BT started the mock draft and had his whole "schpiel" prepared, as we Jews like to do. Crap, not even one line into my article and already a Jew joke.
Okay, you know the drill, I have the even picks, BT has the odd picks. Which is ironic, because his picks are indeed odd. Where is Ron Burgundy when you need him?
Click here to check out picks one through seven of the mock draft.
8. Dallas Stars
Dmitri Kulikov, D, Drummondville (QMJHL)- Bass
The highest ranked Russian player in this year’s draft, Kulikov is an unbelievable skater with a great deal of competitiveness and the ability to make plays. He averaged more than a point per game during the season and two points per game at the start of the playoffs.
The Stars struggled greatly this year, mainly due to injury, but with some great, young young guys coming up in Fabian Brunnstrom, James Neal, and Loui Eriksson, the Stars need help on defense. Sergei Zubov and Darryl Sydor will both be retiring soon, and Robidas cannot handle the defensive roles himself. Kulikov could be a great complement to Robidas’ game, possibly becoming a top two NHL defenseman.
9. Zack Kassian-Ottawa Senators (Peterborough-OHL)- BT
Whenever the Senators lost to the Leafs in the playoffs, the word was they "didn't have enough grit". Over the past few years, the Sens have gone back and forth between adding skilled players and grit. In Kassian, they get the entire package.
Kassian had 136 penalty minutes in the OHL this season, but also potted sixty three points and thirteen power play goals, alleviating the knock against Ottawa with regards to secondary scoring.
Kassian is also going to lay the body fairly frequently without any signs of remorse. You may remember him as the man who had Knights' fans holding their breath, as he sent John Tavares packing in an ALL STAR GAME.
Think it's time for an attitude adjustment in Canada's capital? Yes please.
Other considerations: Ryan Ellis and Scott Glennie. Glennie would also help to address the secondary scoring issues in Ottawa, and his speed would be a huge asset to the team. For a team that already has Brian Lee playing NHL minutes, Erik Karlsson on his way, and Anton Volechenkov, Chris Phillips, and Filip Kuba holding down the NHL fort, Ellis' development could have him right in line to take the NHL reigns with the departure of one of the later two.
10. Edmonton Oilers
Ryan Ellis, D, Windsor (OHL)- Bass
Ellis is arguably the most talented Canadian defenseman in the draft. He has a powerful slap shot, great speed and agility and the hockey sense needed to succeed at the NHL level. He lead all of the OHL defenseman with eighty nine points this year and was named the top offensive defenseman, the hardest shot, and the fastest skater in the OHL this year by a coaches’ poll.
Edmonton has great potential on the front end with Andrew Cogliano, Sam Gagner, Kyle Brodziak, Patrick O’Sullivan, and Dustin Penner. Add that in with Ales Hemsky, Shawn Horcoff, and Ethan Moreau and the Oilers have an offense that truly could do some damage. However, with an aging Sheldon Souray and Steve Staios as the core of their defense, they need someone new to hand the reigns off to. By taking Ellis with the tenth pick and having him learn from these two formerly great defensemen, Ellis will really be able to develop the way teams hope he will,
11. Scott Glennie-Nashville Predators (Brandon-WHL)- BT
The Predators have a lot of play makers either on their roster, or coming up through the system. Mike Santorelli, Cal O'Reilly, and Colin Wilson are all centremen, who have put up big assist totals throughout their careers so there's no doubt the Preds have players who can dish the puck.
While a big, power-forward left winger is an attractive pick for the Predators, Scott Glennie makes as much sense as anyone here.
While he doesn't differ from the other play makers already on the roster, Glennie performs when the pressure is on. He had 18 points in 12 playoff games this past WHL postseason, and he finished third in the WHL with 9 game-winning goals—in other words, just under a third of his 28 goals were "clutch".
Glennie is also physical and tough. He'll lay hits as often as he gets them, and he's able to manage physical pain, at one point finishing a game on a broken elbow. Chuck Norris ain't got nothing on him.
Other Considerations: Nazem Kadri, Carter Ashton. With Jonathan Blum and Cody Franson coming up in the system, defense is the least of the Predators' worries right now. Ashton would bring them that big, tough left winger, but the 11th pick seems a little high for him (although if who you want is available, you take him no matter the pick). Depending on team's needs and who interviewed/worked out well, Kadri could be picked at 10 or higher.
12. Minnesota Wild
Nazem Kadri, C, London (OHL)- Bass
Kadri is ranked very high, but may fall in the draft due to teams’ need for better defense. Nonetheless, any team that can draft Kadri will be extremely lucky, because they will be getting a fast, skilled and smart player who can play all three forward positions. Kadri is called a smaller Matt Duchene, which any team would be thrilled to have on their roster.
Minnesota, going through a hardcore restructuring phase in the front office, is in need of some young talent to help bring this team back the form they were in a few years ago when they were in the NHL’s final four. With the possibility of losing Marian Gaborik staring them in the face, the Wild need to ensure that they draft a forward able to take a spot on a top line in the NHL. Kadri could be that forward.
13. Oliver Ekman-Larsson-Buffalo Sabres (Leksand-Sweden 2)- BT
I received an email a few weeks ago about what the Buffalo Sabres should do in the draft. While I'm no Sabres expert, I feel that the Sabres should go after defense. If Oliver Ekaman-Larsson is available at 13, then all the better.
Presently, the Sabres have Jaroslav Spacek and Teppo Numinen approaching free agency, and a defensive roster that currently features (going back to the rotation that ended the season) two players under the age of 30 (while Henrik Tallinder just turned 30).
The Sabres have four quality young defensemen in Mike Weber, Tyler Myers, Chris Butler, and TJ Brennan who are getting ready to take over. In adding the mobile Swede, the Sabres add another young defenseman who has soft hands, can skate with the puck and owns impressive hockey sense.
Larsson is small, but if he can fill out and get acclimatized to the North American game, the Sabres have found themselves a gem.
Other Considerations: John Moore, Jordan Schroeder. John Moore would've also made a quality addition to the back end for the Sabres, and Jordan Schroeder would've added depth to the forward ranks. Moore is an interesting pick because of his North American heritage allowing him to interact more freely (Possibly) with the top-four Sabres defensive prospects.
14. Florida Panthers
Jordan Schroeder, RW, Minnesota (WCHA)- Bass
Schroeder has some of the best talent in the first round, although there are many questions about his 5-foot-9 frame, which will definitely hurt his stock. However, he has unbelievable speed, great hockey sense, and finished second on Minnesota with forty five points. He also had an unbelievable showing at the World Juniors, as he scored eleven points in just six games against the top young competition in the world.
The Panthers are weak at every position except the goal-tending position, as surprising as this may be. With Craig Anderson in goal right now and Jacob Markstrom developing in the wings, the Panthers are hopefully set for the next ten years or so. With Jay Bouwmeester most likely leaving this summer, the Panthers are weak all over the ice, yet there are no consensus defensemen at this spot in the draft. The Panthers could trade down in order to get some more prospects, but since they are set to pick at the 14th spot, Florida could use a small, fast forward in Schroeder.
Alan Bass and Bryan Thiel are both Senior Writers and NHL Community Leaders for Bleacher Report. Either of them can be contacted through their profiles or you can email Alan at firstname.lastname@example.org and Bryan at email@example.com. You can check out Alan's archives here, and Bryan's here.
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