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Friday, June 10, 2011

Big Mac's 2011 NHL First Round Mock Draft - Picks 21 to 30

With the 21st overall selection, the Ottawa Senators select, from the Peterborough Petes, Matt Puempel.

As a Leafs fan this hurts. Arguably the best sniper in the draft who dropped in the rankings due to an injury, seeing him go to the Leafs main rival is an extra sting as he is exactly the kind of player Toronto wants and needs. He may need some work on his defence, but most snipers do, and you can't teach the kind of shot and release he brings.

With the 22nd overall selection, the Anaheim Ducks select, Farjestad of the SEL, Jonas Brodin.

Brodin falls a bit fo the Ducks, and they're ecstatic. This kid has been quietly raising his draft stock all season, to the point where he has developed a reputation as a potential top pairing defenceman who can do it all. In fact, ISS compared him to Kris Letang - pretty lofty comparisons, but also well deserved according to may analysts.

With the 23rd overall selection, the Pittsburgh Penguins select, from the US Under-18 program, Rocco Grimaldi

The smallest player in the draft at 5'6", but many scouts say if he was a bit bigger, he's be a serious contender for 1st overall. Possesses the kind of sparkling top line, premier talent seen in very few, which has drawn comparisons to Marty St. Louis. The fastest and most talented skater in the draft - how great would he be on a line with Crosby or Malkin? A scoring winger would be a great get.

With the 24th overall selection, the Detroit Red Wings select, from Leksands of the SEL, Victor Rask.

Another painful choice for Leafs fans - this guy has top line potential wriitten all over him, but hasn't gotten the heavy exposure of several other prospects. He could be the steal of the day, and we all know how much Detroit loves their Swedes. Zetterberg would be a great mentor to this kid who could be the first really great 1st round pick of the Red Wings in years.

With the 25th overall selection, the Toronto Maple Leafs select, from the Saint John Sea Dogs of the QMJHL, Zack Phillips.

Missing out on Puempel and Rask hurts, but we can be happy with Phillips. His skating needs improvement, however he has great visions and the ability to set up plays from either centre or right wing. He has good offensive touch, but isn't the kind of dynamic guy we would ideally like. So long as he keeps working on his compete level in tough areas, he could be a solid addition.

With the 26th overall selection, the Washington Capitals select, from the Plymouth Whalers of the OHL, Richard Rakell

Nope, no Russian for the Caps this time! Rakell is a strong two way presence who has a great work ethic and has done nothing but improve all season. He has great skills and plays all 3 forward positons well, though he is a natural right winger. Has decent size too to handle the rough going.

With the 27th overall selection, the Tampa Bay Lightning select, from Farjestad of the SEL, Oscar Klefbom

Another Swede who has seen a huge rise in their draft stock, Tampa Bay snatches up a highly skilled defenceman who some scouts are more sold on than others. That said, the guys who like him, LOVE him and think he could even go top 10, and has all star potential. He could be more physical, but is a great pick at this point in the draft to go along with fellow Swede Victor Hedman.

With the 28th overall selection, the San Jose Sharks select, from the Windsor Spitifres of the OHL, Alexander Khokhlachev

Khokhlachev drops, but has premier talent. The Russian factor, however, plays its hand - not due to transfer agreements or an inclination to stay in Russia since he already plays in North America, but due to their reputation for disappearing when it matters most. While San Jose has guys like this already (ahem, Dany Heatley), his skill level can't be ignored so they take the chance.

With the 29th overall selection, the Vancouver Canucks select, from the Vancouver Giants of the WHL, David Musil.

Musil is a rough and tumble defenceman who will be nasty to play against, and comes from great bloodlines as his father, Frank Musil, is a former NHL defenceman. He projects as a shut down defenceman who will shadow other teams top players, and makes solid, safe decisions with the puck. Make no mistake though - his offensive upside is nearly invisible.

With the 30th overall selection, the Toronto Maple Leafs select, from the Sarnia Sting of the OHL, Brett Ritchie

A safe pick for the Leafs, as Ritchie is definitely a player in the Brian Burke mold. Has the potential to be a second or third line power forward with a hard shot, but he needs to add more grit to his game to get to the next level. His net presence is something that Leafs scouts will certainly love, as at 6'3" and 210", he's already got the kind of size you need to fight those battles.

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