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NHL 12 Blog

NHL Entry Draft
Posted by EA SPORTS at 17:14PM on Friday, June, 24, 2011

Hi everybody, Andy Agostini here to talk a little bit about the draft coming up. I have seen everybody’s comments on Facebook regarding who they think will go #1 and who their favorite team should take in the draft tonight.

Before I get into who I think will be chosen by each team in the first round of the draft, here are the top 5 picks in our Fan Mock Draft as selected by fans this week on Facebook:

1. Edmonton Oilers – C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Red Deer Rebels - WHL)
2. Colorado Avalanche – C Jonathan Huberdeau (Saint John Sea Dogs – QMJHL)
3. Florida Panthers – D Adam Larssen (Skelleftea – SEL)
4. New Jersey Devils – RW Gabriel Landeskog (Kitchener Rangers – OHL)
5. New York Islanders – C Sean Couturier (Drummondville Voltigeurs – QMJHL)

As all of you I have opinions on who these teams should take. With the addition of the Canadian Hockey League last year and all the European Leagues in our game we had 18 of the 1st round players chosen last year in the 2010 Entry Draft in our game before they were even drafted. Playing with these players lets you get a glimpse of the future of the NHL.

I am no expert by any means but here is my take on the draft and who I think will be chosen by each team in the draft.

1. Edmonton Oilers – C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Red Deer Rebels - WHL)

I believe they should trade down so they can get Adam Larsson as he fits their biggest need as a franchise: defensemen. If they keep the pick however they will take Nugent-Hopkins just because he’s the best player with the highest potential available.

2. Colorado Avalanche – D Adam Larssen (Skelleftea - SEL)

Larssen’s a good young defenseman who can step in and play as he has been playing with men for 2 years in Sweden.

3. Florida Panthers – RW Gabriel Landeskog (Kitchener Rangers - OHL)

Dale Tallon likes strong leaders, i.e. Jonathan Toews, and Landeskog fits the leader type of player that Florida needs to take the next step forward.

4. New Jersey Devils – C Jonathan Huberdeau (Saint John Sea Dogs - QMJHL)

Huberdeau would be a great fit as New Jersey would have a young center to hopefully play with Kovalchuk and Parise (if they can re-sign him).

5. New York Islanders – C Sean Couturier (Drummondville -QMJHL)

Couturier would be a great addition adding him to Jon Tavares as the top two centers on a team that is improving quickly.

6. Ottawa Senators – C Mika Zibanejad (Djurgarden - SEL)

The Senators farm team won the Calder Cup in the AHL but they don’t have top end offensive prospects and Zibanejad would be a good pick to help shore up the future offensively.

7. Winnipeg ?– D Dougie Hamilton (Niagara IceDogs – OHL)

Nice addition to help out Byfuglien on the Winnipeg blue line in the future.

8. Philadelphia Flyers(from CBJ) – D Ryan Murphy (Kitchener Rangers – OHL)

After the major blockbusters they did the day before I figure they will go after a D-man to be ready to replace Pronger and Timmonen in the future.

9. Boston Bruins(from TOR) – C Ryan Strome (Niagara IceDogs – OHL)

Another center for the Boston Bruins who just keep taking the best player available. Why not when you are winning Stanley Cups and have high draft picks.

10. Minnesota Wild – LW Sven Bartschi (Portland Winterhawks – WHL)

Good offensive player and Minnesota needs to get some of those.

11. Colorado Avalanche (from St. Louis) – RW Joel Armia (Assat – SM-Liiga)

Armia’s a winger who has offensive talent and the potential to be a linemate for Stastny or Duchene.

12. Carolina Hurricanes – D Duncan Siemens (Saskatoon Blades – WHL)

Canes don’t have much coming on D as most of their defensive prospects are playing with the Hurricanes.

13. Calgary Flames – LW Matt Puempel (Peterborough Petes – OHL)

Calgary desperately needs scoring prospects. Puempel fits that mold.

14. Dallas Stars – C/RW Zack Phillips (Saint John Sea Dogs – QMJHL)

A winner having played on the Memorial Cup winning Sea Dogs and is a Center which is needed in their system.

15. New York Rangers – C Mark Scheifele (Barrie Colts – OHL)

The Rangers could use some more help up the middle in the system.

16. Buffalo Sabres – C Mark McNeill (Prince Albert Raiders – WHL)

With Gerbe and Ennis both being wingers and showing they can play in the NHL it’s now time to find a center for the future.

17. Montreal Canadiens – D Jamie Oleksiak (Northeastern – HE)

Montreal has been trending for bigger players the last couple of drafts they don’t get much bigger than Oleksiak.

18. Chicago Blackhawks – D Jonas Brodin (Farjestads – SEL)

A nice D-man to add to their system. He won’t be rushed as Keith and Seabrook are there currently.

19. Edmonton Oilers (from LAK) – D Nathan Beaulieu (Saint John Sea Dogs – QMJHL)

Beaulieu’s a defensive prospect which Edmonton needs a lot of.

20. Phoenix Coyotes – LW Brandon Saad (Saginaw Spirit – OHL)

Nice two-way player who would fit in the Dave Tippett system.

21. Ottawa (from NAS) – D Joe Morrow (Portland Winterhawks – WHL)

Smooth skating defenseman prospect.

22. Anaheim Ducks – RW Ty Rattie (Portland Winterhawks – WHL)

Good forward that would fit in nicely as a potential top 6 forward in the future.

23. Pittsburgh Penguins – RW Tyler Biggs (US NTDP)

Tough nosed forward would be someone who could ride shotgun in the future for Malkin or Crosby.

24. Detroit Red Wings – D Oscar Klefbom (Farjestad – SEL)

Another Swede for the Detroit Red Wings.

25. Toronto Maple Leafs (from PHI) – C Rocco Grimaldi (US NTDP)

A Brian Burke type of player goes hard on every shift. Very small though.

26. Washington Capitals – LW/RW Nicklas Jensen (Oshawa OHL)

Washington needs more two way players less scoring sensations.

27. Tampa Bay Lightning – D Connor Murphy (US NTDP)

Defensive depth for their system.

28. San Jose Sharks – RW Tomas Jurco (Saint John Sea Dogs - QMJHL)

Good player who can score as well.

29. Vancouver Canucks – D David Musil (Vancouver Giants – WHL)

Adds some stay at home d-man depth on the prospect list for the Canucks.

30. Toronto Maple Leafs (from BOS) – C Daniel Catenacci (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds – OHL)

A decent forward for the Toronto Maple Leafs system. As Brian Burke tries and gets his cupboard full while he is rebuilding.

With all predictions they are an educated guess, but that is the fun part of the draft. We know that in two or three year’s time we’ll be saying, “10 teams missed out on so and so and now he is a big star though chosen 12th overall”. This is what happens when you draft a kid at 18 as they all develop differently.

Only a couple of the players drafted by a team in any given year eventually make the NHL. Some of the first round draft picks may never play for your favorite team. That is the risk of the entry draft and yet the beauty of this day. It’s full of hope for your franchise. That’s why a lot of people love playing NHL by starting a fantasy draft in Be a GM and seeing if their moves are better than their GM’s.

We also include a draft day roster so you can draft who you want in the draft and see if that is a good move for your team. As you can see there are lots of players in my predictions that are in our game.

Well hope everybody has fun watching the draft tonight and seeing the future of their favorite team. I know I will be glued to the TV so that I can see who is drafted number 1, who the Vancouver Canucks get at #29, and who will be potentially be playing a big role in the future of NHL 12.

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