This year, Bryan Thiel and Alan Bass continued their annual tradition of a mock draft. They will each be publishing 15 draft picks over the next few days to preview the 2010 NHL Entry Draft in Los Angeles, California.
The odd picks (1, 3, 5, etc.) are Alan's picks, while the even picks (2, 4, 6, etc.) are BT's picks. Enjoy!
1. Edmonton Oilers
Taylor Hall, LW, Windsor (OHL)
The decision isn't as tough as most would realize. Though Edmonton is weak all around at forward, they are weakest on the wing. And they will not be passing on this year's most talented player.
2. Boston Bruins (from Toronto)
Tyler Seguin, C, Plymouth Whalers (OHL) This pick doesn't seem like the best for the Bruins, so I can see them trading down. Everyone knows they need more of a scorer rather than a play-maker, but there's no one worth stretching for at this position. Who knows, maybe this lets Patrice Bergeron walk a year from now?
3. Florida Panthers
Cam Fowler, D, Windsor Spitfires (OHL)
His drop in Central Scouting's rankings won't affect the fact that Florida needs an offensive defense-man to replace Jay Bouwmeester. Fowler could be a top-two defensive man on the Florida blueline for a decade.
4. Columbus Blue Jackets
Erik Gudbranson, D, Kingston Frontenacs (OHL)
Again, I can see Columbus trading this pick, especially if Gudbranson takes Fowler's spot at three (they have their offensive defense-man in John Moore, who will either play in the NHL or AHL next year). If the Kingston product falls though, Columbus should jump all over him.
5. New York Islanders
Brandon Gormley, D, Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL)
Though arguably, Brett Connolly is as talented as the top two, his injury may force the Isles to pass on him. With New York's injury history, mixed with their prospect strength at forward, a shutdown defense-man like Gormley may be just what the doctor prescribed.
6. Tampa Bay Lightning
Ryan Johansen, C, Portland Winter Hawks (WHL)
Johansen underwent a huge growth spurt over the last two years and has a big 6'3" frame to fill out. Yes, the Lightning need wingers, but a kid that patterns his game after Joe Thornton could be a good fit down the middle, as Lecavalier's days are numbered (I may as well add that I would trade this pick too. Sweet. I'm 3/3).
7. Carolina Hurricanes
Derek Forbort, D, USNTDP
With a desperate need for defense, the Hurricanes will support their goaltender by taking the 6-foot-5, shutdown defense-man. His intensity and size will scare opposing forwards and allow the skill players to do their job.
Alan Bass and Bryan Thiel are Featured Columnists on Bleacher Report. You can contact them through their profiles.