2011 Mock Entry Draft, All Star Break Edition - Picks 1-10
With the All Star Break now on, the standings have solidified for a few days. Four Canadian teams are in the bottom ten with three retaining their picks, which means this could be a draft class that draws a lot of attention. With that in mind, this will be the first of three entries outlining a Mock version of this year's entry draft.
1. New Jersey Devils - Gabriel Landeskog (Kitchener, OHL)
The Devils don't draft for need. Lou Lamiorello has a system and takes players who will play within it. Landeskog is a complete player in all three zones on the ice. The Devils also like their Djurgarden Swedes (Josefson, Urbom) and Kitchener Rangers (Clarkson, Halischuk, Fraser, Kelly).
2. New York Islanders - Adam Larsson (Skelleftea, SEL)
The Islanders need a blue-liner in the system pretty badly. Larsson could be the franchise on the
back end. He'd pretty easily be the best Islander developed blue-liner since Denis Potvin in any
3. Edmonton Oilers - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Red Deer, WHL)
The Oilers have two deficiencies in their prospect system: defensemen and centres. Missing out
on Larsson means they'll grab the best centre remaining. When you've got two shoot-first wingers
as the future of the franchise in Eberle and Hall, getting them the puck is a priority. It's also
4. Ottawa Senators - Sean Couturier (Drummondville, QMJHL)
The Sens kind of end up with Couturier almost by default. He's the best player remaining on the
board. The big centre has considerable potential and is likely NHL ready right now. He does give
the Senators their first genuine blue chip offensive prospect since Jason Spezza.
5. Boston Bruins (from TOR) - Ryan Murphy (Kitchener, OHL)
The Bruins have uncanny luck with offensive defensemen. So Murphy falling to them isn't a surprise
in the least. Murphy might be the biggest boom/bust in the entire draft. If he booms, we'll all be asking ourselves how we could think there were four players in the draft that were better. If he busts, it'll be because his size stopped him from being effective 5-on-5. The former is much more likely.
6. Florida Panthers - Duncan Siemens (Saskatoon, WHL)
The way Dale Tallon built the Hawks was from the blue-line out. Keith and Seabrook were in place well before Toews and Kane. Tallon loves his WHL boys and Siemens projects as a Brent Seabrook type. With Dmitry Kulikov, Erik Gudbranson and Alex Petrovic already in the system, the blue-line is shaping up to be scary for the Cats.
7. St. Louis Blues - Dougie Hamilton (Niagara, OHL)
The Blues are going to need long term replacements for Eric Brewer and Barret Jackman. While Erik Johnson and Alex Pietrangelo are already stepping up, more is needed in the pipeline behind them. The Blues scouting staff has shown a preference for the O and Europe in the past and Hamilton's size and puck poise will appeal to them.
8. Columbus Bluejackets - Ryan Strome (Niagara, OHL)
The Jackets have some excellent Q scouts and O scouts. So this pick comes down to Strome or
Jonathan Huberdeau. Strome's more complete offensive arsenal likely puts him over the top in this
9. Buffalo Sabres - Brandon Saad (Saginaw, OHL)
The Sabres do a lot of drafting out of the O and the Dub. They've also got some serious horses coming down the pipe on the blue-line like Mark Pysyk, Brayden McNabb and Drew Schiestel. So they're more likely to target a forward. Saad is a safe pick whose close to being NHL ready and adds some size to the Buffalo attack.
10. Calgary Flames - Ty Rattie (Portland, WHL)
The Airdrie native joins the Flames. Rattie has high end hockey sense and great hands. A Ray Whitney-type skillset that tends to lend itself to a perennially underrated NHL career. But he's also exactly the kind of player Jay Feaster valued during his tenure in Tampa.