1. Philadelphia Flyers (via Dallas) - Alexis Lafreniere Don’t be surprised if the Flyers move this pick. They have a ton of selections already in this first round and one of the deepest prospect pools in the league. It is possible that they look to add a high end player for their current roster or move down. If they stay, it’s obviously Lafreniere and he makes this deep pool even better. If even half of the team’s prospects develop properly, this is a scary team in a few years. 2. Detroit Red Wings - Quinton Byfield Another team who is actively shopping their selection. I believe that the Wings are targeting a defender to help lead the team moving forward. As such, they could move down a few spots and target Drysdale or Sanderson. If they stay, as an Ontario based GM, it seems likely for Niece to target Byfield, both because of potential and familiarity. 3. Edmonton Oilers - Tim Stutzle You never know what GM Drew Niece will do at the draft. He sticks to his guns and is never afraid to take the player he believes will be best, regardless of a perceived ranking. That said, it makes sense for the Oilers to take a high upside forward here and after doing well with a German in Leon Gawanke, the Oilers dip back into the market for Stutzle. 4. New York Rangers - Marco Rossi I truly do believe that the Rangers hope to grab a center with this selection as it is an organizational weakness. The best one available is Rossi and it’s not a reach either at #4. Rossi actually projects to be a terrific SIM based player because of how well rounded his future ratings are likely to be. 5. Boston Bruins - Jamie Drysdale Drysdale is not only the best player available here, but he gives GM Rob K a franchise defender to build around. While he may not have the size that the Bruins boss likes, his mobility should play well in all situations and he should move through the system quickly once he adds strength. 6. Columbus Blue Jackets - Cole Perfetti The Blue Jackets, with a strong presence down the middle moving forward, take Cole Perfetti, a current center, but likely winger at the pro level. He has tremendous offensive upside because of his high IQ and skill. We all know that GM Douglas Emerson loves his Ontario based players too and has had success with them. 7. Toronto Maple Leafs - Lucas Raymond As a fresh face in the league, GM Brad Palmer might be a tough one to figure out. As he continues to rebuild the Leafs, look for him to take the forward with the highest offensive upside here and that has to be Lucas Raymond, without question. 8. Arizona Coyotes - Alexander Holtz While they could be tempted to take Askarov here to give Darcy Keumper an incumbent, the Yotes play it a little safer by taking Holtz. He is a well rounded offensive player who fits in well with what Arizona has currently built and what they already have for the future. 9. St. Louis Blues - Jake Sanderson I said this last mock draft and I’ll say it again, this is the type of player GM Nick Quain covets. Sanderson’s power on the backend has caused him to rocket up the draft board in the second half and his offensive potential is likely underrated by some who believe he is only a defense first type of defender. This is Quain’s Chara replacement. 10. Montreal Canadiens - Yaroslav Askarov This just seems like a good fit for Askarov, with the Canadiens needing a young goaltender to take over from Rinne in the near future. In the HFNHL, goaltenders used to last a long time and fall out of the first round, but in recent years GM’s have been jumping on them earlier. Look for Askarov to be a lock for the lottery. If Montreal doesn’t take him, he’s not getting by Minnesota or Ottawa. 11. Calgary Flames - Seth Jarvis This seems like a great target for the Flames and Jarvis is the type of player that GM Matthew Kershaw usually chases. The two-way winger is a well rounded player who doesn’t really have a weakness and projects as a strong SIM player in the same capacity as Marco Rossi, due to the fact that he likely plays in all situations in the NHL. 12. Minnesota Wild (via Chicago) - Anton Lundell With so many picks in the first round, the Wild could really swing for the fences on a couple of their picks, or they could choose to play it safe and help rebuild organizational depth for the future. Lundell’s skating has been debated, but his production in Liiga was terrific and he is the type of well rounded center that is highly coveted in the HFNHL. 13. Minnesota Wild (via NJ) - Jack Quinn With their second pick, the Wild go for one of the best goal scorers available in Jack Quinn. A late bloomer, Quinn is extremely well rounded and could even be selected earlier than this on draft day because of how strong of a SIM player he projects to be. 14. Ottawa Senators (via Anaheim) - Kaiden Guhle The Senators like hard nosed players and Guhle is just that. While some scouts question his high end offensive potential, his defensive acumen is well known. With a weak system and the need for cap relief, the Senators take Guhle first in hopes that he can move quickly through the system and play a PK role. 15. Philadelphia Flyers (via Washington) - Hendrix Lapierre When you have a ton of first round picks and quality prospects already, you can afford to swing for the fences and they do just that with Lapierre. Neck and head injuries prevented the one time potential top 5 selection from making an impact this year and it has caused him to fall significantly in most rankings. However, the potential is still there for him to be a home run selection. 16. Minnesota Wild (via San Jose) - Connor Zary Minnesota opts for Western center Connor Zary with their third first rounder, a highly intelligent player who should move quickly through the system if he can improve his skating further. His playmaking ability is strong and between Zary and Lundell, the Wild should be able to develop a top six center who can take pressure off of Kopitar or even spell him in the future. 17. Los Angeles Kings - Brendan Brisson Brisson’s rankings are all over the board and he is the type of player that GM Mike McEwan usually targets. High upside. High IQ. But maybe a little further off from contributing due to some physical immaturity. Brisson has to be considered one of the better centers available this year and for that reason, he probably goes earlier than many project (in the NHL and HFNHL). 18. Nashville Predators - Noel Gunler While there are some concerns over the fact that he is not well liked by the Swedish Hockey federation, the upside is extremely high here. Gunler has the potential to be one of the better offensive players in this draft class and the Predators take a swing for the fence here. 19. Nashville Predators (via Vegas) - William Wallinder While this one might be out of left field because of the variance in Wallinder’s rankings, GM Tony Kay has never been shy about taking a chance on upside in European players. Wallinder has that size and mobility combination that all NHL scouts look for in defenders. With how well Victor Hedman has played for the team, the Preds hope Wallinder can follow suit. 20. Philadelphia Flyers (via Buffalo) - Rodion Amirov The Flyers have never shied away from Russian players and it makes sense for the team to look at Amirov here. The potential is very high because of his skill level, but patience will be required as he plays through his KHL commitment. 21. Ottawa Senators - Dylan Holloway The Senators take another “safe” player in Holloway, a fierce competitor and terrific skater who had a worse freshmen year with Wisconsin than some thought. However, some believe that his high end talent was masked this year and that he could still be a very good top 6 player at the NHL level. 22. Carolina Hurricanes (via Pittsburgh) - Dawson Mercer GM Darryl Solly takes a player in Mercer, who falls a little but from his composite ranking. His skating may not be high end, but he plays a heavy game and provides a ton of versatility as a future top 6 player. If he is still on the board here, it makes sense for him to be the selection. 23. New York Islanders - Braden Schneider The Islanders are working hard to improve their prospect pool. WIth some quality young forwards in the system, GM Zach S opts for Schneider, a safer bet to be a high end HFNHL defender. He will play, it’s just a matter of how high in the lineup he does. 24. Vancouver Canucks - John-Jason Peterka I almost made this selection much higher, with Calgary and LA, as Peterka seems like the type that every GM is secretly coveting. He is one of those forwards who has a high ceiling and a high floor because of his well rounded game and high end shot. GM Sean Keogh has been spending a lot of time in Central Europe and it’s about time that he dips into the German pool. 25. Minnesota Wild - Helge Grans Another one of those size and skating defenders, Grans has a high upside if he can put all his tools together. The Wild will likely take a defender with one of their four selections and at this point, Grans seems like the best one available. 26. Philadelphia Flyers - Jean Luc Foudy While it may shock some to see Foudy still go in the first round, the Flyers have so many picks and Foudy just seems like the type of player GM Alvaro Silvan targets. He likes to go fast and Foudy can go fast. His game is raw and there are some concerns with his projection, but with a deep system, the Flyers can take some chances. 27. Florida Panthers - Lukas Reichel With the success of their selection of Moritz Seider last year, Otten goes back to his German roots and selects Lukas Reichel here. His ceiling may not be as high as some others available here, but he has a high likelihood of becoming a quality middle six forward with a well rounded ratings package. 28. Winnipeg Jets - Ryan O’Rourke After a tough loss in the Conference finals this year, the Jets want to be a more difficult team to match up against, so they select Soo Greyhounds defender Ryan O’Rourke. Already a captain in the OHL, O’Rourke is a throw back to yesteryears who also happens to have some nice potential as a second pairing anchor. 29. Carolina Hurricanes - Jacob Perreault After taking a safer forward in Mercer first, they opt for a higher risk one with this selection in Jacob Perreault. He has one of the best shots in the draft, but consistency is an issue and it causes him to fall a bit in the draft. The son of former HFNHL Yanic Perreault, Jacob will require patience but the payoff could be large. 30. Colorado Avalanche - Emil Andrae The Avalanche always seem to target Scandinavian players who rise up draft rankings over the course of the year. Insert Andrae, a high IQ defender who makes up for a lack of high end skating ability, with impressive decision making. A future powerplay QB, Andrae has a similar projection as Adam Fox. 31. Tampa Bay Lightning - Mavrik Bourque With the last pick in the first round, the Lightning select Bourque, a faller who is consistently ranked higher than 31. He has an impressive combination of skill and hockey sense, but will need time to physically mature and become quicker. He is the kind of player that gets overlooked often at the HFNHL draft and then ends up being a quality pro for a long time.