All eyes in the hockey world will be on the NHL Draft which will be held this Sunday at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. As these future stars walk up to the podium, it's Graduation Day for these future stars as they will hear their names called by NHL General Managers and wearing the NHL sweater.
Since the NHL Draft Lottery occured, the Colorado Avalanche, who currently hold the number one pick, have been on the clock. Despite Portland Winterhawks' defenseman Seth Jones being the top overall players by Central Scouting Services, the Avalanche front office decided to go forward (literally and figuratively) with the first pick.
This is arguably the most anticipated draft since 2003 and the suspense will end in the next couple of days. Which team will take "which player" you ask? Give the following mock draft a look and have an opinion.
1. Colorado Avalanche: Nathan MacKinnon, C, Halifax (QMJHL)-Patrick Roy knows MacKinnon very well and if the Avs are true to their word on taking a forward, the Memorial Cup MVP is their guy.
2. Florida Panthers: Seth Jones, D, Portland (WHL)-Best D-Man available who shouldn't go past number two.
3. Tampa Bay Lightning: Jonathan Drouin: C/LW, Halifax (QMJHL)-Heir apparent to Martin St. Louis; Drouin and Steven Stamkos duo sounds enticing.
4. Nashville Predators: Aleksander Barkov, C, Tappara (Finland)-As a 17-year old, Barkov dominated in a mens league.
5. Carolina Hurricanes: Valeri Nichushkin, RW, Chelyabinsk (Russia)-Possibly the best talent in the draft, his skillset is too good to pass up at the five-spot.
6. Calgary Flames: Sean Monahan, C, Ottawa (OHL)-The Flames' rebuilding begins with taking Monahan, who shined on a woeful 67's team.
7. Edmonton Oilers: Darnell Nurse, D, Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)-Best defenseman not named Seth Jones brings skill and grit to desperate Oilers blueline.
8. Buffalo Sabres: Elias Lindholm, C, Brynas (Sweden)-Best two-way forward in the draft goes to Buffalo. Could play in the NHL as early as this fall.
9. New Jersey Devils: Curtis Lazar, C, Edmonton (WHL)-Hard-working forward is what the Devils need, especially in the post-Zach Parise era.
10. Dallas Stars: Ryan Pulock, D, Brandon (WHL)-First player taken in the Jim Nill era.
11. Philadelphia Flyers: Nikita Zadorov, D, London (OHL)-Flyers need help on the blueline and Zadorov fits the bill.
12. Phoenix Coyotes: Max Domi, C/LW, London (OHL)-Domi would be a perfect fit for the Coyotes, who are in need of a game-changer.
13. Winnipeg Jets: Adam Erne, LW, Quebec (QMJHL)-A Strong skater who is tough to knock off the puck.
14. Columbus Blue Jackets: Rasmus Ristolainen, D, TPS (Finland)-He's a goalie's best friend. Case in point: the 2013 World Juniors.
15. New York Islanders: Bo Horvat, C, London (OHL)-Horvat and fellow Knights alum John Tavares provide a nice one-two punch up the middle. Future NHL Captain.
16. Buffalo Sabres (via Minnesota): Alexander Wennberg, C, Djurgarden (Sweden)-He has great vision and skill. Also led his team with four game-winning goals.
17. Ottawa Senators: Anthony Mantha, C, Val-d'Or (QMJHL)-One of three players in the CHL circuit to score 50 goals this season.
18. Detroit Red Wings: Kerby Rychel, LW, Windsor (OHL)-Power forward posted back-to-back 40-goal seasons for a struggling Spitfires' team.
19. Columbus Blue Jackets (via New York Rangers): Robert Hagg, D, Modo (Sweden)-Has the size and skillset to contribute in the NHL right away.
20. San Jose Sharks: Andre Burakowsky, LW, Malmo (Sweden)-Explosive forward had difficulty getting ice time for Malmo. Could be a boom or a bust.
21. Toronto Maple Leafs: Hunter Shinkaruk, C, Medicine Hat (WHL)-He'd fit in nicely with Kadri, Kessel, van Riemsdyk and Co.
22. Calgary Flames (from St. Louis Blues): Zach Fucale, G, Halifax (QMJHL)-Flames need to vill a void between the cage, especially with the retirement of Mikka Kiprusoff.
23. Washington Capitals: Josh Morrissey, D, Prince Albert (WHL)-Morrissey has a lot of attributes, but needs to put on more muscle.
24. Vancouver Canucks: Ryan Hartman, RW, Plymouth (OHL)-Hartman can score and isn't afraid to mix it up either. Player in the Brad Marchand mold.
25. Montreal Canadiens: Frederik Gauthier, C, Rimouski (QMJHL)-He has the size and can also play a two-way game.
26. Anaheim Ducks: Jacob De La Rose, C, Leksand (Sweden)-He has fast wheels and plays well in his own zone.
27. Columbus Blue Jackets (via Los Angeles Kings): Valentin Zykov, RW, Baie-Comeau (QMJHL)-Led all rookies in the "Q" in scoring. He loves to score.
28. Calgary Flames (via Pittsburgh Penguins): Samuel Morin, D, Rimouski (QMJHL)-Flames should go with Defense with their third pick in the first round.
29. Dallas Stars (via Boston Bruins): Micro Mueller, D, Everett (WHL)-Adapted to the junior circuit right away. Has great upside.
30. Chicago Blackhawks: Eric Comrie, G, Tri-City (WHL)-Stanley Cup champs look to heir apparent to Corey Crawford.