2012 NHL Mock Draft: Projecting Picks for Entire First Round

Jason SapunkaCorrespondent IIApril 16, 2012

2012 NHL Mock Draft: Projecting Picks for Entire First Round

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    Last week the 2012 NHL draft lottery took place, resulting in the Edmonton Oilers being picked to select first overall for the third consecutive season.

    Along with this, the next 13 picks were selected.

    Spots 15 to 30 will be determined after the Stanley Cup playoffs are finished. (For the purpose of this mock draft, those spots are listed in reverse of the final standings).

    With what we know so far, we can get an idea of what each team will be able to draft with where they may be.

1. Edmonton Oilers

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    Top-rated prospect Nail Yakupov is exactly what the Oilers do not need.

    However, if the team does not trade their pick before the draft, they should not be picking up anyone besides the Sarnia Sting's Russian right winger.

    The Oilers have an elite future on offense already, are needing a defenseman to go along with it. But Yakupov's value is impossible to pass up.

    The team could draft him and trade him for the defenseman they need, whether it be another prospect or a young defenseman already in the league.

    Yakupov is a 5'11", 189-pound right winger from Russia who played for the OHL's Sarnia Sting.

    He totaled 69 points in 42 games this season after racking up 101 in 65 last season.

2. Columbus Blue Jackets

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    After the Jeff Carter for Jack Johnson trade, plus the speculated upcoming departure of Rick Nash during this offseason, Columbus is going to need to add offense.

    Mikhail Grigorenko is an excellent two-way forward and probably the best offensive choice after Yakupov.

    Grigorenko is a 6'3", 200-pound center from Russia who played for the QMJHL's Quebec Remparts.

    He totaled 85 points in 59 games this season.

3. Montreal Canadiens

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    After drafting a defenseman in the first round of the past two drafts, look for Montreal to pick a forward in 2012 to help their offense (which ranked 20th in the league this season).

    Filip Forsberg is a 6'2", 181-pound center from Sweden who played for Leksand of the Swedish league.

    He totaled 17 points in 43 games this season with the Division 2 Senior league Leksand.

4. New York Islanders

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    Ryan Murray is the best available defenseman in the draft and regarded as the best available player after Yakupov.

    Murray is a 6'0", 201-pound defenseman from Canada who played for the WHL's Everett Silvertips.

    He totaled 31 points in 46 games this season.

5. Toronto Maple Leafs

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    Toronto will look to add a forward, and Alex Galchenyuk could be an excellent pick at fifth overall.

    Galchenyuk is a 6'0", 198-pound center who plays for the OHL's Sarnia Sting. He is of Russian ancestry and was born in the United States.

    Galchenyuk totaled 83 points in 68 games last season. This year, he was out for most of the season with a knee injury but came back towards the end.

    After going pointless in two regular season games, he totaled four points in six playoff games.

6. Anaheim Ducks

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    According to HockeysFuture.com the Ducks' top four prospects are forwards. That, in addition to the depth this draft has on defense, makes Morgan Rielly a sensible pick.

    Rielly is a 6'0", 190-pound defenseman from Canada who played for the WHL's Moose Jaw Warriors.

    He totaled 18 points in 18 games this season.

7. Minnesota Wild

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    The NHL's worst offense (league-low 177 goals this season) could use help putting the puck in the net.

    Mikael Granlund, their first pick in the 2010 draft (ninth overall), could be ready for the NHL next season, but there is not much else to be excited about.

    Radek Faksa is a 6'3", 202-pound center from the Czech Republic who played for the OHL's Kitchener Rangers.

    He totaled 66 points in 62 games this season.

8. Carolina Hurricanes

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    The Hurricanes need help defensively and do not have much in their system on either side of the puck.

    Griffin Reinhart is the type of shut-down defender who can help this team.

    Reinhart is a 6'4", 207-pound defenseman from Canada who played for the WHL's Edmonton Oil Kings.

    He totaled 36 points in 58 games this season with a plus-23.

9. Winnipeg Jets

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    The Jets could benefit from getting defensive help in front of Ondrej Pavelec; Winnipeg gave up the fifth-most goals this season.

    Cody Ceci is a 6'2", 207-pound defenseman from Canada who played for for the OHL's Ottawa 67's.

    He totaled 60 points in 64 games this season.

10. Tampa Bay Lightning

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    Tampa Bay needs help both defensively and in goal. They should not waste their high pick on a goalie; none of the top netminders are worth the 10th overall pick.

    Defenseman Jacob Trouba is a good all-around player who was with the USHL's National Development team.

    He totaled 18 points in 22 games and was a plus-eight rating.

11. Washington Capitals (from Colorado Avalanche)

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    If Mathew Dumba is still available for the Capitals, it could be a good opportunity for the team to pick up one of the top available defensive prospects.

    Dumba is a 6'0", 183-pound defenseman from Canada who played for the WHL's Red Deer Rebels.

    He totaled 50 points in 64 games this season.

12. Buffalo Sabres

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    Buffalo needs to get bigger on offense, and 6'2", 198-pound Zemgus Girgensons can help that.

    Girgensons is a center from Latvia who played for the USHL's Dubuque.

    He had 50 points in 47 games this season.

13. Dallas Stars

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    Olli Maatta is a 6'2", 202-pound defenseman from Finland who played for the OHL's London Knights.

    He totaled 32 points in 58 games this season. He is a good skater who plays well offensively and defensively.

14. Calgary Flames

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    The aging Flames need some youthful offense.

    Brendan Gaunce is a 6'2", 215-pound center from Canada who played for the OHL's Belleville Bulls.

    He totaled 68 points in 68 games this season.

15. Ottawa Senators

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    The Senators have an aging Sergei Gonchar and Filip Kuba to replace on their blue line.

    Derrick Pouliot is a 5'11", 186-pound defenseman from Canada who played for the WHL's Portland Winterhawks.

    He totaled 59 points in 72 games this season.

16. Washington Capitals

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    After drafting a defenseman with the 11th pick, look for Washington to take a forward later in the round.

    Tom Wilson is a 6'4", 203-pound right winger from Canada who played for the OHL's Plymouth Whalers.

    He totaled 27 points in 49 games this season.

17. Florida Panthers

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    The Panthers are ranked No. 1 in Hockey's Future organizational prospect rankings with players such as center Jonathan Huberdeau, goalie Jacob Markstrom and defenseman Erik Gudbranson.

    Florida can add to that with Teuvo Teravainen, the second-ranked European skater according to NHL.com.

    Teravainen is a 5'11", 165-pound left winger from Finland who played for Jokerit of the SM-liiga.

    He has 18 points in 40 games.

18. Los Angeles Kings

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    Colton Sissons is a 6'1", 189-pound center from Canada who played for the WHL's Kelowna Rockets.

    He totaled 41 points in 58 games this season.

    Sissons is captain of his team, regarded as a gritty two-way player.

19. San Jose Sharks

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    Matt Finn is a 6'0", 195-pound defenseman from Canada who played for the OHL's Guelph Storm.

    He has 48 points in 61 games this season.

    Finn has quality awareness for his age in terms of making smart plays. He could be a steal late in the round if he continues to develop rapidly; from 2010-11 to 2011-12, he more than doubled his point total.

20. Phoenix Coyotes

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    Stefan Matteau is a 6'2", 210-pound center from the United States who played for the USHL's National Development Team.

    He totaled 32 points in 46 games this season.

    This offensive talent will help replace the aging Coyotes' forward core including Shane Doan, Ray Whitney and Daymond Langkow.

    He is the son of New York Rangers hero Stephane Matteau.

21. Chicago Blackhawks

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    Brady Skjei is a 6'3", 200-pound defenseman from the United States playing for the USHL's National Development Team.

    He has 21 points in 53 games this season.

22. New Jersey Devils

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    The Devils do not have much promise in goal for the future.

    Malcolm Subban, brother of Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K., is the top available goaltender in this year's draft.

    Subban is a 6'1", 188-pound goalie from Canada who played for the OHL's Belleville Bulls.

    In 39 games this season, he had a .923 save percentage and a 2.50 goals-against average.

23. Tampa Bay Lightning (from Detroit Red Wings)

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    Tampa Bay also needs a goaltender with Mathieu Garon and Dwayne Roloson aging.

    Andrei Vasilevski is a 6'3", 204-pound goalie from Russia who played for the KHL's Tolpar Ufa.

    In 27 games played this season, he had a .931 save percentage and a goals-against average of 2.23.

24. Boston Bruins

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    Slater Koekkoek is a 6'2", 184-pound defenseman from Canada who played for the OHL's Peterborough Petes.

    He had 18 points in 26 games this season. He is physical and talented both offensively and defensively, a good fit for the Bruins' style of hockey.

25. Philadelphia Flyers

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    The Flyers have impeccable depth on offense, most of which is very young.

    On defense, it's another story. Kimmo Timonen is 36, Chris Pronger is 37 (and may not play again anyway due to concussion issues), Andreas Lilja is 36 and Pavel Kubina is 34.

    A good defenseman who could be available at this stage of the draft is Dalton Thrower.

    Thrower is a 5'11", 189-pound defenseman from Canada who played for the WHL's Saskatoon Blades.

    He has 54 points in 66 games.

    In addition to being a productive offensive defenseman, Thrower is very physical.

    He fought nine times this season including a toe-to-toe scrap with Graham Hood. Flyers fans would like a guy like Dalton on the roster.

26. Buffalo Sabres (from Nashville Predators)

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    The top European defender, Hampus Lindholm is a 6'2", 196-pound defenseman from Sweden playing for Rogle of the Allsvenskan.

    He played at three different levels of Sweden's hockey league but spent the most time with the Rogle junior team, totaling 17 points in 28 games.

27. Pittsburgh Penguins

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    Martin Frk is a 6'0", 198-pound right winger from the Czech Republic playing for the QMJHL's Halifax Mooseheads.

    He has 26 points in 31 games this season.

28. St. Louis Blues

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    The Blues have a young team, so they have plenty of time to wait for high school player Cristoval Nieves to develop.

    Nieves is a 6'3", 184-pound center from the United States playing for Kent High School in Connecticut. He totaled 39 points in 26 games this past season.

    He is committed to playing for the University of Michigan.

29. New York Rangers

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    Tanner Pearson is a 6'0", 198-pound left winger from Canada who played for the OHL's Barrie Colts.

    He had 91 points in 60 games this season, but he is also two years older than most of the other top prospects; he went undrafted in 2010 and 2011.

30. Vancouver Canucks

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    Sebastian Collberg is a 5'11", 176-pound right winger from Sweden playing for the Elitserien's Frolunda team.

    He totaled 17 points in 21 games with the junior-20 Frolunda team this season.

    Collberg is regarded as a fast skater with good decking abilities and a quality wrist shot.

     

    Jason Sapunka covers the NHL and Philadelphia Flyers. He is available on Twitter for hockey updates, analysis and commentary.