I planned on doing comments to all 60 picks but its taking me awhile. I finished the first round and will just list the second round picks, as some of the second rounders offer insight to the first pick. Here is the first round with comments: 1. St. Louis: Erik Johnson Commentary: With a creative center in Oshie, a resilient goalie in Schwarz, and tough, reliable rearguard in Jackson in the stable, St. Louis looks to add American flash, dash, and jam to their defensive corps. 6â€™4â€™â€™ Admiral EJ will instantly become the leader of a solid but less than spectacular backline featuring Jackman, Backman, Dallman, Jackson, and Wideman. Other Possibilities: STL will most likely receive a call from Pittsburgh who will be looking to swap and take Erik Johnson. There are so many good defenders that I can see STL moving down one spot, picking up a sweetener prospect/32nd pick, taking Backstrom, and adding a rearguard with the 26th, 31st, or 32nd pick. 2. Pittsburgh: Nicklas Backstrom Commentary: After rocketing out of the cold waters, the Penguins waddle to the podium faster than ever to make their selection. The Penguins dip into the Scandinavian pond and snag a Swedish fish. They take a near ready, polished center manâ€”with tremendous upsideâ€” from the SEL and look to reel in a promising rearguard with the 32nd pick of the draft. This is purely a BPA scenario with Pittsburgh taking the stud center. Other Possibilities: In all sincerity, Pittsburgh should do their best to swap with STL and take a future Pronger in EJ. Otherwise, my worldly advice is to trade down and pick up a gritty PF for Crosby/Malkin in Okposo or Stewart. Unless, of course, a GM of Steel is daring enough to gamble on one of them at lucky draft position deuce. 3. Chicago: Phil Kessel Commentary: What could a team with a rejuvenated farm system, after having 29 picks in the last two drafts, need? The Blackhawks get a superstar talent here at three to put excited fans in the seats only to rise at his electrifying offensive exploits. If Kessel can mature his game, mostly cutting the infamous inside-out move from his stash of tricks, add weight increasing both upper and lower body strength, and putting forth some resemblance of a defensive effort, Chicago will be ecstatic with this potential game breaker. Other Possibilities: Chicago could go another way, shock, and pass up Kessel for Peter Mueller. Make no mistake that the Blackhawkâ€™s future is bright, but they have a prospect pool thatâ€™s all over the place. So many guys from so many different nations: USA, Russia, Canada, Czech, Finland, and Sweden. They could look at a distinguished natural leader, and centerman at that, in Mueller to command and bring and all of those personalities together. 4. Washington: Jonathan Toews Commentary: Washington goes as Ovechkin goes. The best-case scenario is that they are in position to select defensively responsible #1 centerman with elite vision. In that case, WSH=Toews. The Capitals dispel any false myths about a lack of offensive game when they see Toews bury highlight reel goals and thread uncanny passes on the videotapes. A dynamic player, Jonathan is so subtly good that people forget how potent he was in Shattuck. His ability to adapt to the college game using his smarts and hockey sense rather than flair makes it easy to have him slotted at the fourth spot. Other Possibilities: If McPhee wants to get reckless and risky, he could go for Kyle Okposo. Imagining a lineup featuring Ovechkin + Okposo, WSH could take a mini-Ovechkin like terror from USHL, and draft centers in bulk utilizing their four other picks within the top 50. Putting that dream aside, I canâ€™t see WSH at the 4th spot passing up a chance to take a pivot in a draft thatâ€™s center heavy early on. 5. Boston: Peter Mueller Commentary: Who needs Joe Thornton? Not Boston when they can draft a savvy pivot to supplement wonder boy Patrice Bergeron down the middle. Patrice Bergeron, Peter Mueller, Petr Kalus. The Bruins confirm wanting to assemble a gritty forward lineup to take to the front lines with this selection. Mueller is captain material. He is so versatile that people are quick to forget his nasty skills in the offensive zone. Heâ€™s a playmaker. His great vision and smooth stickhandling ability, makes him a dangerous player. The Boston Bruins are content to sit back and receive this future number one center. Other Possibilities: The first off board selection could come here at five. I wouldnâ€™t put it past them to look at James Sheppard heavily. Boston could also go in the direction of raw, monster center in Staal or totally opposite and take a LW making a last minute surge in Tlusty. Assuming its not traded, expect the unexpected here at this fifth selection. Bostonâ€™s prospect pool is so depleted besides a stud goalie in Toivonen that I cannot put a handle on them. Mueller, Staal, Brassard, Okposo, Tlusty, Sheppard etc. The range is so wide. 6. Columbus: Derick Brassard Commentary: Buzzing. Wanting to play the same style their name stands for, they select a slick thriller in Brassard. Picturing him joining an offense containing the likes of Nash, Zherdev, Picard, and Brule just sets off mental fireworks! Crafty with elite vision, Brassard is able to bring an excitingly fresh brand of hockey to the rink. One to make others around him better, he oozes pure finesse. Other Possibilities: Normally, I could see Columbus taking hot commodity Okposo to give the team added power and skill but DM has reportedly said its one of Backstrom, Kessel, Mueller, or Brassard. At the very least, I donâ€™t see Backstrom falling to CLB. 7. New York Islanders: Jordan Staal Commentary: Oh, Eric. Oh, Marc. Will the insane family development curve kick in to this brother Staal just the same and give NYI a primetime center? As of now, Jordan is on the same path as his two older siblings. Heâ€™s an imposing raw specimen at 6â€™4â€™â€™ some 200+ pounds, with good skating, quick hands, and a two-way conscience. Heâ€™s produced well in the POâ€™s for Peterborough, netting 10 goals in 19 games and has stepped up to eliminate any doubts of fading off. The New York Islanders buy into the hype, taking a young Mats Sundin to solidify themselves down the middle with Staal, Oâ€™Marra, and Nokelainen. Pick seven seems way too late, but itâ€™s not out of the realm. All six chosen ahead of him are highly qualified. Other Possibilities: The Islanders look heavily at Jiri Tlusty and entertain Bobby Sanguinetti. Tlusty shows dangle, grit, and two-way from the wing and Sanguinetti entices with jaw dropping offensive ability from the backend. But they go with Staal. Whether they neglected need on defense/wing or not, you just canâ€™t pass up the package of Staal bloodlines and offensive output/production that Jordan comes with. By all accounts, New York should take this pick and run with a future star big man down the middle. 8. Phoenix: James Sheppard Commentary: The Coyotes are not ashamed to howl, â€œFrom the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, James Sheppard.â€ A great value pick, Phoenix can look forward to a solid North American center. A tough, defensively responsible center who is outstanding in the face-off circle. Displays a great read of the entire ice, which is evident through his exceptional vision and playmaking skills. Outhustles and hits guys. He is no slouch in the other teams zone and will carry the pack of dogs on his back. Other Possibilities: The obligatory-suggestion-until-he-is-chosen, Kyle Okposo. With pure offensive forwards in Lisin, Wheeler, and Hanzal, PF Chris Stewart would prove to be a justified selection as well. Although many label Gretzky and Company as most likely to surprise, I wouldnâ€™t expect another off the board here at eight in this draft. There are just too many quality players. Jiri Tlusty remains a possibility. 9. Minnesota: Kyle Okposo Commentary: The Wild go nuts for the local Minnesota boy and take Okposo. A downright steal at nine IMO, Phoenix being able to get the Minnesota product here at nine is a testament to the quality of the top ten of this years draft. Heâ€™s big, strong, and gritty with light feet and a great offensive touch. Equipped with what they call in football a â€œmotor,â€ impressive skating, and a slick stick, Okposo emerges from corners/scrums/traffic and quickly wreaks terror in the oppositions zone. Has a nasty Forsberg-esque mentality while he has possession of the puck. This force of a player is not overhyped and Minnesota is pleased to see him still on the board at their pick. Other Possibilities: Depending on their draft board, Sanguinetti could be wrapped and delivered as their future puck moving defenseman. On mine, its Okposo, Stewart, and then Sanguinetti. With two picks in the top 20, Minnesota should most likely get their two needs: top end PF with skills and flashy offensive rearguard. 10. Florida: Ty Wishart Commentary: The first unexpected selection comes here from the Panthers. If Sasha Pokulok could make last years top 15, then Florida can fill a need this year and nab this strapping defenseman to round out the top ten. Some are expecting Ty to become what Braydon Coburn was supposed to have blossomed as: a 6â€™5â€™â€™ physical, adept passer, shut down defender. Is frustrating one-on-one showing his great positional skills. He brings more to the table than Sanguinetti, who isnâ€™t shabby in his defense, with raw physical tools and a through the roof upside. Other Possibilities: The Panthers could look to link up the brother connection and take the Kingston Frontenac bull. They look to have had enough offensive blood pumped into their team, so they should fixate on getting reliable defenseman. Look out for Florida possibly taking a flashy, hard-hitting Summers from the USA Development Program. 11. Los Angeles: Bobby Sanguinetti Commentary: The Kings donâ€™t hesitate to get to the podium in a hurry to take Owen Sound Attackâ€™s Sanguinetti. In desperate need of backend talent, LA gets a shot in the arm when they take this smooth skating, puck moving defenseman. Needs to put on muscle to handle opposing forwards, but his tools are exceptional. Showed smarts, intelligence, and composure in playoffs to tone down his risky offensive exploits and adopted a conservative approach. With only Gleason on the NHL team and a prospect pool near bare, I canâ€™t see them passing up Sanguinetti who fills a need and is close to the BPA. Other Possibilities: There are no other possibilities. Forget Little. Forget Frolik. Having solidified themselves well enough offensively the last few years with Frolov, Boyle, Brown, Tukonen, and Kopitar LA can snap up this top end talent on defense. Injecting some life into a lackluster prospect d-corps, Bobby instantly becomes their best and brightest of a D pool, which beforehand only featured Richard Petiot and T.J. Fast. 12. Atlanta: Bryan Little Commentary: This is no â€œlittleâ€ selection. Atlanta chooses the high-powered center from the Ontario Hockey League. With absolutely no center talent in the system, the Thrashers get a guy who can come in sooner rather than later, and take over for Savard if need be. Little does everything right and looks good doing it. The only knock on him is that he lacks a single trait that distinguishes him from the rest, but Atlanta pays no attention to those doubters. Aside from Nigel Williams, Alex Vasyunov, and Joensuu, Little is a guy who I can see being all over the map. Atlanta is thrilled with his dangerous shot, nifty passes, and impressive balance on his skates. Other Possibilities: With a bevy of unique defenders, Atlanta most likely wonâ€™t look for a defensemen here at 12. Thereâ€™s a possibility they look to shock taking the tall centerman from Sweden in Patrik Berglund. He has unlimited upside with great size and a snipers touch. If a team ahead of Atlanta gambles and goes away from the mainstream prospect rankings, the Thrashers hope James Sheppard slides. 13. Toronto: Chris Stewart Commentary: The Leafs go for a talented PF and take Anthonyâ€™s similarly built brother in Chris. A total beast, Stewart flies up and down the wing carrying defenders and opposing forwards straight to his destination: the front of the net. Once this freight train gets inside the offensive zone, he has enough creativity and flair to make plays. A riser based on his work ethic and unreal physical stature, he gives TOR a gritty winger to compliment Steen, Stajan, Wellwood, Suglobov and Earl. Other Possibilities: Torontoâ€™s forward prospect pool looks hideous. They have defensemen in spades, and although they may not have the highest potential around they are good enough to lock in the sights of a forward at this pick. Tlusty and Stewart prove a hard, full of sweat debate on who to select but Stewart wins with his rare physical abilities. 14 Vancouver: Jiri Tlusty. Commentary: A great value pick. Far removed from his strictly defensive U18 tournament role back in August, he has improved leaps and bounds offensively. Undertaking a sharp developmental curve, Tlusty has surpassed countryman Frolik to take the lead as a best Czech forward prospect IMO. Vancouver likes his pro game, which he showed by adapting and fitting in the Czech menâ€™s league without a problem and thus takes him at 14. He instantly becomes their best forward prospect. Other Possibilities: Vancouver could be enticed by Grabnerâ€™s game breaking dangle to take him here. IMO thereâ€™s no one at this spot to justify Vancouver passing on Tlusty. It is imperative for them to pick up a guy like Jiri this June. A combination of a reliable scoring threat with a two way game, this type of forward will provide the forward ranks of the Canuckâ€™s prospect pool with a stable, future top winger. 15. Tampa Bay: Riku Helenius Commentary: Goalies usually get snapped up fast and furious, IE. Montoya, Dubnyk, Schwarz, Schneider, Shantz, and Peters in 2004â€™s 1st/2nd round and Price, Rask, Plante, Frazee, Pavelec, and Pelletier in 2005â€™s 1st/2nd round. The Lightning strike and start the trend with the pick of this huge Finnish goalie with a great competitive fire. He was the best netminder at the spring U18 and performed just as well in Januaryâ€™s. Although, it seems like teams flaunt their preferences greatly when choosing backstops so this pick could be totally off the mark. Other Possibilities: I didnâ€™t see any worthwhile forwards on the board. Tampa Bay may certainly disagree and therefore I could see enigmatic Michael Frolik or workhorse Claude Giroux being grabbed here. Admittedly the first selection I had struggled with. TB has no standout forwards or defensemen either but in the end I felt Helenius was too good to pass up. 16. Montreal: Brian Strait Commentary: With ridiculous forward depth, the Canadiens add a NTDP defensive standout with the selection of Brian Strait. An extremely frustrating defender to play against, Strait gives Montreal a rearguard whose style is tailor made for the NHL. A similar player to Jason Smith, he will provide a steadying influence to a team loaded with risky offensive spice. I could see an offensive, PP quarterback like Vishnevsky go here to the Canadiens because of having physical guys like Emelin and Oâ€™Byrne. But in the end I opted for a low risk North American defenseman, who is a safe bet to make the NHL. Weâ€™ve all seen how valuable this kind of defender is in the playoffs. 17. Minnesota: Ivan Vishnevsky Commentary: After taking the rough-and-tumble, hometown power forward with their first pick, the Wild conveniently fill another need taking this smooth skating defensemen from the Q. An offensive powerhouse from the blue line, at times Ivan seems like a fourth forward. With Foster, Thelen, Stoner, and Belle in the pipeline on D, the Wild could use a distinguished talent like Vishnevsky. To be allowed to roam and flex his offensive muscles however, he will almost certainly need to be paired with a steady, stay-at-homer. Other than that, the sky is the limit. I donâ€™t see any other defensemen as better fits. 18. Colorado: David Fischer Commentary: After restocking the farm in 2005 with a bounty of skilled forwards, the Avalanche opt to barrel down Apple Valley and pick up long, lanky David Fischer. Defense was an imminent need only having Boychuk and Macias as formidable future defenders (barring unseen breakthroughs). Fischer is talented enough to possibly appear on the list as BPA, trumping forward names like Frolik and Berglund. He is great skater and never panics. His great threshold for high stress situations shows his poise and composure. I can see Jamie McBain shooting up here to give Colorado a two-way defender with great vision. 19. Anaheim: Michael Frolik Commentary: Coming into the draftâ€™s first round needing to add talent on the blue line, Anaheim is stunned to find soon-to-be Oceanic forward Michael Frolik still on the board. They take him and hope to have a great steal to add to a stocked future at forward. Lupul, Getzlaf, Penner, and Ryan are all delighted to have this supposed Czech wonder kid come join them. Frolik has all the tools, just hasnâ€™t put it all together yet. A smooth puck handler whoâ€™s creative in the opposing zone, he seems to have been a victim of an advanced menâ€™s league and a poor coachâ€™s decision at the WJC. Anaheim could dip into to NTDP and add an intimidating presence in Chris Summers. But Frolik is too much to pass on and BPA is the way to go. See you in Rimouski. 20. San Jose: Chris Summers Commentary: The Sharks bite and take menacing defenseman Chris Summers at 20. Not too early, not too late for Summers. A late riser, Summers has climbed everyoneâ€™s charts with his physicality and will to win. This past U-18, he took on a third line checking center role and played admirably. He doesnâ€™t have a high ceiling as a checking center, but teams are intrigued by his ability to become a number two to four defenseman with above average vision and puck skills. No matter what level he plays on, Chris looks to instill fear in the opposition with bone jarring hits. Do we have a potential lower grade Phaneuf on our hands? Thereâ€™s a possibility with his work ethic and passion for the game. With San Joseâ€™s recent success at the draft table churning out players such as Bernier, Carle, Michalek, and Goc, I could see them diverging from the conventional lists and taking a power forward like McGinn or Swan. 21. NYR: Michael Grabner Commentary: The New York Rangers deliberate, discuss, and debate heatedly. Huge sniper center Patrik Berglund or game breaker Michael Grabner? By a hair, the Rangers brass go with the speedster from Spokane. In their eyes, Michael owns a unique speed to scoring ratio that is unmatched within their system aside from Petr Prucha. Very opportunistic. A courageous burner, Grabner has the innate ability to wind up in the right place at the right time like most good goal scorers. But if the Rangers arenâ€™t content with Dubinsky/Immonen/Ryan down the middle, and feel that Berglund has the potential to be a number one center, then he may well be the choice. For now, dynamic wingman Grabner strikes me as the BPA and best fit for the Blueshirts. 22. Philadelphia: Jonathan Bernier Commentary: Philadelphia goes and gets themselves an ultra talented netminder from Lewiston. Bernier has all the tools, except he had a questionable tournament and outings. With Richards, Carter, Umberger, and Eager up with the parent team and only Downie, Ruzicka, and Potulny in the system a forward could be in order. They could also stand to restock defensemen with Picard as their sole leader. So, I could see a sniper like Forney or a handyman defenseman like Persson shoot up to Phillyâ€™s selection here. IMO if the Flyers donâ€™t think Jonathan is the BPA, they will look elsewhere and pick up a goalie with one of their three second round picks. What is perfectly clear is Philly needs a future star goalie, offensive forwards preferably wingers, and defensemen with solid NHL futures. This shouldnâ€™t be too hard with four selections in the first two rounds. 23. New Jersey: Jamie McGinn Commentary: Your New Jersey Devils are proud to select, power forward Jamie McGinn from the Ottawa 67â€™s. McGinn gritty goalscoring style will fit right in with Parise, Zajac, Bergfors and company. He reminded me much of Petr Prucha with his crease antics and overall hustle and will to get to the front of the net. He is underrated. Being completely honest, I had Leland Irving going here to the Devils for the longest time. But I just couldnâ€™t keep it so constantly seeing â€œFrazeeâ€ appear when looking at prospect goaltending depth. With only Fraser and DeMarchi, I could see NJ opting for a more offensively inclined defenseman like McBain or Persson instead. But for now, the Devils get a gritty winger and look forward to adding a defenseman in the second. 24. Calgary: Claude Giroux Commentary: With little distinguished forward offensive talent, Calgary takes a playmaking spitfire in Giroux. Heâ€™s courageous, quick, and agile. Giroux has the instinctive quality of accelerating while he has the puck. After getting the depth defensemen they wanted last year in Pelech and Baldwin, the Flames engulf Vancouver while rejoicing over getting much needed offensive flair. Big frame, soft hands Forney could also wind up a Flame or my sleeper pick for Calgary, and not just because of similar team names, speedy grit man Ryan White. If they see the slightest indication of White being able to pick up his offensive game just a notch, I donâ€™t see why not. 25. Washington: Leland Irving Commentary: After getting a legitimate first liner center for Ovechkin the Capitals shift their attention and focus on stabilizing themselves between the pipes. Irving is composed, calm, and one of his main strengths is his fundamentals. If the Capitals feel Leland is too much a product of Constantineâ€™s stifling system, they could look to Russiaâ€™s Varlamov or USAâ€™s Sauer. IMO if one of Irving, Helenius, and Bernier arenâ€™t what the Caps want then I recommend taking the best forward available here (Berglund/Forney) at 25 and picking up a goalie at 34/35. After loading up with defensemen in 2004 & 2005, adding Toews with the first pick, and having three more selections after this one, I strongly suggest a reliable goaltender to plant in the shadows of Ollie Kolzig. 26. St. Louis: Patrik Berglund Commentary: The Blues are more than happy to take this potential steal at 26 in Patrik Berglund. Big, dynamic, and sharp shooting center. This massive, more reactive center will compliment the smaller, intense Oshie nicely. Berglund has soft hands and great vision of the entire ice. STL could look towards adding a winger so an unexpected Czech player like Kana/Kveton could jump to this pick dispersing the talent to LW/RW rather than center. Either way, Johnson and Berglund is a nice start to revamping the future of the St. Louis Blues. 27. Dallas: Michael Forney Commentary: A Dallas team that is starved for bluechip forward talent doesnâ€™t hesitate in picking this High School â€œStar.â€ Blessed with a big, lanky frame and silky smooth hands, the Stars select this winger and hope he fills out and matures nicely. Similar to Wheeler in the sense that heâ€™ll need time to fill out and add other facets to his game like being a consistent physical presence and having a defensive conscience. The Thief River Falls native has a great shooting arsenal that Dallas canâ€™t pass up. The Stars have done well for themselves adding dependable rearguards, so I donâ€™t see them taking a defenseman. Otherwise, a talented center like Burki could entice the Stars. 28. Ottawa: Bryce Swan Commentary: The Senators are not afraid to risk it, so they choose Bryce Swan, this years first round version of MA ClichÃ©. Like his Q peer, Swan missed a lot of time this year due to two freak injuries: one to his groin and one to his thumb. Had Swan seen more action than just 34 regular season games and 11 postseason games, he would most likely be solidified as a first round pick. Swan brings a lot to the table: heâ€™s a power forward who is reliable in his own zone, never stops moving, has great skating for his size, and bulls his way to the net. Successful in past drafts, Ottawa can afford to gamble on this big, gritty NA winger. 29. Detroit: Jamie McBain Commentary: With their forward stable looking much brighter than before and a solid goalie coming through in Howard, Detroit selects this smooth skating defenseman from the NTDP. The Red Wings were intrigued by his great offensive skills, elite vision, and shooting arsenal. He loves to join the rush, but even in all of his offensive explorations proved to be a solid defender as well. Detroit sees great things in the future for this two-way defenseman and hope he continues to progress on the rapid course weâ€™ve seen. A defenseman with an edge, Eric Gryba or Dennis Persson are options. 30. Buffalo: Dennis Persson Commentary: Offensively stacked upfront, Buffalo should worry about bringing in steady defensive prospects. Therefore, they select the mobile, mean, and offensive oriented Dennis Persson from Sweden. Persson is a guy that could go much higher than this 30th overall spot as he is quite a package bringing with him a two-way game where heâ€™s equally adept at creating offense as he is stopping plays as a defender, with a mean streak and good frame. Buffalo just needs talented rearguards, Persson makes the most sense and is as close to BPA as youâ€™re gonna get. 31. St. Louis: Codey Burki Commentary: With the selection of a monster two-way defenseman in Johnson, huge sniper center in Berglund, the Blues look to take a fast playmaking center in Burki. Heâ€™s good value and BPA IMO with the first pick in the second, and will give STL great depth down the middle. 32. Pittsburgh: Nigel Williams 33. Chicago: Cory Emmerton 34. Washington: Ryan White 35. Washington: Carl Sneep 36. Columbus: Joey Ryan 37. Anaheim: Semen Varlamov 38. Philadelphia: Eric Gryba 39. Minnesota: Ryan Hillier 40. Phoenix: Ondrej Fiala 41. Philadelphia: Cal Clutterbuck 42. Atlanta: David Kveton 43. Toronto: Trevor Lewis 44. Buffalo: Derrick Lapoint 45. Phoenix: Kirill Tulupov 46. Montreal: Matt Beleskey 47. Boston: Tomas Kana 48. Colorado: Billy Sauer 49. Washington: Ben Maxwell 50. San Jose: Felix Schutz 51. New York Rangers: JM Juutilainen 52. Philadelphia: Kaspars Daugavins 53. New Jersey: Chad Greenan 54. Calgary: Yuri Alexandrov 55. Nashville: Jonas Enroth 56. Carolina: Nick Foligno 57. New York Islanders: Matt Corrente 58. Chicago: Theo Peckham 59. Detroit: Jan Mursak 60. Buffalo: Blake Geoffrion I will try to provide second round comments ASAP. Enjoy and criticize!