After over three weeks of the FanSided Mock Draft, and watching all kinds of good players come off the board, it was finally time for me to make my selection. Before I reveal the selection, here’s a quick recap of the previous picks (sticktap to Jared Crozier from SenShot who’s running this shindig).
|4||NEW JERSEY||Jonathan Huberdeau|
|5||NY ISLANDERS||Sean Couturier|
|9||BOSTON (FR TOR)||Duncan Siemens|
|15||NY RANGERS||Mark McNeill|
My first choice (only in terms of trading withing draft picks) would probably have been to package one of the Leafs’ first round picks and their 2nd rounder for a mid-range pick in hopes of landing Mark McNeill, but there was no trading in this Mock Draft. With McNeill, Mika Zibanejad, Zack Phillips and Mark Schiefele and even the flashy Tomas Jurco off the board, there wasn’t any exceptional talents still on the board, except perhaps the Russian-born Alexander Kholkhachev. Instead of going with a potentially risky skill player that may or may not pan out, I opted for a player that caught alot of scouts’ attention, not with flashy goals and point totals, but with a great work ethic and all-around contributions to his team. Make the jump to see who I picked.
Boone Jenner isn’t going to be the next Sidney Crosby, I can guarantee that, but if this year’s playoffs are any indicators of what a team needs for success, look at the guys that Vancouver has been so dominant with. Alex Burrows, Ryan Kesler, Manny Malhotra are some of the more proven two-way players in the game, and while Jenner might not ever score 40 goals in a season, center is obviously a place that the Leafs need to get deeper, and a hard-working, gritty guy like Jenner should be a solid addition. Plus, with a player like that, you know what you’re getting – not waiting for something to pan out.
Here’s the analysis of the pick I sent over to Jared for the Mock Draft on Too Many Men on the Site.
“This pick won’t fill the Leafs’ need for a number one center, but it’s already clear that void won’t be filled from Toronto’s current position in the draft. Jenner is known more for his two-way play than his high-end scoring talent, but scouts haven’t had many negative things to say about him. Toronto could certainly use some added depth down the middle in their system, and if either Colborne or Kadri (who’s probably destined for NHL duty on the wing) can develop into a top line talent, Jenner could be the 2nd or 3rd line center of the future. He’s already got NHL size (at the ripe old age of 17) at 6’1, 196 lbs. There’s the usual talk about his skating ability, but given a few more years under the proper coaching that should take care of itself, especially considering the work ethic that seems to have impressed so many scouts. He’s got toughness to go with his talent, scoring at just under a point per game pace (44 goals, 71 assists) in his first two OHL seasons, while tallying 148 penalty minutes in 128 games.
NHL.com’s Chris Edwards noted ‘The phrase, ‘I want 20 of those guys on my team,’ gets overused, but it not only applies to Boone, he can be the poster boy for it. Boone does what it takes to win. He blocks shots, wins battles along the boards and is an outstanding forechecker. He wants to be first to the puck every time. He’s solid on his skates and fights through checks on his way to the net.’ Sounds like a more-talented Tim Brent if you ask me. These are the kinds of players the Leafs need to fill their team out with if they want to be successful long-term, and you can never have too many good Canadian boys on your team in my book.”
So, there you have it – head over to Too Many Men and vote on what you think Jenner’s fate in the NHL will be, and let me know if you agree with the selection or would have gone in a different direction.