Submitted by pete on June 21, 2006 - 18:32
It's been a long while since I did one of these:
[b]Updated: 6/22/06 at 1pm[/b]
[b]1. St. Louis: D Erik Johnson, USNTDP (US)[/b]
I have no doubt St. Louis will field quite a few attractive offers for this pick, but in the end equation they'll do what the Lightning did in '98 and make the no brainer pick to begin the rebuilding process.
[b]2. Pittsburgh: C Jonathan Toews, North Dakota (WCHA)[/b]
The Pens need a defenseman, but Johnson was the only worthy option in the top 5-10 picks. Instead they opt for Toews, a Rod Brind'Amour type two-way center who gives Pittsburgh an another dimension on top of the speed and flash of Crosby and Malkin.
[b]3. Chicago: C Nicklas Backstrom, Brynas (SWE)[/b]
Kessel might be an option here, but there is allegedly a beef between 'Hawks prospect Jack Skille and his family and the Kessel clan. Instead, Chicago selects Nicklas Backman, a dynamic center who has heart and soul type leadership ability.
[b]4. Washington: C Derick Brassard, Drummondville (QMJHL)[/b]
The Caps grab the best playmaker in the draft with a view towards putting him on Ovechkin's line down the road.
[b]5. Boston: C Phil Kessel, Minnesota (WCHA)[/b]
Boston gets an early Christmas present with Kessel, the most dangerous and skilled one on one player in this draft.
[b]6. Columbus: C Jordan Staal, Peterborough (OHL)[/b]
Columbus gets a battle tank of a center to some day station on a big line with Rick Nash. Look out.
[b]7. New York (I): LW Jiri Tlusty, Kladno (CZE)[/b]
Neil Smith hearts Europeans, and with no Russian rated in the top ten he decides to settle on top Czech Tlusty.
[b]8. Phoenix Coyotes: Kyle Okposo, Des Moines (USHL)[/b]
Phoenix hasn't been shy about going the US juniors/high school route before. See: Wheeler, Blake. This year they go for the Iginla-esque Okposo.
[b]9. Minnesota: C Peter Mueller, Everett (WHL)[/b]
The Wild are enticed by high schooler Mike Forney, but simply can't pass on the gift of big, physical, talented center Peter Mueller.
[b]10. Florida: C James Sheppard, Cape Breton (QMJHL)[/b]
Things that are for certain: the Panthers will trade Roberto Luongo and PantherNation will revolt when Mike Keenan chooses Sheppard's character over Michael Frolik's flash.
[b]11. Los Angeles: C Bryan Little, Barrie (OHL)[/b]
The Kings think about Frolik, but no new GM is going to gamble with his first ever draft pick. Little is arguably the second best playmaker in this draft.
[b]12. Atlanta: D Bobby Sanguinetti, Owen Sound (OHL)[/b]
The Thrashers have plenty of skill, a young goaltender and a deep well of big defenseman prospects. They don't have a dynamic puckmoving power play quarterback, however, until they grab Sanguinetti.
[b]13. Toronto: LW Michael Frolik, Kladno (CZE)[/b]
A perfect way to begin rebuilding. Frolik is one of the best pure talents in the draft and Toronto rolls the dice.
[b]14. Vancouver: RW Igor Makarov, Krylja (RUS)[/b]
TSN.ca has the wrong Russian. Makorov's got the skills, the skating and the blood lines and the Canucks system desperately needs forwards.
[b]15. Tampa Bay: LW Mike Forney, Thief River (USHS)[/b]
He's going to North Dakota, and that's a good enough seal of approval for the Lightning to roll the dice on this talented high school sniper.
[b]16. Montreal: D Chris Summers, USNTDP (US)[/b]
Floodgates! With most of the forwards off the board, Montreal starts the run on defensemen with talented two-way defender Summers.
[b]17. Minnesota (via Edmonton): D Nigel Williams, USNTDP (US)[/b]
The Wild take on a project in big, fleet skating Williams.
[b]18. Colorado: D Mark Mitera, Michigan (CCHA)[/b]
The Avs have seen plenty of Mitera who plays with Avs prospect TJ Hensick.
[b]19. Anaheim: D Ty Wishart, Prince George (WHL)[/b]
Wishart is maybe the best stay-at-home defenseman in this draft, but his slow feet drop him to 19 where the Ducks are happy to have him.
[b]20. San Jose: RW Michael Grabner, Spokane (WHL)[/b]
Speed. San Jose's game is based on it and Grabner's got it. Plus, Austria is right next to Germany, and we know how the Sharks love Central European winters.
[b]21. New York (R): D Joey Ryan, Quebec (QMJHL)[/b]
The Rangers get some toughness along their backline with bruising American born defenseman Joey Ryan.
[b]22. Philadelphia: G Riku Helenius, Ilves (FIN)[/b]
The two top goalies in the draft jump off the board at 21 and 22. Philadelphia has had some modest success with fellow Finn Antero Nittymaki.
[b]23. Washington (via Nashville): C Artem Ansimov, Yaroslavl (RUS)[/b]
If Brassard doesn't work out with Ovechkin, the talented Ansimov might. The Caps find value at 23 snapping up one of the undervalued Russians.
[b]24. Buffalo: D Yuri Alexandrov, Cherepovets (RUS)[/b]
Buffalo follows the Caps lead and takes undervalued 2-way defenseman Yuri Alexandrov out of Russia.
[b]25. New Jersey: G Jonathan Bernier, Lewiston (QMJHL)[/b]
At some point they'll face life without Brodeur, so they grab talented Quebecois netminder Bernier.
[b]26. Calgary: RW Chris Stewart, Kingston (OHL)[/b]
Stewart's free fall traces directly to his poor performance on the weights at the combine, but Sutter likes hard workers and on the ice Stewart definitely fits that bill.
[b]27. Dallas: RW Jan-Michael Juutilainen, Jokerit Jr. (FIN Jr.)[/b]
Team Finland, er, the Stars take Nebraska-Omaha recruit Juutilainen, the new hero of corn country.
[b]28. Ottawa: C Ben Maxwell, Kootenay (WHL)[/b]
Ottawa gets a potential steal in Maxwell if they can prod him to show more character.
[b]29. C Patrik Berglund, Vasteras (SWE2)[/b]
Detroit likes their Swedes, so they take big, smooth forward Patrik Berglund.
[b]30. St. Louis (via Carolina): C Ondrej Fiala, Everett (WHL)[/b]
St. Louis waits til their 30th pick to get some forward help with solid but perhaps injury prone two-way center Fiala.