PHILADELPHIA - JUNE 04: (L-R) NHL top prospects Cam Fowler, Taylor Hall, Brett Connolly, Tyler Seguin and Erik Gudbranson watch the Philadelphia Flyers practice before Game Four of the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Final at Wachovia Center on June 4, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
The SB Nation Mock Draft is underway. I'll post the details on my pick when it goes live tomorrow, and next week's posts will be a mixture of our recap of this weekend's Ducks West Coast Prospects Camp and our pre-Draft coverage. So stay tuned!
Daniel will be out of town for the Draft, so he's sent me his absentee ballot for the Ducks' picks. His thoughts after the jump.
The Ducks should take Etem with the 12th pick. He combines incredible speed with an uncanny ability to see and dissect the game. He is a fantastic goal scorer who doesn't give up a lot on the defensive end. His work ethic and game intelligence are undeniable and have been applauded by Ducks' Director of Amateur Scouting Martin Madden, his coach and Central Scouting's Peter Sullivan. This kid understands the game and that ability is going to endear him to Randy Carlyle. Moreover, the guys at The Scouting Report mention a unique skill of Etem's that should sound very familiar to Anaheim fans. Etem goes invisible. If you've ever watched the Anaheim power play and observed Selanne slink to the back post as the puck heads to the blue line or along the left wing boards, then you know exactly what I'm talking about. Etem knows how to let the play progress and then step in at the right moment.
Etem's speed is difficult to handle, but might also be his downfall. He strides low and keeps his head down, which will make him a target on the ice. Still, as an up-tempo, attacking scorer, his potential is enormously high. The Ducks' cabinet really doesn't have a player of Etem's style. We need to develop a pure goal scorer, and Etem has that tool kit. Throw in the fact that he's a local kid, and this is the kind of pick that could have Ducks fans excited for a few years.
With the 29th pick, I think the Ducks should look to their last line of defense. Calvin Pickard is the Central Scouting's top ranked domestic goaltender. The Ducks might be reaching at 29, but the organizational depth between the pipes is a bit lacking. Pielmeier is about to get good time at Syracuse, but struggled at times this year. Bobkov impressed at the World Juniors, but is still a few years away and anything can happen. Marco Cousineau did not impress at training camp last year. I know Arthur has said that the loss of Allaire might change the way the Ducks draft goalies, and I think it's time to take that observation seriously. I believed, as most Anaheim fans did, that Allaire could transform almost anyone we drafted into at least a serviceable goalie. With him gone, it's important to acquire at least some talent and hope for the best.
Pickard just handled a huge workload for a porous Seattle Thunderbirds defense. His numbers suffered, but reports claim he's strong positionally and has a great mental approach. There will be time to develop him. He might not be NHL ready for 3-4 years, at which point we'll know if Hiller can handle the workload of a full time number one netminder.