Saturday, June 07, 2008

My Mock Draft for 2008

Well, here we go again. With the Draft only two weeks away, the Sherpa has already put together his prognostication for who is going to go in which spot. Last season's mock draft went swimmingly well, compared to some others, and we're all hopeful that the same can be said about this season.

The draft has been done without any future knowledge of trades... just the trades that have happened to this point. Any draft day deals can't exactly be foretold, although there was some consideration on a few picks.

1Steve StamkosFThe Tampa Bay Lightning finished up the season as the worst team in the NHL and ended up winning the draft lottery in April, so they end up with the first pick. In their Prospective Look, there was an indication that they didn't have much in the stable for good blue-chip talent. There is no better way to go from no talent to a lot of talent than with the number one projected player by pretty much every outlet. This one is pretty much a given.
2Nikita FilatovFIn Los Angeles, they will be looking for a franchise player of their own this summer. A trade up could be likely, but if they don't make the move, then it's pretty likely that they'll go after Nikita Filatov, as they could likely get him to move to sunny California from dreary Moscow, especially if there is a transfer deal signed before the season is underway.
3Zach BogosianDThe Thrashers have some talent on the blueline, but they are the first team really likely to dip in the deep talent defending talent pool this summer. Zach Bogosian has been listed with a lot of 'franchise player' upside with some good speed and size, which would be extremely helpful in Atlanta. Their outlook could use a player that can jump into the line-up right away and it looks as though Bogosian could be that guy for them.
4Tyler MyersDAn increase of size and strength on the blueline could make the Blues a little bit stronger against their division rivals from Michigan. Already having one of the bigger, younger bluelines in the league, St. Louis will benefit from a bigger and younger defenseman in Myers. The Blues could do with more scoring, but the prospect of putting up a brick wall in front of Manny Legace has got to be very inviting.
5Drew DoughtyDIf the first four picks go according to the Sherpa's plan, then the Islanders will luck out with getting Drew Doughty from the Draft. Doughty has the ability to be the franchise blueliner that the club so desperately needs. The Islanders are doing well in developing young forwards at the moment, so the blueline will be the focus of the first round and Doughty has a great upside.
6Luke SchennDDefending in the Central Division could be a solid theme in this season's draft, since the Red Wings are so offensively proficient. The Blue Jackets could use a defenseman like Luke Schenn, who is considered to be more of a defensive specialist. His hard-hitting style would be welcomed by head coach Ken Hitchcock undoubtedly and the crowds in Columbus would certainly enjoy a big crunching defenseman for highlight reel hits.
7Colin WilsonFFor a team that hasn't had the best of luck with draft picks and an unknown future management system, this could be the hardest pick to select. The Leafs new GM could very well try and sell the farm to be bumped up to number one for Stamkos or they'll go ahead and make their pick. The seventh spot, if it's the Leafs', should be going in the forward direction and Colin Wilson could be the better pickof them all at this point.
8Kyle BeachFSize in the forward position could be key for the Coyotes this summer and Kyle Beach fits that mode at 6'3". Beach had a very solid year in the WHL, which should impress the Coyotes brass, while his penalty minutes could give the team that extra bit of grit in a couple seasons to match up with the big, bad Pacific Division. Filling a spot on the forward lines in the near future is in their outlook.

from FLA
9Alex PietrangeloDThe first playoff team to make a draft pick is the Predators, as they hold two picks in this first round and could really hit the jackpot this summer for talent. Going in the same theme as St. Louis and Columbus before them, a big defenseman is certainly looking like the flavour of the day and Pietrangelo could very well fit their mould. The Preds already have a good stock of young defensemen and adding the 6'3" Pietrangelo could either make their defense better or give the team another bargaining chip to improve their team elsewhere.
10Zach BoychukFA talented forward should be on the menu for the Canucks taste for the draft and a good playmaker like Zach Boychuk could fit the hole left behind by Brendan Morrison. His small frame has come into question, but his athleticism has been said to be top notch, which should make him a top commodity. Whether or not he can make the jump right away is also a good question, as the Canucks may make sure they can get someone who can make that jump.
11Thomas McCollumGIn Chicago, there should be a look towards the crease as their crop of young goalies is very weak as a whole. With that in mind, they should be the first team in the league to pick a goalie in the draft. American-born Thomas McCollum should be the first keeper taken in the draft, as he's the biggest of the top three ranked goalies from North America. The Blackhawks will do themselves a great service to sign up a top-end young goalie for their bright future.

from EDM
12Mikkel BoedkerFWith the way the Ducks are going with the salary cap, they may need to sign up some new young scoring talent that will be playing at an entry-level discount. Mikkel Boedker has some fantastic offensive numbers from Sweden and the OHL and should provide some great skating talent that the Ducks are known for with a lot of their current crop of young players.
13Josh BaileyFComing from a little lower in the rankings, Josh Bailey is a centre that has been described as a good two-way player with good vision. Those are the qualities the Sabres usually have their forwards learn and Bailey already comes equipped with them. This works in his favour and his size (6'0") is about the average size in Buffalo, so he won't be too out of place. Head coach Lindy Ruff should be able to use a guy like Bailey right away in a fourth line role.
14Colby RobakDThe Hurricanes are looking to hit a homerun here in the draft and they could eventually get one out of Colby Robak. The big 6'3" defenseman has a big upside as an offensive defenseman, but the timing won't be right away for the Hurricanes. His less-than-physical game may be okay for the Southeast Division, but if he can pick up his physical play in the next season or two, he'll be much quicker in making the jump.
15Cody HodgsonFWith the Predators second pick, they could end up with a decent all-around forward who doesn't seem to have a great deal of size, which may keep him back in the draft. With two picks in the top fifteen, there is a great chance that the Predators will come away from Ottawa like bandits running away from a crime scene, especially if Hodgson is still available.
16Kirill PetrovFThe Bruins may not be in a big rush for another youthful player to hit the ice for them and they haven't been big on European talent of late, but the idea of a big Russian winger could be very tempting, especially since he may not be rushed over to North America. Petrov could be a good fit with some of the speedy youth of the Bruins in a couple years.
17Colton TeubertDSize. Mean. Offensive upside. These three things should make Teubert a Sutter-like candidate for being a first round draft pick for the Flames. Teubert, 6'4", 185, has a bit of frame left to fill, but with the amount of defense the team already has, the Flames can wait an extra season to wait for him and then join the team when they have a spot to fill.
18Luca SbisaDThe Sens remain a puzzle when it comes to how they assess their direction when it comes to Draft Day. GM Bryan Murray went a little off the board in 2007 and was lucky with a higher ranked pick in 2006. In the 16th spot, it will likely be the best available player in their sights. Luca Sbisa is a high ranked defender in the draft and could be moulded into a top end blueliner, which the blueline could use some new blood as players may leave through free agency.

from COL
19Jamie ArnielFWith their second pick in the first round, the Blue Jackets should be looking towards a two-way player to fit in the Hitchcock system, so a guy like Jamie Arniel, according to his scouting report, should fit the mould and a little more. He's a smaller centre, but works exceptionally hard on the forecheck and backcheck, which should light up the eyes of the head coach.
20Mattias TedenbyFThe Rangers have had a lot of luck from Sweden in previous years, namely Henrik Lundqvist. Tedenby has finished his season in the Swedish Elite League will likely still need some seasoning in major junior or even the AHL, but he does have an upside in talent. His scouting report focuses on his speed and work ethic, which could be an asset to a Ranger team that is really starting to skate. Tedenby could be the right player at the right time at the right pick for the Rangers.
21Jered StaalFI don't know how the Devils could avoid making this pick by going off the board. They are in need of a homerun and there is no better name to swing with than the Staal name. The youngest of the four would give the Atlantic Division three of the four brothers, which would be a storyline in itself and it would be somewhat surprising if Jered didn't go in the first round. This could be the steal that GM Lou Lamoriello is looking for this summer.

from ANA
22Joe ColborneFThe Oilers sure do like picking younger players in the early rounds of the draft, so this is where Joe Colborne fits. A TSN favourite in this draft, Colborne has size and skill to spare, according to the CSS. His development will take a good turn when he attends Denver University next season, but a good year there could see a quick jump, but patience may be the word on the tip of the tongue when it comes to Colborne. If he could use his size in a more dominant fashion, he could be the perfect compliment to a Gagner or Cogliano down the line.
23Chet PickardGKind of forgotten in their outlook was the loss of depth at the goaltending position thanks to the departure of Olaf Kolzig. This should open the door to the best available goaltending prospect to join Semen Varlamov in the Capitals stables with the possibility of backing up Cristobel Huet in the near future. Pickard was the WHL's best goaltender this past season in Tri-Cities and is a top ranking prospect among all the scouting bureaus. This is a pick that just fits.
24Greg NemiszFThe Wild should be looking for more size when it comes to competing in the Northwest Division and up front, Greg Nemisz's 6'3" frame could be what they are looking for at centre. The early knock on Nemisz is his skating, but that is a skill that can be worked on in his development before making the jump. The Wild are going to have a good bunch of defensemen who are going to shoot from the point and a big man in front would be clutch for the development of the team.
25Michael Del ZottoDDel Zotto may not actually drop this far, as his offensive upside from the blueline has been well documented, but his size may not make him a favourite at the backend. For Montreal, they have plenty of size from the back end and could use a bit more of a puck moving defender, where Del Zotto would fit the bill. The Canadiens could wait for another year or two worth of seasoning for this potential prospect, in order for him to be an all-round defenseman, which could be to both parties benefit.

from SAN
26John CarlsonDThe Sabres may benefit from having John Carlson fall through the cracks down to their 26th pick. Ranked 21st by ISS and 17th by CSB may be enough confusion for him to drop a little. As a defenseman, he has good size at 6'2" and by his scouting report has some good offensive qualities. As teams and their needs go, this is where Carlson could be a very good fit. He could be a very good bonus to this team, which doesn't have a guy like Carlson in their fold at the moment.
27Jacob MarkstromGThe Flyers have all sorts of options available to them when it comes to looking for new talent in the draft. The Flyers could very well luck out with a long-term goalie solution by choosing Jacob Markstrom. He still needs plenty of time to develop, but with a couple of NHL ready goalies in the fold, they are not in any rush to move him along, unless everyone starts to fold. The Flyers don't have a good bluechip goalie, so Markstrom could very well be on the radar.

from DAL
28Tyler CumaDWith the Kings second pick in the draft, from Dallas, they should be going for one of the better defensemen available and that, after reading the scouting reports, should be Tyler Cuma. Cuma, could very well be taken higher, but if the draft goes the way the Sherpa has above, he'll be a very good pick for the Kings. Considered to be a good two-way defenseman, he could be a good compliment to those who are already on the Kings blueline roster for the coming years.

from PIT
29Anton GustafssonFAlready picking up one of the key defenders in the pool, the Thrashers have a shot at one of the better forwards in the first round. With the pick, they should be going for one of the better playmakers for the likes of Ilya Kovalchuk in their line-up. Gustafsson should provide that European flair that the Thrashers are known for and also shares a very good NHL bloodline. He's ranked well by the CSS and the Hockey News, so he could very well be a good grab in the first round.
30Zac DalpeFCommitted to Ohuo State University gives Dalpe time to develop into a bigger, better player, which should play right into the hands of the Red Wings. A very well regarded forward from the BCHL, Dalpe is considered a good two-way player with lots of offensive upside. His size isn't likely going to be a concern when he finally leaves school, as he has plenty of time to bulk up and be a rock.

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