1. Edmonton Oilers: Nail Yakupov
RW - Sarnia Sting (OHL) - 5'11" - 185
The Edmonton Oilers could use a defenseman here, but instead, they take the draft's best player. Russian Nail Yakupov will revolutionize the league with his speed, tenacity and skill, and he will bring the Edmonton Oilers closer to a title.
2. Columbus Blue Jackets: Filip Forsberg
LW - Leksand (Allsvenskan) - 6'2" - 181
The Columbus Blue Jackets need to find a new franchise forward to replace Rick Nash, who may leave this summer, and they find it in Swede Filip Forsberg. Ryan Johansen's new winger has a complete package of skills and is NHL-ready.
3. Montreal Canadiens: Mikhail Grigorenko
C - Quebec Remparts (QMJHL) - 6'3" - 200
The Montreal Canadiens are desperate for elite, first-line talent, and they find it in Mikhail Grigorenko. The QMJHL's finest Russian has size, skill and vision and is going to play a major role in kickstarting the Habs' resurgence.
4. New York Islanders: Ryan Murray
D - Everett Silvertips (WHL) - 6'1" - 195
The New York Islanders have spent 11 of their last 12 first-round picks on forwards and will finally solve their defensive problems with Ryan Murray. A prototypical two-way blueliner, Murray will become the perfect defensive complement to the Isles' young offensive superstars.
5. Toronto Maple Leafs: Alex Galchenyuk
C - Sarnia Sting (OHL) - 6'1" - 198
The Maple Leafs have for a while needed a franchise center, and after failing to find him in 2009 first-rounder Nazem Kadri, pick up Alex Galchenyuk. The Maple Leafs have already expressed interest in Nail Yakupov's dynamic linemate, who likely would have challenged for first overall had he not suffered a season-ending ACL injury in September.
6. Anaheim Ducks: Mathew Dumba
D - Red Deer Rebels (WHL) - 6'0" - 173
With Justin Schultz not signing a contract and deciding instead to become a free agent, the Ducks are thin in defensive prospects. That ends with Mathew Dumba, the draft's most physically threatening blueliner, who will become Cam Fowler's partner.
7. Minnesota Wild: Morgan Rielly
D - Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL) - 6'0" - 190
For the second straight season, the Minnesota Wild grab a blue-chip defenseman in the top 10. Morgan Rielly, an offensive prodigy, could develop into a great partner for Jonas Brodin.
8. Carolina Hurricanes: Teuvo Teravainen
LW - Jokerit (SM-Liiga) - 5'11" - 165
With Jussi Jokinen approaching the back end of his career, the Carolina Hurricanes need scoring help on the wings, and behind Yakupov and Forsberg, Finn Teuvo Teravainen is the most offensively talented player in the draft.
Teravainen needs to add muscle to his skinny frame, but when he does, he could have one of the highest ceilings among players in the draft.
9. Winnipeg Jets: Jacob Trouba
D - USNTDP (USHL) - 6'2" - 193
The Winnipeg Jets could use help everywhere, but at ninth overall, Jacob Trouba is a can't-miss prospect. The University of Michigan commit has all the skills needed to be a leading NHL defenseman, and the league's newest team would love to pick up the shark-like defenseman this late in the draft.
10. Tampa Bay Lightning: Griffin Reinhart
D - Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL) - 6'4" - 197
Five of the Tampa Bay Lightning's top defensemen are over the age of 30, and in a draft flush with top-class blueliners, the Bolts will likely look to capitalize on their defensive need later this week.
Griffin Reinhart has excellent size, great hockey IQ and solid offensive upside—all skills that will make him a favorite at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
11. Washington Capitals (from Colorado Avalanche): Radek Faksa
C - Kitchener Rangers (OHL) - 6'3" - 203
The Caps' lack of a true second-line center shone through in the playoffs, and to finally move forward in the postseason, general manager George McPhee needs to address the need.
Radek Faksa is big, European, hard-working and offensively dynamic—all qualities that will make him a perfect fit in D.C.
12. Buffalo Sabres: Brendan Gaunce
C - Belleville Bulls (OHL) - 6'2" - 215
The Buffalo Sabres center corps stands at an average height of 5'10" and 183 pounds and is desperate for an injection of size and strength. There are no better options in the draft than workhorse Brendan Gaunce, who projects as a high-end third-line center.
13. Dallas Stars: Sebastian Collberg
RW - Frölunda (Elitserien) - 5'11" - 176
The reason for the Dallas Stars' struggles this season was the lack of offense. Without Brad Richards, Loui Eriksson took a step back in his development. The Stars are desperate for a playmaker; they find one of the draft's best in Swede Sebastian Collberg.
14. Calgary Flames: Olli Maatta
D - London Knights (OHL) - 6'2" - 202
The Calgary Flames need help all over, and as a result, their greatest need is simply filling up on blue-chip prospects. Aside from T.J. Brodie, there are no top-four defensive prospects in the system.
That changes with Olli Maatta. The young Finn moves the puck well, is very solid in his own zone and would make the Flames very happy should he drop to 14th overall.
15. Ottawa Senators: Cody Ceci
D - Ottawa 67's (OHL) - 6'3" - 207
The Ottawa Senators have the most offensively promising prospect pool in the NHL, but with the graduation of 2009 first-rounder Jared Cowen, the team lacks defensive talents.
In Cody Ceci, they get a hometown kid who lives and breathes Ottawa. He is a physical force who is going to help bring out the best in Sens superstar Erik Karlsson.
16. Washington Capitals: Hampus Lindholm
D - Rögle (Elitserien) - 6'3" - 196
With John Carlson, Mike Green and Dmitry Orlov, the Caps' blue line is going to be strong for seasons to come. That said, the team's system lacks elite defensive defensemen, and with the biggest need already solved with Radek Faksa, the Caps address their second one.
In Hampus Lindholm, the Caps get a no-nonsense blueliner who excels in his own zone and will be a great complement to the offensive guys.
17. San Jose Sharks: Tomas Hertl
C - HC Slavia Praha (Czech Extraliga) - 6'2" - 198
The San Jose Sharks have made just one first-round selection in the past four drafts, and that player, Charlie Coyle, was traded. The Sharks have stayed afloat through NCAA free-agent signings, but need to make a splash in this year's draft.
Joe Thornton is 32, so the Sharks need to look at getting a new top-six center. They'll look no further than Czech Tomas Hertl.
18. Chicago Blackhawks: Thomas Wilson
RW - Plymouth Whalers (OHL) - 6'4" 203
The 'Hawks signings of Andrew Brunette, Daniel Carcillo, Jamal Mayers and Sean O'Donnell, as well as their drafting of Phillip Danault and Mark McNeill, made clear their agenda a summer ago: They want to get tougher.
That continues with the most physically imposing forward in the draft, Thomas Wilson.
19. Tampa Bay Lightning (from Detroit Red Wings): Pontus Åberg
LW - Djurgården (Elitserien) - 5'11" - 194
Having picked up a defenseman, the Tampa Bay Lightning use their second first-rounder on a player that is going to help replace the scoring lost by Martin St. Louis down the road.
Pontus Åberg missed the World Juniors, but showed enough playing with men in the Swedish Elite League, getting 15 points in 47 games, to solidify his place as a first-rounder. He is physically mature enough to play in the NHL next year.
20. Philadelphia Flyers: Derrick Pouliot
D - Portland Winterhawks (WHL) - 5'11" - 190
Of the Flyers' top six defensemen, three are over the age of 36. Philly desperately needs to add depth and youth on the blue line, and they do so with Derrick Pouliot, a dynamic, two-way defenseman who is going to be a force on the power play,
21. Buffalo Sabres (from Nashville Predators): Andrei Vasilevski
G - Salavat Yulaev Ufa (KHL) - 6'3" - 204
It is easy to forget that, come next season, Ryan Miller will be 32 years old. With the pick acquired from the Nashville Predators in the Paul Gaustad trade, the Buffalo Sabres get their goalie of the future with giant Russian World Juniors star Andrei Vasilevski.
A tireless netminder with a composed mentality, Vasilevski has a lightning-quick glove hand and sound lateral movement, though he doesn't always need to use it because of how much net he covers. He is a future NHL star.
22. Pittsburgh Penguins: Zemgus Girgensons
C - Dubuque Fighting Saints (USHL) - 6'2" - 198
The Penguins have made a living off having three great centers—Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal—but with all three of those set to be free agents over the next two summers, the Pens need to think about restocking the system.
They do so with Latvian Zemgus Girgensons, a hard-working, heart-and-soul center who has great goal-scoring upside and would fit seamlessly onto Pittsburgh's third line.
23. Florida Panthers: Colton Sissons
C - Kelowna Rockets (WHL) - 6'1" - 187
The Florida Panthers need to add role players to the team, and they do so with Colton Sissons. A player who could turn out to be a steal at 23rd overall, Sissons will bring grit, energy and scoring to the Panthers' third line. Hewill serve to be a great complement to the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau, Kris Versteeg and Stephen Weiss higher up the order.
24. Boston Bruins: Slater Koekkoek
D - Peterborough Petes (OHL) - 6'2" - 184
The Bruins will take the best player available, which this late is no doubt defenseman Slater Koekkoek. A player with a dominant two-way game and good special teams capabilities, Koekkoek was a consensus top-15 pick before he was sidelined by a shoulder injury in November.
This could turn out to be a steal for the Bruins.
25. St. Louis Blues: Matthew Finn
D - Guelph Storm (OHL) - 6'0" - 192
The St. Louis Blues could do with adding offensive players to their roster, but with Jaden Schwartz and Vladimir Tarasenko ready to step up, help is coming.
Instead, the Blues improve their defense with Matt Finn. A low-risk, high-reward selection, Finn is a steady blueliner who is sound in all facets of the game and is going to add stability to the St. Louis defensive corps.
26. Vancouver Canucks: Ville Pokka
D - Kärpät (SM-Liiga) - 6'0" - 196
With a well-rounded team and prospect group, the Vancouver Canucks will take the best player available, and that, at 26th overall, is Ville Pokka. The Finn will add good finesse and skill to a group that prioritizes with snarl and physical dominance, creating a good complement on the Vancouver blue line.
27. Phoenix Coyotes: Tanner Pearson
LW - Barrie Colts (OHL) - 6'0" - 195
The Phoenix Coyotes, to be a truly contending team, need to add more goal scoring to their roster. In Tanner Pearson, the Coyotes find an overage (birth year is 1992) offensive talent who can put the puck in the net.
He is seemingly ready for NHL duty, and if placed in the right scenario, he could be good for more than 20 goals in his rookie NHL season.
28. New York Rangers: Stefan Matteau
C - USNTDP (USHL) - 6'2" - 210
The New York Rangers, searching for role players, pick up the son of ex-Ranger Stephane Matteau. A center with good size, the ability to drive the net and a hard shot, Matteau could blossom into a dominant power forward for the Rangers. There have been questions over his work ethic, but those should dissolve when he breaks into the NHL.
29. New Jersey Devils: Mike Winther
C - Prince Albert Raiders (WHL) - 6'0" - 170
The Devils have next to no high-end offensive prospects. Using the pick they chose not to forfeit, the Devils correct that, picking Mike Winther. Playing on a struggling team this season, Winther put his offensive skills and power-play capabilities on full display.
With Zach Parise possibly gone, Winther would be a welcome addition to the Devils offense.
30. Los Angeles Kings: Martin Frk
RW - Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL) - 6'0" - 200
The L.A. Kings will take a risk on a player on the best available player. Before a concussion this season, Frk was a consensus top-10 pick. He certainly still has the skill set that made him so highly rated for scouts, and if he develops well, the Czech power forward could be a steal for the Kings with the last pick in the first round.