The hockey wings of the SB Nation Megaverse are running a mock draft. Three picks are being made a day, with the master list running through James Mirtle's From the Rink. He'll update the list each day with the next picks and links to each blog's rationale. Today, it's our turn.
When I was informed that SB Nation was going to have a mock draft I was excited. I wanted to be prepared so I quickly started to research the potential picks and I quickly fell in love with one player in particular. Before I give you our pick I will remind you of the 12 players that have already been selected.
|#||Team||Pick||Blogger's notes||More analysis:|
|1||N.Y.||John Tavares, London (OHL)||The sexy pick, the consensus pick, the right pick. He's what this team and franchise needs most. Get ready for "Islanders goal scored by #91..." because they're coming in bunches.||Lighthouse Hockey|
|2||Tampa Bay||Victor Hedman, Modo (Swe)||A boy playing among men in the Swedish Elite League (and thriving) the past two seasons, Hedman starts immediately on the TB blueline and can contribute at both ends of the ice.||Raw Charge|
|3||Colorado||Matt Duchene, Brampton (OHL)||No big surprise here; we’ll take whichever of the big 3 is available and immediately offer them a position as GM & coach.||Mile High Hockey|
|4||Atlanta||Evander Kane, Vancouver (WHL)||Named after Atlanta boxing legend Evander Holyfield, Kane adds some scoring punch to Atlanta's top six — perhaps as early as this fall.||Bird Watchers Anonymous|
|5||Los Angeles||Braydon Schenn, Brandon (WHL)||Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson is the popular pick here, seeing as how the
need a left winger badly, but I'm counting on Dean Lombardi's love of grit and distaste for Swedes to influence his decision here. Plus, I really wanted to upset Toronto fans.||Battle of California|
|6||Phoenix||Jared Cowen, Spokane (WHL)
||Theare deep on forward prospects and badly need young defensemen. Cowen is a beast who could play in the NHL very soon if his recently repaired knee doesn't hamper him.||Five For Howling|
|7||Toronto||Magnus Pääjärvi-Svensson, Timra IK (Swe)
||Most of Canada already hates him, so he'll fit in just fine. Plus he provides the high-end Swedish forward that the Leafs have been missing since last April.||Pension Plan Puppets|
|8||Dallas||Oliver Ekman-Larssen, Leksand IF (Swe-2)
||Dallas is fortunate to not only
draft the best player available but also pick a defenseman that fills
a glaring need in the ' system.
|Defending Big D|
|9||Ottawa||Nazem Kadri, London (OHL)
||With Ottawa's recent emphasis on drafting skilled defencemen, Kadri gives thea good skilled forward to fill out the team's development systems — maybe even one of those ever-elusive top-six forwards.||Silver Seven|
|10||Edmonton||Ryan Ellis, Windsor (OHL)||No 17-year old defensemen has ever led the OHL in assists — not even Bobby Orr. That is, no one has done it until Ryan Ellis did this year. The only thing keeping him out of the top three is his height.||Copper & Blue|
|11||Nashville||Jordan Schroeder, University of Minnesota (NCAA)
||He may be short in stature, but he's long on talent and strength. Just as he played alongside Colin Wilson at the World Juniors, he projects to be the next top Predators prospect to come out of collegiate hockey.||On The Forecheck|
|12||Minnesota||Zach Budish, Edina Minnesota (USHS)
||After missing last season for the Hornets with a torn ACL from his football playing days, Budish has added size and strength during his rehab. Now at 6'3" and 229 pounds, Budish is the type of power forward the Wild have always lacked.||Hockey Wilderness|
To see the pick revealed just follow the jump.
It's finally time for the Buffalo Sabres selection in the SB Nation Mock Draft. There have been 12 players selected already but the guy we targeted since the beginning is still available. Die by the Blade selects Right Wing from the Peterborough Petes of the Ontario Hockey League Zack Kassian.
Kassian was the player we targeted because he is everything that the Sabres are not but need to be. He is a big, strong kid that plays with a mean streak. The Sabres have been on the hunt for a player like Kassian for years.
The Sabres have some tough players on the roster but they don't have many tough players among their prospects. Players like Gaustad, Mair and Kaleta play on the edge but their offensive potential is limited. Kassian may never become an offensive force in the league but he has the potential to be a top six forward if he develops the way some think he will. He scored 24 goals and was a point per game player in the OHL this season. He is still 18 years-old and has ample time to hone his offensive skills.
Kassian is not only a big strong kid that has a good offensive upside but he will drop the gloves as well. The Sabres have been criticized for not being tough enough. The biggest example was Ryan Miller getting hit by Scott Gomez while his teammates stood and watched. Kassian is the type of player that will take on all comers. Check out his fight card at hockeyfights.com.
The Sabres have not been known as a team that plays their rookies right away but this year could be different. With the signing of Tyler Myers he could be in the lineup. If they draft Kassian he could be ready to play immediately in the NHL.