The Peerless Prognosticator is ON THE AIR! Yes, he’s back, he’s rested, he’s as incomprehensible as ever. And for your edification, enjoyment, and excitement, he brings you the only mock draft you’ll ever need. The Peerless prefaces all of this by remarking that he has seen exactly NONE of these players in person, but it’s not like he’s going to get fired for any especially boneheaded picks (but being Peerless, we don’t have to worry about that, do we?). So, here we go . . . as always, do not use these picks for any cash wagers, it just cuts into my take . . .
1. St. Louis . . . “With the first pick overall in the 2006 National Hockey League Amateur Entry Draft, the St. Louis Blues select . . . defenseman, Erik Johnson.” Well, that was a surprise, wasn’t it? He’s at the top of just about every meaningful prospect list. Who am I to argue?
Squirrelly (or just plain Silly) Trade Possibility . . . St. Louis trades the #1 pick to Philadelphia for the Flyers' first, Ben Eager, and Mike Richards. Philadelphia selects Erik Johnson. St. Louis selects Mark Mitera with the Flyers’ pick.
2. Pittsburgh . . . Phil Kessel, C. If the Penguins draft any more centers, they’ll start to look like the center-crazed Flyers. Kessel can be a wing, he can be a thigh and a breast, he can be fryer parts for all the Penguins care . . . they need a goal-scorer, and this guy also provides insurance against a Malkin no-show.
STP . . . Pittsburgh trades the #2 pick to Phoenix for the Coyotes' first and Enver Lisin. Pittsburgh selects Kyle Okposo, Phoenix selects Kessel.
3. Chicago . . . Jordan Staal, C. The Hawks would go for Kessel, if available, but The Peerless, if you’ve read this far, has Kessel gone by now. So, the Hawks go for a player with some degree of name recognition. They need it; folks are starting to wonder if the Hawks have moved.
STP . . . Chicago trades the #3 pick to Colorado for the Avalanche's first and second picks this year and a first next year. Colorado selects Staal, Chicago selects Artem Anisimov with the Avalanche pick.
4. Washington . . . Jonathan Toews, C. There is a temptation to select Niklas Backstrom with this pick, but the Caps used their top three picks last year -- Sasha Pokulok, Joe Finley, Andrew Thomas - on NCAA players. Maybe it’s a GPA thing.
STP . . . Washington trades the #4 pick to Nashville for Shea Weber and Pekka Rinne. Nashville selects Backstrom.
5. Boston . . . Niklas Backstrom, C. Boston needs forwards. Lucky for them, the best player left is a forward.
STP . . . Boston trades the #5 pick to Vancouver for Todd Bertuzzi, Vancouver’s 3rd rounder in this draft (82nd overall) and a second rounder in 2007. Why? Why not?
6. Columbus . . . Peter Mueller, C. This selection fulfills a childhood desire to dress up in a red, white and blue sweater with a bug on it.
STP . . . Columbus trades Jan Hrdina to Washington for Dainius Zubrus. The trade hockey fans across the continent have been waiting for over the past five years is finally consummated.
7. NY Islanders . . . Derick Brassard, C. Mike Milbury is seen being physically restrained by Islanders staff in his efforts to get to the podium and announce the selection of Eeku Heikkinen (The Peerless’ choice for the best name in the draft). Fans can hear shrieks of ‘EEEEEEEEK-oo EEEEEEEEK-oo” from the wings.
STP . . . The Islanders trade Alexei Yashin to the California Golden Seals for a conditional draft pick. It is three days before the league realizes there is a problem here.
8. Phoenix . . . Jiri Tlusty, LW. As Gary Bettman experiences difficulty with the microphone, Wayne Gretzky offers assistance . . . “you have to take the microphone thusly.” This is recorded as the Coyotes’ selection, and thusly, Tlusty is selected.
STP . . . Phoenix trades Paul Mara to Washington for the Capitals’ two second round picks in this draft (34th and 35th overall picks), just so Mara can hear Alex Ovechkin describe over and over how he scored that goal after Mara was draped all over him last January.
9. Minnesota . . . Kyle Okposo, RW. Seems a pretty good fit for Jacques Lemaire’s club. And, he hails from St. Paul. They can keep an eye on him while he’s at U-Minn.
STP . . . The Wild trade Marian Gaborik to Atlanta for Andy Sutton and Jim Slater, which will allow journalists to use the line all year, “goal scored by Marian (Gaborik) from Marian (Hossa).
10. Florida . . . Bryan Little, C. It would figure that Florida has four forwards (Roberts, Nieuwendyk, Gelinas, Stumpel) with an average age of 37. The team meal is the early bird at Stuckey’s.
STP . . . Florida trades Roberto Luongo to Detroit for the rights to the last production Hummer H1.
11. Los Angeles . . . Michael Frolik, RW. The sports headlines write themselves in Tinsel Town . . . “Frolik Frolics with Terrific Tally in Final Frame.”
STP . . . Los Angeles trades this pick and an opportunity to be adopted by Angelina Jolie to St. Louis for the #1 overall pick.
12. Atlanta . . . James Sheppard, LW. What with Peter Bondra a sure bet to return to DC (...two, three, four), the Thrashers need to be thinking about the future.
STP . . . Atlanta trades this pick to Carolina for Cory Stillman in the hopes that the Cup will follow him around the Southeast Division.
13. Toronto . . . Bob Sanguinetti, D. With Carlo Colaiacovo, these two constitute the most inches of jersey name plate for defensemen in the National Hockey League. If you can’t have a cup in 40 years, you can have something.
STP . . . The Leafs don’t make any trades, secure in the thought that they have all the ingredients they need to assume their rightful place as Stanley Cup champions. Leafs’ personnel are led out of GM Place in straight-jackets.
14. Vancouver . . . Chris Stewart, RW. Bye Todd.
STP . . . Vancouver trades Todd Bertuzzi to Colorado for “future considerations.” Hilarity ensues.
15. Tampa Bay . . . Jonathan Bernier, G. When the coach kneecaps one goalie with his comments and doesn’t particularly want to play the other one, you’ve got a “situation.” Tampa will be sniffing for a goalie in trade or an FA, but they need a longer term solution, too.
STP . . . Tampa trades this pick to Dallas for the Stars first in this draft (27th) and Vojtek Polak. Tampa selects Riku Helenius, Dallas picks Cory Emmerton.
16. Montreal . . . Nigel Williams, D. Montreal has a lot of young guys, but seems to lack a guy to compliment Mike Komisarek as a physical presence, and Williams seems to have more offensive upside.
STP . . . Montreal offers this pick, their first rounders for the next three years, Chris Higgins, Alexander Perezhogin, and a brick from the old Forum to Pittsburgh for Sidney Crosby. The Pens say, “no thanks,” but do offer Shane Endicott for that package.
17. Minnesota . . . Riku Helenius, G. To get in line behind Josh Harding.
STP . . . The Wild trade their butt-fugly jerseys for burlap wheat sacks with arm holes cut out. It starts a trend.
18. Colorado . . . Cory Emmerton, C. I saw a picture of this kid and wondered if his voice has changed yet.
STP . . . Colorado trades Steve Konowalchuk to Washington for Jonas Johansson and a second round pick in 2007. Konowalchuk retires to collect hub caps in Telluride.
19. Anaheim . . . Ty Vishart, D. Well-regarded prospect pool, but another defenseman can’t hurt.
STP . . . The Ducks trade the term “mighty” for another adjective . . . “dead,” “lame,” and “Peking” are rejected.
20. San Jose . . . Patrik Berglund, C. Insurance against losing a top center down the road to free agency.
STP . . . No thanks, we’re fine.
21. NY Rangers . . . Chris Summers, D. Larry Brooks would rather the Rangers just buy a forward as a long term strategy (he pretty much makes this point in his blurb in The Hockey News). Hey, here’s an idea . . . draft somebody.
STP . . . What?! Whaddya mean the Blue Jackets won’t take Colton Orr for Rick Nash?!?!
22. Philadelphia . . . Mark Mitera, D. At least he won’t be a free-standing sculpture suitable for display at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
STP . . . Philadelphia trades this pick to Houston for Yao Ming.
23. Washington . . . Artem Anisimov, C. OK, it’s a stretch, but his name is an anagram for “A Vomit Seminar.” Here’s hoping that’s his effect on opponents with sick skills and not fans.
STP . . . The Caps trade the 34th and 35th picks in this draft to Vancouver for the 14th overall pick. Washington picks Nigel Williams, Vancouver picks Michael Grabner and Mike Forney.
24. Buffalo . . . Dennis Persson, D. Not a deep team at this position, now or down the road. Unless you’re thinking “Norris” and “Nathan Paetsch” should occupy the same sentence, in which case . . . seek help.
STP . . . A three way deal . . . Buffalo sends a 2-CD set of highlights of their second round playoff series to Ottawa for an autographed picture of John Muckler. Buffalo sends the picture to the Islanders for a puck signed by Ted Nolan.
25. New Jersey . . . Ryan White, C. One of the class of player referred to as “two way forward.” Calgary probably would have taken this guy with the next pick . . . nyah, nyah.
STP . . . OK, so let’s go with that. New Jersey and Calgary trade places for the cost of the Flames’ second rounder (59th overall). Calgary takes White, Jersey takes Michael Grabner with the 26th pick.
26. Calgary . . . Michael Grabner, RW. Fast and a scorer. Calgary was 28th in goals scored this year. They could use some help there, even if this guy won’t contribute for a few years yet.
STP . . . I’ll go with that New Jersey one.
27. Dallas . . . Ondrej Fiala, C. I hope you’ll pardon me for a moment. I sprained my face trying to pronounce his name.
STP . . . No, the Stars are not taking Terrell Owens off your hands, Tuna.
28. Ottawa . . . Yuri Alexandrov, D. Hey, does it matter? Really? They have the most talent in the league and go toes up every spring.
STP . . . trade some speed for heart.
29. Detroit . . . David Fischer, D. At least they won’t need to sew a new name plate on the jersey when Jiri has to leave the game much too soon.
STP . . . Kirk Maltby for a case of glucosamine to keep Chelios upright this year.
30. St. Louis . . . Nick Foligno, LW. Pretty good blood lines; his father was a gritty sort. With as much skill as the Blues need, they’ll need this, too.
STP . . . Trade this pick and the #1 overall this year, plus Timofei Shishkanov (who The Peerless picked solely on the basis of liking to say, “Timofei Shishkanov”) and a 2007 second round pick to Pittsburgh for Evgeni Malkin. Pittsburgh selects Erik Johnson and Eric Gryba.
And, the most intriguing player perhaps in this draft is a 6’2”, 180 pound center out of Russia described by Central Scouting as having “excellent vision ... soft hands - a very good passer and playmaker … very good puck control … has a good selection of shots. very good over-all skill level …Physical, tall and hard working forward.” He is the 30th ranked European skater at Central Scouting, perhaps a middle-round pick.
Viktor Tikhonov, the grandson of the Soviet coaching legend.
Happy Draft Day, Caps fans!!!
Yes...Happy Draft Day, Caps fans. We'll be posting something about this year's draft soon.