One of the joys of being a part of SB Nation's NHL coverage is the host of great blogs for the 29 other teams in the league. As part of our collective off-season coverage, the group of writers and editors of the 30 team blogs are putting together a Mock Draft.
Just to give you a glimpse at how the sausage was made, the mock draft was conducted via e-mail, moderated by Travis Hughes of Broad Street Hockey. Edmonton blog The Copper and Blue made their pick of winger Nail Yakupov, which then put us on the clock.
We made our pick democratically, with a majority vote of the five of us picking the player. I voted for Alex Galchenyuk, whereas Mike, Lou, and Andy all went for our eventual pick. Matt didn't get a chance to vote, as after the other four of us voted our player had three votes, and therefore a majority. So, Matt, if you disagree, feel free to rip us in the comments! And, that goes for the rest of you, too. If you disagree with our selection, tell us why in the comments!
On behalf of the Columbus Blue Jackets, with the 2nd pick in the SB Nation Mock Draft, The Cannon selects:
Filip Forsberg, forward, Leksands (Swedish Allsvenskan League)
Forsberg is the top European skater in this draft, and has the size/frame, speed, and stick skills to make him a potential future star in the NHL. Forsberg is admittedly raw at just age 17, but took home many positive reviews from his play. From Lou's Profile linked above:
The 2011-2012 season brought Forsberg plenty of accolades. First, he had the most points by a U18 Junior in the Allsvenskan with 17. At the U18 World Juniors he claimed the Best Forward award in addition to serving as captain of the squad that earned the Silver Medal. Not to be outdone, Forsberg then claimed the Gold Medal with the U20 Swedish team in the World Juniors, where he was the youngest player on the team.
The combination of skating speed and puck control in tight spots are among Forsberg's strengths. When you realize that he's performing so well at age 17 is really where you start to take notice of his game. Also not to be overlooked is his effective play on the backcheck. Thoughts of Ryan Callahan come to mind when Forsberg freely blocks shots and is persistent in a forechecking role, trying to induce opponents to cough up the biscuit.
The NHL's Director of European Scouting, Goran Stubb, also likes what he sees in Forsberg:
"A leader who shows by example -- I would compare him to Anaheim's Corey Perry a little bit. Has a nose for the net, and often scores the big goals. He's a creative playmaker, good skater with fine straight-ahead speed. He's a right-handed forward with an excellent shot and an effective two-way player with a great winning attitude. Filip's a solid puck carrier with very good puck-handling skills; mature, good size and physically strong. On top of that, he'll sacrifice himself to make the play."
With Yakupov off the board, the four of us that voted felt it best to pick the next-best forward. While we disagreed on who that player is, we all agreed the need was for offense.
What about you? Do you agree with our pick? If not, who would you rather have picked?