LOWDOWN: The big decision for the Oilers at #1 is do they go with a centre, a defenceman or the best player available? With the lack of an elite-level defence prospect, Larsson is a good choice for the Oilers. After two full seasons in the Swedish Elite League, Larsson is ready to step in and contribute at the NHL level.
LOWDOWN: The Avalanche will be hoping that Larsson falls to second spot but if he doesn't, they'll take the best player available. With 106 points last season in Red Deer and a seemingly unlimited supply of skill, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is quite the consolation prize.
C Jonathan Huberdeau - Saint John (QMJHL)
LOWDOWN: After selecting big defenceman Erik Gudbranson third overall last season, the Panthers go with some help down the middle this year with the selection of Memorial Cup standout Jonathan Huberdeau. Huberdeau showed amazing improvement this year, going from 15 goals and 35 points in 61 games in 2009-10 to 43 goals and 105 points this past season. He added 30 points and 16 goals in 19 playoff games.
New Jersey Devils
LW Gabriel Landeskog - Kitchener (OHL)
LOWDOWN: Swedish winger Gabriel Landeskog may be one of the most NHL-ready forwards in this draft and that's just what the Devils are looking for. Landeskog put up 36 goals and 66 points in an injury-shortened 53-game campaign in 2010-11.
New York Islanders
D Dougie Hamilton - Niagara (OHL)
LOWDOWN: With a good number of forward prospects, including two taken in the first round last year, the Islanders decide to help out their back-end and take Dougie Hamilton. Hamilton plays a strong defensive game but also has the ability to think the game well and chip in offensively when needed. 58 points in 67 games last season.
C Sean Couturier - Drummondville (QMJHL)
LOWDOWN: Projected to go first overall for the longest time, the Senators feel fortunate to get big skilled centre Sean Couturier at sixth overall. Couturier had 96 points and 36 goals in 68 games this past season, matching last year's point total in 10 less games. He was also an impressive +55.
D Duncan Siemens - Saskatoon (WHL)
LOWDOWN: With their first-ever draft choice, the Winnipeg franchise elects to stay close to home with defenceman Duncan Siemens. The Sherwood Park, Alberta native played in Sasktoon so it's fitting that he would then make his way over to Manitoba. Siemens had 43 points in 72 games last season and could provide a strong defensive anchor to the Winnipeg blueline, complementing Enstrom, Bogosian and Byfuglien.
Columbus Blue Jackets
D Ryan Murphy - Kitchener (OHL)
LOWDOWN: Columbus is in big need of a puck-moving defenceman. If they decide to keep this pick, they could use it on Ryan Murphy. With 26 goals and 79 points last season as well as a +22 rating, he's just what they need.
LOWDOWN: After drafting Tyler Seguin last year, the Bruins could use a top-end defence prospect. Klefbom might be a little behind fellow countryman Oliver Ekman-Larsson at this stage in his career but shares similar upside.
C Mika Zibanejad - Djurgarden (SWE)
LOWDOWN: Minnesota needs depth on the wing but may elect to take the best offensive player at 10th overall regardless of position. Zibanejad has a lot of offensive upside and would add punch to a lineup that is looking to take a more offensive turn.
Colorado Avalanche (via STL)
D Nathan Beaulieu - Saint John (QMJHL)
LOWDOWN:Nathan Beaulieu impressed many with a strong post-season putting up 17 points in 19 games and at 6'3" 191 lbs he won't get pushed around, either. Colorado is likely to take a blueliner with one of their first two picks as they look to add a player to complement recent acquisition Erik Johnson.
C Ryan Strome - Niagara (OHL)
LOWDOWN: Carolina will be looking to take the best player available and if Ryan Strome is still available at 12th overall, he will be just that. The skilled centre shot up the charts this past season, increasing his offensive output from 13 points to 106. He added 12 points in 14 playoff games.
RW Joel Armia - Assat (FIN)
LOWDOWN: As a rookie in the SM Liiga, Joel Armia put up 18 goals and 29 points in 48 games. His skill and size wil help a Flames organization looking to add at nearly every position when it comes to prospects.
D Connor Murphy - USA U-18 (USHL)
LOWDOWN: One of many outstanding prospects from this year's draft crop with the U.S. National Development Team, Connor Murphy fits the bill for the Dallas Stars in this slot. The Stars will be looking for either a number-one centre or a top-four defenceman and with the likes of Couturier, Strome, Zibanejad, Huberdeau and Nugent-Hopkins all likely off the board by this stage they may go with the best defenceman available.
New York Rangers
C Mark Scheifele - Barrie (OHL)
LOWDOWN: There's plenty of potential for 6'3" centre Mark Scheifele from the Barrie Colts. In his first OHL season, he put up 22 goals and 75 points in 66 games. Although he also had a -22 rating, the Rangers are looking for size and skill up the middle and Scheifele fits the bill.
D Jamie Oleksiak - Northeastern (HE)
LOWDOWN: Giant 6'7" defenceman Oleksiak is a long-term project but the upside is - pardon the pun - enormous. Oleksiak had a good showing in his freshman college year for Northeastern University ranking second on the team in defence scoring despite being the youngest player on the roster. He had 13 points in 38 games.
C Zack Phillips - Saint John (QMJHL)
LOWDOWN: Much like the Rangers, the Habs are also looking for size and skill up the middle. With Zack Phillips, they'll happily take the latter. Phillips was one of the team's offensive leaders with 95 points in 67 games in the regular season (plus 38 goals) and added 24 points in 17 games. He's not small, either, at 6'0".
LW Sven Bartschi - Portland (WHL)
LOWDOWN: Coming over from Switzerland to play in North American this past season, Sven Bartschi lit up the Western Hockey League with 85 points in 66 games. In fact, he outscored fell Swiss teammate Nino Niederreiter who had 70 points (in 55 games). Niederreiter went 5th overall last season. Chicago will be looking to take the best player available in this slot.
Edmonton Oilers (via LAK)
C Mark McNeill - Prince Albert (WHL)
LOWDOWN: Looking to add size down the middle, the Edmonton Oilers would be thrilled to select 6'2" centre Mark McNeill with the second first-round pick. McNeill had 32 goals and 81 points in 70 games this past season for the Prince Albert Raiders. The Edmonton native nearly doubled his point output from the year before.
LW JT Miller - USA U-18 (USHL)
LOWDOWN: The U.S. National Development Team continues to show its strength with another first-round selection in JT Miller. The Ohio-born 6'1" forward put up 15 points in 21 games in USHL competition. Phoenix needs a top-six forward to add their system - particularly a winger.
Ottawa Senators (via NSH)
C Victor Rask - Leksands (SWE)
LOWDOWN: Victor Rask put up 11 points in 37 games with Leksands of the Swedish first division. He had an outstanding U-18 and while he isn't quite the big centre that the Senators are looking for, at 21st overall with his elite-level skill he would be a good pick-up for Ottawa.
LOWDOWN: At one time projected to go in the top 10 of the draft, Musil has slipped a bit but scouts continue to feel that he is a reliable choice in the first round that will emerge as a shutdown defender. At 6'4", a big shutdown defenceman is exactly what the Anaheim Ducks are looking for.
LW Brandon Saad - Saginaw (OHL)
LOWDOWN: The Penguins are looking for prospect help everywhere but centre and just might take a chance on Saginaw winger Brandon Saad. He certainly has the potential to be an elite-level forward but also has an element of risk that he could be a bust.
Detroit Red Wings
C Rocco Grimaldi - USA U-18 (USHL)
LOWDOWN: Much like when every other team passed on Jiri Hudler, the Detroit Red Wings just may take a chance on 5'6" forward Rocco Grimaldi. Grimaldi excels in nearly every category but one thing holding him back is size at only 5'6". Much like with Hudler, the Red Wings can afford to take that risk and will likely reap the rewards of a player that some think would go first overall if not for his size.
Toronto Maple Leafs (via PHI)
RW Tomas Jurco - Saint John (QMJHL)
LOWDOWN: Another highly-skilled forward, Tomas Jurco is a pure goal scorer who is highly skilled. He had 31 goals in 56 games last season for Saint John (QMJHL). The Slovakian needs to work on his defensive play but is an easy risk at 25. With Toronto's needs up front, he's a perfect fit.
LW Ty Rattie - Portland (WHL)
LOWDOWN: Ty Rattie put up 28 goals in 67 games last season for Portland (WHL) and added nine more in 21 games during the team's playoff run to the WHL Finals. At 26, Washington will be looking for the best player available and Rattie could fit the bill in this slot. .
Tampa Bay Lightning
LW Alexandr Khokhlachev - Windsor (OHL)
LOWDOWN: Russian forward Alexandr Khokhlachev is one of the most skilled players in the entire draft. International Scouting Service has him ranked 23rd among skaters, far above Vladislav Namestnikov who they have at 37 (Namestnikov is ranked 11th by Central Scouting). Khokhlachev put up 34 goals and 76 points in 67 games for Windsor this past season and showed he can play in the clutch with 9 goals and 20 points in 18 playoff games.
San Jose Sharks
G John Gibson - USA U-18 (USHL)
LOWDOWN: The Sharks are looking to replenish their system with goaltenders and this reason is why they'll take the first netminder in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. The Pittsburgh native and US National Development Team goaltender had a strong year with a 9-4-3 record and 2.38 goals-against average in 17 appearances.
Toronto Maple Leafs (via BOS)
D Jonas Brodin - Farjestad (SWE)
LOWDOWN: The Leafs have plenty of needs going into this draft, including size and skill down the middle and a scoring winger but one of those needs is also a mobile defenceman and Brodin fits the bill. Some have remarked that Brodin could be one of the best skaters from the entire draft class. He is a two-way defender who can log huge minutes and move the puck well.
LW Phillip Danault - Victoriaville (QMJHL)
LOWDOWN: Whether the Canucks end up drafting 29th or 30th, they'll be looking for the best player available. Phillip Danault is a risk-free selection with strong character and outstanding two-way play. He put up 67 points and 23 goals in 64 games but his upside is much higher if he can improve his shot and strength. A comparable for Danault is Alex Burrows and certainly the Canucks would take another Burrows if they could.