2007 Hockey’s Future staff mock draft

By HF Staff

Below is the 2007 Hockey’s Future Staff Mock Draft, covering the first round of the NHL Entry Draft, to be held in Columbus, Ohio on June 22-23, 2007. Included with each pick is a brief explanation behind the thinking that went into the pick. In most cases, the team’s beat writer made the pick – for teams without a regular writer, the pick was made by a consensus of Hockey’s Future writers. Trading of picks was not allowed for this mock draft.

1ChicagoPatrick Kane RWThe Blackhawks have drafted liberally from the OHL the last few years, and from London in particular (Dave Bolland, Trevor Kell). Plus they need a pure scorer, badly.
2PhiladelphiaKyle TurrisCThe Flyers may opt to trade this pick, but if not, expect Turris to be the selection, who many see as a better prospect than Kane.
3PhoenixJames Van RiemsdykLWPhoenix told Hockey’s Future that they plan to take a forward with this pick.  Van Riemsdyk is the best available at this position.
4Los AngelesKarl AlznerDDean Lombardi is adept at trading down to gather additional picks and still select his man. If he cannot consumate a deal to select Alzner further down in the draft, he will make Alzner the fourth overall pick and a future skating partner for Jack Johnson.
5WashingtonSam GagnerC/WThe Capitals need more playmakers for Alexander Ovechkin and Alex Semin, and importantly, Gagner has character in spades as well. 
6EdmontonJakub VoracekRWThe only Europeans the Oilers have had success with in recent years seem to be the ones who were playing in North America during their draft years. Voracek had a terrific season with the Halifax Mooseheads followed by an even better playoff performance.
7ColumbusKeaton EllerbyDThe Blue Jackets have a big hole on defense, so there’s little doubt they will go in that direction. Ellerby has it all — size, good skating and good skill.
8BostonMikael BacklundCSwede Mikael Backlund has a mix of skills, speed, decent size and strength as well as leadership that would fit nicely into the Bruins system.
9St. LouisRyan McDonaghDThe Blues have drafted quite heavily out of Minnesota before, so they should have no qualms about taking a Minnesota high schooler.  They have a need on defense after losing Scott Jackson.
10FloridaLogan CoutureCCouture is solid in both directions, which will pass Florida’s muster.  This is a team who hammers defense into prospects’ heads very early and Couture is already responsible in his own end in addition to skilled on offense.
11CarolinaKevin ShattenkirkDThe Hurricanes rarely do anything expected at the draft table, and there’s no reason to think this year will be any different.  They go a bit off the board here and pick Shattenkirk, a good skating offensive defenseman. He won’t make up for Jack Johnson, but he’s a solid player.
12MontrealAlexei CherapanevRWMontreal will gladly scoop up Cherapanev, IIHF agreement or no. After all, they’ve had luck in the past with questionable Russians (see Kostitsyn, Andrei and his seizures). With depth in the organization, they can afford to wait for him to come over.
13TorontoAngelo EspositoCToronto takes Patrick Roy’s protegé and hope he’s the offensive center they’ve been searching for all these years. Not all that long ago, Esposito was looked at as a potential No. 1 overall, and falling to No. 12 he offers solid value.
14ColoradoJonathon BlumDStocked at forward, the Avalanche try to fill up in the defensive end.  Blum is an offensive defenseman, an increasingly coveted type of player — one that can seldom be traded for. 
15EdmontonAlex PlanteDHaving scouted the Calgary Hitmen heavily this year because of other draft eligible players on the team as well as one of their own prospects, Edmonton liked what they saw in Alzner’s defensive partner. You can’t teach 6’5 and with a level of all around play usually reserved for smaller players, the Oilers can’t resist adding Alex Plante to their stable of quality blueliners.
16AnaheimNick PetreckiDAnaheim could benefit from another prospect on the blue line and Burke likes players with character who don’t mind wearing a hard hat and carrying a lunch pail. Petrecki is a rough and tough defenseman.
17NY RangersMaxim MayorovRWMayorov is very likable, has played on the elite level and really wants to come to North America. After their experience with Sanguinetti last season, who was overlooked, the Rangers go with a kid who has all the skills and who is a team guy.
18CalgaryZach HamillCThe Flames need to restock on offense, and they take a superior stickhander in Hamill. They will teach him better defense, make no mistake about it.
19MinnesotaMax PaciorettyLWMinnesota would have had a decent window to observe Pacioretty, playing in Sioux City. Willing to crash and bang, the Wild needs a little more of this to go with the skill players it has.
20PittsburghColton GilliesCGillies has solid size, blood lines, and skating. Pittsburgh makes the  relatively safe selection here.
21PhoenixBrett MacLeanLWPhoenix will continue to address scoring and have said they’re going to use both their picks looking to take skilled forwards. Along with Van Riemsdyk, the two shore up the Coyotes left side, which has been pretty bare for a long time.
22MontrealThomas HickeyDIf there’s any part of the Habs organization that needs shoring up, it’s probably the defense. Thomas Hickey can move the puck well and has shown solid offensive upside that makes up for his relative lack of size at 5’11.
23PhiladelphiaLars EllerC/WThe Flyers tend to employ the ‘best player available’ strategy in the early rounds, then look to address organizational depth issues later. Though defense and goaltending may be more pressing needs, Eller’s impressive skill package and versatility would make him too good to pass up.
24St. LouisStefan LegeinRWLegein had a huge jump in the rankings after a breakout season. He’s a smaller guy with decent speed who likes to get involved in the play and is good on special teams. The Blues don’t really have anyone who fits that description right now.
25VancouverDavid PerronLWThe Canucks have showed a willingness last year to take players who may be a bit older and they’re willing to be risky in order to try to get a big payoff with a good offensive talent.
26St. LouisOscar MollerCThe Blues have filled possible needs by taking a d-man and winger so far, so the fact that they have a few centers shouldn’t really come into play by this point. In addition, Moller plays a different style of game than most of their top forward prospects.
27DetroitBrandon SutterC/RWSutter has the combination of size, hockey sense, grit and passion for the game that the Red Wings are looking for.
28WashingtonAkim AliuC/RWAlmost every team interviewed Aliu at the Combine, and quite a few were impressed with his manner in the interview. His play is some of the best among those eligible for this year’s draft, and without the attitude questions, he definitely would go in the top 12.  Washington takes him with their second first-round pick.
29OttawaJoakim AnderssonCOttawa is well known for going overseas to select their players. Andersson can play center or wing and the team needs depth at the wings.
30EdmontonDana TyrellC/RWEdmonton loves its blue collar players and Dana Tyrell of the Prince George Cougars definitely fits the bill. At 5’10 and 185 lbs he’s not big but he’s tenacious and accountable at both ends of the ice. His aggressive style is attractive to a team looking for energy players that can contribute offensively and Tyrell’s 30 goals and 56 points as a rookie in the WHL cannot go unnoticed.

Copyright 2007 Hockey’s Future.  Do not reprint or otherwise duplicate without permission of the editorial staff.