We are just ten days away from the Draft! Here is our third mock draft... 1. Edmonton Oilers – Tyler Seguin, C It will be a tough decision between Hall and Seguin; you really can’t go wrong with either one. Seguin has stolen some of the spotlight from Hall in the last year, and may be a better fit in Edmonton if Jordan Eberle switches to wing. Seguin is expected to be a premier two-way forward one day in the league – a la Jonathan Toews – and I think that’s the direction the Oilers should go. 2. Boston Bruins (from TOR) – Taylor Hall, LW I’m sure Toronto would like to have the opportunity to draft Hall or Seguin here. Luckily for Boston, they got this choice in exchange for Phil Kessel. I think Hall is the guy they want, and GM Peter Chiarelli may even trade up to get him. Hall has performed well on the big stage thus far in his young career. 3. Florida Panthers – Cam Fowler, D The more I think about it, the more I think GM Dale Tallon will lean towards Fowler. He is a premier puck-moving defenseman, and has been compared to the likes of Scott Niedermayer, Rob Blake, and Drew Doughty. 4. Columbus Blue Jackets – Erik Gudbranson, D The Jackets would probably prefer Fowler, but Gudbranson wouldn’t be a bad second option at all. The big, tough defenseman would be a great addition to Columbus’ system, and has drawn comparisons to smaller versions of Chris Pronger and Tyler Myers. 5. New York Islanders – Brett Connolly, RW GM Garth Snow could go with Gormley here, but Connolly has the potential to be John Tavares’ future go-to-guy. Though he had an injury-riddled season, his ceiling is high and he has great goal-scoring skills. 6. Tampa Bay Lightning – Brandon Gormley, D Most people believe Gormley is just as good as Gudbranson and Fowler. GM Steve Yzerman would be wise to draft him, setting up an exceptional 1-2 punch with Victor Hedman for the future. 7. Carolina Hurricanes – Nino Niederreiter, RW If the ‘Canes draft by need, GM Jim Rutherford would go the defensive route. Niederreiter, who stole the show at the World Juniors this past winter for the Swiss, may be too good to pass up though. 8. Atlanta Thrashers – Ryan Johansen, C Johansen probably wouldn’t go higher than #8, but had a great season with Portland of the WHL. Atlanta could use his play-making skills. 9. Minnesota Wild – Alexander Burmistrov, C GM Chuck Fletcher has to add more offensive talent to the cupboard, and that’s where the Russian center, Burmistrov, fits in. 10. New York Rangers – Jeffrey Skinner, RW This could be a bit of a reach for the Blueshirts, but there’s no doubting that Skinner has top-ten talent. The Rangers need an offensive threat like him. 11. Dallas Stars – Derek Forbort, D Dallas really needs to shore up their defense for the future, and Forbort falling in their lap would be huge. The 6’5” Forbort has also been compared to Tyler Myers. 12. Anaheim Ducks – Emerson Etem, LW The Ducks don’t really have a glaring organizational need, so Etem may be a good pick here. He raised some eyebrows at the combine, and has a knack for scoring. Plus, he’s a California kid. 13. Phoenix Coyotes (from CGY) – Jack Campbell, G Campbell’s stock seems to be rising, and may even go higher than #13. Phoenix doesn’t have many quality goalies in the system, so the American netminder would be a great selection. 14. St. Louis Blues – Austin Watson, RW Like Campbell, Watson’s stock seems to be rising at the perfect time. He’s considered to be a solid two-way forward, and should fit well in St. Louis. 15. Boston Bruins – Dylan McIlrath, D McIlrath may not go as high as #15, but Boston could use his toughness on defense. 16. Ottawa Senators – Mikael Granlund, C Granland isn’t all that big, but Saku Koivu is a player he has been often compared to. 17. Colorado Avalanche – Mark Pysyk, D Pysyk is a great skater, and would be a solid addition to Colorado’s deep pool of defensive prospects. 18. Nashville Predators – Nick Bjugstad, C Bjugstad’s name has been all over the rankings, but would be a good fit in Nashville where he could develop in a great system. 19. Los Angeles Kings – Vladimir Tarasenko, RW Tarasenko is a bit of a risky pick, considering he’s coming from the KHL. Most say he has the skills to be a star in the NHL. 20. Pittsburgh Penguins – Quinton Howden, LW Howden is considered as one of the better two-way forwards, and can play in all situations. 21. Detroit Red Wings – Jonathan Merrill, D The Michigan product, Merrill, is a quality skater and would be a good fit in Detroit. 22. Phoenix Coyotes – Tyler Pitlick, C In the NHL, Pitlick projects to be a serviceable second- or third-line winger. 23. Buffalo Sabres – Jarred Tinordi, D Tinordi is one of the better stay-at-home defensemen in the draft, and is similar to Robyn Regehr of Calgary. 24. Atlanta Thrashers (from NJ) – Evgeny Kuznetsov, C With a second first-rounder, the Thrashers could take a chance on a highly-skilled Kuznetsov; who'd be a steal if he left the KHL. 25. Vancouver Canucks – Riley Sheahan, C Sheahan has had off-ice issues, but could be a good pick for Vancouver. 26. Washington Capitals – John McFarland, C The power forward out of Sudbury has solid potential, but may drop. 27. Montreal Canadiens – Brock Nelson, C Nelson has good hockey bloodlines, and solid size as a two-way pivot. 28. San Jose Sharks – Beau Bennett, RW The future University of Denver product could be a steal this late in round one. 29. Anaheim Ducks (from PHI) – Calle Jarnkrok, C The small Swedish center may be the fastest riser in this draft. 30. Chicago Blackhawks – Jaden Schwartz, C Schwartz doesn’t have the best size, but does possess good skills and speed, and also led the USHL in scoring this year.
Our podcast 'RLD Hockey Talk' is LIVE every Wednesday afternoon at 1:00 ET/Noon CT. Some of our notable guests in past episodes have been Dustin Brown, Doc Emrick, John Buccigross, Dave Strader, E.J. Hradek, Elliotte Friedman and Jay Grossman.