Sunday, April 1, 2012

2012 NHL Mock Draft: March Madness Edition (Picks 1-15) | The Hockey Writers

2012 NHL Mock Draft: March Madness Edition (Picks 1-15) | The Hockey Writers:

"Notes: This is not an attempt to rank prospects – rankings will follow similar to preceding years. This is mere a “guesstimate” at what teams might choose if they were to draft today based on weighing out best player available with team need and past experiences at the draft table, with an obvious dose of influence from my personal thoughts. The order used in this mock draft is based on Stanley Cup odds as used by colleague David O’Connor when he completed his March mock draft to allow one to compare the two directly. Standings and thus team drafting positions will obviously fluctuate on a day-to-day basis from here on end. No trades will be completed during the mock, but may be presented as a desirable option for the respective NHL franchise being discussed. For much more information on the NHL entry draft, be sure to check out our live updated draft home page: 2012 NHL Entry Draft Guide – The Next Ones." 

Excerpt: The Top 3:

Part 1: NHL 2012 Mock Draft – Picks 1-15
The Plan:  Since the majority of mocks only cover the first round and with so many second round picks trading hands on and before the NHL trade deadline, I will also complete a mock of the second round.

1. Nail Yakupov F (Sarnia Sting) (OHL)
It is essential to the Blue Jackets organization that they strike gold with this pick, or deal the pick for a franchise cornerstone. Back in my January mock, Columbus selected Matt Dumba with the 1st overall selection. While I highly covet the elite and passionate blueliner, the reality is that Yakupov is a cut above his peers in this year’s draft. The fear for the Blue Jackets as I noted before: “…given the franchise’s atrocious history with drafting talented Russian players near the top of the draft, they are likely terrified of having similar outcomes as with the two “Niks” – Zherdev and Filatov – and thus go against the consensus Fail for Nail or Mikhail theme of this draft.” For this reason, while Columbus may end up selecting him in the end, there is a stronger likelihood that they either deal the pick or deal Yakupov after selecting him.

Edmonton_Oilers_Logo1.jpg2. Mathew Dumba D (Red Deer Rebels) (WHL)
Is Matthew Dumba a more physical version of Paul Coffey as the Oilers brass attempt to revamp and relive the glory days of the 1980s? The Red Deer Rebel defenseman is an explosive and dynamic player with a seemingly unmatched passion for the game. Counterpoint: fellow THW prospect writer David O’Connor very wisely selected Ryan Murray in his mock draft for the Oilers. It’s difficult to argue with the reasoning: “Murray is the complete package; he has offensive abilities, a physical side to his game, he’s a natural leader, plus he’s stable on the back-end. That’s exactly the kind of player the Oilers need on their team.”  The Oilers, like Columbus before them, may instead elect to trade the pick in an attempt to more quickly stock up their NHL blueline core.

3. Ryan Murray D (Everett Silvertips) (WHL)
The Islanders role in this draft is fairly straight forward – select one of Ryan Murray or Matt Dumba – whichever of the two slips to their third draft slot. If they instead opt for a forward, the immensely talented Russian centreman Mikhail Grigorenko is also a viable option – that is, if Isle brass can put nightmarish memories of Alexei Yashin aside. In this mock, they go for perhaps the safest bet of the draft – Ryan Murray. As noted above, Murray is a silky smooth skating defender with all-around abilities who will go a long ways in stabilizing the blueline for the next decade.

Full article at THW: 
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