Thursday, June 25, 2009

Penalty Kill: Final Draft Preview

Anaheim calling to the hockey world...

I had hoped that a trade would squeeze through, and give Daniel and I something to talk about tonight. No dice. All we can do is sit and wait for tomorrow.

We will have a number of draft related posts in the coming days, including a breakdown of each Ducks pick. Until then, I thought I should put up a summary of the many mock selections out there: who they are and how the Ducks might end up with them.

Please remember that the Ducks are not above playing a hunch, even if they don't trade down to do it. Some of these are "best player available" picks (Kulikov) based on who falls out of the Top 14 and some are projections based on who the Ducks have drafted of late (Ashton), but none of them can anticipate the thinking of Bob Murray, Martin Madden and their respective staffs.

Nazem Kadri
Picked by: Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated, Mock GM's on HF Boards

Kadri has risen to the Top 10 on most boards, and with good reason. He's creative with excellent offensive hockey sense and vision. I have no idea what would scare teams off of him to the point that he would fall to 15.

Dmitry Kulikov
Picked by: Shane Malloy for TSN, Earl Sleek of Battle of California (SBN Mock Draft), Daniel of Anaheim Calling's "If He's Still There" Pick.

Kulikov is a naturally offensive player, but has shown serious defensive prowess when asked to shut things down. He is projected in the Top 12 on most reputable boards, and yet he's fallen to the Ducks in a number of Mock Drafts. To give you an example of the shenanigans necessary to make such a thing possible: according to the SBN Mock Draft, the Wild would have to pick torn-ligament recovery patient (but through-and-through 'soter boy) Zach Budish at 12th.

Scott Glennie
Picked by: Scott Cullen for TSN, Arthur of Anaheim Calling's "If He's Still There" Pick.

I've said my piece on Glennie, and I really think he'll go 11-14, maybe even 10th. If spreading the propaganda that he is "nothing more than Brayden Schenn's linemate" gets him in a Ducks uniform, then sign me up! And even if the propaganda were true, he'd be a steal at 15th.

John Moore
Picked by: Arthur of Anaheim Calling's "He'll Probably Still Be There" Pick

I never thought I would be the only one left in the John Moore fan club. *Tear*

Louis Leblanc
Picked by: The Hockey News Staff, Hockey's Future Staff

A relatively ho-hum pick, but the combined wisdom of Hockey's Future and The Hockey News declare him the least risky pick of the 15-20 forwards (though that's not saying much).

Jacob Josefson
Picked By: Shawn P. Roarke (Mock Draft Version II) for

Josefson is a great two-way center. Some mock drafts have him in the 11-14 range, and some in the 15-20. If the Ducks prefer a scorer, they would prefer Leblanc to Josefson, though the offensive ability of the latter can certainly be developed. But I think the Ducks are currently rolling the dice on enough Josefson-type forwards.

Zack Kassian
Picked by: Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun, Daniel of Anaheim Calling's "He'll Probably Still Be There" Pick, Arthur of Anaheim Calling's "The Ducks Will Take Him Against Their Better Judgment" Pick

In my first Draft post in April, I said the Ducks would ignore a "smart" choice in favor of Kassian. His stock has risen, somewhat, but you can't get around the fact that he's risky. Yes, he's a belligerent bull, and the ice is his china shop. Yes, he showed quite the scoring touch this season. But if he can't balance the two, or if this season was a fluke, the Ducks would be drafting George Parros 15th overall.

Carter Ashton
Picked By: Brad Holland (Mock Draft Version III) for

I won't deny that Ashton is a quality power forward, but he would definitely be a hunch at 15. And on Holland's board, he somehow goes ahead of Kadri. There are better options out there, even if they come in the form of a trade down.

David Rundblad
Picked by: Pierre McGuire for TSN, Craig Button for TSN, Adam Kimelman (Mock Draft Version III) for

This seems like a hunch. In each of the three mock drafts, he's picked ahead of a defenseman projected to be better than him: Ekman-Larsson (Kimelman's), Moore (Button's) and Kulikov (McGuire's). There is certainly something to be said for a guy who plays in the SEL, and moves the puck well against grown-men. BUT the Ducks are 1 for 10 (Havelid) historically on their SEL picks. The 'competing against grown-men' argument has never really worked out for them.

I've omitted Peter Holland, as his stock has been dropping rather steadily since May. In TSN's final prospect rankings, Jordan Schroeder was ranked 15th. Schroeder would be a great pick, but I don't see him falling past Minnesota.

Alright, that's pretty much everybody. Daniel and I will cover Anaheim trades/Scotty news if it comes down tomorrow morning, and we'll have something on the Draft pick tomorrow evening with continuing coverage over the weekend.

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