This is a preliminary view based on likely draft order and what Hockey's Future has assessed as organizational needs for each team. Edmonton will finish last but could go down one peg in the draft via the lottery. Any of the teams on this list could shift a spot or two either way. I expect that this will be the complete list of the bottom 14 but it is possible that Detroit or Boston could slip so I have projected their likely picks as well.
1) Edmonton Taylor Hall
Edmonton's one area of organizational weakness is at right wing and drafting Hall would move Magnus Paajarvi Svensson to #3 at left wing so a trade is not impossible. In all likelihood, however, the Oil will pick Hall.
2) Boston Cam Fowler
The greatest strength in Boston's VERY deep system is at center. They have a few centers who could probably start on some other teams. On the other hand, although they have some nice defensive prospects as well, they do not have any of elite quality and Chara's deal ends next season. Plus they have what promises to be a mid first round pick and several second rounders to address the other weakness at wing. Although I put Fowler's name in there, it is certainly possible that Boston would prefer Gudbranson or Gormley.
3) Islanders Tyler Seguin
If, as I expect, the Isles pick at 3 and Seguin is still on the board, he is the guy. The Isles do need another top four defenseman, but this draft is loaded with potential top fours and I can only assume that Garth gave up all those picks for DeHaan because he wants to groom him as the team's future #1. Apart from that, although center is an area of strength for the Isles, Seguin projects to be a better center than anyone currently in the fold. The one caveat to that is that Anaheim and Ottawa badly need an elite quality center and have the assets to make attractive offers.
4) Columbus Brett Connolly
They badly need an elite quality right wing.
5) Carolina Kirill Kabanov
6) Florida Erik Gudbranson
They don't have any glaring organizational weakness, but defense is the area where they are least strong and, happily, the best player available at this point is on defense.
7) Dallas Brandon Gormley
Even with drafting Ryan Ellis last year, they still need to stock up at defense.
8) Tampa Mark Pysyk?
They have added some blue chip talent, including Big Victor. They still, however, need a skilled puck moving defenseman. If they miss out on Fowler, Gudbranson, and Gormley, a trade down may be in order. A team with a surplus of puck movers with a late round pick might be able to move up into the top ten via trade with Tampa.
9) Anaheim Emerson Etem
At this point, neither Peter Holland or Kyle Palmieri have delivered as promised for Anaheim and they are still looking for an elite quality center to presumably plug into their second line. They also might go with Mikael Granlund, but they have had a preference for bigger guys.
10) Rangers Vladimir Tarasenko
Given the Rangers' need at right wing, their likely draft position, and their prediliction for Russian wingers, this is a no-brainer. I would almost favor the trade down with the Ducks just to see the look on Sather's face when we pick Tarasenko just ahead of their draft spot.
11) St Louis Jack Campbell
St. Louis is VERY strong at every position EXCEPT goal and Campbell is the only goalie projected for the first round.
12) Minnesota Alexsandr Burmistrov
The Wild need a top end wing.
13) Atlanta Nino Niederreiter
Waddell has been looking for talented big men up front.
14) Phoenix Teemu Pulkinnen
They are weakest at right wing.
Boston and Detroit have needs similar to Minnesota, Atlanta, and Phoenix. Their picks should not be very different.
Would you favor a trade down with Anaheim or Ottawa if the Islanders have a shot at Seguin?
Yes (33 votes)
No (94 votes)
127 total votes