11. Philadelphia Flyers Samuel Morin (D)
Morin improved as the season progressed culminating with a sensational World U18 performance that saw him capture a gold medal. He gives the Flyers size and toughness and is just starting to scratch the surface of his potential. At 6'6/205 he has NHL size already and only needs to work on his puck skills. He had four goals and 16 points in 48 games for Rimouski of the QMJHL in 2012-13.
The Flyers are rumored to be after Jaroslav Halak which may preclude them from going after Zach Fucale. Rasmus Ristolainen could go here as well.
12. Phoenix Coyotes Bo Horvat (C)
Mr. Clutch in the OHL playoffs, Horvat scored 3 GWG, none bigger than the goal with a second left in Game 7 of the OHL Final to capture the league championship. Horvat can play on both special teams with success and thrived this season for Coach Hunter in a PK role as he won important draws and blocked shots. He had 33 goals and 61 points in the regular season but came into his own in the post-season with 16 goals to lead all OHL scorers.
The Coyotes need help scoring and Horvat came into his own during the playoffs. Fifty goal scorer Anthony Mantha could also be taken although it makes sense for the Coyotes to trade down if Mantha is their man.
13. Winnipeg Jets Curtis Lazar (C)
Lazar is a two-way forward who plays a hardnosed game and marries it with handsome offensive abilities. He competes away from the puck and will give the Jets a player who could potentially play on their top two lines but also do the dirty work to score his goals. Lazar started the season off slowly with only eight goals in his first 27 games but potted 30 in his final 45 to lead Edmonton of the WHL in goal scoring.
The Jets would love to take Bo Horvat at this spot as well, if he is available.
14. Columbus Blue Jackets Rasmus Ristolainen (D)
A player who has been in the draft spotlight for years Ristolainen was the second youngest player to play in the SM-Liiga making his debut at the tender age of 16. He plays the game with brute force but needs to constantly be playing at a heightened tempo to get the most out of his skill set. Led Finland in scoring at the WJC; finishing third in tournament scoring amongst defensemen. Ristolainen had three goals and 15 points for TPS Turku of the SM-liiga.
GM Jarmo Kekalainen's first draft pick is a fellow Finn. It's the first of three selections for the Blue Jackets in the first round.
15. New York Islanders Alexander Wennberg (C )
The Islanders go for some skill with the addition of Wennberg; a player whose hockey sense and ability to play both ends of the ice makes him such a coveted prospect. He has great feet and is tenacious in pursuit. Wennberg won a silver with Sweden at the U20 World Championships, making the team as an 18-year-old. He had 14 goals and 32 points in 46 games for Djurgardens of the Swedish Allsvenskan league.
The Islanders would also consider Anthony Mantha at this time, but the all-round skill of Wennberg could trump Mantha's scoring ability.
16. Buffalo Sabres (via Minnesota) Ryan Pulock (D)
Pulock has the best point shot in this year's draft and is a viable PP option for the Sabres. He added 20 pounds of muscle this season and can bench press over 400 pounds however agility issues have raised some concerns. Was captain of Brandon in the WHL this season and had 14 goals and 45 points in 61 games.
The Sabres need help on the blueline so they will also consider Mirco Mueller.
17. Ottawa Senators Mirco Mueller (D)
In an effort to continue to strengthen their back-end, the Senators will be happy to see Mueller still available at this spot. He is a player who logged ample minutes this year for Everett and was exceptional at the WJC for Team Switzerland. Mueller has some offensive punch as he finished second amongst WHL blueliners in scoring 31 points in 63 games.
I see the Senators grabbing a defenseman at this spot so Morrissey and Pulock could be in play should Mueller not be available.
18. Detroit Red Wings Josh Morrissey (D)
Morrissey was lights out at the World U18 Championships, helping Canada win gold and leading all defenseman in tournament scoring. Has great puck moving skills and plays a similar game to Brian Rafalski. Morrissey had 15 goals and 47 points in 70 games with Prince Albert in 2012-13, 12th best among WHL defensemen.
Detroit needs some help on the blueline as they have lost Nicklas Lidstrom, Brad Stuart and Rafalski in the last few years. Should a center like Bo Horvat or Curtis Lazar fall, the Red Wings could be tempted.
19. Columbus Blue Jackets (via New York Rangers) Hunter Shinkaruk (LW)
Adding depth to their forward unit, Hunter Shinkaruk comes with a proven track record of being able to score as he has lit the lamp 86 times in the last two seasons. Small in stature, he needs to compete more away from the puck but his speed in transition creates ample scoring opportunities. He has 177 points in 130 WHL games over the last two seasons including 86 in 64 games in 2012-13.
The second pick of the Blue Jackets now gives them a defenseman and a forward. If they take a forward with the first pick, look for them to look at Robert Hagg in this spot.
20. San Jose Sharks Robert Hagg (D)
Hagg has a booming slap shot and the rare ability to slow down the pace of the game however he suffers from bouts of inconsistency as he can lose focus and get caught standing still defensively. The MoDo defenseman had 11 goals and 24 points in 28 games for his junior team and actually played a game in the Swedish Elite League despite just turning 18.
The Sharks could easily go forward at 20, so look for them to consider Kerby Rychel and Adam Erne.