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August 16, 2013, 11:06 AM ET

Hypothetical Draft Classes

by Corey Pronman

As a fun experiment I thought it would be interesting to do a hypothetical draft using my last three draft boards (2011-2013). This hypothetical team would have the 16th pick in every round, and would not factor position, country or anything else into their decision other than who is the best player available from my draft boards.


1.       Nathan Beaulieu, D

2.       Nikita Kucherov, W

3.       Michael St. Croix, C

4.       Zakhar Arzamastsev, D

5.       Alexei Marchenko, D

6.       Albert Yarullin, D

7.       Max Everson, D

Beaulieu has proven to be a very good offensive defenseman who had a really impressive rookie pro season. Kucherov was one of the best players at the World Juniors this season and dominated the QMJHL. St. Croix has been a top scorer in the WHL the last few years although he’s not a well-rounded player. Arzamastsev ends up never being drafted although I still think he’s worth a look. Marchenko didn’t play much this year but has a decent all-around skill set and signed an NHL deal this year. Yarullin played top pairing for Russia at the WJC but has never been signed to a NHL deal. Max Everson got into trouble at school and was suspended from play.


1.       Teuvo Teravainen, C

2.       Anton Slepyshev, W

3.       Nikolai Prokhorkin, C

4.       Nikita Gusev, W

5.       Nathan Walker, W

6.       Arturs Gavrus, W

7.       Austin Czarnik, C

Teravainen is a top prospect who was dominant at the recent U20 camps. His skill level is really high and has drawn tons of praise in the scouting industry the last 12 months. Slepyshev will go undrafted here, but will be picked by Edmonton a year later. He was Russia’s 2nd line winger at the World Juniors and has been a top U20 player in the KHL. Prokhorkin is a gifted playmaker with size who had contractual issues this year but is committed to North America. Gusev scored a fair amount in the KHL last season. He’s really small with a ton of talent and good chemistry with fellow draftee on this team Kucherov. Walker gets passed over twice but invited to Washington’s camp twice. He’s small, skilled and works hard but may be a tweener. Gavrus shows good flashes in the OHL, but has been bouncing around between Belarus and now going to the KHL. He’s skilled, but hard to know if he’ll stay in America. Czarnik has been a top player in college and despite going undrafted I think is worth a contract.


1.       Hunter Shinkaruk, C

2.       Pavel Buchnevich, W

3.       Juuso Ikonen, W

4.       Sergei Tolchinsky, W

5.       Lucas Wallmark, C

6.       Anthony Louis, W

7.       Wilhelm Westlund, D

Shinkaruk is a highly skilled player who scored a ton in the WHL the last few years. Buchnevich is also a very gifted offensive player who really impressed in International play. Ikonen goes undrafted but put up a lot of points for a U18 in Finland’s top league. He’s very fast and skilled but understandable concerns about his very small stature. Tolchinsky went undrafted, but is a very skilled player with elite skating ability but he’s also very small. Wallmark is a surprise player to not get drafted, partially due to skating and injury concern. He’s a great passer with skill. Anthony Louis is another very small forward who was on the USNTDP’s top line this year and produced a lot. Westlund is a smart two-way defenseman with good mobility.

So our hypothetical team is likely looking at a top tier of prospects being:

Nathan Beaulieu, Teuvo Teravainen and Hunter Shinkaruk

With their next tier being:

Pavel Buchnevich, Nikita Kucherov and Michael St. Croix

With your depth guys being:

Austin Czarnik, Alexei Marchenko, Nikolai Prokhorkin, Anton Slepyshev, Juuso Ikonen, Sergei Tolchinsky and Lucas Wallmark among several others.

My assessment of this system would be very optimistic about the top end, and I like the second tier a lot but I’d say the depth would be below-average. I took a lot of home run swings on small players, and talented Russians. Some of the Russians look like they will transfer, but there’s a fair amount who may never play a game in North America. I have a lot of small players here and some good all-around players, not really any good defensive defensemen and no goaltenders so it may have been wise to address these needs in the 6th or 7th rounds if this wasn’t an automatic draft. I’m a big proponent of reflection, revision and trying to always make yourself better. An exercise like this can at least in some small part aid in that process.

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