I know there will be trades, but I am not going to try and speculate on those, let's go with what we know right now. Also, some of these picks may anger some of the fans of other teams throughout SB Nation, oh well. Enjoy!
1. Edmonton Oilers - Nail Yakupov (RW)
I for one think that the Oilers should trade this pick and move down and grab a defenseman. I also don't think they will do that because it would be the smart thing to do. I wouldn't mind seeing the Wild move up to grab this guy but we don't have anything in forms of tradeable assets to do this (we aren't trading Scandella, Brodin, Coyle or Granlund).
2. Columbus Blue Jackets - Ryan Murray (D)
And the second best player in the draft goes to . . . . Seriously though, the Blue Jackets would be fools to pass on a franchise defenseman who could be the next Scott Niedermayer. The can possibly find their centerman later in the draft with the first round pick they will get in the Nash trade.
Columbus needs help pretty much everywhere. That is why they ended up last in the league. They could go in several directions. I have a feeling that Rick Nash gets traded at the draft so to replace him they need another power forward who could be “the guy” to anchor the first line. Forsberg has the ability to develop into that type of player and should a lot of offense to a beleaguered Blue Jackets team.
3. Montreal Canadiens - Mikhail Grigorenko (C)
In true Montreal fashion, they pick the wrong player. It might work out for them for a while, but eventually Grigorenko will become another Semin or Kovalev with his work ethic and will "defect" to the KHL.
4. New York Islanders - Matthew Dumba (D)
Garth Snow is known for his unpredictable picks but this one probably wouldn't surprise that many. The Islanders don't seem to have too many young defensemen who are capable of the offense Dumba should be able to create. Also, he kinda likes cheap hits so he should fit right in with the culture over there.
5. Toronto Maple Leafs - Alex Galchenyuk (C)
I think I read somewhere earlier this week that Brian Burke has never drafted a Russian in the first round. Well Gelchenyuk is Russian, but also an American citizen so we know Burkie will love him. Seriously though, great pick here and great value. They finally get a real first line center to slot in between Kessel and probably Lupul.
6. Anaheim Ducks - Jacob Trouba (D)
Seems to be the perfect compliment to Fowler, right handed shot and first pairing potential. The Minnesota Wild weep because once again, the top player on their board was taken right before them. Oh and he was born in Rochester so you know he would have been the savior for the Wild too.
7. Minnesota Wild - Teuvo Tervainen (LW)
I'm going outside the box and taking Tervainen with our pick. I don't have much reasoning other than it seems so obvious that we will take a defenseman, Flahr will probably take a forward with Trouba off the board. The hope here is that Granlund figures out how to play center in the NHL and that he and Tero and maybe Lats form a future forward line. From what I have read (I've never seen this kid play), he seems like he could be the real deal, maybe the Jeff Skinner of this draft. We missed out on Skinner a few years ago and had to "settle" for some guy named Granlund. Now it's our turn to grab the sniper right before the Canes and see how they like it!
8. Carolina Hurricanes - Filip Foresberg (RW)
Lots of potential and room for growth. He's definitely going to be an NHLer, but where is he going to play, scoring line or grinding? The beauty of the Canes taking him is that he will probably succeed with them as they seem to always draft and develop pretty well. Probably a steal getting him this low if he turns into the real deal. I don't mind the Wild passing on him because he is too boom or bust for my liking.
9. Winnipeg Jets - Morgan Rielly (D)
I think the Jets need help in a lot of areas on the ice, but you can never have too many puck moving defensemen. Rielly is a good pick at this spot for sure.
10. Tampa Bay Lightning - Griffin Reinhart (D)
A little scoring, a little nasty, what's not to like? The Lightning need to shore up on defense, they are pretty stacked with offense but their goaltending and defense was pretty suspect last year.
11. Washington Capitals - Cody Ceci (D)
The window is closing on the Caps. In Ceci, they get a player who can probably play right away but doesn't have too much upside. I think the Caps are okay with that if he can help them now as opposed to later.
12. Buffalo Sabres - Olli Maata (D)
Name a defenseman for the Sabres who's name is not Myers or Leopold. That's what I though. The Sabres get a good defenseman who can move the puck and has all those European attributes, good vision, awareness, etc. He lacks a physical game so somewhere Ryan Miller will be crying that there will still be no one to stick up for him when the Bruins come to town.
13. Dallas Stars - Radek Faksa (C)
Seems to me the Stars have a gaping hole at center now that Richards is gone. They tried Benn there but he is much better on the wing. Mike Ribeiro is never going to be a top line talent and he is starting to age too. So the Stars take probably the best player available and I say that lightly because the talent is starting to really slip here now.
14. Calgary Flames - Zemgus Girgensons (C)
The Flames draft Girgensons hoping that he wins a spot on the 2012-13 all-name team. Seriously though, they've had a hole at center forever, might as well try and fix it with this guy. Maybe in a few years he and Baertschi turn into a scary tandem but hopefully not.
15. Ottawa Senators - Sebastion Collberg (RW)
On to one of my favorite players in this draft, Collberg seems to fit the plan Murray is starting over in Ottawa. Zibanejad and Collberg probably will be a scary two-some in a few years.
16. Washington Capitals - Brendan Gaunce (C)
And the search for a second line center continues with Gaunce. Laich is a decent center but maybe Gaunce will be better. Who knows, maybe the Caps go through another 4-5 coaches but the time Gaunce makes it to the NHL and who knows what system they will be playing by that time, six skaters, no goalie, all offense!
17. San Jose Sharks - Slater Koekkoek (D)
Was this guy on Saved by the Bell? Well even if he wasn't, after reading the Wild draft preview put together earlier this week, the Sharks are probably getting a good player in this deal. In reality, whoever the Sharks draft is not going to be helping them for some time. Instead, they will try to trade Marleau, Pavelski, or Clowe to help in the now.
18. Chicago Blackhawks - Malcom Subban (G)
I don't know what to think about the Hawks. They seem to be good but not good enough since losing all their depth after their Cup win. They certainly seem to have their core forwards and defensemen. Their depth and goaltending has been the issue the last few years. They seem to have depth coming in forward prospects like Saad, Shaw, and Hayes. I guess the Hawks will take the first goaltender of the draft. We'll see if he has as big an attitude as his brother.
19. Tampa Bay Lightning - Pontus Aberg (LW)
The Lightning already took a defenseman, now they go shopping for a future replacement of St. Louis. This guy is at least a slight upgrade, at least in height.
20. Philadelphia Flyers - Hampus Lindholm (D)
This guy has slipped far enough and may be the perfect replacement for Timonen down the road.
21. Buffalo Sabres (from Nsh.) - Tom Wilson (RW)
Does this team have any power forwards currently on their roster or in their system? Didn't think so. Maybe Wilson can be their guy. If nothing else, they probably have a cool soundbyte from Castaway for home games when his name is called.
22. Pittsburgh Penguins - Tomas Hertl (LW)
One day the Pens will have good wingers for both Malkin and Crosby. Malkin's line seems to be set in concrete but did anyone else notice the B-list players Crosby was left to play with? Dupuis?! Unless they trade Staal for some help at wing (I think it will be for help at wing and defense), I think they draft a winger here.
23. Florida Panthers - Derrick Pouliot (D)
Brian Campbell was a great trade for the Panthers. By drafting Pouliot, they are getting a potential replacement down the road and don't need to rush him since Campbell is still under contract for a little while longer.
24. Boston Bruins - Matt Finn (D)
The B's go best player available and that is definitely Finn. Defense is not really a need with Dougie Hamilton in the system but you can never have too many puck-moving defensemen.
25. St. Louis Blues - Dalton Thrower (D)
I feel lazy so I'll just say look at what I wrote for the Bruins.
26. Vancouver Canucks - Henrik Samuelsson (C)
I've looked and looked, but I can't seem to find how many times he dives per year, nevertheless, this seems like a guy the Nucks would draft.
27. Phoenix Coyotes - Brady Skjei (D)
Who knows what type of a player Brady will turn out to be. One thing is for sure, at this position in the draft, you aren't usually getting someone that is going to help immediately anyway, so might as well get a project with good potential.
28. New York Rangers - Stefan Matteau (C)
Pretty obvious choice if you were around in 1994.
29. New Jersey Devils - Andre Vasilevski (G)
And the search to replace Brodeur starts with this guy, good luck, I've read he may be a top ten pick so we'll see. Malcom Subban is also a good pick here if he falls this far.
30. Los Angeles Kings - Colton Sissons (RW)
Probably not as big a player as they would like but probably the best player available in the first round from the other mocks I've seen. Besides, the Kings will probably need to find some decent scoring wingers for their top two lines in the coming years and maybe this guy fits the bill.
I will make one final prediction for the draft. Right now, I have the Wild selecting a forward with their first round pick. I'm sticking to that and will predict that Fletch will move up in the second round to grab Jordan Schmaltz for their future top pairing with Brodin.
Hope you made it to the bottom of this and a special thanks to nemo1107 who provided me with an excellent template as far as layout for this.