21. Buffalo - Tomas Hertl (C)
Hertl gives the Sabres an option up the middle and is a player who comes prepared to work each night. Had a solid season playing in the Extraliga leading all rookies in scoring in the top men's Czech league. Tends to play harder when there is more on the line and was an absolute beast for Team Czech at the WJC.
22. Pittsburgh - Brady Skjei (D)
A transitional puck moving defenseman who improved his play throughout the season culminating with a gold medal at the World U18 Championships. Skjei does everything well as he can pass, handle the puck and can flat out fly making him a very safe pick
23. Florida - Derrick Pouliot (D)
The smooth skating Pouliot has been a permanent fixture on all Team Canada's International teams to date. He has layers to his game as he can produce offensively as well as defend. Size is a concern at 5’11” and 190 pounds, but he brings far too many intangibles for it to be an issue.
24. Boston - Tom Wilson (RW)
Wilson is your prototypical Bruin as he can beat you with his fists and has a maturing offensive game. His skating improved considerably. Wilson played the bulk of the season with two first round selections from 2011 - Rickard Rackell and J.T. Miller - and was able to make contributions that led to the success of the line. Wilson has been injury-prone throughout his OHL career playing only 77 regular season games out of a possible 132.
25. St. Louis - Colton Sissons (C)
The Blues opt to go for a character player who oozes leadership and character in Sissons. He needs to work on his skating but can make plays down low and works hard in defensive situations. Played his minor hockey in Burnaby where he was a teammate of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
26. Vancouver - Henrik Samuelsson (C)
GM Mike Gillis continues to build up front by adding a player who shows truculence and plays a nasty in-your-face game. Henrik, the son of Ulf, one of the NHL's most notorious aggravators is a chip off the old block but shows far more offensive creativity down low and a soft touch with the puck. Samuelsson, an American by birth, played in Sweden for 15 games before coming to Edmonton to play the rest of the season with the Oil Kings of the WHL where he had seven goals and 23 points in 28 regular season games.
27. Phoenix - Pontus Aberg (LW)
Aberg labored through an injury ravaged season as concussions and a shoulder injury derailed the better part of the second half for him. He does show the propensity to generate offense as he has sensationally quick hands. Aberg needs to work on his feet and being more selective in physical confrontations for self preservation purposes .
28. New York Rangers - Phil Di Giuseppe (LW)
In an effort to acquire more offensive fuelled players, the Rangers opt for Di Giuseppe who as a freshman played key PP minutes for the Michigan Wolverines. An absolute tyrant down low who can create with his quick hands and competes for loose pucks, but overall adjustments to his defensive game are a must to succeed at the NHL level.
29. New Jersey - Malcolm Subban (G)
Amazingly Subban did not pick up the position until he was 12 however he has the reflexes, athleticism and skills to be a potential starter in the NHL. Missed a bulk of the season with several nagging injuries but still managed to lead the OHL in many statistical categories. Belleville played considerably different with him in the pipes as he has the ability to steal games. It’s a bit of a surprise that the Devils kept this pick as they have to surrender a number one pick in the next three years as punishment for the irregularities in the signing of Ilya Kovalchuk two years ago but if Subban is still available in this spot, it’s a steal.
30. Los Angeles - Scott Laughton (C)
Laughton provides the Kings with good depth up front. He is a highly cerebral player who thrives in all game situations. Rather small on the ice yet he plays big and will engage physically to attempt to change the complexion of the game.