Below is the 2005 Hockey’s Future Staff Mock Draft,
for the first round of the upcoming NHL Entry Draft. Included with each pick is the rationale for the choice from the staff member who made the selection. In almost all cases, the pick was made by
the writer who normally
covers the team making the pick. Trading of picks was not allowed for this draft.
would be guilty of incompetence if they did not select the clear pick of
the litter in Crosby. They may be overloaded at center, but they won’t be
|2||Anaheim||Jack Johnson, D |
Ht: 6’1 Wt:
|Johnson, who many think is the|
second best player in the draft, lines up well with Anaheim’s need for an
Ht: 6’3 Wt: 179
continue Carolina’s pattern of taking a good forward early in the first
round. He’s the safe pick, and although there are some question marks
surrounding Pouliot, so too with all of the other best available forwards.
Ht: 5’10 Wt: 175
Team: WHL Vancouver
|The Wild are loaded at center,|
expect them to shy away from taking another one. Although Bobby Ryan
would fill a team need for a big winger with some finishing ability, look
for Minnesota to take Gilbert Brule despite his lack of size.
Ht: 6’1 Wt: 213
Team: OHL Owen Sound
have been looking for a power forward for a long time. With Perezhogin,
Kostitsyn and Ryder already in the system, Ryan won’t be pressured to
produce immediately; he will get time to develop his game.
|6||Columbus||Anze Kopitar, C |
Ht: 6’3 Wt:
Team: Swe Jr Sodertalje
|Rarely is it the case that the|
best player available also fills a team’s biggest needs. Kopitar’s
potential upside and dazzling skill makes him an excellent bet to be
Columbus’ future first line center.
Ht: 6’1 Wt: 198
|With plenty of|
defense and goaltending in the pipeline, Chicago looks to offense from the
nearby USNTDP. Skille will attend the Univ. of Wisconsin.
Ht: 6’1.5 Wt: 193
|Another team already loaded on|
young defense and goaltending, the Thrashers will almost certainly take a
forward at No. 8 to acquire some secondary scoring. Good character will be
a selling point.
Ht: 6’3.5 Wt: 196
Team: OHL Sudbury
can afford to go many ways with this pick. Last year they used their first
two picks on blueliners, but another defenseman could never hurt, and
Staal may be the best player available. A highly-intelligent player who
has no major flaws and is a very safe bet to make the NHL, Staal brings
the character and hard work GM John Muckler looks for in a young player.
Ht: 6’1.5 Wt: 216
|Latendresse is a big-body player|
who has goal-scoring ability, the most pressing need the Canucks face.
Skating is a concern with Latendresse, but his lack of footspeed may make
him a good future linemate for the Sedins.
|11||Los Angeles||Martin Hanzal,|
Ht: 6’4 Wt: 198
Team: Czech Jr Budejovice
fits the Los Angeles Kings draft tendency perfectly — a physical,
large-bodied forward from Europe. Additionally, Hanzal plays a position of
need for the Kings and his raw offensive skills with a keen attention to
defense have first-line centerman written all over him.
|12||San Jose||Niklas Bergfors,|
Ht: 6’0 Wt: 198
Team: Swe Jr Sodertalje
|Loaded with good young|
defensemen, Bergfors gives San Jose a high-end goal-scoring forward that
they need. With no real weaknesses, his superb skating, speed,
acceleration, and two-way hockey sense are in step with San Jose’s
established preference for speedy forwards who can contribute offensively
and play responsible defensively.
Ht: 6’2 Wt: 183
Team: OHL Guelph
with a safe pick in Parent, a reliable defenseman. With few
defensemen in the pipeline, they can’t afford not to see a return.
Ht: 6’2.5 Wt: 202
|With a strong pool of prospects|
already, Washington can afford to take a risk on Lee and address a need at
defense at the same time.
|15||New York Islanders||Alex Bourret,|
Ht: 5’9.5 Wt: 209
Team: QMJHL Lewiston
|With his speed|
and willingness to play hard and get involved in rough play, Bourret would
be a great fit for the New York Islanders. Currently they lack a wing who
can play the power forward role. At 5’10 209 pounds, Bourret could bring a
presence to the Nassau Coliseum not seen since Clark Gillies.
|16||New York Rangers||Luc Bourdon,|
Ht: 6’2.5 Wt: 199
Team: QMJHL Val D’Or
|With no top NCAA players in the|
draft class, the Rangers will have to finally break their three-year
streak of first rounders out of the college ranks. They might not
have planned on Bourdon, but if he falls this far, they will scoop him up.
|17||Phoenix||Ryan Stoa, C |
6’3 Wt: 200
|Ryan Stoa is a|
great mid-round pick because he has a good blend of size and talent. A bit
undervalued this year, Stoa hasn’t even begun to hit his stride.
Both Stoa and 2004 first rounder Blake Wheeler are headed to the
University of Minnesota this fall.
Ht: 6’0.5 Wt: 195
Team: QMJHL Chicoutimi
|Nashville continues its love|
affair with European forwards with Zagrapan. Though he is not seen
as a player who plays well in traffic, he can definitely score and that is
what Nashville needs.
Ht: 6’2.5 Wt: 222
its top pick in 2003 on goaltender James Howard, but Price would be too
good to pass up at this spot.
Ht: 6’1.5 Wt: 201
Team: OHL Kitchener
|Lashoff endured a trying second|
season in the OHL, missing large chunks of games due to illness and
injury. Still, he remains an intriguing defensive package. Big, mobile and
smart with the puck, he would be a great fit with the Flyers, an
organization that will promote a number of defensemen to the NHL in the
fall and, thus, are now in need of additional system-wide depth.
Ht: 6’2 Wt: 183
Team: Fin Jr
restocks the goaltending pipeline with top rated European goaltender
Rask. Finns are finding great success in the net lately, and Toronto
hopes it will continue.
Ht: 5’11 Wt: 190
Team: WHL Moose Jaw
|There’s little not to like|
about McArdle, and Boston may buy in. He scores goals and pays the
Ht: 6’5 Wt: 220
Hale and Paul Martin having been fast tracked to the NHL, the Devils have
a lack of quality defense prospects in the organization. With an eye
towards getting a prospect with more upside, the Devils select the big and
strapping Pokulok from Cornell. He offers size and physical play, plus
good mobility and a little bit of offensive upside.
|24||St. Louis||Andrew Cogliano, C |
Ht: 5’9.5 Wt:
Team: OPJRA St. Michael’s
|The Blues value speed, and could|
attract them to Cogliano, whose main knock is his lack of size. He’ll move
to the Univ. of Michigan in the fall.
Ht: 5’11.5 Wt: 186
Team: WHL Saskatoon
Oilers have identified the need to add a scorer to their prospect ranks
and the the winger from the Saskatoon Blades is the top scorer left on the
board. There are question marks with him, but no more so than with others
available. Setoguchi skates well, can play physical, is a leader but first
and foremost he can find the back of the net.
Ht: 5’11 Wt: 175
Team: H-East Boston
|Sufficiently skilled with good|
character, Bertram is a safe pick. It might be a bit early for him, but if
a team like Calgary takes a liking, that’s all he needs.
Ht: 6.2.5 Wt: 199
Team: OHL Kitchener
|With a bare|
farm system, the Avalanche could go in any direction with their pick. The
choice of Kindl will add that superstar caliber prospect on their blueline
which is sorely lacking. One of the youngest players in the OHL, he is
already a solid defenseman and is developing an offensive game to
complement his tremendous potential.
Ht: 5’10 Wt: 179
Team: CCHA Michigan
|Dallas needs help up the middle|
and Hensick fits the role. Already playing without the redline in college,
he will continue to thrive in a wide open game. Hensick has blazing speed
and a bona fide scoring touch, which will prove to be the key to his
Ht: 6’3.5 Wt: 200
with an all-around solid player in Jackson, who will complement the other
young defenders they possess.
Ht: 6’4 Wt: 193
|Tampa turns again to the QMJHL,|
this time for a goaltender, one of many needs in the system.
Copyright 2005 Hockey’s Future.