With all the buzz tonight regarding the 2012 NHL Draft lottery, I figured I would throw together a quick mock for what I think might happen in this year's top 14.
I really can't believe that Edmonton is picking 1st overall for the third straight year. If this isn't the kick in the pants they need to turn around that franchise, then I don't know what will.
The following picks are made assuming their will be no trades, which I actually find unlikely. An interesting trade was proposed by Kyle Dubas, the GM of the Soo Greyhounds in the OHL. It was #1 overall to Toronto, with Edmonton getting #5 overall and Luke Schenn. Interesting suggestion and something that might be more realistic than some expect. Anyway, here are my top 14 picks for the teams who missed the NHL postseason.
1. Edmonton Oilers - Nail Yakupov FW - Edmonton simply can't pass up the top player in the draft. He's a dynamic scorer and has the most value going forward. Realistically, he could be dealt, but he gets taken by Edmonton for the sake of this mock.
2. Columbus Blue Jackets - Ryan Murray D - Hands down the top defender available for the NHL draft in 2012. He's great in all three zones, can play on the PP and PK and is also likely NHL ready for a team who plays with the proper structure. He's the guy they target.
3. Montreal Canadiens - Mikhail Grigorenko FW - In my view, he's clearly the 2nd best player in the draft. He fits a need for the Canadiens as they need skill and size down the middle. Plays junior in Quebec and that adds to the allure here. An easy selection 3rd overall for the Habs.
4. New York Islanders - Alex Galchenyuk FW - The Isles aren't afraid to take risks. This kid fits the bill as he's battled injuries all season. He'll eventually be their #2 center behind Tavares, with Ryan Strome sliding in as a winger, not a center, in their future top 6.
5. Toronto Maple Leafs - Filip Forsberg FW - The Leafs like size and they need more skill. Forsberg fits the bill here. Has played C in the past, but might translate better as a winger for his career. Either way he's too good of a player to pass up here for Toronto.
6. Anaheim Ducks - Jacob Trouba D - He's got good size and is a solid two way blueliner. Might look pretty darn good in the future as a partner with Cam Fowler with the Ducks. Could also see them look towards Griffin Reinhart here.
7. Minnesota Wild - Mathew Dumba D - A few weeks ago when the Wild looked to have a top 3 pick, I slated Ryan Murray to end up there. They need D, they need a future PP QB. That guy is Mathew Dumba. He won't be rushed to the NHL and has good leadership qualities and is a high-skilled player to get at #7.
8. Carolina Hurricanes - Teuvo Teravainen FW - Canes have a ton of good young talent in their system on the blueline and they also love Finns. They get a good one here as they add a shifty and dynamic offensive player.
9. Winnipeg Jets - Griffin Reinhart D - Jets have some nice pieces going forward up front, but can use another big blueliner. They add a solid two-way guy in Reinhart here, a player who might look mighty fine on a pairing with Zach Bogosian down the line.
10. Tampa Bay Lightning - Morgan Rielly D - The Lighting add an elite puck moving defenceman by grabbing Moose Jaw defender Morgan Rielly. He'll fit in well with their transition game, despite missing almost all this season with injury.
11. Washington Capitals - Brendan Gaunce FW - The Capitals take a character player in Gaunce with the 11th pick. Might not have the highest offensive upside, but he's a true warrior who could end up like a Brooks Laich-type of player.
12. Buffalo Sabres - Cody Ceci D - Not many players have risen like Ceci has over the last little while. Sabres continue to stockpile nice blueliners to go along with Myers and McNabb by adding Ceci.
13. Dallas Stars - Radek Faksa FW - Talented center who has a ton of value as a two way player. Stars could likely use a nice young blueliner, but instead take the best player available at 13th, adding Faksa to their mix.
14. Calgary Flames - Colton Sissons FW - Might be considered off the board by some, but I could see this happening. Sissons might just be that guy that fills a leadership role in Calgary in 3 years when Iggy is no longer there. He's a big power forward with leadership abilities. Calgary also considers guys like Sebastian Collberg and Zemgus Grigensons here.
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