The top 30: If it were up to us ...

DON BRENNAN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 1:33 PM ET

NEW YORK ISLANDERS

#1: John Tavares

Size 6-feet, 198 pounds

Position: Centre

Team: London, OHL

The Islanders get their franchise goal-scorer. The franchise needs a true stud forward and John Tavares is just that guy. With a strong group of young complementary forwards such as Kyle Okposo and Josh Bailey, they need an offensive catalyst, and he comes with a great touch, good hockey sense, a quick release and soft hands. His ability to take the game into his own hands and raise his game in the clutch is a rare commodity.

Style compares to: Mike Bossy

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING

#2: Victor Hedman

Size: 6-foot-6, 212 pounds

Position: Defence

Team: Modo, Swedish Elite League

Last year, the Bolts got their next franchise forward in Steven Stamkos. This year, they pick a defensive stud. Franchise defencemen such as Victor Hedman are a highly sought-after commodity in any draft year, this one being no exception. There is no reason to think that Hedman can't enter the NHL and immediately play more than 20 minutes a game. The '08-09 Swedish Elite League rookie of the year, Hedman is hands down the best D-man in the draft.

Style compares to: Jay Bouwmeester

COLORADO AVALANCHE

#3: Matt Duchene

Size: 5-foot-11, 200 pounds

Position: Centre

Team: Brampton, OHL

Colorado picks this talented centre to help fill Sakic's pending retirement. A dynamic puck-handler, he has excellent vision and understands the game very well. Matt is very dangerous when in tight. An intelligent player with excellent skills -- quick and elusive with the puck. Was selected as OHL Eastern Conference's top stickhandler and playmaker in the league's annual coaches poll.

Style compares to: Joe Sakic

ATLANTA THRASHERS

#4: Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson

Size: 6-foot-1, 201 pounds

Position: Left wing

Team: Timra, Swedish Elite League

The Thrashers drafted a defenceman with their first pick last year (Zach Bogosian third overall) so they are likely to take a forward this year. Thrashers GM Don Waddell will not pass on the opportunity to add more scoring up front and MPS would be our selection. Paajarvi loves to dangle and is arguably one of the most skilled players available in the draft. His ability to go from standing still to full speed is unparalleled.

Style compares to: Alexander Mogilny

LOS ANGELES KINGS

#5: Evander Kane

Size: 6-foot, 185 pounds

Position: Left wing

Team: Vancouver, WHL

Stacked with good defensive prospects, Kane will be a nice complement to a good group of skilled forwards. A highly skilled forward that scores and plays with an edge. He raised his stock at the world juniors and was a big member of the winning Canadian side. Upside is scary when you add the improvement of strength. Once he adds more strength and size, the sky is the limit.

Style compares to:Devin Setoguchi

PHOENIX COYOTES

#6: Dmitry Kulikov

Size: 6-foot, 183 pounds

Position: Defence

Team: Drummondville, QMJHL

The Coyotes need a top defensive prospect in their system and Kulikov would be the best player available at the position. Kulikov is an effortless skater who controls the pace of a game like a veteran. His skill level is high and he should mature into a strong offensive option from the back end at the NHL level.

Style compares to: Niklas Kronwall

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS

#7: Braydon Schenn

Size: 6-foot, 195 pounds

Position: Centre

Team: Brandon, WHL

Younger brother of Toronto defenceman Luke Schenn is a perfect combination of grit and skill,. He can play any role and play it well. Schenn possesses a style of game that suits the gritty play that Leafs general manager Brian Burke likes in his players. A gifted playmaker, Schenn is extremely hard on the puck and rarely loses battles for them. Great leadership traits that should translate well at the next level.

Style compares to: Doug Gilmour

DALLAS STARS

#8: Jared Cowen

Size: 6-foot-5, 220 pounds Position: Defence

Team: Spokane, WHL

Cowen has the potential to be a premier shutdown defenceman in the NHL. Despite coming off a serious knee injury, he has a huge upside and can skate which makes him intriguing. A big skilled D-man, battles in both ends and plays in all situations. Won't be a flashy scorer but will be a franchise cornerstone because of his intensity and character. He is big, mean and mobile. Has good puck skills and will dominate people physically.

Style compares to: Chris Pronger

OTTAWA SENATORS

#9: Scott Glennie

Size:- 6-foot-1, 185 pounds

Position: Right Wing

Team: Brandon, WHL

Sens GM Bryan Murray may be looking for a replacement for Dany Heatley and, if so, Scott Glennie might be a good place to start. A highly skilled offensive forward who can set it up and also finish. Glennie has top-end skills and the ability to make smart decisions and great plays at top speed in tight areas and with little time. His upside is tremendous and he should be a top player at higher levels.

Style compares to: Peter Mueller

EDMONTON OILERS

#10: Ryan Ellis

Size: 5-foot-10, 180 pounds

Position: Defence

Team: Windsor, OHL

Let's not forget: Burke won't be the only one looking to make a big splash on draft day. And new Oilers coach Pat Quinn knows all about Ryan Ellis and what he brings to the power play. Tremendous vision and passing skills and power-play specialist. A talented offensive-minded D-man who moves the puck well and is great in transition. His ability to create time and space and be aware of all of his options is exceptional. If the Oilers don't select Ellis, watch for Ekman-Larsson.

Style compares to: Brian Rafalski

NASHVILLE PREDATORS

#11: Nazem Kadri

Size: 6-foot, 170 pounds

Position: Centre

Team: London, OHL

Deep in most positions, Kadri is the best player available. Great skill and heart and makes everyone around him better. Slick forward with good puck skills. Able to slide off checks and is dangerous with the puck in the offensive zone. A good skater with quick feet, Kadri saw time at both centre and on the wing this past season in the OHL.

Style compares to: Kyle Turris

MINNESOTA WILD

#12: Jacob Josefson

Size: 6-foot, 190 pounds

Position: Centre

Team: Djurgardens, Swedish Elite League

Josefson maybe the best two-way player in the draft. He is a great defensive presence that also has a good scoring skill set. More comfortable as a playmaker, he also brings an ability to create scoring opportunities on his own. He would go through the wall for a teammate.

Style compares to: Daymond Langkow

BUFFALO SABRES

#13: Oliver Ekman-Larsson

Size: 6-foot-3, 180 pounds

Position: Defence

Team: Leksand, Swedish Elite League

The Sabres have depth at virtually every position, however, for the second straight year, will select a defenceman with their first pick. The Sabres will now have created a duo of good young defencemen in Ekman-Larsson and last year's pick, Tyler Myers. Ekman-Larsson is a confident skater with excellent offensive skills. He has great transitionally offensive ability and can start the rush effectively and quickly.

Style compares to: Tomas Kaberle

FLORIDA PANTHERS

#14: David Rundblad

Size: 6-foot-3, 190 pounds Position: Defence

Team: Skelleftea, Swedish Elite League

With Jay Bouwmeester set to leave, the Panthers, Florida will try and replace him with the big Swede who can quarterback their power play. Rundblad can dominate a power play with his rushing ability or shot. The team that drafts him will do so with one thing in mind -- to generate offence from the back end. Rundblad played well during the SEL playoffs and was named best defenceman at the under-18 Four Nations tournament in Russia.

Style compares to: Mike Green

ANAHEIM DUCKS

#15: Zack Kassian

Size: 6-foot-3, 211 pounds

Position: Right wing

Team: Peterborough, OHL

An absolute bull, Kassian is a huge war machine with a tremendous shot and deceptively good hands. He is big, mean, talented, smart, and an unselfish player who works hard, and is probably the most physically ready player in this draft to play at higher levels. Given time he should be a power forward with the ability to put up good offensive numbers.

Style compares to: Milan Lucic

COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS

#16: John Moore

Size: 6-foot-3, 190 pounds

Position: Defence

Team: Chicago, USHL

Blessed with a wealth of young forward talent both on the roster and in the system, the Jackets will be looking to add a mobile puck-moving defencemen, like John Moore. He has the size and skill to go along with great playmaking abilities. A tremendous skater, Moore started the 2008-09 season outside of the first round but with solid play from start to finish of season, ISS scouts feel he has moved ahead of most all the other highly rated blueline prospects.

Style compares to: Joe Corvo

ST. LOUIS BLUES

#17: Peter Holland

Size: 6-foot-2, 190 pounds

Position: Centre

Team: Guelph, OHL

Good size and skill and will add offence down the middle. Has the ability to dominate, but must show it on a nightly basis. Holland is a player with good size and a solid frame. Played in all situations for the Storm - and at times would be used on the point during the power play. Could be a first-liner if he continues to progress.

Style compares to: Chris Gratton

MONTREAL CANADIENS

#18: Chris Kreider

Size: 6-foot-2, 200 pounds

Position: Centre

Team: Andover (Mass.) H.S.

Kreider is just what the Habs need: Size and skill down the middle. An excellent skater with explosive speed and acceleration, he has great size and potential, good offensive skills and can be dangerous one-on-one. He also can be hard to play against down low when he plays physically. He's not a big hitter, but he doesn't shy from contact. He does have top-end skills and the ability to make smart decisions and great plays at top speed in tight areas.

Style compares to: Eric Staal

NEW YORK RANGERS

#19: Jordan Schroeder Size: 5-foot-9, 180 pounds

Position: Right wing

Team: Minnesota, NCAA

Jordan is a dynamic player with high-level skills. An agile and speedy playmaker, Schroeder's perimeter quickness gets opponents defences into a panic. His game-changing scoring abilities put him in the top 10 of the talent pool in this year's draft class. He played consistently all year long and put up impressive freshman numbers.

Style compares to: Paul Kariya

CALGARY FLAMES

#20: Dylan Olsen

Size: 6-foot-2, 207 pounds

Position: Defence

Team: Camrose, AJHL

A breakout year for Olsen, has been a busy one as well. Olsen who was arguably the best D-man on the Kodiaks this season, also competed for Canada West in the World Junior A Challenge in November, the Canadian under-18 team and was also a Kodiak representative at the AJHL all-star game. A good skater with awareness in both zones, Olsen is a reliable and supportive blueliner who can also pack some offensive punch.

Style compares to: Brent Seabrook

PHILADELPHIA FLYERS

#21: Nick Leddy

Size: 5-foot-11, 179 pounds

Position: Defence

Team: Eden Prairie (Minn.) H.S.

The Flyers haven't taken a goalie in the first round since Maxime Ouellet in 1999 and don't expect it to happen this time. Their next biggest need is a mobile puck-moving defencemen like this year's Mr. Hockey Award winner Nick Leddy. He loves to be involved offensively and he makes smart decisions in all three zones of the ice. He is heading to the University of Minnesota next year.

Style compares to: Alex Goligoski

VANCOUVER CANUCKS

#22: Landon Ferraro

Size: 5-foot-11, 175 pounds

Position: Centre

Team: Red Deer, WHL

A pure goal-scorer who can find the net. Has a great shot and release. Will also score the garbage goals. Has that killer instinct that, once he gets one, he wants more. A leader on a young team, he displayed his positive influence on a nightly basis. A prolific scorer at pick No. 22 shows the amazing depth in this year's draft class.

Style compares to: Patrick Sharp

NEW JERSEY DEVILS

#23: Kyle Palmieri

Size: 5-foot-10, 191 pounds

Position: Right wing-centre

Team: USNDTP

A highly skilled goal-scorer that has all the offensive tools: Great touch, good hockey sense and a quick release. Palmieri plays a solid two-way game. He moves well to the open ice and quickly finds seams for to make plays happen. He has good set-up skills and distributes the puck well. His vision is one of his stronger points, as he does find his linemates well and usually creates some sort of scoring chance. He's a very competitive player, with good open-ice skills.

Style compares to: Brian Gionta

WASHINGTON CAPITALS

#24: Louis Leblanc

Size: 6-foot-1, 180 pounds

Position: Right wing

Team: Omaha, USHL

A highly skilled two-way player with good hockey sense. Shows good patience with the puck. This solid two-way forward has proven to scouts that he is the real deal. A player that earned his draft position as the year went on, Leblanc is a skilled forward with good hands and displays a nose for the net.

Style compares to: Mike Richards

BOSTON BRUINS

#25: Calvin de Hann

Size: 6-feet, 170 pounds

Position: Defence

Team: Oshawa, OHL

The Bruins don't have many young defencemen, so look for them to pick up de Hann, who is a good skater and is effective jumping into or leading the rush, demonstrating good puck-handling and passing skills when doing so. He is a smart player that is solid at both ends. Played huge minutes this year with the Generals in all situations.

Style compares to: Brian Campbell

NEW YORK ISLANDERS

#26: (from Ottawa via San Jose) Jeremy Morin

Size: 6-foot-1, 193 pounds

Position: Right Wing

Team: USNDTP

GM Garth Snow can't pass up drafting perhaps the best goal scorer after JT if he was to fall into their lap. Morin has a great touch, with quick and soft hands. Fresh off of winning a gold medal at the 2009 world under-18 championship, Morin signed an Ontario Hockey League contract with the Kitchener Rangers. A dynamic goal-scorer, few players have the one-timing ability of Morin.

Style compares to: Rick Vaive

CAROLINA HURRICANES

#27: Jordan Caron

Size: 6-foot-3, 200 pounds

Position: Right wing

Team: Rimouski, QMJHL

Caron has the size, skill and scoring touch to play at the next level. He was a model of consistency for the Oceanic this season and became one of the most dangerous offensive threats in the QMJHL this past year. His upside is tremendous and he should be a top player at higher levels.

Style compares to: Jason Arnott

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS

#28: Edward Pasquale

Size: 6-feet-2, 218 pounds

Position: Goaltender

Team: Saginaw, OHL

In our opinion, Edward is heads and shoulders above any draft eligible goaltender. He plays such a calm game and does a nice job controlling his rebounds. His feet are quick and he reads the play well. Not to mention, he looks huge in the net but is also quite agile.

Style compares to: Jean-Sebastien Giguere

DETROIT RED WINGS

#29: Zach Budish

Size: 6-foot-2, 215 pounds

Position: Right wing

Team: Edina (Minn.) H.S.

Draft wild card. Enough talent and upside that he could be selected in the first round despite missing the season with a torn ACL. His dominant play prior to the injury had a lot of scouts ranking him as a potential first-rounder. Has all the offensive tools: Great touch, intelligence, a quick, hard release and soft hands. But Budish is also a big, tough, aggressive forward. Given time, he should be a solid NHL power forward with the ability to put up good offensive numbers.

Style compares to: Keith Tkackuk

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS

#30: Carter Ashton

Size: 6-foot-4, 212 pounds

Position: Right wing

Team: Lethbridge, WHL

Another big aggressive winger with good hands. A great skater who can drive the net. Has a good scoring touch and a good shot. A prototypical power forward who has a nose for the net and does not shy away from the dirty work. Has good bloodlines as his father, Brent, played in the NHL for during the 1980s and early '90s. Carter has tremendous upside as a pro power forward.

Style compares to: Bill Guerin


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