In this digital age we live in one thing is for certain; information is everywhere and available to us in a variety of places. With that there are a ton of sites dedicated to every sports draft, but along comes NHLMockdraft.org and ensures just one thing . . . . .everything when it comes to NHL Draft prospects.
How did it all get started?
NHLMockdraft.org (NMD) is the brain child of Bill Ladd and Bob Mand. Bill is the Bruins Correspondent for Hockey’s Future, one of the hosts of Bruins Talk Radio and the founder of NHL Mock Draft in addition to to being a former collegiate goaltender with Merrimack College. Bob is the Editor-in-Chief of Bruins Talk Radio, a regular contributor and co-host of their radio show, a Contributing Editor as well as Bruins writer for TheHockeyWriters.com and the primary writer for NMD. In describing the origins of the site, Ladd stated “We love the draft but we felt that the mock draft websites that were out there were very thin. We wanted to see a mock that considered team needs, draft tendencies and biases. We also wanted to see more depth in terms of player profiles which is why we included rankings from several scouting sources, videos and write over five hundred words on each player we profile.”
How do you keep them coming back?
While NMD figures to get allot of traffic from now until just after the draft and then again once when the season starts I wondered what their plans are to ensure folks keep coming back throughout the season and during the offseason. “Over the summer we plan on following the prospects at their summer development camps and rookie tournaments. We’re at the point where we have a correspondent for every team so we’ll be able to get firsthand accounts and video of these new acquisitions in action for their new teams. Next season (2012-2013), we plan on expanding our coverage to include not just the top thirty or top sixty prospects, but every draft eligible player.” That is one daunting task but imagine being able to find information on more than 300 draft eligible players each year vs. the top sixty. This will prove very helpful indeed especially as some teams go off the board and take a chance on a lesser known player each and every draft.
In order to promote drafted players when they finally make their debut they are developing a second website called NHLProspects that will track these players’ developmental progress. This will allow NHLMockDraft to remain focused on the draft and getting to know a new set of draft hopefuls every year.
How about a little draft trivia?
When asked what player took the longest to make their NHL debut after being drafted Ladd surmised that would be Tim Thomas. “He was the taken in the ninth round in 1994, which is a round that doesn’t even exist anymore. He had a brief debut in the NHL 9 years after his draft, but didn’t see regular playing time until the 2005-06 season. It’s pretty amazing that he was able to persevere and remain confident for eleven years.”
Tech, tech, tech
While there are no plans for an app for the site just yet the website is compatible with mobile devices and can scale to fit smaller screens. Right now they are focused on developing and expanding the entire site. As you would expect, NMD is active on all social media fronts including, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Google+. They also rolled out two new features this month; a draft lottery simulator and a mock draft generator, which lets people build and export their own mock drafts. Do you want to see what the draft would look like if the Ottawa Senators got the first pick in the draft and the New York Rangers got the last, the generator lets you do just that?
While there are allot of options available to hockey fans when it comes to NHL Draft prospects, NHLMockdraft.org should be your first stop. You won’t regret the time you spend there and will certainly be back.
Larry Berman is a Hockey History Correspondent for TheHockeyWriters.com. His work has also been featured in The Hockey Hall of Fame Legends Program, The Hockey News, Beckett Hockey Monthly, Canadianhockeyonline.ca and Canadian Sports Magazine. He was inspired to follow the Ottawa Senators by his Grandfather who grew up in Montreal and was a fan of the original Senators franchise. He is also an avid hockey card and memorabilia collector.