Here's my final mock draft. There are a few changes from the original: 1. St Louis - D Erik Johnson - With the loss of Chris Pronger the Blues lost a lot of their identity after having a dominating #1 Defenceman for years. Selecting Erik Johnson will help them to take a step towards re-establishing themselves along the blueline with arguably the best prospect in the 2006 Draft Class. Many have said that the Blues need offence, and while that much is true, the chance to select a bonafide #1 Dman doesn't come around often. The Blues do have some fine young defencemen but none that are true #1s or have the upside to become one. With many gifted offensive stars in the '07 class, the Blues could look to add some offence then and take the best player available now because they're not getting any better anytime soon. 2. Pittsburgh - C Phil Kessel - The Pens would love to land Johnson themselves but are just as happy selecting the ultra-talented, and oft criticized Kessel. With gifted centers Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin already in the system, Kessel could easilly switch to the wing to play with either one and give Pittsburgh a real weapon that could pot 40 goals for them with the linemates he'd be blessed with. The Pens may consider Jonathan Toews but Kessel is a better fit due to the style of game he plays. 3. Chicago - C Jonathan Toews - The blue-collar Blackhawks take the blue-collar Toews, a match-made in heaven. Toews is a good all around player with good offensive instincts and does all the little things that endear him to his coaches. A safe pick for the Hawks who isn't far away from making the jump to the NHL. 4. Washington - C Nicklas Backstrom - A perfect fit for the Caps and a selection that should make Alexander Ovechkin jump for joy. Backstrom is an extremely talented player who will instantly boost the Capitals woeful offence outside of AO. Will anchor the top line in Washington for years and rack up plenty of points feeding the puck to his talented Russian winger. The Capitals may think of taking Jordan Staal here and it wouldn't be that much of a surprise, but Backstrom is probably the more complete player of the two at this point and is probably the better playmaker. 5. Boston - C Jordan Staal - After the Bruins traded away Joe Thornton to the San Jose Sharks the need for a future #1 Center with size and strength is glaring. Jordan Staal would help to fill that void and while he isn't as far along as brother Eric was at the time he was drafted, Jordan still has enough skill and upside to warrant a top 5 selection. 6. Columbus - C Peter Mueller - One year after taking Gilbert Brule at the same draft position, the Blue Jackets once again look for a Center from the Dub. With Brule and Mueller, the Jackets will have a potent one-two punch down the middle. Mueller is more of a play-maker than a goal scorer but is still able to put the puck in the net as well. Has excellent vision and good size, the only knock on Mueller at this point is that he needs to use his size better, but the skills he currently has can't be taught and he'll be a good fit in an improving Columbus lineup. 7. NY Islanders - C Derrick Brassard - Scouts seem to love this guy and he has been near the top of every rankings list that there is out there. A gifted offensive player and fast skater. A favorite among most draft fans and seems like he is on every fan's wishlist for who they want to see their teams select. The Islanders are desperately in need of some more skill up-front, Brassard should help to address that. 8. Phoenix - LW Jiri Tlusty - The Coyotes are in need of some offence and Tlusty should help to inject some into their lineup. A dynamic player who has been moving up draft boards quickly since his impressive performance in the U18s. Described by those who have watched him as a player who has tons of offensive upside thanks to his great speed, hands and shot. Might be a couple of years away from making the jump though but the wait will be worth it. 9. Minnesota - RW Kyle Okposo - Wild fans will go wild with this selection. Not only is Okposo a perfect fit for Minnesota's style of play but he is also kid from Minnesota which is a plus. However, just because he is local does not mean he isn't worthy of a top ten selection outright. Okposo is a talented power-forward with good size and a nose for the net. Will be a favorite of Coach Jaques Lemairre in no time. 10. Florida - RW Michael Frolik - Mike Keenan has already said he would take the best player available and at this point, Frolik fits the bill. He was at one time ranked near the top of the draft but fell to some poor performances leading up to the draft. He still has all of the tools that made him a top prospect to begin with though which is enough to sell Keenan on making him a top 10 selection. 11. Los Angeles - D Bobby Sanguinetti - The Kings would have loved to see yet another highly touted Euro fall to them at 11 but select Bobby Sanguinetti instead once Frolik is off the board. With Marc Crawford the new coach in LA, he will want to emply his offensive philosophy with his new team and one of the main components of a Marc Crawford offence is puck moving defencemen who can break out of the zone with speed and join the rush. Sanguinetti is among the best blueliners in this year's crop at doing just that. 12. Atlanta - C Bryan Little - The Thrashers look to add more weapons to their offensive attack and select the OHL sniper Bryan Little. Little could one day assume the role that Marc Savard fills in Atlanta and play on a line with Russian superstar Ilya Kovalchuk. 13. Toronto - C/LW James Sheppard - The Leafs would have liked to see Little fall to them here and instead take the next best thing in James Sheppard. Sheppard's game reminds many of Joe Thornton, he's an incredibly strong player who protects the puck well and is a gifted playmaker. The only knock on him is his skating ability which he'll need to improve upon in order to be successful in the NHL. 14. Vancouver - C Patrik Berglund - In somewhat of a surprise the Canucks take the big Swedish Center Berglund at 14. Berglund possesses a lot of qualites that the Canucks should be looking for in a prospect; size, strength, offensively gifted ans a strong skater. Berglund has all of those qualities and will instantly become the best forward prospect in the Canucks system and could even one day fill a need down the middle with Brendan Morrison slowly getting up there in age. 15. Tampa Bay - G Riku Helenius - A pick that fills both short-term and long-term needs for the Bolts, and while the talented Finn won't be making the opening night roster for the Bolts next season, it's still a position that needs to be addressed regardless. Neither John Grahame and Sean Burke were able to get the job done in the playoffs and there appears to be nobody on the horizon that can help out between the pipes. Will undoubtedly become the #1 in T-Bay in a few year's time and hopefully add some stability that was lost after the departure of Khabibulin. 16. Montreal - D Ty Wishart - The Canadiens should be looking at the blueline in the draft this year and address that need by taking Ty Wishart of the Prince George Cougars. The Habs have recently been showing a bias towards the Western Hockey League with the selections of Carey Price and Kyle Chipchura in the past two drafts and once again return to the Dub to take Wishart. He struggled at the U18s but still has enough upside to make him an intriguing selection in the first round. 17. Minnesota - D Nigel Williams - After looking up front with their first choice, the Wild now look towards their backend and take Nigel Williams. Williams is a wildcard but does have a ton of upside and his skating is very very strong, something the Wild search for in their prospects. Also, with the selection last year of Benoit Pouliot, it proved that the team isn't afraid to gamble on a player that has a high upside. 18. Colorado - RW Chris Stewart - After taking Wojtek Wolski in the first round of 2004, the Avs look to the OHL once again for their first round selection and take the big, punishing power forward from Kingston, Chris Stewart. A hard working and tough player who isn't afraid to get his nose dirty to make a play. Is a great skater with strong offensive talents and good poise. 19. Anaheim - G Leland Irving - Anaheim takes the second goaltender of the draft, but in surprising fashion, it's Leland Irving and not Jonathan Bernier. Irving is solid goaltender with good poise and has the ability to steal games for his team. Posted a 37-22-4 record with Everett this year and helped lead them to the Western Conference Final before suffering an injury that forced him to miss most of the series. Jean-Sebastien Gigeure is getting older and has a high price tag and may not be in Anaheim long and there isn't much to choose from between the pipes in the organization. 20. San Jose - D David Fischer - The Sharks usually make a surprise on draft day and they do so again slightly reaching to get the 2006 Mr. Hockey. Fischer has been compared to current Sharks' defenceman Tom Preissing. He has good on-ice vision and makes a good first pass out of his zone. Is considered a strong offensive d-man with a hard, heavy point shot that makes him valuable on the PP. Improved his defensive game this season but still needs to work on it more and will need some time to develop. Luckilly for him, the Sharks are usually patient with their prospects. 21. NY Rangers - RW Michael Grabner - The Rangers would love to get their hands on a #1 C but without one on the board they opt for the next best thing and take this speedy sniper from Spokane of the Western Hockey League. His style has been compared to Marian Gaborik. Has an accurate, quick shot combined with good hands and acceleration. The Rangers might be a team to watch in the draft because they could move up if they see a player falling that they'd want to get their hands on. 22. Philadelphia - D Brian Strait - Typical Bobby Clarke kind of player. Rough, no-nonsense kind of guy who loves to throw open-ice bodychecks. Is a very reliable defensive defensman with great wheels. Has tremendous leadership qualities as well, captaining the US entry in the 2006 U18 tournament. Can be relied upon to shut down the top lines of opponents and is very tough to beat 1 on 1. 23. Washington - G Jonathan Bernier - There's no question that Washington will be looking for a goaltender soon with Olaf Kolzig nearing the end of his career so the Caps look at selecting his future replacement in Jonathan Bernier. If both Leland Irving and Bernier are on the board at this point in the draft, they could look at addressing another position and hoping that one of them falls to the 2nd round. With Irving gone though, they make sure to aquire the talented French Canadian while they can. 24. Buffalo - D Ivan Vishnevsky - Has good offensive instincts and should be a very good PP QB for the Sabres. Buffalo has a good young team that is improving before our eyes and this will just be one more piece of the puzzle that should keep the Sabres near the top of the Eastern Conference standings for a long time. 25. New Jersey - D Dennis Persson - The talented Swedish defenceman has been hovering near the bottom end of the first round and the top of the second for some time now and the Devils take him here at 25 sensing the upside that he possesses. Plays a similar style of game to fellow Swede Mattias Ohlund but with more edge. He moves the puck well and is a good skater who can work the PP. Finished 3rd among defencemen at the U18 tournament with 6 points in 7 games. Needs time to develop and may play one more year in Sweden before coming over to North America. 26. Calgary - LW Mike Forney - It is painfully obvious that the Calgary Flames simply do not have enough offence. They have taken the high road in recent years and gone for relatively safe picks without a lot of upside. This time though they snag a player who has a lot of it and could turn into a real steal this late in the first round within a few years. Has a lot of offensive upside, soft hands and a quick release. Is a very good skater and is reliable defensively. 27. Dallas - C Jan-Mikael Juutilainen - The Stars pull off a surprise late in the first round by taking this ultra talented Center. His nationality though shouldn't surprise people. Juutilainen was named captain for the Finnish national team at the U18 tournament and was very instrumental in their silver medal performance. He was perhaps the most dynamic player on their team and showed off his tremendous offensive talents that included his great speed vision. Should develop into a strong 2nd line Center in the future. 28. Ottawa - C Tomas Marcinko - Marcinko is a good two-way center with good strength and is a good skater for his size. Is able to play in all situations and be effective in them. Able to play in traffic and also carry the puck and create offence at high speed. The only knock on him is his inconsistent play, he does a lot of things well but often times is held off the score sheet. If he is able to find a decent level of consistency though, should develop into a good 2nd line Center. 29. Detroit - C Artem Anisimov - Anisimov is a strong skater with good hands and is also strong in the faceoff circle. He sees the ice well and is also able to play in all situations. Like most players his age though he needs to be more consistent in his play but he has the tools to become a force. Needs to fill out his frame more but does look to have good size in the future once he does. Has drawn comparisons to current Red Wing Pavel Datsyuk in the way he plays and has a lot of upside. Could potentially be another Red Wing draft day steal. 30. St. Louis - C Cory Emmerton - The Blues close out the first round taking a fourth straight Center. Emmerton could go higher but falls here and the Blues are more than happy to take him. Put up 90 points this year in Kingston and also was solid in his own end and good on draws.