To see some of my earlier thoughts on the draft see my Skeleton Mock Darft or you can check out my my Final Prospect Rankings.
1. Edmonton Oilers
Ryan Nugent Hopkins -
- WHL scoring phenom from the same town as Joe Sakic.
- Playing in Red Deer next best thing to right in town.
- Lit up the Edmonton team in the playoffs (and apparently the Oil Kings didn't do that bad a job defending him, how's that possible?).
- Had a strong back half, including going on a tirade for a few weeks.
- Had a great final few games of the regular season.
- Rated #1 overall everywhere.
- Plays centre.
- Comparisons to Datsyuk (Oilers love the idea of looking like Detroit and Datsyuk is probably the 2nd best forward on Earth).
- He's humble, says the right things, is a "regular kid" who is well mannered and extremely good at hockey.
- Room to fill out still.
- Is the guy they should take.
2. Colorado Avalanche
Gabriel Landeskog - Forsberg sold Colorado on swedes but they haven't had much opportunity to get quality Swedish help... until now. A modern version of Sakic/Forsberg with Duchene/Landeskog is too much to pass up.
3. Florida Panthers
Jonathan Huberdeau - A dynamic phenom much like Hopkins. Florida needs to get a star and Huberdeau's it. They took care of defense with Gudbranson last year.
4. New Jersey Devils
Adam Larsson - Lou Lamerello seems to like to build through defense and Adam Larsson will provide that at least.
5. New York Islanders
Ryan Strome - Another Centre so they have a 1-2 with Tavares. They are doing ok with young wingers and defense.
6. Ottawa Senators
Mika Zibanejad - I've heard this name here a lot. Alfredson would be a great mentor for this kid.
Sean Couturier - What a name for Winnipeg to get in their first draft year. They look good on the back end anyway. A big name. A splash. A good pick for that franchise.
8. Columbus Blue Jackets
Dougie Hamilton - They took a stud centre last year in Johansen. Stud D here. Where ever Columbus moves will have a good team ( I kid ).
9. Boston Bruins (via Toronto)
Ryan Murphy - The puck moving D-man they need. Modern Bobby Orr comparisons begin here (plus they took Seguin last year)
10. Minnesota Wild
Mark McNeill - They need depth help everywhere but maybe down the middle most. They wanted a goal scorer but the real high end goal scoring centres are gone and and McNeill is the best centre left.
11. Colorado Avalanche (via St. Louis)
Oskar Klefbom - Colorado gets a Swedish mate for Landeskog to grow up with and addresses both wing and defense with their picks. Bet they are happy.
12. Carolina Hurricanes
Nathan Beaulieu - I think they get a puck moving blueliner here and I think either Beaulieu or Brodin are the best ones left. They take the North American kid.
13. Calgary Flames
I don't know what Calgary does here. They need so much help everywhere. There is still so much here. They wanted Mark McNeill almost for sure but I have him gone. I hope they take Duncan Siemens - I hope. Please take him out of the Oilers way. They can have a new Phaneuf and we can get someone who plays better offensively. Other candidates are: Mark Scheifele, Jamieson Oleksiak, Joel Armia, Sven Bartschi, Rocco Grimaldi, Boone Jenner, Scott Mayfield, Tyler Biggs, Brandon Saad and Nicklas Jensen.
14. Dallas Stars
Basically they like the same list as Cow Town.
15. New York Rangers
Same plus add Matt Puempel, Zack Phillips and Ty Rattie names to the list of possibles here.
16. Buffalo Sabres
Add Thomas Jurco and Joe Morrow's names here.
17. Montreal Canadiens
Add Phillip Danault for this spot for obvious reasons.
18. Chicago Blackhawks
The guy we want goes here in all cruel likelihood. Also add Jonas Brodin's name as a possibility here.
19. Edmonton Oilers (via Los Angeles)
A pick out of what ever is left of that group minus Zack Phillips and Phillip Danault. I hope we choose well.
Total cop out between 13 and 19, I know, but I wanted to give you an idea of what it really looks like from my perspective. I feel really good that if no team trades their pick / no other major hockey moves happen for these teams in the next 2 days, my top 12 are solid. If I was more of a betting man I might place money on 1-12. Cow Town really screws everything here though because their needs are so many and their drafting record a little shabby. I think they shy away from Armia a little and Brodin a lot after the Tim Erixon fiasco.