2010 NHL Mock Draft

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2010 NHL Mock  Draft
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

 

1. Edmonton Oilers

Taylor Hall, LW (Windsor, OHL)

Strengths: Fantastic Speed, Offensive Instincts

Weaknesses: Must improve strength to make the jump to the NHL  

Really not a surprise the Oilers begin a new era with an outstanding player.

Hall and Eberle should form a very deadly scoring duo in Edmonton for years to come.

 

2. Boston Bruins (From Toronto)

Tyler Seguin, C (Plymouth, OHL)

Strengths: Hockey Smarts

Weaknesses: Defensive Play (is improving though)

As a Leafs fan I may shed a tear when Boston selects Seguin and for good reason.

Seguin could be the better player out of Hall and himself in a few years, just because it does look like he could be the better all-around player (someone you'd want to build a franchise around eh Leafs?).

In the end only time will tell but either way the Bruins are going to be getting a very special player.

 

3. Florida Panthers

Erik Gudbranson, D (Kingston, OHL)

Strengths: Size and Cannon Shot

Weaknesses: Use of Size

Gudbranson has really separated himself as the third overall pick, when Florida makes this selection they will surely be choosing their future captain.

Gudbranson oozes character and could develop into one of the most elite two-way defensemen in the game.

The Panthers will have the makings of a dynamic D duo in Kulikov and Gudbranson.

 

4. Columbus Blue Jackets

Brandon Gormley, D (Moncton, QMJHL)

Strengths: Shutdown Abilities

Weaknesses: Skating

This could be the first surprise in the 2010 draft.

Although Cam Fowler does look to have some impressive offensive abilities, I think Columbus goes with the potential shutdown stud in Gormley (who does have some offensive potential himself).

The Blue Jackets already have a group of young offensive defensemen in Anton Stralman, 2009 first round pick John Moore, and 2008 second round pick Cody Goloubef so adding another in Fowler wouldn't make a whole lot of sense.

 

5. New York Islanders

Cam Fowler, D (Windsor, OHL)

Strengths: Offensive upside

Weaknesses: Physical play

The Islanders will continue their rebuilding process by adding yet another top prospect in Fowler.

With their offense starting to take shape, Fowler will join 2009 first round pick Calvin De Haan and 2008 second round pick Travis Hamonic as the framework for a solid D core.

 

6. Tampa Bay Lightning

Nino Niederreiter, LW (Portland, WHL)

Strengths: Compete level, Puck Control

Weaknesses: Speed

El Nino will be added to the impressive depth of forwards in the Tampa organization, and be rookie GM Steve Yzerman's first ever draft pick.

Nino stole the show at the past World Junior Championship and the Bolts will hope he can continue that at the NHL level.

Also of note is that Nino should become the highest Swiss player ever taken in the NHL draft.

 

7. Carolina Hurricanes

Brett Connolly, RW (Prince George, WHL)

Strengths: Willingness to Make the Tough Plays

Weaknesses: Injury problems

If Brett Connolly had played a full season in the WHL, he very well could have challanged with Hall and Seguin for the top pick.

Injuries unfortunately limited him to only 16 games but scouts agree that if he can get past his injury problems, he could become a very special player for the Hurricanes.

They would love to see him develop into a winger who could also elevate captain Eric Staal's game.

 

8. Atlanta Thrashers

Jeff Skinner, C (Kitchener, OHL)

Strengths: Goal Scoring Ability

Weaknesses: Size

Jeff Skinner has seen his stock rise greatly the last year.  

A 50-goal campaign and a 33 point playoff run has sky-rocketed Skinner from a projected second rounder to a legitimate top ten pick.

Although size is an issue based on what he did this year, Skinner could develop into a talented top six forward for Atlanta.

The Thrashers have to pick up the pieces from a season that saw them trade away former first and second overall selections in Ilya Kovalchuk and Kari Lehtonen.

Skinner should become the first pick in a new build for the Thrashers.  

 

9. Minnesota Wild

Ryan Johansen, C (Portland, WHL)

Strengths: Playmaking Ability

Weaknesses: Physical Play

Johansen should become the second player from Portland's top line selected in the top ten.

Johansen could stand to add some more weight to his lanky frame but there is no doubt he possesses the playmaking abilities to become at least a second line center at the NHL level.

For a team starving for scoring such as the Wild, he should come as a breathe of fresh air to Wild fans.

 

10. New York Rangers

Alexander Burmistrov, C (Barrie, OHL)

Strengths: All-Around Offensive Talent

Weaknesses: Strength (Weighed in at Under 160lbs on a 6ft Frame at the Combine)

Rounding out the top ten should be Russia native Alexander Burmistrov.

Alex could be come a very pleasant surprise for the Blueshirts as he does seem to have the tools to become an elite two-way player.

His size is very much an issue as he would have to gain almost 30lbs to really become effective at the NHL level.

 

11. Dallas Stars

Jack Campbell, G (US NTDP)

Strengths: Big, Technically Sound Goalie

Weaknesses: Must Add Weight to His "6'3 Frame

Although he couldn't crack the top ten, Campbell will be the first goalie taken in 2010 and rightfully so.

Campbell is one of the best goalie prospects in years and could become a future All-Star in  big "D." He's set to join the Windsor Spitfires next year and could be the piece that allows Windsor to challenge for a third straight Memorial Cup.

 

12. Anaheim Ducks

Mikael Granlund, LW (HIFK, Finland)

Strengths: Playmaking Ability

Weaknesses: Size and Strength

Granlund has been a top Finnish prospect for a couple years now and is a bit of a risk/reward player.

If the Ducks can resign Teemu Selanne for a couple more seasons, Granlund could learn from a fellow Fin and turn into a star himself.

There is also the chance that Granlund just can't handle the size and speed of NHL defensemen and becomes another draft flop.

 

13. Phoenix Coyotes* (From Calgary)

Derek Forbort, D (US NTDP)

Strengths: First Pass

Weaknesses: Not as Hard Nosed as his 6'5" Frame Would Suggest

Derek Forbort could very well be the most underrated defensemen in the draft.

At 6'5" you'd expect him to be a crushing defensemen yet he is more of an offensive talent.

Phoenix has two picks in the first round, so it is likely that they'll add Forbort as another top defense prospect to go along with 2009 first round pick Oliver Ekman-Larsson.

 

14. St.Louis Blues

Emerson Etem, LW (Medicine Hat, WHL)

Strengths: Fastest Skater in the Draft

Weaknesses: Defensive Play

Although it would be nice to see California native Emerson Etem go to a California-based team at the draft in L.A., it is more likely that he will end up in Missouri as he is too good to be passed up on.

In recent drafts the Blues have worked on improving their defense but with their backend starting to take form they'll probably opt for a forward this time around.

 

15. Florida Panthers* (From Boston)  

Austin Watson, RW (Peterborough, OHL)

Strengths: Two-Way Player

Weaknesses: Conditioning

With the Panthers second first round pick it wouldn't be surprising to see them draft a player with a similar style as the player they dealt for the pick in Nathan Horton.

Austin Watson is an American power forward who does the little things that make coaches happy.

He's one of the top two-way players available and would be a valuable asset to the Panthers.   

 

16. Ottawa Senators

Vladimir Tarasenko, RW (Novosibirsk, KHL)

Strengths: Offensive Smarts

Weaknesses: "The Russian Factor"

With it looking more and more likely that Jason Spezza will be wearing a new uniform next season, Ottawa will be wanting to make a big splash when it comes to offense.

Vlad is definitely a offensive threat, scoring 24 points in the KHL this past season.

With Tarasenko comes the "Russian Factor." Will he be willing to leave Russia and come play in the NHL?

If so Ottawa will have made a very wise choice.

 

17. Colorado Avalanche

Mark Pysyk, D (Edmonton, WHL)

Strengths: Skating Ability

Weaknesses: No Glaring Weaknesses

A surprising Colorado team will pick 17th, look for them to select defenseman Mark Pysyk from the Edmonton Oil Kings.

Pysyk is a safe pick for a growing Avs team, he is solid at both ends of the ice and should develop into a reliable third or fourth defenseman.

 

18. Nashville Predators

Nick Bjugstad, C (Blaine HS, USHS)

Strengths: Shot

Weaknesses: Consistency

A Nashville team starved for offense will likely focus on forwards this draft and Nick Bjugstad is a good starting point.

He may be a few years away from playing in the NHL but he has all the right tools to make him an effective player for the Preds.

 

19. L.A. Kings

Beau Bennett, RW (Penticton, BCHL)

Strengths: Offensive Talent

Weaknesses: Game Away From the Puck

I really see L.A. moving this pick for help right now, but if they do pick there is a very strong chance thay select the hometown boy Bennett. 

Although they would have loved to get the other California native in Etem, they do get another solid prospect in Bennett.

I think Bennett moves up because of the California connection (see: Louis Leblanc, 2009 draft in Montreal).

 

20. Pittsburgh Penguins

Dylan Mcilrath, D (Moose Jaw, WHL)

Strengths: Physical Game

Weaknesses: Skating Ability

Pittsburgh has a solid core of prospects, so they'll likely pick the best player availible in Mcilrath.

Dylan is a classic WHL defenseman who loves to play the physical game.

Pittsburgh's defense has been thinning out the last couple of years so Dylan Mcilrath should be a nice shot in the arm for them.

 

21. Detroit Red Wings

Riley Sheahan, C (Notre Dame, CCHA)

Strengths: Defensive Play

Weaknesses: Consistency

It is fitting that Detriot drafts Riley Sheahan as his play has been compared to that of Kris Draper.

Although his point production did fall when making the jump between the St. Catharines Falcons and Notre Dame University, he still looks to be a strong prospect.

Also noteworthy is the fact that he could become the second St. Catharines product taken in the first round in the last three years.

The other being Daultan Leveille who was selected 29th overall by Atlanta in 2008.

The Falcons are a Jr. B level team located in the same city as the OHL's Niagara Ice Dogs.

 

22. Phoenix Coyotes

Quinton Howden, LW (Moose Jaw, WHL)

Strengths: Two-Way Game

Weaknesses: No Glaring Weaknesses

The Coyotes won't be swinging for the fences with their second pick but they do get a safe pick in Howden.

Although he likely won't develop into a dangerous offensive threat he will become an effective third line winger.

 

23. Buffalo Sabres

John McFarland, C (Sudbury, OHL)

Strengths: Good Speed and Strength

Weaknesses: Consistency and Work Ethic

Few players have seen their stock fall as much as John McFarland.

Once favoured to be the first overall pick, McFarland could fall to the second round.

Buffalo is also in a position of risk/reward here.

If McFarland can return to his old self they will have found themselves a steal, but if he continues to play the way he has, he may be another draft day flop.

 

24. Chicago Blackhawks* (From Atlanta via New Jersey)

Jon Merrill, D (US NTDP)

Strengths: Good Defensive Zone Coverage

Weaknesses: Weak Shooting Ability

With the newly acquired 24th overall selection look for Chicago to improve their backend by taking Jon Merrill.

Merrill is yet another reliable American defenseman.

You can really start to see why Team USA won the Gold at the WJC.

Jon Merrill should get plenty of time to develop and that time should benefit him greatly.

 

25. Vancouver Canucks

Jarred Tinordi, D (US NTDP)

Strengths: Size and First Pass

Weaknesses: Holds on to the puck too much

After another disappointing playoff exit, the Canucks need to add more depth to their farm system.

The backend needs special attention.

Tinordi is once again another solid American defenseman who is a safe pick for the Canucks.

 

26. Washington Capitals

Kirill Kabanov, LW (Moncton, QMJHL)

Strengths: Could be the best offensive player in the draft

Weaknesses: Commitment to Play in North America

Kabanov could very well be the biggest story in this year's draft.

There is no doubt he has the abilities to match Hall and Seguin and maybe even surpass them, but the question marks surrounding him will turn most teams off.

If there is one team that will take the risk on Kabanov, it has to be Washington.

With three Russian players on their roster already, they should be able to get Kabanov to commit to playing in the NHL.

27. Montreal Canadians

Evgeni Kuznetsov, C (C.Traktor, KHL)

Strengths: Puck Control, Shooting

Weaknesses: Consistency

The Canadians are becoming shorter and shorter on quality prospects so they may have to take the risk on Evgeni Kuznetsov and pray it pays off.

If it does they'll get a very promising young player who will develop into a top six forward.

28. San Jose Sharks

Calvin Pickard, G (Seattle, WHL)

Strengths: Positionally Sound Goalie

Weaknesses: Doesn't Dominate as Much as He Could

With San Jose announcing they will not be bringing back Nabakov, a huge hole has opened up in their roster.

Pickard, whose older brother Chet was also a first round pick, seems to have the makings of an NHL goalie and should get a good shot at it in a couple of years if drafted by San Jose.

29. Anaheim Ducks* (From Philadelphia)

Alex Petrovic, D (Red Deer, WHL)

Strengths: Hockey Smarts

Weaknesses: Physical Play

Although Petrovic is a big guy who can throw the body, scouts would like to see him do it more often.

Anaheim uses their second first round pick to select a defenseman to shore up their depth after the retirement of Scott Niedermayer.

30. Chicago Blackhawks

Tyler Pitlick, C (Minn. State, WCHA)

Strengths: Willing to Grind for the Puck

Weaknesses: Acceleration Could Use Improvement

With this pick the Blackhawks essentially replace Akim Aliu who was traded to Atlanta with a safer pick who maybe doesn't have as much upside.

In the long run it may pay off as Pitlick is far more predictable and not as much of a wild card as Aliu.

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