OTTAWA WELCOMES 2005 NHL DRAFT
1. Pittsburgh Penguins
- Needs: A new arena and a name player to succeed the aging Mario Lemieux. Centre is always a good place to start.
- Pick: Sidney Crosby, C, Rimouski (QMJHL).
2. Anaheim Mighty Ducks
- Needs: The Ducks have young forwards Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf and Joffrey Lupul, so they might opt for a blueliner.
- Pick: Jack Johnson, D, Team USA (development program).
3. Carolina Hurricanes
- Needs: The 'Canes need help on defence, but GM Jim Rutherford has indicated the club is not going to pass on a skilled forward.
- Pick: Benoit Pouliot, LW, Sudbury (OHL).
4. Minnesota Wild
- Needs: Everything. The Wild is still an organization that is building from the ground up and needs any talent it can get.
- Pick: Gilbert Brule, C, Vancouver (WHL).
5. Montreal Canadiens
- Needs: The Habs have always been accused of not drafting well, but they've got a sharp scouting staff and need help on defence.
- Pick: Marc Staal, D, Sudbury (OHL)
6. Columbus Blue Jackets
- Needs: Looking to move up. GM Doug MacLean and Anaheim GM Brian Burke go way back. Columbus could use help up front.
- Pick: Bobby Ryan, RW, Owen Sound (OHL)
7. Chicago Blackhawks
- Needs: The Blackhawks need help everywhere, but up front is the priority and don't be surprised if they go North American with this selection.
- Pick: Jack Skille, RW, Team USA (development program).
8. Atlanta Thrashers
- Needs: They have done a good job getting young prospects up front and in goal, but they could use help on defence.
- Pick: Ryan Parent, D, Guelph (OHL).
9. Ottawa Senators
- Pick: The Senators are thin on defensive prospects in the minor leagues. They'd love to get Staal, but might have to opt for a goaltender.
- Pick: Carey Price, G, Tri-City (WHL).
10. Vancouver Canucks
- Needs: The Canucks need an offensive forward and a defenceman with skills. They aren't likely to take a goalie after picking one last year.
- Pick: Anze Kopitar, C, Slovenia
11. Los Angeles Kings
- Needs: Another team that hopes Staal falls in this draft because they could use defence, but they'll still have plenty of good players to choose.
- Pick: Luc Bourdon, D, Val d'Or (QMJHL)
12. San Jose Sharks
- Needs: GM Doug Wilson has transformed the Sharks into a young team which has to use the draft well to get prospects.
- Pick: Alex Bourret, C, Lewiston (QMJHL).
13. Buffalo Sabres
- Needs: Another team that needs help everywhere, but particularly more skill if the NHL game does indeed open up.
- Pick: Guillaume Latendresse, RW, Drummondville (QMJHL)
14. Washington Capitals
- Needs: The Capitals have no goaltending, no defence, no forwards and virtually nobody signed. Other than that, they're fine.
- Pick: Ryan O'Marra, C, Erie (OHL).
15. New York Islanders
- Needs: After spending a lot of money on Alexei Yashin and Mike Peca, they need to surround them with some talent.
- Pick: Martin Hanzal, RW, Czech Republic
16. New York Rangers
- Needs: Hopefully, GM Glen Sather is ready to dig in his heels to help get his house back in order. Anybody will do.
- Pick: Niklas Bergfors, RW, Sweden
17. Phoenix Coyotes
- Needs: The Coyotes need to build a winner right away and could deal this pick. If they decide to keep it, they'll opt for skill.
- Pick: Marek Zagrapan, C, Chicoutimi (QMJHL)
18. Nashville Predators
- Needs: Coming off their first-ever playoff berth, the Preds must keep drafting well and building a good core into a contender.
- Pick: Brian Lee, D, Lincoln (U.S. high school)
19. Detroit Red Wings
- Needs: The Wings always repeat the best-player-available mantra, but you can't blame them because it's worked in the past.
- Pick: Risto Korhonen, D, Finland
20. Philadelphia Flyers
- Needs: The Flyers only have five blueliners in their system, so don't be surprised if they seek help on defence.
- Pick: Matt Lashof, D, Kitchener (OHL)
21. Toronto Maple Leafs
- Needs: The Leafs, who haven't drafted all that great of late, need pretty much everything. A goalie might work here.
- Pick: Tuuka Rask, G, Finland.
22. Boston Bruins
- Needs: Since they have nobody under contract, the Bruins could use help anywhere. They'd like to shore up their skill.
- Pick: Ryan Stoa, LW, Team USA (development program).
23. New Jersey Devils
- Needs: Building a team that tries to slow down opponents might not work anymore. Time to think offence.
- Pick: Radek Smolenak, LW, Kingston (OHL)
24. St. Louis Blues
- Needs: Really need to build up their offensive prospects. Since the Blues picked G Marek Schwarz last year, they will stay away from that area.
- Pick: Chris Durand, C, Seattle (WHL)
25. Edmonton Oilers
- Needs: The Oilers haven't selected this low in the draft since they came into the NHL in 1979. This will be a challenge.
- Pick: Kenndal McCardle, LW, Moose Jaw (WHL).
26. Calgary Flames
- Needs: Anything and everything, but keep in mind GM Darryl Sutter likes kids from Western Canada who compete hard.
- Pick: Dustin Kohn, D, Calgary (WHL)
27. Colorado Avalanche
- Needs: GM Pierre Lacroix has to start thinking about replacing someone like Peter Forsberg, so this pick could be available.
- Pick: Tomas Pospisil, RW, Czech Republic
28. Dallas Stars
- Needs: They could use help everywhere because the Stars always seem to be aging. Have to get younger in today's NHL.
- Pick: Sasha Pokoluk, D, Cornell (NCAA)
29. Florida Panthers
- Needs: GM Mike Keenan is badly trying to move up in the draft because the Cats need help right away to compete.
- Pick: Devin Setoguchi, RW, Saskatoon (WHL)
30. Tampa Bay Lightning
- Needs: The defending Stanley Cup champions are built around youth and speed. Some day, they're going to need to add goaltending.
- Pick: Ondrej Pavelec, G, Czech Republic.