BLUE BULLET’S EARLY 30

I met Blue Bullet years ago when we were both active on hf boards, and he always impressed me with his knowledge of the draft and his insight into prospects. He was kind enough to pass along the early 30 for this year’s draft and those numbers and thoughts are below.  My thanks again to Brad McPherson (Blue Bullet).

 

Blue Bullet 2013 Draft Rankings

 

  • 1    NATHAN MACKINNON    C    6’0    182    L    Sep 1/95    Halifax    QMJHL    41GP-28G-41A-69P-43PIM I don’t know what is in the water in Cole Harbour but they should start bottling it with athletes like Crosby, MacKinnon and TJ Grant (UFC) coming out of there. What MacKinnon brings to the table is the skill, tenaciousness and smarts to be a star 1st line centre.
  • 2    SETH JONES    D    6’3    208    R    Oct 3/94    Portland    WHL    46GP-9G-33A-42P-31PIM When it comes to MacKinnon and Jones I have them as a pick’em at this time but it is well known that scouts do a much better job at projecting forwards so MacKinnon keeps top spot for the time being. That being said with his size, skating and hockey sense, Seth Jones has all the makings of a cornerstone d-man.
  • 3    JONATHAN DROUIN    LW    5’11    185    L    Mar 27/95    Halifax    QMJHL    35GP-29G-43A-72P-20PIM Drouin is the most talented offensive player in the draft with the best hands of any player. In terms of upside he is right up there with MacKinnon and Jones and I wouldn’t blink if somebody ranked him as their 1st overall.
  • 4    ALEKSANDER BARKOV    C    6’2    205    R    Sep 2/95    Tappara    FinE    43GP-19G-21A-40P-6PIM Barkov could be one of the best player’s out of Finland in a long time. While talented, his skating isn’t as good as the players above him which holds him back from being in the conversation for #1 overall.
  • 5    ELIAS LINDHOLM    C    5’11    181    L    Dec 2/94    Brynas    SweE    42GP-7G-17A-24P-2PIM In most drafts there is a top tier of talent and Lindholm currently marks the cut-off for me. He is a talented player, who though lacking a little in size for a 1st line center makes up for it with his hockey IQ.
  • 6    SEAN MONAHAN    C    6’2    186    L    Oct 12/94    Ottawa    OHL    43GP-23G-37A-60P-16PIM Monahan is the best player on an awful Ottawa team in which he has been carrying the load this year. While a very good playmaking centre with size, I do have some concerns about his even strength production.
  • 7    VALERY NICHUSHKIN    LW    6’4    196    L    Mar 4/95    Chelyabinsk    KHL    17GP-3G-2A-5P-0PIM Any Canadian fan watching the World Juniors this year remembers the name Nichushkin. The big, physical power forward has made his way up through the Russian system this year and is already playing in the KHL this season.
  • 8    RASMUS RISTOLAINEN    D    6’3    203    R    Oct 27/94    TPS Turku    FinE    41GP-2G-10A-12P-26PIM When you’re checking off the skillset you would want in a top 4 d-man, Ristolainen is the type of all-around d-man that would receive full checkmarks. It’s interesting to see two Finns that could go top 10 as you have to go back to 2001 for the last time that happened.
  • 9    DARNELL NURSE    D    6’3    189    L    Feb 4/95    Sault Ste. Marie    OHL    53GP-10G-22A-32P-95PIM Like Ristolainen, Nurse is one of the best all-around d-men available in the draft. While some have suggested he is a more of a physical shutdown d-man, he may have some underrated offensive ability as he has put up strong numbers despite limited PP time.
  • 10    ANTHONY MANTHA    LW    6’4    190    R    Sep 16/94    Val d’Or    QMJHL    53GP-42G-35A-77P-61PIM Mantha is a player whose numbers jump off the page at you and is the type of large forward with soft hands that teams covet. If Mantha was a day older he would have likely only been a late first rounder in the 2012 draft.
  • 11    NIKITA ZADOROV    D    6’5    230    L    Apr 15/95    London    OHL    48GP-3G-15A-18P-42PIM Zadorov is a mountain of a man already and has not even turned 18 yet. What makes Zadorov jump out compared to your typical physical shutdown d-men is that he is a much better skater than most.
  • 12    FREDERIK GAUTHIER    C    6’5    210    L    Apr 26/95    Rimouski    QMJHL    47GP-17G-35A-52P-22PIM Gauthier made the jump from midget hockey to the juniors this year and hasn’t missed a step as a rookie. Two-way centers with Gauthier’s size are hard to come by and I could see him jumping into the top 10 by draft day.
  • 13    ALEXANDER WENNBERG    C    6’1    183    L    Sep 22/94    Djurgardens    SweAL    38GP-13G-14A-27P-10PIM Wennberg has been impressive this year and has passed by other more hyped Swedish prospects in this draft. An all-around talent, his versatility to play in all situations makes him an attractive option to scouts.
  • 14    ADAM ERNE    LW    6’1    195    L             Apr 20/95    Quebec    QMJHL    53GP-22G-39A-61P-48PIM The team interview process with draft prospects can have an effect on draft status and Erne will have to discuss his one game team suspension from his coach Patrick Roy earlier in the season. Despite the incident, Erne is the type of hardworking complimentary power forward that all teams can use.
  • 15    RYAN PULOCK    D    6’0    211    L    Oct 6/94    Brandon    WHL    46GP-12G-27A-39P-18PIM Pulock has had to carry the load both offensively and defensively on a weak squad in Brandon. While there is nothing in his game that jumps out as elite he is a well-rounded d-man that can do it all.
  • 16    HUNTER SHINKARUK    C/RW    5’11    174    R    Oct 13/94    Medicine Hat    WHL    48GP-30G-33A-63P-34PIM When you’re a below average sized skill player having speed and the willingness to go to the dirty areas are necessary for a player to translate their game from the junior to pro level. Shinkaruk is one of these types.
  • 17    VALENTIN ZYKOV    RW    6’0    210    L    May 15/95    Baie Comeau    QMJHL    54GP-33G-31A-64P-50PIM Zykov was the 76th pick in the 2012 CHL import draft last summer but he should be a much higher pick when he’s selected for the NHL draft. He is a strong offensive player (26 points in 12 games in January) but there has been some concerns with his consistency.
  • 18    JOSH MORRISSEY    D    5’11    182    R    Mar 28/95    Prince Albert    WHL    54GP-14G-23A-37P-73PIM A great skating d-man that is good at both ends of the ice and also will plays a physical game. If Morrissey was a little bigger we would be talking about a top ten pick.
  • 19    ROBERT HAGG    D    6’2    204    L    Feb 8/95    Modo    SweJE    23GP-9G-11A-20P-18PIM With European players they seem to have a wider variance of opinions due to less scouting of them in the earlier half of the season and Hagg may fall under this category. The international tournaments later this year should help solidify the draft position for this all-around d-man.
  • 20    KERBY RYCHEL    LW    6’1    200    R    Oct 7/94    Windsor    OHL    53GP-31G-34A-65P-56PIM Both Max Domi and Kerby Rychel have dads that played in the NHL but both of them also have better hands than that of their fathers. What Rychel does do like his dad is playing a tenacious brand of hockey.
  • 21    MAX DOMI    C/LW    5’9    193    L    Mar 2/95    London    OHL    50GP-29G-38A-67P-49PIM Well I don’t know where he got his hands from but it wasn’t his old man that’s for sure. While Domi isn’t the tallest guy in the world he is built like his dad with that strong stocky build.
  • 22    ARTTURI LEHKONEN    W    5’10    163    L    Mar 4/95    KalPa    FinE    40GP-13G-16A-29P-8PIM While Lehkonen is not the biggest player he has shown this season that he can compete with men and has produced very strong numbers in the SM-Liiga. His willingness to go to the dirty areas make him an attractive small skilled draft prospect.
  • 23    ANDRE BURAKOWSKY    LW    6’1    178    L    Feb 9/95    Malmo    SweAI    34GP-4G-4A-8P-8PIM Burakowsky is a very tough player to get a read on due to the varying opinions on him. How much offensive upside he has is my main concern so I will be interested to see how he performs at the international tournaments later this year.
  • 24    WILLIAM CARRIER    LW    6’2    198    L    Dec 20/94    Cape Breton    QMJHL    34GP-16G-26A-42P-41PIM Carrier is a big power forward who I believe is one of the draft’s more underrated players. He has put up strong even strength numbers this year despite playing on a weak squad.
  • 25    BO HORVAT    C/LW    6’0    200    L    May 4/95    London    OHL    53GP-24G-24A-48P-23PIM Horvat is one of the safer picks in the draft as he is a versatile role player that can play in all situations. At the pro level he projects to be more of a 3rd line role player.
  • 26     CURTIS LAZAR     LW     6’0     193     L     Feb 2/95     Edmonton     WHL     57GP-29G-15A-44P-31PIM A one-time top 10 choice, Lazar has seen his draft stock slide this year. While he has a very good shot he doesn’t appear to have the offensive upside to be a top 20 pick.
  • 27    MORGAN KLIMCHUK    C/LW    5’11    180    L    Mar 2/95    Regina    WHL    56GP-27G-32A-59P-20PIM With myself being a Klimchuk on my mother’s side how can I not root for this skilled fast winger. While a little undersized he is competitive and has shown the willingness to go to the dirty areas to score.
  • 28    SHEA THEODORE    D    6’2    182    L    Aug 3/95    Seattle    WHL    56GP-13G-26A-39P-20PIM With an offensive d-man like Theodore you wonder how many points he would have if he was playing on a better team. While offensively he is as good as the d-men listed before him, he does need to improve his physical game.
  • 29    JACOB DE LA ROSE    LW    6’2    189    L    May 20/95    Leksands    SweAL    36GP-6G-6A-12P-31PIM With De La Rose he has slid down the rankings this year as he is not seen as a natural goal scorer. However, he is a big fast physical forward that has all the makings of a very good role player.
  • 30    MIRCO MUELLER    D    6’3    184    L    Mar 21/95    Everett    WHL    47GP-5G-18A-23P-45PIM Mueller is not the flashiest d-man in the world but he does play a steady reliable stay at home game. If he continues to add a more physical element to his game he could see his draft stock rise.

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41 Responses to "BLUE BULLET’S EARLY 30"

  1. bookjLe says:

    So, continuing the conversation from last post regarding a possible NYI trade with the Oil, I just realized that the Oilers could ‘buy’ a good player this season – its the only season its possible.

    The Oilers could trade a 6th round pick to another team for a terrible contract (DiPietro?) which they could buy out this summer (for $$ but no cap hit) and a real player. This would only be a real consideration for a team like the Islanders who might want to shed some costs to save the owner some cash.

    Sorry for being off topic so early on a post.

  2. leadfarmer says:

    Ohh oh, LT starting the draft primer. 1,2,3 Drink.

  3. leadfarmer says:

    So LT which one of those players do you think will have their shoulders surgically repaired first.

  4. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    So, we’re drafting Hunter Shinkaruk, huh.

    He’ll be run out of town before the first Hunter joke gets made:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FiZaqhuL6nU

  5. leadfarmer says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Hmm, Whl player check, Playing in alberta double check, undersized check. Ding ding ding, we have a winner.

  6. sliderule says:

    A draft blog.
    Thank you LT

  7. Lowetide says:

    sliderule:
    A draft blog.
    Thank you LT

    lol, it just worked out thanks to BB. I really like the player at #10.

  8. Mr DeBakey says:

    I really like the player at #10.

    Is that Moe Mantha’s son?
    Cuz that’ll move him right up the Oiler’s list.

  9. BlacqueJacque says:

    This Mantha kid sounds exactly like the kind of guy a team will draft earlier than predicted, just based on size and/or potential.

  10. Lowetide says:

    Mr Debakey: Don’t know, but a great question and agreed.

  11. Clay says:

    That Nichushkin kid sure made an impression at the WJC. With a little luck, he could slide to the Oilers, especially if they can’t right the ship. I’m sure the brass would be salivating to add that kind of kid to the group.

    Yak – Horcov – ‘Crushkin… our very own Iron Curtain.

  12. Gerta Rauss says:

    That Pulock kid at 15 looks interesting.

  13. Bar_Qu says:

    I like the kid at 27, but i tend to favor all the draft eligibles who’ve been in my classroom.

    And a Rychel & a Domi in the same draft. Huh.

  14. jake70 says:

    OT – The Columbus team we were supposed to blow out yesterday is up 3-0, oops Marleau just scored, 3-1 on SJ late in 2nd.

  15. leadfarmer says:

    Lowetide,

    Playing well, but I think a winger is the least of our priority.

  16. BlacqueJacque says:

    jake70:
    OT – The Columbus team we were supposed to blow out yesterday is up 3-0, oops Marleau just scored, 3-1 on SJ late in 2nd.

    I get the feeling that even though the Oilers won that game, the Blue Jackets got more out of it.

  17. hunter1909 says:

    BlacqueJacque,

    With respect, when this team scrambles it’s way out of a 4-5 game losing streak, you take it without hesitation.

    I honestly don’t know what to think if Justin Schultz’s stripping the puck in some Paul Coffey impression night doesn’t qualify for getting something worthwhile out of it. Or RNH’s kung fu demo.

    If Calgary Flames had a rookie with 5 goals and 3 assists they’d never shut up about it; whereas Oilers fans can generally ignore Yakupov’s rookie struggles since there’s so much else to watch.

  18. BlacqueJacque says:

    hunter1909,

    Oh I’m going to take the win, and it serves us better than a loss, but given how both teams played and given Columbus’ energetic and apparently quite effective reaction tonight – it’s hard not to see that the CBJs got a big confidence boost and some motivation.

    I think talk about Yakupov gets lost mostly because most fans here can see that his line gives up an awful amount of goals, and the team in general isn’t playing well. Unlike last year or 2010 when we could console ourselves with Eberle and Hall, this year I think there’s the expectation of a standings improvement. Yakupov’s heroics aren’t forgotten, they’re just less important relative to the overall context – the team doing badly, and the second line having more than it share of the blame.

    Ultimately, the problems are at defence, IMO.

  19. leadfarmer says:

    CLB 6-1 against sharks. Told you guys that team is not as bad as advertised.

  20. bookjLe says:

    leadfarmer:
    CLB 6-1 against sharks.Told you guys that team is not as bad as advertised.

    If my use of inferential statistics and logic of equivalence is correct, then that means that if the Oilers of yesterday were to have played the sharks, they would have won with a score of 18 to 1.

  21. hunter1909 says:

    BlacqueJacque,

    Sure about Yakupov; but when you factor in Schultz/Yakupov as 2013′s major add ons, and if you’re of an age to recall the summer when Kevin Lowe chased Dany Heatly…

    As for the team, the next five games all appear winnable, or losable. None of the five look particularly difficult. And that (9?) game road trip to call home the chickens, one way or another. Hall is due for a crazy break out – you can see the way he’s playing he’s just getting himself madder than hell it’s going to be like a nuclear explosion sometime in the next 1-10 games.

  22. leadfarmer says:

    bookjLe,

    With only 12 SOG.

  23. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    hunter1909: As for the team, the next five games all appear winnable, or losable

    haha! awesome.

    hunter1909: And that (9?) game road trip to call home the chickens, one way or another.

    this is the trip where Smyth takes to meth or collecting pogs. one or the other.

  24. jp says:

    leadfarmer:
    bookjLe,

    With only 12 SOG.

    Actually, they would have been outshot 120-42. What a night (it would have been) for Dubnyk!

    You’re grasp of inferential statistics is obviously not as well developed as Bookjle’s. For shame.
    :)

  25. BlacqueJacque says:

    hunter1909,

    I’m confident in Hall, less so in Eberle. Not sure why Nuge didn’t get shoulder surgery in the off-season. Yak will be the best goal-scorer of the 4. Right now Schultz is probably the best of them, except perhaps Hall.

    But five losses in a row and generally getting worse as the road trip goes along – that’s something for the 2008-2009 or 2009-2010 Oilers. Management has to respond accordingly and fill needs, before we join the Islanders, Thrashers, or Blue Jackets of the world – in perpetual rebuild, I don’t think it’d be good for this team’s psyche to not be in contention for the playoffs with 3 games remaining. Not that the confidence of first overall picks is fragile, but imagine deciding to ride the buses and collect shitty paycheques in the AHL to play together with the Oilers system… only to come back to suck. Either you have to start thinking you’re not that good, or the organization is no good.

  26. gcw_rocks says:

    man, that’s a pretty impressive top 12.

  27. Clay says:

    So, I was watching the Sportscentre highlights tonight, and Philly was in Toronto. They show a shot of Brian Burke sitting up in the press area or whatever, making the comment that it’s Burke’s first game back at Rogers Centre.

    Boring, I know, but who is sitting next to Burke? MBS hisself.

    Isn’t Stu the head of amateur scouting? What’s going on here? Maybe there’s an imminent three-way trade between TO and Philly and Edm? MPS to TO, Kessel to Philly, Giroux to Edm? Sounds possible to me.

    The mind boggles.

  28. fifthcartel says:

    David Pagnotta ‏@TheFourthPeriod

    3rd straight Leafs home game that 2 Oilers scouts are here #justsaying

    Yupp, not sure how reliable this guy is but apparently they’ve been there quite a bit.

  29. bookjLe says:

    gcw_rocks:
    man, that’s a pretty impressive top 12.

    Almost makes you want to consider tanking the season just to get a high pick…

  30. stevezie says:

    leadfarmer:
    CLB 6-1 against sharks.Told you guys that team is not as bad as advertised.

    Agreed. OIlers’ forwards and CBS’ defenceman would make a good playoff team. Not a great one, but good.

  31. BONVIE says:

    Right now in our range we have Lazar, Rychel, and Pullock leading the way as my favourites. I really cant see us picking in the top 10 this year. I know a lot of people think the sky is falling but we will make the playoffs, you can cash that guarantee anytime after April.

  32. bookjLe says:

    I think that if Lazar is available when the Oilers pick, they have to take him just for Principe’s sake.

  33. Wes Mantooth-11 says:

    Is Nichushkin not a center?

    At any rate……….Barkov please, but will settle with Monahan.

  34. jonrmcleod says:

    I wouldn’t mind them drafting Zadarov.

  35. godot10 says:

    fifthcartel:
    David Pagnotta ‏@TheFourthPeriod

    3rd straight Leafs home game that 2 Oilers scouts are here #justsaying

    Yupp, not sure how reliable this guy is but apparently they’ve been there quite a bit.

    The Leafs have a lot of defensemen. They are carrying 8, and Gardiner is in the AHL.

  36. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    If they are scouting the leafs or the marlies it ought to be Gare and Co. not MBS. so who knows… maybe they are just hanging out old boys style?

  37. speeds says:

    Haven’t read a lot about Zadorov yet, but that is very early IMO for a D without much offence. What does his offensive upside look like, how is his hockey sense and passing?

  38. sliderule says:

    The oilers pretty much have to take a center as their first pick.
    If they pick somewhere in top 10 I would think monahan or Lindholm.
    If they are in the middle area I can see them going for Lazar.He has always been able to score and if he has any problems the Oil would surely know about them.To me he looks like he could have huge upside.

  39. speeds says:

    One concern with Lazar might be his lack of assists the past 2 years in the CHL. Maybe there is a good explanation, but it is very unusual for a F in his draft (who some see as a top 10/15 pick) to have only 16 assists in 58 games. And it’s not like it’s only this year, he had 11 assists in 63 GP last year.

  40. Cameron says:

    Very surprised to see Hunter Shinkaruk so far down the list. High-end skill wingers getting drafted after the meat-bomb d-men (Zadarov in particular) , and ‘prototype powerforwards’ (typically big guys who can skate some), seems to me to be just weird. I have Shinkaruk slipping into the top ten on my own list ahead of the projects.

  41. Cameron says:

    @sliderule

    I see the Oilers looking for D-men rather than another pivot. Lazar strikes me as a guy who lacks the high end skill to be a top six forward, and given where the Oil will draft a solid two-way D-man should be available.

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