Saturday, June 18, 2011

zelePUCKin 2011 NHL Entry Draft Mock Draft

Like the rest of the internet hockey writers, we will get on our soapbox and proclaim that our mock draft is the correct one. Of course some of these experts--to put it loosely-- have Adam Larsson out of the top 3! Hogwash, we say. Without further ado here is our top 15 (anything after that really is a crapshoot)

1. Edmonton Oilers- C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - The Oilers would benefit greatly from a franchise defenseman like Larsson. However, Edmonton will take the "sexy" pick in RNH. With Oilers scouts comparing his vision to Gretzky it will be hard for them to turn down the high scoring center.

2. Colorado Avalanche- D Adam Larsson - Despite the acquisition of Erik Johnson, the Avs are thin on the blueline. Larsson will bring high talent levels in all three zones and give them more balance on the roster.

3. Florida Panthers- RW Gabriel Landeskog - The Cats get a franchise, NHL ready forward with Landeskog. He can score, pass and play D. Landeskog has been compared to Mike Richards and Jonathan Toews--exactly what a franchise on the rise needs.

4. New Jersey Devils- C Sean Couturier -The Devils would probably look for a defenseman in this situation if it wasn't for the fact that Couturier will still be on the board. The one-time prospective number one overall pick has size and speed. After a disappointing World Juniors his stock fell, but at 4th Couturier is a steal for a rebuilding team like the Devils. It doesn't hurt that they are thin down the middle.

5. New York Islanders- D Dougie Hamilton - NYI have taken forwards in recent past in the top 10. With Streit's age and recent injuries it is time to get a blue chip defenseman.

6. Ottawa Senators- C Jonathan Huberdeau - Huberdeau helped lead the St. John's Sea Dogs to their first ever Memorial Cup title, earning himself MVP of the tournament along the way. He has good vision and a scoring touch that will benefit the Sens greatly.

7. Winnipeg- C Ryan Strome - Strome has some nifty hands but needs to bulk up and become more physical if he wants to hack it in the NHL.

8. Columbus Blue Jackets- D Ryan Murphy - An offensive defenseman that will fit in well in Columbus, needs to up the defensive side of his game.

9. Boston Bruins- D Duncan Seimans - At 6'3" 200 he has good size to step into the NHL game but after putting up 121 PIMS in 72 games he needs to work on discipline and speed to crack the lineup for the defending champs.

10. Minnesota Wild- C Mika Zibanejad - Compared to fellow Swede Landeskog, he has the ability to score goals, something the Wild are desperate for.

11. Colorado Avalanche- RW Joel Armia - Had 29 pts in 48 games for Assat of the Finnish League this year, may need a year or two more there or in the AHL before he is ready.

12. Carolina Hurricanes- D Nathan Beaulieu - Skilled defenseman who also helped lead the Sea Dogs to the Memorial Cup, something the Hurricanes need.

13. Calgary Flames- C Mark McNeil - With 81 points in 70 games for Prince George, Calgary is hoping he can continue his success in the NHL.

14. Dallas Stars- RW Tyler Biggs - A big power forward that may need a year or two to develop but will fit in nicely with the young core of the Stars.

15. New York Rangers- LW Matt Puempel - A sniper with 77 goals in his two years in the OHL. May be someone to help take the pressure off Gaborik.

There you have it folks, our preview of the first half of the first round. Make sure to tune in on Friday, June 24 to watch it all unfold from the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota!

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