2011 NHL Mock Draft: Projecting All the 1st-Round Picks

Jeff Langridge@@JeffLangridge1Correspondent IIIJune 21, 2011

2011 NHL Mock Draft: Projecting All the 1st-Round Picks

0 of 30

    Here we are. Four days until the 2011 NHL entry draft. As the commercial for the draft on TSN says, the future of 30 teams hangs in the balance. While I think that commercial is actually a good one, I wouldn't say that 30 teams are depending on this draft to change their futures to such a drastic extent.

    However, the future of 30 players does hang in the balance, as depending on who they're drafted by, their careers could very look different. If a player is taken by Edmonton, he could very well make the team out of the block next season, but might not if he's drafted by a team like New Jersey.

    Case in point, Tyler Seguin made the NHL but didn't really have the impact that a top-two player usually does in his first year. If Boston had actually drafted by need, they could have picked Cam Fowler. Seguin would then go to Florida, and let's just say that his offensive totals would have been much better than they were this past season.

    Will a similar situation come by this year? We don't know, but that's what hindsight is all about right?

    Here is my viewpoint on who's going where in the first round.

Edmonton Oilers Select Ryan Nugent-Hopkins

1 of 30

    Position: Center

    2010-11 Team: Red Deer Rebels (WHL)

    2010-11 Stats: 69 GP, 31 G, 75 A, 106 P

    If there is one reason that Edmonton should select Nugent-Hopkins over anyone else, it is this: a first line of Nugent-Hopkins in between Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle. If that's not the most feared first line in a few years, I'll be shocked. This opportunity is too good to pass up and in my opinion; Nugent-Hopkins is the no-brainer first overall pick.

The Colorado Avalanche Select Gabriel Landeskog

2 of 30

    Position: Left Wing

    2010-11 Team: Kitchener Rangers (OHL)

    2010-11 Stats: 53 GP, 36 G, 30 A, 66 P

    The Colorado Avalanche are set at the center position, so they don't need to pick Jonathan Huberdeau. Adam Larsson has said that he might stay another year or two in Sweden, possibly taking his name off Colorado's list.

    It has been said that Gabriel Landeskog is the most NHL-ready player in this draft class, and out of anyone in the top five, he will be the one with the best chance to stick with the big club. Imagine Landeskog on the left side of Matt Duchene, clearing space for him and putting a few pucks in the net himself.

The Florida Panthers Select Jonathan Huberdeau

3 of 30

    Position: Center

    2010-11 Team: Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL)

    2010-11 Stats: 67 GP, 43 G, 62 A, 105 P

    Another benefactor of the Larsson comment, Jonathan Huberdeau's great year will be rewarded with a top-three pick and will go to a team that may very well be contending for the playoffs in the next couple of years. Huberdeau will most likely spend one more year with the Sea Dogs before making the big jump to the Panthers.

The New Jersey Devils Select Adam Larrsson

4 of 30

    Position: Defense

    2010-11 Team: Skelleftea HC (SEL)

    2010-11 Stats: 37 GP, 1 G, 8 A, 9 P

    The New Jersey Devils will not care that Adam Larsson may want to stay in Sweden one or two more years. They don't need Larsson to help them contend next season as this past season was merely a bad fluke, or at least they hope so. When he finally arrives in New Jersey, he'll be coming to a team that's playoff bound and will only get better with his addition.

The New York Islanders Select Sean Couturier

5 of 30

    Position: Center

    2010-11 Team: Drummondville Voltigeurs (QMJHL)

    2010-11 Stats: 58 GP, 36 G, 60 A, 96 P

    While most mock drafts I've seen have the Islanders selecting Dougie Hamilton, I see them taking a flyer on Couturier. The Islanders already have a few good young defensemen and I don't think they necessarily need another one. Couturier gives them another option up the middle and one day could form a Pittsburgh-like one-two-three punch down the middle with John Tavares, Josh Bailey and Couturier.

The Ottawa Senators Select Ryan Strome

6 of 30

    Position: Center

    2010-11 Team: Niagara IceDogs (OHL)

    2010-11 Stats: 65 GP, 33 G, 73 A, 106 P 

    With the news that Ottawa has been trying to trade up from sixth overall, it's probably evident that they are targeting a player Gabriel Landeskog or Sean Couturier. Now, with both of those players off the board, Ottawa will take a pretty good consolation prize in Ryan Strome. While the Senators should not rush Strome, with the Senators' lack of depth, he stands a chance of making the team with a good training camp.

Winnipeg Selects Dougie Hamilton

7 of 30

    Position: Defense

    2010-11 Team: Niagara IceDogs (OHL)

    2010-11 Stats: 67 GP, 12 G, 46 A, 58 P

    Falling farther than some would expect, Winnipeg will gladly take Dougie Hamilton. With Winnipeg's depth at the defense position, Hamilton will be given all the time he needs to develop into an NHL-ready player. Also, if Winnipeg ends up trading Zach Bogosian, Hamilton will be a nice replacement.

The Columbus Blue Jackets Select Mark McNeill

8 of 30

    Position: Center

    2010-11 Team: Prince Albert Raiders (WHL)

    2010-11 Stats: 70 GP, 32 G, 49 A, 81 P

    The Columbus Blue Jackets will surprise everyone, picking up Mark McNeill in the top 10. With Ryan Johansen ready to make the jump to the big club, McNeill can spend another year in junior, possibly one in the AHL as well, and then form a nice one-two punch in Columbus. With that, fans of the Blue Jackets might finally have something to cheer about.

The Boston Bruins Select Nathan Beaulieu

9 of 30

    Position: Defense

    2010-11 Team: Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL)

    2010-11 Stats: 65 GP, 12 G, 33 A, 45 P

    The second Sea Dog selected, Nathan Beaulieu will be the puck-moving defenseman the Bruins have been waiting for. Although Ryan Murphy is still on the board, Boston will go with the championship experience that Beaulieu got with the Memorial Cup-winning Sea Dogs. After a few years of development, Beaulieu should be ready to make the jump.

The Minnesota Wild Select Ryan Murphy

10 of 30

    Position: Defense

    2010-11 Team: Kitchener Rangers (OHL)

    2010-11 Stats: 63 GP, 26 G, 53 A, 79 P

    Ryan Murphy has had a few jabs thrown his way concerning on how he'll turn out in the NHL. That will be forgotten as soon as the host Minnesota Wild select him. Falling to 10th overall might be the motivation that Murphy takes with him to the NHL to prove his doubters wrong.

The Colorado Avalanche Select Duncan Seimens

11 of 30

    Position: Defense

    2010-11 Team: Saskatoon Blades (WHL)

    2010-11 Stats: 72 GP, 5 G, 38 A, 43 P

    After passing on Adam Larsson earlier, the Avs will take the best defenseman available in Duncan Siemens. As one of the youngest players in the draft, Siemens can develop at his own pace while Colorado's other defensive prospects graduate to the NHL. Joining Stefan Elliott and Tyson Barrie, Colorado is on the road to having some tremendous defensive depth.

The Carolina Hurricanes Select Mika Zibanejad

12 of 30

    Position: Center

    2010-11 Team: Djurgarden IF Stolkholm (SEL)

    2010-11 Stats: 26 GP, 5 G, 4 A, 9 P

    The Carolina Hurricanes aren't in desperate need of any particular position when it comes to prospects so they will be taking the best player in the draft. Some say that he will crack the top 10 going to a team like Columbus or Minnesota, but their loss is Carolina's gain. He is another player that will be given as much time as he needs to develop.

The Calgary Flames Select Joseph Morrow

13 of 30

    Position: Defense

    2010-11 Team: Portland Winterhawks (WHL)

    2010-11 Stats: 60 GP, 9 G, 40 A, 49 P

    After being forced to trade their 2009 first-round pick Tim Erixon, the Calgary Flames will look for a replacement. While it might be a surprise for him to go this high, Joseph Morrow comes from a junior team that had three players picked in the first two rounds last year, and has the potential for another three this year.

    If Calgary can select Morrow in the first round and then his teammate Tyler Wotherspoon in the second round with one of their two picks, they might have a nice defensive pairing down the road.

The Dallas Stars Select Sven Bartschi

14 of 30

    Position: Left Wing

    2010-11 Team: Portland Winterhawks (WHL)

    2010-11 Stats: 66 GP, 34 G, 51 A, 85 P

    In my earlier mock draft, I had Sven Bartschi being selected fifth by the New York Islanders. I have seen the error of my ways and Bartschi is now going 14th. Dallas has been getting some quality players in the past few years and they will make a relatively safe pick in Barstschi. The second Winterhawk to be selected.

The New York Rangers Select Boone Jenner

15 of 30

    Position: Center

    2010-11 Team: Oshawa Generals (OHL)

    2010-11 Stats: 63 GP, 25 G, 41 A, 66 P

    After surprising a lot of people and taking tough guy Dylan McIlrath last year, the Rangers take another player with a bit of a rough side in Boone Jenner. Jenner, though, has an offensive side to him. Looking to be a third-liner, Jenner is the type of player that can provide secondary scoring while stepping up to the first or second line and protect the goal scorers.

The Buffalo Sabres Select Zach Phillips

16 of 30

    Position: Center

    2010-11 Team: Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL)

    2010-11 Stats: 67 GP, 38 G, 57 A, 95 P

    The third Sea Dog hearing his name called will be Zack Phillips, probably the least appreciated of the four Sea Dogs that will go in the first round. While some think he will fall to 25th to be selected by the Toronto Maple Leafs, I see him going to another Northeast Division team: the Buffalo Sabres. With the departure of Tim Connolly, the No. 1 center position will be open and Zack Phillips would be glad to take that spot sometime down the road. 

The Montreal Canadiens Select Tomas Jurco

17 of 30

    Position: Right Wing

    2010-11 Team: Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL)

    2010-11 Stats: 60 GP, 31 G, 25 A, 56 P

    As soon as the third Sea Dog is taken, the fourth is snapped up right after him. The Montreal Canadians will be glad to snap up the talent of Tomas Jurco, whose stick-handling exploits were all over YouTube all season long. While he won't be able to use a lot of his moves in the NHL, the Habs might get a few more shootout wins with Jurco on their team.

The Chicago Blackhawks Select Joel Armia

18 of 30

    Position: Right Wing

    2010-11 Team: Assat Pori (SM-liiga)

    2010-11 Stats: 48 GP, 18 G, 11 A, 29 P

    If Joel Armia falls to 18th, he could be considered one of the steals of the draft. With some comparing him to a young Teemu Selanne, the expectations will be very high on this kid. The Blackhawks will have no problem adding Armia's raw talent to their already potent offense.

The Edmonton Oilers Select Jamieson Oleksiak

19 of 30

    Position: Defense

    2010-11 Team: Northeastern (H-EAST)

    2010-11 Stats: 24 GP, 0 G, 6 A, 6 P

    Their offense taken care of, the Oilers will now turn to their defense. Adding the tallest player in the draft could give them that shutdown defenseman they need in a few years time. Jamieson Oleksiak is also the biggest wild card in the draft as players his size are busts just as often as they are stars. Edmonton is hoping he is the latter.

The Phoenix Coyotes Select Jonas Brodin

20 of 30

    Position: Defense

    2010-11 Team: Farjestad BK Karlstad (SEL)

    2010-11 Stats: 42 GP, 0 G, 4 A, 4 P

    Another group gets its second player drafted: Swedish defensemen. Larsson went fourth and now Jonas Brodin goes 20th. With Ed Jovanovski becoming a UFA and two other defensemen that have played over 1,000 games, Phoenix will be needing to restock its defensive prospects. Brodin could look good next to Oliver Ekman-Larsson one day.

The Ottawa Senators Select Matt Puempel

21 of 30

    Position: Left Wing

    2010-11 Team: Peterborough Petes (OHL)

    2010-11 Stats: 55 GP, 34 G, 35 A, 69 P

    In the 2009 draft, Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke asked Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray if he wanted Nazem Kadri. Murray said yes, and Burke said the Leafs were going to take him. I could see a role reversal this year.

    A lot of mock drafts have Matt Puempel going to the Leafs. If indeed Burke wants Puempel, Murray could get back at Burke while still getting a great prospect in Puempel.

The Anaheim Ducks Select John Gibson

22 of 30

    Position: Goalie

    2010-11 Team: US National Development Team (USHL)

    2010-11 Stats: 17 GP, 9 W, 1 SO, 2.38 GAA, .926 SV%

    With Jonas Hiller's vertigo issues, the Anaheim Ducks needed Ray Emery to step up. He got them into the playoffs as the fourth seed in the West, but the Ducks fell to the Predators in the first round. With prospect Igor Bobkov being inconsistent when the pressure was on the most at the World Juniors, it might be smart to grab another goaltender.

    John Gibson is arguably the best goaltender in this draft class and therefore he should be heading to Anaheim.

The Pittsburgh Penguins Select Nicklas Jensen

23 of 30

    Position: Left Wing

    2010-11 Team: Oshawa Generals (OHL)

    2010-11 Stats: 61 GP, 29 G, 29 A, 58 P

    Not many players from Denmark make it to the NHL; Nicklas Jensen, however, is one exception. Pittsburgh needs badly to refill its depth at the wing positions and Jensen can help fulfill that. That being said, if Jensen were to have a great training camp, he could find himself a Penguin as early as next year.

The Detroit Red Wings Select Oscar Klefbom

24 of 30

    Position: Defense

    2010-11 Team: Farrjestand BK Karlstad (SEL)

    2010-11 Stats: 23 GP, 1 G, 1 A, 2 P

    With Nik Lidstrom sticking around for one more year, Detroit might start looking for his eventual replacement. While the best replacement for Lidstrom in this draft is Adam Larsson, there is no way Detroit can get him so they will go with another Swedish defenseman in Oscar Klefbom.

The Toronto Maple Leafs Select Rocco Grimaldi

25 of 30

    Position: Center

    2010-11 Team: Us National Development Team (USHL)

    2010-11 Stats: 23 GP, 12 G, 13 A, 25 P

    As one of the shortest players in this year's draft class, Rocco Grimaldi is going to have a lot of work to do because of his size. Standing at 5'6", Grimaldi has shown that he is not afraid to take on bigger competition. He has also shown a tremendous offensive instinct that has some scouts comparing him to Martin St. Louis. The Leafs can only hope he ends up as good as St. Loiuis.

The Washington Capitals Select Alexander Khokhlachev

26 of 30

    Position: Left Wing

    2010-11 Team: Windsor Spitfires (OHL)

    2010-11 Stats: 67 GP, 34 G, 42 A, 76 P

    The first Russian taken in the draft is taken by the Moscow Capitals. Oh wait I'm sorry, I mean the Washington Capitals. The Capitals have been drafting Russians since Alex Ovechkin, and I don't see it stopping now. Alexander Khokhlachev joined the Windsor Spitfires one year too late to join in on their back-to-back championships, which is too bad because Washington could use a player who knows how to win in the playoffs.

The Tampa Bay Lightning Select Tyler Biggs

27 of 30

    Position: Right Wing

    2010-11 Team: US National Development Team (USHL)

    2010-11 Stats: 20 GP, 7 G, 4 A, 11 P

    Steve Yzerman takes a future power forward to go with his more offensively gifted players. While it might be a bit of a stretch, Tyler Biggs could eventually develop into Steven Stamkos' protector if he develops into more of a tough guy role rather than a goal scorer.

The San Jose Sharks Select Mark Scheifele

28 of 30

    Position: Center

    2010-11 Team: Barrie Colts (OHL)

    2010-11 Stats: 66 GP, 22 G, 53 A, 75 P

    After an excellent rookie season with Barrie, Mark Scheifele will be rewarded by being a first-round NHL pick, and going to a team that has been to the conference finals two years in a row ain't too shabby. Has the potential to be one of the steals of the first round, especially if he falls this far.

The Vancouver Canucks Select David Musil

29 of 30

    Position: Defense

    2010-11 Team: Vancouver Giants (WHL)

    2010-11 Stats: 62 GP, 6 G, 19 A, 25 P

    The Vancouver Canucks got burned by a former Vancouver Giant in Milan Lucic in the Stanley Cup Finals. Now, they could potentially bring in a Giant to their team. Raised in Delta, British Columbia, it would be a good story for him to be successful in what has been his hometown for a good part of his life.

The Toronto Maple Leafs Select Brandon Saad

30 of 30

    Position: Left Wing

    2010-11 Team: Saginaw Spirit (OHL)

    2010-11 Stats: 59 GP, 27 G, 28 A, 55 P

    Usually, getting drafted 30th overall means you're being drafted by the Stanley Cup champion. It might take a few years for you to crack the lineup, but you know you are going to a winner. Not the case here.

    Brandon Saad is going to a Maple Leafs team that is in rebuilding mode and is two-to-four steps away from contention depending on who you talk to. On the other hand, by the time Saad is ready to make it to the NHL, the Leafs might be back in the playoffs.


    For more 2011 NHL draft coverage, stay tuned to Bleacher Report for updated NHL mock drafts, NHL draft rumors, NHL draft results and draft grades.