This was done at the last minute, and at great expense. And while drinking heavily. Guess where it starts kicking in!
1. Edmonton Oilers: Nail Yakupov. Edmonton isn't going to pass on the best player in the draft, no matter how stacked they are at forward. They'll have plenty of ammo to make a trade for a legitimate defenseman. They'll draft Yakupov and figure the rest out later.
2. Columbus Blue Jackets: Filip Forsberg. I get the feeling CBJ wants/needs a safe forward prospect, and Forsberg is pretty safe. He's got size and skill,
3. Montreal Canadiens: Mikhail Grigorenko. A big center with tons of skill? From QUEBEC?!?!?! Yes, he has character concerns, but all it takes is one team to be convinced they're not a big deal. If they are, he is Benoit Pouliot, if they aren't, he's a star. Playing through mono would be enough convincing for me to draft him.
4. New York Islanders: Ryan Murray. The Islanders want a defenseman, everyone is in love with Murray. This seems to be a match made in heaven. If he can produce points at the NHL level, he'll be a star. He's very good defensively and according to scouts, almost never makes a mistake.
5. Toronto Maple Leafs: Alexander Galchenyuk. Don Cherry won't like ANOTHER American pick, but he can shove it. Galchenyuk is immensely skilled, and appears to have recovered from his ACL injury that knocked him out for most of the season. Brian Burke is going to want to make a splash in the draft after Boston did so with Toronto's picks in the last two years (Missing out on Seguin and Hamilton hurts. Bad.), and that's going to be enough to overcome the riskiness of the pick.
6. Anaheim Donald Ducks: Morgan Rielly. People talk about the need to replace Justin Schultz on the blueline in Anaheim's system. I get that. What I don't get is why everyone thinks that Mathew Dumba is that guy. Dumba's good for sure, but I think that Rielly's skill set matches up with Schultz much more so than with Dumba, who the Ducks have a similar player to in Cam Fowler. Rielly is an offensive wizard who skates and moves the puck like a dream. He has returned from a ACL injury, which doesn't seem like a major concern at this point.
7. Minnesota Wild: Mathew Dumba. I can foresee the Islanders, Leafs, and Ducks picking him up, and it's turned out the last two years that the Wild didn't grab my pre-draft darling (Ryan Johansen in '09, Dougie Hamilton in '10). If the Wild don't get Dumba, then they'll have a shot at Forsberg, Galchenyuk, Rielly, or Taravainen, so I won't be crying if Dumba is picked. But Dumba is the most dynamic defenseman in the draft, and has the shot, vision, leadership, and physicality to be the best D-man the Wild have ever had. Imagining him and Brodin patrolling the blueline in two years gives me a boner.
9. Winnipeg Jets: Radek Faksa. A lot of people have the Jets taking a defenseman. Unsure why it's so widely assumed, the Jets defensive corps is good enough so that a defenseman isn't exactly necessary. With the Jets' love for size on the front end, he could step in as a power forward to either center his own line or skate with Mark Schiefle on the wing.
10. Tampa Bay Lightning: Jacob Trouba. We know goal scoring isn't the problem with them. Trouba can move the puck and be steady and solid and physical on D. Good fit.
11. Washington Capitals: Griffin Reinhart. He's not the fastest, but fast for his size, and isn't as physical as you'd like a 6'4'' defenseman to be, but if you could teach him a mean streak, he'll be big enough, mobile enough, and defensive enough to be a stalwart on Washington's blue line.
12. Buffalo Sabres: Sebastian Collberg. Dynamic skills should make this forward attractive to the Sabres. Also, has played against men in a defensive role. Should be attractive.
13. Dallas Stars: Olli Maatta: The Stars like Finns, right? Cool.
14. Calgary Flames: Pontus Aberg: After attaining a talented Swiss forward last year, they attain a talented Sweedish forward for this year.
15. Ottawa Senators: Slater Koekkoek. Ottawa gets a two way defenseman with upside and snags one of the best names in a strong great-name-draft.
16. Washington Capitals: Zemgus Girgensons. Washington is making over their team in a tougher, more gritty image. Girgensons, not Ovechkin, is going to headline this movement. Another fantastic name.
17. San Jose Sharks: A hockey player. San Jose has a lot of them, but one more couldn't hurt, right?
18. Chicago Blackhawks: Who cares?
19. Tampa Bay Lightning: A second hockey player. They have two picks, so they'd like to get two hockey players. Solid strategy by "Eh" Steve Yzerman.
20. Philadelphia Phlyers: A goon.
21. Buffalo Sabres: Someone who would look good in blue and yellow.
22. Pittsburgh Penguins: "Ralph" The Wonder Llama.
23. Florida Panthers: Colton Sissions.
24. Boston Bruins: 40 Specially Trained Ecuadorian Mountain Llamas.
25. Vancouver Canucks: 6 Venezuelan Red Llamas.
26. St. Louis Blues: 142 Mexican Whooping Llamas.
27. Phoenix Coyotes: 14 North Chilean Guanacos (Closely related to the llama).
28. New York Rangers: Reg Llama of Brixton.
29. New Jersey Devils: 76,000 Battery Llamas. From Llama Fresh Farms, LTD. Near Paraguay.
30. Los Angeles Kings: Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones.
Send me that card tomorrow, HW staff!
UPDATE: Also, read my crappy blog when it updates next: http://lemairestrap.wordpress.com