Arctic Ice Hockey's First Annual NHL Mock Draft: Pick #29

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 26: Jonathon Merrill, drafted in the second round by the New Jersey Devils, poses for a portrait during day two of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft at Staples Center on June 26, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Hey all! Welcome to Arctic Ice Hockey's first annual NHL Mock Draft. Over the next thirty days, Ryan, Tim and myself will attempt to telepathically channel the minds of NHL General Managers as they complete their final rankings in preparation for the 2012 NHL Draft being held June 22, 2012 in Pittsburgh, PA.

In some instances, our analysis will require less insight than others *cough* *Edmonton* *cough*.

So without further adieu, we present our loyal readers with the twenty-ninth overall pick of Arctic Ice Hockey's 2012 Mock Draft.

Lou Lamoriello: With the twenty-ninth overall selection in this years draft, the New Jersey Devils are pleased to select...


Brady Skjei

Defenseman / USA U-18 - USNTDP

6-3

March 26 1994
Hometown: Lakeville, MN

Shoots: Left



GP G A P +/- PIM
2011-12 USA U-18 (USNTDP) 56 4 18 22 5 32

Rankings: CSS (19 NA), ISS (26), TSN (26), Hockey Prospectus (37)

The Skinny: While it might make sense for the Devils to take a goalie prospect here -- especially considering they decided to keep it as opposed to forfeit it as part of the Ilya Kovalchuk signing -- it's difficult to overlook the spare parts they have used in making their defensive pairings.

Hockey Prospectus:

Skjei is quite an intriguing prospect to scout, as while average across the board aside from his size and skating, it's the latter that is clearly visible every time he plays and generates his value. Skjei is a well above-average to elite skater who moves as well as you'll find in a 6'3" player. I've seen instances where forwards would get two or three steps behind him and with a few side steps he would catch up to them. His first step is pretty explosive and makes him very dangerous on the rush as he regularly will take the puck out of his own end and bring it up through the opponent's blue line with ease. Skjei's puck skills are solid for a big man, but compared to a wide talent pool they're pretty average. The same can be said for his puck-moving skills as well which is why despite that one high-end ability, I don't think he has a significant offensive ceiling. In his own end, he uses his mobility well to stay with his checks, but doesn't use his large frame as much as he could and seems a bit timid at times. Whoever drafts him will be betting on the tremendous physical tools and hoping something else in his game takes a jump forward along the way to really propel his value. - Corey Pronman

AIH Mock Draft

Pick Team Player Pos Nationality Amateur Club
1 Edmonton Oilers Nail Yakupov LW RUS Sarnia Sting (OHL)
2 Columbus Blue Jackets Mikhail Grigorenko C RUS Quebec Remparts (QMJHL)
3 Montreal Canadiens Alex Galchenyuk C USA Sarnia Sting (OHL)
4 New York Islanders Ryan Murray D CAN Everett Silvertips (WHL)
5 Toronto Maple Leafs
Filip Forsberg RW SWE Leksands IF (Allsvenskan)
6 Anaheim Ducks Matt Dumba D CAN Red Deer Rebels (WHL)
7 Minnesota Wild Teuvo Teravainen LW FIN Jokerit Jr. (SM Liiga)
8 Carolina Hurricanes Morgan Rielly D CAN Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL)
9 Winnipeg Jets Radek Faksa C CZE Kitchener Rangers (OHL)
10 Tampa Bay Lightning Cody Ceci D CAN Ottawa 67's (OHL)
11 Washington Capitals (via COL)
Griffin Reinhart D CAN Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)
12 Buffalo Sabres Zemgus Girgensons C LVA Dubuque Fighting Saints (USHL)
13 Dallas Stars Sebastian Collberg RW SWE Frolunda Jr. (SuperElit)
14 Calgary Flames Jacob Trouba D USA USA U-18 (USNTDP)
15 Ottawa Senators Pontus Aberg LW SWE Djurgardens IF (Allsvenskan)
16 Washington Capitals Tomas Hertl C CZE HC Slavia Praha (Czech Extraliga)
17 San Jose Sharks Brendan Gaunce C CAN Belleville Bulls (OHL)
18 Chicago Blackhawks Hampus Lindholm D SWE Rogue Jr. (U18 Elit)
19 Tampa Bay Lightning (via DET)

Thomas Wilson RW CAN Plymouth Whalers (OHL)
20 Philadelphia Flyers Olli Maatta D FIN London Knights (OHL)
21 Buffalo Sabres (via NSH) Matt Finn D CAN Guelph Storm (OHL)
22 Pittsburgh Penguins Philip Di Giuseppe LW CAN University of Michigan (CCHA)
23 Florida Panthers Slater Koekkoek D CAN Peterborough Petes (OHL)
24 Boston Bruins Scott Laughton C CAN Oshawa Generals (OHL)
25 St. Louis Blues Derrick Pouliot D CAN Portland Winterhawks (WHL)
26 Vancouver Canucks Colton Sissons C CAN Kelowna Rockets (WHL)
27 Phoenix Coyotes Tim Bozon LW USA Kamloops Blazers (WHL)
28 New York Rangers Nicolas Kerdiles C USA USA U-18 (USNTDP)
29 New Jersey Devils Brady Skjei D USA USA U-18 (USNTDP)

Community Draft Board

Pick Team Player Pos Nationality Amateur Club
1 Edmonton Oilers Nail Yakupov LW RUS Sarnia Sting (OHL)
2 Columbus Blue Jackets Mikhail Grigorenko C RUS Quebec Remparts (QMJHL)
3 Montreal Canadiens Alex Galchenyuk C USA Sarnia Sting (OHL)
4 New York Islanders Ryan Murray D CAN Everett Silvertips (WHL)
5 Toronto Maple Leafs Filip Forsberg RW SWE Leksands IF (Allsvenskan)
6 Anaheim Ducks Teuvo Teravainen LW FIN Jokerit Jr. (SM Liiga)
7 Minnesota Wild Matt Dumba D CAN Red Deer Rebels (WHL)
8 Carolina Hurricanes Morgan Rielly D CAN Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL)
9 Winnipeg Jets Radek Faksa C CZE Kitchener Rangers (OHL)
10 Tampa Bay Lightning Cody Ceci D CAN Ottawa 67's (OHL)
11 Washington Capitals (via COL)
Jacob Trouba D USA USA U-18 (USNTDP)
12 Buffalo Sabres Griffin Reinhart D CAN Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)
13 Dallas Stars Pontus Aberg LW SWE Djurgardens IF (Allsvenskan)
14 Calgary Flames Olli Maatta D FIN London Knights (OHL)
15 Ottawa Senators Sebastian Collberg RW SWE Frolunda Jr. (SuperElit)
16 Washington Capitals Zemgus Girgensons C LVA Dubuque Fighting Saints (USHL)
17 San Jose Sharks Brendan Gaunce C CAN Belleville Bulls (OHL)
18 Chicago Blackhawks Hampus Lindholm D SWE Rogue Jr. (U18 Elit)
19 Tampa Bay Lightning (via DET)

Matt Finn D CAN Guelph Storm (OHL)
20 Philadelphia Flyers Slater Koekkoek D CAN Peterborough Petes (OHL)
21 Buffalo Sabres (via NSH) Tomas Hertl C CZE HC Slavia Praha (Czech Extraliga)
22 Pittsburgh Penguins Thomas Wilson RW CAN Plymouth Whalers (OHL)
23 Florida Panthers Derrick Pouliot D CAN Portland Winterhawks (WHL)
24 Boston Bruins Scott Laughton C CAN Oshawa Generals (OHL)

25 St. Louis Blues Colton Sissons C CAN Kelowna Rockets (OHL)

26 Vancouver Canucks Henrik Samuelsson RW USA Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)
27 Phoenix Coyotes Philip Di Giuseppe LW USA University of Michigan (CCHA)
28 New York Rangers Nicolas Kerdiles LW USA USA U-18 (USNTDP)

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