For your hockey fix today, if you're able, the Memorial Cup final is this evening. In the U.S. it's televised on the NHL Network at 7 p.m. EDT. Islanders prospect Casey Cizikas captains the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors of the OHL against the Q's Saint John Sea Dogs, who are favored and feature highly regarded 2011 prospect Jonathan Huberdeau -- who could be on the table when the Islanders draft at #5 -- as well as center Zack Phillips, defenseman Nathan Beaulieu and right wing Tomas Jurco.
Speaking of the draft, which will only dominate discussion more and more as we head into June: Our community-constructed Lighthouse Hockey Mock Draft is almost a third of the way through. I want to thank everyone for putting this together and sinking your teeth into it. The draft is actually my least favorite part of the NHL year (it always feels like gamblers talking about the money they almost/will soon/should have won, guaranteed), but you all help me enjoy it more and, hopefully, prevent my draft ennui from infecting everyone.
An update on that, with some links for those still waiting to pick:
Mock Draft Picks So Far
1. Edmonton - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins C. Anarcurt started us off with what looks more and more like a consensus pick in any mock drafts.
2. Colorado - Adam Larsson D. mnroy33 eagerly gobbles up a future 1-2 complement to Erik Johnson.
3. Florida - Gabriel Landeskog RW. chrismc614 gives the Panthers the power forward they once thought they had in Nathan Horton.
4. New Jersey - Sean Couturier. nyidangle17 took control of the first Devils top pick in years to land them a big center.
5. Long Island - Dougie Hamilton D. Fabtraption had the envious yet thankless task of picking for our Isles.
6. Ottawa - Jonathan Huberdeau LW/C. OzzyFan grabs the forward many will say the Islanders should have grabbed.
7. Atlantapeg - Ryan Murphy D. With the Thrashers having loaded up on high-end forwards lately, WebBard took them back to the blueline.
8. Columbus - Ryan Strome C. Jones79 grabbed hold of the Blue Jackets and got them another high-end center for an imagined future 1-2 punch with Ryan Johansen.
9. Bahston - Duncan Siemens, D. Empire39 sees the Bruins with luxury in all areas, so he elects for the big future shutdown D-man.
That leaves us with the next pick up: risenrule is on the clock with host Minnesota...
Those Left to Pick
10 Minnesota Wild -- risenrule
11 Colorado Avalanche (from St. Louis) -- mnroy33
12 Carolina Hurricanes -- edavidmorris [this is a change from original order]
13 Calgary Flames -- [nyislanders93]
14 Dallas Stars -- metalcoconut
15 New York Rangers -- Metzfan22
16 Buffalo Sabres -- [DirtyIsle]
17 Montreal Canadiens -- pgat28
18 Chicago Blackhawks -- [Lee F]
19 Edmonton Oilers (from Los Angeles) -- Anarcurt
20 Phoenix Coyotes -- [Turgeon1992]
21 Ottawa Senators (from Nashville) -- OzzyFan
22 Anaheim Ducks -- [Dominik]
23 Pittsburgh Penguins -- [kfallon2]
24 Detroit Red Wings -- [IslesOfficial]
25 Toronto Maple Leafs (from Philadelphia) -- Dougtone
26 Washington Capitals -- [Pauly C]
27 Tampa Bay [Keith Q.]
28 San Jose [MTBVibe]
29-30 Toronto (from Boston) [Dougtone], Vancouver [NickLTBLH]
Note: It's a holiday weekend in the U.S., so it's no sweat if things stall a bit here through Monday. Once we get through Monday though, everyone should expect to see at least a pick per day. I'm trying to keep us on that schedule without setting hardened deadlines. If anyone has a scheduling/availability conflict, just let us know and maybe we can swap you around.
If you are looking for a cheat sheet,
Afrosupreme [I meant Anarcurt, really I did] posted in this fanshot a handy link compiling a whole bunch of mock drafts from here and yonder. Note that it uses mocks from both sites like this one as well as theoretically more informed places like TSN and nhl.com. So there's a bit of echo chamber at work, I'm sure, but it gives you a quick-and-dirty view of conventional wisdom, or at least the wisdom of crowds who read and mock each other.
Also note the varying dates on the mock drafts. As we've seen, sometimes the CHL playoffs and/or combine change thinking.
- Speaking of which, the scouting combine -- also known as "The Weekend in Which We Gawk at Teenage Bodies and Make them Do Funny Things to Extrapolate Great Truths about Their Future" -- begins this week. Follow along there at nhl.com.
- Latest mock drafts at nhl.com: Kimmelman | Morreale | Persaud | Hoffner
- LHHer metzfan22 had some time and put together his own mock draft with rationale.
- In Lou We Trust examines the contrast in how Couturier and Huberdeau piled up their points in the Q.
- Kevin Bieksa is a fan of the NCAA route.
- A look back at the 1999 draft from a Die by the Blade writer.
- I linked this before, but some interesting scout takes on the top 10 at bruins2011draftwatch.
Have a great holiday if you get one.