Friday, June 24, 2016

2016 NHL Mock Draft

Reprinted with permission from

1.  Toronto Maple Leafs--C, Auston Matthews. MLSE rejects lucrative deal for Ixtlan Peyote Company's "Join Us On the Journey" jersey patch. At a presser announcing the rejection, executives say Leaf  Nation is already deep in the throes of an alternate reality using the hallucinogenic trade-up proposals to both the 3rd and 4th spots in the draft, while also taking Matthews 1st overall, as prime examples. President Brendan Shanahan says the brain cramps have absolutely to do with head shots and provides a lengthy video explanation as to how they came to this conclusion.

2.  Winnipeg Jets--LW, Patrick Laine. Laine was said to have done an interview using face-time while lying in his bed. Some were taken aback by this casual approach to his career but it's no biggie for as Laine as he was simply expressing his individuality and it got a chuckle from most of the hockey world anyway. Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff was said to have rescinded an order for team-issued track suits after hearing of the interview and there's speculation that he has a call to immigration asking for a travel stipulation in Laine's visa. With a wisp of dejavu hanging over the Iceplex, Cheveldayoff doesn't want to take any chances and is doing everything in his power to keep Laine away from Las Vegas.

3.  Columbus Blue Jackets--RW, Jesse Puljujarvi. Despite not landing in a top-two draft slot, Jackets GM Jarmo Kekäläinen is still giddy as he gets to add an elite talent--from his homeland, no-less--to a huge stockpile of forward prospects. Word is that during their Combine interview with Puljujarvi, Kekäläinen cranked up the Jackets' goal song--complete with cannon shot--and played it every time Puljujarvi nailed one of their questions. Reports have him screaming at the top of his lungs, "varten nuo kuka aikoo rock!!!"...*BOOM!!!*..."sinä tehdä kunniaa jklle teitä!!!" right along with the song.

4.  Edmonton Oilers--LW, Matthew Tkachuk. Edmonton picking in the top-five isn't even funny anymore.

5. Vancouver Canucks--F, Pierre-Luc Dubois Vancouver team doctors were on the scene to medicate GM Jim Benning after he began rhythmically chanting the Marek Chychrun in the halls of Rogers Arena. Benning has been suffering from a condition known as Zarapania--the strong urge to reach for a Euro player at the draft--ever since he was head scout in Buffalo and Chychrun has a mesmerizing European ring to it.

6.  Calgary Flames--C, Clayton Keller. New bench boss Glen Gulutzan is pumped. He wants speed, he wants size, he wants skill. He wants it all but settles for speed and skill as the Flames select the 5'9" Keller, the first surprise pick of the draft. Team President Brian Burke amps up the testosterone as turns belligerent when hearing that scouting director Button calls his pugnacious approach to player-types, "Walmart thinking," and asks his boss, "Do you think the Penguins shop at Walmart?" Buffalo GM Tim Murray, who did some track-suit shopping at Walmart in the 80's, gives Burke a call to see if he's interested in acquiring diminutive Buffalo RW Tyler Ennis for a possible Flames "Pipsqueak Line."

7.  Arizona Coyotes--D, Olli Joulevi. The rumors of Arizona offering Toronto five first round draft picks, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Max Domi, Anthony Duclair and a bottle of Shane Doan's hair tonic to the Maple Leafs to draft Arizona-raised Matthews turned out to be false, much to the dismay of Leaf Nation. Rumors had the deal almost get done but Doan's hair-tonic rights was a stumbling block. Unless he signed a long-term deal, the 39 yrs. old said the hair tonic's a no-goa as he'll need that to keep his hair from frying in the desert sun.

8.  Buffalo Sabres--D, Mikhail Sergachev. Buffalo was ready to select Jacob Chychrun until sources revealed he hurt his shoulder giving Terry Pegula a high-five at a family cookout in Florida. You could feel the weight of the moment as Chychrun's double cheeseburger went flying into Kim Pegula's Strawberry Daquiri. The incident threw everyone off guard causing Murray's brain to cramp and he ended up doing the unthinkable by drafting the Russian defenseman who inexplicably dropped to them. There's no truth to the rumor that former head scout Kevin Devine had Murray in a headlock until the blue faced GM capitulated by shouting out Sergachev's name instead of "uncle" at the same gathering.

9.  Montreal Canadians--LW Alexander Nylander. Go small or go home has been the Canadiens motto up-front lately and Alexander Nylander fits right into that mold. GM Marc Bergevin would have gone smaller with the Keller pick but the Flames beat him to the punch so he takes the brother of Maple Leafs prospect William, a pick that could have the makings of a great rivalry between brothers.

10. Colorado Avalanche--D, Jake Bean. There he is, finally that defenseman they've been looking for. In a case of too little, too late Bean may be that Rob Blake-like impact-defenseman a couple years down the road well after the likes of Tyson Barrie, Matt Duchene and Patrick Roy are no longer with the organization. Nikita Zadorov was said to have been super-excited about the pick of Bean and would have congratulated him but is still sleeping after a binge in the Bahamas.

11. New Jersey Devils--C, Igoudalla Itchae, Bostwanna Bobcats. The Devils sent the media scrambling in an effort to find out where this pick came from only it was a joke that lasted only a couple of minutes. The joke was on New Jersey, however, as they ended up being a few seconds too late to make the pick and forfeited it because they went over the time limit. GM Ray Shero tried to put a spin on it afterwards saying Itchae would've looked great on a line with Marc Savard and Pavel Datsyuk--acquired earlier in the day--both of whom will never again see North American ice. He points to the additional second round picks he received in both deals and has said he's very interested in Dustin Brown, Thomas Vanek and Matt Moulson's contract as well. If the price is right.

12. Ottawa Senators--D, Jakob Chychrun. There are rumblings throughout Canada's capital that owner Eugene Melnyk is gonna go too far with his sweeping changes. Because of the Senators internal cap, no one is safe and that includes two-time Norris Trophy winner Eric Karlsson. Sens are happy to land Chychrun and tout him as the replacement for Karlsson should Melnyk completely lose his mind and demand the franchise defenseman be traded for financial reasons.

13. Carolina Hurricanes--D, Charlie McAvoy. The 'Canes are still snickering that they landed Teuvo Teravainen from a cap-strapped Chicago Blackhawks organization. In fact their so emboldened by the move that they pass on forward Tyson Jost a forward who'd have filled an area of need--just to tick-off another Original-Six team in the Boston Bruins. Boston was drooling over the prospect of landing Boston University's McAvoy who would also have filled a positon of need for them but the 'Canes screwed them over.

14. Boston Bruins--C, Tyson Jost. After hearing the 'Canes had picked McAvoy, B's owner Jeremy Jacobs boards his private jet and is headed to Carolina to punch out Carolina GM Ron Francis. Jacobs' rage dates back to the early 90's when Francis was with Pittsburgh and his Penguins ousted the Bruins two consecutive seasons on their way to the 1991 an 1992 Stanley Cup Championships.

15. Minnesota Wild--C, Michael McLeod. The Wild wanted Bellows--son of former Minnesota North Star, Brian Bellows--but the NHL granted New Jersey their first round pick and they took him. Minnesota will have to settle for McLeod of the Mississauga Steelheads. The team is in a state of transformation as they've been unable to make a playoff run with the roster constructed as is and they need to re-tool. Forward Thomas Vanek could be a buyout candidate (if he isn't traded to New Jersey)but new assistant coach Scott Stevens took care of everything during an informal on-ice workout. Seems as if Stevens leveled Vanek with a cheap shot to Vanek's head that put him out for the season, and may have ended his career. Paul Kariya would have chimed in on the situation but he's still having trouble comprehending things thanks to a similar hit from Stevens back in the 2003 playoffs.

16. Detroit Red Wings--C, Rasmus Asplund. One of the reasons head coach Mike Babcock left for Toronto is that the Wings couldn't answer the question of "Who's gonna replace Pav?" The 2016 off season will soon reveal that, no, it's not Asplund, a forward who continues with Detroit's tradition of tapping into Sweden for difference-makers. Rumor has it that the Wings will be signing free agent Steven Stamkos come July 1. Also revealed is that the late Gordie Howe put a curse on Toronto because of Babcock's defection and his general animosity towards the Leafs.

17. Nashville Predators--RW, Julien Gauthier. With the Jimmy Vesey saga now over thanks to the Sabres trading a third-rounder to Nashville for his rights, the Preds move on by filling the wing with Gauthier. The 6'4" 212 lb. Gauthier will probably never be the scorer Vesey is, but he'll serve his purpose. Another problem on the horizon for GM David Poile is assistant head coach Phil Housley who is head coaching material. Sabres GM Tim Murray was said to have inquired about Housley's status when discussing the Vesey trade, mentioning that he's still has another third round pick to offer and was rumored to be inquiring as to whether he could poach Housley to help fill out Dan Bylsma's coaching staff.

18. Philadelphia Flyers--LW, Max Jones. The Flyers have been looking to replace Keith Jones since his retirement in 2001 and they found a big winger in Max Jones (no relation) to do so. Free agent Milan Lucic may end up in Philly leaving Max Jones to a role as mercenary for Flyers past and present. Part of Max Jones' initiation into the Fly-boy organization will be to take out Keith Jones'  television adversary, Mike Milbury. Max is advised not to wear shoes as one of them could be used against him in the tussle.

19. New York Islanders--D, Logan Stanley. Isles GM Garth Snow fills a big need in a big way with the 6'7" Stanley. Snow has had his fair share of miscues amidst legendary "As the World Turns"-type drama, but he seems to have gotten this one right. From a depth perspective they need a d-man and he can now make a direct and easy to follow link between hockey's Holy Grail and his team with Stanley as he's trying to a new fan-base in  Brooklyn where most think a hockey puck is just an bloated, black urinal cake.

20. Arizona Coyotes (from NY Rangers)--D, Dante Fabbo. 'Yotes help fill a weak d-prospect pool with Dante who happens to have a name with a definitive connection to the hell-like heat one can find in the desert. But that's nothing compared to the heat new GM John Chyka--who's the youngest GM in NHL history at 26--will feel if his analyitical wizardry fails in Glendale, or Phoenix, or wherever the 'Yotes call home in the near future. As the franchise teeters on the bring of relocation--again--it would be an Alighierian-like fall for the franchise should Chyka fail, heading from a state of limbo past the other eight circles and right into the fire. Canada is more than happy to offer the NHL and their Arizona franchise up a cool cup Quebec City water.

21. Carolina Hurricanes (from Los Angeles)--D, Dennis Cholowski. Cane's go off the board a bit and reach for another defenseman in Cholowski. Hockey fans in Carolina are a bit baffled as they've onlyl begun to figure out what offsides is and now are expected to pronounce, Cholowksi?  The millions of northern transplants living it up in  the land of NASCAR agree to help in the name of Wojciehowicz, Walesa and pierogi's.

22. Winnipeg Jets (from Chicago)--D, Libor Hajek. Still giddy after landing the second overall pick, Chevledayoff is enamored with Hajek's name as it flows nicely just like his offensive, on-ice game from the back-end. Speaking of flowing and back ends, the GM was told that Hajek is pronounced like Hayek which is a direct connection to Chevledayoff's dream-girl Salma Hayek, whom he was introduced to by Evander Kane in Las Vegas.

23. Florida Panthers--LW, Riley Tufte. It's really weird seeing the Cats drafting at 23 as as they've never drafted this low with their first pick. Former GM Dale Tallon was bumped up in the organization and was Tom Rowe promoted from AGM giving him to his first draft as GM. It's pretty easy for Rowe as the Cats are so happy with Nick Bjugstad that they tap into another Minnesota Mr. Hockey winner in Tufte. Although Tufte isn't Ford-tough in the Mike Rowe kind of dirty job-type tough, GM Rowe and company will take his skill-level and high upside.

24. Anaheim Ducks--C, Logan Brown. After the Jersey snafu and the Islanders taking the other Logan--along with other breaks going their way--big Logan Brown drops to Anaheim. Rumor has it that Brown will go through yet another growth spurt putting him in the 7' range leaving him to look like a baby giraffe (kinda like Tyler Myers) jon skates. He may need to learn to skate all over again or learn to play basketball. Former Los Angeles Laker great Kobe' Bryant is said to have prompted the team to take Brown with their last pick in the 2016 NBA Draft.

25. Dallas Stars--F, Tage Thompson. Coming from the Detroit organization, Jim Nill is a huge Bob Seger fan and continues to Turn the Tage in his new book being written as Dallas GM. It was a crappy end to a high-flyin' season in Dallas and if they can ever figure out their goalie situation, which head coach Lindy Ruff had a hard time doing in Buffalo, the sky's the limit. If not, it could be a southern rendition of Beautiful Loser.

26. Washington Capitals--C, German Rubstov. This one was too easy as DC remains the hockey home for many Russians. Captain Alexander Ovechkin will be picking up Rubstov in his Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG after the draft. Ovie wants to chat with the young man about the Capitals way while touring Moscow hot spots. Unfortunately, before reaching their destination, they ran out of gas.

27. Tampa Bay Lightning--C, Brett Howden. Bolts GM Steve Yzerman is heard yelling to himself, "Who's gonna replace Stammer?" All the possible replacements are gone so he settles for Howden who is feeling disrespected by the all the teams that supposedly passed on him. In hearing that he was termed a project by Yzerman, Howden sulked in his news conference. It's been said that Howden received a text from none other than Jonathan Drouin telling him to "toughen up" and to "quit acting like a baby."

28. St. Louis Blues--LW, Boris Katchouk. Oops. The Blues thought they were getting Matthew Tkachuk when they drafted this winger. Honest mistake. Right?

29. Boston Bruins (from San Jose)--D, Filip Hronek. B's d-man Zdeno Chara is aging and his skills are fading fast. The Bruins are intent upon finding his replacement and try to late in the first round with Hronek who is nothing like Chara. Hronek's from the Czech Republic a country once united with Slovakia (Chara's homeland) that formed Czechoslovakia. Despite his wishes, there's no chance that GM Don Sweeney can pull off a "Wonder Twins Unite!" scenario with these two. But he tried. Word is that Jacobs is landing in Carolina at the time of the Bruins second, first-round pick and is looking for a lug wrench.

30. Anaheim Ducks (from Pittsburgh via Toronto)--G, Filip Gustavsson. After trading Fredrik Andersen to the Toronto Maple Leafs for this pick, it comes as no surprise that the Ducks head over to Europe once again to pluck a goalie. And in a Cheshire-grinned nod to Toronto for taking Andersen's huge contract demands off of their hands, Anaheim got their Giggy on as they also gave the recent Leafs goaltending futility a little poke in the ribs by picking a goalie with the same surname as former to Toronto goaltender, Jonas "The Monster" Gustavsson.

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