2013 NHL Draft Picks: Full Evaluations for Every Organization

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IJune 30, 2013

NEWARK, NJ - JUNE 30:  Nathan Mackinnon poses for a portrait after being selected number one overall in the first round by the Colorado Avalanche during the 2013 NHL Draft at the Prudential Center on June 30, 2013 in Newark, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The first round of the 2013 NHL draft came and went on Sunday, featuring a mixture of excellent picks and questionable ones.

Some teams found exactly what they were looking for, others reached for need and others, well, I don't know what some others were thinking.

From high-scoring forwards to physical defenders, here's a look at how the first round panned out on Sunday, complete with grades for each pick.


1. Colorado Avalanche: Nathan MacKinnon, C, Halifax (QMJHL)

Not a big surprise here. Nathan MacKinnon is widely regarded as the top talent in the draft, possessing excellent speed and quickness, and he will likely be used more on offense for the Avalanche.

Grade: A


2. Florida Panthers: Aleksander Barkov, C, Tappara (FIN)

While the Panthers indeed passed up some big-time talents here, I don't necessarily disagree with the pick either. Aleksander Barkov, possessing great size at 6'2", 205 pounds, certainly knows how to crate for others. Adding a solid right wing is the next step for Florida.

Grade: B+


3. Tampa Bay Lightning: Jonathan Drouin, LW, Halifax (QMJHL)

When it comes down to it, Jonathan Drouin may be the most skilled offensive player in the draft. Not only does he possess a great combination of passing and shooting, he's a hardy, competitive player who should look great next to Steven Stamkos.

Grade: A


4. Nashville Predators: Seth Jones, D, Portland (WHL)

Perhaps the best defenseman in the draft, I can't say I'm surprised the Predators drafted Seth Jones, especially given their propensity to draft defenseman in the past. Jones will be able to step in right away, possessing excellent skating skills, athleticism and ice IQ.

Grade: A


5. Carolina Hurricanes: Elias Lindholm, C, Brynas (SWE)

Bit of a curious pick, but not a bad pick either. Elias Lindholm knows how to handle the puck and play off it. He needs a bit of work on his defensive game, but that could come in time. He will give Carolina solid depth at center.

Grade: B


6. Calgary Flames: Sean Monahan, C, Ottawa (OHL)

Size, skill, hockey IQ, Sean Monahan possesses plenty of upside in the NHL. He probably won't be one of those guys who excites, but he projects to ultimately get the job done, which is all that matters. He also knows how to play on a poor team (sorry Ottawa).

Grade: A


7. Edmonton Oilers: Darnell Nurse, D, Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)

Darnell Nurse plays with the kind of grit and determination you love in a defenseman. He also has just a wee bit of skill, possessing excellent athleticism, penalty-kill ability and skating. Oilers fans should be happy.

Grade: A


8. Buffalo Sabres: Rasmus Ristolainen, D, TPS (FIN)

A two-way player with a nasty edge and a monstrous shot, Rasmus Ristolainen will only get better once he grows into his frame. The Sabres got one who should be steady for them for a long time.

Grade: A-


9. Vancouver Canucks: Bo Horvat, LW/C, London (OHL)

While some may think Bo Horvat going in the top 10 is a bit of a reach, I don't. He's a strong leader who is impressive in faceoffs and has underrated offensive abilities. He figures to fit with the Canucks, too.

Grade: B+


10. Dallas Stars: Valerie Nichushkin, LW, Chelyabinsk (Russia)

While Valerie Nichushkin may need a bit of work on ice IQ, that can be taught. What can't be taught size, speed and the knack for stepping up in big moments. It may be a bit of a reach, but it's certainly not a bad pick.

Grade: B


11. Philadelphia Flyers: Samuel Morin, D, Rimouski (QMJHL)

Samuel Morin isn't going to help a whole lot on offense, but then again, defense is what Philadelphia needs. Morin can certainly provide that, given his aggressiveness, skating ability and ferocity on the blue line. Of course, defensemen Nikita Zadorov and Ryan Pulock were available, who I like better.

Grade: C


12. Phoenix Coyotes: Max Domi, C/LW, London (OHL)

There have been questions about Max Domi's body language at times on the ice, but he's certainly skilled enough to be drafted here. He's not a big guy, but his puck-handling, quick release and accurate shot tend to overcome his size. 

Grade: B


13. Winnipeg Jets: Josh Morrissey, D, Prince Albert (WHL)

Wow. While the Flyers' pick was a bit surprising, the Jets' pick knocked my skates off. Not only does Morrissey have poor size for a defenseman, he will still need time to develop. Morrissey isn't a bad player, and he should be able to create some space for Jacob Trouba, but I'm surprised he was picked this high, especially with other top defensemen still on the board.

Grade: C-


14. Columbus Blue Jackets: Alexander Wennberg, C, Djugarden (SWE)

Alexander Wennberg will need to grow into his frame a bit, but his combination of competitiveness, intelligence and two-way ability makes him a strong pick for the Jackets at No. 14 overall. He won't contribute much right away, but he should be a strong player down the road for Columbus.

Grade: A


15. New York Islanders: Ryan Pulock, D, Brandon (WHL)

Not a big surprise here. Not only is Ryan Pulock a big, strong defenseman who is excellent on the power play, the Islanders love adding to the blue line. Get ready for some fierce competition within the ranks.

Grade: A-


16. Buffalo Sabres: Nikita Zadorov, D, London (OHL)

This could end up being the biggest steal of the draft when all is said and done. Nikita Zadorov is an excellent prospect, possessing the skating ability, toughness and powerful shot to be a ferocious player on the ice down the road.

Grade: A


17. Ottawa Senators: Curtis Lazar, C, Edmonton (WHL)

Speedy, powerful for his size and tough, Curtis Lazar is a nice add for the Senators. He will probably need a few years of developing, but he could turn out to be a star in the NHL. He has just about everything you want in an offensive player.

Grade: A-


18. San Jose Sharks: Mirco Mueller, D, Everett (WHL)

This could turn out to be a great pick for San Jose. Mirco Mueller still needs to grow into his frame, but his combination of skating ability, passing, decision-making and composure on the ice figures to propel him in the NHL.

Grade: A


19. Columbus Blue Jackets: Kerby Rychel, LW, Windsor (OHL)

Kerby Rychel is simply a solid prospect. I don't know if he will be a star, but he has the puck skills and ice IQ to be a player any team would love to have. He also plays within the game.

Grade: B+


20. Detroit Red Wings: Anthony Mantha, LW, Val d'Or (QMJHL)

Anthony Mantha can be a force at net (he scored 50 goals for Val d'Or last season), but his toughness and consistency have been questioned. He will need to be brought along slowly by Detroit, but the Red Wings have been known to do that. 

Grade: B


21. Toronto Maple Leafs: Frederik Gauthier, C, Rimouski (QMJHL)

Frederik Gauthier has the size and skating ability to play at a high level in the pros, but he certainly needs work and his production doesn't always match his potential. One thing's for sure, though: Gauthier is tough—he came back after a broken jaw last season. 

Grade: B-


22. Calgary Flames: Emile Poirier, LW, Gatineau (QMJHL)

Emile Poirier may have an odd skating style, but then again, it doesn't appear to hurt his production. He can handle the puck and make opponents pay for their defensive mistakes. He's also a high-character kid. 

Grade: B+


23. Washington Capitals: Andre Burakowsky, LW, Maimo (SWE)

This is a great value at No. 23 overall. Andre Burakowsky still needs to develop his hockey IQ and learn how to play without the puck, but he possesses excellent puck skills and can swing it home when the defense lapses. Give him some time and he could surprise.

Grade: A


24. Vancouver Canucks: Hunter Shinkaruk, C, Medicine Hat (WHL)

Hunter Shinkaruk certainly has the stick and scoring touch to be a game-changer. The youngster also exhibits a knowledge of the game well beyond his years. This could end up being a steal for the Canucks, possessing the versatility to comfortably fit in various spots.

Grade: B+


25. Montreal Canadiens: Michael McCarron, C/RW, U.S. National Team (USHL)

Michael McCarron possesses the size the Canadiens desperately need up front, but he doesn't have a top skill set and he will need to develop before he can be utilized. I feel the Canadiens reached a bit for size here, but McCarron does fit the team.

Grade: B-


26. Anaheim Ducks: Shea Theodore, D, Seattle (WHL)

Shea Theodore has good size and skating ability, but his decision-making under pressure is a bit concerning. He does have solid upside with his offensive ability, but he will need some work. I thought this was a bit of a reach. I could have seen Theodore going in the second round.

Grade: C


27. Columbus Blue Jackets: Marko Dano, C/RW, Bratislava (SLV)

The pick of Marko Dano puzzled me a bit, given he still needs to develop and his physicality is questionable. He has good strength for his size, but that doesn't always translate. That being said, he competes well and he has good ice IQ.

Grade: C


28. Calgary Flames: Morgan Klimchuk, LW, Regina (WHL)

Morgan Klimchuk will fight for you, No. 1. Secondly, he knows how to find the net. But he's not that big and he needs some time to develop. An OK pick, but nothing special.

Grade: C


29. Dallas Stars: Jason Dickinson, C, Guelph (OHL)

Possessing strong skating ability and puck skills, Jason Dickinson could turn out to be a steal for the Stars. He's not going to make a big impact until he develops physically and plays with more consistency, though. Overall, I think he's worth a gamble here.

Grade: B


30. Chicago Blackhawks: Ryan Hartman, C/RW, Plymouth (OHL)

What a great pick for Chicago. Ryan Hartman has the versatility to be moved around on the team. Plus, his character, physicality and fearlessness is fitting on a Stanley Cup champion. I feel the Blackhawks lucked out here based on some questionable picks by other teams in the first round.

Grade: A


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