Tuesday, June 23, 2009

2009 NHL Mock Draft / Part 1

Hockeyleaks.com is proud to bring you the 2009 NHL Mock Draft. Each pick has been made by a blogger / hockey writer who specializes in the team they are choosing from. They know the NHL well, and they know exactly what their team's needs are. This is as accurate as it gets, so let's get started. This mock draft covers the first 20 picks in this years draft.

1. Timothy Hilts / writer for Hockeyleaks.com - "With the first overall selection in the 2009 NHL entry draft, the New York Islanders are proud to select John Tavares. The Islanders need a superstar to draw fans and this is the guy to do just that."

2. Jon Jordan / blogger for Hockeybuzz.com - "With the second selection in the 2009 NHL entry draft, the Tampa Bay Lightning are proud to select Victor Hedman."

Jon had this to say about his pick:

"With Tavares gone, the Lightning will no doubt take Victor Hedman.

For a team that needs a cornerstone defenseman who can fill a need both
immediately and for the long-term future, there is no better match than
Hedman and the bolts.

Of course, if whoever is playing the role of Brian Burke in this draft
wanted to talk turkey with me, I would most definitely be willing to
entertain the thought of a deal (as would the real life Lightning ...)"

3. David Driscoll-Carignan / owner of MileHighHockey.com - "With the third selection in the 2009 Entry Draft, the Colorado Avalanche are proud to select Matt Duchene. Duchene projects to be a talented two-way pivot man and would seem capable of forming a solid 1-2 punch up the middle with Paul Stastny for many, many years"

4. Scott Fuller / writer for Hockeyleaks.com - "With the fourth selection in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, the Atlanta Thrashers are proud to select Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson. This kid has Tremendous Offensive upside in a big package. Strong on the puck, just needs to work on his defense. Solid showing in the WJC."

5. Mark Millard / writer for Hockeyleaks.com - "With the fifth overall selection in the 2009 NHL entry draft, the LA Kings select Jacob Josefson."

we asked Mark why he took Josefson so early in the draft.

"If Justin Williams can stay healthy and regain his old 30-goal self, and with a good up and coming offensive presence in young players like Kopitar, Brown and Frolov, a strong two way Swede is exactly what the Kings need. With two years experience playing for Djurgården of the Swedish Elite League, Josefson should have no problem making the transition to the NHL, helping the young Kings netminders in the process with his strong back checking ability."

6. Allison / writer for Hockeyleaks.com - "The Hamilton, I mean Phoenix Coyotes are proud to select Evander Kane. The guy impressed at the WJC, and 96 regular season points for the Giants combined with his ability to play a physical style make him a perfect fit for the young Coyote's squad"

7. Corey Johnson / owner of Hockeyleaks.com - "With the seventh selection in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, the Toronto Maple Leafs are proud to select Brayden Schenn. This kid is a leader and has a great career in front of him. It doesn't hurt that his brother is already a star on the Leafs."

8. TJ Hurst / writer for Hockeyleaks.com - "The Dallas Stars are pleased to select Zack Kassian."

Here is what TJ had to say about the Stars selection of the big Petes forward.

"The Dallas Stars have become a big player in the European markets, particularly Sweden and often use the European professional leagues (mainly the Swedish Elite League) to develop their players which has many thinking Oliver Ekman Larsson will find a home with the Stars. But he's just too small for a Dallas brand of hockey. With Kassian they get the total package. He comes with big energy and 120% work ethic. Make no mistake, he will hurt you on the ice and isn't afraid to back it up by dropping the gloves. And while that may be the biggest part of his game it masks his other skillsets. While his skating and speed need a little improvement, his hands are exceptional. He's not afraid to step into the dangerous areas such as the corners and in front of the net. He's a workhouse and an individual who lead by example. Hitting hard and often, but also has the finish to make him a real threat in front of the net and on the rush. At this stage of his career, he's a Brendan Morrow in the making which makes him a hot commodity for the Dallas Stars."

9. Mark Christopher / blogger for Hockeybuzz.com - "For the second year in a row, the Sens are proud to select a swedish defenseman, this time it's Oliver Ekman-Larsson. Plain and simple OEL just doesn't get tired, the kid has the ability to play 30+ minutes a night if called upon. While he will need to strengthen up and fill out his frame, Oliver has all the necessary skills to control the blueline similiar to fellow Swede Nik Lidstrom. OEL has seen his stock jump more than any other prospect over the past few months despite missing out on the World Jrs."

10. Adam Forsyth / writer for Hockeyleaks.com - "The Oilers would have liked to select Kassian, but because he's taken, the Oilers are proud to select Ryan Ellis. Ellis is a game changing offensive gem with very under-rated defensive abillities.
Smallish. Yes. However, his vision on the ice is too difficult to ignore and with
a big booming sot, he's a PP quarterback for many years to come"

11. Brandon Felder / blogger for Hockeybuzz.com - "The Nashville Predators are proud to select Jordan Schroeder. The Preds need forward depth and Schroeder has previous experience with Colin Wilson in the World Juniors. Should he slip to 11, the Preds should select Schroeder.

12. Jeff Small / writer for Hockeyleaks.com - "With the 12th overall pick, the Minnesota Wild are very happy to select Jared Cowan."

Here is what Small said about the luck of getting Cowan so late in the draft.

"New GM Chuck Fletcher would be overjoyed to select Jared Cowen who at one point was considered to be challenging John Tavares and Victor Hedman for one of the top two spots in the entry draft. While the Wild already have some pretty impressive young defenseman including Brent Burns, Nick Schultz, and Tyler Cuma this pick is about choosing the best player available, which at 12 is no doubt Jared Cowen. At 18, Cowen already stands at 6'5, 218 pounds and is considered to be one of if not the best defensive defenseman in the draft. The biggest question mark concerning Cowen will be if he can return from season ending reconstructive surgery on his right knee. Although a big injury, if Cowen can return to form there is no question that he is a steal at #12 and will fit right in with Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, and Colorado once he makes the NHL"

13. Colin Lim / writer for Hockeyleaks.com - "The Buffalo Sabres are proud to select Chris Kreider. Kreider gives Buffalo some much needed size down the middle. He has a natural goal scoring ability and should be a solid top-two centreman for the Sabres in a couple of years."

14. Rey Edmonds / writer for Hockeyleaks.com - "The Florida Panthers are proud to select Nazim Kadri. Florida needs a forward that can be relied upon with both offensively and defensively. Micheal Frolik is the only forward in the system who has really good offensive skills. Horton, Booth, Mattias, Campbell are the guys that can create room and will be able to complement skill players such as Kadri. Some could argue that Kadri outplayed Tavares in the OHL playoffs with the London Knights. Skill level isn't as good as Tavares, but Kadri's compete level is as good as anyone. "

15. Edgar Arce / writer for http://torosviews.blogspot.com - "The Ducks are proud to select Louis Leblanc."

16. Eric Smith / blogger for Hockeybuzz.com - "The Columbus Blue Jackets are pleased to select Dmitry Kulikov"

we asked Eric Smith about the surprise of getting a top 10 prospect at #16.

"The Blue Jackets need a center and I think they will draft one
because they don't even have a warm body at center in Syracuse but Kulikov is just
way too good to pass up and he should be gone by now in the draft. The top rated
Russian, played this year in Drummondville
and certainly helped his drafted stock. 6′1″ and 195 pounds, he has
enough size to play physical when needed but he is a puck moving
defenseman that loves to score. Had 62 points in 57 games this year.
Very good skater that understands that he has to play both ends of the
ice. Kulikov is the full package and will be a top 4 defenseman plus be able to QB
the power play some day. The only down fall is that he shoots left which the CBJ is
in desperate need of a right handed shot from the point. GM Scott Howson will be
extactic if Kulikov falls into his lap at 16."

17. Marc Whittington / writer for Hockeyleaks.com - "The St. Louis Blues are proud to select Scott Glennie."

18. All Habs / owner of allhabs.blogspot.com and organizer of the NHL Draft Tweetup. - "The Habs are proud to select Carter Ashton. the Canadiens need immediate help up front. Ashton is a 6'3" 205 lb power forward who is an offensive force on the RW. He skates well, is tough to knock off the puck, and goes hard to the net"

19. Catherine Marzi / ESPN employee - "The New York Rangers are proud to select Peter Holland. Theteam will benefit from the young forward to support in scoring. At 6'2, he has a lot of room to grow muscle mass in the off season, and be a large physical presence on a scoring line (note: his officially reported weight is lower than some other quotes so he likely is already larger/stronger than reported). He has been noted an effective on the power play, and has been cited as a leader. He will make a solid addition to the Rangers squad.

20. Corey Johnson / owner of Hockeyleaks.com - "The Calgary Flames are proud to select John Moore with the 20th overall pick. This kid is a tank and will be a big part of the Flames future. The fact that he slipped to 20 is a shock to the Flames organization."

so there you have it, the first 20 teams predicted. Surprised David Runblad didn't chosen, while Moore going 20 is also a big surprise. Check Hockeyleaks.com tomorrow for my mock draft, where I post my first round predictions.