Nation Network 2013 Mock Draft: Picks 1-10

Jonathan Willis
June 12 2013 08:29AM

Photo: Alaney2k/Wikimedia

Mock drafts are popular this time of year, and we’ve decided to do something a little different at the Nation this summer. Instead of presenting our picks, we’ll show consensus rankings and offer up scouting reports, than ask our readers to vote on the order they would select those players in.

We start with the top-10 selections.

The list order below is based on a weighted draft ranking done by NHL Numbers. The scouting reports are my own and are intended as summaries of other sources, including TSN, The Hockey News, Hockey Prospectus, Future Considerations as well as others.

The Consensus Picks

1. Seth Jones (WHL: 61GP, 14-42-56). 6’4”, 205-pound defender is expected to emerge as a complete player. He’s highly mobile (he skates well, not just well for a big man), has real puck skills, and his ability to read and react seems to be universally praised. If there’s a drawback, it’s that he isn’t known for playing with a lot of edge, though nobody seems to question his ability to play a physical game.

2. Nathan MacKinnon (QMJHL: 44GP, 32-43-75). Just barely old enough to be eligible for this year’s draft, MacKinnon lacks ideal size (6’, 182 pounds) but that’s basically all he lacks. He’s an elite-level scorer, a fantastic skater, and despite his average frame he plays a power game and his work ethic gets rave reviews. His defence, as with most young players, will need to improve over time.

3. Jonathan Drouin (QMJHL: 49GP, 41-64-105). MacKinnon and Drouin are neck-and-neck, and in some eyes the left wing has outshone his centre. The Hockey News and Hockey Prospectus both rank Drouin ahead of MacKinnon, and given his offensive numbers it’s easy to understand why. He’s a fantastic scorer and has what Craig Button calls “exceptional intelligence.”

4. Aleksander Barkov (FIN: 53GP, 21-27-48). Like MacKinnon, Barkov is extremely young – both players are only two weeks removed from a spot in the 2014 NHL Draft. The 6’2” centre excelled in the Finnish men’s league, and his on-ice vision and ability to read a play – both offensively and defensively – get top marks. His skating isn’t at the same level as other players in this draft, however. Read more at Flames Nation.

5. Valeri Nichushkin (KHL: 18GP, 4-2-6). The 6’3” winger combines high-level skating with a power forward frame, and his abilities with the puck mean he may end up being an elite NHL winger; some have even said that he’s a contender for the top spot based on his tools. Nichushkin committing to playing in the NHL means KHL fears are lessened. Hockey sense gets mixed reviews – sometimes even by the same scout, as The Hockey News quotes one who questioned Nichushkin’s decision-making early in the year but ultimately decided he had excellent vision. Defensively, he’s not seen as a strong player and his scoring numbers (15 points in 43 KHL regular season and playoff games) are underwhelming. Read more at Oilers Nation and Flames Nation.

6. Elias Lindholm (SWE: 48GP, 11-19-30). Another player with average size, Lindholm can play both centre and wing. His scoring numbers in Sweden are exceptional, but scouting reports suggest he may not have the same offensive threshold as others in this draft. Where he excels is as a two-way player – the combination of high-level skating and extreme intelligence on the ice make him projectable as an all-situations player; Future Considerations went so far as to compare him to Patrice Bergeron and Henrik Zetterberg. Read more at Flames Nation.

7. Sean Monahan (OHL: 58GP, 31-47-78). Monahan’s two-way game gets strong marks, but his offensive ceiling simply isn’t as high as the players ranked above him. Playmaking, size (6’2”, 187 pounds) and intelligence are all regarded as strengths; speed is the most significantly mentioned weakness while some question his scoring ability. Read more at Oilers Nation and Flames Nation.

8. Darnell Nurse (OHL: 68GP, 12-29-41). He’s big (6’4”, 185 according to the NHL; I’ve seen him listed anywhere from 6’3” to 6’5”), and at least as importantly he’s mean – he plays with more of an edge (both hitting and fighting) than any of the other top-ranked players in the draft this year. He’s not a one-trick pony, either; he makes a good first pass (though he isn’t likely to be a high-end offensive defenceman) and provides solid coverage in the defensive zone. Read more at Oilers Nation.

9. Hunter Shinkaruk (WHL: 64GP, 37-49-86). He can skate, and he can score goals, and that’s a highly attractive blend of skills for NHL teams. The winger lacks ideal size (5’10”, 181 pounds) and his defensive game is apparently something of a mess, but he doesn’t lack courage.

10. Rasmus Ristolainen (FIN: 52GP, 3-12-15). The 6’3” Ristolainen has a wide range of skills, but most of them at the ‘good not great’ threshold. He is a good skater, makes a good first pass, plays well in the defensive zone, but he’s not seen as an elite-level player in any of those areas. Some reports also suggest a fear that he may struggle with the speed of the NHL game, given the more passive nature of the game on European ice. He projects as a two-way defenceman.

On The Outside

11. Nikita Zadorov (OHL: 63GP, 6-19-25). Another big defenceman (6’4”, 200 pounds according to the NHL site; most media outlets list him at 6’5”, 230 pounds), Zadorov is seen as a bit of a project. He’s a dominant physical player and extremely strong, and he fares well enough in other areas – he skates well given his size, makes a reasonable first pass – to be of real interest. The trouble is that while he has a lot of tools they haven’t come together yet; he’s raw defensively and lacks high-end offensive upside. If it all comes together, though, he could be an elite shutdown defender.

12. Ryan Pulock (WHL: 61GP, 14-31-45). Nobody doubts his elite shot, and he Pulock has a strong puck-moving abilities, too. The trouble is his size and skating both fall into the average range, and there are mixed reports on his defensive play, which seems to be solid but unexceptional.

13. Adam Erne (QMJHL: 68GP, 28-44-72). The winger is a good skater, he’s strong on the puck, and he has goal-scoring ability. He isn’t seen as a strong offensive player otherwise, and he isn’t a high-end player in any category, but he has a well-rounded skillset. One scout The Hockey News quoted indicated that fitness might be an issue right now, but that he had potential to be even better if he his conditioning improved.

14. Josh Morrissey (WHL: 70GP, 15-32-47). Size is the issue here – the WHL defenceman is listed at 5’11”, 182 pounds. Otherwise there is a lot to like: he’s smart, he’s an excellent skater, his offensive tools are good and he relishes playing a physical game.

15. Max Domi (OHL: 64GP, 39-48-87). Smallish winger is an “offensive dynamo” and gets pegged by The Hockey News as a power forward despite generally being listed at 5’9” or 5’10” because he plays such a fearless game (he’s also expected to play at 200 pounds or more at the NHL level). His effort level is questioned by some, and Future Considerations says that “self-control and maturity are still a work in progress.”

16. Curtis Lazar (WHL: 72GP, 38-23-61). Lazar gets high marks for character and defensive play; he’s also seen as good skater and a safe pick. The question is how much offence he will generate in the NHL, because despite strong goal-scoring numbers he is seen by some as a player who lacks the creativity to be a top-six forward in the NHL. Read more at Oilers Nation.

17. Anthony Mantha (QMJHL: 67GP, 50-39-89). The 6’4” winger skates well and is a one-shot scorer, but he doesn’t play the physical game scouts would like to see. He’s also at the old end of the draft curve (he missed being eligible for the 2012 Draft by less than a weak) and outside of his shot he’s not seen as overly creative offensively by the consensus.

18. Frederik Gauthier (QMJHL: 62GP, 22-38-60). A 6’5” centre who skates well for his size, Gautheir gets good grades as a defensive forward and an intelligent player. What he lacks is a willingness to play a tough physical game, and his offence is open to question.

19. Bo Horvat (OHL: 67GP, 32-28-60). Horvat’s trending upward since the NHL Numbers consensus rankings because he can do it all. He’s tough, plays a 200-foot game, scores goals and skates, too. The only question is how high is ceiling is offensively.

20. Alexander Wennberg (SWE2: 46GP, 14-18-32). 6’1” forward can play either wing or centre; he skates well, has good offensive tools and hockey sense that makes him both a threat to score and a good defensive forward. He needs to add bulk to his frame.

Voting

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Jonathan Willis is Managing Editor of the Nation Network. He also currently writes for the Edmonton Journal's Cult of Hockey, Grantland, and Hockey Prospectus. His work has appeared at theScore, ESPN and Puck Daddy. He was previously founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue. Contact him at jonathan (dot) willis (at) live (dot) ca.
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#151 FSD
June 12 2013, 03:15PM
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Top 10 forwards

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nhl/columnist/woodlief/2013/06/04/nhl-draft-top-forwards-red-line-report/2388455/

Top 10 Defensemen

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nhl/columnist/woodlief/2013/06/04/nhl-draft-top-forwards-red-line-report/2388455/

Top 10 OHL players

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nhl/columnist/woodlief/2013/06/04/nhl-draft-top-forwards-red-line-report/2388455/

McKeens mock draft

http://www.rotoworld.com/articles/nhl/43464/218/NHL-Draft-2.0

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#152 JCDavies
June 12 2013, 03:24PM
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@DSF

"I agree they Vancouver is looking for more size but they are also trying to get younger.

They already have some size on the way:

Christan Frolin: 6'4" 220 (just signed NCAA FA)"

Is this true? I was under the impression he is returning to college. I also think there were another 9 teams interested in signing him.

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#153 McRib
June 12 2013, 03:36PM
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Ryan Hartman is absolutly going to be a Top. 20 everyone loves him, also I don't see Manatha/Gautier going that high every other pick is close or bang on in my opinion. Laurant Dauphin goes higher than Mantha/Gautier and Sam Morin looks like a surfire Top. 20.

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#154 Todd
June 12 2013, 04:09PM
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JCDavies wrote:

"I agree they Vancouver is looking for more size but they are also trying to get younger.

They already have some size on the way:

Christan Frolin: 6'4" 220 (just signed NCAA FA)"

Is this true? I was under the impression he is returning to college. I also think there were another 9 teams interested in signing him.

I heard he turned Vancouver down.... I tried to find a link, this was the best I could do. It links to some non-english site that confirms it.

http://vansunsportsblogs.com/2013/06/08/report-canucks-close-to-signing-ncaa-defenceman-christian-folin/

Another addition to the list of people who turned down Vancouver (Schultz, DeKeyser, Eakins etc). Poor Canucks.

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#155 madjam
June 12 2013, 04:24PM
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For those that have no respect for Ristolainen . More credentials that might intrigue everyone . By the way Morreales has Risto at 7th spot as well .

Nhl Mock Draft by Franklin Steele : Post combine rates Risto at 11 , but Nurse at 8 and admits Nurse unlikely to ever garner 40 points in a season .

R.Ristlainen : " loves to hit , looking to always land monstrous body checks on poor unsuspecting forwards . Shown noteworthy offensive flair to go along with his ...stay at home game . Could be top 4 pairing , while making home on PP and PK . FLYERS leaning toward this type of player for decades now , and he has the meanness quotient that the city of Brotherly Love requires from it's athletes . Philly would love this kid ". Risto rated very high on Vo2 scale -another plus . I may be mistaken , but does Philly nor draft 11th .

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#156 Terry
June 12 2013, 04:46PM
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@madjam

Have you seen Ristolainen play live, why have you been pumping his tires. Have you ever watched him play on TV?

I don't get it, we know your anti - Nurse and pro- Ristolainen .

No one really care about Vo2 . Most professional scouts have made their decisions before the combine.

How do you know Nurse has a weak shot? Have you seen him play ? Have you seen his shot.

Your sources that you use are weak you know that don't you

Frank Steel and Morreales.

I suggest you actually read and research both players if your that interested.

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#157 OilersBrass
June 12 2013, 04:51PM
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Terry wrote:

Have you seen Ristolainen play live, why have you been pumping his tires. Have you ever watched him play on TV?

I don't get it, we know your anti - Nurse and pro- Ristolainen .

No one really care about Vo2 . Most professional scouts have made their decisions before the combine.

How do you know Nurse has a weak shot? Have you seen him play ? Have you seen his shot.

Your sources that you use are weak you know that don't you

Frank Steel and Morreales.

I suggest you actually read and research both players if your that interested.

I've watched them both play, and if you're looking for a "nasty" defenseman, Ristolainen is your man. He's much better than Nurse.

What kind of research are you doing to suggest that Nurse is the better shut down defenseman? You read a couple articles Bob Mckenzie put out?

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#158 jake
June 12 2013, 04:57PM
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On the RNH for MacKinnon as central to a trade idea. I may be "out of my mind" but it was rooted in my concern for RNH's offensive ability at even strength. I watch these playoffs (and previous years also), they don't call many penalties, where he excels. I want a roster built to win a Cup. Hey, to be clear, I don't lack love for RNH.

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#159 The Other Ron Burgundy
June 12 2013, 04:58PM
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DSF wrote:

I wouldn't under estimate Couturier, He could be a vey good 2nd line centre for the Oilers and would compliment Hopkins very well.

Thing is, he's been buried in Philly like JVR was.

His best season in Philly, he scored 21G and 40P while last season in Toronto, he scored 18G and 32P in only 48 games.

If Couturier was playing with Yak and a good LW, I think he would blossom.

He scored 36G and 96P in only 58GP in his last season in junior.

And remember, he's only 20 and he's been playing the toughs.

At 6'3" 200, I think he would make you forget Sam Gagner pretty quickly.

Its really starting to scare me how often I am agreeing with DSF.

Couturier's scoring stats in junior project him as at least a 2nd line C. By way of comparison his 17 year old season was on par with guys like Bobby Ryan, Matt Duchene, Jeff Skinner and some guy named Taylor Hall. Fell back a bit in his 18-yo season but still kept pace with the likes of Brayden Schenn, and some other guy named Yakupov. However, since we're in this realm I should also mention that one of the best 17-yo seasons in recent times was - wait for it... Sam Gagner.

Anyway, I agree with DSF that we would be lucky to land this kid. Tons of offensive talent and has been able to develop the other side of the puck the last couple years. And he's big. Only thing I don't like about him is his faceoff percentage, which was pretty Oilers-esque this year at 44%.

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#160 OilersBrass
June 12 2013, 05:02PM
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The Other Ron Burgundy wrote:

Its really starting to scare me how often I am agreeing with DSF.

Couturier's scoring stats in junior project him as at least a 2nd line C. By way of comparison his 17 year old season was on par with guys like Bobby Ryan, Matt Duchene, Jeff Skinner and some guy named Taylor Hall. Fell back a bit in his 18-yo season but still kept pace with the likes of Brayden Schenn, and some other guy named Yakupov. However, since we're in this realm I should also mention that one of the best 17-yo seasons in recent times was - wait for it... Sam Gagner.

Anyway, I agree with DSF that we would be lucky to land this kid. Tons of offensive talent and has been able to develop the other side of the puck the last couple years. And he's big. Only thing I don't like about him is his faceoff percentage, which was pretty Oilers-esque this year at 44%.

Couturier was projected to go first overall in his draft for a long time, he is that good.

I hate to admit it to, but DSF is usually always right.

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#161 Terry
June 12 2013, 05:05PM
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@OilersBrass

Whatever, I really don't believe you.

But if what your saying is true Ristolainen will go well ahead of Nurse in the draft

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#162 OilersBrass
June 12 2013, 05:08PM
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Terry wrote:

Whatever, I really don't believe you.

But if what your saying is true Ristolainen will go well ahead of Nurse in the draft

Hey! Come June 24th we'll see right!

If Nurse goes ahead of Ristolainen i'll change my name on here to whatever you want.

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#163 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
June 12 2013, 05:20PM
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OilersBrass wrote:

Couturier was projected to go first overall in his draft for a long time, he is that good.

I hate to admit it to, but DSF is usually always right.

april fools day today?

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#164 OilersBrass
June 12 2013, 05:33PM
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cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan wrote:

april fools day today?

About what?

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#165 OilLeak
June 12 2013, 05:38PM
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1. Nathan MacKinnon (Player similar to Taylor Hall, generates a lot of shots and tilts the ice in the right direction)

2. Jonathan Drouin (The most talented player in the draft, hands down) 3. Seth Jones (great all around defenseman, will be going number 1 to Colorado, but the 2 players above are younger and more talented)

4. Aleksander Barkov (A big center with a nose for the net, amazing hands and hockey sense. A little on the slow side, which is a concern)

5. Elias Lindholm (The best 2 way player in the top 10, very skilled, pass first player. My choice for the Oilers pick at 7th overall)

6. Valeri Nichushkin (dynamite skater and incredibly dynamic, offense may be a concern, along with hockey sense)

7. Sean Monahan (Jack of all trades, master of none, concerned about TOI this past season, could be a quality 2-way center or 3rd line checker with some offense)

8. Rasmus Ristolainen (Big 2-way defenseman, and an underrated player based in the SM-liga. My sleeper pick ranked in the top 10)

9. Darnell Nurse (Amazing physical tools, and great athletic bloodlines. Not enough offense to justify a higher pick)

10. Hunter Shinkaruk (Small skill forward, I don't know much about this player so I've ranked him in the 10 slot)

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#166 pelhem grenville
June 12 2013, 06:08PM
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oilersbrass...change your name to horses'ass

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#167 Taylor Gang
June 12 2013, 06:10PM
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OilersBrass wrote:

Couturier was projected to go first overall in his draft for a long time, he is that good.

I hate to admit it to, but DSF is usually always right.

Baby steps, let's not get carried away here

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#168 OilersBrass
June 12 2013, 06:15PM
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pelhem grenville wrote:

oilersbrass...change your name to horses'ass

You got it!

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#169 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
June 12 2013, 06:39PM
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I think it might go

1) MacKinnon 2) Barkov 3) Jones 4) Drouin 5) Lindholm 6) Nichushkin 7) Monahan 8) Ristolainen 9) Nurse 10) Zadorov

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#170 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
June 12 2013, 06:48PM
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And....Boston in six.

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#171 DSF
June 12 2013, 06:51PM
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Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

And....Boston in six.

5.

They'll beat up the Hawks.

With the implicit approval of the league.

Jeremy Jacobs actually runs the league.

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#172 Markus
June 12 2013, 07:01PM
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1. Jones

2. MacKinnon

3. Drouin

4. Barkov

5. Nichushkin

6. Monahan

7. Lindholm

8. Nurse

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#173 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
June 12 2013, 07:09PM
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DSF wrote:

5.

They'll beat up the Hawks.

With the implicit approval of the league.

Jeremy Jacobs actually runs the league.

5 wouldn't shock me.

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#174 NewAgeSys
June 12 2013, 08:49PM
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At 2-0 a friend called , I predicted a 4-3 Chicago OT win. Games 3-3 right now, I stand firm.

I dont think this will go to six games, Boston will be lucky to win one, and I predict the Hawks will score an average of 4 goals per game or very close ot that.

If Boston wins tonight it will likely be their only win of the series. It is that lopsided in my opinion.

LA was the last hurdle, no other team can match the Hawks managment tactics. Chicago is this years LA for the exact same reasons LA optiimised their opportunity , superior managment tactics.

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#175 Walter Sobchak
June 12 2013, 09:05PM
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DSF wrote:

5.

They'll beat up the Hawks.

With the implicit approval of the league.

Jeremy Jacobs actually runs the league.

Hmmm, the same way everyone ( not saying you ) was saying L.A would roll 4 lines and beat Chicago down, that L.A superior goaltending would stone Chicago?

I'm a huge Neely fan from way back, but I got to give Chicago some credit, that and I honestly think Toews is playing hurt for the last two series.

For the record I'm an old semi Bruins fan......Orr ( from my dad) Linsmen, Moog, Randford, Neely, Janney couldn't help but cheer for them from time to time.

Still....Chicago in 7.

Home team advantage.

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#176 DSF
June 12 2013, 09:49PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

Hmmm, the same way everyone ( not saying you ) was saying L.A would roll 4 lines and beat Chicago down, that L.A superior goaltending would stone Chicago?

I'm a huge Neely fan from way back, but I got to give Chicago some credit, that and I honestly think Toews is playing hurt for the last two series.

For the record I'm an old semi Bruins fan......Orr ( from my dad) Linsmen, Moog, Randford, Neely, Janney couldn't help but cheer for them from time to time.

Still....Chicago in 7.

Home team advantage.

So far tonight, the Bruins are playing the Hawks game and are even.

It'll be different in Boston.

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#177 Walter Sobchak
June 12 2013, 09:59PM
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@DSF

Wouldn't expect it to change, both teams are monsters on home ice.

Great game, it's going to be a fun series for sure.

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#178 madjam
June 12 2013, 10:33PM
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OILLEAK : Did you deliberately leave Jones off your top 10 ? Where do you rank him ? I like your order otherwise . Would set up nicely for a deal with Buffalo .

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#179 madjam
June 12 2013, 10:35PM
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Oilleak : Sorry my mistake found him at 3rd .

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#180 NewAgeSys
June 12 2013, 11:13PM
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NewAgeSys wrote:

At 2-0 a friend called , I predicted a 4-3 Chicago OT win. Games 3-3 right now, I stand firm.

I dont think this will go to six games, Boston will be lucky to win one, and I predict the Hawks will score an average of 4 goals per game or very close ot that.

If Boston wins tonight it will likely be their only win of the series. It is that lopsided in my opinion.

LA was the last hurdle, no other team can match the Hawks managment tactics. Chicago is this years LA for the exact same reasons LA optiimised their opportunity , superior managment tactics.

MMMMmmmm.....

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#181 Hammers
June 12 2013, 11:43PM
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Drouin should go 1st but probably won't .JONES WILL FALL TO #4 & Nurse #7 . We will get Barkov at #5 from Carolina for #7 & N.Schultz

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#182 NewAgeSys
June 12 2013, 11:56PM
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Hammers wrote:

Drouin should go 1st but probably won't .JONES WILL FALL TO #4 & Nurse #7 . We will get Barkov at #5 from Carolina for #7 & N.Schultz

Nice call on moving the elder Schultz and the #7 pick to get to #5.

A win win in many ways.

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#183 QZAL
June 13 2013, 08:23AM
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Some terrible news on the prospect front, Kristians Pelss died.

http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/edmonton-oilers/Edmonton+Oilers+prospect+Kristians+Pelss/8520120/story.html

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#184 Tim
June 13 2013, 08:26AM
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I really think Defensemen Mirco Mueller will really garner some attention come draft! Would like to see him snagged at 22 by the Flames but wouldn't be surprised if he went higher! He is steady and smart but not to flashy! Should be a good fit in Calgary! Cheers, Tim

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#185 NewAgeSys
June 13 2013, 09:32AM
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QZAL wrote:

Some terrible news on the prospect front, Kristians Pelss died.

http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/edmonton-oilers/Edmonton+Oilers+prospect+Kristians+Pelss/8520120/story.html

My condolences to his Family, Friends, and Teammates, it is a tragic loss that will be shared by the many people who loved and respected Kristians.

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#186 Mumbai Max
June 13 2013, 09:49AM
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@Walter Sobchak

Piquing

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#187 Harlie
June 13 2013, 10:12AM
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Sad news on Kristians Pelss. Rest in peace young man, and thank you very much for the WHL Cup that you helped bring Edmonton a year ago, that was super exciting and I was glad to be in stands when we won.

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#188 Walter Sobchak
June 13 2013, 10:27AM
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Mumbai Max wrote:

Piquing

How's that?

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#189 OilLeak
June 13 2013, 06:57PM
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madjam wrote:

OILLEAK : Did you deliberately leave Jones off your top 10 ? Where do you rank him ? I like your order otherwise . Would set up nicely for a deal with Buffalo .

He's in there, the formatting went wonky on me.

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