Once again, the "Oh, hell no, we're not taking a defensemen" line of thinking holds true. With several of the top defensive prospects still on the board, this particular mock draft has the Atlanta Thrashers skipping over even a couple higher ranked forward prospects. I won't lie, this one caught me a little bit off guard, but it also shows just how close these players are in talent level.
With the seventh pick, the Atlanta Thrashers have selected Mika Zibanejad, a player that most mock drafts have going at ten to the Wild. A big center, Zibanejad is a two way player out of Sweden. This plenty of talent for our next contestants.
Our Mock Draft thus far:
1. Edmonton Oilers: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
2. Colorado Avalanche: Gabriel Landeskog
3. Florida Panthers: Adam Larsson
4. New Jersey Devils: Sean Couturier
5. New York Islanders: Jonathan Huberdeau
6. Ottawa Senators: Ryan Strome
7. Atlanta Thrashers: Mika Zibanejad
Next up, we make a selection for the Columbus Blue Jackets. Make the jump, cast your vote, and make your case.
Personally, if it were me, I would make the Jackets send Rick Nash to the Wild. You know, just for kicks. No real reasoning or logic, I just really think he should be on the Wild. Make it happen.
Looking at the organizational depth, most of the prospects in the Jackets organization is at forward. A couple of defensemen speckle the page, but nothing or real note. With some very high end defensive prospects still on the board, the Blue Jackets could make themsleves very happy and bring home a blue chip. Depending on which way they want to go, they have an offensive, puck moving d-man available in Ryan Murphy, or a big, stay at home type in Dougie Hamilton.
Of course, with Ken Hitchcock out in Columbus, and in the mix for the Wild job, Nikita Filatov could find his way back to the NHL. This adds offensive talent to a team that could use an infusion at the top level. This would open up some space in the organization for another forward prospect.
Still, it seems highly unlikely a franchise with such little defense would pass on the defensive talent left on the board.
That, as always, is up to you.