TheGP’s 2011 NHL Draft summary

The 2011 NHL Entry Draft has come and gone and the order in which it all went down wasn’t too far off what we predicted prior to the event in these very pages – for starters at least.

TheGP‘s NHL Mock Draft accurately called the first four selections with flair before the New York Islanders took a flyer on Ryan Strome at No. 5, throwing a wrench in the whole procedure.

It was a chaotic affair with a series of trades on and leading up to the big night that made for must watch television for both the casual NHL fan and die hard draftnik alike. We saw prospects soar up the Draft board – like Mark Scheifele, seventh overall to the Jets – and we saw others see their stock take a dip.

It wasn’t long ago when Sean Couturier was widely touted as the top prospect in the 2011 class. By the time the Draft came along, however, seven teams disagreed. Couturier went eighth overall to the Philadelphia Flyers with the pick that Paul Holmgren nabbed off the Columbus Blue Jackets in the Jeff Carter deal the day prior – still with us?

It may be a while before we see a lot of these players play a full season in the NHL, but there are a few who are more than capable of pulling off such a feat. Is Colorado Avalanche No. 2 choice Gabriel Landeskog one of the few? It seems quite likely.

Be sure to stick around The Good Point this offseason for your fix of NHL feature stories. The summer can be a dark, lonely place without it.

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No. 1 — Edmonton Oilers
Nugent-Hopkins, Ryan (C)
Red Deer Rebels | Burnaby, BC, Canada
6’0″ | 155 lbs. | April 12, 1993
2010-11: 69 GP, 31 G, 75 A, 106 PTS, 51 PIM, +29

TheGP Hockey Staff:

The Oilers are now the proud owners of a prospect that was atop virtually all GMs’ lists. With his slick hands, vision and overall poise with the puck, RNH is a killer first-overall selection that was certainly a “best player available” selection.

TheGP and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Jan. 2011
TheGP and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Dec. 2010

Expert’s Take:

“Ryan is one of the most dynamic talents in this year’s draft. His calling cards are his vision and his hands. He’s skinny right now and may go back to junior, but that shouldn’t matter when it comes to overall value.”

Ryan Kennedy, Writer/Editor, The Hockey News

 

No. 2 — Colorado Avalanche
Landeskog, Gabriel (RW)
Kitchener Rangers | Stockholm, Sweden
6’0″ | 201 lbs. | November 23, 1992
2010-11: 53 GP, 36 G, 30 A, 66 PTS, 61 PIM, +27

TheGP Hockey Staff:

In Landeskog, the Avalanche and their faithful are receiving a player whose leadership skills are parallel with his tangible talents. He is said to be the next Mike Richards and it’s hard to argue otherwise when Landeskog is so highly touted in all aspects of the game.

TheGP and Gabriel Landeskog – Jun. 2011
TheGP and Gabriel Landeskog – Dec. 2010

Expert’s Take:

“Gabriel is a strong physical player with great hands. He is very dangerous around the net and battles hard up and down the boards. He is a key situation player with tons of upside, including leadership skills.”

Ed Burkholder, Director of Player Personnel/Head Scout, Toledo Walleye

 

No. 3 — Florida Panthers
Huberdeau, Jonathan (C)
Saint John Sea Dogs | St. Jerome, QC, Canada
6’1″ | 171 lbs. | June 4, 1993
2010-11: 67 GP, 43 G, 62 A, 105 PTS, 88 PIM, +59

TheGP Hockey Staff:

The Memorial Cup champion is officially moving south. In Miami, he’ll have a chance to glisten as a gifted two-way threat like fellow Frenchman and Sunbelt player, Vincent Lecavalier. This could be the beginning of something special for a miserable Panthers franchise.

TheGP and Jonathan Huberdeau – Jun. 2011
TheGP and Jonathan Huberdeau – Jan. 2011

Expert’s Take:

“Jonathan displays elite level hockey sense and the ability to process information under duress. His puck movement and shooting ability projects him to become a top-two line NHL forward one day.”

Shane Malloy, Author, The Art of Scouting

 

No. 4 — New Jersey Devils
Larsson, Adam (D)
Skelleftea AIK | Skelleftea, Sweden
6’2″ | 209 lbs. | November 12, 1992
2010-11: 37 GP, 1 G, 8 A, 9 PTS, 41 PIM, +12

TheGP Hockey Staff:

He could have gone first overall but somehow Larsson slipped to the four-spot. Devils fans should be thrilled, however, as he is arguably the most NHL-ready player in the draft – a projected No.1 d-man who could bring home a Norris 10 years down the road.

Expert’s Take:

“Adam is an all-around defender with a complete package of both offensive and defensive abilities. He has the potential to be a No. 1 d-man in the NHL. The maturity he has as a player is second to none, so it’s hard to find a downfall.”

Mark Edwards, Founder/Head Scout, HockeyProspect.com

 

No. 5 — New York Islanders
Strome, Ryan (C)
Niagara IceDogs | Mississauga, ON, Canada
6’1″ | 183 lbs. | July 11, 1993
2010-11: 65 GP, 33 G, 73 A, 106 PTS, 82 PIM, +28

TheGP Hockey Staff:

Seen as one of the draft’s surprises, when the Islanders picked Strome it was a slight shocker. They grabbed the 106-point man a couple spots ahead of where he was thought to be going. Nevertheless, he will be Tavares’ right-hand man in the very near future.

TheGP and Ryan Strome – Mar. 2011

Expert’s Take:

“Ryan’s growth potential is off the charts and NHL teams know it. He is a gifted hockey player that is offensively brilliant and defensively responsible. He couples these skills with a willingness to win and tremendous playmaking abilities.”

Ed Burkholder, Director of Player Personnel/Head Scout, Toledo Walleye

 

No. 6 — Ottawa Senators
Zibanejad, Mika (C)
Djurgardens IF | Huddinge, Sweden
6’2″ | 192 lbs. | April 18, 1993
2010-11: 26 GP, 5 G, 4 A, 9 PTS, 2 PIM, +1

TheGP Hockey Staff:

Going to Ottawa is Swede Zibanejad, who is praised for his NHL power forward potential. Senators fans should rejoice because they’re inheriting a prime prospect that was looked over by many experts. Expect him in the red, white and black for the start of the 2012-13 season.

Expert’s Take:

“Mika’s NHL translation is a power forward with scoring ability. His compete level is high end. His skating stride is far from perfect but should not hold him back.”

Mark Edwards, Founder/Head Scout, HockeyProspect.com

 

No. 7 — Winnipeg Jets
Scheifele, Mark (C)
Barrie Colts | Kitchener, ON, Canada
6’3″ | 175 lbs. | March 15, 1993
2010-11: 66 GP, 22 G, 53 A, 75 PTS, 35 PIM, -22

TheGP Hockey Staff:

As the tradmark surprise pick of the first-round, Scheifele brings some seriously soft hands to the Winnipeg Jets franchise. Although knocked for his subpar skating ability and size, the centerman will come around eventually into a solid first- or second-liner in the NHL.

 

No. 8 — Philadelphia Flyers
Couturier, Sean (C)
Drummondville Voltigeurs | Bathurst, NB, Canada
6’4″ | 191 lbs. | December 7, 1992
2010-11: 58 GP, 36 G, 60 A, 96 PTS, 36 PIM, +55

TheGP Hockey Staff:

Heading into the 2010-11 season, Couturier was more-or-less the consensus pick for first overall in the upcoming draft. An even-keel year in terms of product dropped his value a tad and apparently more on draft day. Regardless, the Flyers are getting a star in the making.

TheGP and Sean Couturier – Feb. 2011

Expert’s Take:

“Sean has outstanding hands that make everyone around him better. His hockey sense is elite but first-step quickness is an issue. He has a hard time with quick stops and starts but with some improvement in his mechanics, should be OK eventually.”

Kirk Luedeke, Prospects Writer, New England Hockey Journal

 

No. 9 — Boston Bruins
Hamilton, Dougie (D)
Niagara IceDogs | Toronto, ON, Canada
6’4″ | 193 lbs. | June 17, 1993
2010-11: 67 GP, 12 G, 46 A, 58 PTS, 77 PIM, +35

TheGP Hockey Staff:

As the second Hamilton in as many years getting drafted to the NHL, Dougie is not fazed by much. The newest Boston Bruin needs to fill out his frame and become a little more dependable in order to be considered the all-around defenceman that he’s expected to be.

TheGP and Dougie Hamilton – Feb. 2011

Expert’s Take:

“Dougie is a fluent, puck-moving defenceman that will be dedicated to adding on the pounds this summer, ultimately making him even more of an athlete than he is now. His vision to look for the open man is second to none.”

Brandon Sudeyko, Founder/Host, In the O

 

No. 10 — Minnesota Wild
Brodin, Jonas (D)
Farjestads BK | Karlstad, Sweden
6’0″ | 172 lbs. | July 12, 1993
2010-11: 42 GP, 0 G, 4 A, 4 PTS, 12 PIM, +6

TheGP Hockey Staff:

Brodin was a prospect that was thrown around the entire first-round in various mock drafts. Since he is officially Wild property, the speculation can now halt and hockey followers can now focus on his elite level talents rather than guessing what he offers.

Expert’s Take:

“At this point Brodin will not wow you with his offensive production. However, the wow-factor is definitely there in the minds of NHL scouts who covet his smooth skating, great hockey sense, unparalleled composure, pinpoint passing, defensive acumen and willingness to play a physical game when necessary.”

Chris Ralph, Prospects Analyst, The Hockey Writers

 

No. 11 — Colorado Avalanche
Siemens, Duncan (D)
Saskatoon Blades | Sherwood Park, AB, Canada
6’3″ | 192 lbs. | September 7, 1993
2010-11: 72 GP, 5 G, 38 A, 43 PTS, 121 PIM, +40

TheGP Hockey Staff:

Bold Siemens will surely complement the Avalanche’s first pick as they both bring a degree of toughness that can automatically translate to the NHL. While he’s not NHL-ready per se, the newest Mile High resident will be knocking on the door in training camp with his booming hits.

TheGP and Duncan Siemens – May 2011

Expert’s Take:

“Duncan brings a physical game from the back end; toughness is his middle name. He has a sandpaper edge to his game, but needs to improve on his awareness and positioning in his own zone.”

Mark Edwards, Founder/Head Scout, HockeyProspect.com

 

No. 12 — Carolina Hurricanes
Murphy, Ryan (D)
Kitchener Rangers | Aurora, ON, Canada
5’11” | 176 lbs. | March 31, 1993
2010-11: 63 GP, 26 G, 53 A, 79 PTS, 36 PIM, +22

TheGP Hockey Staff:

Murphy was continually criticized not only during the draft period but also throughout the season for his lack of size and one-dimensional package. The Hurricanes certainly didn’t buy in and are now the proud owners of an exceptional d-man prospect.

TheGP and Ryan Murphy – Jun. 2011

Expert’s Take:

“Ryan has strong offensive talent, excellent skating, a cannon of a shot and the ability to run a team’s power-play. Simply put, he makes plays that others can’t. At the same time, learning that the safe play can be the best option is something he needs to improve upon.”

Jon Abbott, Host, Team 1200

 

No. 13 — Calgary Flames
Bartschi, Sven (LW)
Portland Winterhawks | Langenthal, Switzerland
5’10” | 185 lbs. | October 5, 1992
2010-11: 66 GP, 34 G, 51 A, 85 PTS, 74 PIM, +23

TheGP Hockey Staff:

Sniping is Bartschi’s strongest attribute and the Flames need plenty of it as usual. He will likely develop into a solid second-line left winger who has a knack for the net and is not afraid to dig in the corners.

Expert’s Take:

“Sven is one of the draft’s natural scorers. He has the hands and hockey sense to get into scoring position and is a consistent and dangerous threat. He was a total perimeter player at the World Junior Hockey Championship, but played better in the WHL.”

Kirk Luedeke, Prospects Writer, New England Hockey Journal

 

No. 14 — Chicago Blackhawks
Oleksiak, Jamie (D)
Northeastern University | Toronto, ON, Canada
6’7″ | 240 lbs. | December 21, 1992
2010-11: 38 GP, 4 G, 9 A, 13 PTS, 57 PIM, +13

TheGP Hockey Staff:

As the Draft’s largest specimen, Oleksiak brings massive size and an ability to move the puck to his forwards. Even though he weighs more and stands taller than every other first-rounder, Oleksiak’s skill set will be very beneficial to the Stars’ system.

TheGP and Jamie Oleksiak – Jun. 2011

Expert’s Take:

“Jamie is a unique physical package at 6’7″ but, unlike some cases of huge defencemen, the rest of his game isn’t dragged down. He looks to be a second pairing defender, but there has been a lot of variance in his projected development.”

Corey Pronman, Prospects Writer, Hockey Prospectus

 

No. 15 — New York Rangers
Miller, J.T. (LW)
USNDT | East Palestine, ON, United States of America
6’1″ | 190 lbs. | March 14, 1993
2010-11: 21 GP, 3 G, 12 A, 15 PTS, 48 PIM, +4

TheGP Hockey Staff:

Known as a team player and the hardest worker on every team he’s played for, Miller will be a great addition to the Rangers’ dressing room down the road. He has shown that he can play with the big boys at international tournaments so a jump to the next level shouldn’t be too far off.

Expert’s Take:

“Bring size and grit to any team needing a guy that works in the dirty areas. Could score more, but that’s even tough to say considering he does everything else imaginable.”

Ryan Clark, Reporter, The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead

 

No. 16 — Buffalo Sabres
Armia, Joel (RW)
Assat Pori | Pori, Finland
6’3″ | 187 lbs. | May 31, 1993
2010-11: 48 GP, 18 G, 11 A, 29 PTS, 24 PIM, +9

TheGP Hockey Staff:

The Finn likes to shoot, has the right body type to dominate the NHL and encompasses a fair amount of skill. Armia, the Sabres’ first-round choice, is joining a squad who desperately needs his package. It won’t happen instantly but there’s plenty of time to wait.

Expert’s Take:

“Joel is a guy who wants to have the puck on his stick. When he gets it, he utilizes good protection skills and might just develop into the best pure goal scorer from this year’s draft crop. Conversely, he does have some work to do to get to that point.”

Chris Ralph, Prospects Analyst, The Hockey Writers

 

No. 17 — Montreal Canadiens
Beaulieu, Nathan (D)
Saint John Sea Dogs | Strathroy, ON, Canada
6’3″ | 191 lbs. | December 5, 1992
2010-11: 65 GP, 12 G, 33 A, 45 PTS, 52 PIM, +44

TheGP Hockey Staff:

Drafted a half dozen spots before most had him slotted, Beaulieu may have been somewhat overpassed. Canadiens fans should rejoice though because they just upped their system’s depth in defenceman with a the far-reaching package Beaulieu brings.

TheGP and Nathan Beaulieu – Jun. 2011

Expert’s Take:

“Nathan is a smooth-skating, puck-moving defenceman with NHL offensive upside. Once he improves his play without the puck and gains the appropriate core strength he could develop into a top-four NHL defenceman.”

Shane Malloy, Author, The Art of Scouting

 

No. 18 — Chicago Blackhawks
McNeill, Mark (C)
Prince Albert Raiders | Edmonton, AB, Canada
6’2″ | 210 lbs. | February 22, 1993
2010-11: 70 GP, 32 G, 49 A, 81 PTS, 53 PIM, -4

TheGP Hockey Staff:

A force to be reckoned with in the corners and along the half-boards, the newest Blackhawk is a beauty. McNeill is a hard-nosed, sizable player that will be an incredibly solid depth player for Chicago in a couple years.

TheGP and Mark McNeill – May 2011

Expert’s Take:

“Mark is a power center who brings a good two-way game with a physical edge and the potential to be a top-six forward in the NHL. His physical maturation is far ahead of the majority of his peers.”

Kirk Luedeke, Prospects Writer, New England Hockey Journal

 

No. 19 — Edmonton Oilers
Klefbom, Oscar (D)
Farjestads BK | Karlstad, Sweden
6’2″ | 201 lbs. | July 20, 1993
2010-11: 23 GP, 1 G, 1 A, 2 PTS, 2 PIM, +1

TheGP Hockey Staff:

As the Oilers’ second selection in the draft, Klefbom will always be known as the “one after RNH.” It’s a label that will light a fire under the young Swede. He brings a two-way defending game to the table, which will prove to be very advantageous to Edmonton eventually.

Expert’s Take:

“Oscar is an explosive puck rusher. His skating tool is great and when he gets going in a straight line he has top-tier speed. He’s very raw and, thus, has a lot of improvements to make his defensive game, decisions with the puck and overall awareness.”

Corey Pronman, Prospects Writer, Hockey Prospectus

 

No. 20 — Phoenix Coyotes
Murphy, Connor (D)
USNDT | Dublin, OH, United States of America
6’3″ | 185 lbs. | March 26 , 1993
2010-11: 9 GP, 3 G, 1 A, 4 PTS, 6 PIM, -6

TheGP Hockey Staff:

Murphy is heading to not only the Miami University, but the Coyotes as well. He’s joining a squad that is very much in need of an identity. If they’re looking to become a defence-minded club, Murphy is the right fit. He’s said to be shutdown blue-liner with size.

 

No. 21 — Ottawa Senators
Noesen, Stefan (RW)
Plymouth Whalers | Plano, Texas, United States of America
6’1″ | 193 lbs. | February 12, 1993
2010-11: 68 GP, 34 G, 43 A, 77 PTS, 80 PIM, -14

TheGP Hockey Staff:

Noesen, a Texan, is a big-bodied winger who will fit in well with a somewhat undersized Senators forward group. While he needs a couple seasons to develop, his current skating ability is enviable.

 

No. 22 — Toronto Maple Leafs
Biggs, Tyler (RW)
USNDT | Cincinnati, OH, United States of America
6’2″ | 200 lbs. | April 30, 1993
2010-11: 20 GP, 7 G, 4 A, 11 PTS, 41 PIM, +8

TheGP Hockey Staff:

Another first-round wonder, the Maple Leafs traded up to snatch Biggs. While many think he would be available when their original pick came around, there is obviously something to be said for the initiative Toronto took to get him. Biggs brings a game that focuses more on pain than offensive gain.

Expert’s Take:

“He has a tremendous physical game but low offensive upside and is very bad in the possession game.”

Corey Pronman, Prospects Writer, Hockey Prospectus

 

No. 23 — Pittsburgh Penguins
Morrow, Joe (D)
Portland Winterhawks | Sherwood Park, AB, Canada
6’1″ | 198 lbs. | Dec. 9, 1992
2010-11: 60 GP, 9 G, 40 A, 49 PTS, 67 PIM, +23

TheGP Hockey Staff:

Morrow will be a decent fit for the Penguins, as his assets include a fantastic stride and a dependable first pass out of the defensive zone. He would be a welcomed addition to Pittsburgh’s power play after at least one more year of junior.

Expert’s Take:

“Joe has a cannon shot, is a great passer and exemplifies poise with the puck. What really sets him apart is his superb skating ability. Although definitely improved with respect to positioning, he must continue to develop his defensive acumen.”

Chris Ralph, Prospects Analyst, The Hockey Writers

 

No. 24 — Ottawa Senators
Puempel, Matt (LW)
Peterborough Petes | Essex, ON, Canada
6’0″ | 190 lbs. | January 24, 1993
2010-11: 55 GP, 34 G, 35 A, 69 PTS, 49 PIM, -33

TheGP Hockey Staff:

Joining Zibanejad as one of the Senators’ two first-rounders, Puempel should feel pretty swell about himself. He was asked by several teams at the Combine if his health was an issue and apparently Ottawa doesn’t think so. Puempel will bring point production and a good head on his shoulders.

Expert’s Take:

“Matt is a natural goal scorer and a very gifted offensive talent. He has demonstrated on numerous occasions he can single handedly win a game. The real question mark surrounding his development is how he’ll recover from his current hip injury.”

Jon Abbott, Host, Team 1200

 

No. 25 — Toronto Maple Leafs
Percy, Stuart (D)
Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors | Oakville, ON, Canada
6’1″ | 175 lbs. | May 18, 1993
2010-11: 64 GP, 4 G, 29 A, 33 PTS, 50 PIM, +50

TheGP Hockey Staff:

One of the top players of the Memorial Cup tournament was being watched closely by the Maple Leafs throughout the 2010-11 season. His offensive upside as a reliable defenceman is what Toronto fans should be ramped up about.

Expert’s Take:

“Stuart is one of the most poised defencemen in this year’s draft. He plays with a defence-first mentality and scouts rave about his hockey IQ.”

Scott Vankoughnett, Editor, Open Ice Hockey

 

No. 26 — Chicago Blackhawks
Danault, Phillip (LW)
Victoriaville Tigres | Victoriaville, QC, Canada
5’11” | 162 lbs. | February 24, 1993
2010-11: 64 GP, 23 G, 44 A, 67 PTS, 59 PIM, +17

TheGP Hockey Staff:

Left off a plethora of draft lists, Danault is a pass-first forward who will capitalize on opponents’ mistakes at the drop of a hat. The Blackhawks, with their second selection in the first round, are getting a prospect that needs to put on considerable weight in the summer.

 

No. 27 — Tampa Bay Lightning
Namestnikov, Vladislav (C)
London Knights | Voskresensk, Russia
6’0″ | 170 lbs. | November 22, 1992
2010-11: 68 GP, 30 G, 38 A, 68 PTS, 49 PIM, +12

TheGP Hockey Staff:

A Russian who has played in North American most of his life, Namestnikov has the upper hand over fellow Europeans who are forced to move overseas to pursue their NHL dreams. He’s going to be an offensive dynamo for the Lightning one day, it’s just a matter of when now.

Expert’s Take:

“Has the foot speed to separate from his opponent. Creative with the puck; playmaker by nature.”

Brandon Sudeyko, Founder/Host, In the O

 

No. 28 — Minnesota Wild
Phillips, Zack (C)
Saint John Sea Dogs | Fredericton, NB, Canada
6’0″ | 180 lbs. | October 28, 1992
2010-11: 67 GP, 38 G, 57 A, 95 PTS, 16 PIM, +48

TheGP Hockey Staff:

As a comparatively poor skater, the Minnesota Wild coaching staff is in for a project over the next couple years. However, aside from his wheels there’s not much to dislike about Phillips. He’s got the tenacity of a grinder but the scoring touch of a proven playmaker.

Expert’s Take:

“Zack is a tough-minded skills guy who wins a lot of puck battles and seems to be very good with getting open and with making difficult passes. It is fair to wonder if his numbers were goosed by playing on a stacked Sea Dogs team.”

Neate Sager, Junior Hockey Blogger, Yahoo! Canada Sports

 

No. 29 — Vancouver Canucks
Jensen, Nicklas (RW)
Oshawa Generals | Herning, Denmark
6’3″ | 186 lbs. | March 6, 1993
2010-11: 61 GP, 29 G, 29 A, 58 PTS, 42 PIM, +14

TheGP Hockey Staff:

According to a number of draft gurus, Jensen was supposed to be selected after his teammate Boone Jenner. However, the Vancouver Canucks had a different mindset than most. They chose the Dane with confidence because they believe in his well-rounded package.

TheGP and Nicklas Jensen – Apr. 2011

Expert’s Take:

“Nicklas is a crafty, game-breaking speedster whose size and speed make him a threat no matter where he is on the ice. He needs to be more consistent with his play and stronger on the puck.”

Anthony Nicholson, Sports Editor, News 24

 

No. 30 — Anaheim Ducks
Rakell, Rickard (RW)
Plymouth Whalers | Sollentuna, Sweden
6’1″ | 185 lbs. | May 5, 1993
2010-11: 49 GP, 19 G, 24 A, 43 PTS, 12 PIM, +14

TheGP Hockey Staff:

Even though he only has a single year of North American hockey under his belt, Rakell will fit in just fine in the Ducks’ system. His responsible mindset in his own zone and relentless forechecking is likely what lured Anaheim in.

Expert’s Take:

“Bigger center; good two-way pivot. Good vision and competitor. Played well at World Junior Hockey Championship for Swedes.”

Jason Brooks, Former General Manager/Head Coach, Guelph Storm

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