BC's Mock Draft and Preview (very long) Caveat: Due to possible trades and individual team preferences it is nearly impossible to accurately predict who will be selected when and by what team (especially in a weak draft class like this), this is in mock draft format mostly for aesthetic reasons. Therefore, my strategy was to select who I believe the best player is accounting for past team tendencies and organizational depth (this is why I talk almost exclusively about the player and not team needs and draft history). I have maintained the actual draft order, even where I believe a trade will actually take place. 1. Washington Capitals â€“ Alexander Ovechkin â€“ 6â€™2â€ 210lbs â€“ W â€“ Ovechkin has been the consensus first choice since last yearâ€™s draft when Rick Dudley tried to bend the rules and take him at the end of the draft. Had Ovechkin been born only a matter of hours earlier, he would have been among the top selections in last yearâ€™s deep pool. A lot of people have tabbed Ovechkin a â€œspecialâ€ top pick, excuse my skepticism, but the same moniker was applied to Lindros, Lecavalier, and Daigle. Donâ€™t get me wrong, he looks like a canâ€™t miss prospect, but you canâ€™t project someone to win scoring titles when theyâ€™re only 18 years old. Ovechkin has the classic Russian stickhandling ability. However, he has also shown the classic Russian puckhogging acumen as well. What separates Ovechkin from the rest is that heâ€™s a big kid who can handle and deliver punishment. Commentators made a lot of noise about how Ovechkin was superior to Zherdev because of his willingness and ability to operate in traffic. He can go into traffic and get his shot off quickly, creating a lot of high percentage opportunities just outside the crease. Ovechkin isnâ€™t flawless, he has a lot of bad habits to break, but hopefully he will quickly realize that he canâ€™t take it coast to coast against NHL players like he did against the competition at the World Juniors and that he doesnâ€™t need to since his linemates are ridiculously talented as well. The biggest danger with Ovechkin is that he will turn into a defensive liability in the NHL who will float out on the blueline and turn the puck over due to irresponsible stickwork. McPhee can play coy all he wants, but Ovechkin is a no brainer for the Caps and they will take him unless someone throws a franchise player at them. 2. Pittsburgh Penguins â€“ Evgeni Malkin â€“ 6â€™3â€ 185lbs â€“ C â€“ THNâ€™s preview declared Malkin 1A. Iâ€™m not buying. Malkin has a similar ceiling, but Ovechkin is a far safer bet. Aside from the mild concussion concerns, Malkin is nowhere near as physically developed as Ovechkin; heâ€™s a gaunt 185 and will need to play well above 200 to be effective. Pittsburgh has to be happy though, because Malkin has huge potential and is definitely the second best player available with a significant drop afterwards. Malkin figures to gel into a smooth and versatile center. Malkin has shown the ability to bury the puck, but I think his role in the NHL will probably be more of a set-up man. I donâ€™t know if he will be able to score as well in the smaller NA rinks with more physical defensemen, Iâ€™m not confident that he can become a regular lamplighter unless he bulks up enough to play a bit of a power game. However, his hockey sense and ability to find teammates should translate into 40+ assists a season if the Pens can find someone to put alongside him. He put up 12 points in 34 games playing against the grownups in the RSL which is no insignificant accomplishment, and he dominated against his peers with 5 points at the WJC and 8 at the U18 tourney. Malkin was simply dominant in Minsk and solidified his status. What not a lot of people are talking about is that Malkin has a huge wingspan and could develop into a great defensive player if he can learn the North American defensive game. There is no questioning Malkinâ€™s potential to become an all-star, however his game is not fully matured and it will be a while before the Pens know just what they have. 3. Chicago Blackhawks â€“ Cameron Barker â€“ D â€“ 6â€™3â€ 215lbs â€“ Barker is a big defenseman who has great offensive upside. He has the tools to be a first pairing guy who can quarterback the powerplay. Barker racked up almost a point per game in Medicine Hat and has made many think of comparing him to the superior skating fellow Tiger, Jay Bouwmeester. He can move the puck around very well, although sometimes he holds the puck a bit too long. Heâ€™ll need to adjust his game a bit when he makes the jump in order to avoid turnovers (by getting the puck off his stick faster and making less risky plays), but many have made the same adjustments. He has the size to be more physical, but he hasnâ€™t been a consistent physical force. If he can show the requisite passion and jam he will be a top pairing defenseman, if not he may still earn a good living as a specialist. I donâ€™t know if Barker goes this high in most drafts, but there is a significant drop off after Malkin and Barker is pretty safely the third best skater in the class. Thereâ€™s some risk that Cam wonâ€™t be able to put all of his tools together, but in a shallow draft pool you canâ€™t ignore the opportunity to get a top 3 defenseman, especially on a thin blueline. 4. Columbus Bluejackets â€“ Andrew Ladd â€“ LW â€“ 6â€™2â€ 200 â€“ Itâ€™s tough to ignore a player that garners the #1 North American skater ranking from Central Scouting. Ladd led the WHL in rookie scoring and an NHL team will draft him in the hopes he can do the same in the bigs. However, most scouts also praise him as a very well rounded player, who can contribute in all aspects of the game. Ladd may have benefited from playing most of the year with Ryan Getzlaf, but those assertions miss the point. Ladd will find a niche in the NHL as a classic powerforward who does less on his own than he does for others. He will drive to the net and keep the puck circulating out of the corners. Ladd doesnâ€™t really have the size or skill to dominate the way that a Jarome Iginla or Rick Nash has and I donâ€™t know that he can become that kind of scorer. Heâ€™s shown flashesâ€”such as when he hung 3 on Saskatoonâ€”but I donâ€™t think heâ€™s going to do those kind of things with any regularity in the pros. That said he will probably round into an extremely productive player on the top two lines. I think the part of Laddâ€™s appeal is that heâ€™s safe, his downside is as a character forward who can play on the third line. Ladd is so well rounded that he could conceivably see action next year. Columbus knows for sure that they will get a player in Ladd, thatâ€™s why heâ€™s slated this high. 5. Phoenix Coyotes â€“ Marek Schwarz â€“ G â€“ 6â€™0â€ 180lbs â€“ The only bad thing about Schwarz in international play was the dye <A TITLE="Click for more information about job" STYLE="text-decoration: none; border-bottom: medium solid green;" HREF="http://search.targetwords.com/u.search?x=5977|1||||job|AA1VDw">job</A> he was sporting. He was named best goalie at the WU18. Marek Schwarz is the most flamboyant goalie to enter the draft in a long time. He is the quickest and most limber prospect in recent memory, better than Lehtonen or Fleury. He moves around the crease very well with great speed. Heâ€™s got the ability to flat out rob someone, or make them think about changing their shot because of him. Those are the positives, positives which create the potential for Schwarz to become a game changing player. The big negative is that heâ€™s as raw as your average sushi bar. He wonâ€™t be able to tease NHLers the way he can in his homeland and thatâ€™s going to be a big adjustment. He wonâ€™t be able save himself when heâ€™s out of position as easily because NHL players can usually find the open man or the corner of the net. Heâ€™ll need to learn to conserve his movement and improve his positioning. Iâ€™m not a big fan of taking goalies this high, but changing attitudes mean that burning a top five pick is necessary to get a keeper with this kind of potential. 6. New York Rangers â€“ Lauri Tukonen â€“ RW â€“ 6â€™2â€ 200lbs â€“ The Rangers could use a Finn like this as much as anyone in the league. Tukonen is a big, hardworking kid, who has enough talent to play on any line. His best asset is the way he can control possession, in what little footage I could get of Tukonen it was apparent that he was excellent at shielding the puck from defenders. Tukonen has much better stick skills than most players his size. Tukonen should round into a very versatile player who can help others create offense by maintaining puck possession and creating space. Heâ€™s a physical player, but word has it that he needs to show some more ferocity in his own zone. Tukonen doesnâ€™t have the skill set to become physically dominant in the NHL, but he will be able to use his size to enhance his considerable skills. 7. Florida Panthers - Rostislav Olesz â€“ C â€“ 6â€™1â€ 200lbs â€“ The Panthers are building an absolutely ridiculous prospect base and Olesz would certainly not be out of place on it. Florida has been criticized for choosing too many Europeans, but Olesz is not the run of the mill European prospect. Olesz is big enough to get the job done right now, and could put another few pounds on his frame. Heâ€™s skilled and smart enough to pivot a top line and given linemates who can bury it, he could be a big point producer. If Olesz can polish off his game in his own zone, he could become a major pain to deal with. I think a lot of scouts discount Olesz because thereâ€™s nothing about his game that jumps out and demands attention, but Olesz earns his keep with his wits not by winning skills competitions. None of the typical concerns about Czech and Euro players applies to Olesz, heâ€™s big, responsible, and willing to do the little things. The Panthers need some glue and Olesz is that kind of kid. 8. Carolina Hurricanes â€“ Alexander Radulov â€“ RW â€“ 6â€™1â€ 178lbs â€“ I donâ€™t understand why Radulov has fallen on so many draft lists, his potential is so great. Scouts are very divided on Radulov, Redline Report has him at #4 but heâ€™s THNâ€™s #13 and McKeenâ€™s is not very complimentary. His assets are unquestionable and reminiscent of so many other Russian forwards. Radulov has arguably the best hands in the entire draft class. He is a master of stick work, an attribute that makes him baffling 1 on 1. What sets him apart is that this classic Russian skill set is accompanied by solid vision and a willingness to be a playmaker. Like most young Russian forwards he is inconsistent physically and relies heavily on individual skills. He also has a penchant for taking unnecessary and untimely penalties, he had over 100 PIM but word has it that most of them were â€œheadcaseâ€ penalties. The team that drafts Radulov is going to draft him for one reasonâ€”offenseâ€”the fact that he isnâ€™t going to play on the PK unit is irrelevant. Carolina is a team desperate for scoring, especially since Francis is done and Brindâ€™amour has precious few years left. I am intrigued by the possibility of a line with Staal and Radulov on it. 9. Anaheim Mighty Ducks â€“ A.J. Thelen â€“ D â€“ 6â€™3â€ 205lbs â€“ Thelen has been an offensive defensemen par excellance for Michigan State as a seventeen year old, where he posted 11-18-29-46 in 42 games. Just in case youâ€™re keeping score thatâ€™s 2 points less than Ryan Kesler had as a first round forward from the CCHA last year. His NHL role will be as a powerplay quarterback. He is an extremely good passer and has a heavy but erratic shot. Heâ€™s shown a very good ability to spark the rush. These attributes are even more special because Thelen is big with room to grow. If he can develop a physical side to his game and deliver punishment from time to time, he could be a dominant force. While no one is calling Thelen soft, he does not exhibit the kind of nastiness that one would expect from a guy that size. He also needs to refine his defensive game in order to maximize his potential, he has shown some weakness in his own zone and is definitely not a defensive stopper. If he comes together he could become an Ed Jovanovski type player who can start the rush, punish his man, but also pose some defensive liabilities. 10. Atlanta Thrashers â€“ Drew Stafford â€“ RW â€“ 6â€™2â€ 200 â€“ Drew Stafford is a strange blend of power, skill, and character. The big question is how much offense can he contribute in the NHL? Heâ€™s a good skater, especially for a prospect playing at over 200lbs. Stafford already has an NHL work ethic. Heâ€™s solid on the puck and has shown a willingness to go hard to the net. He should be able to add a bit of weight, which will increase the likelihood that he will be able to operate down low in the NHL. Stafford could develop into the kind of player who will go into the corners and win possession and have sufficient skill to stay with flashier players (like Kovalchuk perhaps?). Every line needs a player who can with those battles, and I think that will give Stafford a place in the top six. His entire family is in hockey, his father played for Milwaukee and his uncle is equipment manager for the Oilers, so he should be prepared for all of the changes that come with ascending to the pros. 11. Los Angeles Kings â€“ Al Montoya â€“ G â€“ 6â€™1â€ 190 â€“ Montoya appears at #11 under protest. Personally I do not like Montoyaâ€™s game, but I canâ€™t deny that heâ€™s very well regarded and LA has been looking for goaltending prospects. I understand that Montoya has been simply dominant for Michigan (26-12-2 2.23) and led the US to a WJC win (he was 6-0 1.33). The production is obvious. Those who like Montoya tout his athleticism and point to significant improvements in positioning, technique, and poise. No one can doubt that Montoya is very good at closing off shots down low. I would argue that Montoya still has a long way to go before he is NHL ready. He has a nasty habit of being the aggressor and making an early commitment. That may have been fine in the CCHA, but in the NHL players have the stickhandling ability to take advantage of that and score easy goals. On top of that Iâ€™ve seen Montoya abandon good technique and positioning in a scramble. You cannot have a glaring weakness as an NHL goalie and at this point Montoya has that. He has come a long way, but thereâ€™s still a lot of work to be done. 12. Minnesota Wild â€“ Robbie Schremp â€“ C â€“ 5â€™11â€ 197 â€“ Schremp took a tumble in many peopleâ€™s eyes after demanding an exodus from Mississauga and having an awkward transition into London. However, the skills that made him the first overall selection in the OHL draft and put him in the top five on a lot of early lists are still there. Schremp is very slick with the puck on his stick and can make plays quickly. Schremp can score just as well as he can set the table for other players, employing a very accurate wrister. His talents are undeniable, and he has the potential to be a very consistent offensive threat. A team whose scouts are willing to look past the considerable personality concerns may even take Schremp earlier than this, but the general consensus (and my personal feeling) is that Schremp has devalued himself with his off-ice actions. Schremp is the real wildcard of the draft, he could go top five or slip way down into the twenties. Patrick Oâ€™Sullivan made a lot of teams look foolish last year, and Schremp has the potential to do the same if scouts get gun shy and allow him to slip. 13. Buffalo Sabres â€“ Ladislav Smid â€“ D â€“ 6â€™3â€ 202lbs â€“ Buffalo has great depth among their forward and goaltending prospects, so I expect that they will choose a blueliner with this selection. Smid is the best available defensemen because of his versatile game. He can be used on the powerplay and will provide better than average coverage in his own zone. Smid sees the ice very well and makes smart plays with the puck. He has the potential to be a steadying force that goaltenders can rely on to keep them out of trouble. He is very good with the puck on his stick and a top-notch passer. Smid needs to take the initiative a little more and lay a hit on someone. He can be somewhat passive for a prospect his size. If he can develop a physical aspect to his game and clean up his stride a little, he will find his way into a top 3. 14. Edmonton Oilers â€“ Wojtek Wolski â€“ LW â€“ 6â€™3â€ 200 â€“ Polish born and Ontario raised, Wolski (pronounced Vol-ski) is a budding star. Wolski has a bevy of talents, but he is as raw as any player in the draft. Wolski finished second in the puck control drill at the CHL Top Prospects Game skills competition. He is a very good skater and much more agile than most guys his size. His skating was dominating in the OHL this season and is above average for the NHL. He has good hands, scoring 29-41-70 on a subpar Brampton squad. For those keeping score, thatâ€™s 2 more points than Nathan Horton (last yearâ€™s 3rd overall) and only 2 shy of Rick Nashâ€™s total, both similarly sized OHL prospects. Wolski was ranked higher coming to last season. His progress has been limited by the fact that he has not played up to his considerable size. He will probably be asked to be a powerforward in the NHL, but he has not shown a great deal of physicality. He may have also been frustrated by the lack of talent surrounding him in Brampton. Wolski has a lot of work to do in the weight room before he will be ready to assume that mantle in the NHL, but if everything comes together this kid could be special. 15. Nashville Predators â€“ Kyle Chipchura â€“ C â€“ 6â€™2â€ 197lbs â€“ Chipchura is exactly what Nashville needs, a big steady center who can do all the little things. Chipchura is not dazzling or creative with the puck. What he is versatile. Chipchura could become a Mike Peca or a John Madden. He will be counted on to take key defensive shifts against top scorers. He will be asked to kill penalties. He will be called on to take faceoffs in the defensive zone. Every great team needs a player who can be called on in those situations and Chipchura looks like hr fits the bill. Chipchura has a lot of character and leadership traits that should land a letter on his sweater. The downside is that he only scored 48 points for Prince Albert and he isnâ€™t expected to develop a scoring touch as he matures. 16. New York Islanders - Alexandre Picard â€“ LW â€“ 6â€™2â€ 190lbs â€“ Picard is a scoring threat off the wing, a real sniper. Picard is a good skater, he isnâ€™t pretty, but he gets from A to B quickly. He has solid hands, especially when it comes to getting a quick and accurate shot off. Picard is more of a scorer than a playmaker, as evidenced by his 39-41-80 with Lewiston in the Q. He has good size at 6â€™2â€, he could probably add some weight without slowing down. Picard has shown a willingness to use his size to gain good position, but I donâ€™t see him having a real power game in the NHL. QMJHL players often need a lot of work in their own end before they are effective in the NHL, and Picard is no exception. That shouldnâ€™t stop Picard from becoming an effective weapon in the offensive zone. 17. St. Louis Blues â€“ Andrej Meszaros â€“ D â€“ 6â€™0 198lbs â€“ Meszaros impressed a lot of people when he suited up for Slovakia at the World Championships against pros. Earning a roster spot on a good Slovakian squad was quite an accomplishment for an 18 year old kid. Meszarosâ€™ skills are tremendous. He is a great puckhandler and passer. Meszaros is somewhat reminiscent of Jordan Leopold in his draft year, only Leopold had fewer detractors. Meszaros has picked up a number of critics who fear that his skilled finesse game is not well suited for the NHL. His future coach might also need to avoid matchup problems or hide his weaknesses by pairing him with a physical net clearer. It may take him quite a while to get acclimated to the smaller ice surface and his lack of size wonâ€™t help. If he can improve his coverage skills and gain some size, he could develop into a smart defenseman who can significantly impact special teams play. 18. Montreal Canadiens - Boris Valabik â€“ D â€“ 6â€™7â€ 210lbs â€“ Valabik will be drafted because of his Charaesque size. His 6â€™7â€ inch frame provides a huge platform to gain weight and become a dominant force, much like his fellow Slovak. At times Valabik has been that kind of nasty crease clearing force in Kitchener, that makes sure that opposition forwards canâ€™t hang in the crease and that the goalie isnâ€™t screened. His height obviously gives him a great wingspan that will pose a challenge for forwards trying to get around him. There are very big concerns about his skating. His mobility ranges from average to terrible and it may prevent him from ever playing in the NHL. Valabik should line up for every skating clinic in Canada is in the next few years, his skating can be that bad. Valabik left Slovakia for Kitchener, Ontario last season, a demonstration of his desire to play pro hockey in North America, hopefully this desire will help him fix his stride. Valabik is a one dimensional player. He must be a dominating physical presence every shift for him to be valuable to his team. He must make forwards fear him. Valabik has major bust potential, but guys this big donâ€™t come along every day. 19. Calgary Flames â€“ Lauri Korpikoski â€“ LW â€“ 6â€™1â€ 185lbs â€“ Korpikoski is exactly what this Flames team needs. He has all of the traits that have made the Flames great, but he has added scoring potential. Korpikoski has game breaking speed, something the Flames covet. His skating prowess is not limited to top end speed, he also has excellent acceleration and change of direction skills. He is also very good with the puck, although scouts do not tout his finishing ability. He should be able to develop his speed into a weapon that will create open ice for his teammates and easy chances for himself. Korpikoski put up 5-6-11-12 in 6 games at the WU18 tying him with fellow top prospects Lauri Tukonen, Petteri Nokelainen, and Roman Voloshenko. Korpikoski could become a fairly physical player and a great weapon on the forecheck with his speed. Redline Report--who usually overvalues quick Europeans--made Korpikoski their #10 prospect overall, I think that was a bit much but he certainly deserves to be chosen in the first round. 20. Dallas Stars â€“ Mike Green â€“ D â€“ 6â€™1â€ 195lbs â€“ Mike Green has been underrated all season long. Itâ€™s time for scouts to give him his due and make him a first round pick. Part of the reason it was tough for Green to get his due was because he played on a horrible Saskatoon squad. His 39 points in 59 games made the defenseman the ppg leader, -29 may look awful but it isnâ€™t due to any defensive deficiencies on Greenâ€™s part. He was the teamâ€™s captain and MVP. Green shows off a very well rounded game, with offensive skills and a bit of a mean streak. He will not be a physical presence in the NHL at 6â€™1â€ and under 200lbs. Green had the fastest lap at the CHL Top Prospects Game skills competition. Green is a very good passer and will probably become a very valuable asset on the powerplay. It should be noted that Green has almost a year on most of the prospects in this draft. There isnâ€™t a lot to talk about with Green because he has no glaring weaknesses and does not have standout skills. Given some time, he should round into a reliable top 4 guy. 21. Colorado Avalanche â€“ Dave Bolland â€“ C â€“ 5â€™11â€ 171lbs â€“ Dave Bolland is a bit of a terrier, small, skilled, and smart with attitude to spare. He loves to use his quickness to barrel into places where a guy his size doesnâ€™t belong, an admirable habit that he may have to break at the NHL level. However, his tenacity should become quite an asset on the forecheck in his pro career. He has a very quick first few steps, placing at the CHL Top Prospects Game skills competition. Bolland is extremely intelligent and his ability to make plays with his head is what will earn his paychecks in the NHL. Bolland should shape into a nice two-way centreman. He has a nice little array of shots, finding the nets 37 times this past season for London. He knows his way around his own zone. Bolland has even taken shifts on the penalty kill. The only drawback is that he doesnâ€™t have an extra gear at the top end. 22. New Jersey Devils â€“ Travis Zajac â€“ C â€“ 6â€™2â€ 205lbs â€“ The Devils love finding the darkhorse, and Zajac is just that. Zajac spent the season with Salmon Arm of the BCHL, away from the eyes of many scouts. By the end of the year, Zajac had earned 112 points and conference MVP honors, not to mention the respect of many scouts. Some still worry that Zajac is not the real thing because he hasnâ€™t played against other top prospects, but heâ€™s headed for NCAA Champion North Dakota where he should get proper seasoning (the Devils may find this comforting as they like to let their prospects have long apprenticeships and he can be kept under the care of the NCAA for four years). Zajac has very good hockey sense and knows how to put himself and others into good position. If he can use his size better he will be much better off. Zajac is a long term investment who will require a lot of work, but the potential is there. 23. Ottawa Senators â€“ Devan Dubnyk â€“ G â€“ 6â€™5â€ or 6â€™6â€ 195lbs â€“ Dubnyk is going to be a first rounder because of his size. Dubnyk relies on playing a responsible game, staying in position, and using his size to take away space. Dubnyk does not offer much to shoot at, even when he goes down. He does not posses great quickness or agility, although for a kid his size itâ€™s definitely not a major weakness. Dubnyk should be able to realize his weaknesses and maintain a very aware and disciplined style that will help him utilize his excellent size. It might take Dubnyk a bit of time to develop as a pro because he will have to play so intelligently, but much like Sean Burke he should find his niche and produce very nicely. Dubnyk was the WHL scholastic player of the year and has shown very good leadership qualities in Kamloops. Dubnyk is the type of goaltender who could really assume the mantle of captain of the defense. 24. New York Rangers (via Toronto) â€“ Petteri Nokelainen â€“ C â€“ 6â€™1â€ 190lbs â€“ Nokelainen is the consummate two-way forward. Itâ€™s his responsible play that earned him a roster spot in the SM-Liiga with bottom dwelling SaiPa Lappeenranta (sorry, I just love saying Lappeenranta). Nokelainen has the skills to chip in some scoring. He had 11 points in the WU18 playing with Tukonen and Korpikoski and went 4-4-8 in 40 league games. What will make Nokelainen an NHL contributor is his ability in his own zone and on the penalty kill. He brings the kind of responsible, hardworking, and high character game that teams like the Rangers have been missing for years. 25. Edmonton Oilers (via Philadelphia) â€“ Enver Lisin â€“ RW â€“ 6â€™2â€ 190 â€“ Enver Lisin never sees anyone else on the ice. On the bright side, he makes defensemen irrelevant. On the down side, he is at a loss when it comes to involving his teammates in the play. He is an absolutely fabulous skater. He also has a scoring touch scoring 9 goals in the Russian first division. He has shown the ability to find himself a little hole and get a quick wrist shot off. However, his WU18 produced only 1 goal in six games and he took 12 PIMs. If I were the team drafting Lisin, I would try to get him to North America as soon as possible, because he has a lot to learn about the game as played on this continent. So many of the same skills and problems are coming together to be a pretty ok package in Oleg Saprykin. I worry a lot about his ability to read the game. He can find ways to score, but the North American game is about so much more than â€œmeâ€ and many Russians have failed to understand that. 26. Vancouver Canucks â€“ Roman Voloshenko â€“ LW â€“ 6â€™1â€ 190lbs â€“ How can a player from Belarus be so different from his Russian counterparts? Voloshenko is a really intelligent player who likes to use his teammates. He had an outstanding WU18 tournament where he outshined Alexander Radulov, his linemate. His skating is a known issue that every single scout who sees him talks about. I think his lack of skating will hurt his ability to become a scorer in the NHL, but I donâ€™t think it will harm his playmaking (I can run a laundry list of sub-par skaters who have become effective playmakers). He showed his ability to make slick passes when he was combined with talented players in international competition and came away with 11 points. He will maintain the ability to score if the puck finds its way to his stick, but his role in the NHL will be to compliment other players. 27. Washington Capitals (via Boston) â€“ Wes Oâ€™Neill â€“ D â€“ 6â€™4â€ 200lbs â€“ When you have three top picks you can afford to take some risks. Oâ€™Neill is a big rugged kid who should be physically dominant, but hasnâ€™t shown all thatâ€™s he capable of. He has the size to be a really nice asset in front of the net. In order to realize that potential he needs to show more initiative making contact. He moves very well for a bigger player and should be using that speed to throw his body around more. He showed an offensive upside and boasts a very good shot. In all fairness he should go much higher than this, but I worry about his ability to put it all together, play his game with confidence, and dominate. Thatâ€™s why heâ€™s a risk. 28. San Jose Sharks â€“ Lukas Kaspar â€“ RW â€“ 6â€™2â€ 200lbs â€“ Kaspar is a big forward who likes to bounce around the ice like a little guy. He earned a lot of respect by playing with the big boys, both in the WJC and in the Czech Extraleague. He tallied 3 assists in the WJC and 6 points against grown men for Litvinov and was averaging over a point per game last year in junior. Heâ€™s got a decent scoring touch, which could translate into some good results in the top league in the world. He needs to learn to use his size better. If he can operate down low and in the corners, he could be a really special player. 29. Washington Capitals (via Detroit) â€“ Kirill Lyamin â€“ D â€“ 6â€™3â€ 200lbs â€“ Lyamin isnâ€™t about to become a number one defenseman. What he will do is bri a solid game night after night, providing consistent coverage that will earn him top four status. Heâ€™s so responsible and developed that he took shifts with the RSLâ€™s legendary Central Army squad. Lyamin is mobile and witty with the stick in coverage. Heâ€™s very tough to get around clearly. He could stand to get bigger, at 6â€™3â€ he should play at around 220lbs. He could also be a more consistent checker. He reminds me a lot of Fedor Tjutin, in that he just does smart things all the time. I would not expect him to be a regular contributor offensively, but with time he should start moving the puck out of the zone better. 30. Tampa Bay Lightning â€“ David Shantz â€“ G â€“ 6â€™1â€ 200lbs â€“ Tampa is desperate for a goaltending prospect, they may try to trade up to get a shot at one of the top 3, but if not they will be looking at Shantz and Schneider. Shantz really distinguished himself in the OHL playoffs where he had the best GAA (2.03) and SV% (.933) in the tournament despite being left alone for most of a sweep at the hand of the Guelph Storm. Shantz has progressed as much as player in the draft class over the course of the season. Shantz has good agility and movement in the crease. Shantz has shown good judgment and leadership.