHL last season, so expect him to get even better next season. He isn't ready for the NHL yet.

21. PHILLIP DANAULT - Left Wing, Victoriaville
Last Year's First Round Picks: none
Top Prospects: David Runblad (D), Jared Cowen (D), Robin Lehner (G)
Danault is one of those defensive minded players but can also score goals. It's those guys that you win with, and Ottawa can benefit from selecting him at 21.

22. JONAS BRODIN - Defence, Farjestad
Last Year's First Round Picks: Cam Fowler (12), Emerson Etem (29)
Top Prospects: Emerson Etem (RW), Peter Holland, (C), Kyle Palmieri (RW)
RANDY's TAKE: The Ducks have almost no defensive prospects, Fowler was taken last year and is already playing. Luca Sbisa is also up with Anaheim. Brodin can be the next wave of great Ducks defencemen.

23. JOSEPH MORROW - Defence, Portland
Last Year's First Round Picks: Beau Bennett (20)
Top Prospects: Simon Despres (D), Eric Tangradi (LW), Beau Bennett (RW)
Pittsburgh's future on defence is obviously Kris Letang, but with Despres and Morrow, the final pieces to the puzzle will be set. If they hit on this pick for a defenceman I think the Pens will be very potent for a number of years.

24. VLADISLAV NAMESTNIKOV - Center, London
Last Year's First Round Picks: Riley Sheahan (21)
Top Prospects: Brendan Smith (D), Tomas Tatar (C), Jan Mursak (LW)
Namestnikov is a beast on the ice. I think if he's still there the Wings should take him. He is ranked lower but some teams salivate over his stick handling abilities. He ironically learned to learned to skate in Michigan. Why not come full circle?

25. MATT PUEMPEL - Left Wing, Peterborough
Last Year's First Round Picks: none
Top Prospects: Nazem Kadri (C), Joe Colborne (C), Jake Gardiner (D)
Puempel was top 10 before he had his hip surgery, so getting him here is a steal. It's something the Leafs need to do; find guys that should be taken already. Get more bang for your buck. Puempel is the guy to do it with.

26. OSCAR KLEFBOM - Defence, Farjestad
Last Year's First Round Picks: Evgeni Kuznetsov (26)
Top Prospects: Evgeny Kuznetsov (RW), Braden Holtby (G), Dmitri Orlov (D)
Klefbom is another defenceman that will be highly touted by the Caps. But will he turn into the complete player? I bet Washington wishes they could mesh Mike Green and Karl Alzner together to get the perfect mix of offence and defence. Or they can take Klefbom.

27. TOMAS JURCO - Right Wing, Saint John
Last Year's First Round Picks: Brett Connolly (6)
Top Prospects: Brett Connolly (C), Carter Ashton (RW), Richard Panik (RW)
Jurco is a highlight machine, but will fall due to that fact. I think he is a good enough hockey player to go anywhere in the first round to the second round. He'll be the floater of the draft. He might end up high or low, but if Tampa gets him, give an A+ to Steve Yzerman.

28. CONNOR MURPHY - Defence, USA U-18
Last Year's First Round Picks: Charlie Coyle (28)
Top Prospects: Charlie Coyle (RW), Alex Stalock (G), Taylor Doherty (D)
While he isn't the best defenceman named Murphy in the draft, Connor is a good defenceman who figures to be a sure fire second pair guy. The Sharks need to develop some defenceman and Murphy is a start.

29. ALEXANDER KHOKHLACHEV - C, Windsor
Last Year's First Round Picks: none
Top Prospects: Cody Hodgson (C), Anton Rodin (RW), Sergei Shirokov (LW)
My buddy thinks Koko would be a great fit in Van City. As a Canucks fan living in Windsor, he said that Khokhlachev is a great talent and would fit Vancouver's system. Maybe he'll beat Hodgson in the race to make the team.

30. NICKLAS JENSEN - Left Wing, Oshawa
Last Year's First Round Picks: none
Top Prospects: Nazem Kadri (C), Joe Colborne (C), Jake Gardiner (D)
Jensen has a big frame and seems like the kind of European (from Denmark) Brian Burke would go after. Played with Boone Jenner in Oshawa and can play a physical game.

Hopefully I'm right on some of these picks so I can say, "I told you so!" I hope you have a good time seeing what I think about the draft and I'll see you all at the live blog on June 24th right here at The Checking Line!

Kyle Busch
www.thecheckingline.com
www.twitter.com/KyleBusch11

10 Comments

Shahab Khan's picture

If the Habs get Philips and he was to start right away...he would be the biggest Centre Iceman in the Lineup (lol)

I would love if we got him - nice work Kyle

and stepping out and making the swede D man the first pick - cohonnas my friend cohoonnas

Chuck Gaston Jr's picture

Bold picks in the mid round. One of the more original mocks I have seen.

Nice pick at number one. I think I said before that there is no definate number 1 so I wouldn't be shocked if they took Larsson.

I never thought the pens would be able to get Morrow. Most Draft writers have him going in the late teens, but I guess it's no stretch considering the depth of this draft.

Patrick Storto's picture

I like the Puempel pick. I'd like to see the Leafs trade up from the 30th pick and grab Phillips. I know we have Colborne and Kadri, but in all seriousness Kadri will likely end up playing the wing in his career and having Colborne and Phillips at center would be great for the depth down the middle for years to come.

Also great work on putting this together.

George Prax's picture
Patrick Storto wrote:

I like the Puempel pick. I'd like to see the Leafs trade up from the 30th pick and grab Phillips. I know we have Colborne and Kadri, but in all seriousness Kadri will likely end up playing the wing in his career and having Colborne and Phillips at center would be great for the depth down the middle for years to come.

Also great work on putting this together.

You love to pick your Puempels, don't you?

Russell Dornisch's picture

Good picks, I hope its true, I want Lando in an Avs uni, but if Larsson goes number one, I see the Avs getting RHN instead....

Kyle Andrew Busch's picture

Thanks a lot guys I did my best. Puempel probably will end up in Toronto, it's just a matter of what pick. And the defenceman of this draft are all pretty decent so you might see some shuffling around, so the Pens might get Morrow. And Landeskog will become a more complete player than RNH so if I was COL I would grab him for sure.

nowhere's picture

Kyle - I'm wondering why you didn't go with Klefbom for the Red Wings? I also wonder about a possible trade down - maybe with Toronto for their 30 & 39. If Holland really has 30 guys on their board, then you'd think they could be very flexible and add a pick or 2 to increase their odds.

Kyle Andrew Busch's picture
nowhere wrote:

Kyle - I'm wondering why you didn't go with Klefbom for the Red Wings? I also wonder about a possible trade down - maybe with Toronto for their 30 & 39. If Holland really has 30 guys on their board, then you'd think they could be very flexible and add a pick or 2 to increase their odds.

I'm not ruling anything out when it comes to Holland making deals. I think Namestnikov is a great talent. I also realize that Detroit needs defenceman, but it won't be solved by taking a defenceman in the draft. I expect a deal or two from Detroit during the draft.

Owen Durkin's picture

I see Toronto targeting a big bodied, physical centre, likely by trading up for McNeill. If that proves impossible, I can see Burke flipping the 30th to move down while going after Jenner. I don't think he'll go until late in the first or early in the second. I've seen him projected as low as 4oth recently. Plan B might be to land Cronin's former player, big Jamie Oleksiak. Gonna be interesting...

Kyle Andrew Busch's picture

Well i got a few right; Landeskog to Colorado, Siemens to Colorado, Morrow to Pittsburgh. Guess I'm not that bad!