Redoing the First Round of the 2013 NHL Draft

Redoing the First Round of the 2013 NHL Draft

This article is part of our NHL Draft series.

With the sports world paused due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, we decided to take a look back and re-do the first round of several past NHL Entry Drafts. Each article will feature a brief summary of who the team selected at the time, and who we believe they would select now in hindsight. 

Part 3 – featuring the class of 2013, is below...

(Note: team needs are not taken into account at the time of selection)

1- Colorado Avalanche: Nathan MacKinnon (F, Halifax-QMJHL), Original Pick: MacKinnon: I currently have MacKinnon rated as the best player in the NHL not named Connor McDavid. McDavid is faster but MacKinnon is the most technical and efficient skater in the league. MacKinnon was the clear-cut selection for Colorado in 2013 but he wasn't viewed as a franchise-altering prospect like McDavid, Auston Matthews or even Jack Eichel. The Avalanche nailed the pick and they're now reaping the rewards.

2- Florida Panthers: Aleksander Barkov (F, Tappara-Liiga), Original Pick: Barkov: The first two selections remain the same. Barkov has been everything Florida could have asked for and then some. He's massive (6-foot-3, 215 pounds), defensively responsible and can obviously score. He's also one of the best bargain contracts in the league at just $5.9 million per year through the 2021-22 season. His next contract could easily be double that amount.

3- Tampa Bay Lightning: Seth Jones (D, Portland-WHL), Original Pick: Jonathan Drouin (F, Halifax-QMJHL): Here's where things get tricky. The next half dozen or so players are all very similar to each other value-wise. Drouin's a perfectly fine player but he's been banged up a lot and quickly wore out his welcome in Tampa. Jones is arguably a top-five defenseman and his best hockey is probably still ahead of him. This wasn't a disastrous outcome for the Lightning but they could have done better in retrospect.

4- Nashville Predators: Jake Guentzel (F, Sioux City-USHL), Original Pick: Jones): Jones played well for Nashville before being dealt to Columbus for Ryan Johansen in a rare one-for-one "hockey trade." The Preds got the short end of the stick there but Johansen is still a useful piece. Guentzel on the other hand ended up being selected No. 77 overall by Pittsburgh. He scored 40 goals two seasons ago and was on pace to beat that number this season before a shoulder injury wrecked his campaign. He's also a beast in the playoffs and his arrow continues to point straight up despite the injury.

5- Carolina Hurricanes: Sean Monahan (F, Ottawa-OHL), Original Pick: Elias Lindholm (Brynas-SHL): Monahan and Lindholm's stories are intertwined. I went back and forth a dozen times about which I preferred moving forward and I still don't have a solid answer. They're teammates in Calgary and often linemates as well. I ended up settling on Monahan but I could definitely be persuaded to change my mind. 

6- Calgary Flames: Lindholm, Original Pick: Monahan: See Above

7- Edmonton Oilers: Drouin, Original Pick: Darnell Nurse (D, Sault Ste. Marie-OHL): Nurse is actually a pretty solid player and ended up being a fine selection for the Oilers. He competes at both ends of the ice and has been totally healthy over the past three seasons. I'd still rather take a chance on Drouin's perceived "ceiling" but this one worked out fine for Edmonton.

8- Buffalo Sabres: Bo Horvat (F, London-OHL), Original Pick: Rasmus Ristolainen (D, TPS-Liiga): Ristolainen is an enigma. He's big and strong, plays hard and he has some offensive ability, but he should be a more effective player than he has been. There's a reason his name has been on the trade block for what seems like years, but despite that, he's still wearing a Buffalo uniform. Horvat has proven to be a 55-60 point player all while captaining the Canucks and playing terrific defensively. 

9- Vancouver Canucks: Anthony Mantha (F, Val-d'Or-QMJHL), Original Pick: Horvat: I touched on Horvat just above. Mantha is a completely different type of player. He's a pure goal scorer with untapped offensive potential. Playing for the tire fire that is the Red Wings hasn't helped matters, either.

10- Dallas Stars: Shea Theodore (D, Seattle-WHL), Original Pick: Valeri Nichushkin (F, Dynamo Moscow-KHL): I liked, and actually still like Nichushkin more than most but his career clearly hasn't gone according to plan. He has turned into a serviceable bottom-six piece for Colorado, which is a better result than I would have predicted a year ago at this time. Theodore is the top defenseman for the Golden Knights.

11- Philadelphia Flyers: Nurse, Original Pick: Samuel Morin (D, Rimouski-QMJHL): It's hard to knock Morin because he's been seriously injured for the better part of the past three seasons. I imagine he would be an NHL regular by now if he simply had been able to stay healthy. The type of player Nurse has become looks a lot like what Philadelphia expected of Morin on draft day.

12- Phoenix Coyotes: Max Domi (F, London-OHL), Original Pick: Domi: The Domi pick made sense at the time and it makes sense now. He's played considerably better since being traded to Montreal for Alex Galchenyuk but it's hard to say the Coyotes botched this one in any way. 

13- Winnipeg Jets: Dominik Kubalik (F, Sudbury-OHL), Original Pick: Josh Morrissey (D, Prince Albert-WHL): Two poor seasons in Sudbury led to Kubalik being the No. 191 overall selection in 2013 by the Kings. He returned to his native Czech Republic where he was mediocre before moving to Switzerland where he found his game. Chicago acquired his rights from Los Angeles and he debuted in the NHL this season. He currently leads all rookies with 30 goals in 68 games. There's some recency bias and small sample size issues here, but Kubalik looks legit. On the flip side, Morrissey has not had a good year.

14- Columbus Blue Jackets: Ryan Pulock (D, Brandon-WHL), Original Pick: Alexander Wennberg (F, Djurgardens-Sweden): Wennberg looked like he was going to be quite a player a few years back but he's been M.I.A. since the 2017-18 campaign. A trade from Columbus seems inevitable at this point. Pulock has turned into one of the Islanders' top defenders. He moves well and he possesses one of the hardest point shots in the league. His numbers would look even better if he wasn't forced to split power-play time with Devon Toews.

15- New York Islanders: Brett Pesce (D, University of New Hampshire-NCAA), Original Pick: Pulock: More teams should have been in on Pesce considering he was taking a regular shift (and playing well) for UNH as a true freshman. He's never going to put up many points but he's one of the NHL's most effective defensive rearguards and Carolina has been declining trade offers for him for years. 

16- Buffalo Sabres: Morrisssey, Original Pick: Nikita Zadorov (D, London-OHL): I mentioned the fact that Morrisey's having a poor season above. He's struggled since Jacob Trouba moved on to the Rangers and he has lost his spot on the No. 1 power-play unit to the man who arrived in exchange for Trouba, Neal Pionk. I definitely think Morrissey offers more than what we've seen this year. Zadorov was a total bust for the Sabres before being dealt to Colorado. He has flourished with the Avs as a stay-at-home, crease-clearing defenseman. Zadorov displayed at least average offensive skills at the junior level but they haven't translated to the NHL.

17- Ottawa Senators: Pavel Buchnevich (F, Severstal Cherepovets-KHL), Original Pick: Curtis Lazar (F, Edmonton-WHL): The Rangers are waiting for Buchnevich to really break out but he's a talented offensive player and a clear cut top-six forward. He's played nearly the entire season on New York's top line alongside Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider when all three have been healthy. Lazar's the definition of a depth forward. He's good on faceoffs and responsible defensively but that's about it. 

18- San Jose Sharks: Ristolainen, Original Pick: Mirco Mueller (D, Everett-WHL): Ristolainen has been a controversial pick at No. 8 overall but the Sharks would have been thrilled to have him at No. 18, especially considering the alternative was Mueller. Mueller spent his entire time with the Sharks organization bouncing between the AHL and NHL. He was finally traded to New Jersey where he has been in and out of the lineup over the past two seasons. In 103 games with the Devils, Mueller has three goals, 18 points and a minus-16 rating. That kind of production can be found on the waiver wire.

19- Columbus Blue Jackets: Tyler Bertuzzi (F, Guelph-OHL), Original Pick: Kerby Rychel (F, Windsor-OHL): I was dead wrong on Rychel. The son of former long time NHL'er Warren Rychel, I saw Kerby as a jack-of-all-trades forward with a high hockey IQ. He's been one of the AHL's best players over the past three or four seasons but has yet to establish a full-time role in the NHL. I'd still take a flier on him if I was a tanking, bottom-feeding team like Detroit. Speaking of Detroit, they took Bertuzzi No. 58 overall with a comp pick that changed hands several times. I was skeptical that Bertuzzi's 2018-19 breakout season was legit, but he's followed it up with near identical numbers (21 goals, 48 points in 71 games) this year.

20- Detroit Red Wings: Tristan Jarry (G, Edmonton-WHL), Original Pick: Mantha: I still don't know what to make of Jarry. He looked like a solid long-term backup for a while, then it didn't even look like he would amount to that. Now, he has seemingly stole the No. 1 job in Pittsburgh from Matt Murray. His numbers (2.43 GAA, .921 save percentage) say he's been the better goalie this year. Both he and Murray are arbitration eligible this offseason, but Jarry is currently making $675K while Murray is raking in $3.75 million. It's easy to see the Pens handing Jarry the keys to the car if they think this breakout is legit. 

21- Toronto Maple Leafs: Anthony Duclair (F, Quebec-QMJHL), Original Pick: Frederik Gauthier (F, Rimouski-QMJHL): Duclair isn't a player for all teams but he won't turn 25 years of age until August and he's a legitimate top-tier offensive talent. He was named to his first All-Star game this season. I was strongly against the Gauthier pick at the time and I'm still against it now. He simply never offered enough offensively to be worthy of a first-round selection.

22- Calgary Flames: Oliver Bjorkstrand (F, Portland-WHL), Original Pick: Emile Poirier (F, Gatineau-QMJHL): Bjorkstrand continues to be undervalued. He's scored at least 20 goals in each of the past two seasons and he's been improving each year. I imagine he'll get to 25 markers next season without issue if he remains healthy. Poirier was probably the worst pick of Round 1. A talented scorer in his junior days, Poirier has played just eight NHL games to date and has managed just one assist. He's spent most of his time in the AHL, where he's only put up 55 goals and 145 points in 299 games. A 0.48 PPG player in the AHL simply isn't enough for a former first-rounder. 

23- Washington Capitals: Andre Burakovsky (F, Malmo-Sweden), Original Pick: Burakovsky: It's been a long and winding road but Burakovsky appears to have finally found his game. Of course, that doesn't help the Caps much since they traded him to Colorado last June. Burakovsky set career-highs in both goals (20) and points (45) in 58 games prior to the stoppage.

24- Vancouver Canucks: Juuse Saros (G, HPK-Liiga), Original Pick: Hunter Shinkaruk (F, Medicine Hat-WHL): Very few NHL goaltenders are under 6-foot but the 5-foot-10 Saros is an exception. He possesses both the technical skills and athleticism to make up for his lack of size. I think he's ready for a No. 1 job. I thought Shinkaruk would be a productive player for as long as he remained healthy. His health held up for the most part but he never made an impact at the NHL level. He spent the past three seasons toiling in the AHL before bolting for the KHL in December.

25- Montreal Canadiens: J.T. Compher (F, University of Michigan-NCAA), Original Pick: Michael McCarron (F, US NTDP-USHL): Compher's turned into a pretty valuable asset for Colorado. He's good for about 35 points a season, he can kill penalties and he can fill in on the power play. He's a really good third-liner who can fake a top-six role for a short time if injuries strike. McCarron looks like a total bust at this point. Montreal was betting on his massive physical traits but he never improved as a player. He has eight points in 69 career NHL games and is currently in Nashville's system.

26- Anaheim Ducks: Ryan Graves (D, PEI-QMJHL), Original Pick: Theodore: Graves was drafted by the Rangers in the fourth round (110th overall). He spent two-plus seasons with AHL Hartford before being dealt to Colorado in exchange for former top prospect Chris Bigras. I thought the Rangers got the better end of that deal at the time and I couldn't have been more wrong. Graves got his feet wet with the Avalanche last season before taking on a massive role this season. He has 26 points in 69 games and leads the NHL with a plus-40 rating. 

27- Columbus Blue Jackets: Wennberg, Original Pick: Marko Dano (F, Slovan Bratislava-KHL): The Blue Jackets ended up with Wennberg anyway but they would have been happier if it happened at No. 27 instead of No. 14. Dano was viewed by most (myself included) as a mid-to-late second-rounder. He saw his stock rise with an excellent showing at the World Juniors. He's never been able to earn a full-time NHL role. 

28- Calgary Flames: Andreas Johnsson (F, Frolunda-SHL), Original Pick: Morgan Klimchuk (F, Regina-WHL): Nobody had a worst first round back in 2013 than the Flames. I touched on Poirier above and if he's not the worst pick, it's Klimchuk, who has played a grand total of one NHL game up to this point. He's now with his third NHL organization. Johnsson was the 202nd overall selection. 

29- Dallas Stars: Artturi Lehkonen (F, KalPa-Liiga), Original Pick: Jason Dickinson (F, Guelph-OHL): The value of Lehkonen and Dickinson is similar. The main difference between the two for me is that I think Lehkonen is capable of more and I think Dickinson has already plateaued. Both are NHL regulars.

30- Chicago Blackhawks: Andrew Copp (F, University of Michigan-NCAA), Original Pick: Ryan Hartman (F, Plymouth-OHL): Copp's an ideal bottom-six depth guy. He can contribute offensively, fill a variety of roles, and he does it all at a reasonable ($2.28M) price. Hartman is a similar player when at his best, but the consistency of Copp wins out here.

- Will Butcher (D, US NTDP-USHL)
- Mattias Janmark (F, AIK-SHL)
- Zach Sanford (F, Islanders-EJHL)
- Miles Wood (F, Noble/Greenough-Mass HS)
- MacKenzie Weegar (D, Halifax-QMJHL)

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Jon Litterine
Jon Litterine is RotoWire's lead MMA Writer and MMA Editor. He has covered numerous MMA events live. He's also RW's NHL Prospect Analyst. Jon has been writing for RotoWire since 2005. He is a graduate of U Mass-Lowell.
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