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What Would James Do? The Predators’ Draft If I Sat at the Table and FIRST ROUND MOCK DRAFT



Ah, it’s finally upon us!

This week has dragged by, like an extended Christmas Eve for a small child.  I anticipate the draft in much the same way that I used to look forward to that magical December morning, visions of fun new toys replaced by visions of exciting new prospects.

As I’ve said many times, this draft is special in a way that doesn’t come around often.  While it’s true that we don’t know for sure the trajectory that the careers of these young players will take, scouts project this draft to be remembered in that rare “legendary” status, alongside 1979, 1984, 1988, and 2003.

Not a bad year to be picking fourth overall, in other words.  Furthermore, not a bad year to have a tied-for-league-high ten picks total.  I’ve dedicated a lot of time to discussing what I think the Predators could or should do with that first pick, but what about the other nine?  The information is plentiful and varied on the top prospects, but traditional wisdom says that good GMs and scouts make their money on the later rounds

Today, we’ll look at the way the draft would shake out if the Predators would just do the smart thing and let me make their picks for them!  Additionally, I’ll give my final idea of how I think the first round will shake out.  You can then compare and tell me what a genius/idiot I am.  How fun for everyone!

2013 Predators Draft Picks

For each pick, I will notate the overall pick for the Predators by the first number, followed by the pick’s overall number in the draft, and finally the round.  I will give a brief justification for the pick.  My method for determining who should be available isn’t scientific; I can’t predict the entire draft, so I’ll use an aggregate ranking compiled from my two favorite scouting services: ISS and McKeen’s.  If a player is ranked within 5 spots of where the Predators are picking, I consider him “highly possible to be available.”  This throws out any possibility of trading up/down  in any of the rounds, obviously.  These are simply the picks as they stand today.  You’ll see that I went a little D heavy whenever there wasn’t a clear BPA, looking to fill an organizational need.

Without further ado…

1/4/1- Aleksander Barkov – C – Tappara (Finnish Elite League)

Best player available + team need + perfect system fit.  Easy selection, Preds get their franchise center.

2/64/3- Marko Dano – C – Bratislava(Kontinental Hockey League)

Slovakia’s best player at the 2013 WJC. Deadly combination of speed and skill, could be a steal in the third round.

3/95/4- Tyler Lewington – D – Medicine Hat (WHL)

Two way defenseman with decent size, great skater that can play in all situations.

4/99/4- Will Butcher – D – USNTDP

Offensive defenseman with great vision and mobility, loads of potential as a PP QB.  Sure to be a Phil Housley favorite.  Needs to get bigger.

5/112/4 – Sven Andrighetto – RW – Rouyn-Noranda (QMJHL)

Swiss import playing in the Q has blazing speed and slick hands. His nose for the net would have him higher in the draft, but has been criticized for shying away from contact.

6/125/5 – Mitchell Wheaton – D – Kelowna (WHL)

Hulking defenseman (6’4, 230) that loves to play the body.  No offense to his game, but that’s not his role.  Punishing stay at home d-man.

7/140/5 – Dominik Kubalik – LW – Sudbury (OHL)

Versatile wing that plays in all situations and has a high degree of character.  Always in the play making things happen, reminds me a bit of Gabriel Bourque.  Czech import playing for the Wolves in the OHL.

8/155/6- Viktor Crus-Rydberg – C – Linkopings (SWE JR)

Solid two-way center, another custom-fit Nashville Predator.  Was part of silver-medal winning leadership group of Sweden’s WJC team in 2013

9/171/6- Parker Reno – D – USNTDP

Stay at home defenseman with high hockey IQ.  Needs to improve physicality and learn to use his size better.  Committed to RPI.

10/185/7 – Jorgen Karterud – LW -Valerenga (Norway)

The Predators’ last pick in the draft goes to this huge Norwegian power forward.  Karterud is a bit of a project, but has the raw tools to pay off.  Needs to gain a bit of muscle.


1. Colorado – Nathan Mackinnon – C – Halifax (QMJHL)

2. Florida – Jonathan Drouin – LW – Halifax (QMJHL)

3. Tampa Bay – Seth Jones – D – Portland (WHL)

4. Nashville – Aleksander Barkov – C – Tappara (FEL)

5. Carolina – Valeri Nichushkin – RW – Traktor (KHL)

6. Calgary – Sean Monahan – C – Ottawa (OHL)

7. Edmonton – Elias Lindholm – C – Brynas (SEL)

8. Buffalo – Darnell Nurse – D – Sault Ste Marie (OHL)

9. New Jersey – Anthony Fucale – G – Halifax (QMJHL)

10. Dallas – Hunter Shinkaruk – LW – Medicine Hat (WHL)

11. Philadelphia – Rasmus Ristolainen – D – Turku (FEL)

12. Phoenix – Bo Horvat – C – London (OHL)

13. Winnipeg – Nikita Zadorov – London (OHL)

14. Columbus Blue Jackets – Curtis Lazar – Edmonton (WHL)

15. New York Islanders – Max Domi – C – London (OHL)

16. Buffalo – Anthony Mantha – LW – Val D’or (QMJHL)

17. Ottawa Senators – Alexander Wennberg – C – Djurgaerden (SEL)

18.  Detroit – Mirco Mueller – D – Everett (WHL)

19.  Columbus – Ryan Pulock – D – Brandon (WHL)

20. San Jose – Adam Erne – RW – Quebec (QMJHL)

21. Toronto – Kerby Rychel – LW – Windsor (OHL)

22. Calgary Flames – Ryan Hartman – RW – Plymouth (OHL)

23. Washington Capitals – Samuel Morin – D – Rimouski (QMJHL)

24.  Vancouver Canucks – Ian McCoshen – D – Waterloo (USHL)

25. Montreal Canadiens – Frederik Gauthier – Rimouski (QMJHL)

26. Anaheim – Josh Morrissey – D – Prince Albert (WHL)

27. Columbus – Valentin Zykov – LW – Baie Comeau (QMJHL)

28. Calgary – Robert Hagg – D – MODO (SWE U20)

29. Dallas – Laurent Dauphin – C – Chicoutimi (QMJHL)

30. Chicago – JT Compher – C – USNTDP