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NHL Mock Draft 2014: Washington Capitals Select Julius Honka with No. 13 Pick

If you’ve been following SBN Hockey’s network-wide mock draft, you know that the Caps are on the clock… which means we’re on the clock for them.

Last year, we selected J.T. Compher with the 23rd pick (in reality, he went to Buffalo with the 35th pick; Caps’ pick Andre Burakovsky had already gone to San Jose with the 20th pick).

Two years ago, we had two picks, at 11th and 16th overall. With that 11th pick, we selected Zemgus Girgensons (Caps pick Filip Forsberg went second overall; Girgensons was selected 14th in the actual draft by Buffalo), and with the 16th pick we took Pontus Åberg, in part for that cool thing over the “A” in his name (Caps pick Tom Wilson went to New Jersey with the penultimate pick of the first round; Åberg slipped to 37th in reality, where Nashville snatched him up).

Three years ago, drafting in the 26th slot, we selected Scott Mayfield (he ended up going to the Islanders with the 34th pick in the actual draft, and the Caps, of course, traded the 26th pick to Chicago in exchange for Troy Brouwer; the Blackhawks drafted Phillip Danault with the pick).

Four years ago, also drafting 26th overall, we took Brock Nelson (he ended up going to the Isles at 30th in the real draft; Caps pick Evgeny Kuznetsov was off the board already).

This time around, we’re pleased to select… from Swift Current of the WHL, defenseman Julius Honka. (CSN Philly’s Russ Cohen and’s Mike Morreale are on board).

Rankings: CSS (11 NA), ISS (40), Button (18), Hockey News (17), McKeen’s (20), Pronman (29)

Here’s his draft profile:

McKeen’s (go buy their guide – it’s great) ranks Honka as the top offensive defenseman in the draft and notes:

They go on to profile him a bit more in-depth:

Speaking of in-depth, ISS breaks Honka down (click to enlarge, and, again, go buy their guide – it’s unreal):


ESPN’s Corey Pronman has this to say about the young Finn:

Much more on Honka:

So that’s our pick, an offensive-minded defenseman who might be a bit of a reach – in reality, we might have played it safer here and gone with Haydn Fleury (a popular pick for the Caps), but it’s a mock draft so let’s swing for the fences. As D’ohboy said in our hypothetical GM interview post:

The old saying was, “you can’t teach size.” I prefer, “you can’t teach speed and smarts.” The guys who stand out in the NHL – Crosby, Doughty, Toews, Kane, Datsyuk – can all skate and think the game.

This is where the game is, and it’s not going to change any time soon – if you don’t have puck-movers on the back-end, it’s hard to win games.

Welcome to the organization, Julius Honka.

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