2011 NHL Mock Draft: Projecting All 30 Picks Of Round 1

Matthew FairburnCorrespondent IJanuary 20, 2011

2011 NHL Mock Draft: Projecting All 30 Picks Of Round 1

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 25:  Gary Bettman, Commissioner of the National Hockey League, speaks to start the 2010 NHL Entry Draft at Staples Center on June 25, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    The 2011 NHL Draft should not disappoint in terms of producing impact players. This smooth transition of the world's top NHL prospects to the game has allowed the NHL Draft's popularity to grow each year.

    The selection process was once considered an investment in the long-term future of a team.

    Now, the draft produces players that immediately impact the teams that pick in the top half of the first round.

    The 2011 draft class boasts a number of talented prospects at all positions.

    Up front, Sean Couturier has the look of a franchise center, while Adam Larsson is the stud defenseman many teams desperately lack. Between the pipes John Gibson is the clear-cut No. 1 prospect in a relatively weak class at the top.

    One can't help but wonder if any of these players are talented enough to push their respective teams out of the cellar and back into contention.

    Here is the first full edition of my 2011 NHL Mock Draft.

30. Vancouver Canucks: Daniel Catenacci, Center, Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)

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    TORONTO, CAN - JANUARY 19:  Daniel Catenacci #7 of Team Orr poses for a Head Shot prior to skating in the 2011 Home Hardware Top Prospects game on January 19, 2011 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
    Claus Andersen/Getty Images

    A dynamic skater, Catenacci is a nice luxury pick for the deep Canucks.

29. Philadelphia Flyers: Seth Ambroz, RW, Omaha (USHL)

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    TORONTO - AUGUST 17: Seth Ambroz poses for a portrait during the 2010 NHL Research, development and orientation camp at the Mastercard Centre for Hockey Excellence August 17, 2010 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Graig Abel/Getty Images)
    Graig Abel/Getty Images

    Seth Ambroz's combination of size and strength is a perfect fit for the Flyers' brand of hockey.

28. Detroit Red Wings: Tomas Jurco, RW, Saint John (QMJHL)

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    BUFFALO, NY - DECEMBER 31: Forward Tomas Jurco #13 of Slovakia carries the puck during the 2011 IIHF World U20 Championship game between Slovakia and Finland on December 31, 2010 at HSBC Arena in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
    Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

    Jurco is a pure winger that would bring a lot of depth to the Red Wings' system.

27. Pittsburgh Penguins: Vladislav Namestnikov, Center, London (OHL)

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    TORONTO, CAN - JANUARY 19:  Vladislav Namestnikov #18 of Team Orr poses for a Head Shot prior to skating in the 2011 Home Hardware Top Prospects game on January 19, 2011 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
    Claus Andersen/Getty Images

    The Penguins' system leaves a lot to be desired in terms of offensive talent.

    Vladislav Namestnikov could be considered selfish, but he is a value at the end of the first round.

26. Tampa Bay Lightning: Victor Rask, Center, Leksand Jr. (Sweden)

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    BUFFALO, NY - JANUARY 05: Jesper Thornberg #28 of Sweden skates between Jack Campbell #1 and Justin Faulk #25 of the United States during the 2011 IIHF World U20 Championship Bronze medal game between United States and Sweden at the HSBC Arena on January
    Rick Stewart/Getty Images

    Rask has seen his stock slide, but still can find a home in the first round based purely on potential.

25. Dallas Stars: David Musil, D, Vancouver (WHL)

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    TORONTO, CAN - JANUARY 19:  David Musil #6 of Team Orr poses for a Head Shot prior to skating in the 2011 Home Hardware Top Prospects game on January 19, 2011 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
    Claus Andersen/Getty Images

    The Dallas Stars are desperate for promising young talent on the blue line. Musil may never provide much more than depth, but at least it's something.

24. Boston Bruins: Ty Rattie, RW, Portland (WHL)

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    TORONTO, CAN - JANUARY 19:  Ty Rattie #8 of Team Cherry poses for a Head Shot prior to skating in the 2011 Home Hardware Top Prospects game on January 19, 2011 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
    Claus Andersen/Getty Images

    Rattie has the hockey sense and effort that Cam Neely will love.

23. Washington Capitals: Nicklas Jensen, Winger, Oshawa (OHL)

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    TORONTO, CAN - JANUARY 19:  Nicklas Jensen #17 of Team Cherry poses for a Head Shot prior to skating in the 2011 Home Hardware Top Prospects game on January 19, 2011 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
    Claus Andersen/Getty Images

    The one area the Capitals need to address is the wing position. Jensen is a raw talent and could be picked anywhere from 15 to 35 overall.

22. New York Rangers: Duncan Siemens, D, Saskatoon (WHL)

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    TORONTO, CAN - JANUARY 19:  Duncan Siemens #5 of Team Cherry poses for a Head Shot prior to skating in the 2011 Home Hardware Top Prospects game on January 19, 2011 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
    Claus Andersen/Getty Images

    With all of the offensive fire power in the Rangers' system, you have to think that New York will look elsewhere in June.

21. Phoenix Coyotes: Mika Zibanejad, Center, Djurgarden Jr. (Sweden Jr.)

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    VANCOUVER - JANUARY 4:  Nicklas Bergfors #19, Mattias Ritola #21, both of Team Sweden, congratulate teammate Sebastian Karlsson #3 after he scored an empty net goal during their World Jr. Hockey Championship 5th place game on January 4, 2006 at General Mo
    Dave Sandford/Getty Images

    The Phoenix Coyotes desperately need to upgrade their depleted talent on offense.

    Zibanejad is slowly creeping up draft boards and would make a solid developmental player for the Coyotes.

20. Nashville Predators: Jonas Brodin, D, Farjestad (Sweden)

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    The Nashville Predators possess one of, if not the most, talented groups of prospects in the NHL. They have the luxury of taking Brodin to add even more depth to their system.

19. Anaheim Ducks: Boone Jenner, Center, Oshawa (OHL)

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    TORONTO, CAN - JANUARY 19:  Boone Jenner #12 of Team Orr poses for a Head Shot prior to skating in the 2011 Home Hardware Top Prospects game on January 19, 2011 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
    Claus Andersen/Getty Images

    Jenner is a strong and smart forward that the Anaheim Ducks would love to mold.

18. Montreal Canadians: Jonathan Miller, Center, US Nat. Dev. Team

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    BUFFALO, NY - JANUARY 18: Paul Gaustad #28 of the Buffalo Sabres skates against Roman Hamrlik #44 of the Montreal Canadiens at HSBC Arena on January 18, 2011 in Buffalo, New York.  (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
    Rick Stewart/Getty Images

    Miller has some injury concerns, but he is a big, strong forward with a nose for the net that would add depth to the Canadians' system.

17.Chicago Blackhawks: Christopher Gibson, G, Chicoutimi (QMJHL)

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    LAKE PLACID, NY - AUGUST 05:  Christopher Gibson #1 of Team Finland prepares for a game against Team Sweden at the USA Hockey National Evaluation Camp on August 5, 2010 in Lake Placid, New York.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    Christopher Gibson slides due to an injury. Otherwise, he would be battling John Gibson (no relation) for the top goalie spot in this draft.

16. Atlanta Thrashers: Jamieson Oleksiak, D, Northeastern

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    BOSTON - FEBRUARY 05:  Steve Birnstill #44 of the Northeastern Huskies shakes hands with Bryan Ewing #27 of the Boston University Terriers after the first round of the Beanpot Tournament on February 5, 2007 at TD Banknorth Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.
    Elsa/Getty Images

    Oleksiak, at 6'7'', is the towering presence Atlanta needs on their blue line.

    It is nice to get scoring out of your defensive corps, but nothing beats having a lock-down guy on the back end.

15. Colorado Avalanche: Nathan Beaulieu, D, Saint John (QMJHL)

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    TORONTO, CAN - JANUARY 19:  Nathan Beaulieu #28 of Team Orr poses for a Head Shot prior to skating in the 2011 Home Hardware Top Prospects game on January 19, 2011 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
    Claus Andersen/Getty Images

    The Avalanche do not have a shut-down defenseman in their system.

    Beaulieu has the potential to be a first- or second-line defenseman in the NHL.

14. Carolina Hurricanes: Richard Rakell, Left Wing, Plymouth (OHL)

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    The Carolina Hurricanes' system is completely devoid of talent on both wings. 

    Richard Rakell is going to shoot up draft boards after a great showing at the WJC for Team Sweden.

13. Los Angeles Kings: Dougie Hamilon, D, Niagara (OHL)

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    ST. LOUIS, MO - JANUARY 18: Vladimir Sobotka #17 of the St. Louis Blues is pushed into the boards by Jack Johnson #3 of the Los Angeles Kings at the Scottrade Center on January 18, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    The Kings simply know how to accumulate talent. They have arguably the most talented group of prospects of any team in the league.

    Hamilton may not fill a huge need for the Kings, but he is a tremendous value and could easily land in the top 10.

12. St. Louis Blues: Sven Baertschi, LW, Portland (WHL)

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    ST. LOUIS, MO - JANUARY 18: T.J. Oshie #74 of the St. Louis Blues moves the puck up ice against Matt Greene #2 of the Los Angeles Kings at the Scottrade Center on January 18, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    The Blues' system is stacked on the blue line, so it makes sense for them to add to their offense with this selection.

    After an impressive showing at the World Junior Classic, Baertshi has solidified himself as a top 15 pick in the 2011 NHL Draft.

11. Minnesota Wild: John Gibson, G, US Nat, Dev. Team

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    TORONTO - AUGUST 17: John Gibson poses for a portrait during the 2010 NHL Research, development and orientation camp at the Mastercard Centre for Hockey Excellence August 17, 2010 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Graig Abel/Getty Images)
    Graig Abel/Getty Images

    This is a perfect spot for the first goaltender to come off the board.

    The Wild have a ton of needs, but building a team starts from the net out, and Minnesota has to start grooming a goaltender.

10.San Jose Sharks: Joel Armia, Winger, Assat (FIN)

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    VANCOUVER, CANADA - JANUARY 5:  Blake Wheeler #16 of Team USA checks a Team Finland player during their World Jr. Hockey Championship bronze medal game at General Motors Place on January 5, 2006 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Team Finland defeate
    Dave Sandford/Getty Images

    The Sharks need to add some play-making forwards to their system. Armia is a big body who seems to get better with each game.

9. Columbus Blue Jackets: Ryan Strome, Center, Niagara (OHL)

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    TORONTO, CAN - JANUARY 19:  Ryan Strome #16 of Team Cherry poses for a Head Shot prior to skating in the 2011 Home Hardware Top Prospects game on January 19, 2011 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
    Claus Andersen/Getty Images

    The Blue Jackets have been doing a solid job of accumulating talent in recent drafts, but still lack depth up the middle.

    Strome is putting together an impressive season and could shoot up draft boards.

8. Buffalo Sabres: Tyler Biggs, RW, US Nat. Dev. Team

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    BUFFALO, NY - JANUARY 18: Scott Gomez #11 and Brian Gionta #21 of the Montreal Canadiens trap Patrick Kaleta #36 of the Buffalo Sabres against the boards at HSBC Arena on January 18, 2011 in Buffalo, New York.  (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
    Rick Stewart/Getty Images

    Biggs is the big body the Buffalo Sabres lack on the wing. They have made a point of adding size in recent drafts, and Biggs would continue that trend.

7. Florida Panthers: Brandon Saad, LW, Saginaw (OHL)

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    TORONTO, CAN - JANUARY 19:  Brandon Saad #22 of Team Orr poses for a Head Shot prior to skating in the 2011 Home Hardware Top Prospects game on January 19, 2011 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
    Claus Andersen/Getty Images

    The Panthers are slowly and quietly developing a talented group of prospects.

    A power forward like Saad would add another element to an already thriving system.

6. Calgary Flames: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Center, Red Deer (OHL)

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    TORONTO, CAN - JANUARY 19:  Ryan Nugent-Hopkins #9 of Team Orr poses for a Head Shot prior to skating in the 2011 Home Hardware Top Prospects game on January 19, 2011 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
    Claus Andersen/Getty Images

    The Flames' system is in serious need of rebuilding.

    Aside from a couple of decent defensive prospects and Mikael Backlund, Calgary is completely devoid of talent.

    Nugent-Hopkins slides a few picks further then some may expect due to questions about his ability to get it done against the best.

5. Boston Bruins (via Toronto): Ryan Murphy, D, Kitchener (OHL)

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    TORONTO, CAN - JANUARY 19:  Ryan Murphy #24 of Team Cherry poses for a Head Shot prior to skating in the 2011 Home Hardware Top Prospects game on January 19, 2011 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
    Claus Andersen/Getty Images

    How many times have the talking heads mentioned Boston's need for a defenseman who can move the puck?

    Murphy is the most talented puck mover in this draft and is as strong a skater as any defenseman available.

4. Ottawa Senators: Jonathan Huberdeau, Center, Saint John (QMJHL)

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    TORONTO, CAN - JANUARY 19:  Jonathan Huberdeau #11 of Team Orr poses for a Head Shot prior to skating in the 2011 Home Hardware Top Prospects game on January 19, 2011 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
    Claus Andersen/Getty Images

    There are questions about Huberdeau's lack of elite skills, but his instincts and hockey intelligence are as impressive as any player in the draft.

    The Senators desperately need to replenish the offensive talent in their system.

3. Edmonton Oilers: Adam Larsson, D, Skelleftea (Sweden)

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    BUFFALO, NY - DECEMBER 31: Defenseman Adam Larsson #5 of Sweden during the 2011 IIHF World U20 Championship game between Canada and Sweden on December 31, 2010 at HSBC Arena in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
    Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

    While the Oilers are stacked up front in terms of young talent, they are lacking an elite prospect on the blue line. 

    Larsson is the best player in the draft in my opinion, but he has come back down to earth a bit this year. He is a perfect fit and nice value for the Oilers.

2. New York Islanders: Gabriel Landeskog, RW, Kitchener (OHL)

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    LAKE PLACID, NY - AUGUST 05:  Gabriel Landeskog #12 of Team Sweden skates against Team Finland at the USA Hockey National Evaluation Camp on August 5, 2010 in Lake Placid, New York.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    Landeskog has picked up steam in recent weeks due to a breakout year.

    It appears as though he could be the 2011 version of Tyler Seguin. I doubt he gains enough momentum to secure the number one spot, however, given he cannot play center.

1.New Jersey Devils – Sean Couturier, Center, Drummondville (QMJHL)

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    BUFFALO, NY - JANUARY 05: Jared Cowen #2, Sean Couturier #7 and Carter Ashton #25 of Canada stand on the ice during medal ceremonies after losing to Russia 5-3 during the 2011 IIHF World U20 Championship Gold medal game between Canada and Russia at the HS
    Rick Stewart/Getty Images

    The Devils have not drafted well in recent years, so their collapse this season is not a surprise.

    Luckily, they are in line to be picking first in the 2011 NHL Draft, giving them a golden opportunity to add depth to their shallow system of prospects.

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