The SBNation NHL mock draft continued yesterday with picks eight through eleven. Over the next six days, the network of NHL sites here at SBN will run through the first round deciding who they think their teams should pick. The Lightning don’t have a first round pick this year, so we won’t be included. Even so, we’ll be keeping an eye on the proceedings so that you know what to expect come Friday, June 22nd when the draft starts.
We’ll cover picks 12, 13, and 14 today. Of those, the 13th pick pick was the hot spot...or maybe the hot potato because no one seemed to want to pick there. First, Dallas traded the pick to Philadelphia in exchange for the 14th pick and Petr Mrazek. The crew at Defending Big D must be concerned with Ben Bishop as their starter and was willing to move back one spot to acquire some extra goaltending depth.
That trade happened early in the draft but when the time came to make the pick, Philly flipped the pick to Colorado along with the 127th pick in exchange for the 16th and 58th picks. I interpret that to mean that Philly was willing to dump Mrazek to move up a spot but once the pick arrived, they weren’t too excited about any of the options so they were willing to move back.
If we use Michael Schucker’s pick value chart, Philly got the better of that deal. But if Colorado had a player they really liked in the spot, the trade might make sense for them.
Before any of the trading, the Islanders made their first-round pick via Lightouse Hockey after trading away the 11th pick to get Philip Grubauer from the Washington Capitals. The 13th pick by the Colorado Avalanche via Mile High Hockey and the 14th pick by the Dallas Stars via Defending Big D followed after the Isles.
The 12th Pick - Ty Smith
The Islanders paid quite a price to acquire Grubauer when they traded out of a spot where they could have drafted Jesperi Kotkaniemi. But Ty Smith is not a consolation prize. He’s a great pick on his own. Here’s what Broad Street Hockey wrote about him in their profile:
While he doesn’t have blazing speed, Smith is an incredible skater and a big reason for that is how much he keeps his head up. He’s always looking ahead for passing lanes to develop or that long outlet pass to send a teammate on a breakaway. This ability to keep his head up seemingly at all times gives him an edge over many opposing forecheckers. He’s able to slow the game down and speed it up seemingly at will. In doing so, Smith is able to create many controlled zone entries whether it be individually, or with a crisp pass at the line. In the Canada vs. United States game at the U18 World Junior Championships, on multiple occasions on the power play Smith was able to gain the line with speed, then slow the game down and find an open man.
While he’s definitely not going to be all that much of a shooter at the NHL level, his shot is not a weakness. He takes a lot of smart shots as he waits for the open lane to develop then fires a quick wrist shot. He’s got a shot capable of scoring at the NHL level, but I wouldn’t expect 15+ goal seasons from him, assists are most likely going to be his primary source of points. This past season, Smith ranked fifth among WHL defensemen in primary points according to prospect-stats.com and second overall in total points. Per Corey Pronman of The Athletic, “his scoring numbers in the WHL this season were the best by a 17-year defenseman in over 15 years”.
Smith put up over a point per game scoring 73 points in 69 games for the Spokane Chiefs in the WHL this season. He’s ranked 11th in our Raw Charge consolidated rankings so this is a reasonable spot to take him. This draft has plenty of quality on defense and while he isn’t in the same class with Quinn Hughes and Adam Boqvist, he’s just a step below and could leap ahead of Dobson to be the sixth defender taken.
The 13th Pick - Joe Veleno
The team at Mile High Hockey knows their prospects and they like Veleno enough to slightly overpay in pick value to move up and grab him. Here’s what they wrote about that decision:
Some people think Veleno is a top-10 talent, others believe he should go at the end of the first round. The answer is most likely somewhere in the middle, but I wouldn’t mind betting on a high-skill center with decent size and consistant numbers everywhere he’s gone in the early teens of the draft. These were the reasons we moved up to nab Veleno, as there was a slim chance he would be passed over by teams drafting 13th, 14th, and 15th.
The profile continues:
Talking about his game, Veleno is well known for having top-notch vision, speed, and he’s very engaged and active in all zones, knowing where he needs to be at all times (the thing people call hockey sense or hockey IQ). He’s very much in the mold of this new age of players that are stepping into stardom in the NHL. The fact that he’s 6’1” and a center is just gravy.
Veleno does have some concerning trends in his numbers. Many of his points were secondary assists and much of his production came on the power play. That’s not ideal for a player being taken in the first half of the first round.
The one concern I would say we had when picking Veleno is his massive secondary assists. If you take them away and only look at primary points (goals, and primary assists), Veleno drops way off the pace of the league, going from 10th in scoring to 23rd. Primary points at even-strength sees Veleno fall even further to 42nd in the league.
The combination of the price paid to move up in the draft and the lack of 5v5 primary scoring makes this a risky decision for Mile High Hockey. But they see enough upside to roll the dice.
The 14th Pick - Joel Farabee
After dropping back to pick up some additional depth in goal, Defending Big D settled on adding a speedy two way winger to the Stars prospect pipeline. Here’s what they had to say about the selection:
The other thing Farabee has that fits with Nill’s recent draft picks is hockey IQ. Nill likes to draft guys that can think the game well, even if that means some of their other skill sets need work. Things Farabee often gets knocked for — like power in skating or his slight frame — can be worked on. Hockey IQ is a much tougher thing to learn as a player’s career progresses.
Farabee’s two-way play will be valued by the Dallas Stars. He’s shown he can finish as well as be trusted in his own zone, and could be a key cog of the future penalty killing unit of the Stars. For a team that’s struggled in that regard for seemingly ever, that’s a skillset the organization can use.
For some additional context, Habs Eyes on the Prize wrote about what makes Farabee an intriguing prospect in the middle of the first round:
Scouts have raved about his skating and how his edgework opens up space for him on the ice, and how he uses that to put the puck on net, or get it to one of his teammates. Farabee is a very good passer, and, even if he rarely tries for the one-on-one play, has underrated hand skills. There’s more than a few moves in his arsenal that he saves for the right moment.
Another quality of the forward is that he rarely reveals what he is going to do with the puck. He constantly attacks the slot as he enters the offensive zone, and has the abilty to pass or shoot with a quick adjustment in his stickhandling depending on what is open in front of him.
The combination of skill, intelligence, and two-way responsibility makes Farabee sound like the type of prospect the Lightning have drafted in recent years. If Steve Yzerman finds a way to move back into the first round, keep Farabee in mind as a potential target.
And with that, we’re through the top fourteen picks of the draft. No teams will be picking this weekend so we’ll pick up these recaps on Tuesday.
SBNation NHL Mock Draft Recap:
- Buffalo Sabres - Rasmus Dahlin
- Carolina Hurricanes - Andrei Svechnikov
- Montreal Canadiens - Filip Zadina
- Ottawa Senators - Quinn Hughes
- Arizona Coyotes - Brady Tkachuk
- Detroit Red Wings - Adam Boqvist
- Vancouver Canucks - Noah Dobson
- Chicago - Oliver Wahlstrom
- New York Rangers - Evan Bouchard
- Edmonton Oilers - Martin Kaut
- Washington Capitals (via New York Islanders) - Jesperi Kotkaniemi
- New York Islanders - Ty Smith
- Colorado Avalanche (via Philadelphia, via Dallas) - Joe Veleno
- Dallas Stars (via Philadelphia) - Joel Farabee