We all know that when it comes to hockey news, analysis, and discussion that the only place on the internet to look is the SB Nation family of blogs. In these days leading up to the NHL Draft, the writers of all the SB Nation hockey blogs are doing their 2011 NHL Mock Draft.
The Minnesota Wild have already had their selection in this process, and with the tenth overall selection, the folks over at Hockey Wilderness drafted Mike Zibanejad, a center from Djurgarden of the Swedish Elite League.
Here is the logic behind the pick, straight from the Hockey Wilderness guys themselves:
Zibanejad has decent speed, good offensive skills, understands that his role requires him to be physical and knows how to get into the right spots to get that rebond, screen the goalie or go for the deflection. In addition, he has the ability to play wing.
I love the fact that Zibanejad fully understands his role as a powerforward and has become very accomplished at it. He may not be as flashy as prospects like Ryan Strome or Jonathan Huberdeau, but Zibanejad plays with tons of fire and knows that hits and battles along the boards wins pucks. He knows he has a good frame to give the hit and to screen the goalie. His understanding of the game and his role will make him a very successful NHL player, in any role.
Sounds like a pretty solid pick for the Wild, in my opinion. Earlier this year, the folks at Copper & Blue (SB Nation's Edmonton Oilers' blog) had an opportunity to interview Zibanejad, and came away quite impressed with what they heard.
We'll have a couple more mock drafts for you in the days leading up to the 2011 NHL Draft. Just keep checking right back here!