Mock Draft Analysis: Part 6

09/16/2010 12:05 AM -  Steven Ives

Is drafting elite defensemen in the early rounds a good draft strategy?

This article will be divided into six parts. In each part, analysis of two teams that participated in the 12-team Mock Draft that was completed recently will be provided. For full mock draft rankings, be sure to purchase a copy of the 2010-11 Draft Guide.

For Part 6, the teams picked by writer Steven Ives and writer Brian Schrembs will be critiqued.


C: Sidney Crosby (1)
C: Jonathan Toews (6)
LW: Alex Burrows (5)
LW: Patrik Elias (8)
RW: Daniel Briere (9)
RW: Brian Gionta (11)
D: Duncan Keith (2)
D: Drew Doughty (3)
D: Niklas Kronwall (10)
D: Bryan McCabe (12)
G: Marc-Andre Fleury (4)
G: Carey Price (7)
BN: Ondrej Pavelec (13)
BN: Wayne Simmonds (14)
BN: Nikita Filatov (15)
BN: John Carlson (16)

WHAT WENT RIGHT: With the 2nd overall pick, you can never go wrong with Crosby, and with the value pick of Toews (sixth), he is set down the middle.  He also has probably the biggest 1-2 punch in the league on defense with Keith (2nd) and Doughty (3rd), however I feel this may be a bit to his detriment as well.  Taking two defenders back to back in the 2nd and 3rd is a very risky move.  I would have rather had taken an elite goalie in one of those spots over taking two defenders.  His other two defenders could be some value picks, but with the news that Kronwall’s (10th) knee is still bothering him he might not play at top level, while McCabe (13th) can put up the points, but is always going to be a concern in the +/- department.  None of his wingers are truly elite, but all of them are definitely capable of racking up the points, along with Burrows (5th) also racking up the PIMs.  Elias (8th) is great value.  Simmonds (14th) could also prove to be a great pickup, especially that late in the draft, as he is looking to follow in the Burrows or Scott Hartnell mold of 40+ scoring and 100+ PIMs.  Filatov (15th) is also a great pickup, He is high risk – high reward, as he can either score 70 this season, or be a wash, so taking him in the 15th was a great move.  Ives is definitely going to have an easier time than most teams in the league racking up the PIMs while not sacrificing points at the same time as most other teams are looking like they will eventually have to do.

WHAT WENT WRONG: His goalies could prove to give him some trouble.  MAF (4th) will definitely play 70 or so games this year and have a solid wins total, but his GAA and SV% are always going to be slightly lacking, especially for a 4th round pull.  I see why he chose him though, as by the time it came to his 4th he might have been panicking a bit as good goalies were getting slim, however I would have rather have gone with Craig Anderson (5th) or Pekka Rinne (5th) personally.  Price (7th) can be a game breaker for you.  If he plays at the elite level that the Canadian fans always thought he could, and show some growth and maturity this year, he could be really strong for you.  However, if he falls in a personal rut like he has shown in the past, he can sometimes play downright bad.  and Pavelec (13) I think will lose a lot of starts to Chris Mason, and just lose a lot period on a pretty terrible Atlanta team.  Like stated above, his choice of taking two elite blue-liners back to back could prove to be a bit of a downfall, as he could have taken Jimmy Howard (3rd), Tuukka Rask (3rd), Ilya Bryzgalov (3rd), or Marian Hossa (4th).  With his two elite blue-liners, I feel that he also should have waited on Kronwall and McCabe and tried to have gone for some forwards (Hartnell (10th), Ryan Kesler (11th), Matt Duchene (11), Jamie Langenbrunner (11), etc., while waiting until the later rounds to take his other two defenders that would still have arguably put up the same, if not maybe better stats than Kronwall and McCabe (see Stephane Robidas (12th, Victor Hedman (14th), Andy Greene (15th), or Kimmo Timonen (14th).

BRIAN’S TEAM (final entry, now buy me a beer!): Editor’s note: And buy his dog one too.

C: Matthew Lombardi (14)
C: Joe Pavelski (15)
LW: Alex Ovechkin (1)
LW: Patrick Marleau (2)
RW: Corey Perry (3)
RW: Daniel Alfredsson (6)
D: Tyler Myers (7)
D: Keith Yandle (9)
D: Matt Carle (12)
D: Tom Gilbert (13)
G: Jonathan Quick (4)
G: Pekka Rinne (5)
BN: Rene Bourque (8)
BN: Ryane Clowe (10)
BN: David Backes (11)
BN: Stephen Weiss (16)

WHAT WENT RIGHT: Although he used his top two picks to get them, can anyone come close to Brian’s LW tandem of Ovechkin and Marleau? He also did a great job on the RW with Perry (3) and Alfredsson (6). Brian went on to make one of my favorite picks in the draft with Myers (7), a guy I expect to be a Norris candidate for years, and in my mind a lock for around 55 points this year. Pavelski was a great steal in the 15th round, he is a better all-around player than Joe Thornton and will undoubtedly receive more ice time at crunch time, as was evidenced in last year’s playoffs.

WHAT WENT WRONG: Okay, I can see waiting awhile for a deep position like center, but drafting THREE bench players before a single center is preposterous. Bourque in the 8th round was okay, and Clowe in the 10th was solid unless you stop to consider that Brian already had the top LWs in the league. But one of the worst picks in the draft was Backes in the 11th with Kesler and Duchene  still available at center. First of all, Backes is very similar to Clowe in points and PiM, and second he becomes your 4th LW. Ultimately, Brian wound up wasting a pick on Lombardi (14), the second-line center on a team which can’t score and has no scoring wingers on the 2nd line. Colin Wilson will be on the first line with Patric Hornqvist, and would be a far superior pick than Lombardi, who will likely end up around 40 points.

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