It was tougher than I thought it would be. I hope you may enjoy it, and will be kind with your comments (if any). Cheers! please note: I have slotted Edmonton in as the #30 pick, as I think they will win it all this year. No offense is intended to either of Carolina's fans, they have a good team. Ish. 1 - St. Louis Blues â€“ Phil Kessel, C They need a dynamic scorer to put bums in seats. Might as well start with Phil the Thrill. 2 - Pittsburgh Penguins - Erik Johnson, D Fortuitously, and maybe through sending a late round pick to St. Louis, the Pens get the guy they will desperately need a few years from now. 3 - Chicago Blackhawks - Jordan Staal, C A consolation prize. Drafting 3rd for the second time in three years, means you get a safe bet instead of a sure thing. 4 - Washington Capitals - Jonathan Toews, C/RW Theyâ€™ll probably think about a playmaker to go with Alex the Great, but I think ultimately that Toews is too good for them to pass up. If the Caps ever compete again, heâ€™ll have a lot to do with it. 5 - Boston Bruins â€“ Derrick Brassard, C Um. I guess since heâ€™s French Canadian, they might think heâ€™ll have a natural rapport with Bergeron? I dunno. Maybe. 6 - Columbus Blue Jackets â€“ Nicklas Backstrom, C I agonized over this one. I truly did. Then I looked deep into my heart and pulled his name out of a hat. No, I think heâ€™s the guy they might have their heart set on. Heâ€™ll feed Zherdev and Nash, and help them score a bunch a few years from now. Right around the time that Nash becomes a Free Agent. 7 - New York Islanders â€“ Chris Stewart, RW Iâ€™m going off the board here, of course. I think he may have intangibles that Milbury (or whoever runs the NYI draft, now that the reins have been wrested free from Crazy Mike; not unlike the way you might have taken the TV remote from your Granddad) has a perceived need of. On the other hand, I wonâ€™t be entirely shocked if Stewart to the bottom of the first round. I like him though; I think heâ€™s the Real Thing. 8 - Phoenix Coyotes â€“ Jiri Tlusty, LW I think the Coyotes have drafted badly in the past few decades. I donâ€™t like Tlusty, he's neither fish nor fowl, and thatâ€™s why I think PHX will take him. They may never make the playoffs again. 9 - Minnesota Wild â€“ Peter Mueller, C It was a toss-up between him and Okposo. Both good players, both from Minnesota. Ultimately, I figure Riseborough will go with a big, two-way center. 10 - Florida Panthers â€“ Bryan Little, C A Keenan crap-shoot. Possibly his last draft ever and maybe heâ€™ll go for a nice playmaker to offset his assassins (i.e. Horton, Stewart, and McArdle)? 11 - LA Kings â€“ Michael Frolik, RW The tradition continues. A juicy forward plummets, and LA is there with open arms. Damn, this team might have a stacked forward corps a few years from now. Iâ€™m guessing theyâ€™ll agonize over not taking a defenseman, but since this draft year is not exactly stacked with blueliners, Lombardi will be able to justify this pick to himself and sleep soundly at night. 12 - Atlanta Thrashers â€“ James Sheppard, LW I reckon theyâ€™ll be looking for forward depth, and in my view heâ€™ll be the best one still on the board. 13 - Toronto Maple Leafs â€“ Bobby Sanguinetti, D It wonâ€™t be a popular pick with Leaf fans (I am hoping for Sheppard myself, but we probably wonâ€™t get anybody halfway decent. It sucks that the Leafs both failed to make the playoffs AND ruined their chances of drafting anybody other than a project. We probably wonâ€™t even get Sanguinetti. Tabernouche!), but Fergie knows heâ€™ll be fired at the end of the season no matter what he does, and I think heâ€™ll re-stock the blueline with the Best Player Available. 14 - Vancouver Canucks â€“ Kyle Okposo, RW Unless they take a defenseman. Or a goaltender. But they wouldnâ€™t take a goalie, because that would be crazy. Wouldnâ€™t it??? I am thinking that Okposo will fall due to his playing in the USHL, which I donâ€™t know much about, but the caliber of competition may not be up to snuff. If he kicks butt in the NCAA next year, then I will happily be proven wrong. Iâ€™ll probably be wrong anyway, my mock drafts are always disastrously off-target. Knickers. 15 - Tampa Bay Lightning â€“ Jonathan Bernier, G Well, at least one goalie has to go in the first round, and I think Tampa really needs to look at scoring a netminder at some point. I realize he wonâ€™t be ready for 4 or 5 years, but sod it. Iâ€™m calling Bernier here. 16 - Montreal Canadiens â€“ Ivan Vishnevsky, D He played for Rouyn-Noranda this year, so the absence of a IIHF transfer agreement with the Russian mafia shouldnâ€™t prevent this (allegedly) skilled offensive defenseman from getting signed and cracking the Bulldogs roster a few years from now. And I figured that the Habs need to restock the blueline, and there are too many question marks around Wishart, Nigel Williams and Mitera. 17 - Colorado Avalanche â€“ Patrick Berglund, C Maybe heâ€™ll remind Denverites of a successful Swedish center from years ago. Then again, maybe he wonâ€™t. 18 - Anaheim Mighty Ducks â€“ Nigel Williams, D Okay, this is a purely random guess. I figured that since Burke passed on Jack Johnson last year, this time he might go with a large U.S.-born defenceman who has some potential. I realize Williams is a huge project, and a lot of people think he may fall out of the first round altogether. But Iâ€™ll be very pleased with myself if Iâ€™m right about Burke taking him. 19 - San Jose Sharks â€“ Ty Wishart, D The Sharks traditionally like WHL guys, and they might be in the market to add a defenceman to the prospect pool. Plus, most of the guys I know anything about will be gone by this point. 20 - New York Rangers â€“ Ben Maxwell, C Maybe heâ€™ll work out well for them. I gather that most of the A-level depth is gone by now, and some of the B-level types are also thin on the ground. But this guy has skills. 21 - Philadelphia Flyers â€“ Ryan White, C Well, he seems like the kind of dude that Clarke likes. Actually, I like this guy too, but the consensus seems to be that heâ€™s a pure grinder at the NHL level. 22 - Washington Capitals (from Nashville) â€“ Joe Ryan, D Since itâ€™s their second first-rounder, I assume theyâ€™ll take a flyer on D. 23 - Buffalo Sabres â€“ Mark Mitera, D I thought he played well at the WJC, and the Sabres need to pick up some D. 2+2= â€¦. 5? 24 - New Jersey Devils â€“ Nick Foligno, LW NJ has the track record of taking kids with an NHL pedigree. They also have a track record of going off the board and making some madcap selections (Adrian Foster, step on up!) so this might make sense. 25 - Calgary Flames â€“ Cory Emmerton, C Why not? 26 - St. Louis Blues (from Carolina) â€“ Mike Forney, LW With their 2nd first rounder, they may take on a Low-Risk, High-Return project. 27 - Dallas Stars â€“ Jesse Joensuu, RW My theory is: Dave Tippett has a Finnish granny. And that Finnish players have established themselves well in the big D. 28 - Ottawa Senators â€“ Francois Bouchard, LW Muckler goes off the board yet again. And probably snags a gem. Grrrrr. 29 - Detroit Red Wings â€“ Chris Summers, D I have no idea, but what the heck. 30 - Minnesota Wild (from Edmonton) â€“ David Fischer, D Heâ€™s from Minnesota as well, and it sounds like he might have good (albeit rough) tools: speed and size, and the Mr. Hockey award to boot. So, why not?