I usually do three mock drafts per season, but I've been busy with school and what not so far this season, so I hadn't really had a chance to do one even though I love doing them. So here is my first one this year. I've got Wes O Neill opting in and Adam Pineault opting out, just what I think could and should happen. 1. Pittsburgh Penguins: Alexandre Ovechkin At this point in time, their isnâ€™t any doubt that Ovechkin is the number one overall pick, so this isnâ€™t exactly a hard one to dispute. Ovechkin teams up with Marc Andre Fleury, back to back number one overall picks and the future of the franchise. 2. Columbus Blue Jackets: Evgeni Malkin The Blue Jackets have two options here, Cam Barker or Evgeni Malkin. The lack of success from the Jackets WHL draftees so far in their franchise history leads to the fact they may shy away from Barker. And while the Jackets already have Rick Nash and Nikolazi Zherdev as dynamic goalscorers, the 2004 draft is top heavy with just that. Malkin is yet another big body who could line up with Rick Nash and make things incredibly difficult for opposing defenses who are already finding it tough bodying Nash alone. 3. Chicago Blackhawks: Rob Schremp A very tough call at this position. The Blackhawks are currently weak on defense, and they have shown a direct passion for drafting out of the WHL the past couple of years. These two facts could help the cause of Cam Barker. However, defense is currently such a strong point of the Blackhawk prospect system, with the likes of Brent Seabrook, Anton Babchuk, Michal Barinka, Lasse Kukkonen, James Wiesnewski, Duncan Keith. And with the recent trades of Steve Sullivan and Alexei Zhamnov, the Blackhawks forward crop has taken a hit. Tuumo Ruutu, Pavel Vorobiev, Igor Radulov amongst others do represent a strong core for the future, but Schremp has such a strong game breaking offensive ability, an ability that could immediately ignite the organization. The Blackhawks arenâ€™t one for drafting out of the OHL either, so this predicted selection doesnâ€™t come without itâ€™s questioning. 4. Washington Capitals: Cam Barker The Capitals have shown much love to the Western Hockey League over the past few years and currently, the defense core is just in shambles. Steve Eminger and Nolan Yonkman are solid, but they canâ€™t cure everything that ails the Caps. With much depth at forward, and with much depth at goaltending, it only makes sense for the Capitals to draft the best player available and the player who fits to their needs. 5. Carolina Hurricanes: Wojtech Wolski Wolski is a prime sniper prospect whoâ€™s had his ups and downs throughout his OHL career. Heâ€™s a big body who has top line potential and the Canes have no doubt seen a lot of him while scouting their current large crop of OHL prospects. Compliments Eric Staal beautifully for the future and gives them a potential big body scorer now that Jeff O Neill could possibly be packing his bags. 6. Atlanta Thrashers: Rostislav Olesz Olesz is a bit of a wildcard for the draft. Heâ€™s essentially this yearâ€™s Milan Michalek. A good overall winger whoâ€™s had questions about his potential offensively in the NHL. The Thrashers lack top end forward prospects, with only Jim Slater having a potential future on a scoring line. 7. New York Rangers: Drew Stafford Stafford is another big potential power forward for the Rangers, giving them a one two winger punch with the Huge Specimen. Heâ€™s got a lot of skill and once he puts it all together, Stafford could be a real good one. While the Rangers sure could use a top flight center prospect, none of the ones on the board really interest them. 8. Phoenix Coyotes: Lauri Tukonen The Yotes management under â€œThe Great Oneâ€ loves speed in their draft prospects. Tukonen is a speedy finish winger who brings a lot to the table. While there are a few solid WHL prospects on the table, the Yotes are definitely tempted by, Tukonen becomes their man. 9. Minnesota Wild: Alexandre Picard Picard is a hardworking winger out of the QMJHL. He brings a little bit of everything to the ice, and his offensive output has been solid thus far. The Wild have been all over with their draft picks, not really following any method. 10. Anaheim Mighty Ducks: Mike Green Mike Green is a slick skating, two way defenseman who seems to own varied opinions among the scouting world. I think he has a ton of potential and is one of my favourite players available for the draft. Anaheim could use a solid defenseman of his caliber and I think he could even go higher come draft day. 11. Edmonton Oilers: Marek Schwarz With the recent struggles the Oilers have had in terms of goaltending, one could think that maybe they could use an upgrade. Jeff Druin Deslauriers is a solid goaltending prospect, but heâ€™s not the type of player where you can â€œput all your eggs in one basketâ€. Prospect depth at the goaltending position is important, and Schwarz is an excellent prospect. 12. Florida Panthers: Wes O Neill Itâ€™s still undetermined on whether O Neill will opt into the draft or not. But as of now, Iâ€™m counting him as in. O Neill is a big defenseman whoâ€™s got a lot of potential once he can cure some consistency problems. With Bouwmeester and Krajicek, and now O Neill, the Panthers have a mighty fine defense to go with a solid future offense. 13. Buffalo Sabres: Dave Bolland Bolland is a guy whoâ€™s seen his star rise like none other over the course of this year. Heâ€™s come out of nowhere to star with the London Knights of the OHL. Heâ€™s a very good all around player whoâ€™s still yet to unlock some untapped offensive potential. The Sabres have shown a love towards the OHL in recent years, and have had some success there. 14. St. Louis Blues: Andrew Ladd Ladd is a guy who seems very high on a lot of lists, but Iâ€™m just not sure why. Heâ€™s never really struck me as anything special. Heâ€™s got a good goalscorerâ€™s touch, and heâ€™s a hardworking, grinding winger. It also seems kind of strange seeing the Blues drafting up at the 14th overall spot. 15. New York Islanders: Ladislav Smid The Islanders could use some help at every position in terms of prospect depth, with a rather weak system currently. Add in the fact that Robert Nilsson has had a disaster of a year so far. Smid is a good two way Czech defenseman, a big guy who gives the Islanders a solid defensive prospect, at which they currently lack. 16. Los Angeles Kings: Alvaro Montoya The Kings drafted Ryan Munce last year, but Montoya is at another level and gives the Kings a solid, potential franchise goaltender. Theyâ€™ve got a handful of prospects in the NCAA, so there is no doubt that theyâ€™ve seen a fair share of him. 17. Calgary Flames: Alexander Radulov Radulov is the real enigma of this draft year. He seems to have major inconsistency problems, but when heâ€™s on he has as much talent as anyone in this draft. Redline recently moved him up to number 3 on their draft chart, after a very solid showing for Russia at an international tournament. 18. Dallas Stars: Enver Lisin Lisin is a Russian speedster whoâ€™s got a very good goalscorerâ€™s ability. He has a high upside in the NHL because of his raw skills and speed. The Stars could use to take a gamble on a player like Lisin, and after taking Polak last year, maybe the Stars organization has decided to take a few risks. 19. Nashville Preadators: Kyle Chipchura Chipchura is an interesting character. Some seem to really love him and some really donâ€™t. Heâ€™s got a high skill level and a very good raw offensive ability. His finishing ability has been questioned though. His stats for this season arenâ€™t incredibly flattering either. But the Predators have a lot of different prospects, a very solid mix of depth and Chipchura would be a welcome addition to their organization. Plus they love their WHL guys. 20. Montreal Canadiens: Evan Mcgrath Mcgrath at this time last year was being considered a top 10 selection, with an outside shot at the top 5. With a solid Memorial Cup run, his draft status was soaring. However this season he hasnâ€™t really improved the way many had hoped. Heâ€™s a very skilled, slick skating centreman who is an interesting selection if you want to take a chance. Mcgrath fits nicely into the Habs prospect system. 21. New Jersey Devils: A.J. Thelen Thelen is a potential defensive stud, with very raw skills, being one of the youngest players in NCAA hockey. Heâ€™s got a solid skill set and heâ€™s a competitor defensively. Thelen has the potential to move up higher than this on draft day. With the success of Parise this year, the Devils head back the NCAA route. 22. Vancouver Canucks: Oscar Hedman Hedman is a solid two way defensive presence and gives the Canucks a prospect element they currently lack. Brian Burke is a big supporter of the BPA drafting method and Hedman could easily be considered this. Heâ€™s seen a rise in the rankings over the course of the season. 23. Boston Bruins: Jakub Sindel A premium sniper prospect, Sindel has the potential to be a big time NHL scorer if his progression goes as planned. The Bruins have seen disappoint from their current crop of NHL forward prospects, and drafting another one would be suffice. 24. Toronto Maple Leafs: David Booth David Booth is a powerful, talented winger with Michigan State. He adds an element to the Leafs prospect group that is currently absent. This is a pick that most likely wonâ€™t be Leaf property after March 9th however. 25. San Jose Sharks: Lukas Kaspar Kaspar is a talented Czech winger who has some size and skill. CSB rated him very high on their mid term ratings. The Sharks have a pretty good depth, with solid prospects of nearly every shape and or form. Kaspar has solid potential. 26. Tampa Bay Lightning: Devan Dubnyk Dubnyk is a big Western goaltender who gives the Lightning a potential franchise goaltender that should in theory be ready by the time The Bulin Wall is ready to hang them up. Every year, we think the Lightning are going to draft a franchise goaltender and every year they donâ€™t. I think this year and with this pick itâ€™s time. 27. Colorado Avalanche: Petr Pohl Pohl has a lot of offensive potential, and the Avalanche desperately lack the type of prospect who can possibly be a top line contributor in the future. Heâ€™s been very inconsistent, but the offensive talent is present. The Avalanche can afford to take a chance here. 28. Ottawa Senators: Bryan Bickell Alright, so maybe itâ€™s a bit clichÃ© that they draft the 67, but Bickell is a perfect compliment to the system. Heâ€™s a big, hard working forward whoâ€™s inconsistency offensively and physically leaves some to the imagination. If he can put it all together, he could be a very solid NHLâ€™er. 29. Edmonton Oilers (from Philadelphia Flyers): Bruce Graham Bruce Graham is a big, hulking centerman from the QMJHL who has seen his draft stock rise since the CHL top Prospects game where he put on a solid display. That performance made people sort of open up their eyes to his play. The Oilers are currently in a situation, where a big center with skill could be a great addition to the clubs future. 30. Washington Capitals (from Detroit Red Wings): Johannes Salmonsson Salmonsson is a solid two way winger out of Sweden. Heâ€™s got good puck skills, he works hard and his skill set is solid. Salmonsson is a solid pick for the Caps who are just simply stocking their organization with talent.