Randy Sportak's draft picks

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 11:15 AM ET

Let the speculation begin...

1. PITTSBURGH PENGUINS

SIDNEY CROSBY, C -- Were you expecting anyone else? A cornerstone player like this comes around once a decade, at best.

2. ANAHEIM MIGHTY DUCKS

JACK JOHNSON, D --Ducks have plenty of talent up front. Blueline stud would set them up nicely.

3. CAROLINA HURRICANES

BENOIT POULIOT, LW -- Like Carolina's 2004 top pick, Hitmen star Andrew Ladd, the Sudbury LW came from nowhere to become a star.

4. MINNESOTA WILD

BOBBY RYAN, RW -- The Wild is known for taking wild cards but this power forward is awesome.

5. MONTREAL CANADIENS

GILBERT BRULE, C --The top player from the WHL has potential to be a star if game opens up.

6. COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS

ANZE KOPITAR, C -- The Jackets, talented up front, could use a defenceman. But the big Slovak has all the tools and will be tough to pass up.

7. CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS

CAREY PRICE, G -- Tuomo Ruutu is the man up front and Cam Barker is the lynchpin defenceman, so they may as well grab a top goalie.

8. ATLANTA THRASHERS

RYAN PARENT, D -- Dany Heatley and Ilya Kovalchuk have the Thrashers set for a while up front. A top-notch defensive d-man is needed.

9. OTTAWA SENATORS

MARC STAAL, D -- Sens earn a huge break by being able to take the steady d-man.

10. VANCOUVER CANUCKS

ALEX BOURRET, C -- Skilled scorer also plays with an edge, collecting 172 PIM to go with 86 points.

11. LOS ANGELES KINGS

JACK SKILLE, RW -- Do need D but a physical, scoring winger is hard to pass up.

12. SAN JOSE SHARKS

LUC BOURDON, D -- Big, physical blueliner also has a decent offensive side to him.

13. BUFFALO SABRES

MARTIN HANZAL, RW -- A replacement for Miroslav Satan? Has speed and scoring touch.

14. WASHINGTON CAPITALS

GUILLAUME LATENDRESSE, RW -- Flashy RW is best player still available.

15. NEW YORK ISLANDERS

RYAN O'MARRA, C -- Sure, the Isles are deep up the middle but O'Marra adds depth.

16. NEW YORK RANGERS

NIKLAS BERGFORS, RW -- The top-rated Swede scored nearly a goal per game in junior.

17. PHOENIX COYOTES

TUUKKA RASK, G -- Future No.-1 goalie was outstanding at the world juniors for Finland.

18. NASHVILLE PREDATORS

MAREK ZAGRAPRAN, C -- Finesse player will be tantalizing for team that usually takes WHLers.

19. DETROIT RED WINGS

BRIAN LEE, D -- Offensive-minded defenceman from Minnesota has size but needs to fill out.

20. PHILADELPHIA FLYERS

MATT LASHOFF, D -- It's the right year for the Flyers to need a blueline.

21. TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS

JAKUB KINDL, D -- Excellent upside from 6-ft. 2-in defenceman who played in Kitchener.

22. BOSTON BRUINS

RYAN STOA, LW -- Consistency has been questioned but he has size and can score in tight.

23. NEW JERSEY DEVILS

DEVIN SETOGUCHI, RW -- The Devils aren't afraid of sub-6-ft. players as long as they score.

24. ST. LOUIS BLUES

ANDREW COGLIANO, C. Small but amazingly skilled, he lit up the junior-A ranks.

25. EDMONTON OILERS

KENNDAL MCCARDLE, LW -- McCardle got weak Moose Jaw into the playoffs.

26. CALGARY FLAMES

Chris Durand, C -- Durand, with character and a sound defensive game, screams Sutter player.

27. COLORADO AVALANCHE

DENIS ISTOMIN, C -- The top-rated European will be the only Russian taken in the first round.

28. DALLAS STARS

SASHA POKOLUK, D -- The 6-ft. 5-in., D from Quebec, plays at Cornell.

29. FLORIDA PANTHERS

Brendan Mikkelson, D -- D from St.Albert will help Mike Keenan put his stamp on the Panthers.

30. TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING

ONDREJ PAVELEC, G -- Stanley Cup champs need a goalie of the future.


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