ESPN Mock NHL Draft: Merril 11th to Anaheim

Submitted by MaizeSombrero on April 1st, 2010 at 9:32 AM

The ESPN Insider NHL blog is projecting Jon Merrill to the Ducks with the 11th overall pick in this years upcoming NHL draft. That's down from their projection of the 9th overall pick in the previous month's mock.

No. 11 - Anaheim Ducks

D Jonathan Merrill, USNTDP

The Ducks have the luxury of two picks and might be a potential trading partner for the Islanders. Some scouts like Merrill as much as or more than Forbert. The order in which those two prospects are selected will be determined at the under-18s in Minsk.

On a depressing note, they have Jack Campbell going 24th in the first round to the Atlanta Thrashers. In last month's mock, he went 7th overall, so there's that.

Link Here ($)



April 1st, 2010 at 10:10 AM ^

Boo to Anaheim! Also, Merrill is the freshman I'm looking forward to seeing the most. I was high on Moffatt right around when he committed, but he's tailed off considerably since joining the NTDP.

I think with Campbell, everyone severely overreacted to his WJC performance. That's not to say he isn't a stellar goalie (sad face), but drafting a goalie in hockey is an extremely fickle business. Very rarely are they ready for full-time NHL play within 2-3 years of their draft, and like quarterbacks in football, drafting a goalie really early is an extremely high risk move. Only a handful of starting goalies in the NHL were top 10 picks - off the top of my head, Fleury and Luongo are the only ones. Price and Leclaire are sort of platooners at their respective starting spots.

Campbell has played in a limited number of games this year (I think around 30 or so), so there's always the question of whether he has what it takes to handle the heavy 60+ game load year-in and year-out you want a first-round goalie to be capable of. I imagine that's part of what sold him on the OHL as opposed to college, as sad as that is for us.


April 1st, 2010 at 11:11 AM ^

Campbell's stats have also fallen off a bit since the WJC performance, too. Pull up his stats at USA Hockey's website and he's 16-11-1. His GAA, which had been sub-2.00 IIRC, is now up to 2.52 with a .904 save percentage. Wonder if the tourney went to his head a bit (I would say kind of like Al Montoya after he won the WJC).

By comparison, Andy Iles, the "lesser" of the two USA goalies, has an 18-6-1 record with 2.17 GAA and .918 save percentage.

Campbell has gotten a ridiculous amount of hype, but as you said, it's a crapshoot. Montoya was highly regarded, picked in the top 10, and he's never broken the NHL as a regular.

Michigan will be fine going forward. We always seem to be of this mindset that we must get an "uber-goalie" recruit to be a contender, but look at this year's Frozen Four...

Neither Boston College goalie was drafted.

CCHA player of the year Cody Reichard was undrafted and actually didn't do well in the USHL and played a year in the NAHL (the lesser junior league) and has excelled at Miami. Granted he's also an overager, too (23 year old sophomore). Teammate Connor Knapp was a 6th round pick and his stats are right up there with Reichard's.

RIT's Jared Demichiel is another undrafted goalie and, crap, will be 25 years old in two weeks.

Wisconsin's Scott Gudmandson (undrafted) and Brett Bennett (5th round)...Gudmandson has seen 2/3 of the playing time this season.

Not one "uber-goalie" to be found. Yes, it hurt losing out on Campbell because after this season we certainly needed someone to come in to provide more stability in net. But there are diamonds in the rough out there and hopefully the coaching staff will take a chance on one.


April 1st, 2010 at 3:44 PM ^

Stats are sort of wonky when it comes to goaltending prospects. Systems have massive effects on the stats that youth goalies have. Who is the last Cornell goalie to have legitimate NHL success? Ken Dryden? Their goalies are almost always very highly ranked in statistical categories among NCAA players. Same for every Ron Mason-era MSU goalie save Miller.

In somewhat comparable games (Iles has minimal experience in international tournaments, IIRC, which might be part of the reason his stats appear better), namely the USHL games, the stats are fairly even:

Campbell: 6-3-1, 2.21, 0.917
Iles: 10-4-0, 2.29, 0.918

The difference is Iles is nearly Shawn Hunwick size (5-8, 150) whereas Campbell is more traditionally sized (6-1, 170). Given the choice between comparable netminders, almost any coach would take the bigger goalie - see Berenson's quotes about Hunwick's size. Not to mention that Campbell is considered one of the better puck-handling goalies to come out of the youth ranks in a while. Even with the mind-numbingly stupid trapezoid in the NHL, a goalie that can play the puck well is a big asset.