LOWDOWN: Hunch is Leafs all of a sudden come to the table with a decent enough package, coupled with the fact that Oilers may not see Yakupov as the absolute lock that Hall and RNH were in 2010 and 2011, respectively.
Columbus Blue Jackets
Filip Forsberg, RW, Leksand (SWE)
LOWDOWN: Don’t sense they’ll take another Russian, but 'D' is the strength of their team so they take a winger.
Mikhail Grigorenko, C, Quebec (QMJHL)
LOWDOWN: Bigger body for an otherwise smallish front line.
New York Islanders
Ryan Murray, D, Everett (WHL)
LOWDOWN: Similar to Edmonton, need work on the back end.
Edmonton Oilers (via TOR)
Griffin Reinhart, D, Edmonton (WHL)
LOWDOWN: Familiarity may play a role here, as no NHL team has seen Reinhart more than the Oilers, plus the big body and the uptick in physicality during the WHL playoffs.
Mathew Dumba, D, Red Deer (WHL)
LOWDOWN: Ducks saw a number of their defensemen struggle mightily in 2011-12.
Morgan Rielly, D, Moose Jaw (WHL)
LOWDOWN: Like Dumba, not overly big, but then again, one of their best defensemen (Edmonton-born Jared Spurgeon) is among the smallest in the league. Need to stock up on ‘D’ after dealing Burns at last year’s draft.
Pittsburgh Penguins (via CAR)
Alex Galchenyuk, LW/C, Sarnia (OHL)
LOWDOWN: I think the Pens, like the Wild a year ago, make a bit of a splash, dealing Jordan Staal to the Canes for a package including this pick…Galchenyuk can play LW and eventually fill Staal’s ample skates at center with decent size (6-1, 200).
Teuvo Teravainen, LW, Jokerit (FIN)
LOWDOWN: Having drafted Scheifele with their first pick last year, my guess is that the Jets will go for a winger to play with him for the next 10 years.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Cody Ceci, D, Ottawa (OHL)
LOWDOWN: The Lightning need defensemen of both kinds; my guess is Tampa Bay will go with the more offensively gifted and slightly thicker Ceci and trust they’ll be able to round out his defensive awareness.
Washington Capitals (via COL)
Radek Faksa, C, Kitchener (OHL)
LOWDOWN:the Caps may be going through a changing of the guard up front, and the hulking Faksa might be a perfect fit as a strong two-way player drawing comparisons to Gabriel Landeskog.
Jacob Trouba, D, USNTDP (USHL)
LOWDOWN: A lot of experts have this defenseman in the top 10, but if he falls to the Sabres at #12, he won’t fall any further.
Brendan Gaunce, C, Belleville (OHL)
LOWDOWN:Stars go for the big body and a guy who can provide a spark for the vets up front.
Zemgus Girgensons, C, Dubuque (USHL)
LOWDOWN:Flames look to fill a need down the middle with this USHL product from Latvia.
Hampus Lindholm, D, Rogle (SWE-JR)
LOWDOWN: The Swedish 'D' philosophy worked with Erik Karlsson, so why not?
Sebastian Collberg, RW, Frolunda (SWE)
LOWDOWN: Caps other first-rounder turns into this dynamic winger, who may be a linemate of Faksa in two years’ time.
San Jose Sharks
Olli Maatta, D, London (OHL)
LOWDOWN: Sharks need to start stockpiling prospects on defense; Dan Boyle eventually is going to get old.
Ludvig Bystrom, D, Modo (SEL)
LOWDOWN: Good skater, very good first pass. Won't chip in a ton offensively, though.
Tampa Bay Lightning (via DET)
Matthew Finn, D, Guelph (OHL)
LOWDOWN: Prior to the acquisition of Lindback, I might’ve thought the Lightning would draft a goaltender here. Now I think they’ll draft.
Derrick Pouliot, D, Portland (WHL)
LOWDOWN: Perhaps a case of the Flyers drafting the best player on the board here; plus for being just average in terms of size, Philadelphia is bound to like the nasty streak in Pouliot.
Buffalo Sabres (via NSH)
Tomas Hertl, C, Slavia (CZE)
LOWDOWN: Sabres need a few more playmakers up front.
Thomas Wilson, RW, Plymouth (OHL)
LOWDOWN: In a conference with Boston, New York, and Philadelphia, the Pens won’t hurt themselves drafting a guy who will make the opposition think twice about trifling with #87.
Andrei Vasilevski, G, Ufa Tolpar (RUS-JR)
LOWDOWN: If the Panthers hope to be a perennial contender, stability in goal is a must.
Brady Skjei, D, USA U-18 (USHL)
LOWDOWN: Big defenseman who skates well and will play next season at the University of Minnesota.
St. Louis Blues
Pontus Aberg, LW, Djurgardens (SWE)
LOWDOWN: Blues would love a little more punch offensively. Just missed being eligible for last year’s draft—turns 19 in September.
Colton Sissons, RW, Kelowna (WHL)
LOWDOWN: Again, familiarity could play a role here as his hometown team takes this two-way winger.
Malcom Subban, G, Belleville (OHL)
LOWDOWN: This may seem to be a real stretch, considering Mike Smith’s 2011-12 campaign. But if Subban develops into the monster some people think he can be between the pipes, this pick protects the Yotes against the possibility that Smith’s a one-year wonder. Career backup Jason LaBarbera is 32 and Smith himself is already 30. Think long-term.
New York Rangers
Stefan Matteau, LW, USA-U18 (USHL)
LOWDOWN:MATTEAU!!! MATTEAU!!!! MATTEAU!!!! Yup, he’s the son all right.
New Jersey Devils
Slater Koekkoek, D, Peterborough (OHL)
LOWDOWN: Tough call, Devils need help for their no-name defense so a shaky vote for Koekkoek, who has real upside but also has shoulder issues. If Subban or Oscar Dansk or even Vasilevski are still here, then the obvious "well, Marty can’t play forever" pick also makes sense.
Los Angeles Kings
Dalton Thrower, D, Saskatoon (WHL)
LOWDOWN: Two-way defenseman drops the mitts as well. Should be able to slide into a 3rd pairing role in three years’ time (one more in Saskatoon, and two in Manchester).