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Puck Daddy

Puck Daddy’s 2013 NHL Draft Top 10 power ranking

Greg Wyshynski
Puck Daddy

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The 2013 NHL Draft is on Sunday, and everyone’s wondering how the top 10 picks will play out.

So we tallied up several mock drafts as we would our awards voting and other power rankings to find out the 10 players with the most pre-draft lottery buzz: No. 1 gets 10 points, No. 2 gets 9 points and so on. The mock drafts we used: Sports Illustrated; MyNHLDraft.com; Courier-Post; SB Nation; Rotoworld; Red Line Report; National Post; NHL.com; and Hockey Prospectus.

Note: This is just a measure on where players have been ranked in these drafts. Obviously, at the end of the day, the needs of teams selecting in these spots will trump any power ranking.

Here’s the Puck Daddy power ranking for the 2013 Draft Prospects. Be sure to check out Buzzing The Net, Yahoo! Sports’ junior hockey blog, for more analysis.

1. Nathan MacKinnon, C, Halifax Mooseheads

Six mock drafts had MacKinnon going first overall to the Colorado Avalanche, and he was no lower than second on any mock draft. The 17-year-old center has franchise player potential with some explosive offensive skills.

2. Seth Jones, D, Portland Winterhawks

Jones was on top of three mock drafts, and was third on two of them. The dynamic skater has great puck skills and mobility, but there are questions about his toughness. If he doesn’t go first, one assumes he’ll go second.

3. Jonathan Drouin, LW, Halifax Mooseheads

Drouin is a masterful puck handler who is tough to knock off the puck. He could be Marty St. Louis or Pavel Datsyuk. He could be the player we look back on as the best of the top three.

4. Alexsander Barkov, C, Tappara (Finland)

Barkov was fourth overall on eight mock drafts, going to the Nashville Predators. He’s a strong player with a big body; comparisons to Anze Kopitar aren’t out of line.

5. Valeri Nichushkin, RW, Chelyabinsk 2 (Russia)

Your risky Russian of the top 10. He opted not to play in the CHL last season, remaining in Russia and seemingly destined for the KHL against next season. The 6-4 forward has loads of potential, but the pitfalls are just as apparent. Most mock drafts had him going to the Carolina Hurricanes at No. 5.

6. Sean Monahan, C, Ottawa 67s

An elite playmaker, Monahan saw his stock drop as those of MacKinnon and Jones rose since last year. He’s a smart player with solid special team skills. Could be this year’s Sean Couturier.

7. Darnell Nurse, D, Soo Greyhounds

The heavy-hitting defenseman has earned some comparisons to Shea Weber from draft observers. He could reach that lofty comparison if his offensive game rounds into form. He’s also a player with charisma to spare off the ice.

8. Elias Lindholm, C, Brynas, Sweden

A two-way center that’s earned comparisons to Nicklas Backstrom, Lindholm went as high as fifth on one mock draft.

9. Rasmus Ristolainen, D, TSP Turku

At 6-4 and 207, Ristolainen has size and skating ability to go along with his minutes-eating game. Excelled in a pro league last season, and another player that had the Shea Weber comparisons going before the draft.

10 . Nikita Zadorov, D, London Knights

Four defensemen taken in the top 10? It could happen. A tough, bruising defenseman with size (6-5) who will drop the gloves when necessary. He might go top 10; the Philadelphia Flyers no doubt hope he drops to No. 11.

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