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SBN 2009 NHL Mock Draft: Day 5

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Sports Blog Nation's mock NHL Entry Draft continued today, with the Buffalo Sabres, Florida Panthers and Anaheim Ducks sites announcing their selections, the 13th, 14th and 15th of the mock draft. The second tier of talent after top seven is impressive, but the overall skill package of players looks to drop off some as we get closer to the 20th pick.

13_diebytheblade

D.O. at Die By The Blade is exicted at the prospect of seeing big Peterborough Petes right winger Zack Kassian in a Sabres uniform, should the draft unfold that way.

"Kassian is not only a big strong kid that has a good offensive upside but he will drop the gloves as well. The Sabres have been criticized for not being tough enough. The biggest example was Ryan Miller getting hit by Scott Gomez while his teammates stood and watched. Kassian is the type of player that will take on all comers."

Hockey's Future has good things to say about Kassian as well:

"The 6'3, 205-pound right winger is a prototypical power forward prospect. He has imposing size and has shown a willingness to use it. While he may not have as much offensive upside as other forwards at the top of the draft order, Kassian's total package of size, checking, and energetic play make him an appealing addition to a club looking for a top-six forward who can open up the ice for other teammates. An ability to put the puck in the net adds to his value as he has proven he won't be an offensive liability with more skilled teammates."

14_leblanc

Up next, choosing 14th, the Litter Box Cats representing the Florida Panthers, nabbed a player the Habs sure would liked to have available when their time came, the USHL Omaha Lancers center Louis Leblanc. Central Scouting's Jack Barzee describes Leblanc as a special player:

"The most impressive things about Louis Leblanc are his hands and his evasiveness with the puck; that separates him from other players on the ice right away. He needs to fill out a little bit yet, but he has the frame to be a big center. The other part of Leblanc’s game that I noticed was his vision; his ability to see and dissect a play and to make the right play. He’s also very competitive and he gets involved in the play."

15_kulikov

Battle Of California made the draft's 15th pick, selecting Russian Dmitry Kulikov for the Anaheim Ducks. Hockey's Future describes Kulikov as a blue chipper:

"In addition to his superb hockey sense and confidence beyond his years, Kulikov is no slouch in his own end and he's smooth enough on his skates to quickly be in position to break up any counter attack that he may come against. Still adjusting to the physical grind of the longer North American season, he'll only get better as he continues to fill out and mature."

On Day 6, the Canadiens will make their selection, following picks by the Blue Jackets and Blues.

Picks 10-12 Picks 13-15
Picks 16 & 17