• Maple Leafs- Auston Mathews (Centre). As tempting as it probably is to take Patrik Laine here, you never pass up on a franchise centre, and the brain trust in Toronto knows this, they’ll take Auston Mathews first overall.
  • Jets- Patrik Laine (Winger). I always laugh when I see people online debate about this pick, the moment after Kevin Cheveldayoff shook Brendan Shanahan’s hand to congratulate him on getting the first pick, he smiled because he knew he still got Laine.
  • Blue Jackets- Jesse Puljujarvi (Winger). After trading Ryan Johansen for Seth Jones, and drafting Zach Werenski last year, Jarmo Kekalainen turns his attention to offense and takes a future star winger and fellow countrymen Puljujarvi.
  • Oilers- Mathew Tkachuk (Winger). In the end the Oilers will want too much for the 4th overall pick, so no trade will get done. So they will draft Tkachuk to be a top 6 forward next season and look to trade any of their young top 6 forwards (except you know who) for defensive help.
  • Canucks- Pierre-Luc Dubois (Center). Canucks fans breathe easy, there’s really no way for Jim Benning to mess up with this pick. After trading center Jared McCann for Erik Gudbranson, Vancouver needs a young center in the system, and Dubois is destined to be a stud at the position in the NHL.
  • Flames- Alex Nylander (Winger). Yea their defense was pretty bad last year, but with Rasmus Andersson and Oliver Kylington on the way, as well as studs Dougie Hamilton and Mark Giordano already in the NHL, Brad Treliving can’t pass up on the chance to get a winger to play with future star center Sam Bennett for years to come.
  • Coyotes- Jakob Chychrun (Defense). Arizona has plenty of young forwards in the system (Duclair, Strome, Domi, Dvorak, Merkley), it is time to get Ekman-Larsson some help on the back end. Jakob Chychrun could play in the NHL possibly next year, John Chayka doesn’t miss his chance to get a potential franchise defenseman.
  • Sabres- Olli Juolevi (Defense). Jack Eichel, Evander Kane, Sam Reinhart, and Ryan O’Rielly are great pieces up front for Buffalo to build upon. Rasmus Ristolainen (right handed) is quietly becoming a star defenseman, now Buffalo gets a chance to find his left handed defensemen partner for years to come.
  • Canadians- Mikhail Sergachev (Defense). Although still a beast for his age, Andrei Markov is not getting any younger, Montreal now gets a chance to find his future replacement in fellow Russian Sergachev. Sergachev isn’t that far from NHL ready and it certainly wouldn’t hurt him to mentored by his fellow countryman.
  • Avalanche- Charlie McAvoy (Defense). Well if the rumors of trading Tyson Barrie are true, then Joe Sakic better draft a highly touted young defenseman to replace him at 10th overall. Charlie McAvoy projects to be a solid two-way defenseman, exactly what Colorado would love to have soon.
  • Devils- Clayton Keller (Winger). YOUNG, QUICK, AND SKILLED FORWARD. Just described the Devils biggest need in their system as well as Clayton Keller.
  • Senators- Michael McLeod (Centre). Could easily go defense here, but with Mika Zibanejad still a question mark down the middle, drafting McLeod allows GM Pierre Dorian to evaluate Zibanejad while letting McLeod develop a little bit more.
  • Hurricanes- Tyson Jost (Centre). Need to replace Eric Staal down the middle, and Tyson Jost reminds me of a smaller, but more skilled young Eric Staal with his shot accuracy.
  • Bruins- Logan Brown (Centre). Boston wasn’t the same without Milan Lucic’s big presence in the lineup, well at 6’5, Brown can help with that.
  • Wild- Kieffer Bellows (Winger). Minnesota has just a mismatch of mediocre forwards on their roster. Bellows is a good first step to get younger and more skilled up front for Chuck Fletcher.
  • Red Wings- Dante Fabbro (Defense). Niklas Kronwall is getting older and there aren’t many defensemen in the system ready to replace his role when he’s gone. Ken Holland hasn’t taken a defenseman in the first round since 2007 (Brendan Smith), he’s smart enough to know it’s time to change that.
  • Predators- Julien Gauthier (Winger). Nashville still needs scoring to compliment Ryan Johansen and Filip Forsberg, and at 6’4 Gauthier can provide goals soon for Flyers former coach Peter Laviolette.
  • Flyers- Riley Tufte (Winger). Read between the lines here. Ron Hextall has already came out and said he wants to get bigger upfront and its obvious the Flyers don’t need any more high end defensemen prospects in the system. Still with a lack of young high end forwards in the system, Hextall pumps his fist when the speedy and skilled BIG 6’5 forward is still undrafted when the Flyers are on the clock June 24.

Jon Falcone

Junior at Rutgers New Brunswick Double Majoring in Economics and Sports Management.

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