Please Note: This article was completed and posted before the 15th pick (and Dennis Wideman) was sent to Florida by Boston in exchange for Nathan Horton.
Earlier on Tuesday, Alan Bass posted picks 1-8 of our mock draft. Now some of you are probably wondering why we pair up to do this:
1) A one person mock draft can be biased: Everyone has picks that they're higher on than they should be, lower on than they should be, and guys that they're set on fitting in at a certain locale. If I were to say that I would like Player X to go to the Minnesota Wild because I think he fits in well with their system, then I'm going to swing the draft to try and get him there.
2) With two people, there's more intrigue: I don't know who Alan's picking and Alan doesn't know who I pick until we submit them.
Fast Fact: Did you know that Gary Bettman oversees our mock drafts? We're in negotiations for Ron MacLean to host a two-hour Draft Recap show for next year's draft.
The alternating keeps us both on our toes, and throws an added wrinkle into the "draft process".
3) For some reason it encourages me to go off-board more: I don't know why. It's not like I couldn't take Seguin at 30 in a solo mock, but half of the fun is looking at a team that realistically go off the board and follow that pattern, or to try and see if a highly-touted player will drop.
So now that we have that in order, I'll pick first...
8. Atlanta Thrashers
Alexander Burmistrov, C, Barrie Colts
Burmistrov is a smart pick—literally. He's an intelligent player who's very reliable on the ice, and he anticipates well. A two-way centre is exactly what Atlanta needs, especially with some up-and-coming scoring wingers (Jeremy Morin and Evander Kane).
9. Minnesota Wild
Nino Niederreiter, LW, Portland Winterhawks (WHL)
Arguably the most talented Swiss hockey player ever, Niederreiter could fix a gaping hole left by Marian Gaborik's departure last year. Niederreiter could be a perennial all-star in the league if he improves his game.
10. New York Rangers
Vladimir Tarasenko, RW, Novisibirsk (KHL)
While he's small in stature (5'11), he offers good size (202lbs). He more than doubled his production playing against men in the KHL this year, but it'll be interesting to see when he comes to the NHL. While his coach/father sees no need to rush him, when asked where he saw himself in five years, Tarasenko said the NHL (Granted five years is a while). He'd be interesting to see on a line with the burly Chris Kreider.
11. Dallas Stars
Mikael Granlund, C, HIFK (Fin)
The skilled center has been called the best Finn since Teemu Selanne. With Modano leaving the team, Dallas could be in line for another powerful center - Granlund may be the missing piece.
12. Anaheim Ducks
Nick Bjugstad, C, Blaine (Minn-H/S)
A big kid with a lot of skill, if Bjugstad doesn't pan out down the middle, he could be moved to the right side. He's got all the tools and the brains to go with it, so the Ducks could have the makings of a great backup man to Getzlaf.
13. Phoenix Coyotes (from Calgary)
Emerson Etem, RW, Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL)
If he falls this low, the Coyotes will grab Etem, who is a skilled, yet physical presence in the offensive zone. After finally making the playoffs, Phoenix could use Etem on a second line to give them more depth.
14. St. Louis Blues
Kirill Kabanov, LW, Moncton Wildcats (WHL)
There has been tons of controversy surrounding Kabanov over the last year, and it's unfairly hurt his stock. I wouldn't believe much that comes from Russia as far as his "He was bigger than the team" accusations, especially after the way he left. He's displayed his talent, and with a weakness on the left side Kabanov could one day slide beside Patrik Berglund. Barring the recent Halak trade, Campbell was considered here.
15. Boston Bruins
Mark Pysyk, D, Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)
With Chara getting older and with Boston's cap troubles, the Bruins may opt to grab a d-man while they still can. Assuming Pysyk will drop this low from his seventh rank, the Bruins will snag him in hopes he will become a top-3 defender.
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