Thought I'd give this a go. Picks based on standings as of March 1st. Most of these picks were made based on prospect pools, and team strengths/weaknesses.
C Nathan MacKinnon
Columbus will be more than happy to select a top line Center. While Jones is an definitely a possibility here, Columbus goes with the more sure bet in MacKinnon.
D Seth Jones
Washington has plenty of skill up front. No debating here as Jones is the man for them, while also being BPA. He's still growing and learning to use his size physically, but Jones has all the makings of a top pairing D-man.
LW Jonathan Drouin
The Sabres most likely would've loved for Jones to have dropped to them, but they certainly won't mind scooping up perhaps the most prolific member of the 2013 draft. Weak organizational on wing, the Sabres hope that Drouin, while perhaps slightly undersized, can become the next Briere or Kane.
C Alexander Barkov
The Panthers are very strong up the middle organizationally, but Barkov is a too good a talent to pass up on. Florida may opt to trade down in the 8-12 range. I see their biggest need at Defense and I'm sure plenty of teams would line up for this pick.
C Elias Lindholm
The Islanders again have a high pick and go with a top C talent here. Lindholm would be able to slot into the 2C spot as most believe Strome will move over to wing to play with Tavares. Lindholm is your prototypical Swede playmaker.
C Sean Monahan
Impressive big man with offensive talent, just lacks the flash of the other top players. Shame he didn't make the Canadian U20s team, but Monahan will be a key player in next year's World Juniors. Captain of the 67's, Monahan is everything you could hope for in a top pick.
RW Valery Nichushkin
Yzerman sure likes his Europeans, specifically Russians. Nichushkin is a pure scorer with size and power. Their is the KHL factor involved, but Tampa is willing to take the risk and hope that he does the likes of Tarasenko.
D Rasmus Ristolainen
The Avs need help on defense badly. Big, strong, and skilled, Ristolainen would certainly help.
D Darnell Nurse
Think of a top four defense of Schultz, Smid, Klefbom, and Nurse, and you see why Edmonton picks the big D-man.
LW Hunter Shinkaruk
Columbus strikes gold with their second pick in the 1st Round. Shinkaruk has top level skills and plays with an edge. His size may be an issue, but it hasn't stopped him so far. Columbus hopes that Shinkaruk can play the part of Drouin to MacKinnon in the big league.
Philadelphia Flyers - D Ryan Pulock
Phoenix Coyotes - RW Adam Erne
Winnipeg Jets - C Alex Wennberg
Carolina Hurricanes - C Frederick Gauthier
Dallas Stars - LW Anthony Mantha
San Jose Sharks - C/W Max Domi
Minnesota Wild - C Curtis Lazar
St. Louis Blues - D Josh Morrisey
Columbus Blue Jacket - D Nikita Zadarov
Nashville Predators - C Kerby Rychel
Detroit Red Wings - C Bo Horvat
New Jersey Devils - LW Andre Burakovsky
Vancouver Canucks - Valentin Zykov
Toronto Maple Leafs - G Zachary Furcale
Pittsburgh Penguins - C JT Compher
Ottawa Senators - C/W Ryan Hartman
Boston Bruins - D Robert Hagg
Montreal Canadians - LW Anthony Duclair
Anaheim Ducks - LW William Carrier
Chicago Blackhawks - D Mirco Muller
Two things come to mind after looking at it:
1) Zadarov ended up falling more than I thought.
2) Duclair is an easy pick and I know a lot of people will say the Habs could grab him in round 2. I just felt like rather than taking the chance of him not falling to later 30s, the Habs just decided to grab him now.
Notable Players missing from Round 1:
Jacob De La Rose
Love the Toronto pick!! If by the draft we're picking anywhere from 18-22 (trying to be realistic), I would want us to take Fucale. Scrivens can't control a rebound to save his life, and Reimer has had too many injuries for me to trust him in the pivotal number 1 spot. Other than them, we have nobody... and with Fucale's potential being a "franchise goalie" a la Carey Price, there's NO way we should pass on that.
Stars don't take anyone with character issues. We'd go with Morrissey or Zadorov at that spot.
I just felt that the Stars are so limited in LW prospects and one's that could have the scoring potential that Mantha has shown, that he was the most likely pick with the other higher end forwards gone. I also wasn't really aware Mantha had character issues?
Leafs definitely need help in the net but I don't see Fucale being a franchise goaltender. Although, at that draft position the pick makes sense.
Mantha is a nice pick for the Stars. Character issues are not in question with Mantha. It has been his consistency and compete level that have been knocked.
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