It’s time to make some predictions official although the Seattle Kraken expansion draft has yet to occur and therefore a few of these first round picks might still change hands. If a major shake up transpires there may be a 2.0 revision to this mock. Regardless of any trade shenanigans it is expected to be a wild and crazy draft with the scouting difficulties and uncertainty over this class. Still, there’s a lot of talent available and will be interesting to see who first breaks out of the consensus to get their guy — it may happen right at the top.
1. Buffalo Sabres — LW William Eklund
The unpredictable draft starts at one but Sabres need elite skill talent and already have a first overall left handed defenseman.
2. Seattle Kraken — LD Owen Power
New franchise starts with a franchise cornerstone on the blue line.
3. Anaheim Ducks — C Matt Beniers
Ducks benefit from the shakeup at top to add to their new look forward core.
4. New Jersey Devils — RD Brandt Clarke
Consensus mocks looking at the wrong sibling plus Devils have a greater need for a right handed defenseman.
5. Columbus Blue Jackets — C Mason McTavish
Before potentially losing Seth Jones the Jackets moved their top center and that position has eluded them far longer.
6. Detroit Red Wings — C Kent Johnson
A great spot to land possibly the most skilled player in the draft.
7. San Jose Sharks — RW Dylan Guenther
The first consensus faller goes off the board and the Sharks need this type of talent.
8. LA Kings — LD Luke Hughes
Kings finally get to draft that high end defenseman they missed out on in 2019.
9. Vancouver Canucks — LD Simon Edvinsson
Nucks seem poised to just take whichever remaining player from the first tier gets to them.
10. Ottawa Senators — C Chaz Lucius
Sens have rebuilt their talent pool but a big center is one last need.
11. Arizona Coyotes — Forfiet
12. Chicago Blackhawks — C Cole Sillinger
One of the best forwards in the next tier who is a sniper.
13. Calgary Flames — G Jesper Wallstedt
Finally one of the top goaltenders go off the board although Flames haven’t selected a goaltender in the first round in over a decade.
14. Buffalo Sabres (via PHI) — RD Corson Ceulemans
A big mobile right handed defenseman helps any system blue line.
15. Dallas Stars — LD Shai Buium
Stars often go off consensus and big players with high ceilings are their catnip.
16. NY Rangers — RW Matthew Coronato
After a run at other positions Rangers get to select a top forward as best player available.
17. St. Louis Blues — C Zachary Bolduc
A well-rounded forward adds to a thin pipeline for the Blues.
18. Winnipeg Jets — LW Brennan Othmann
Jets in a good spot to grab some goal scoring.
19. Nashville Predators — C Fedor Svechkov
One of the better defensive centers in this class rewards a team who will take a chance on Russians.
20. Edmonton Oilers — G Sebastian Cossa
Oilers can’t resist local talent and at a position of need.
21. Boston Bruins — RW Sasha Pastujov
Bruins usually go for the hard working Americans and grab another.
22. Minnesota Wild — LD Carson Lambos
Their talent base is improving, now the Wild need a top defense prospect.
23. Detroit Red Wings (via WAS) — RW Fabian Lysell
Combined with Johnson the Red Wings could end up with the most skilled one-two punch in the draft.
24. Florida Panthers — LD Daniil Chayka
Panthers need defense in the system and find one who is close to contributing.
25. Columbus Blue Jackets (via TOR) — RD Scott Morrow
After addressing center needs with their first pick the Jackets start working on targeting defensemen with upside.
26. Minnesota Wild (via PIT) — C Xavier Bourgault
With their second pick in the round the Wild can grab a forward with size and upside.
27. Carolina Hurricanes — RW Isak Rosen
Hurricanes always mine the European talent without high picks.
28. Colorado Avalanche — LW Zachary L’Heureux
Avs will be lucky if this package of skill and physicality falls in their lap.
29. New Jersey Devils (via NYI) — RW Mackie Samoskevich
Devils happy to find a highly skilled forward at the end of the first round.
30. Vegas Golden Knights — RW Nikita Chibrikov
Keeping with tradition the Golden Knights get a steal.
31. Montreal Canadiens — LW Tyler Boucher
Contrary to perception the Habs actually have an affinity for Americans and a bigger guy who likes to mix it up fits their identity.
32. Columbus Blue Jackets (via TB) — RD Aleksi Heimosalmi
Teams with three first rounds picks tend to get wild with the last one so this selection could go extremely off board but this high upside sleeper on the blueline is an option.