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MONTREAL, QC. — It’s finally here: Draft day is upon us. Players nervously awaiting the verdict of their future, and parents preparing to shed tears of pride for their sons. The NHL Entry Draft is an extremely prestigious event, offering the opportunity for teams to potentially change the face of their franchise. We would love to hear your comments on our All Habs 2012 NHL Entry Draft Mock – Part 3!
► With the 10th overall pick, the Tampa Bay Lightning select..
D Jacob Trouba, US National Team Development Program
Weight: 195 pounds
Tampa is without much of a foundation at defence after Victor Hedman and gladly adds one of the highest-profile defencemen of the draft. Trouba brings a very impressive physical package to the table. Very strong on his skates and solid footwork allow him to generate a lot of power in both moving the puck or delivering a check. Displays good vision in reading plays and will cover the defensive zone first before joining in on offence. Not the biggest defencemen in the draft, but uses his frame well to gain advantage and will use it to punish anyone he plays against. Displays good puck skills in a good accurate first pass and a strong, accurate slapshot. Has good positional instincts in his own zone from board battles to guarding his net. Problems do come up with the raw nature of his offensive game and issues in his decision making. While it is likely he could be a solid physical defencemen at the professional level, concern is his offensive abilities will not translate as well.
Best Projection: Top-4 two-way defencemen.
► With the 9th overall pick, the Winnipeg Jets select..
C Mikhail Grigorenko, Quebec, QMJHL
Weight: 200 pounds
At the ninth pick, Winnipeg just can’t pass up the opportunity to draft such promising talent with Grigorenko. Mikhail Grigorenko has been touted as the next coming of Joe Thornton, and with good reason as he possesses elite vision, elite puck skills, and an excellent selection of shots to choose from. Grigorenko is also not known for being a speedy player; however scouts say he can catch defenders off guard with his quickness. The main concern with Grigorenko is his compete level, hes been branded many times as a player that will give 100% effort some games, and disappear in other games. His work ethic has also come into question, but the argument stands that his cerebral approach to the game can make it seem as though he is being lazy, when in reality he is making a calculated decision. There are many excuses that have been thrown out there to account for Grigorenko’s play, however at the end of the day Mikhail Grigorenko is projected to be a top line point producing centerman that Winnipeg would welcome with open arms.
Best Projection: Top line center
► With the 8th overall pick, the Carolina Hurricanes select..
RW Teuvo Teravainen, Jokerit, SM-Liiga
Weight: 165 pounds
Hard to argue against Teravainen’s offensive skills, Carolina gladly picks up the shifty Finn. Teravainen arguably has the best hands in his entire draft class, which has raised his stock very high this year. He is a great playmaker with exceptional passing. His skills allow him at times to control the pace of the game he plays. His puckhandling melds well with his exceptional skating, he can control the puck while moving all-out and when changing directions swiftly. Is very intelligent with his offensive play, drawing opponents towards him before feeding open teammates with a great pass. His shot is quick and accurate to compliment his playmaking. A very creative offensive player mixed with his excellent vision make him a dynamic offensive force. Issues arise purely from his size, he will need to add weight to his frame and scouts may feel his perimeter game may limit him at the pro level.
Best Projection: 1st-line offensive winger
► With the 7th overall pick, the Minnesota Wild select
D Morgan Rielly, Moose Jaw, WHL
Weight: 190 pounds
Minnesota selects Morgan Rielly and takes a gamble on the injury riddled defender. He brings a boat load of offensive talent that the Wild are glad to have on their back end. Morgan Rielly is a puck moving defenseman that dishes out high-octane offense. Rielly has been referred to as a defender with elite level skating, high end vision, as well as an excellent passing game. Rielly has all the tools to be an effective puck moving defenseman, as he is able to glide through traffic with ease and create fantastic scoring chances. He is also capable of playing quarterback on the powerplay, causing havoc for the opposition on the penalty kill. If Rielly can ensure he does not become a fragile player he could be an impact defenseman that can dictate the pace of a game. Morgan Rielly projects to be a second or third defenseman with powerplay time.
Best Projection: Top-4 offensive defenseman
► With the 6th overall pick, the Anaheim Ducks select..
D Griffin Reinhart, Edmonton, WHL
Weight: 205 pounds
In a defencemen-heavy draft, Anaheim gladly takes one of it’s most gifted members, which helps bolster a troubled back end. Reinhart has impressed this year with a noted growth in his offensive acumen. He shows good vision with his outlet passes and possesses an accurate, powerful slapshot. His vision is notable in his own end as well, making good decisions to shut down opposing offence. He is very good at using his size, either to check an opposing player off the puck, protect the front of the net and will also use his great reach to break up plays. Not a great skater, but he is able to pivot well and cover incoming forwards as he defends his own zone. Some scouts would like him to use his physical nature more liberally and he does have work to do regarding his skating in order to move up to the next level.
Best Projection: Top-4 two-way defencemen.
► With the 5th overall pick, the Toronto Maple Leafs select..
C/W Filip Forsberg, Leksand, (Allsvenskan)
Weight: 190 pounds
With the fifth overall pick, Toronto is doing cartwheels as they select Filip Forsberg. Filip Forsberg is rumored to be switching to the center position next year, which makes him an even more attractive commodity. He plays an extremely gritty game with high end offense. He has a rifle of a shot, and can whistle the puck past netminders before they can say “What just happened?” When Forsberg shifts his game into high gear he is a wrecking ball on skates, making him a fearsome opponent. Forsberg has a tendency to try to do too much and at times forgets his linemates. He also needs to be more consistent with his intensity level. What sets Forsberg apart from the top tier players of the draft, is he does not possesses elite skill, but he is instead very good at everything. Forsberg possesses excellent two-way ability that makes him an incredibly safe pick for fifth overall and he projects to be a fringe top line player or a very good second line player when he reaches his prime.
Best Projection: 1st line forward
► With the 4th overall pick, the New York Islanders select..
D Matt Dumba, Red Deer, WHL
Weight: 180 pounds
The Islanders take a bit of a reach, but a likely worthwhile investment in potentially the best defencemen of the draft. Dumba is likely the most dynamic defencemen of the draft, with a variety of skills that are very enticing. Not the largest player in the draft, he hits like a much bigger player, very jarring when he makes contact, sometimes a Dumba hit would change the pace of a game. A very powerful skater, easily moving up the ice to generate offence or going back to cover in his own zone. Displays excellent offensive skills, he carries the puck well and shoots well both with his wrist shot, or his slapshot. His passing is very good and displays good vision. His physical brand of hockey extends to board play and to protect his own net as well, a very difficult defencemen to try and work around. Displaying an improving grade in two-way play. Drawbacks at present are in his defensive zone play as he can get lost in what he’s doing or just not pick up on the play. Some concerns reside about his consistency, as he can be caught watching the play rather than be involved it. Stature is another matter, teams prefer a player of Dumba’s style be much larger, albeit it hasn’t slowed him down while playing in the very physical and tough WHL.
Best Projection: Top-2 offensive defencemen.
► With the 3rd overall pick, the Montreal Canadiens select..
C Alex Galchenyuk, Sarnia, OHL
Weight: 200 pounds
People parade down the St.Catherine’s street as the Montreal Canadiens finally select their franchise center in Alex Galchenyuk. Elite everything is how Alex Galchenyuk has been described as by scouts, he is pure high end talent, and is exactly what the doctor ordered for Montreal. He brings high end speed, vision, an excellent shot, but what really has people salivating is his elite work ethic which has been touted as best in the draft. He managed to recover from a season ending injury with a torn ACL, and rejoin his teammates towards the end of the season and participate in the playoffs. That gesture alone screams dedication and character, and a recover such as that is almost unheard of. Scouts have been debating the talent gap between Galchenyuk and Yakupov, and many feel that they are equal in skill level, and had Galchenyuk not been injured he would be contending for first overall. The only cause for concern with Galchenyuk is his injury, and that many fear his skating might have suffered, or that he may be injury prone; however many scouts have voiced their opinion and feel that since his return hes been well tested. Alex Galchenyuk projects to be an elite franchise center in his prime.
Best Projection: Elite franchise center
► With the 2nd overall pick, the Columbus Blue Jackets select..
RW Nail Yakupov, Sarnia , OHL
Weight: 189 pounds
The Blue Jackets are ecstatic to find the best offensive player in the draft and a replacement for the likely outgoing franchise face of Rick Nash. Yakupov stands out as likely the best skating forward in the draft. He is quick, extremely agile and smooth in his movements, making him very difficult to track and contain for defenders, he has good balance and is able to shake off defenders while still moving. A very powerful shot with a quick release and solid accuracy, he can often surprise goaltenders with how quickly he puts the puck on net. Not just a shooter, he displays solid playmaking ability to go with elite vision and great creativity. A no-quit player when it comes to pursuing play, he is not one to give up. Not a pure offensive player, while it is the cornerstone of his game he appreciates the value of defensive play and takes care of his own zone. Concerns rely around his aggressive, arguably reckless style of play. He likes to go the dirty areas, but doesn’t quite have the frame for it and it can lead to injuries. Scouts are concerned his career will be brilliant, but be interrupted too much by injury.
Best Projection: Franchise scoring winger
► With the 1st overall pick, the Edmonton Oilers select..
D Ryan Murray, Everett, WHL
Weight: 195 pounds
Edmonton makes the difficult choice in selecting Murray over Yakupov, and addressing a pressing need on the back end. Ryan Murray is a complete two-way defenseman that can either join the rush and be an offensive threat, or be solid defensively and a stabilizer on the blue line. Murray is arguably the best defender in the draft, and will be instrumental for Edmonton going forward, insulating talented young forward group. Murray will be the type of defender that logs thirty minutes a night without breaking a sweat. Ryan must improve his overall strength, and make sure he doesn’t do too much, utilizing his teammates properly. Ryan Murray projects to be a Franchise top pairing D.
Best Projection: Franchise two-way defensemen