Mock Draft 2012: Picks 11-20
My annual mock draft continues today with picks 11-20. Enjoy.
11. WASHINGTON CAPITALS (From Colorado) - Jacob Trouba, D, U.S. NTDP
Analysis: The Caps will be a busy team come Friday especially through picks 10-16 as they hold this pick (courtesy of the Colorado Avalanche acquired in the Semyon Varlamov trade) and pick number 16. Much like pick 16, it is extremely important for the Caps to put the right pieces around Alex Ovechkin in their pursue of a Stanley Cup. Trouba is a can’t miss prospect at number 11 as his size and skating have him projected as a physical defensive defenseman. Trouba had a very good WJC for the U.S. as an under-ager and possesses a very good shot from the point, one which scouts wish he used more often.
12. BUFFALO SABRES- Olli Maatta, D, London (OHL)
Analysis: The first of potentially two first round picks for the Sabres, could also be one on the move as the Sabres are said to be busy working the phones, looking to add a top-6 forward. Whether or not the Sabres make a deal on Friday or the trade involves one of their two 1st round picks in this year’s draft is yet to be seen but the Sabres have the chance in adding two very good prospects for the future. Maatta had a great playoff and Memorial Cup run with the London Knights, averaging a point a game and is said to be possibly the closet NHL ready defenseman in the draft. Maatta is a solid defenseman, doing lots of things right but nothing flashy. Maatta can no doubt produce offensively but his strengths lie in the defensive zone.
13. DALLAS STARS - Teuvo Teravainen, LW, Jokerit (Fin.)
Analysis: Joe Nieuwendyk has done a very good job since being hired as the Stars GM in March 2009 and will look to continue to build his team this season in hope of making the playoffs for the first time since 07-08’. Picking the best player available could be the Stars mentality if Teravainen slips a bit to number 13. Teravainen won’t scare anyone with his size (5-11’, 161) but the skill he possesses can’t be over looked. Teravainen dominated junior in Finland and was moved up to SM-Liga to play against men and didn’t look out of place. Teravainen has a huge upside as he projects to be an offensive forward.
14. CALGARY FLAMES - Derrick Pouliot, D, Portland (WHL)
Analysis: Another disappointing season in Calgary led to another 9th place finish and the best record for a non-playoff team, costing them positions in the draft and giving them the 14th overall pick. The Flames seem to have finally found a player at last year’s draft with Sven Baertschi as the Flames arguably played their best hockey of the season when Baertschi made his 5-game NHL debut. The Flames have to continue to fill their empty cupboard of prospects and still have the chance to do it at 14. Taking Pouliot from the Portland Winterhawks would give the Flames an offensive minded defenseman who was running the Hawks PP at the age of 16 and the second consecutive season the Flames have used their 1st round pick on a player from Portland. Pouliot shined in the top prospects game and throughout the Winterhawks run to the WHL final, proving he is a big game player. Pouliot doesn’t have great size (5-11’, 185) but his skating and puck-moving ability makes up for it. Pouliot in my eyes would be a great pick for the Flames and give the fans another prospect to get excited about.
15. OTTAWA SENATORS - Hampus Lindholm, D, Rogle (Swe.)
Analysis: For all the hard times in Ottawa in past seasons, everything seemed to be made up for it last season under new head coach Paul MacLean. The Senators now have one of the brightest futures in the league and with the signing of Erik Karlsson to a contract extension yesterday and the talk of the Sens making a pitch for Rick Nash; things might only be getting better in Ottawa. The last time the Sens picked 15th in a heavy rich defenseman draft, they nabbed Karlsson (Drew Doughty, Zach Bogosian, Alex Pietrangelo, Luke Schenn, Tyler Myers and Colten Teubert all went ahead of Karlsson that draft), could they do the same this year at 15th with selecting Lindholm? Lindholm is one of the biggest risers in the draft and at 6-3’, 196 he is projected to be a solid two-way defenseman. Lindholm is overly physical but has only been getting better as the year has progressed.
16. WASHINGTON CAPITALS - Zemgus Girgensons, C, Dubuque (USHL)
Analysis: The Caps got a taste of what it takes to win in the playoffs this season, pushing the Rangers all the way to a seventh game in the Eastern Conference semi-finals. Getting more out of Ovechkin in still a concern but putting the right pieces around him has to be the Capitals top priority and with their second pick in the top 20, the Caps have a chance to add another solid piece. Girgensons has the traits of what every winning hockey team needs and might not be far away from being a piece for a team in the NHL. Girgensons won’t put up huge offensive numbers but anytime you need a big PK or a face-off win, Girgensons is your man. Whether Girgensons plays with Vermont in the NCAA or for the Kelowna Rockets of the WHL next season, it might only take him one season before becoming a full-time NHLer.
17. SAN JOSE SHARKS - Sebastian Collberg, RW, Frolunda (Swe.)
Analysis: Another disappointing playoff performance has questions swirling around the Shark Tank on whether Doug Wilson will make major changes this off-season to get his team over the hump. The Sharks, who are always competitive, have always drafted in the latter half of the first round and don’t have much to show for it. The Sharks need to add skill and that’s what Collberg has the potential to give them. Collberg who doesn’t have great size (5-11’, 174), makes up for it with a quick release. Collberg projects to be an offensive forward.
18. CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS - Malcolm Subban, G, Belleville (OHL)
Analysis: If the Blackhawks had a little better goaltending in their first round series against the Coyotes, they might have been the team challenging the Kings in the Western Finals and maybe even the Devils for the Stanley Cup. Corey Crawford is still young but with no high-end goaltending prospect in the Hawks system and possibly the best goaltending prospect in the draft still available at 18, Subban is the perfect pick for the Stan Bowman and the Hawks. Subban, the younger brother of P-K, didn’t start playing goalie until he was twelve, which has many believe makes his ceiling that much higher. Subban is very athletic and should be the leading candidate to be between the pipes for Canada at next year’s WJC.
19. TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING (From Detroit) - Andrei Vasilevski, G, UFA 2 (Rus. Jr.)
Analysis: Everything surrounding the Lightning’s goaltending was an issue last season, making it impossible for GM Steve Yzerman to not make major changes this off-season. Yzerman wasted no time either, acquiring Nashville’s Anders Lindback last week. Lindback, who has only appeared in 38 NHL regular season games, seems to have a loads of potential and should be an upgrade over Dwayne Roloson and Mathieu Garon. Saying that, there is no guarantee Lindback will be a successful starting goalie in the NHL and with two first round picks, Vasilevski should be a no-brainer at number 19. Vasilevski, who had a brilliant WJC minus six minutes against Canada, uses his size (6-3’, 204) to his advantage and never gives up on any puck. Vasilevski is most likely to spent a couple seasons in the KHL to hone his skills before coming over seas.
20. PHILADELPHIA FLYERS - Slater Koekkoek, D, Peterborough (OHL)
Analysis: Even with all the young players in the Flyers core, their prospect pool is much like the Los Angeles Kings with not a lot high end talent and not a lot of depth. The positive with a young core is majority of their prospects will have time to develop, which in a press conference yesterday, Peter Holmgren admitted he is fine with picking later in the first round. With uncertainty surrounding Chris Pronger and Kimmo Timonen getting older, Koekkoek is a great fit for the Flyers at number twenty. Koekkoek is another player who missed significant time with a shoulder injury but playing on a bad team in Peterborough; Koekkoek was a complete defenseman and competed very hard. A lot of teams like what Koekkoek brings and there is a possibly of him going higher.
Tune into TCL West tomorrow for the finale of my mock draft with picks 1-10.
Follow me on Twitter: @NickSymon