1. Washington: Alexander Ovechkin I know I?m really going out on a limb here, but I just have a hunch this guy will go #1. Nothing that can be said about Ovechkin, that hasn?t already been said. Washington will get a franchise player, a cornerstone up front to go along with their fantastic depth and stud young goalie. This is a guy who will step in and produce. Has already proven everything he needs to at both the Super League level and in the WJC. 2. Pittsburgh: Evgeny Malkin Concussion issues aside, Malkin is the undoubted second overall pick this year. While the concussions are of some concern, it?s not enough to drop Malkin out of the #2 spot. Pittsburgh already has some great young forwards, but unless they are particularly high on Barker or even more unlikely Thelen, they will go with another forward here. Malkin, like Ovechkin, could hit the NHL running next year. 3. Chicago: Robbie Schremp Schremp is a true wild card. Few question Schremp?s skills, but there are many who are not impressed with his attitude. Personally, I?m not buying into it really, as I think his early season issues were grossly blown out of proportion. He hasn?t had the greatest year offensively, but the skills are definitely there and London didn?t exactly focus their offensive strategy around him. Put him on a team where he?s the go to guy, he could have been right there with Locke and Perry for points. 4. Columbus: Cam Barker The top defenceman in this draft, Barker is a gifted offensive blueliner who I?ve compared to Sergei Gonchar since very early on in the season. He?s got good size but he could stand to be more physical, and there are questions about his defensive game. Columbus gets their second stud young blueliner, and Barker will complement Klesla very well. He may need another season in the WHL to round out his all-round game, although his offensive game needs no refining. 5. Phoenix: Rostislav Olesz Malkin is not the only one with injury concerns hurting their status. Once considered the undoubted third overall pick, a concussion sustained at the WJC on a Dion Phaneuf hit limited Olesz?s ability to play for the rest of the season. When he?s on his game, Olesz is a fantastic offensive talent who can make plays at a high pace. Olesz only adds to a collection of great young forwards in Phoenix, and could follow countryman Milan Michalek?s lead and come over next year to play in the NHL. 6. New York Rangers: Wojtech Wolski A smooth skating, lanky center who didn?t break out as hoped this year, Wolski has some significant upside, but hasn?t showed the offensive ability hoped of him so far. For the Rangers, he gives them a potential first line center, who has the size to play in the Eastern Conference grind if he can bulk up. The Rangers have quite an impressive group of young forwards, but Wolski could be the leader of that group. 7. Florida: Lauri Tukonen Florida has a lot of young players, but Tukonen could combine with Weiss and Horton for some great up front. Tukonen may not have the highest upside of the remaining players, but he?s a very good all-round player who has no major flaw. With good size and skating ability, Tukonen is a mature player who could make a fantastic second line player or complementary first liner. If the Panthers don?t go with Tukonen, I have a hunch they could go off the board a bit here, maybe taking Radulov for example, in an effort to hit a home run considering their depth. 8. Carolina: A.J. Thelen Carolina is in a rebuilding mode somewhat by default. The plan was to be making the playoffs by now, but clearly that has not worked out well the last two years since their surprise Stanley Cup Finals berth. Thelen may not be ready next year, but he could be a stud blueliner for the Hurricanes for several years. Blessed with great offensive abilities and a good frame, Thelen is a riser who could very well go before Carolina?s pick. 9. Anaheim: Drew Stafford I?ll admit I?m personally quite high on Stafford. He?s a big kid who?s already reasonably thick and his skating ability is impressive. Blessed with great hands, Stafford did not put up huge points this season but that is largely because he played on a deep college team. He?d look mighty fine on a line with Ryan Getzlaf and Stanislav Chistov down the road, and there is a fair bit of untapped offensive potential in this North Dakota winger. 10. Atlanta: Andrew Ladd Going the other way from Stafford, I?m not that high on Ladd but I?ll trust those who have seen more of him that I haven?t seen enough of him to appreciate his abilities. Atlanta already has the top line talent, but Ladd could give them a great second line all-round player with some upside to him. Won?t ever be the highest profile player in Atlanta, but could be a very valuable second liner. 11. Los Angeles: Marek Schwarz LA needs a young goalie like no other team in the league. Fantastically athletic and quick, Schwarz could be a great goalie in this league, but there are few teams who need a goalie in this draft. Not only is he athletic, but he is technically sound unlike the current Czech goalie in LA. Schwarz may not take long to hit the NHL, although he most likely is not ready yet. 12. Minnesota: Enver Lisin Fast, speedy and talented, Lisin will need to show more of a willingness to engage in the rough stuff, but if he can develop his defensive game, he could fit in perfectly with the Wild?s trap and pounce game. The offensive ability is tantalizing, although the Wild may not unlock all of that ability under the Lemaire era. Nonetheless, a potential home run for a team that still could use offensive punch. 13. Buffalo: Alexandre Picard A bit of a jack of all trades offensively, Picard has no major strength, with a fantastic all-round skill set. He could stand to improve his consistency big time, but that can come with time. Although not a power forward, he plays very physically for a skill player in the QMJHL. Buffalo gets another young forward who could fit very well into their system, although he needs at least one more year in junior, and possibly another in the AHL. 14. Edmonton: Mike Green Edmonton has needed a powerplay quarterback since dealing Janne Niniimaa, and while Marc-Andre Bergeron could be the answer, Green could be not only a force on the powerplay but a great all-round blueliner for the Oilers. A Calgary native, Green is one of the older players expected to go in the first round and my hunch is he could make a serious roster push next year, especially if the Oilers picked him. 15. Nashville: Dave Bolland A typical Nashville draft pick, Bolland plays a gritty, energetic game, and has hands to boot. On many nights, he outshone the aforementioned Robbie Schremp, a team-mate with London. Bolland is similar to the Ottawa Senators Mike Fisher, and Nashville loves hard working character types. While he may never be a top scorer, his complete game more than makes up for it. 16. New York Islanders: Alexander Radulov The biggest wild card in this draft, he has supreme offensive talent, but has not had quite enough exposure for everybody to get a good read on him. He has questions about his skating and he is anything but a complete player with plenty of criticism about his attitude, but the hands are there. Where he goes I?m not sure, because somebody might be incredibly high on him, but I won?t slot him that high yet. 17. St. Louis: Kyle Chipchura Despite a bad season offensively, Chipchura is still the top ranked North American according to Central Scouting as of now. He is if nothing else a safe bet to make the NHL, but his inability to score goals at the junior level thus far is of concern. St. Louis is anything but loaded for the future, and Chipchura is a solid selection at this point. 18. Montreal: Ladislav Smid A team that has talent in almost every position for the future, Smid gives them another top defensive prospect that has impressive upside especially if he fills out. There is significant offensive upside with him, although he is not exactly a complete player. This would give them another young blueliner to go with guys like Markov, Hainsey and Komisarek. 19. Calgary: Jakub Sindel Similar to Lisin in that he is small, speedy and offensively inclined, but Sindel is anything but a well-rounded player. For starters, he is only 167 pounds, and he refuses to play physical as a result. Calgary hasn?t had a pick this late in a while, and taking a gamble on Sindel isn?t a bad move. Sindel has dropped, but the skills are there. 20. Dallas: Boris Valabik The Stars aren?t in great shape for the future on defence. They have one good young blueliner in Trevor Daley, who is 5?9. Valabik is the absolute opposite of Daley, standing 6?6 with mobility to boot. Playing in the OHL this year, Valabik slowly developed his all-round game and is a huge riser who may not be available at #20 on draft day. 21. Colorado: Wes O?Neill With the cupboard as bare as it?s ever been, Colorado needs to restock. O?Neill is the best player left and that?s how the Avs will go about the draft this season. Although he hasn?t had the freshman season he had hoped, he is still a big, mobile and intelligent defenceman, although he doesn?t use his size well and may never be a huge factor offensively. 22. New Jersey: Johan Fransson Although the Devils haven?t had a high draft pick in years, they are not short of young players like fellow perennial contender Colorado. They really don?t have any huge needs, although Fransson could give them another great offensive blueliner to go with Rafalski, Niedermayer and Martin. 23. Edmonton via Philadelphia: Al Montoya Although Montoya has the talent to go earlier in this draft, goaltenders aren?t hard to come by in today?s NHL, and with Montoya?s consistency issues, he could fall to the Oilers for their second first rounder. Although Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers has potential, he isn?t a stud, and Montoya could be a fixture in Edmonton for years to come. The talent is there, the consistency is not. 24. Vancouver: Oscar Hedman The Canucks liked their Swedes especially from the Modo system, and they could take another here. The need isn?t on defence, but Burke rarely drafts for need anyways and for good reason. Hedman is impressively mobile and is quite strong although not blessed with great size. He could take a few years to develop, but a good fit for the Canucks. 25. Ottawa: Adam Pineault The Senators don?t always take the safe pick, although they usually know what they are getting themselves into as well. Last year?s top pick Patrick Eaves, a team-mate of Pineault?s at BC, had questions about serious questions about his health. Pineault is a very young player for NCAA hockey, and was once considered a sure fire top 10 pick. The Senators have needed a power forward for years, and rolling the dice on Pineault isn?t a bad idea. 26. New York Rangers via Toronto: Lukas Kaspar A bit of a sparkplug who impressed at the WJC, Kaspar keeps his feet moving and has some offensive upside in him. He?s a very different player from Wolski, but he gives them another young forward with upside. It is entirely possible that he could rise up into the early 20s though, as he has a good frame, reasonable offensive ability and the willingness to play in all areas of the ice. 27. Washington via Boston: Andreij Meszaros The Caps need a defenceman, and Meszaros is the best one left. He was impressive at the WJC for Slovakia, although he hasn?t had a great year this season. With decent size and all-round abilities, Meszaros has offensive upside, but he has a tendency to play soft. Washington could use young defencemen though, and this is a guy they wouldn?t pass up. 28. San Jose: Roman Voloshenko Another Russian wild card, Voloshenko has decent size although unless he had a ridiculous growth spurt late in the year, he isn?t 6?6 like TSN lists him. There is skill there, and he had a good Five Nations tournament, but hasn?t quite done enough to go much higher in the first round. 29. Tampa Bay: Evan McGrath Similar to Pineault, McGrath has dropped this year in large part because he has almost regressed after a great first season with Kitchener. He has a good set of skills offensively, and the hockey sense to be a complete player, but he is playing a very small game at this point. Tampa could take a shot on him though, and he plays a similar game to one of their young studs, Brad Richards. 30. Washington via Detroit: Bryan Bickell Bickell is a guy who has great tools but he often forgets his tool box at home. One some nights, he can be a force with his speed, soft hands and willingness to use his big and thick body to pound the opposition into the boards. All too frequently though, he is a non-factor. With their third first rounder, the Caps might as well take a chance on a potential power forward.