Steve’s Ridiculous NHL Mock Draft

I’ve read at least a half-dozen mock drafts for tomorrow’s NHL Entry Draft. All of them are very clean and neat. No one will make any trades. No owners are going to meddle in draft choices and leave everyone scratching their heads. Well, let’s face it, we don’t live in the utopian world that most mock drafts exist in. That’s why I’ve decided to do a mock draft based not on the best players or who would fit best with a team but based on who is doing the drafting.

Since I know very little about the players in the draft, I’ll cap this at the top ten. That doesn’t mean there won’t be some interesting results.

1. New York Islanders – Matt Duchene (C)
I’m sure you’ve heard it all before: There’s not a lot to pick between the top three prospects. Duchene is a complete player and a leader and a fast skater. What you haven’t heard is that Charles Wang is insane. He also seems to want off Long Island. Nothing would secure that faster than announce to show up to your 15,000 strong draft party and say “Heeeeere’s Matty!” Duchene is a keeper, that’s for sure. It’s just that he’s no Johnny T or Victor… Vic Hedman.

TRADE ALERT:
To Montreal – Vinny Lecavalier
To Toronto – Tampa’s 1st Round Draft Pick (2nd overall)
To Tampa – Tomas Kaberle (TOR), Jiri Tlusty (TOR), Toronto’s 1st Round Draft Pick (7th), Montreal’s 1st Round Pick (18th), Matt D’Agostini (MON), the Ghost of Mats Sundin
Terribly likely or realistic? No. Best case scenario for all involved? Yes. The Leafs get their pick and lose the looming shadow of failure (Sundin’s ghost). The Lightning dump salary, get a puck-moving defenseman, and build a young core of players. The Habs get Vinny without losing their only defenseman left that I can name. Everybody wins.

2. Toronto Maple Leafs – John Tavares (C)
Wang will open the door for a Burkey blockbuster. He’ll get his hands on Tavares and becomes the hero of Toronto. People will dive back on to the Leafs bandwagon with reckless abandon because their saviour has arrived. Now they need a puck moving defenseman and all is right with the world. As for Johnny T, he’s not the best skater in the world but he does have hockey sense in spades. I’ve never seen anyone who seems to be in the right place at the right time as often as Johnny. That and he has a pretty good shot. It won’t be too many years before he gets a healthy tan from the red light.

3. Colorado Avalanche – Victor Hedman (D)
No, they don’t get their young Joe Sakic doppelganger. Instead, they get the guy that will likely be the biggest impact player from the top three. The smooth skating Swede is my number one pick, and while I’d like him to fall to #29, I doubt that would happen. The Avs have the easiest job at the draft. They’ll just take whoever is left and they have a solid contributor for years to come.

4. Atlanta Thrashers – Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson (LW)
Try saying that five times fast. Or even once. MPS is considered a top five player and since the Kings haven’t hidden their preferred pick, he fits in nicely here. I don’t know much about him except that he’s fast. The only question I have: Is he Luis Mendoza fast?

5. Los Angeles Kings – Brayden Schenn (C)
The other of the Brothers Schenn. He’s a good two-way player and plays a gritty style. If Burkey doesn’t get his hands on Johnny T, he’ll be going after Schenn. Ottawa is also interested in Schenn and are offering Dany Heatley for this pick. Though I don’t think they’re as interested in Schenn as they are in getting rid of Heatley. I don’t see that deal happening because Heatley comes with a high salary and associated baggage while Schenn doesn’t. Heatley also has a rare condition called “defensophobia” which is the fear of attempting or executing a defensive play and/or entering one’s defensive area of the playing surface.

6. Phoenix Coyotes – Jared Cowen (D)
Anonymous sources tell The Lowdown Blog that Jerry Moyes is trying to sell this pick to Jim Balsillie. If they can’t work out a deal with the judge by Friday afternoon, this will likely go to auction. Or they could just pick Cowen. I figure Cowen is the best bet because I can’t name any Coyotes blueliners (apart from Jovo) but I can name an owner and a couple of interested buyers of the Coyotes. Doesn’t say much about me or the team when I can’t name multiple defensemen in their lineup. At 6’5″ and 220 lbs., he can, at the very least, intimidate Balsillie out of buying the team.

7. Tampa Bay Lightning – Ryan Ellis (D)
Most people say that this is too high for the small Canadian defenseman. But a friend of mine says that he is one of the most amazing players that he has seen and was the class of the Canadian World Juniors team. And it just so happens that the Bolts need blueliners. It makes sense that if you could have used Hedman but passed, why not go for his much smaller Canadian equivalent? Besides, owners Len Barrie and Oren Koules are at each other’s throats so they don’t have any say since they’ll just bicker until the clock runs out on them. This is Coach Tocchet’s decision and he likes to gamble.

8. Dallas Stars – Evander Kane (C)
This one is a wild card because we have a rookie GM calling the shots in Big D. At this point, I’ll toss in the highest ranked name from the general consensus that I’ve gathered from people who are paid to do this stuff. Note that he shouldn’t be confused with the professional wrestler of the similar name. Though they do have similar styles. Both are very competitive and are willing to mix it up with everyone. Other than that, Hockey Kane is 6’1″, 176 lbs. and burns people with speed and scoring. Wrestling Kane is 7’0″, 323 lbs. and burns people with real fire. I’m not entirely sure that Evander is the better Kane to pick.

9. Ottawa Senators – Nazem Kadri (C)
There’s a bit of London bias here from spending four years at school in London. Kadri is a good offensive player and can play on the wing. Both of these are critical because Bryan Murray (no relation) is trying to get rid of that Heatley guy. I’m sure that Ottawa would prefer to take a puck-moving defenseman like a Ryan Ellis but when your star puts you in a tough spot, you got to deal with that first.

10. Edmonton Oilers – Dmitry Kulikov (D)
This pick works for two reasons: 1) I’ve always thought Pat Quinn was a bit more defensive-minded a coach, and 2) He’s a Russian. Quinn loves foreigners, though not necessarily Foreigner. Kulikov is offensive-minded but does play a solid all-around game. He’s a good start when looking for a Souray replacement when his wife decides she wants out of Edmonton.

TRADE ALERT:
To Philadelphia – Rights to Jay Bouwmeester
To Florida – Joffrey Lupul, 2009 2nd Round Draft Pick, 2010 Conditional Draft Pick, Crate of Aspirin, Jacques Martin Voodoo Doll

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