The NHL Draft takes place on Friday June 22. The biggest question surrounding the draft seems to be what will the Edmonton Oilers do with the first pick.
Will they keep it and draft Nail Yakupov, the consensus number one pick in the draft, or draft for need and take the top defenseman in Ryan Murray.
The third possibility is that the Oilers will trade down and grab another asset and still take a rearguard as the draft is defensemen-heavy with most going between picks four and 15.
The other interesting item in this draft is that the Columbus Blue Jackets hold the rights to the Los Angeles Kings first round pick in either this year's draft, or next year as a result of the Jeff Carter deal. With the Kings selecting 30th and last in the first round, look for the Blue Jackets to use the pick next season, especially since they hold the next pick, 31st overall in the draft. Of course, they could package both picks and move up the draft board, if someone they really like is available.
A big thank you to David Burstyn, the Director of Scouting for McKeen's Hockey Magazine for all his help with this Draft. To learn more about the 2012 draft-eligibles and get a detailed jump on the 2013 and 2014 talent pool, elaboration and in-depth analysis can be found in the 2012 McKeen's Hockey Draft Guide
Rotoworld will have a live chat starting at 7:00 ET on Friday June 22 for the Draft as well as up to the minute coverage on the first round. Please join us.
1. Edmonton - Nail Yakupov (RW)
Despite not needing a forward, the temptation may be too great to pass on the offensive dynamo, whose ability to manufacture offence may be one of the best in the draft. However don't be surprised if Edmonton shops and trades the pick to help address their immediate need; defense.
2. Columbus - Filip Forsberg (C/RW)
Forsberg gives the Blue Jackets a viable franchise power forward as he has an explosive shot, sharp offensive instincts and can play a physical style of game. His lack of physical maturity is his only drawback at this time.
3. Montreal - Alexander Galchenyuk (C)
The Canadiens love his strong two-way game and his versatility to play either up the middle or on the wing. He showed strong mental resolve to return from an ACL injury that forced him to miss all but two regular season games in the OHL while contributing in the playoffs. His character and competitiveness is off the charts and don't be surprised if he auditions for the team as early as next season
4. New York Islanders - Ryan Murray (D)
With a plethora of defensemen available, the Islanders opt for the safe and most reliable pick. Murray plays a staunch two-way game and has the maturity, leadership skills and poise to step in next season and make a contribution.
5. Toronto - Teuvo Teravainen (C)
Slightly off-the board, Teravainen possesses the best hands and offensive ability in the draft. His lack of size and physical involvement may be a concern but his skills cannot be overlooked as he had a monumental season in International tournaments and played a starring role with Jokerit in the SM-liiga, the top league in Finland.
6. Anaheim - Matthew Dumba (D)
Dumba will be a welcome addition to the Ducks who need a capable power play specialist with a blistering slap shot. Dumba also shows a physical layer to his game as he eagerly looks to administer hits allowing him to survive in the West. He finished the season on a high note as he led the World U18 Championships in scoring.
7. Minnesota - Griffin Reinhart (D)
Reinhart adds depth to a rebuilding back-end that already includes Jonas Brodin who the Wild took with the 10th overall pick in the 2011 Draft. Reinhart provides the organization with everything their blueline needs, a strong puck moving defenseman who can play in any situation. Put the Oil Kings on his back and led them to a franchise first Memorial Cup appearance
8. Carolina - Mikhail Grigorenko (C)
Once mentioned as a top two pick to start the season, inconsistency and lack of intensity dropped his stock and there are big question marks moving forward. Grigorenko however, has the requisite skill to play in the NHL next season and for a team that needs offense, like the Hurricanes, he would be a welcome addition.
9. Winnipeg - Morgan Rielly (D)
A big forward who can score goals would be their number one priority, however the Jets management cannot overlook the offensive dynamic that Rielly brings from the backend. He can take over games with his speed and has the skating ability to gain the line all by himself. A future PP specialist in the mold of an Erik Karlsson is too much to pass up at pick nine.
10. Tampa Bay - Jacob Trouba (D)
A physical specimen who will develop next season with the Michigan Wolverines, Trouba had an accomplished junior career capped by two consecutive gold medals at the World U18 Championships. Has size, can handle the puck and marries his skill set with a nasty disposition.