Hockey’s Future 2009 annual Staff Mock Draft

By HF Staff

Below is Hockey’s Future’s Annual Staff Mock Draft, covering the first round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.  We do only one mock draft a year, after the NHL combine, once all the data has been collected and the teams are actually in their decision-making modes.

The draft will be held in Montreal on June 26th-27th and will cover seven rounds.  Next to each pick below is a brief explanation as to why that selection was made. Team writers made the pick when available, and some were a consensus. No trades were allowed. 

1New York IslandersVictor Hedman, Modo, SwedenDThe highest rated defenseman in the draft, Hedman brings a blend of size and skill to an Islanders team that has lacked a No. 1 blueliner for some time. He will instantly provide a steadying presence along the blue line.
2Tampa Bay LightningJohn Tavares, London, OHLCThe all-time goal-scoring leader in the OHL, Tavares is the consensus top forward in the draft. On a team with forwards such as Steve Stamkos and Vincent Lecavalier, Tavares would have the luxury of developing without as much pressure. 

3Colorado AvalancheMatt Duchene, Brampton, OHLCThe Avalanche are seeking an heir to Joe Sakic. After a season where he showed strong two-way play throughout and clutch scoring ability during the playoffs, Duchene appears to fit that need.

4Atlanta ThrashersEvander Kane, Vancouver, WHLCAmong the goal-scoring leaders in the WHL with 48 goals in just 61 games, Kane would bring a secondary scoring presence the Thrashers currently lack. His physical, two-way play at center addresses another organization need.

5Los Angeles KingsJared Cowen, Spokane, WHLDThe Kings are expected to make some trades this off-season to address their need at forward. If they hold onto the fifth spot in the draft, then they will pursue that need through trade, likely dealing one of the defensemen already in their system. Cowen would go towards keeping the system well stocked. 

6Phoenix CoyotesOliver Ekman-Larsson, Leksand, SwedenDA late riser on draft boards, Ekman-Larsson is a dynamic, offensively-minded defenseman who would dramatically improve the Coyotes’ transition game and power play. Known as a mobile skater capable of crisp tape-to-tape passes, the 17-year-old also plays with maturity beyond his years. 

7Toronto Maple LeafsBrayden Schenn, Brandon, WHLCToronto GM Brian Burke has been open with his intentions to try and move up in the draft. If he is not able to, he could make a big splash by drafting Brayden Schenn, the younger brother of Toronto blueliner Luke Schenn. The younger Schenn is a complete player, playing with equal parts grit and skill.

8Dallas StarsDmitry Kulikov, Drummondville, QMJHLDThe Stars have graduated the most of their defensive prospects over the past two seasons and to to restock the pipeline. They are also seeking an eventual replacement to the puck-moving Sergei Zubov. The smooth skating and offensively dynamic Kulikov should fill both of those needs. 

9Ottawa SenatorsMagnus Paajarvi-Svensson, Timra, SwedenLWThe Senators needed secondary scoring anyway, but with Dany Heatley’s days numbered in Ottawa, the need for a scoring forward is even greater. Paajarvi-Svensson brings good size (6’2, 198 pounds) along tremendous skating and playmaking abilities to a Senators organization needing help up front.

10Edmonton OilersScott Glennie, Brandon, WHLCThe Oilers are still looking for a blue-chip forward to build their offense around for the future. Glennie, an offensively gifted forward with decent skating ability, could fill that need. 

11Nashville PredatorsJacob Josefson, Djurgarden, SwedenCThe Predators lack a second-line center at the NHL level and there appears to be no help in the pipeline. Josefson, a strong skating, two-way center with raw, untapped offensive ability, would go a long way to address that need.  The Predators are not shy of taking Europeans.

12Minnesota WildJordan Schroeder, Minnesota, WCHARWWith Marian Gaborik’s future very much in limbo, picking an offensively minded forward is likely for the Wild.  The dimunitive forward and NCAA standout could develop with current Wild forward Pierre-Marc Bouchard into an effective one-two punch for years to come.

13Buffalo SabresNazem Kadri, London, OHLCKadri, a gritty, offensively minded forward from the OHL is someone Buffalo has seen a lot of this year. He is particularly effective on the forecheck and can play all three forward positions.

14Florida PanthersJohn Moore, Chicago, USHLDCornerstone defenseman Jay Bouwmeester seems destined to leave Florida via free-agency this summer creating an organizational need for mobile, puck-moving defensemen. The Panthers can go a long way to address that need by selecting John Moore, a fluid skating, puck-moving defenseman from Illinois.

15Anaheim DucksLouis Leblanc, Omaha, USHLCThe Ducks depth at forward took a couple of hits this past season and the organization will look to restock the pipeline. Leblanc, a strong two-way center from the USHL, would add depth to their system and bring a much-needed secondary scoring presence behind Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry.

16Columbus Blue JacketsRyan Ellis, Windsor, OHLDThe Blue Jackets are picking outside of the top 10 for the first time in franchise history. The organization’s primary need is for a puck-moving defenseman to quarterback the power play and Ellis, who posted 22 goals, 67 assists in 57 games fits the billing perfectly.

17St. Louis BluesZack Kassian, Peterborough, OHLRWThe Blues are well stocked at all positions. But one glaring weakness in the system is the lack of a bona fide power forward prospect. The 6’3, 205 pound Kassian, who plays a physical, offensively minded game, is that type of player.

18Montreal CanadiensSimon Despres. Saint John, QMJHLDDespres, the best defenseman still on the board at No. 18, brings good size and a puck-moving presence the Canadiens could use down the road.

19New York RangersKyle Palmieri, U18, NTDPCA draft combine standout, Palmieri is an offensively-minded forward who combines grit, character, and work ethic with a high skill level. Although he is at least a year from going pro, his offensive game-breaking ability will be a welcomed addition to a Rangers squad who struggled to score last season.

20Calgary FlamesLandon Ferraro, Red Deer, WHLRWThe Flames lack any top-six prospects at wing and Ferraro is among the top finishers remaining at this point. Playing for a Red Deer team owned by Brent Sutter, it would also make sense for Calgary GM Daryl Sutter to pick a player he has inside information on.

21Philadelphia FlyersChris Kreider, Andover, USHSLWAt 6’2, 205 pounds, Kreider fits the profile of a big-bodied offensively minded forward that the Flyers like. With most of their current team young and under contract through 2010-11, the Flyers will have the luxury of allowing the young forward to develop at his own pace.

22Vancouver CanucksTim Erixon, Skelleftea, SwedenDThe Canucks have drafted only three defensemen in the past three years. Consequentially the defensive pipeline has emptied, with no clear-cut, top-four defensemen in the system. Adding the steadying presence of Tim Erixon to the system will go a long way to bringing it back to respectability.

23New Jersey DevilsCalvin de Haan, Oshawa, OHLDThe Devils have a handful of promising defensive prospects in their system but none have the skill level to match Oshawa standout Calvin de Haan. The prospect is a classic puck-moving defenseman with smooth skating, fantastic vision, and superior puck-distributing abilities.

24Washington CapitalsCarter Ashton, Lethbridge, WHLLWDespite having a wealth of offensive talent at the NHL level, the Capitals still lack a true power-forward type who can also act as a secondary scoring threat. Ashton, a 6’3 winger who posted 30 goals, 20 assists, and 93 penalty minutes last season, would go a long way to filling that need.

25Boston BruinsDavid Rundblad, Skelleftea, SwedenDThe Bruins are young and well stocked at all positions. With puck-moving defenseman Matt Lashoff traded to Tampa Bay in March, Rundblad, a smooth-skating defenseman with good vision and offensive instincts, would be an ideal fit for the organization.

26NY Islanders (from SJ)Ethan Werek, Kingston, OHLCWith their second pick in the draft, the Isles need to address their need for more scoring help. Werek, a 6’2, forward from the OHL is still considered a raw talent. The fact he posted 32 goals on a weak Kingston squad and can play all three forward positions, makes him a prospect with intriguing upside.

27Carolina HurricanesPeter Holland, Guelph, OHLCThe Hurricanes have made their draft intentions clear that they are looking for a forward who brings a blend of size and skill to the ice. Holland, a 6’2 center who posted 28 goals, 39 assists for the Guelph Storm last season fits that profile.

28Chicago BlackhawksDrew Shore, U18, NTDPCWith strength and youth at both forward and defense, the Blackhawks will have the luxury of drafting a player who may take a little longer to develop. Shore is good on the forecheck, a strong skater, and his blend of size (6’2, 198 pounds) and skill make him an intriguing prospect.

29Detroit Red WingsCarl Klingberg, Frolunda, SwedenLWAn energetic forward who is not afraid to throw around his 6’3, 205-pound frame, Klingberg is also capable of producing offensively. A right-handed shot who plays along the left wing, his mix of grit and skill seems a smart choice for the Red Wings.

30Pittsburgh PenguinsJeremy Morin, U18, NTDPCThe Penguins need a goal-scoring forward to play with star centers Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby. Despite character issues, Morin’s pure goal-scoring ability is something that simply can not be ignored.