Mock draft (cont.)
11. Chicago Blackhawks:
Erik Karlsson, defense, Frolunda Juniors (Sweden)
Central Scouting says: "Erik is excellent on the power play. He makes smart passes and has great vision. He plays the game with confidence, has a natural hockey sense and is a consistent offensive threat. "
Our take: The draft's next big reach, Karlsson is exactly what the young Hawks need: a mobile, quick-thinking blueliner who can make the most of the speed and creativity of their blossoming forward corps. He won't be NHL-ready for a couple years -- he needs to pack some weight onto his 5-11 frame -- but Karlsson looks like someone who will slide effortlessly into a top-four role, with a real chance to be a top pairing guy.
12. Anaheim Ducks (from Edmonton):
Colten Teubert, defense, Regina Pats (WHL)
Central Scouting says: "He can skate the puck out of trouble and jump up the ice with it. I like his ability to take charge of the game. He projects as a support three or four defenseman, at least initially, with a good offensive upside who won't hurt you on defense."
Our take: What CS doesn't mention is that the 6-4 Teubert is the meanest S.O.B. in the entire draft, making him the ideal choice for a Ducks team that is preparing to replace a raft of older defenders. He's also a right-handed shot capable of making a smart transition pass and can eventually contribute to both special teams.
13. Buffalo Sabres:
Mattias Tedenby, left wing, HV71 Juniors (Sweden)
Central Scouting says: "Mattias is excellent on every shift. He has outstanding speed, stick work and work ethic. He is small but fearless -- he takes hits and always comes back. He creates scoring chances with his outstanding skating."
Our take: The Sabres would probably like to add some size at this position, but tiny Tedenby (5-9, 161) is impossible to pass over. Earning comparisons to Saku Koivu thanks to his speed and competitive drive, he has the potential to mature into an impact scorer in the NHL.
14. Carolina Hurricanes:
Joshua Bailey, center, Windsor Spitfires (OHL)
Central Scouting says: "Josh is a really hard-working, up-and-down guy who has great puck skills and playmaking ability. He has the ability to pass through any type of traffic and is an energy guy for Windsor. He's not a fighter, but he's not one to be afraid of anyone or back down and he doesn't get knocked around."
Our take: GM Jim Rutherford has stated the 'Canes are looking for a forward in this draft, and his words didn't come off as a smokescreen. They'll be thrilled to nab Bailey, who projects to be a solid second-line center along the lines of Edmonton's Jarret Stoll. He's also got the ability of a Brad Richards to QB a power play. The value of this pick will become obvious when he leads to Spitfires to the Memorial Cup playdowns next spring.
15. Nashville Predators:
Chet Pickard, goaltender, Tri-City Americans (WHL)
Central Scouting says: "He's very confident and very strong in his crease. His net coverage is very good and he reads the play well. He is very consistent and is able to put any bad goals behind him."
Our take: Taking another premium forward is a possibility with their second pick of the round, but the Preds need to rebuild in net as well, making the competitive Pickard impossible to pass up. Comparisons to Carey Price are being tossed around, primarily due to his size and cool demeanor, but Pickard's positioning and mental toughness might be even better than Price's at the same point in his development.
16. Boston Bruins:
Kyle Beach, center, Everett Silvertips (WHL)
Central Scouting says: "One of the top forwards in this year's draft, he is probably the most competitive. He's the power forward in this year's draft. He has good scoring skills and a very accurate shot, and from the blue line in, once he gets the puck, he almost owns it."
Our take: Boston GM Peter Chiarelli hasn't talked names before the draft, but he has stressed a desire to take players who "feel" like Bruins. Beach certainly fits the bill. Big (6-3, 203), mean and fiercely competitive, Beach loves to make things happen down low, either with his soft hands or his hard fists. His impact potential suggests he should be taken higher, but there's a sense that a number of teams will be scared off by a perception of attitude problems (not an issue) and at least two concussions (uh-oh). The Bruins will be thrilled to see him slide this far.
17. Calgary Flames:
Zach Boychuk, center, Lethbridge Hurricanes (WHL)
Central Scouting says: "He quarterbacks the power play and might be the best two-step quickness guy in all of junior hockey. In two steps he is at top speed. Zach is an all-around offensive player who sees the ice well and is just a treat to watch."
Our take: This is a best player available pick for the Flames after size concerns (5-9, 175) lead to Boychuk's slide. His late birthdate (Oct. 4, 1989) gave him an extra year of development (he already has three junior seasons to his credit), and he's scored 163 points over the past two, thanks primarily to speed, both physically and mentally. Boychuk has the intensity and just enough feistiness to make his size a non-issue for the Flames.
18. Ottawa Senators:
Luca Sbisa, defense, Lethbridge Hurricanes (WHL)
Central Scouting says: "Luca is [so] poised that his calmness with the puck is misinterpreted as either slowness or laziness, but that's not the case. He is a smart player who moves the puck at the right time and carries it correctly, supports the rush and is adjusting very well to the North American game."
Our take: The Italian-born Swiss national impressed with his transition to junior hockey this season. His play in the postseason gave his stock a last-minute boost. If the Sens keep this pick, which seems unlikely, Sbisa would make for a low-risk choice who could quickly earn a top-four role.
19. Columbus Blue Jackets (from Colorado):
Michael Del Zotto, defense, Oshawa Generals (OHL)
Central Scouting says: "He is the new-breed offensive defenseman who jumps up into the rush effectively. He either follows up a rush to add a second dimension or is capable of leading the rush himself."
Our take: There's great value in this pick. Del Zotto's stock has dropped slightly over the course of the year, but more as a result of other defenders making greater gains than his game actually suffering. He's always had great offensive tools and a sturdy frame. The only question is, can he become more reliable defensively, or will he become a David Tanabe?
20. New York Rangers:
John Carlson, defense, Indiana Ice (USHL)
Central Scouting says: "A big burly defensemen who is a real strong skater. He runs the power play from the top of the umbrella and has a very heavy shot. He's very physically strong ...and has all the tools."
Our take: The Rangers could use help on the front lines, but Carlson's size and skills package will be tough to pass up. He's a Bryan McCabe-type who finished second among all USHL blueliners in scoring, and made life miserable for opposing forwards with his physical play. He's not afraid to drop the gloves either, a quantity absent from the corps currently patrolling Madison Square Garden.