Mock draft picks Taylor first

BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:36 AM ET

Will Taylor or Tyler be No. 1? Edmonton Oilers GM Steve Tambellini will provide the answer when he steps up to the microphone at Staples Center in Los Angeles Friday and announces the top selection in the NHL entry draft. Here's how we see the first round of the NHL draft.

MOCK FIRST ROUND

1. EDMONTON: There has been a lot of public debate over the No. 1 pick. There shouldn't be much at the Oilers' table. They can move Taylor Hall to centre once they select him. Pick: Taylor Hall, LW, Windsor.

2. BOSTON: The Bruins need a top young talent up front who can put the puck in the net. They will choose Tyler Seguin. Pick: Tyler Seguin, C, Plymouth.

3. FLORIDA: The Panthers are going in different direction with GM Dale Tallon, who wants someone to fit the mould of a Duncan Keith. Pick: Cam Fowler, D, Windsor.

4. COLUMBUS: Fair to say they could move this pick for immediate help. The Jackets' draft history hasn't been strong and the club needs talent just about every category. Pick: Erik Gudbranson, D, Kingston.

5. N.Y. ISLANDERS: GM Garth Snow is not afraid to wheel and deal. There is a sense he might be willing to trade down. If he keeps the pick, Snow needs to add grit. Pick: Brandon Gormley, D, Moncton.

6. TAMPA BAY: This will be GM Steve Yzerman's first pick and it's going to be important. Maybe he can find another Yzerman. Pick: Nino Niederreiter, LW, Portland.

7. CAROLINA: This is an organization that is cleaning house and is trying to get younger. Don't be surprised if they try to move up to No. 2 to get Seguin. Pick: Brett Connolly, LW, Prince George.

8. ATLANTA: Thrashers GM Rick Dudley has been public about the fact he's open for business. The organization needs immediate help. He'd be willing to deal. Pick: Derek Forbert, D, USHL.

9. MINNESOTA: While GM Chuck Fletcher sat at the table last year, he wasn't working with his own scouting staff. The Wilds need help in all positions. Pick: Nick Bjustad, C, Minnesota H.S.

10. N.Y. RANGERS: Making changes isn't easy for GM Glen Sather. He loves to deal and is struggling, bogged down by contracts. Pick: Jack Campbell, G, USHL.

11. DALLAS: Joe Nieuwendyk has stepped in and is taking this team in a different direction. They'd like to build from the back end out. They'd take Campbell if the Rangers pass. Pick: Mark Pysyk, D, Edmonton.

12. ANAHEIM: They are trying to plug holes in until the young guys are ready to take over. They've got two first-rounders in this draft. They need a forward. Pick: Ryan Johansen, C, Portland.

13. PHOENIX: They've got a lot of forwards. They need to start getting back-end help. Pick: Calvin Picard, G, Seattle.

14. ST. LOUIS: The Blues have used their picks to select defencemen three of the last four years. The club needs to start re-stocking forwards. Pick: Mikael Granlund, C, Helsinki.

15. BOSTON: The Bruins are looking at moving this pick for immediate help. The Panthers have shown interest, but the Bruins expect an impact player in return. They'll shore up the blue line. Pick: Jarred Tinordi, D, USHL.

16. OTTAWA: The Senators need to get a forward here. It the past two years, they've chosen blueliners Erik Karlsson and Jared Cowen. Pick: John McFarland, C, Sudbury.

17. COLORADO: An organization that completely overchieved last year. They've got to be careful. They cannot trade this pick. They need to stay young and keep building. Pick: Austin Watson, RW, Peterborough.

18. NASHVILLE: The Predators have plenty of blueliners in the system. They've got Shea Weber signed. They need to get back to adding skill up front. Pick: Emerson Etem, C, Medicine Hat.

19. LOS ANGELES: The Kings have done great job drafting. They've put themselves in a position to win through some lean years. Have to keep getting prospects. Pick: Riley Sheahan, C, Notre Dame.

20. PITTSBURGH: They have to guard against getting draft lazy. They've got a killer one-two punch with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Pick: Jeff Skinner, C, Kitchener.

21. DETROIT: The Wings, with a strong draft history, don't normally get a chance to draft this high. Pick: Quinton Howden, LW, Moose Jaw.

22. PHOENIX: The Coyotes are likely going to lose D Derek Morris. You have to build from the back to end to make sure your core is strong. Pick: Dylan Mcllrath, D, Moose Jaw.

23. BUFFALO: They are beaming over the selection of Tyler Myers. He could be a future Norris Trophy candidate and they've got goalie Ryan Miller. Need scoring depth. Pick: Ludvig Rensfeldt, C, Brynas, Sweden.

24. ATLANTA: If Dudley doesn't deal the No. 8 selection, he could use this one to take a blueliner. Otherwise, the Thrashers are going to likely opt to get a forward. Pick: Calle Jarnkrok, C, Brynas.

25. VANCOUVER: They can't panic after what happened in the playoffs. They've got a great goalie and a lot of skill up front. They'll likely add to the forwards. Pick: Alexander Burmistrov, C, Barrie.

26. WASHINGTON: The Capitals took the first-round fall this year. They aren't afraid to grab Russian players because they've got Alex Ovechkin to help sell. Pick: Vladimir Tarasenko, RW, KHL.

27. MONTREAL: GM Pierre Gauthier is going to be under the microscope. He has always drafted and developed well. They need to take skill in the middle. Pick: Tyler Pitlick, C, WCHA

28. SAN JOSE: Sharks GM Doug Wilson likes to take players from his junior team, the Ottawa 67's. Pick: Tyler Toffoli, RW, Ottawa.

29. ANAHEIM: Assuming they take a forward with their first pick, they will need to address their defence. Scott Niedermayer isn't going to stick around forever. Pick: Jon Merrill, D, USHL

30. CHICAGO: The Blackhawks are certainly loaded on the blue line. They've got lots of talent up front, as well. Pick: Jaden Schwartz, C, USHL

This mock draft was done as a result of talks with NHL scouts and with Matt Ebbs, a former head of the International Scouting Service. Ebbs is an Ottawa-based agent and president of Ebbs Sports Management Ltd.


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