2013 NHL Draft Grades: Evaluating All 30 Teams

Steven Cook@@stevencookinFeatured Columnist IVJuly 1, 2013

NEWARK, NJ - JUNE 30:  (L-R) Number three over all Jonathan Drouin of Tampa Bay Lightning, number one over all Nathan Mackinnon of the Colorado Avalanche and number two over all Aleksander Barkov of the Florida Panthers pose during the 2013 NHL Draft at the Prudential Center on June 30, 2013 in Newark, New Jersey.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The 2013 NHL draft offered all 30 teams some of the most talented and game-changing players in recent memory, and many teams ended Sunday with their new franchise player while others locked up players with solid skills.

While the draft's elite players still have some developing to do before they make their mark on the league, others are ready to play right now and will give their respective teams a big boost.

However, some teams weren't as good under the pressure of a three-minute selection window, making poor picks that didn't reflect their system's needs. 

Let's take a look at grades for all of the 30 NHL teams on their draft-day performance, and take a closer look at some of the busiest teams on Sunday.


Full 2013 NHL Draft Grades

Team Top Pick Overall Grade
Anaheim Ducks No. 26 Shea Theodore, D B+
Boston Bruins No. 60 Linus Arnesson, D B
Buffalo Sabres No. 8 Rasmus Ristolainen, D A-
Carolina Hurricanes No. 5 Elias Lindholm, C B+
Columbus Blue Jackets No. 14 Alexander Wennberg, C B+
Calgary Flames No. 6 Sean Monahan, C A
Chicago Blackhawks No. 30 Ryan Hartman, RW B
Colorado Avalanche No. 1 Nathan MacKinnon, C A-
Dallas Stars No. 10 Valeri Nichushkin, RW A-
Detroit Red Wings No. 20 Anthony Mantha, RW B
Edmonton Oilers No. 7 Darnell Nurse, D B+
Florida Panthers No. 2 Aleksander Barkov, C C+
Los Angeles Kings No. 37 Valentin Zykov, LW B-
Minnesota Wild No. 46 Gustav Olofsson, D B-
Montreal Canadiens No. 25 Michael McCarron, RW B-
New Jersey Devils No. 42 Steven Santini, D A-
Nashville Predators No. 4 Seth Jones, D A-
New York Islanders No. 15 Ryan Pulock, D B+
New York Rangers No. 65 Adam Tambellini, C C+
Ottawa Senators No. 17 Curtis Lazar, C/RW B-
Philadelphia Flyers No. 11 Samuel Morin, D B-
Phoenix Coyotes No. 12 Max Domi, C/LW B+
Pittsburgh Penguins No. 44 Tristan Jarry B-
San Jose Sharks No. 18 Mirco Mueller, D B-
St. Louis Blues No. 47 Thomas Vannelli, D B
Tampa Bay Lightning No. 3 Jonathan Drouin, LW A-
Toronto Maple Leafs No. 21 Frederik Gauthier, C B
Vancouver Canucks No. 9 Bo Horvat, C A-
Winnipeg Jets No. 13 Joshua Morrissey, D B+
Washington Capitals No. 23 Andre Burakovsky, LW B


Notable Teams

Colorado Avalanche: A-

Somewhat quietly, the Colorado Avalanche passed up on the storybook potential of drafting Seth Jones and opted to pick the best overall player in the draft in Nathan MacKinnon.

MacKinnon didn't fit the most pressing need for the Avs, as a defenseman seemed like it would've fit with their team better. But apparently, Colorado saw enough in MacKinnon to convince themselves that it was a move they couldn't pass up on. 

The 17-year-old Canadian has boasted the potential to be one of the next best players in the NHL. He plays cerebrally, but don't let that make you think that he's not elusive and dangerous as well. He boasts all of the traits you want in a young leader, as well as the moves that each team needs.

The Avs weren't done there, as they also made a solid move in the second round by picking Chris Bigras at 32nd overall. The defenseman has made a name for himself in the OHL and looks ready to make the transition into the NHL.


Florida Panthers: C+

Don't get me wrong, I love the long-term potential that a player like Aleksander Barkov brings. However, he wasn't worth the second pick in a draft as stacked as this year.

The Panthers' selection of Barkov means two things. First off, that they didn't select Jonathan Drouin, and second, that they didn't draft Seth Jones. Both players were available.

If any two players can outshine Barkov's dominating presence, it's Drouin and Jones. Drouin brings speed and quick, shifty moves that seem to translate well into the big leagues, while Jones has NHL-ready size and has the look of a franchise defenseman.

Barkov will turn into a top-six forward and may turn into a star, but to say that he's on the same level as Jones and especially Drouin is a misconception.

Plus, the Panthers are in desperate need of defensive help. They finished dead last in goals against per game, with a staggering 3.54 goals allowed in each contest. 


Nashville Predators: A-

It's hard to justify anything other than an "A+" for drafting Seth Jones at fourth overall, but a defenseman just didn't fit into Nashville's ideal plans heading into the draft.

The Predators have been starved of an offensive star seemingly since they came into the league. Their score-by-committee approach bodes well for the most part, but it didn't last season as the Preds simply couldn't put pucks in the net.

Meanwhile, their defense continues to be strong while led by Shea Weber and veteran Hal Gill, and boasting some up-and-comers like Roman Josi and Ryan Ellis. 

Of course, Jones will only add to that daunting defensive presence, and he should turn into a star blueliner alongside Shea Weber. He'll continue the Nashville breed of good goaltending and suffocating defense.

But the Preds needed a scoring forward, and they didn't get their hands on MacKinnon, Drouin or Barkov. They may have gotten the most talked about prospect in Jones, but Nashville may end up thinking what could've been. 


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