Welcome to the The Morning Skate: Mock Draft Edition. We will be taking a look through mock draft after mock draft and evaluate who was selected for the Columbus Blue Jackets. Not 100% sure you know this yet, but the draft is on Sunday….in all seriousness I am super excited about the draft, and I know you are too. One last thing before the mock draft madness begins, be sure to be following us on twitter (@UnionandBlue), we will be tweeting live from the draft on Sunday!
I want to start off by going over the 2013 NHL Fansided Mock Draft, where we had the chance to be the GM and make our own selections. With the 14th overall pick I selected defensemen Ryan Pulock from the Brandon Wheat Kings of the WHL.
The 6-foot, 211-pound blueliner offers one of the best shots of the entire draft; enjoys a physical game
With the 19th overall pick in the 2013 NHL Fansided Mock Draft, I selected forward Alexander Wennberg from Djurgarden IF Stovkholm of the Swedish Allvenskan League. CBJ Today highlighted Wennberg in one of their NHL Draft Profile‘s…
Wennberg is a shifty player who possess an active stick and alert hockey sense. He can read players to make poke checks and take pucks off opponents’ sticks in the blink of an eye. Once he takes the puck, good luck catching him. He is definitely one of the better skaters available in the draft with explosive speed and acceleration.
Finally, with the 27th overall pick in the 2013 NHL Fansided Mock Draft, I selected winger Ryan Hartman from the Plymouth Whalers of the OHL. CBJ Today’s Draft Profile had this to say about Hartman and his abilities…
Hartman’s greatest strength is his two-way ability. He has quick acceleration and good top-end speed that helps him scale the ice at an impressive pace. His lateral agility and edgework are excellent, which allow him to avoid checks and make plays in the offensive zone. With his balance and skating strength, Hartman is dangerous with the puck and makes it hard for players to take the puck off his stick.
Adam Kimelman from NHL.com chose these three players for the Blue Jackets:
Ryan Pulock, D, Brandon (WHL)
Good size and already possess an NHL-caliber shot; showed toughness in battling through a few serious injuries.
Mirco Mueller, D, Everett (WHL)
Swiss import was helped in North American adjustment by Blue Jackets prospect Ryan Murray.
Curtis Lazar, C/RW, Edmonton (WHL)
Versatile and skilled, and already has shown he can excel on the big stage — has 30 points in 42 WHL playoff games past two seasons.
I like the Ryan Pulock at #14 selection, as well as Curtis Lazar at #27. I am hoping Columbus can find a steal at #19, not saying Mueller isnt, but I am hoping Columbus goes for two forwards and one defenseman in the first round.
Mike G. Morreale, staff writer for NHL.com, selected these three players for Columbus:
Valentin Zykov, LW , Baie-Comeau (QMJHL)
The Blue Jackets have a few options with three first-round picks, and the leading point scorer among QMJHL rookies makes the most sense. The 5-11.75, 209-pound right-handed shot had 40 goals and 75 points in 67 games.
Zach Nastasiuk, RW, Owen Sound (OHL)
If the Jackets opt to continue filling the cupboard with solid offensive talent, they could look to the 6-1.25, 190-pound Nastasiuk. A potential second-line power forward who exceled as a penalty-killer this season, he has good offensive awareness and speed off the transition. He had 20 goals and 40 points in 62 games.
Robert Hagg, D, Modo Jr. (SWE-JR)
Two-way defender is strong, aggressive and capable of unleashing a good, accurate shot from the point. He was one of the surprise performers for silver medal-winning Sweden at the 2013 WJC, playing a very consistent and controlled game.
This is more of what I was thinking for the Blue Jackets selection wise, picking two offensive players with the higher picks and then still nabbing a solid defenseman with the late pick at #27.
Steven Hoffner also weighs in on the Mock Draft via NHL.com, his draft picks for CBJ are as follows:
Ryan Hartman, RW, Plymouth (OHL)
Hurt toward end of the season, but he’s a deceptive goal-scorer and plays tough.
Alexander Wennberg, C, Djurgarden (SWE)
Possesses high-finesse game, and new GM Jarmo Kekalainen should have a solid feel for the top European talent.
Morgan Klimchuk, LW, Regina (WHL)
Had a great World Under-18 tournament and could be a nice addition to Jackets’ third or fourth line.
I am really liking these three picks, all forwards. There is a wide range of abilities that the Blue Jackets would gain with these three picks; Physical play, finesse, and hard work and dedication. Solid three picks, I think Columbus fans would be very excited if that was the way the draft went.
Well, we have discussed four different Mock Draft scenarios…..which one do you like the best? What players do you think would fit best in Columbus? Share your thoughts below.