The Oilers need a defender, however, Yakupov's skills are too hard to pass up in this business. He's an elite forward, and if no trade opportunity happens for Tambellini, he will select Yakupov
2. - Columbus Blue Jackets - Ryan Murray, D
Murray is a last minute decision by the Jackets to take a young defender. He will not play next season, but look for him in the future to anchor the defense in Columbus in the near future, and for years to come. He's a rock-steady, smooth skating defender.
3. - Montreal Canadiens - Alex Galchenyuk, C
This big, playmaking center would be a great fit in Montreal. They have shown considerable interest in Galchenyuk near the end of the season. A smooth skater, even with his 6'2" frame, but he doesn't always use it. He has many strengths overall, and Montreal won't pass on him.
4. - New York Islanders - Griffin Reinhart, D
The 6'3", 200 pound towering defender is who the Islanders need. With a strong offensive core, and Murray off the table, the Islanders take a bit of a reach with Reinhart. He is the son of Paul Reinhart, a former NHL player, so has had all the mentoring he needs about the life of an NHL player. He has a cannon of a shot, and the Islanders are happy to take him
5. - Toronto Maple Leafs - Filip Forsberg, C
The Leafs are ecstatic to grab Forsberg at #5. Being worried that the Islanders might take a stab at him, they let out a sigh of relief, and chose him over Grigorenko. Even as a big guy, he is able to slip in and out, and dance around the ice with ease. He has a quick shot, and is able to release some crisp passes. Playing in Sweden's HockeyAllsvenskan he was able to notch 17 points in 43 games.
6. - Anaheim Ducks - Mathew Dumba, D
A light defender, with a great puck moving ability, Mathew Dumba is a smart pick here, as 3 out of the top 6 picks are defenders. He has a great first step, and has good awareness on both sides of the ice. Just a pure puck moving defender.
7. - Minnesota Wild - Teuvo Teravainen, LW
Minnesota chooses Tervainen who has been rising as the draft comes up, and has been able to work his way into the top 10. Tervainen has exceptional vision on the ice, and was able to tally 18 points in Finland's top league.
8. - Carolina Hurricanes - Radek Faksa, C
Carolina go with their long tradition of selecting Kitchener Rangers. From Skinner, to Murphy, to Faksa, they do it every year. He brings exactly what the Hurricanes want, and what they need in their system. He will need 3-4 seasons of seasoning, but could be one of the top two-way centers in the league in the future.
9. - Winnipeg Jets - Jacob Trouba, D
The Jets have seen most of the forwards they were looking at be picked at this spot, and now go for a defender. The crowning jewel of the Under-18 development team, Trouba was the only draft eligible player to earn a spot on the USA World Junior roster. Trouba is a defenseman with good speed, with a great physical edge to his game. A great pick by the Jets here.
10. - Tampa Bay Lightning - Morgan Reilly, D
Reilly is a smooth and confident skater. He has great decision making skills with the puck, and is thought of as an offensive catalyst. He is a great puck moving defender, and had 18 points, in 18 games before his season ending knee injury. That knee injury has forced him a little down the list, but not out of the top 10
11. - Washington Capitals - Mikhail Grigorenko, RW
85 points in 59 games is nothing to snuff at. The Caps take a chance or Grigorenko, even though he holds a Russian passport. They have never been a team to shy away from a Russian. He has a superb hockey IQ, and great awareness on the ice. There has been questioning on if Grigorenko is, infact 20, instead of 18, but this does not deter the Caps.
12. - Buffalo Sabres - Olli Maatta, D
Buffalo are seeking a defender, and this draft is defender heavy. Maatta is big and strong on his feet. Rarely pays for jumping in offensively, due to his explosive speed. Buffalo are ecstatic to get a defender here. Maata needs some development in the OHL though, as this was his first season.
13. - Dallas Stars - Sebastian Collberg, RW
Along with Forsberg, and Aberg, Collberg headlines the Swedish contingent. At 5'11" Collberg is a little on the smaller side, but Dallas still takes a little reach with this kid. He has a ton of skill, as shown at the WJC, in which he scored 7 points in 6 games. Collberg could be a speedy, swift winger on Dallas' second line in the future.
14. - Calgary Flames - Brendan Gaunce, C
Brendan Gaunce has great vision and skating ability. His 6'2", 205 pound frame does not slow him down in the slightest. He has an amazing shot, and we could see him take over the Flames top 6 in the future as a great two-way power-forward. After a 68 point season, look for bigger, and better things out of Gaunce in the future
15. - Ottawa Senators - Cody Ceci, D
Ceci falls right into the Sens laps, and they are happy to take him. Playing in Ottawa currently, for the 67's, he is a great choice to play there. Will be a fan favourite in the future, considering he is already playing close to home. Ceci's biggest asset is his hockey IQ, which is a great thing for this future powerplay quarterback.
Koekkoek is picked up by the Caps, being the best defender in their mind. After getting Grigorenko at 11, the Caps are looking for a defender, instead of offense. Koekkoek is hard to beat one-on-one, and is great at defending the rush. Solid defensively, more than offensively. A very safe pick here.
17. - San Jose Sharks - Zemgus Grigensons, C
A great two-way center, with the mold of a Rod Brind'amour. Hailing from Riga, Latvia, Grigenson's has been an interesting surprise after coming to North America. He has great leadership ability, despite not knowing much English. He has committed to Vermont for the next season, and will be a treat to watch in university.
18. - Chicago Blackhawks - Tom Wilson, RW
His 6'4" frame would fit very nicely with Chicago in their system. He's big, strong, and not afraid to get dirty. A power-forward in the truest sense, and is a great player to send down low into those corners. A complimentary player, who will play with stars on the first line in the future, he uses his size and skill to really work defenders. Chicago fans should be ecstatic with this pick.
19. - Tampa Bay Lightning - Nicolas Kerdiles, LW
A player who could go from the 15th pick, to the second round, he is hard to predict. The kid is a strong forward, who has had an outstanding tenure at the WJC's. Also has had a great season on the US NTDP. Lightning fans should be excited with this pick, even if it could be considered a bit of a reach.
20. - Philadephia Flyers - Malcom Subban, G
They might have Bryzgalov tied up for a very long time, but that will give Subban time to develop in their system. Rising in the draft lately, the middle of the Subban brothers will likely find himself in the first round. Philadelphia is as good a destination as any, expect him to be happy, and Flyers fans to be excited when his name is called on draft day.
21. - Buffalo Sabres - Tomas Hertl, C
At 21, Hertl could be a bit of a reach, however, being a late riser, it is hard to predict these players. The Sabres need forward, because of their log jam at D. Hertl comes with a big, 6'2", frame, that can shelter the puck if need be. He has good awareness on offense, and will be the first Czech player selected in the draft.
22. - Pittsburgh Penguins - Matt Finn, D
The Penguins are set on offense for the future, with Crosby and Malkin up the middle. They need defense now, as their defensive corps is bare, and depleting quickly. Finn will be a hockey-smart leader with up-ice explosiveness who's reliable enough in the defensive zone to anchor the PK.
23. - Florida Panthers - Timothy Bozon, LW
Seems like a surprise pick at 23, but once you get here, it's hard to predict teams. Though, I think Florida will like this kid. 71 points last season on the Blazers, and was their strongest player. He's an average size, but is a crafty, smart, underrated prospect.
24. - Boston Bruins - Hampus Lindholm, D
The Bruins need a defender, they need someone who can play top 4 minutes on their squad. A faller so far in this draft, as he is a player projected to go top 20, maybe even top 15, so the Bruins grab him here, as fast as they can. Sweden has been producing great players this draft, and Swedish defensemen are becoming great players in this league.
25. - St. Louis Blues - Pontus Aberg, LW
Aberg has also fallen a bit, just like Lindholm. After being ranked very highly early this season, he fell a bit to around the 20 spot. Aberg has a great shot. His shot is also done with a quick release, making evey shot a surprise. He has a good first stride, and is able to blow by defenders
26. - Vancouver Canucks - Scott Laughton, C
Why are the Canucks in the market for a center? Who knows, with Sedin and Kesler, the Canucks are set on the first two lines in the future. However in the case of Laughton, the Canucks have been able to watch him closely, while watching last years first round pick, Nicklas Jensen, in Oshawa. Laughton is a physical, two-way forward, and plays a style very close to Jensen. We could see these two playing with eachother in the future.
27. - Phoenix Coyotoes - Derrick Pouliot, D
The Coyotes are not hard pressed for D, but this late in the draft, you go for BPA. Pouliot has fallen a bit, but he is an offensive defenseman who will continue to work on his defensive game. A budding young star in the WHL, he is able to do it all, and has some great feet.
28. - New York Rangers - Henrik Samuelsson, C
6'2", 192, and a player who has had a crazy international schedule this season. Not a big flashy forward, but is instead a strong grinder, who will be excited to go in round 1. Samuelsson will be able to fill a 2nd/3rd line role, and is a great piece to any franchise, bringing heart, soul, and tools other grinders do not have.
29. - New Jersey Devils - Andrei Vasilevski, G
New Jersey chooses not to give up their first, in return for a future goalie. With Subban gone, the Devils have to choose between Oliver Dansk, and Andrei Vasilevski. Personally, I see Vasilevski having more talent and potential, but we will see Jersey's decision on draft day. A big 6'3" goaltender, who could follow in the footsteps of other Russian goalies, such as Evgeni Nabokov. His ability to move quickly laterally, and his great glove hand, keep him cool on the ice
30. - Los Angeles Kings - Brady Skjei, D
Skjei has flown himself up the rankings, and then falls a little in this draft, to the LA Kings, this years cup winners. He can't complain, he is playing for a cup winning team. Skjei (actually pronounced SHAY) has a great deal of power in his stride, and defensive ability. Not afraid to get physical, he will add a dimension to the Kings defense that Kings fans will love.
Your comments are welcome, but no flaming. A mock draft, so a set of opinions, you all have your own.