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2013 NHL Entry Draft: 1st Round Picks & Profiles

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Draft prospect profiles have been provided by Buzzing The Net blogger Neate Sager.

FIRST ROUND

1. COLORADO AVALANCHE
The Pick: Nathan MacKinnon, C, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL).

Details: 'Nate the Skate' marries world-class acceleration and deft hands with a willingness to go to the dirty areas, which is why he and Jonathan Drouin led Halifax to its first Memorial Cup. His on-ice intensity and ability to simplify his game will enable him to play full-time in the NHL as an 18-year-old..

Buzzing The Net: 5 Questions With MacKinnon


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2. FLORIDA PANTHERS
The Pick: Aleksander Barkov, C, Tappara (Fin.).

Details:Among Finnish first-rounders of recent vintage, only Mikael Granlund has ever had more points per game during his draft season in SM-Liiga than the 6-foot-3, 209-pound Barkov did for Tappara. Barkvo’s skating is what one would expect for his size and age; everything else is exceptional.

Buzzing The Net: 5 Questions With Barkov


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3. TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING
The Pick: Jonathan Drouin, LW, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL).

Details: Perhaps the savviest player in the draft and certainly the best playmaker and puck-carrier, Drouin averaged more than two points per game in Halifax and was the CHL's player of the year. Speed and slipperiness could help him find a place in the NHL as an 18-year-old.

Buzzing The Net: 5 Questions With Drouin


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4. NASHVILLE PREDATORS
The Pick: Seth Jones, D, Portland WinterHawks (WHL).

Details: A franchise defenseman waiting to happen, Jones has developed great speed and strength with a strong stick. He's so advanced at age 18 that, not unlike Canadian basketball phenom Andrew Wiggins, the only obvious questions are his levels of intensity and interest on a game-by-game basis.

Buzzing The Net: 5 Questions With Jones


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5. CAROLINA HURRICANES
The Pick: Elias Lindholm, C, Brynas (Sweden).

Details: Drew comparisons to Peter Forsberg for his confluence of ardor and a high hockey IQ, which made him the top prospect out of Sweden in the draft class of 2013. His good rookie numbers in the Elitserien might not do justice to how many chances he generates..

Buzzing The Net: Top billing for Forsberg clone


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6. CALGARY FLAMES
The Pick: Sean Monahan, C, Ottawa 67's (OHL).

Details: From Bobby Smith through Logan Couture, the 67’s have a history of turning out complete centers. Monahan is a catalyst whether he’s working the cycle, starting the rush or killing penalties..

Buzzing The Net: 5 Questions With Monahan.


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7. EDMONTON OILERS
The Pick: Darnell Nurse, D, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL).

Details: A quintessential shutdown defenseman who is nimble, willing and a leader. Decision-making and passing will need fine-tuning to get him ready for The Show.

Buzzing The Net: 5 Questions With Nurse


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8. BUFFALO SABRES
The Pick: Rasmus Ristolainen, D, TPS Turku (Finland).

Details: A 6-foot-3 offensive defenseman who constantly looks for chances to become a fourth forward on the ice and likes to stand up attackers at the blue line. He's already a successful pro at the SM-Liiga level and has high-end NHL potential.


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9. VANCOUVER CANUCKS (from Devils)
The Pick: Bo Horvat, C, London Knights (OHL).

Details: Played his way into being a top-10 pick by showing he could add sophisticated finesse to performing the meat-and-potatoes duties, most notably his ability on faceoffs. He was named the MVP of the OHL playoffs.

Buzzing The Net: 5 Questions With Horvat


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10. DALLAS STARS
The Pick: Valeri Nichushkin, RW, Traktor Chelyabinsk (KHL).

Details: The x-factor at the top of the draft. Evgeni Malkin-esque high-skilled power forward who had a big playoff in the KHL, scoring six goals for Chelyabinsk. Puck protection and deceptive skating allow the 6-foot-4, 200-pounder to take pucks to the net.

Buzzing The Net: Scouts' take on Nichushkin


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11. PHILADELPHIA FLYERS
The Pick: Samuel Morin, D, Rimouski Oceanic (QMJHL).

Details: His ceiling is so high even the 6-foot-6 Morin’s can’t reach it. Morin possesses the confidence and the mean streak to be part of a shutdown defense pairing at the next level. He’s still raw, but a project worth taking a chance on.

Buzzing The Net: 5 Questions With Morin


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12. PHOENIX COYOTES
The Pick: Max Domi, C, London Knights (OHL).

Details: His speed and vision are in the 99th percentile among teenage players, raising the question of what he’ll do with NHL linemates who process plays as quickly as he does. Core strength helps him win puck battles against much taller and heavier players..

Buzzing The Net: 5 Questions With Domi


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13. WINNIPEG JETS
The Pick: Josh Morrissey, D, Prince George Cougars (WHL).

Details: A puck-moving defenseman who is able to create time and space to carry the puck and make accurate passes while under pressure. Defensively, Morrissey keeps a tight gap on onrushing attackers. It will be important to be patient with his development, as with Maple Leafs pick Morgan Rielly.

Buzzing The Net: 5 Questions With Morrissey


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14. COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS
The Pick: Alexander Wennberg, C, Djurgarden (Allsvenskan).

Details: A riser whose 14 goals were second-most among teenagers in Sweden’s second-rung pro league. Wennberg is a playmaker who has requisite 200-foot game sensibilities to make him worth a calculated risk in the top half of the first round.


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15. NEW YORK ISLANDERS
The Pick: Ryan Pulock, D, Bradon Wheat Kings (WHL).

Details: Early top-10 hype faded, but as Jeff Spicoli would say, he still has an excellent set of tools. Possesses a cannon shot, a sense of when to join the rush and can be physical. His positioning away from the puck needs to improve.


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16. BUFFALO SABRES (from Wild)
The Pick: Nikita Zadorov, D, London Knights (OHL).

Details: A 6-foot-5, 220-pound prototype shutdown defenseman who skates well enough that he can help finish off scoring opportunities. Takes the body very forcefully and improved at picking spots for open-ice hit hits.


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17. OTTAWA SENATORS
The Pick: Curtis Lazar, RW, Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL).

Details: Dwelled on an early-season offensive dry spell before settling into being a superb two-way player and a team leader for Edmonton, the eventual WHL runners-up. One can see him as part of the supporting cast for the 2015 edition of Canada’s national junior team.

Buzzing The Net: 5 Questions With Lazar


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18. SAN JOSE SHARKS (from Red Wings)
The Pick: Mirco Mueller, D, Everett Silvertips (WHL).

Details: Brainy at both ends of the ice, the 6-foot-4 Swiss defender has potential to be the darling of the CORSI crowd at the next level although he’s not overly flashy. Mueller will need to become more physical in his second North American season.

Buzzing The Net: 5 Questions With Mueller


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19. COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS (from Rangers)
The Pick: Kerby Rychel, LW, Windsor Spitfires (OHL).

Details: Got open and got his shot away quickly often enough to post successive 40-goal seasons in the OHL. Has his father Warren Rychel’s edge in board battles. Skating will decide if his NHL ceiling is second-liner or third-liner.

Buzzing The Net: 5 Questions With Rychel


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20. DETROIT RED WINGS (from Sharks)
The Pick: Anthony Mantha, LW, Val D'Or Foreurs (QMJHL).

Details: Grandson of former Montreal Canadiens four-time Stanley Cup champion Andre Pronovost was the Q’s lone 50-goal scorer this season. As is often the case with 6-foot-3 (or taller) forwards, his skating and the consistency of his work ethic are question marks.

Buzzing The Net: 5 Questions With Mantha


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21. TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS
The Pick: Frederik Gauthier, C, Rimouski Oceanic (QMJHL).

Details: Sort of a bigger version of Brendan Gaunce, the Vancouver Canucks’ 2012 first-rounder. Intelligent two-way center with no glaring flaws, but the 6-foot-5 pivot needs another gear in his skating. Gauthier helped Canada win the world U-18 title in April.


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22. CALGARY FLAMES (from Blues)
The Pick: Emile Poirier, LW, Gatineau Olympiques (QMJHL).

Details: At the Quebec League level, he’s both an effective creator and distributor who also gladly kills penalties. His best-case scenario is that he takes another step forward and goes on to be a top scorer in the 'Q' as a 19-year-old.

Buzzing The Net: 5 Questions With Poirier


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23. WASHINGTON CAPITALS
The Pick: Andre Burakovsky, LW, Malmo (Sweden).

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24. VANCOUVER CANUCKS
The Pick: Hunter Shinkaruk, C, Medicine Hat (WHL).

Details: Big-time WHL scorer who had 49 goals in his 17-year-old season in 2011-12. Has elite speed, hands and is a superb forechecker; lacks little as an individual talent but there might be a question of how he puts it all together..

Buzzing The Net: 5 Questions With Shinkaruk


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25. MONTREAL CANADIENS
The Pick: Michael McCarron, RW, U.S. U-18 team (USHL).

Details: A 6-foot-5, 228-pound power winger who teases with periodic feats of strength, but is very much a project. McCarron will decide post-draft whether to play for Andy Murray at Western Michigan or for Dale Hunter with 2014 Memorial Cup-host London..

Buzzing The Net: 5 Questions With McCarron


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26. ANAHEIM DUCKS
The Pick: Shea Theodore, D, Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL).

Details: A rushing defenseman in a draft class which boasts more than its share, Theodore quarterbacked Seattle’s power play as a 17-year-old and threw off opponents with his fifth-gear speed. His defensive abilities have raised some red flags, however.

Buzzing The Net: 5 Questions With Theodore


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27. COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS (from Kings)
The Pick: Marko Dano, F, Bratislava (Slovakia).

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28. CALGARY FLAMES (from Penguins)
The Pick: Morgan Klimchuk, LW, Regina Pats (WHL).

Details: Falls more under the umbrella of "safe pick" than "high ceiling," but the speed and tenacity he has shown in his first two seasons with the oft-overmatched Pats is very encouraging. Klimchuk was part of both of Canada’s gold medal-winning U-18 teams in August and April.

Buzzing The Net: 5 Questions With Klimchuk


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29. DALLAS STARS (from Bruins)
The Pick: Jason Dickinson, C, Guelph Storm (OHL).

Details: A couple prolonged droughts hurt his stock. But the rangy Dickinson is a very sound two-way player who has gradually evolved into a burgeoning defensive forward under Storm coach Scott Walker, who served in that role during his long NHL career.


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30. CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS
The Pick: Ryan Hartman, RW, Plymouth Whalers (OHL).

Details: Indefatigable two-way winger who checks harder than one would expect from a midsized 5-foot-11, 181-pounder. He was a better scorer than Plymouth anticipated; he’ll have to replicate that surprise at the pro level.

Buzzing The Net: 5 Questions With Hartman


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