HabsWorld.net -- 

The 2011 NHL Entry Draft is now just a week away with the Habs set to draft
with the 17th overall pick.  Though the draft is not supposed to be full of
high end talent, there are a lot of good players that will be available with
that selection.  We recently completed our HW Mock Draft, here are some of
the names that we think are going to be picked around Montreal’s turn.

Tomas Jurco, RW, Saint John (QMJHL):

A highly skilled offensive player who needs a lot of work on his overall
game.  He has speed to burn though he doesn’t always get to the right
places with it.  As is often the case with the better offensive talents, he
is prone to scoring droughts and inconsistency.  He averaged a goal per
game in the Sea Dogs’ Memorial Cup victory.

Oscar Klefbom, D, Farjestad, SEL:

One of the safer picks that could be made at this point of the draft, he does
basically everything well but nothing about his game stands out.  Unlike a
lot of defencemen in this draft, he’s not a niche player which will endear him
to a lot of teams.  He is a pretty good skater for his size (6’4). 
Working against him though is the fact he saw limited playing time in Sweden’s
top league.

Mark McNeill, C, Prince Albert, WHL:

A strong centreman who’s off-ice intangibles are as attractive to some scouts
as his on-ice ones.  He plays a gritty style while still being able to
produce offensively, a mix that any team would covet.  Like Jurco earlier,
he is a good skater but also struggles with consistency at times.

J.T. Miller, LW/C, U.S. NTDP:

There are some that see him as a surefire 1st rounder while others think he
could be had in the 3rd round.  He is a good skater who plays hard at both
ends of the ice and drives the net often.  There are some questions about
his overall hockey sense though.  His performance at the World Under 18’s
(6 GP, 4-8-12) will likely vault him up the rankings.

Jamie Oleksiak, D, Northeastern, H-East:

He is the biggest player in the draft but certainly not the most physical. 
He is, however, a good skater for his size which makes him less of a risk than
other blueliners that are that size.  He won’t be a big point producer but
should be a quality defensive defenceman for a long time.

Zack Phillips, C, Saint John, QMJHL:

His point totals took off when he was paired with Jonathan Huberdeau, likely
a top-5 selection.  The big question for him is whether he is good enough
to play at that level without a high end scorer playing alongside him or was the
fact he was with Huberdeau the main reason for his scoring numbers.  Unlike
some of the others listed here, skating is not a particular strength for him.

Mark Schiefele, Barrie, OHL:

Schiefele benefited from playing on a simply terrible team as he was handed
all the ice time he could handle and more.  He is a strong playmaker and
his defensive game is improving.  However, he isn’t particularly strong
despite his 6’2 frame and will need to bulk up a lot before making the jump to
the professional ranks.

One of these players is projected to be the Habs’ first pick at the draft
draft.  Find out who as well as our thoughts for the entire first round
(and Montreal’s next pick at 78th overall) when our mock is revealed next week.