I'm going to call this one early, because it's pretty overwhelming who the voters think will be picked. So the pick is in and I'm a little surprised, but the NHL Draft is always full of surprises. With the 5th Pick in the NHL Draft, Canes Country has selected Mikhail Grigorenko for the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Leafs get their big center they've been missing since Mats Sundin left. Grigorenko is an extremely talented player that was considered on par with Yakupov until late last season. He can score & distribute the puck with the best of them and should put up a lot of points in the NHL. I think he has a real opportunity to play in the league next season, but that will be determined by his work ethic and that has been in question. Whether he plays this upcoming season or the following one, Toronto has acquired a talented player that could likely be a top 30 player in the league in a few seasons. He will need to work on the defensive side of his game, but so do many young players. I think Toronto just might have got an Eric Staal type of player to fill out their 1st line. So Yakupov, Forsberg, Galchenyuk, Murray, and Grigorenko are gone, who will be selected next?
Up next are the Anaheim Ducks with the #6 Pick, so Anaheim is now on the clock!
The Ducks are a team that no one would have suspected they would draft this high. They have arguably the best best 1st line in the league and some other very good players. But they just underperformed in about every area last season. Their offense was in the bottom half of the league. Their defense was not very good at all. And their goaltending was suspect at best. Two areas that I see they need to make some major improvements on are their defense and their secondary scoring. Their defense needs some physical play and probably a bigger guy. It looks a lot like the Hurricanes blueline. Anaheim's forward ranks need for some of their prospects to step up and produce and they need to get a few more forwards to take the pressure off the top line. Teemu Selanne isn't going to be around much longer, so they need to find his replacement and soon. They have some guys that have performed well at the AHL level, but can they translate that to the NHL. With Justin Schultz not signing with them, I imagine that the Ducks will look toward defense with this pick, but they could surprise and select a fast-rising forward. With Bruce Boudreau behind the bench, maybe they look to bolster their offense. You're the Ducks GM, what do you do with the #6 Pick?
Mathew Dumba - D
I've seen a lot of mock drafts that have the Ducks selecting Dumba and it makes sense. They need to get more physical on the backend and Dumba fits that bill. He's a little undersized, but he knows how to use his body and excellent skating ability to generate some bone-crushing hits. He's also just 17 years old, so he could still grow more and watch out then. Dumba is a complete defenseman that can provide offense and physical play in his own zone. He has some things to work on, so he is not NHL ready, but he should be in another year or two.
Morgan Rielly - D
Rielly is another name that I have seen a lot in Anaheim's position on mock drafts. Rielly probably has the highest offensive upside of any defenseman in this draft and compares to Erik Karlsson. Could you imagine Rielly with Anaheim's big 3 on the PP? With his skating & passing ability, he really could be a huge point producer from the blueline! But Rielly's weakness, at least to this point, is Anaheim's defensive weakness. He is not great defensively and doesn't play very physical at all. Rielly's torn ACL from last season will also probably prevent him from a real shot at making the jump to the NHL, but that should give him some time to round out his play in his own end.
Griffin Reinhart - D
Now the big guy on the blueline is right up Anaheim's need alley. Reinhart has very good size with skating and offensive ability. Positionally he is very sound, but he hasn't quite completely figured out how to use his massive body to his full advantage. Reinhart is a little of a project, but he has size that you cannot teach and he has hockey lineage. If he can turn out anywhere near the former Duck, Chris Pronger, then Anaheim could have the makings of a very solid blueline. Reinhart will most likely not be an immediate add to the Ducks roster, but should be ready in about 2 years.
Teuvo Teravainen - LW
A skilled Finnish winger, Anaheim has had some luck with those. Teravainen is the fastest riser on many draft boards. He is one of the younger players in the draft, but he is very skilled and has performed well while playing against men in Finland. He is a terrific skater, has excellent puck skills, and can put the puck in the net. Some have said they his abilities compare to Pavel Datsyuk, but that might be a stretch. He is definitely on the small size and really could be a boom-or-bust draft pick. He will likely stay overseas next season and might not be NHL ready for 2 or 3 seasons. He is an option, one that Anaheim might be willing to take a risk on.
Jacob Trouba - D
Trouba is probably the safest defensive pick in this draft behind Ryan Murray. He plays a very solid all-around game. He has a good frame and should fill out much more over the next couple of seasons. He has some offense, but that part of his game might be limited. Trouba plays more of a defensive defenseman, but not completely defensive. He is very good on his skates and plays with an edge. He's not afraid of being physical and doesn't really take himself out of position too often to through a hit. It would appear that he would fit into the Ducks blueline quite well, alongside a younger defenseman like Cam Fowler. But Trouba is probably in need of a little more development at lower levels before becoming a full-time NHL player.
Radek Faksa - C
Faksa is a big center that explode onto the OHL with 67 points in 62 games. He has very good size and plays a very balanced game both offensively & defensively. He is more of a playmaker than scorer, but he does both very well. He has a good shot and shot hands. Kitchener's coaching staff also relied pretty heavily on him defensively, so he really does possess a well-rounded game. He still is a little bit of an unknown, but projects as a solid 2nd line center. Anaheim has Saku Koivu as their current 2nd line center, but he is getting up there and is only on a 1 year deal. Faksa could be a very good replacement for him in a year or two. He probably won't make this year's team, but I think he will probably be NHL ready for the 2013/2014 season.