It is never too early to look at the top prospects and see how they will end up in the charts at the following NHL draft. Today, we look at some of the most likely candidates that could be number one at the 2013 NHL draft.
The Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia native is in 5th place in QMJHL scoring with 14 goals and 8 assists in just 12 games. He is already at a plus 16 and his team is in 1st in the entire QMJHL. Thanks to him and his top scoring linemates Jonathon Drouin and Stefan Fournier, the Halifax Mooseheads have the most goals in the league. Mackinnon makes his teammates around him better. Both Drouin and Fournier are 2nd and 3rd place in scoring respectively on their team and its because they play with Mackinnon. Unlike Sidney Crosby (Who was also raised in Cole Harbour) Mackinnon likes to deke and shoot preferred to the pass. His 14 goals in 12 games tells you that he has killer goal scoring instinct and a flair for the highlight reel goal. His plays have already made it on Global National News and his skills are heavily displayed on Youtube. He is just 18 years of age but he has accomplished a lot and his best days are yet to come.
Seth Jones is a big defenseman at 6′ 4″, 206 pounds. He is a freight train at the defensive end and checking is what he does best. He is not praised for his offensive ability although he has 2 goals and 4 assists in 10 games with the Portland Winterhawks which isn’t too bad but his specialty is at the defensive end. He covers a lot of the ice and takes the man at the right time. He is very poised when moving the puck up the ice and always seems to make the right decision with his plays breaking out of the zone. He is very similar to Zach Bogosian of the Winnipeg Jets with the way he quarterbacks the blue line on the powerplay and even strength play. He has a booming shot and a willingness to use that cannon when it is needed. He doesn’t try to be flashy when playmaking but he makes the simple but effective play when he has possession of the puck.
Overall he plays a sound two way game with a physical edge and defensive knack for taking the man. He is still adjusting his play in his first WHL season with the Winterhawks but his stats should get better as time goes on in the season.
Sean Monahan of the Ottawa 67’s in the OHL is slated to be the 2nd centerman behind Nathan Mackinnon to be selected in the draft. He has an undeniable goal scoring touch and his playmaking ability is just as effective. His point totals are strong with 4 goals and 11 assists in 11 games. For him to be in the first overall seed in the 2013 NHL draft, he has some work to do. His team is dead last in his division with just 3 wins in 11 games played so far this year and he is already at a minus 10 with a group of teammates that are either hovering around the +5 to +10 range or the -5 to -15 range. Monahan needs to be in the plus range in order for his rank to increase and that is a difficult task at that. Expect a slight fall in his ranking in the coming weeks but you should also expect a bounce back in the coming months ahead. Don’t think he is bad player because he is on a bad team or is in the minus range. When you see him play, he loves to either skate to the slot with the puck or looks for the man in front of the net to pass to when he is behind the net. He loves utilizing the slot and he uses it well.
Another top ranked prospect from the NHL, Hunter Shinkaruk is a left winger playing for the Medicine Hat Tigers. He currently has 6 goals and 6 assists in 12 games with his club but his Tigers team is only in 5th place in the central division in the WHL. He plays almost identically like Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks and when you see his highlight videos he displays all sorts of skill whether skating to the slot and rifling the puck top corner or making that cross-ice pass for an open player with a wide open net, his skill set is so versatile and unpredictable. He also does everything with great speed too. He does have a -7 on his team however the amount of talent he has makes up for his defensive short comings. He is probably the most talented player in the draft besides Nathan Mackinnon. He might just steal the 2nd overall NHL draft seat from Seth Jones if he racks up enough points this season.