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2012 HW Mock Draft
2012 HW Mock Draft(2012-06-20 15:00 posted by B. La Rose)

The 2012 NHL Entry Draft will be held at the Consol Energy Centre in Pittsburgh this coming Friday and Saturday.  As is the tradition, here is our official mock draft.  The Habs have the third selection on Friday night.  The past two years they have gone for defencemen, will that trend continue or will a forward be Marc Bergevin's first selection as GM?

Joining me to pick the draft were HW Editor Norm Szcyrek and writer Jonathan Rebelo.  We alternated selections; I had the first pick, Norm the second, Jonathan the third and so on.  Our thoughts on each of our picks are included as well as rankings from several sites/publications.  They are: Central Scouting Bureau (CSB), International Scouting Services (ISS), The Hockey News (THN), and The Sports Network (TSN).

Biographical information (height, weight, position) is from NHL Central Scouting.

With the 1st overall pick, Edmonton selects:
Nail Yakupov, RW, Sarnia (OHL), 5'10", 189 lbs
42 GP, 31 goals, 38 assists, 69 points, 30 PIMS

Although it's tempting to pick based on need for the Oilers, they can't pass up on the player who has been the consensus #1 all season.  They desperately need help on defence but can fill that hole via a trade.


Recent Top Picks:
2011: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, C (1st overall)
2010: Taylor Hall, LW (1st overall)
Rankings Summary:    CSB: 1 NA     ISS: 1     THN: 1     TSN: 1  

With the 2nd overall pick, Columbus selects:
Alex Galchenyuk, C, Sarnia (OHL), 6'0", 198 lbs
2 GP, 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 points, 0 PIMS

Alex is an excellent 2-way centre with good size and offensive ability.  His performance at the Combine blew away everyone in the physical tests that measured his repaired knee, erasing many NHL teams' concerns. 


Recent Top Picks:
2011: Boone Jenner, C (37th overall)
2010: Ryan Johansen, C (4th overall)
Rankings Summary:    CSB: 4 NA     ISS: 14     THN: 7     TSN: 5  

With the 3rd overall pick, Montreal selects:
Filip Forsberg, C, Leksand (SWE-2), 6'2", 181 lbs
43 GP, 8 goals, 9 assists, 17 points, 33 PIMS

He is a versatile winger who plays a power game and is coachable. His high skill level and excellent speed will complement his frame once he physically matures. One more year in Sweden would be beneficial for Forsberg.


Recent Top Picks:
2011: Nathan Beaulieu, D (17th overall)
2010: Jarred Tinordi, D (22nd overall)
Rankings Summary:    CSB: 1 EUR     ISS: 2     THN: 2     TSN: 3  

With the 4th overall pick, New York (I) selects:
Ryan Murray, D, Everett (WHL), 6'0", 201 lbs
46 GP, 9 goals, 22 assists, 31 points, 31 PIMS

After selecting forwards the past several drafts, the Islanders should be looking at a defenceman and Murray is the top one in this draft.  He could be ready to step in this year which also will be appealing.


Recent Top Picks:
2011: Ryan Strome, C (5th overall)
2010: Nino Niederreiter, LW (5th overall)
Rankings Summary:    CSB: 2 NA     ISS: 3     THN: 4     TSN: 2  

With the 5th overall pick, Toronto selects:
Teuvo Teravainen, LW, Jokerit (FIN), 5'11", 165 lbs
40 GP, 11 goals, 7 assists, 18 points, 6 PIMS

Toronto has sufficient size in their prospect pipeline, but need to augment that with skill up front. Teravainen is one of the top playmakers in this draft, with slippery moves to evade the opposition.


Recent Top Picks:
2011: Tyler Biggs, RW (22nd overall)
2010: Brad Ross, LW (43rd overall)
Rankings Summary:    CSB: 2 EUR     ISS: 9     THN: 12     TSN: 7  

With the 6th overall pick, Anaheim selects:
Mathew Dumba, D, Red Deer (WHL), 6'0", 183 lbs
69 GP, 20 goals, 37 assists, 57 points, 67 PIMS

Dumba’s style of play is perfect for the up-tempo Ducks. His offensive talent from the back end may be the best in the draft. His raw skill and skating ability are natural talents that cannot be learned.


Recent Top Picks:
2011: Rickard Rakell, C (30th overall)
2010: Cam Fowler, D (12th overall)
Rankings Summary:    CSB: 10     ISS: 10     THN: 10     TSN: 10  

With the 7th overall pick, Minnesota selects:
Jacob Trouba, D, USA U-18 (USHL), 6'2", 193 lbs
50 GP, 9 goals, 22 assists, 31 points, 65 PIMS

The Wild feature a defence corps that has a lot of skill and not a lot of grit.  Trouba has the skill and the toughness to be a top pairing d-man in the NHL but his consistency will need to improve before he makes it.


Recent Top Picks:
2011: Jonas Brodin, D (10th overall)
2010: Mikael Granlund, C (9th overall)
Rankings Summary:    CSB: 9 NA     ISS: 5     THN: 9     TSN: 9  

With the 8th overall pick, Carolina selects:
Mikhail Grigorenko, C, Quebec (QMJHL), 6'3", 200 lbs
59 GP, 40 goals, 45 assists, 85 points, 12 PIMS

Carolina has more of a need up front than on defence. They'll take the chance that his mononucleosis was the true cause for his second half season malaise. Maybe he'll be this year's Sean Couturier?


Recent Top Picks:
2011: Ryan Murphy, D (12th overall)
2010: Jeff Skinner, RW (7th overall)
Rankings Summary:    CSB: 3 NA     ISS: 4     THN: 3     TSN: 12  

With the 9th overall pick, Winnipeg selects:
Griffin Reinhart, D, Edmonton (WHL), 6'4", 207 lbs
58 GP, 12 goals, 24 assists, 36 points, 38 PIMS

Reinhart is blessed with tremendous size and excellent mobility which makes him a dream prospect for the Jets.  Offensively he possesses a very hard slapshot & superb wrister while his breakout pass is first class.


Recent Top Picks:
2011: Mark Scheifele, C (7th overall)
2010: Alexander Burmistrov, C (8th overall)
Rankings Summary:    CSB: 10 NA     ISS: 6     THN: 8     TSN: 4  

With the 10th overall pick, Tampa Bay selects:
Morgan Rielly, D, Moose Jaw (WHL), 6'0", 190 lbs
18 GP, 3 goals, 15 assists, 18 points, 2 PIMS

Had he been healthy all year, Rielly could very well have gone in the top-5.  Tampa in the past hasn't been afraid to take a player who missed most of his draft year and once again they'll benefit from doing so.


Recent Top Picks:
2011: Vladislav Namestnikov, C (27th overall)
2010: Brett Connolly, RW (6th overall)
Rankings Summary:    CSB: 5 NA     ISS: 7     THN: 6     TSN: 8  

With the 11th overall pick, Washington selects:
Cody Ceci, D, Ottawa (OHL), 6'2", 207 lbs
64 GP, 17 goals, 43 assists, 60 points, 14 PIMS

Ceci, the second highest scoring D in the OHL, has several tools in his arsenal that apply to both sides of the red line. However, if there was a Russian forward available here, they'd likely have went with him.


How Acquired:
From Colorado with a 2nd round pick (either in 2012 or 2013) in exchange for G Semyon Varlamov.
Rankings Summary:    CSB: 6 NA     ISS: 10     THN: 10     TSN: 14 

With the 12th overall pick, Buffalo selects:
Radek Faksa, C, Kitchener (OHL), 6'3", 202 lbs
62 GP, 29 goals, 37 assists, 66 points, 47 PIMS

Faksa is a quality two-way centre who led all OHL rookies in scoring. He has excellent playmaking abilities and is strong on the puck; that combined with his frame make him a desirable candidate for Buffalo.


Recent Top Picks:
2011: Joel Armia, RW (16th overall)
2010: Mark Pysyk, D (23rd overall)
Rankings Summary:    CSB: 7 NA     ISS: 16     THN: 11     TSN: 11  

With the 13th overall pick, Dallas selects:
Olli Maatta, D, London (OHL), 6'2", 202 lbs
58 GP, 5 goals, 27 assists, 32 points, 25 PIMS

Maatta was one of the fastest rising players in the rankings as he quickly adapted to the North American game.  He became one of the Hunters' most dependable blueliners throughout their OHL title run.


Recent Top Picks:
2011: Jamie Oleksiak, D (14th overall)
2010: Jack Campbell, G (11th overall)
Rankings Summary:    CSB: 8 NA     ISS: 12     THN: 20     TSN: 10  

With the 14th overall pick, Calgary selects:
Zemgus Girgensons, C, Dubuque (USHL), 6'2", 198 lbs
49 GP, 24 goals, 31 assists, 55 points, 69 PIMS

Girgensons is a hard working player, the captain of his team this past season, with a sound defensive style to his game. He could develop quickly and perhaps make the NHL by the fall of 2013.


Recent Top Picks:
2011: Sven Bartschi, LW (13th overall)
2010: Maxwell Reinhart, C (64th overall)
Rankings Summary:    CSB: 18 NA     ISS: 24     THN: 16     TSN: 13  

With the 15th overall pick, Ottawa selects:
Sebastian Collberg, RW, Frolunda (SEL), 5'11", 176 lbs
41 GP, 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 points, 2 PIMS

Collberg uses his size well and is a threat to score from anywhere in the offensive zone. He has one of the top releases in the draft and has excellent hands. If he can handle the physicality of the NHL, he'll be a steal here.


Recent Top Picks:
2011: Sven Bartschi, LW (13th overall)
2010: Maxwell Reinhart, C (64th overall)
Rankings Summary:    CSB: 3 EUR     ISS: 13     THN: 14     TSN: 27  

With the 16th overall pick, Washington selects:
Hampus Lindholm, D, Rogle Jr. (SWE Jr.), 6'2", 196 lbs
25 GP, 5 goals, 12 assists, 17 points, 16 PIMS

Lindholm doesn't project as a flashy defenceman but will be a steady, dependable player for years to come.  He'll complement fellow blueliner Cody Ceci quite well who was their pick earlier in the round.


Recent Top Picks:
2011: Steffen Soberg, G (117th overall)
2010: Evgeny Kuznetsov, C (26th overall)
Rankings Summary:    CSB: 4 EUR     ISS: 19     THN: 15     TSN: 15  

With the 17th overall pick, San Jose selects:
Derrick Pouliot, D, Portland (WHL), 5'11", 186 lbs
72 GP, 11 goals, 48 assists, 59 points, 79 PIMS

Excellent offensive d-man, with outstanding skating ability. Able to make a first pass with high accuracy. He's not at an ideal size for a D now, but his work ethic and other abilities will get him there soon enough.


Recent Top Picks:
2011: Matt Nieto, LW (47th overall)
2010: Charlie Coyle, RW (28th overall)
Rankings Summary:    CSB: 12 NA     ISS: 22     THN: 13     TSN: 17  

With the 18th overall pick, Chicago selects:
Brendan Gaunce, C, Belleville (OHL), 6'2", 215 lbs
68 GP, 28 goals, 40 assists, 68 points, 68 PIMS

Gaunce is your typical big two way Canadian centre. He loves contact and scoring dirty goals. He is also seen as a great leader and decision maker, making him one of the most well rounded forwards in this draft.


Recent Top Picks:
2011: Mark McNeill, C (18th overall)
2010: Kevin Hayes, RW (24th overall)
Rankings Summary:    CSB: 13 NA     ISS: 11     THN: 17     TSN: 20  

With the 19th overall pick, Tampa Bay selects:
Tomas Hertl, C, Slavia Praha (CZE), 6'2", 198 lbs
38 GP, 12 goals, 13 assists, 25 points, 22 PIMS

The Lightning are well set moving forward in terms of scoring forwards which makes Hertl, a high end playmaker, the perfect fit for them.  Playing in the Czech pro league should expedite his development.


Recent Top Picks:
2011: Vladislav Namestnikov, C (27th overall)
2010: Brett Connolly, RW (6th overall)
Rankings Summary:    CSB: 5 EUR     ISS: 32     THN: 24     TSN: 19  

With the 20th overall pick, Philadelphia selects:
Brady Skjei, D, US U-18 (USHL), 6'3", 200 lbs
56 GP, 4 goals, 18 assists, 22 points, 32 PIMS

Philly needs to line up some replacements for its aging blueline, a guy like Skjei would fit their style. He has good size, offensive ability, and is a solid defender with a low panic threshold. Needs some seasoning.


Recent Top Picks:
2011: Sean Couturier, C (8th overall)
2010: Michael Chaput, C (89th overall)
Rankings Summary:    CSB: 19 NA     ISS: 26     THN: 26     TSN: 22  

With the 21st overall pick, Buffalo selects:
Slater Koekkoek, D, Peterborough (OHL), 6'2", 184 lbs
26 GP, 5 goals, 13 assists, 18 points, 17 PIMS

After selecting a forward with their first pick, Buffalo adds a big mobile offensive d-man who only slipped in the rankings because of his shoulder injury. His skill set and size make him a formidable opponent in all zones.


How Acquired:
From Nashville in exchange for C Paul Gaustad and a 4th round pick in 2013.
Rankings Summary:    CSB: 23 NA     ISS: 21     THN: 23     TSN: 16  

With the 22nd overall pick, Pittsburgh selects:
Matthew Finn, D, Guelph (OHL), 6'0", 195 lbs
61 GP, 10 goals, 38 assists, 48 points, 58 PIMS

Finn benefited from playing on a weaker Storm team as he was thrust into top minutes.  To his credit, he fared well which has moved him up the rankings.  A d-man who can play in all roles at this spot is a coup. 


Recent Top Picks:
2011: Joe Morrow, D (23rd overall)
2010: Beau Bennett, RW (20th overall)
Rankings Summary:    CSB: 16 NA     ISS: 18     THN: 18     TSN: 21  

With the 23rd overall pick, Florida selects:
Stefan Matteau, C, US U-18 (USHL), 6'2", 210 lbs
46 GP, 15 goals, 17 assists, 32 points, 166 PIMS

Matteau, a big forward in the USHL, has size, grit, and strong bloodlines. His style is like a power forward, with a high energy component to his game. He could end up as high as a second line pro forward, or a fourth liner.


Recent Top Picks:
2011: Jonathan Huberdeau, C (3rd overall)
2010: Erik Gudbranson, D (3rd overall)
Rankings Summary:    CSB: 17 NA     ISS: 31     THN: 30     TSN: 23  

With the 24th overall pick, Boston selects:
Tom Wilson, RW, Plymouth (OHL), 6'4", 203 lbs
49 GP, 9 goals, 18 assists, 27 points, 141 PIMS

Wilson is a prototypical Bruin, a tough power forward and despite growing up a fan of the Habs, he'll be a big part of Boston's future. If he improves his consistency and stays healthy, he'll be a strong power forward.


Recent Top Picks:
2011: Dougie Hamilton, D (9th overall)
2010: Tyler Seguin, C (2nd overall)
Rankings Summary:    CSB: 15 NA     ISS: 17     THN: 25     TSN: 18  

With the 25th overall pick, St. Louis selects:
Ludvik Bystrom, D, Modo Jr. (SWE Jr.), 6'1", 208 lbs
34 GP, 7 goal, 22 assists, 29 points, 101 PIMS

The Blues are well stocked prospect wise and can afford to take a bit of a gamble on a high risk, high reward player here.  Bystrom has the skill to be a very good d-man but inconsistency has plagued him so far.


Recent Top Picks:
2011: Ty Rattie, RW (32nd overall)
2010: Jaden Schwartz, C (14th overall)
Rankings Summary:    CSB: 8 EUR     ISS: 29     THN: 19     TSN: 34  

With the 26th overall pick, Vancouver selects:
Pontus Aberg, LW, Djurgarden (SEL), 5'11", 194 lbs
47 GP, 8 goal, 7 assists, 15 points, 6 PIMS

Aberg is a skilled forward who played well enough to play in the SEL last season.  He suffered a number of injuries in the 2nd half of the season, but when healthy was a factor on the second line of his Elitserien team.  


Recent Top Picks:
2011: Nicklas Jensen, RW (29th overall)
2010: Patrick McNally, D (115th overall)
Rankings Summary:    CSB: 6 EUR     ISS: 20     THN: 22     TSN: 37  

With the 27th overall pick, Phoenix selects:
Scott Laughton, C, Oshawa (OHL), 6'0", 177 lbs
64 GP, 21 goals, 32 assists, 53 points, 101 PIMS

After scoring the gold medal winning goal for Canada at the Ivan Hlinka tournament, his confidence soared. He hits, fights and scores. That coupled with his tireless work ethic will make him an important piece in Phoenix.


Recent Top Picks:
2011: Connor Murphy, D (20th overall)
2010: Brandon Gormley, D (13th overall)
Rankings Summary:    CSB: 28 NA     ISS: 23     THN: 42     TSN: 28  

With the 28th overall pick, New York (R) selects:
Dalton Thrower, D, Saskatoon (OHL), 5'11", 189 lbs
66 GP, 18 goals, 36 assists, 54 points, 103 PIMS

Thrower's style of play suits his name well.  He also has some offensive upside although his play in the defensive zone is questionable at times.  Given his size and style, long-term durability is a concern.


Recent Top Picks:
2011: J.T. Miller, C (15th overall)
2010: Dylan McIlrath, D (10th overall)
Rankings Summary:    CSB: 26 NA     ISS: 28     THN: 29     TSN: 39  

With the 29th overall pick, New Jersey selects:
Tim Bozon, LW, Kamloops (WHL), 6'0", 183 lbs
71 GP, 36 goals, 35 assists, 71 points, 40 PIMS

The Devils march to their own band when it comes to the draft. They're likely to go off the board a little with their top pick, looking for an eventual replacement up front for Zach Parise; he is a similar player to Parise.


Recent Top Picks:
2011: Adam Larsson, D (4th overall)
2010: Jon Merrill, D (38th overall)
Rankings Summary:    CSB: 42 NA     ISS: 40     THN: 43     TSN: 50  

With the 30th overall pick, Los Angeles selects:
Henrik Samuelsson, RW, Edmonton (WHL), 6'2", 211 lbs
28 GP, 7 goals, 16 assists, 23 points, 42 PIMS

Samuelsson is a versatile forward who can play centre and right wing. He has NHL size and works hard in all three zones. He seeks physical contact and drives the net hard making him a good second or third line option.


Recent Top Picks:
2011: Christopher Gibson, G (49th overall)
2010: Derek Forbort, D (15th overall)
Rankings Summary:    CSB: 75 NA     ISS: 27     THN: 50     TSN: 36  

With the Habs having some picks in the second and third rounds which hasn't been the case in recent years, we discussed who they should look at taking with those selections.

With the 33rd overall pick, Montreal selects:
Cristoval Nieves, C, Kent (USHS), 6'3", 184 lbs
26 GP, 7 goals, 32 assists, 39 points, 24 PIMS

The Habs have many prospects who project as bottom six forwards and would be wise to take a 'home run swing' here.  Nieves has terrific speed and above average skills but he has yet to play at a high level.


Recent Second Round Selections:
2008: Danny Kristo (56th overall)
2007: P.K. Subban (43rd overall)
Rankings Summary:    CSB: 27 NA     ISS: 63     THN: 55     TSN: 51  

Other Players Discussed: D Mike Matheson (Dubuque, USHL), G Malcolm Subban (Belleville, OHL)

With the 51st overall pick, Montreal selects:
Lukas Sutter, C, Saskatoon (WHL), 6'0", 207 lbs
70 GP, 28 goals, 31 assists, 59 points, 165 PIMS

He has the classic Sutter traits with a gritty style. At this point of his career, he's closer to an uber-pest than a grinder. His offensive skills are average, which earmarks him as a 3rd/4th line player at the pro level.


How Acquired:
From Nashville along with F Blake Geoffrion and F Robert Slaney in exchange for D Hal Gill.
Rankings Summary:    CSB: 39 NA     ISS: 68     THN: 63     TSN: 52  

Other Players Discussed: D Damon Severson (Kelowna, WHL), LW Daniil Zharkov (Belleville, OHL)

With the 64th overall pick, Montreal selects:
Matt Murray, G, Sault Ste. Marie (OHL), 6'4", 162 lbs
36 GP, 13-19-1 record, 4.08 GAA, .876 SV%, 0 SO

Montreal is lacking in goalie prospects, especially those who have a smidgen of upside.  Murray has a projectable frame and should be the Greyhounds' #1 goalie for two more years, helping his development.


Recent Third Round Selections:
2009: Joonas Nattinen (65th overall)
2009: Mac Bennett (79th overall)
Rankings Summary:    CSB: 18 NAG     ISS: 63     THN: 55     TSN: 51  

Other Players Discussed: LW Charles Hudon (Chicoutimi, QMJHL), G Andrey Makarov (Saskatoon, WHL), D Dillon Fournier (Rouyn-Noranda, QMJHL)

Also Read
- 2012 HabsWorld Draft Pool posted by B. La Rose
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