For fun I came up with my version of a mock draft- I've added a small blurb beside each pick giving my reasoning for said pick. I'd love to hear what you folks think, some guys too high? Some too low? I'd love some solid feedback!
1) Oilers- LW Taylor Hall: He's been compared to Messier, so doesn't this one just write itself?
2) Bruins- C Tyler Seguin: An obvious pick for the Bruins.
3) Panthers- D Erik Gudbranson: They need toughness on the back end, will compliment last year's first rounder Dmitry Kuilkov.
4) Jackets- D Cam Fowler: The Jackets will have a great powerplay and a ton of offense from the back end when Fowler joins Moore and Russ, not to mention Savard.
5) Islanders- D Brandon Gormley: The Isles blueline needs work, Gormley is the perfect guy to rebuild it around. He's steady eddie.
6) Lightning- LW Brett Connolly: Whoever he plays with in Tampa, he'll do offensive damage.
7) Hurricanes- LW Nino Niederreiter: His power game would fit in well alongside Eric Staal, he'll be a fan favourite for the tailgaters.
8) Thrashers- C/W Alexander Burmistrov: He's already playing in North America, and will go a long way towards helping Atlanta fans move on from the Kovy era. Burmistrov isn't as dynamic as Kovy, but he can put a hell of a lot of pucks in the net.
9) Wild- C Ryan Johansen: The Wild are fairly weak at centre behind Koivu, so adding Johansen makes a ton of sense. He's a great playmaker.
10) Rangers- C/W Emerson Etem: He is a superb skater, and playing opposite speed demon Marian Gaborik will have opposition defences on their heels.
11) Stars- D Derek Forbort: The Stars are thin on defensive prospects, and Forbort is a great one. He's a monster who can put up some points.
12) Ducks- C/W Mikael Granlund: Teemu Selanne may never put on an Anaheim uniform again, but if fellow Finn Granlund can step in it will be almost like he never left.
13) Coyotes- G Jack Campbell: Bryzgalov won't be around forever, and the 'Yotes don't have a top keeper in the system, so it's a good time to take Campbell, a potential stud.
14) Blues- C Nick Bjugstad: The Blues have some great young forwards, but Kariya and McDonald won't be around forever. Enter Bjugstad.
15) Bruins- D Mark Pysyk: The Bruins are laughing their ass off. After drafting Seguin, now they get a potential steal in Pysyk. He played on a horrible Edmonton team, he's better than most people think.
16) Senators- RW Tyler Toffoli: Toffoli won't have to go far, as he already plays for the Ottawa 67s of the OHL. It's simply a coincidence as Toffoli would be a great fit with the Sens. They need more offense than their big top line, and Toffoli offers just that.
17) Avalanche- RW Austin Watson: One of the late bloomers of the draft, Watson killed it with Peterborough this year. He's a big guy who just seems like an Av. Put him with Chris Stewart and look out Northwest Division.
18) Predators- C/W Jeff Skinner: What have the Preds seemingly lacked since Radulov left? A sniper. Skinner is a smaller guy, which is something that doesn't seem to faze the Preds, and all the guy does is score goals. He was a 50 goal man in the OHL last season.
19) Kings- C Tyler Pitlick: He's got NHLbloodlines through his uncle Lance Pitlick. The Kings are well stocked across the board, but Tyler adds an element of scoring and creativity to the Kings system.
20) Penguins- RW Vladimir Tarasenko: The Pens have never really had high-end wingers for Sidney, (or Geno for that matter) so adding one of the best offensive players in the draft would be hard for them to pass up. The opportunity to play with Malkin will go a long way in ensuring that Tarasenko makes the trek over to North America.
21)Red Wings- C Ryan Martindale: He's been touted as a bit of a lazy player, but when he's on he's magic. The tight system that Mike Babcock runs will help him fly straight and the Wings will reap the benefits of his abilities.
22) Coyotes- D Dylan McIlrath: With their second first rounder, the 'Yotes get a natural replacement for defensive stud Zbynek Michalek. McIlrath is the most physical player in the draft and will be a solid shutdown compliment to a guy like Keith Yandle.
23) Sabres- D Jon Merrill: This pick is straight-forward, Merrill is a very good two way defenseman and the Sabres could use him. When guys like Tallinder and Lydman are gone, it will be the Myers and Merrill show.
24) Thrashers- D Alex Petrovic: If McIlrath is the toughest player in the draft, Petrovic isn't far behind. He's a physical blueliner who could watch Toby Enstrom's back down the line.
25) Canucks- C Calle Jarnkrok: This may be a bit of a stretch, but this Swede would be a fine compliment to the Sedins. (Who hasn't said that before, right?) Jarnkrok is an offensive dynamo.
26) Capitals- D Jarred Tinordi: This pick is great in two ways: the first being that one of the holes on the Capitals this year was the lack of a bruising, shut down blueliner. Tinordi is just that. The second thing- his old man, Mark Tinordi, was a Capital. Last year the Caps showed that bloodlines are important as they took Anton Gustafsson, song of Bengt, a former Cap.
27) Canadiens- LW Stanislav Galiev: If the rumblings that Andrei Kostitsyn won't be a Hab for much longer are true, then Galiev is a great pick at this spot. He is already familiar with Quebec as he plays in the QMJHL, but it musn't be forgotten that he has high-end offensive talent.
28) Sharks- LW Quinton Howden: Howden is the kind of forward who can play anywhere, and on the Sharks he would make a great third line checking forward, who when needed can moonlight on a scoring line.
29) Ducks- LW Jason Zucker: Zucker was born in Las Vegas, and given the fact he is the second of the Duck's two first rounders they can take a chance on him. He is an offensive forward who could add secondary scoring behind Getzlaf and Perry.
30) Blackhawks- C John McFarland: A lot of teams will likely pass on him due to his questioned work ethic and lack of production, but it has been said that on a good team he can be a star. The Blackhawks are a good team.