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The First Annual SB Nation NHL Memorial Celebrity Mock Draft Pro-Am Fun Run Race for the Cure

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What happens when your favourite SB Nation writers take control of NHL teams?

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

We put out an open call to every SB Nation NHL writer and several of them answered that call and subsequently participated in our first ever Eyes On The Prize Interactive Mock Draft. What was intended to be a serious exercise in which the most respected writers from our community would go into detail as to why their adopted team would draft this elite prospect turned into pretty much the opposite.

The draft is about to begin, let's tune in to TSN or Sportsnet or NBC Sports via TSN or Sportsnet whoever has the rights to this one!

1st Overall: Edmonton Oilers-Travis Hughes

/ Peter Chiarelli walks briskly to microphone, periodically glancing over his shoulder/

"With the Number one pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, the Edmonton Oilers are proud to select, from Kingston of the Ontario Hockey League, winger Lawson Crouse".

/ NHL security sprints on stage, tackles Chiarelli // guard grabs Chiarelli by the head, rips off mask, revealing Craig MacTavish underneath, security escorts him off stage in handcuffs / /

Real Peter Chiarelli™ shakes his head, walks up, takes the mic, clears throat /

"With the first overall pick in the2015 NHL Entry Draft, the Edmonton Oilers are proud to select Erie center Connor McDavid, because of course we are."

2nd Overall: Buffalo Sabres-Scott Wheeler

"The Sabres select Jack Eichel. It’s a foregone conclusion that Eichel will follow McDavid in this year’s draft. No point in varying from that. Eichel-Reinhart as your top six centres is drool-worthy."

3rd Overall: Arizona Coyotes-Adam El Seldo

Making the pick for "The Coyotes from Parts Unknown" is elseldo, the current #1 writer on PPP (#1 of comments/posts per month, 2 months running - quantity over quality!).

"The Coyotes would like to select Dylan Strome of the Erie Otters, winner of the OHL's  Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy / Top Scorer and William Hanley Memorial Trophy / Most Sportsmanlike Player, though not a winner of the OHL championship. The defense on this team is still relatively young, and as is the case with most teams, the need of top young centres is the top priority. In Strome we'll be getting a top scorer, someone who can handle themselves at any end of the ice, and someone who can lead this team into the future.  Here is your jersey Dylan, and also some change of address cards. You'll want to keep these handy...don't write on them in pen."

Editor's note: It is at this stage in the draft in which the process went completely off the rails. Here's how it happened, word for word.

4th Overall: Toronto Maple Leafs-Kyle McIlmurray

Kyle McIlmurray: Toronto takes Lawson Crouse.

Adam El Seldo: Poop emoji

Achariya Rezak: Kyle was JUST WAITING

Aruny Siv: Brilliant

Achariya Rezak: Like, I could hear his breathing through the computer screen.

Kyle McIlmurray: I'm kidding, since I don't want to be owned by over-serious Leafs fans.

Mike Obrand: Aw come on!

Achariya Rezak: Stick to your guns

Travis Hughes: Doooooo it

Kyle McIlmurray: "K @#$% it.

With a rebuilding team, the normal "go-to" is to draft for pure skill. While this makes complete sense, I believe Toronto is a team best built on the intangibles that Crouse brings to the table. A wise man once said that "The H in hockey stands for Hit." You can argue with this pick all you like, but at the end of the day, you can’t teach size. Lawson Crouse has "Maple Leaf" written all over him, and the organization couldn’t be more excited to draft him in the top five."

5th Overall: Carolina Hurricanes- Kyle McIlmurray

"After drafting Haydn Fleury, and having young defensemen like Justin Faulk, the Hurricanes look to bolster their offensive potency down the middle by selecting Mitch Marner. Who better to do this none other than the OHL scoring-leading Mitch Marner? Even though he has a small frame, coming in at 5-foot-11, and 155 pounds - His immense offensive skill is something that you cannot overlook because of size. After putting up 126 points in 63 games with the London Knights, he will be a centerpiece in the Hurricanes plans of rebuilding.

6th Overall: New Jersey Devils-Marc Dumont

"Wait, Crouse went fourth? Oh, so it's one of those mock drafts."

"With the 6th-overall pick the Devils are proud to select the guy who should have gone third overall, one of the most talented players in the draft, Noah Hanifin. He's got skill to spare, and he'll eventually make for great trade bait when we inevitably trade for Ilya Kovalchuk in 2022."

7th Overall: Philadelphia Flyers-Brendan Porter

"This pick was incredibly difficult for a few reasons.

First, it's been impossible to get Internet access ever since I asked Paul Holmgren if there was a way to find out what our current salary cap situation looks like. I should really ask Ed Snider if we can get a more reliable service than Comcast in the offices.

Second, while the most talented players available at this stage are predominately defencemen, I have to weigh the benefit of drafting a young blueliner here versus the cost of hurting our gritty, veteran defensive corps. You don't find guys like Andrew MacDonald or Nick Schultz just anywhere, you know. But the Philadelphia media craves fresh meat so it with a heavy heart that I announce that the Flyers select Ivan Provorov with the 7th overall selection. In all seriousness though, Provorov possess great offensive instincts, and demonstrated tremendous scoring ability (15 goals, 46 assists) in his first season with the Brandon Wheat Kings. Provorov also remains sharp in the defensive end despite playing the second most minutes at even-strength of anyone on his team. He has the potential to be the anchor for Philadelphia's blue-line as well as the quarterback for an already effective power play for years to come.And at 6' 0", 201 pounds, Provorov does not have much more physical growing to do to hang tough with NHL forwards. He will likely need at least one more year of seasoning before posing a shot at making the NHL, but Provorov has the skills and the frame necessary to be a staple of the Flyers for many years."

8th Overall: Columbus Blue Jackets-Aruny Siv

/Head scout Ville Siren walks up to the podium alone.

"I will be the one making this pick on behalf of the Blue Jackets’ organization. Unfortunately, GM Jarmo Kekäläinen couldn’t make it (our sources say he was last seen muttering "damn that Shanahan" three times under his breath before disappearing in an ominous cloud of blue and white smoke). The rest of the team couldn’t make it either, seeing as they are all still rehabbing their injuries or remain injured. And no, we won’t entertain any trade proposals regarding Ryan Johansen today…unless you are the LA Kings, in which case we are all ears.  Getting back to the draft, with our 8th overall pick, the Columbus Blue Jackets are proud to select, from the University of Michigan, defenseman Zach Werenski."Werenski possesses a combination of speed, strength and on-ice awareness that Columbus couldn’t overlook. Werenski put up 25 points in 35 games in the NCAA, taking only 4 minor penalties in that stretch. There are some question marks lingering around his lack of physicality but at 17 years of age, Werenski has plenty of time to work on that aspect of his game. Though Werenski will take some time to develop, he has the potential to be a top-four defensemen. The 6’2", 214-pound blueliner is a much-needed addition to a prospect pool that lacks high quality defensemen and a NHL defense core that doesn’t inspire much confidence."

9th Overall:San Jose Sharks-Adam El Seldo

"For 9th overall the San Jose Sharks select Miko Ratata..no Mikko Ratatoullie..…hang on, Travis Konchnee…wait…Ko-Nec…. – sigh Pavel Zacha. Why struggle with things that are hard when you can find an easier way of doing them, right? Zacha is a C/LW from Sarnia of the OHL, which is good because the Sharks could use a C AND LW, since a couple of ours….well, are past their "best by" date.  At 6’3 and 200lbs he’s a force to be reckoned with and motivated to make the jump to the NHL (by jump I mean get the hell out of Sarnia). Welcome to the Sharks Pavel. How do you like the number 19?"

10th Overall: Colorado Avalanche-Mike Obrand

/Gary Bettman walks up to the podium, goes on his tippy toes and speaks to the masses."Ok it's been 15 minutes has anyone seen the Colorado staff?" Silence and murmurs answer his question. In the distance a faint yelling can be heard that gets louder by the second. "SON OF A BITCH! PROVOROV AND WERENSKI BOTH GONE?! I WAS BANKING ON THEM BEING AVAILABLE. I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHO ELSE IS IN THIS DRAFT CLASS!" *An irate Patrick Roy bursts on the draft floor with Joe Sakic and the rest of the front office in tow. Roy evades his pursuers and climbs onto the stage. He punches Bettman in the face and snarls his words. "COLUMBUS AND PHILADELPHIA YOU ARE BOTH DEAD TO ME? YOU HEAR ME!? DEAD!!! DO YOU EVEN KNOW WHO I HAVE ON DEFENSE? JACK FU-" *as if on cue Joe Sakic sneaks up behind Roy and pinches his neck causing him to fall unconscious. Sakis steps up the podium/

"Matthew Barzal"

11th Overall: Florida Panthers-Achariya Rezak

/Dale Tallon steps up to the podium and pauses.

...

...

...

...

...

After the bodies are cleared away, he smiles at everyone for a long moment, in memory of last year.

"For the 11th-overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft the Florida Panthers select Kyle Connor of the USHL. Pirri and Hayes need a responsible center, so we chose the smaller, lesser-known Connor in the hopes that he'll become the next Tyler Johnson. We hope we can pay him like the next Johnson too.  He'll have plenty of guidance on the position from Jaromir Jagr, who will also teach him how to have excellent hockey hair. Connor is known for his two-way play, exceptional hockey sense, and will to compete, even though he needs to eat a few cookies. Luckily Ekblad bakes. Also, pack sun screen."

12th Overall: Dallas Stars-Emily Wang

"Timo Meier is a 6’1" power forward from Switzerland. He describes himself as "not a guy who gets in a lot of trouble" and "not hard to handle," which means that he should get along incredibly well with Tyler Seguin. He’s big and scored at an...adMeierable...clip this season. More importantly, though, his name has some serious puntential. Keep an eye out for the opening of the TimOscar Meier Weiner stand at the American Airlines Centre next year! Have a Meier wiener dog and some Meier lemon pie for dessert while you see if the Stars can solve their goaltending quagmeier next season."

13th Overall: Los Angeles Kings-Brenden Porter

"For reasons that are completely legitimate and not at all cause for condemnation, the Los Angeles Kings suddenly find themselves down a puck moving defenceman. Because we're the Los Angeles Kings which means everything magically works out for us in the end, we select with the 13th overall pick Oliver Kylington. Kylington has dynamic speed and skill for a young defenceman playing in Sweden. He has excellent hockey sense, and can make good passes in the offensive zone to set up scoring chances. Though his draft eligible season was underwhelming, Kylington has tremendous offensive upside and would be a valuable asset on a team that thrives in moving the puck and holding onto it for long periods of time.

14th Overall: Boston Bruins-Cara Thorington

/Gary Bettman comes to the stage.

"Is Boston ready to make their pick?" Don Sweeny looks at Cam Neely and Neely nods. They go onto the stage. "We would like to thank the Panthers for hosting such a lovely draft. The weather has been great"The Boston Bruins select Paul Bittner of the Portland Winterhawks.

"Analyst 1: Lately the Bruins have been playing too much of a skilled game and Bittner, while he does have some skill, is a big, tough player. While he does not have the best scoring numbers in junior, he is on a stacked team so he does not get the same offensive opportunities as other draft eligible players. He will also be able to learn how to be a good Bruin from Milan Lucic, another low-scoring junior player.

Analyst 2: Besides his physical attributes, Bittner will also help Cam Neely and Don Sweeney guide back to the glory days of the Big, Bad Bruins as he is both big and bad...at scoring

15th Overall: Calgary Flames-Species Jonathan

/engine backfiring sound
A rusty old van drives onto the stage. The driver’s side door opens and Species 1967 walks to the microphone.

"Brian Burke was not able to attend today as he was getting his annual haircut. And since the Flames’ GM does not ever appear in public and possibly doesn’t even exist, the task of making the 15th selection in the NHL draft was for some reason delegated to me. Don’t worry, Burke explained to me the exact type of player he wants to pick.

The Calgary Flames select, from the Tri-City Americans, defenseman Brandon Carlo. He’s 6 foot 5, 200 pounds, and American.


/drops mic
/get back in van and drives away

16th Overall: Edmonton Oilers-Travis Hughes

/Peter Chiarelli walks back up to the podium, he has a sheet of paper in his hand.

"Hm, forwards forwards...who are some good forwards. We really need more forwards. You know what they say: 'Offense wins championships!' We select Mikko Rantanen! He's a forward right?

17th Overall: Winnipeg Jets-Cara Thorington

Gary Bettman goes to the podium "The Atlanta Thrashers, sorry, Winnipeg Jets are now on the clock."

Kevin Cheveldayoff wakes from his slumber "Huh? Right, draft pick." Goes onto the stage and stares at the Barrie Colts roster. "

"The Winnipeg Jets would like to greet their fans at their draft party at the MTS Centre. We would also like to thank the Panthers for their hospitality. With the seventeenth overall pick the Winnipeg Jets select from the Barrie Colts of the Ontario Hockey League Mackenzie Blackwood."

Analyst 1: This is a complete shock. Blackwood is a big goalie who had a bad save-percentage and goals-against-average with the Barrie Colts but Dale Hawerchuk loves him and the Jets really value what Hawerchuk thinks so this was a no brainer for them. But the Jets already have Connor Hellebyuck and Eric Comrie, so this draft pick seems excessive.

Analyst 2: The Winnipeg Jets are getting a winner. That is all. He wins and he is a good Canadian boy. This will work out well for them.

18th Overall: Ottawa Senators-Matt Drake

"With the 18th overall pick, the Ottawa Senators are super proud to select, from The US National Development Team, Left Winger Jordan Greenway."


Ray Ferraro interviews Greenway's new coach and GM


Ray: "So what led you guys to make this steal of a pick?"

Brian Murray: "Well, he's a very big dude at 6'5" and over 200 pounds, we like to think we're a really tough club, and we feel he'll bring the pain up front. Since Chris Neil has been ducking the likes of Brandon Prust as if he's the repo man, it's about time we got another big body up front to take care of business. Even if he doesn't fight, he can just stand there and scare people. While I'm not 100 percent sure if he'll be suiting up this year, we definitely intend to dress him in a Spartan costume or something and use him as the star of our home opening ceremony, that much I can confirm."

Ray: "How are you feeling about it, Dave?"


Dave Cameron: "Really excited to have this kid on board, he's a solid forward, and it doesn't hurt that he's also absolutely huge. I mean, if a certain defenseman who shall remain nameless decides to continue his slash happy reign of micro fracturing terror on Mark Stone, I'm confident that Jordan will step up and do what's necessary..."

Awkward silence...

Cameron: "I'm talking about Subban. He's going to fight P.K. Subban. Or slash him or something."

19th Overall: Detroit Red Wings-Mike Obrand

Ken Holland walks up to the stage joined by his entourage
"We're going to call upon our new head coach Jeff Blashill to make our pick"
A rousing cheer emanates from the crowd
"WOOO! GO JEFF! YOU GO GET EM BUDDY!"


/The camera pans to find the source of the outburst, they focus on Toronto's table where Mike Babcock is standing and applauding. He is decked in a top hat, monocle, a tuxedo with tails that reach the floor and is using Dave Nonis' head as an ash tray for his cigarette that is being held in a foot long holder.

Blashill walks up to the podium "We select Travis Koneckybergyukstromov"

20th Overall: Arizona Coyotes-Adam El Seldo

/A hand reaches up and taps the microphone on the podium. [incoherent mumbling] Bill Daly runs over with a step stool . Gary Bettmans face appears over the lectern and the arena erupts in boos


"Hey! I thought I’d at least be safe here! [shouting into the microphone above the boos] WE HAVE A TRADE TO ANNOUNCE" The boos become murmurs.

"That’s what I thought. The Minnesota Wild have traded the 20th overall pick in the 2015 entry draft to the Arizona Coyotes for the 30th and 32nd overall picks in the 2015 entry draft. Arizona, you are on the clock."


Don Maloney runs up to the stage and glances at his phone.

"With the 20th overall pick in the 2015 entry draft the Hamilton…[Maloney’s face looks confused at his phone] what? Arizona Coyotes select Danielle Spring..[mumbles to self] (damn Blackberry ruins everything)  [out loud] DANIEL SPRONG of the Charlottetown Islanders."


Sprong is a strong two way player who has been PPG the last two seasons in the QMJHL, despite playing for a team who really can’t pick a good name (I suggested Fightin’ Ice Taters, tell me Islanders is better). He has good puck handling skills and is defensively responsible. A good wing to play on the opposite side of Strome from Max Domi, he can play back and let those two run the offense.

21st Overall: Buffalo Sabres-Scott Wheeler

Buffalo selects defencemen Jeremy Roy. After the big three of Hanifin, Provorov and Werenski, Roy is the next best thing on the blueline in the 2015 draft class. And hey, Buffalo’s used to the next best thing by now.

22nd Overall: Washington Capitals-Chris Dilks

Washington takes Colin White.  The Caps overall prospect pool is just dreadful, so there were a lot of areas of need, but White would make an incredible 1-2 punch up the middle with Kuznetsov some day.

23rd Overall: Vancouver Canucks. GM-Mike Obrand

/Jim Bening walks up to the podium, he looks nervous

"Um, ok we have the pick but we want the player to pinky promise that he's going to play in the NHL for his entire career before we make it. Can we do that? Is that a thing?....it's not? /Sighs audibly Well fine, we pick Evgeny Svechnikov!

/Svechnikov walks up the stage after hugging his family and friends, he approaches Benning who is waiting with his pinky outreached.

24th Overall: Toronto Maple Leafs. GM-Kyle Kyle McIlmurray

Jakub Zboril is a strong two-way defenseman, who is fleet-footed and possesses offensive potency. Toronto is a team who needs pretty much everything they can get right now, so taking Zboril is a smart pick. He might be one of the more underrated defensemen in the first round projections.

25th Overall: Winnipeg Jets. GM-Cara Thorington

/Chevaldayoff puts down his coffee and goes up to the podium. He is slower now because there are no Barrie Colts to pick in this spot.

"With the pick we got for Evander Kane, the Winnipeg Jets are delighted to select from the Everett Silvertips of the WHL, Noah Juulsen" Juulsen goes up to the stage, Chevy tells him he is replacing Kane, Juulsen tells him he is a defenceman

Analyst 1: This is an interesting pick for the Jets but he is a scoring defenceman on a low scoring team and with Enstrom and Byfuglien getting older, they will need that element to the back end soon.

Analyst 2: Good Western Canadian Boy, but he does not like the physical side of the game and does not fight much; this may be an issue in the Western Conference.

26th Overall: Montreal Canadiens-Matt Drake

/First of all, I'd like to thank Michel Therrien for naming me the new captain of the Montreal Canadiens... [Geoff Molson grabs mic somewhat angrily]

"I would like everyone to know that this man is in no way affiliated with the Montreal Canadiens, he's just announcing the pick."

/Drake snatches mic back quickly

"Such a joker... Frig off, Geoff. With the 26th overall pick in this year's draft, Le Cub de Hockey Canadien est fier de sélectionner, From Baie Comeau, Nicolas Meloche. Pretty much a no-brainer here folks. We need some better depth on the back end, right? Check, a solid defenseman. People are always saying we're too small, right? Check, the dude is 6'3" and 205. And the absolute best part about this pick? His name is Meloche, and he was born in LaSalle. Boom, hometown hero. This works on literally every level, so we're going with it. Bienvenue à Montréal, Nicolas! WOOOOOOO!

/Obnoxiously attempts to start an Olé chant, is promptly escorted from the stage by security.

27th Overall: Anaheim Ducks-Jack Han

"The Ducks pick Jeremy Bracco. He'll be expected to hone his game with our minor-league affiliate in San Diego, where a diet primarily comprised of Phil's BBQ, In n Out burgers and actual good Mexican food will help him grow from 5'7" 175lb to about 6'5, 250. Then we'll put him with Getzlaf/Perry and he'll score 60."

28th Overall: Tampa Bay Lightning-Achariya Rezak

"For the 28th-overall pick in the 2015NHL Entry Draft , the Tampa Bay Lightning are proud to select RW Denis Gurianov of Togliatti, in the time-honored Red Wings -- Oops! I mean Tampa -- tradition of picking Russians. Tampa already expects Russian Visa issues, so we don't mind the years it'll take to get him over here, considering that we don't really need a skilled, top-six forward until 2017 when we lose Nikita Kucherov. Gurianov is known for using his size to protect the puck, and the hard work he puts into roughing his way to the net. He'll soon become known for playing well away from the puck, or he'll see about as much of the ice as Jonathan Drouin."

29th Overall: Philadelphia Flyers-Brendan Porter

/A slightly dazed Ron Hextall steps up to the podium

"I would like to humbly apologize for my past statements concerning the reliability and speed of Comcast Internet. Comcast and all of its services are a key part of bringing America and the NHL into the 21st Century. All hail Comcast. All hail...Gary Bettman snaps his fingers in front of Hextall's faceWha? Oh right, Draft. Philadelphia selects with the 29th overall pick Jacob DeBrusk. DeBrusk is a quick, athletic skater with goal scoring prowess. He has the potential to become a key contributor in Philadelphia's top six, and can be a sneaky good asset on special teams."

30th Overall: Minnesota Wild-Chris Dilks

"Wild take Ilya Samsonov. If Tampa can make it to a Cup final with one average goalie and one really good young Russian goalie, maybe it could work for Minnesota too."

So there you have it folks. The result of an open thread mock draft with some of the best minds in the biz (that what in the biz call "The Business") Now we want to hear from you. What did you like? What didn't you hate? What did you REALLY like? We don't have time for people who didn't like this is what I'm getting at.

Final Draft List:

Edmonton Oilers: Connor McDavid

Buffalo Sabres: Jack Eichel

Arizona Coyotes: Dylan Strome

Toronto Maple Leafs: Lawson Crouse

Carolina Hurricanes: Mitch Marner

New Jersey Devils: Noah Hanifin

Philadelphia Flyers: Ivan Provorov

Columbus Blue Jackets: Zach Werenski

San Jose Sharks: Pavel Zacha

Colorado Avalanche: Matthew Barzal

Florida Panthers: Kyle Connor

Dallas Stars: Timo Meier

Los Angeles Kings: Oliver Kylington

Boston Bruins: Paul Bittner

Calgary Flames: Brandon Carlo

Edmonton Oilers: Mikko Rantanen

Winnipeg Jets: Mackenzie Blackwood

Ottawa Senators: Jordan Greenway

Detroit Red Wings: Travis Konecky

Arizona Coyotes: Daniel Sprong

Buffalo Sabres: Jeremy Roy

Washington Capitals: Colin White

Vancouver Canucks: Evgeny Svechnikov

Toronto Maple Leafs: Jakub Zboril

Winnipeg Jets: Noah Juulson

Montreal Canadiens: Nicholas Meloche

Anaheim Ducks: Jeremy Bracco

Tampa Bay Lightning: Dennis Gurianov

Philadelphia Flyers: Jake DeBrusk

Minnesota Wild: Ilya Samsonov