2011 NHL Mock Draft: Projecting the Top 30 Prospects and Their Teams

Name NameCorrespondent IApril 6, 2011

2011 NHL Mock Draft: Projecting the Top 30 Prospects and Their Teams

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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 NHL Entry Draft.

    It's where everything begins.

    While there are a number of undrafted players in the NHL today that arrived via free agency, the majority of the players were drafted into action at the Entry Draft.

    In 2011 this massive event will be held in Minnesota. Prospects from around the globe will travel to Minnesota's Xcel Energy Center to meet people in the hockey business and be selected by an NHL team.

    The first round of the draft is where most of the big action happens. Teams get their shot at the best players available, hoping to choose one who will help their team down the road, or even in the present.

    There is a thought that this year's pool of draftees isn't as talented as pools in the past. However, there may be some overlooked talent or diamonds in the rough.

    Another story surrounding the 2011 draft is the confusion over who will be drafted first.

    There have been years where there is a clear-cut player who will be selected first. However, that is not the case for this upcoming draft.

    There are four or five players who could possibly vie for that spot.

    These are all questions that will be solved at the draft. For now, here is a projection of the top 30 prospects and their teams.

    **These projections are based on the standings as of April 6, 2011. It is assumed that the bottom five teams receive their rightful picks and the lottery does not effect anything.

30. Vancouver Canucks: David Musil

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    TORONTO, CAN - JANUARY 19:  David Musil #6 of Team Orr skates against Team Cherry in the 2011 Home Hardware Top Prospects game on January 19, 2011 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. Team Orr defeated Team Cherry 7-1. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Get
    Claus Andersen/Getty Images

    Height: 6'3"

    Weight: 191 lbs

    Position: D

    Team: Vancouver (WHL)

    This player's name sort of reminds me of muesli, the breakfast food. The dish is basically just a bunch of oats, fruit and nuts put together. It's not very big, loud or flashy: exactly like David Musil.

    Musil isn't a flashy player by any standards. However, he does all of the little things right and plays the game well. The Canucks have plenty of players to do the "flashy" things; Musil can help with the rest.

    He's already playing and living in Vancouver, so he'd likely be a lot more willing to re-sign with the Canucks.

29. Washington Capitals: Tomas Jurco

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    TORONTO, CAN - JANUARY 19:  Tomas Jurco #13 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

    Height: 6'0"

    Weight: 175 lbs

    Position: RW

    Team: Saint John (QMJHL)

    If you have been on NHL.com in the past two months, I can almost guarantee that you will know who Tomas Jurco is.

    He's the guy who can do this with a hockey puck.

    Yeah, that guy.

    Jurco would be a perfect fit on the Capitals. His hands would be welcome on a team that loves offense.

28. San Jose Sharks: Scott Mayfield

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    TORONTO - AUGUST 17: Scott Mayfield 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

    Height: 6'4"

    Weight: 175 lbs

    Position: D

    Team: Youngstown (USHL)

    Scott Mayfield is a big, tough blueliner who is willing to pay the price in his own end by blocking a shot or taking a hit. His hockey intelligence is high and he is a solid puck-mover.

    Mayfield will be able to help the Sharks with their transition game in a few years.

27. Toronto Maple Leafs (From PHI): Mark Scheifele

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    TORONTO, CAN - JANUARY 19:  Mark Scheifele #19 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

    Height: 6'2"

    Weight: 177 lbs

    Position: C

    Team: Barrie (OHL)

    A decent sized center, Mark Scheifele could be of use to the Toronto Maple Leafs in a few years, when he is fully developed. Scheifele is a playmaker who can create chances and forces turnovers in the opposition's zone.

    Scheifele has a great work ethic, which is necessary to play in Toronto.

26. Detroit Red Wings: Vladislav Namestnikov

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    TORONTO, CAN - JANUARY 19:  Vladislav Namestnikov #18 of Team Orr skates against Team Cherry in the 2011 Home Hardware Top Prospects game on January 19, 2011 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. Team Orr defeated Team Cherry 7-1. (Photo by Claus A
    Claus Andersen/Getty Images

    Height: 6'0"

    Weight: 170 lbs

    Position: C

    Team: London (OHL)

    The Red Wings consistently have great luck with small, speedy Russian players.

    Vlad Namestnikov is a small, speedy Russian player.

    See a connection?

    Namestnikov has a bright future, and if anybody can develop him to his full potential, it is the Red Wings organization. 

25. Pittsburgh Penguins: Boone Jenner

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    TORONTO, CAN - JANUARY 19:  Boone Jenner #12 of Team Orr skates against Team Cherry in the 2011 Home Hardware Top Prospects game on January 19, 2011 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. Team Orr defeated Team Cherry 7-1. (Photo by Claus Andersen/G
    Claus Andersen/Getty Images

    Height: 6'1"

    Weight: 194 lbs

    Position: C

    Team: Oshawa (OHL)

    What a great hockey name Boone Jenner is. If the draft were based on names, he'd be in the top 10.

    Unfortunately, it's not. However, Jenner's hockey ability isn't half bad either.

    Jenner is a spectacular penalty killer and can put up reliable point totals. He could provide secondary scoring on a Penguins team that is leaded with first-line talent.

    Jenner is also a character guy, which is welcomed on any team.

24. Toronto Maple Leafs (From BOS): Zack Phillips

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    TORONTO, CAN - JANUARY 19:  Zack Phillips #17 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

    Height: 6'0"

    Weight: 180 lbs

    Position: C

    Team: Saint John (QMJHL)

    Zach Phillips is a playmaker who prides himself on his strength with the puck down low, impressive hands and sensational vision. In addition, Phillips' drive is very strong.

    People have compared Phillips to Adam Oates.

23. Tampa Bay Lightning: Joe Morrow

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    TORONTO, CAN - JANUARY 19:  Joe Morrow #27 of Team Cherry skates against Team Orr in the 2011 Home Hardware Top Prospects game on January 19, 2011 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. Team Orr defeated Team Cherry 7-1. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Get
    Claus Andersen/Getty Images

    Height: 6'0"

    Weight: 197 lbs

    Position: D

    Team: Portland (WHL)

    Joe Morrow is a very mobile, talented defenceman. He plays well with the puck and can serve as the quarterback on a power play.

    Morrow is also very hockey smart.

22. Ottawa Senators (From NASH): Nicklas Jensen

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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

    Height: 6'2"

    Weight: 187 lbs

    Position: LW

    Team: Oshawa (OHL)

    Nicklas Jensen doesn't really have any major flaws when it comes to hockey. That works well with the Senators because they have plenty of flaws of their own.

    Good vision, a booming shot and a solid, two-way game are some assets Nicklas brings to the table.

21. Phoenix Coyotes: Rickard Rakell

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    TORONTO, CAN - JANUARY 19:  Rickard Rakell #25 of Team Cherry skates against Team Orr in the 2011 Home Hardware Top Prospects game on January 19, 2011 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. Team Orr defeated Team Cherry 7-1. (Photo by Claus Andersen
    Claus Andersen/Getty Images

    Height: 6'1"

    Weight: 190 lbs

    Position: RW

    Team: Plymouth (OHL)

    Rickard Rakell is a determined, two-way player who will bring nothing but good things to the 'Yotes. The Swede posted 43 points in 49 games with the Plymouth Whalers in 2010-11.

20. Edmonton Oilers (From LAK): Jonas Brodin

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    Height: 6'1"

    Weight: 165 lbs

    Position: D

    Team: Färjestad (SWE)

    A sleek, quick defender, Jonas Brodin can be added to the list of Oilers that will make up a future team.

    Brodin's soft hands and smooth skating make him a valuable asset. His passing abilities are strong as well.

19. Anaheim Ducks: Jamieson Oleksiak

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    Height: 6'7"

    Weight: 220 lbs

    Position: D

    Team: Northeastern ( H-EAST )

    Jamieson Oleksiak is a beast. At 6'7", he will be a monster on the back end. He has drawn comparisons to Zdeno Chara for obvious reasons.

    Oleksiak is only in the beginning stages of development, but he has great upside.

18. Chicago Blackhawks: Matt Puempel

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    TORONTO, CAN - JANUARY 19:  Matt Puempel #18 of Team Cherry skates after a puck against Team Orr in the 2011 Home Hardware Top Prospects game on January 19, 2011 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. Team Orr defeated Team Cherry 7-1. (Photo by Cla
    Claus Andersen/Getty Images

    Height: 6'0"

    Weight: 190 lbs

    Position: LW

    Team: Peterborough (OHL)

    Matt Puempel has been turning heads despite having his season shortened by a hip injury. When healthy, he still produced 34 goals and 69 points in 55 games.

17. Montreal Canadiens: Mika Zibanejad

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    Height: 6'1"

    Weight: 183 lbs

    Position: C

    Team: Djurgårdens IF (SWE)

    Mika Zibanejad.

    Let's call him Zib, for short.

    Zib has slowly climbed his way up the rankings for European-born skaters. Not on the radars of many at the year's start, he has demonstrated his strong game and forced teams to take notice of him.

    The talented Swede is likely a couple of years away from NHL action.

16. Buffalo Sabres: Ty Rattie

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    TORONTO, CAN - JANUARY 19:  Ty Rattie #8 of Team Cherry skates against Team Orr in the 2011 Home Hardware Top Prospects game on January 19, 2011 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. Team Orr defeated Team Cherry 7-1. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty
    Claus Andersen/Getty Images

    Height: 6'0"

    Weight: 167 lbs

    Position: RW

    Team: Portland (WHL)

    When you're on a team full of first round draft picks and you're still making headlines, you know you're good.

    Ty Rattie does just that.

    Rattie suits up for the Portland Winterhawks, a team that includes players such as Ryan Johansen and Nino Niederreiter, who were both drafted in the first round of the 2010 Entry Draft. The squad also features players who are projected to be selected in the first round of the 2011 Entry Draft, such as Sven Bartschi and Joe Morrow.

    Rattie is a deadly sniper with a wicked shot.

15. Dallas Stars: Joel Armia

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    BUFFALO, NY - DECEMBER 31: Forward Joel Armia #20 of Finland 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

    Height: 6'2"

    Weight: 183 lbs

    Position: RW

    Team: Ässät (FIN)

    Joel Armia is a decent sized Finn with a lot of skill. His skating is impressive and his willingness to crash the net is not something you can teach.

    Armia has already proven he can play against men, as he played in the Finnish Elite League. He also represented Finland at the WJC's.

14. New York Rangers: Mark McNeill

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    TORONTO, CAN - JANUARY 19:  Mark McNeill #10 of Team Cherry skates against Team Orr in the 2011 Home Hardware Top Prospects game on January 19, 2011 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. Team Orr defeated Team Cherry 7-1. (Photo by Claus Andersen/G
    Claus Andersen/Getty Images

    Height: 6'2"

    Weight: 210 lbs

    Position: C

    Team: Prince Albert (WHL)

    Mark McNeill is not a flashy player in any sense. Instead, he plays a very dependable and reliable game, staying sound defensively at all times and occasionally putting the puck in the net.

    McNeill's vision is about average, as is his shot. He drives lanes and seams, protecting the puck at all costs.

    This work ethic is something that Ranger coach John Tortorella would surely appreciate.

13. Calgary Flames: Duncan Siemens

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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

    Height: 6'3"

    Weight: 192 lbs

    Position: D

    Team: Saskatoon (WHL)

    Perfect: Duncan Siemens, an Alberta native, playing in Calgary.

    While that's nice and all, it's not the reason Calgary should draft him.  They should draft him because he's a big, strong, mean blueliner who is also an offensive presence.

    Siemens enjoys physical play and can play on both the power play and the penalty kill.

12. Carolina Hurricanes: Dougie Hamilton

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    TORONTO, CAN - JANUARY 19:  Dougie Hamilton #27 of Team Orr skates against Team Cherry in the 2011 Home Hardware Top Prospects game on January 19, 2011 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. Team Orr defeated Team Cherry 7-1. (Photo by Claus Anderse
    Claus Andersen/Getty Images

    Height: 6'3"

    Weight: 180 lbs

    Position: D

    Team: Niagara (OHL)

    Dougie Hamilton is a stay-at-home defender who hits hard and plays hard. He won't contribute much offensively, but he's a very sound skater and thinks the game quite well.

    Comparison-wise, people have drawn similarities between him and players like Luke Schenn.

11. Boston Bruins (From TOR): Brandon Saad

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    TORONTO, CAN - JANUARY 19:  Brandon Saad #22 of Team Orr skates against Team Cherry in the 2011 Home Hardware Top Prospects game on January 19, 2011 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. Team Orr defeated Team Cherry 7-1. (Photo by Claus Andersen/G
    Claus Andersen/Getty Images

    Height: 6'2"

    Weight: 200 lbs

    Position: LW

    Team: Saginaw (OHL)

    Brandon Saad is a force on the ice. He's strong and possesses the ability to fight through checks, while being a strong skater at the same time. Typical power forward.

    Both his slap shots and wrist shots clock in at blistering speeds. In addition, his defensive responsibility and two-way game are better than one would expect.

10. St. Louis Blues: Tyler Biggs

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    Height: 6'2"

    Weight: 202 lbs

    Position: RW

    Team: USNTDP

    A typical power forward, Tyler Biggs has the perfect last name for his role on the ice. Biggs is a big guy who loves to hit and enjoys attacking the net, filling it with pucks while he's at it.

    Biggs was the captain of the U-18 team in the USNTDP (United States National Team Development Program).

    Biggs will compliment smaller players such as T.J. Oshie or Andy MacDonald in St. Louis.

9. Minnesota Wild: Sven Bartschi

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    TORONTO, CAN - JANUARY 19:  Sven Bartschi #25 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

    Height: 5'10"

    Weight: 185 lbs

    Position: LW

    Team: Portland (WHL)

    Sven Bartschi is an agile, slick sniper with a beautiful shot. The Swiss forward is a very dynamic and interesting player.

    Sven has learned a lot from countryman Nino Niederreiter. They played together on the Portland Winterhawks. Sven's scoring level is on par with Nino's.

8. Columbus Blue Jackets: Nathan Beaulieu

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    TORONTO, CAN - JANUARY 19:  Nathan Beaulieu #28 of Team Orr skates against Team Cherry in the 2011 Home Hardware Top Prospects game on January 19, 2011 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. Team Orr defeated Team Cherry 7-1. (Photo by Claus Anderse
    Claus Andersen/Getty Images

    Height: 6'0"

    Weight: 165 lbs

    Position: D

    Team: Saint John (QMJHL)

    Nathan Beaulieu would be a very helpful player for the Columbus Blue Jackets. The puck-moving abilities he would bring are unlike those of many others on the team.

    Beaulieu is also strong on the power play. He could be the power play quarterback Columbus has awaited for so long.

    Beaulieu could potentially be one of the best offensive-defensemen in his draft class.

7. Atlanta Thrashers: Ryan Strome

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    TORONTO, CAN - JANUARY 19:  Ryan Strome #16 of Team Cherry skates against Team Orr in the 2011 Home Hardware Top Prospects game on January 19, 2011 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. Team Orr defeated Team Cherry 7-1. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Ge
    Claus Andersen/Getty Images

    Height: 5'11"

    Weight: 160 lbs

    Position: C

    Team: Niagara (OHL)

    Ryan Strome will be more of a long-term project for the Atlanta Thrashers. His arrival to the NHL will likely be a little slower than others, but the wait will surely be worth it.

    If, or when, Strome bulks up, he has the opportunity to be a real productive offensive player in the NHL. He is very hockey-smart and has a pair of hands that are good with and without the puck.

    Strome is also a respectable skater.

6. New Jersey Devils: Sean Couturier

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    TORONTO, CAN - JANUARY 19:  Sean Couturier #7 of Team Cherry skates with the puck against Team Orr in the 2011 Home Hardware Top Prospects game on January 19, 2011 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. Team Orr defeated Team Cherry 7-1. (Photo by C
    Claus Andersen/Getty Images

    Height: 6'4"

    Weight: 195 lbs

    Position: C

    Team: Drummondville (QMJHL)

    Sean Couturier is that big centerman that is needed on every team.

    He's big, quick and talented. All three of those assets would help a New Jersey Devil team that isn't too strong down the middle.

    Couturier plays a two-way game and offers an accurate wrist shot. He demonstrated this admirably at the World Junior Championships, representing Canada.

5. New York Islanders: Ryan Murphy

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    TORONTO, CAN - JANUARY 19:  Ryan Murphy #24 of Team Cherry skates against Team Orr in the 2011 Home Hardware Top Prospects game on January 19, 2011 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. Team Orr defeated Team Cherry 7-1. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Ge
    Claus Andersen/Getty Images

    Height: 5'10"

    Weight: 160 lbs

    Position: D

    Team: Kitchener (OHL)

    A dominant offensive force from the back end, Ryan Murphy will be able to work wonders on the Islanders power play in a year or two.

    He posted 26 goals and 79 points in 63 games this season. As a defenseman, those numbers are incredible.

    Murphy has the potential to be one of the better offensive defensemen in today's NHL.

4. Ottawa Senators: Jonathan Huberdeau

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    TORONTO, CAN - JANUARY 19:  Jonathan Huberdeau #11 of Team Orr skates against Team Cherry in the 2011 Home Hardware Top Prospects game on January 19, 2011 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. Team Orr defeated Team Cherry 7-1. (Photo by Claus Ande
    Claus Andersen/Getty Images

    Height: 6'1"

    Weight: 170 lbs

    Position: C

    Team: Saint John (QMJHL)

    If Huberdeau can fill out his frame, he has the potential to be the best of his draft class.

    He is a skillful, determined, flashy centerman who isn't fully developed yet, but has loads of potential.

    Huberdeau performed well in the QMJHL, finishing third in scoring.

3. Florida Panthers: Gabriel Landeskog

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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

    Height: 6'0"

    Weight: 207 lbs

    Position: LW

    Team: Kitchener (OHL)

    Landeskog is a genuine power forward, a role that is relatively unfilled in Florida. His strong physical play, hitting ability and shot blocking are his best assets.

    Some say that Landeskog is mature beyond his years. Whether that's true or not, Landeskog is surely the most NHL-ready player in the draft. He could likely join the Panthers for next year.

2. Colorado Avalanche: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins

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    TORONTO, CAN - JANUARY 19:  Ryan Nugent-Hopkins #9 of Team Orr gets set to fire a shot against Team Cherry in the 2011 Home Hardware Top Prospects game on January 19, 2011 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. Team Orr defeated Team Cherry 7-1. (Ph
    Claus Andersen/Getty Images

    Height: 6'0"

    Weight: 170 lbs

    Position: C

    Team: Red Deer (WHL)

    Nugent-Hopkins has too much sheer talent for the Avalanche to pass up on. He is an offensive dynamo who looks like a sure-fire star in the future.

    Ken Hitchcock has noticed similarities between him and Joe Sakic.

    Nugent-Hopkins is a very flashy, speedy, smart centerman with a knack for finding teammates. He will help the Avalanche out greatly.

1. Edmonton Oilers: Adam Larsson

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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

    Height: 6'2"

    Weight: 200 lbs

    Position: D

    Team: Skelleftea AIK (Swe)

    The Edmonton Oilers already have their fair share of young forwards. Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Linus Omark are all players who will help their offensive corps in the future.

    It is now time for the organization to direct its attention to what many consider to be the more important position of skater: defence.

    Adam Larsson is a well-developed, NHL-ready defenseman who will likely be able to join the Oilers next year and help the team for years to come.

    There isn't one part about him that sticks out as a strong-point as his entire game is solid. Everything from breakout passes to playing the point on a power play, Larsson truly doesn't have a downside.

    Defensemen like Larsson are very tough to come by. It would be in the Oilers best interest to snag him, as opposed to another talented forward.

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