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Hey guys back from my vacation.... Playing the simulator in the playoffs.. Should I be scared??? :P

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San Jose Sharks

2013 - 2014 Playoff Roster

Setoguchi - Pavelski - Iginla

Steen - Umberger - Eberle

Jones - Gaustad - Kennedy

Hornqvist - Helm - Hendricks

Souray - Schultz

Gleason - Schenn

McBain - Stralman

Kipprusoff

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2014 Mock Draft (#1-14)

1. New York Rangers – D Aaron Ekblad

With the first two picks of the draft in hand, the order in which the Rangers select their prospects doesn’t really matter, but it would not be a surprise to hear the name ‘Aaron Ekblad’ called out as the #1 overall selection. While teams are always looking for that elusive #1 centre in every draft, the value of a franchise defenceman can not be underestimated and Ekblad will surely find his way to that status in the near future. Compared very favorably to another fantastic young defenceman Alex Pietrangelo, this ‘exceptional’ 6’5, 209 lb-defenceman is solid at both ends of the rink, mobile, and moves the puck extremely well.

2. New York Rangers (via Islanders) – C/RW Sam Reinhart

A no-brainer choice for the Rags on the 2nd overall selection. Sam Reinhart is a fantastic natural goal-scorer who can pull fans, coaches, and teammates off their seats with highlight reel moves. Reinhart’s stickhandling and puck control is among the tops in this year’s draft and the fact that he always keeps his feet moving makes him an remarkably dangerous player in he offensive zone.

3. Dallas Stars – D Aaron Irving

The Stars are loaded with talent up front with players like Baertschi, Kuznetsov, M. Reinhart, Ferraro, and Niedderreiter, so it would probably be in their best interest to take a defenceman to boost their blueline depth. Irving put up a PPG+ performance with Regina before being traded to Seattle, where he appeared to have a bit of a problem adjusting. However, his defensive prowess is as strong as ever and is a fantastic open-ice hitter. Irving typically makes a good first pass and has a booming shot, but scouts are still wary about his offensive upside in the NHL.

4. Vancouver Canucks – RW/C Reid Gardiner

The incredibly stacked Canucks team imploded this year despite possessing some of the best players in the world: Evgeni Malkin, Sedin twins, Erik Staal, and Bobby Ryan. Their prospect pool is one of the most shallow in the league, but adding one of the purest goal-scorers in the draft in Reid Gardiner would go a long way to revitalizing the franchise. Gardiner topped the 2014 draft with 73 goals this year and it comes as no surprise that he possesses a laser wrist shot and a cannon of a slapper. He is lethal on the powerplay as a finisher, but don’t be surprised to see him thread passes to his teammates for tap-ins because of his incredible vision.

5. St. Louis Blues – C/LW Galim Efimov

The Blues have filled their prospect cupboard nicely over the past few seasons and as a result aren’t lacking in too many areas. Thus, they may take a chance on the diminuitive Russian Galim Efimov, who can play as both a centre and on the wing. Though small in stature (listed at 5’7, 158 lbs), Efimov has tremendous balance and is near impossible to knock of the puck because of his low centre of gravity. He is a fantastic on the draw and has shown that his size isn’t as much of an issue as most would assume, given his impressive showing in the KHL playing against men.

6. New Jersey DevilsF Jake Virtanen

Devils have a pretty veteran group of wingers with not many prospects coming up through the system to replace them, so selecting Virtanen would almost be out of necessity. As versatile as they come, Virtanen plays all three forward positions proficiently and is comfortable with being either a set-up man or sniper. His skill-level isn’t as high as the previous selections before him, but scouts do see the potential for him as a late-bloomer. 10/15 scouts interviewed have said that with the proper training and adequate time to practice his craft, Virtanen could be a force to be reckoned with in the future.

7. Colorado Avalanche – RW Damar Tomov

The Avs are severely lacking in elite prospect depth on the right wing and Tomov fits that bill to a T. Tomov has elected to play the tough powerforward role and it is quite an achievement given his size. Though not the shortest player in the draft, Tomov has a stocky build which gives him terrific balance and strength as he cuts into the middle of the ice. Defense is not one of his strengths but he has shown the willingness to back-check unlike many top-tier offensive-minded players.

8. L.A. Kings – C Reid Duke

Have made an incredible drop after winning the Championship only a few years earlier, the Kings would be very happy to take the high-scoring player in the draft in Reid Duke (146 points). Duke plays in the mold of the former L.A. King Jeff Carter and if that holds up then it will make a lot of fans happy. He has endless offensive talent and is a character player that could wear a letter in the NHL some day. Uncanny ability to win draws at opportune times and plays the role of sniper and passer equally well. The selection of Reid also solidifies the centre position for Los Angeles as they lack elite centres outside of Kesler and Kopitar.

9. Carolina Hurricanes – W Alexej Tikhonov

The Canes have made a good start to their rebuild by having Sutter, Rodin, Grigorenko, Scheifele, and Granlund up front, and they could make a complete top-6 line by taking the speedy Alexej Tikhonov out of Russia. Hailing from the famed CSKA Moscow program and already being named as Bure’s successor, Tikhonov is a tremendously fluid skater and among the fastest in this year’s draft class. The young Russian burned the MHL junior league this year with a goal-per-game performance thanks in no small part to his electrifying set of mitts that work at the same warp speed as his skating. His wrist shot is simply phenomenal. Tikhonov still has a pretty lanky frame that must continue to be strengthened, and the Russian factor is very much alive in this potential superstar in the making.

10. Buffalo Sabres (via Wild) – C Dominic Turgeon

The Sabres have a pretty deep prospect pool and might as well select the BPA in Dominic Turgeon. Turgeon has been a force to be reckoned with this year in the WHL playing for Lethbridge and Tri-City, posting PPG+ numbers in the regular season as well as the playoffs. The centre is a good face-off man, has a solid pro shot, and perfectly willing to score goals in the dirty areas of the ice.

11. Nashville Predators – D Robert Gudas

The Preds have a good balance of prospects in all positions including Leddy, Nyquist, Shaw, Barkov, and Etem. However, the loss of Weber and Suter leaves a gaping hole in their defence and the Predators standing this year reflect that disadvantage. For that reason, the team may opt to go a little off the board to select Czech defenceman Robert Gudas (ranked #22), a tremendously gifted offensive defenceman from Red Deer. Gudas has an enviable combination of speed, strength, vision, and a great shot that has helped him terrorize the WHL. In fact, this defenceman lit up the post-season with the Rebels going 2.0 PPG. Coaches and scouts have also praised the Czech defenceman for his superb leadership and many think he has the qualities to become an NHL captain in the future.

12. Anaheim Ducks – W Johnny Tapani

Tapani has one of the fastest acceleration of all skaters in this year’s draft and his fluid skating helps him get around the ice with ease. He loves to lay the body, and combined with his size makes the winger a terrific forechecker. Tapani is a also natural goal-scorer and fairly proficient in his own zone, making him an indispensable player for any team.

13. Buffalo Sabres – D Eric Carlsson

Having selected a forward a couple picks earlier, the Sabres may add to their blue line depth a young Swedish defenceman in Eric Carlsson. Despite the impressive numbers he put up in the J20 leagues with Djurgarden, Carlsson is a stay-at-home defenceman that thrives on shutting down the opposition. His defensive awareness and skating are top notch, as is his willingness to lay the occasional open-ice hit. With Carlsson’s skillset, he could be a valuable defence partner with Myers or Pysyk in the future.

14. Boston Bruins – C Hakan Nyberg

Put up unreal numbers in the Swedish junior leagues and received a promotion to the men’s team, where he continued his impressive play in a limited role. Has decent NHL size for a centre and the way he skates is just beautiful to watch. Can score or set-up teammates equally well. Needs to continue working on his faceoff ability as he has been quite poor this season…or switch to another position.

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Is there a way we can get the prospects list on the 1st page or something?

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Gah! Eliminated from the playoff race :(. Good luck to all those in the playoffs.

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2014 Mock Draft (#15-30)

15. Tampa Bay Lightning – W Dmitry Rybin

The Lightning have not shied away from taking Russian players in the draft and Rybin could be form a great line with Valeri Nichushkin and Daniil Zharkov. Rybin has been lights out in the MHL and while he went pointless in 9 KHL games, it was done in a limited role and minutes. Unlike many young junior players, Rybin has already displayed very good consistency game in and out.

16. New York Rangers (from Senators) – C Blake Clarke

Having already selected the top defenceman and forward in the draft, the Rangers could use the two-way prowess that Clarke brings to the table. Already possessing NHL size, Clarke has been a dominant player in the USHL courtesy of his speed and strength. Clarke has the capability to play a powerforward’s game and skates very well for a big player. Has garnered a reputation as a clutch player – the bigger the game, the bigger he plays.

17. St. Louis Blues (from Maple Leafs) – D Serge Korolev

From one end of the scale to another, the Blues first pick of 5’7 Efimov is offset selecting by the hulking 6’3 defenceman in Korolev. This Russian plays a very sound defensive game, choosing to use his intelligence and stick work over rather than making the big hits. Despite his size, Korolev is a very good skater and often helps his team skate the puck of trouble rather than dump it precariously. His offensive potential may be limited at the NHL level, but he does have a wicked shot from the point.

18. Dallas Stars (from Red Wings) – C/LW Michal Magnusson

The Stars add to their prospect riches a Swedish forward with a great name – Michal Magnusson. This dynamic forward absolutely blitzed the J20 circuit in Sweden with 100 points in 36 games, and while he is ranked this far in the mock draft, it would not be a stretch to see him challenge for a top-10 spot if a team decides to take a gamble on him. Magnusson is a wonderful skater on par with Tikhonov, and possesses an elite offensive skillset (awareness, shot, passing, puck handling). Many scouts think he could make an impact in the NHL right out of the draft, but there are some who doubt a direct transition to the NHL would be easy seeing as he has only played against those in his own age group. He has also excelled in faceoffs when given the role of centre.

19. New Jersey Devils (from Jets) – RW Andrej Kryukov

The Devils continue to replenish their wing ranks with another highly skilled Russian. Despite only playing a smattering of minutes with a KHL team, Kryukov has drawn comparisons to a (prime) Alexei Kovalev because of his impressive stickhandling and one-on-one moves. As a result of his long KHL stint, Kryukov has developed an excellent focus and professional attitude with the men’s team, but there have been some who criticize his on-ice play as ‘selfish.’

20. Philadelphia Flyers (from Blue Jackets) – C/RW Connor Bleackley

A big two-way forward that fits the Flyers tough, gritty persona. At 6’2, 200 lbs, Bleackley is one of the more NHL-ready forwards in terms of physical development and he will only continue to grow. Scouts have raved about Bleackley’s incredible hockey sense and creativity, often dishing out passes that appear impossible to make. He also possesses a good shot and hand-eye coordination.

21. Florida Panthers – D Boris Panarin

The Panthers don’t have too many young elite defensemen in their system (outside of Gudbranson and Ellis), so selecting the offensive-minded Boris Panarin would go a long way to improving that department. Panarin loves to create offense and jump into a rush using his terrific speed. He displays top hockey smarts with the puck and is a very capable powerplay quarterback. He has decent defensive awareness but perhaps relies too much on instincts and positioning to do the job. Panarin desperately needs to fill out as he is quite frail.

22. Calgary Flames – D Jan-Axel Westerman

Prospect pool is filled to the brim with elite talent but you can never have enough defencemen in the system. Westerman is an excellent two-way defenceman with great wheels and arguably one of the hardest shot in the draft. He likes to lay the body but his size and lack of strength may limit those opportunities. Put up fairly good numbers with in the J20 league for a defenceman.

23. San Jose Sharks – LW Bohus Mikus

The Sharks lack a top-tier prospect in their system and the addition of the Slovakian Mikus would be a great boost. He is probably the most experienced ‘pro’ draftee in the first round, having spent the entire season playing on mens teams in Slovakia’s professional circuit. Leadership qualities are through the roof as he has already been appointed as one of the captains on the men’s club. Mikus is very well-rounded at both ends of the rink and could be one of the sleeper picks in the draft. His speed is nothing short of phenomenal. He has the potential to jump into the 15-20 range.

24. Chicago Blackhawks – LW/C Ronny Sorensen

BPA at this point. Sorensen played extremely well in the J20 league and was dominant in the faceoff circle. He has fantastic hockey sense and the ability to pull of highlight reel moves if given the time and space. Terrific playmaker who led the Swedish U20 team to a second-place finish at the WJC as the tournaments best set-up man. A jump to the 20ish spot or earlier is not out of the question.

25. Edmonton Oilers – W Ravil Zaitsev

Smallish forward that plays a good two-way game. Just his presence on the ice forces defencemen to back up and respect his speed and skating. Zaitsev is equally superb as passing and wiring the puck, and willing to back-check from anywhere on the ice. Played tremendously at the WJC tournament with 12 points in 7 games en-route to a bronze-medal finish with the Russian U20. Could be part of a skilled top-6 that includes the likes of Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, Schwartz, Gallagher, and Sissons.

26. Calgary Flames (from Coyotes) – W Hampus Boman

The Flames can add another Swede to play with Forsberg, Lindholm, and de la Rose. Boman is a power forward in the making and has remarkable wheels that can burn an opponent in transition. He has good creativity with the puck and is willing to try innovative moves in one-on-one situations. Boman excels in pressure situations, as evident by being the WJC’s top goal-scorer with 9 markers.

27. New York Rangers (from Capitals) – C/LW Ernest Belousov

The Rangers select another two-way forward, this time from Russia. Having played in the KHL the past two seasons, Belousov has acquired plenty of experience playing against pros and has turned into quite the defensive specialist. He is a very good skater that loves to take players off their game and forcing turnovers. He possesses a good mind for the game and is not afraid to score goals in the difficult areas.

28. Nashville Predators (from Penguins) – C Robert Safonov

A power forward centre that is sound at both ends of the ice. His proficiency at faceoffs helps the Predators immensely as they do not have too many natural centres in their system. Safonov skates well and is a very good distributor of the puck.

29. New York Rangers (from Canadiens) – LW Lennie Kinch

A small shifty Swede that always seems to be two steps ahead of the play. Kinch performed admirably in the J20 circuit against his own age group and was a very consistent player throughout the season. He is adept at all facets of the offensive game.

30. Philadelphia Flyers – C Dante Marcantuoni

Regular season numbers don’t stand out, but Dante really turned his game up a notch in the playoffs. He is a very competitive player who thrives in important games. His lack of hockey sense and defensive awareness may limit his NHL upside.

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2014 Mock Draft (#15-30)

15. Tampa Bay Lightning – W Dmitry Rybin

The Lightning have not shied away from taking Russian players in the draft and Rybin could be form a great line with Valeri Nichushkin and Daniil Zharkov. Rybin has been lights out in the MHL and while he went pointless in 9 KHL games, it was done in a limited role and minutes. Unlike many young junior players, Rybin has already displayed very good consistency game in and out.

16. New York Rangers (from Senators) – C Blake Clarke

Having already selected the top defenceman and forward in the draft, the Rangers could use the two-way prowess that Clarke brings to the table. Already possessing NHL size, Clarke has been a dominant player in the USHL courtesy of his speed and strength. Clarke has the capability to play a powerforward’s game and skates very well for a big player. Has garnered a reputation as a clutch player – the bigger the game, the bigger he plays.

17. St. Louis Blues (from Maple Leafs) – D Serge Korolev

From one end of the scale to another, the Blues first pick of 5’7 Efimov is offset selecting by the hulking 6’3 defenceman in Korolev. This Russian plays a very sound defensive game, choosing to use his intelligence and stick work over rather than making the big hits. Despite his size, Korolev is a very good skater and often helps his team skate the puck of trouble rather than dump it precariously. His offensive potential may be limited at the NHL level, but he does have a wicked shot from the point.

18. Dallas Stars (from Red Wings) – C/LW Michal Magnusson

The Stars add to their prospect riches a Swedish forward with a great name – Michal Magnusson. This dynamic forward absolutely blitzed the J20 circuit in Sweden with 100 points in 36 games, and while he is ranked this far in the mock draft, it would not be a stretch to see him challenge for a top-10 spot if a team decides to take a gamble on him. Magnusson is a wonderful skater on par with Tikhonov, and possesses an elite offensive skillset (awareness, shot, passing, puck handling). Many scouts think he could make an impact in the NHL right out of the draft, but there are some who doubt a direct transition to the NHL would be easy seeing as he has only played against those in his own age group. He has also excelled in faceoffs when given the role of centre.

19. New Jersey Devils (from Jets) – RW Andrej Kryukov

The Devils continue to replenish their wing ranks with another highly skilled Russian. Despite only playing a smattering of minutes with a KHL team, Kryukov has drawn comparisons to a (prime) Alexei Kovalev because of his impressive stickhandling and one-on-one moves. As a result of his long KHL stint, Kryukov has developed an excellent focus and professional attitude with the men’s team, but there have been some who criticize his on-ice play as ‘selfish.’

20. Philadelphia Flyers (from Blue Jackets) – C/RW Connor Bleackley

A big two-way forward that fits the Flyers tough, gritty persona. At 6’2, 200 lbs, Bleackley is one of the more NHL-ready forwards in terms of physical development and he will only continue to grow. Scouts have raved about Bleackley’s incredible hockey sense and creativity, often dishing out passes that appear impossible to make. He also possesses a good shot and hand-eye coordination.

21. Florida Panthers – D Boris Panarin

The Panthers don’t have too many young elite defensemen in their system (outside of Gudbranson and Ellis), so selecting the offensive-minded Boris Panarin would go a long way to improving that department. Panarin loves to create offense and jump into a rush using his terrific speed. He displays top hockey smarts with the puck and is a very capable powerplay quarterback. He has decent defensive awareness but perhaps relies too much on instincts and positioning to do the job. Panarin desperately needs to fill out as he is quite frail.

22. Calgary Flames – D Jan-Axel Westerman

Prospect pool is filled to the brim with elite talent but you can never have enough defencemen in the system. Westerman is an excellent two-way defenceman with great wheels and arguably one of the hardest shot in the draft. He likes to lay the body but his size and lack of strength may limit those opportunities. Put up fairly good numbers with in the J20 league for a defenceman.

23. San Jose Sharks – LW Bohus Mikus

The Sharks lack a top-tier prospect in their system and the addition of the Slovakian Mikus would be a great boost. He is probably the most experienced ‘pro’ draftee in the first round, having spent the entire season playing on mens teams in Slovakia’s professional circuit. Leadership qualities are through the roof as he has already been appointed as one of the captains on the men’s club. Mikus is very well-rounded at both ends of the rink and could be one of the sleeper picks in the draft. His speed is nothing short of phenomenal. He has the potential to jump into the 15-20 range.

24. Chicago Blackhawks – LW/C Ronny Sorensen

BPA at this point. Sorensen played extremely well in the J20 league and was dominant in the faceoff circle. He has fantastic hockey sense and the ability to pull of highlight reel moves if given the time and space. Terrific playmaker who led the Swedish U20 team to a second-place finish at the WJC as the tournaments best set-up man. A jump to the 20ish spot or earlier is not out of the question.

25. Edmonton Oilers – W Ravil Zaitsev

Smallish forward that plays a good two-way game. Just his presence on the ice forces defencemen to back up and respect his speed and skating. Zaitsev is equally superb as passing and wiring the puck, and willing to back-check from anywhere on the ice. Played tremendously at the WJC tournament with 12 points in 7 games en-route to a bronze-medal finish with the Russian U20. Could be part of a skilled top-6 that includes the likes of Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, Schwartz, Gallagher, and Sissons.

26. Calgary Flames (from Coyotes) – W Hampus Boman

The Flames can add another Swede to play with Forsberg, Lindholm, and de la Rose. Boman is a power forward in the making and has remarkable wheels that can burn an opponent in transition. He has good creativity with the puck and is willing to try innovative moves in one-on-one situations. Boman excels in pressure situations, as evident by being the WJC’s top goal-scorer with 9 markers.

27. New York Rangers (from Capitals) – C/LW Ernest Belousov

The Rangers select another two-way forward, this time from Russia. Having played in the KHL the past two seasons, Belousov has acquired plenty of experience playing against pros and has turned into quite the defensive specialist. He is a very good skater that loves to take players off their game and forcing turnovers. He possesses a good mind for the game and is not afraid to score goals in the difficult areas.

28. Nashville Predators (from Penguins) – C Robert Safonov

A power forward centre that is sound at both ends of the ice. His proficiency at faceoffs helps the Predators immensely as they do not have too many natural centres in their system. Safonov skates well and is a very good distributor of the puck.

29. New York Rangers (from Canadiens) – LW Lennie Kinch

A small shifty Swede that always seems to be two steps ahead of the play. Kinch performed admirably in the J20 circuit against his own age group and was a very consistent player throughout the season. He is adept at all facets of the offensive game.

30. Philadelphia Flyers – C Dante Marcantuoni

Regular season numbers don’t stand out, but Dante really turned his game up a notch in the playoffs. He is a very competitive player who thrives in important games. His lack of hockey sense and defensive awareness may limit his NHL upside.

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As I said earlier, I would write #15-30 based on league standing.

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Darn just realized that I'll be without Ryan Whitney and David Steckel at least for the first 2 games

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Chicago Blackhawks Playoff Roster

Vanek / Toews / Brown

Filppula / Spezza / Grabner

Miller / Reasoner / Kotalik

Carcillo / Korpikoski / Eaves

Gillies / Steckel (Injured)

Keith / Sauer

Suter / Brewer

Hannan / Kuba

Whitney (Injured)

Crawford

Smith

Also a shoutout to Jonathan Toews who led the league in points with 105! Hart Trophy anyone?

:P

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Can one of you guys on the front page (or SOB) post my top-30 analysis there? It's on page 55, post #1628.

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