This is where I think each player will go in the first round, why I think they will go there, and a brief paragraph to highlight what I think the player can do for each team. Also, the reason this is in the prospect board is because of my opinions on the players themselves and my mention of their skillset and potential for their teams to encourage discussion. Thanks! Edmonton Oilers - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins There's no questioning his talent. The biggest question that has been raised about him is his ability to handle the size, speed and physicality of the NHL due to his lackluster even-strength scoring and protected minutes. One of the boom/bust players at the top end of the draft that has a very good chance of 'booming.' Vision, passing, shooting, skating and defence, he brings it all to the table and even though I don't think that he should step in right away, in a few years he has the potential to be a real force for the Oilers especially playing with Hall. Colorado Avalanche - Adam Larsson Although I personally believe that Hamilton will be the best defender out of this draft, it is very hard for anyone to pass on such a talented young defender playing with men. His stats took a dip this year due to the emergence of other, older talent on the team, but he still showed the same flashes of brilliance that have him hyped as a potential franchise defenceman. He will really enhance the Colorado blueline with his smart decision making and excellent all-around abilities to go with his size. Their defence could look very scary in a few years when Johnson finds his stride. Florida Panthers - Sean Couturier In an organization that needs everything you just go with the best option available and at this point it's Couturier without question. I know that he's taken a dive in a lot of rankings, but the reality is that this is a 6'4 centre with great vision, decent hands, an amazing two way game and he led the Q in scoring the year before his draft eligibility. On top of this he improved on last year's stats and leads all draft eligible players in PPG -- what's interesting to note is he did this all while affected by mono (and he still made the WJC team, and was pretty much the only good player on his Q team.) With that in mind he could be the building block that Florida needs to actually re-build their team. I can see him being Florida's Eric Staal. New Jersey Devils - Ryan Murphy What is there to say about this guy that Don Cherry hasn't already said for me? But really, such a great, dynamic talent. He is smart with the puck, his skating is probably the best in the draft class, and he just seems to have all-world offensive instincts. He could really be the steal of the draft at this point and he has the ability to really turn heads like a modern-day Bobby Orr. Really impressive at the U-18 tournament setting records and looking, easily, like the best player on the team. He'll bring some much needed dynamic offensive abilities to the New Jersey blueline. New York Islanders - Dougie Hamilton The Islanders have some good up and coming options at forward, and with Dougie Hamilton still available it's almost a no-brainer. He's big, offensively talented, very good defensively, smart and is a great skater. He's drawn comparisons to Pietrangelo (probably more for his team and size than actual playstyle) but being better defensively, more physical, but less talented offensively. Whether or not his offence translates to the NHL he's going to be a solid defender and is my pick for being the most likely to end up as a franchise defenceman. He's so smart with the puck, a great skater, with so much ability and will really become a force on the Islanders' blueline. I'm a believer in his offence as most of it can be attributed to just being smart with the puck and making the right decisions (as well as good offensive instincts.) 40 - 50 points a year while being one of the better defenders in the league is what I can see in his future the Islanders will be very happy. Ottawa Senators - Gabriel Landeskog The next Richards/Alfie/Iginla/Morrow etc. etc. etc. Yes, he's drawn comparisons to a lot of players (accurate or not), and it's no secret that Ottawa is very interested in him. He brings a lot of talent to the table in his hard-nosed style of play, leadership, character, goal scoring, skating, and defensive reliability. I think what separates him from guys like Morrow, Fisher (lol) and Richards is that he has much better skating mobility and he has very good hockey sense (different things for different players.) Ultimately I think he can be the future face of the Ottawa franchise if he develops as expected, and can be relied upon for 30 - 40 goals and 70 - 80 points annually playing with Spezza in the future. I think with his work ethic and character he will exceed the predictions for his offensive capabilities and provide the glue with which Ottawa can move forward. Atlanta Thrashers - Ryan Strome People have heard me talk about Strome for a while now, but it's hard to deny his natural offensive capabilities. Atlanta has a decent blueline, but could use more firepower up front and definitely at centre. Strome brings a centre with dynamic offensive instincts, good skating, and a great slapper (he can play the point on the PP if needed.) He has a lot of potential and might allow for Little to take the wing again, as a Kane - Strome - Little line could be catastrophic for opposing teams in the future. Columbus Blue Jackets - Jonathan Huberdeau Even though Columbus constantly cites a weak centre line-up, in the future they could be rocking Johansen - Brassard - Vermette which is fairly solid in my opinion. Huberdeau is a great offensive talent that can play centre or wing and also brings a gritty two-way game to the table, but I think will be better suited to the wing in the NHL. This pick is just a matter of best asset, and if Huberdeau and Johansen meet their potential a top line of Nash - Johansen - Huberdeau with a supporting case including, but not limited to, Vermette, Voracek, Brassard, etc. can be pretty scary to think about. Boston Bruins via. Toronto - Duncan Siemens I'm not a huge Bruins fan, so I don't know too much about their organizational depth, but I would imagine with Seguin coming up, Marchand, Bergeron, Lucic, Horton, Thomas and Rask I would assume that they would prefer a defenceman out of this draft. Siemens is viewed the best available one at this juncture, although I'm sure that Boston would prefer a young puck-moving D as Kaberle has largely been a bust so far since joining the Bruins. I wouldn't rule out Beaulieu as an option. Minnesota Wild - Joel Armia The Finnish connection. Really Minnesota needs help everywhere, but it will be hard for them to pass on this big, offensive winger with a sniper's shot and decent hands. If he develops properly he can really be a force as he has the size and talent to put up some good numbers in the NHL. Colorado Avalanche via. St. Louis - Sven Bartschi There's no question that Colorado needs help on the wing, and they get that with this talented scoring winger. A little on the small side, he makes up for it with his intense play and scoring touch. Should be a top 6 option for Colorado in the future. Carolina Hurricanes - Jamie Oleksiak A bit head of his projected ranking, but there's no question that Carolina needs some help on their blueline. I've heard comparisons to Chara, mostly because his size I'd wager, but there's a lot of talent there in that big body and he can become a premier shut-down defenceman in the NHL and the go-to option (currently) for Carolina to really help out in front of Ward (who faced the most shots in the NHL this year.) Look for him to make a big (lol) impact for this team in the future. Calgary Flames - Nathan Beaulieu From what I understand Calgary has organizational needs pretty much everywhere. I've not seen that much of Beaulieu (I focused more on Huberdeau during their games), but he's a very talented defenceman that many believe is the real cog that makes the Saint John team work. Whether or not that is true, Calgary will be picking up a very talented young defenceman that will just be one of the many pieces they need to move forward with the organization. Dallas Stars - Mark McNeill They're going to be needing a top level centre with Brad Richards on the way out, and I suspect that with Richards leaving they're probably going to be lower next year. McNeill brings a lot to the table with a physical two way game, goal scoring and vision. His skating could use improvement (mobility), but he's already improved this year from the last and should continue to improve. He's also capable of dropping the gloves and really hammering his dance-partners. He'll be a welcome addition to the Dallas line-up while Ribiero takes over the 1st line C role (at least for the foreseeable future.) New York Rangers - Nicklas Jensen A bigish, talented winger that can really put the puck in the net. It's something that they need (defensively they are ok, and Lundqvist is amazing.) He'll be able to bring some much needed dynamite to their offence and can hopefully find some chemistry on that team to aid him in his goalscoring. Buffalo Sabres - Rocco Grimaldi I know that he's a risk with his size, but they have Gerbe as a testament to not worrying too much about that. Grimaldi has a very good chance of becoming an elite level talent in the NHL if he can get over the size discrepancies with the rest of the league, and I for one think he can do it. Too much talent for one team to not take a chance on him, and I think that Buffalo would be the right fit. Montreal Canadiens - Mika Zibanejad I've heard them drooling at the prospect of landing this prospect this year, and much to my dismay I can see it happening. It's hard to say what his upside is, but I would place him as a very good 2nd line centre with a lot of grit, power, defensive ability, a big motor (as MoO would say) and some offensive upside. He's a gem in the rough with a lot of potential and Montreal will be lucky to grab him this far in. Chicago Blackhawks - Brandon Saad If anyone can get the 'enigmatic' Saad to play to his potential it's probably Toews. Chicago already has a fairly good all-around team, and this is just a best potential pick. Saad has all the tools, but seems to lack the motivation to really put it together. He can score, pass, and he's big. If he can be taught to be disciplined, hard-working and physical he could really be turned into a solid top 6 player. Los Angeles Kings - Matthew Puempel I can't see Puempel dropping any further as he brings size, grit and scoring touch to the wing and with LA being so set down the middle and on the blueline (as well as in goal) he seems like their best option this far down. He could really turn into a gem for them with his natural goal scoring ability and work ethic. The injury could be a set-back but I can't see them not taking a chance with Puempel's potential. Phoenix Coyotes - Tyler Biggs There are questions about whether Biggs is just going to be a solid third liner, or if he actually has the potential to be a top 6 player. Assuming Doan stays and Phoenix is saved (lawl) I think Doan would be the guy for Biggs to study under. He needs to get a little bit more discipline, but he has the ability to use that big body with physicality and good defensive play to really excel at the NHL level. He just needs to add scoring and offensive touches to his game. Ottawa Senators via. Nashville - Boone Jenner I think Jenner is being sold a little bit short, but he's really a guy that can be the total package for a team. He's hard working, strong, big-ish with decent skating, he's got vision and scoring touch, good defensive instincts, and he's a real leader. He's young, too, and I think his work ethic and character could lead him to have potential that exceeds what people are expecting of him. With a little bit of luck I can see him emerging as a good 2nd line centre, or an elite level 3rd line centre in the future. Anaheim Ducks - Viktor Rask He was supposed to be a top level talent coming into this year, and his draft stock took a hit with his lack-luster season. He is making an effort to come back from that with his showing in the U-18 tournament where he put his skills on display successfully. He's a good option that, if he pans out, can step in as a 2nd line centre to give the Ducks some much needed offensive depth. Toronto Maple Leafs via. Boston - Mark Scheifele I don't like Toronto, but they're getting a good centre at this position. He really made a name for himself with the season he's had and the impressive showing at the U-18 tournament (one of Canada's best players.) He also fits the 'Burkian' mold I guess, being a big, strong guy that has solid two way play. I can see him becoming a Paul Stastny (maybe less talented) type player which would be gold for Toronto. Detroit Red Wings - Oscar Klefbom With Lidstrom on his way out I can see them taking a chance on someone that has been moving up the rankings fairly consistently. He had a really good showing at the U-18s, and if Detroit is lucky they might be able to develop him into another premier Swedish defenceman for what is quickly becoming an aging team. Pittsburgh Penguins - Ty Rattie They're already such a strong team, and so deep down the middle. Ty Rattie brings the potential to be an elite level winger which is something that Pittsburgh lacks (I don't consider Neal elite.) He's fast, good on his skates and has a great scoring touch. I think a bit of the wind was taken out of his sails with the additions to his team (Johansen, Niederreiter), but it's hard to doubt the talent that he possesses. Tampa Bay Lightning - Jonas Brodin I don't know too much about Brodin, but Tampa could use the help for their defensive corps and as far as I can tell Brodin is a pretty highly ranked defensive prospect. Vancouver Canucks - Zack Phillips Such a deep team it's really hard to pinpoint what they'd want. Phillips can be used on the wing or as a centre, and he has top 6 potential with his vision, scoring ability and passing. It could be some time before he really cracks the Canuck line-up, but he may surprise some. San Jose Sharks - Joe Morrow A team this stacked offensively can use the help on the blue-line from the organization's stores (cheap and effective on ELCs.) I think Morrow is the best option at this point, and he has a good chance of winning the memorial cup with the strength of the team he supports which would raise his stock depending on his performance. At this point it's hard for me to pinpoint who would be the best option for San Jose as I've not had the opportunity to watch THAT many prospects. ----------------- Hope you all enjoyed this. I'll probably continue to do this and maybe do a comparison after the draft to my draft. =3 Also note I see Ottawa taking the following players with further picks: OTT 2nd - Tomas Jurco CHI 2nd - Michael St. Croix BOS 2nd - Jesse Forsberg I messed up the Toronto Philly Washington thing so I'll update that when I have time.