2012 NHL Mock Draft: Projecting the Top 30 Players and Where They Will Go
The teams remaining in the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs will have the fourth last picks of the first round, though the exact order will be determined by who moves on this round, plus the winner of the cup.
For this mock draft, the order reflects an assumption that the teams with more regular-season points win the remaining series.
1. Edmonton Oilers
As much as Edmonton does not need another high-level scoring forward after taking Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in the past two drafts, they cannot pass on an elite talent like Nail Yakupov.
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 putting up 101 in 65 last season.
2. Columbus Blue Jackets
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. He is a quality playmaker who always seems to be ahead of his opponents. Vision like that is key in developing into a successful player at the NHL level.
Forsberg won a gold medal with Sweden at the IIHF Under-20 World Championships and might move ahead of Mikhail Grigorenko if the Blue Jackets want to draft a player out of Europe, which does not produce the amount of quality NHL prospects that Canada's junior leagues do.
3. Montreal Canadiens
Mikhail Grigorenko is a 6'3", 200-pound center from Russia who played for the QMJHL's Quebec Remparts.
He had a disappointing QMJHL playoffs, scoring 10 points in 11 games after totaling 85 points in 59 games this season, which might make him drop to third.
He has plenty of experience playing in the province of Quebec, which is where he will be if the Canadiens take him.
4. New York Islanders
Ryan 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.
Murray is very likely the best defenseman in the draft and could be ready for the NHL as early as next season.
5. Toronto Maple Leafs
Toronto is overstocked on defenseman and will likely look to pick a forward with their top choice.
Alex Galchenyuk is a 6'0", 198-pound center who played 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 in the 2010-11 season.
His playing time was limited this season, but he was able to come back and deliver four points in six playoff games.
6. Anaheim Ducks
Mathew 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, then performed very impressively at the 2012 IIHF Under-18 World Championships.
Dumba captained Team Canada and led the tournament in scoring with 12 points in seven games. He is an excellent all-around defenseman.
7. Minnesota Wild
Morgan 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 before suffering a torn ACL He was later able to come back for the playoffs, where he totaled three assists in five games.
8. Carolina Hurricanes
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 before delivering an impressive 19 points in 14 playoff games.
9. Winnipeg Jets
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 before totaling 15 points in 18 playoff games.
10. Tampa Bay Lightning
Tampa Bay's primary area of concern should be goaltending, but none of the top goalie prospects are worth giving up the 10th overall pick for.
Next on their list should be defense,
Griffin 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. He totaled eight points in 20 playoff games and was a plus-14 player.
11. Washington Capitals (from Colorado Avalanche)
Zemgus Girgensons is a 6'2", 198-pound center from Latvia who played for the USHL's Dubuque Fighting Saints.
He had 50 points in 47 games this season, but a fractured jaw late in the season inhibited him from raising his stock too much.
12. Buffalo Sabres
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 but struggled to maintain that pace in the playoffs, as he totaled six points in 13 games.
13. Dallas Stars
Teuvo Teravainen is a 5'11", 165-pound left winger from Finland who played for Jokerit of the SM-liiga.
He is the the second-ranked European skater at NHL.com, having 18 points in 40 games this season.
Teravainen had a strong performance at the IIHF Under-18 World Championships, totaling eight goals in six tournament games.
14. Calgary Flames
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 and was a plus-four this season, then delivered four points and was a plus-four in seven IIHF Under-18 World Junior tournament games.
15. Ottawa Senators
As Calgary would enjoy youth on offense, Ottawa would benefit from adding youth on defense.
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, then stepped up with 12 points in 15 playoff games.
16. Washington Capitals
After taking a forward at spot No. 11, Washington could take a defenseman with their second pick of the opening round.
Jacob Trouba played with the USHL's National Development team.
He totaled 18 points in 22 games and was a plus-eight rating, then at the IIHF Under-18 World Championships he was a plus-five with three points in six games.
17. San Jose Sharks
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, then dominated in the playoffs. The big winger was a plus-10 as he scored 13 points in 13 games.
18. Chicago Blackhawks
Matt Finn is a 6'0", 195-pound defenseman from Canada who played for the OHL's Guelph Storm.
He totaled 48 points in 61 games this season.
19. Tampa Bay Lightning (from Detroit Red Wings)
Tampa Bay needs a goaltender for the future, and Malcolm Subban appears to be the best one available in this season'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.
Subban recorded a .917 save percentage while facing an average of 36 shots in six playoff games.
He is the brother of Montreal's P.K. Subban.
20. Philadelphia Flyers
Slater Koekkoek is a 6'2", 184-pound defenseman from Canada who played for the OHL's Peterborough Petes.
The physical two-way defenseman had 18 points in 26 games this season.
21. Buffalo Sabres (from Nashville Predators)
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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 and will be attending the University of Minnesota.
22. Pittsburgh Penguins
Stefan Matteau is a 6'2", 210-pound center from the United States who played for the USHL's National Development Team.
The son of New York Rangers hero Stephane Matteau, he totaled 32 points in 46 games this season.
23. Florida Panthers
Martin Frk is a 6'0", 198-pound right winger from the Czech Republic who played for the QMJHL's Halifax Mooseheads.
He had 29 points in 34 games this season, but production went down slightly in the playoffs, where he totaled 11 points over 16 games.
24. Boston Bruins
Cristobal 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.
The big New England native could be a good fit for the Bruins.
25. St. Louis Blues
Colton Sissons is a 6'1", 189-pound center from Canada who was captain for the WHL's Kelowna Rockets.
The gritty two-way player totaled 41 points in 58 games this season. He only played in four playoff games, totaling two points.
26. Vancouver Canucks
Dalton Thrower is a 5'11", 189-pound defenseman from Canada who played for the WHL's Saskatoon Blades.
He totaled 54 points in 66 games. He is also very physical, which is just what Vancouver needs.
27. Los Angeles Kings
Columbus has the option to use this pick or the Kings' first round choice in 2013 as a result of the Jeff Carter for Jack Johnson trade.
A smart choice might be waiting until next season, when the pick has a chance of being better than 27th.
The Kings could take Sebastian Collberg, a 5'11", 176-pound right winger from Sweden who played for the Elitserien's Frolunda team.
He totaled 17 points in 21 games with the junior-20 Frolunda team this season, then scored nine points in six games at the IIHF Under-18 World Championships.
28. New Jersey Devils
With an aging Martin Brodeur and no solid goaltending prospect in line, New Jersey would be smart to pick up a goalie.
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.
Vasilevski played in the IIHF Under-18 World Championships, stopping 130 of 141 shots in five games for a .922 save percentage.
29. Phoenix Coyotes
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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.
30. New York Rangers
Image Source: http://www.stansteadcollege.com/fichiers/image/nouvelles/m_jankowski1.jpg
Mark Jankowski is a 6'2", 170-pound center from Stanstead College of Quebec. He totaled 93 points in 57 games.
Jankowski is catching a a lot of attention lately and could jump into the first round.
Jason Sapunka covers the NHL and is available on Twitter for updates, analysis and commentary. Follow @moreSapunka