Editor's Note: We'll be rolling out a new mock draft every other week or so, with myself and Huw probably battling it out to see who can be the most accurate. Perhaps a contest is the works? We'll see....
Now that the 2013 NHL Draft Lottery is over and the Colorado Avalanche jumped the Panthers to take the first overall pick its time to speculate on how it all could unfold.
This isn't scientific and its just speculation on my part. I've tried as best I can to identify each teams organisational weakness but also what the best player at that point in the draft is to come up with this list. This doesn't take into account either any potential scenarios for teams to move up or down in the draft.
If you disagree with how I've predicted the draft will unfold then I'd be very willing to discuss it with you in the comments.
|1||Colorado Avalanche||Seth Jones||The Avalanche take the best player in the draft and help solidify the situation on their blue line for years to come.|
|2||Florida Panthers||Nathan MacKinnon||While the Florida Panthers might have preferred a defenseman they can't pass up on one of the most talented players in the draft in MacKinnon.|
|3||Tampa Bay Lightning||Aleksander Barkov||The Lightning need a young centre and they get that in Aleksander Barkov. With questions over Vincent Lecavalier being brought out at the end of the season Barkov provides them with some help down the middle, potentially as soon as next season.|
|4||Nashville Predators||Jonathan Drouin||The Predators take a forward with potentially the best hands of the draft. Drouin is talented and will help the Predators as they seek to find potential top six forwards to fit alongside their newest acquired prospect Filip Forsberg.|
|5||Carolina Hurricanes||Valeri Nichushkin||The Hurricanes will be happy to snap up the most talented Russian in the draft, despite the contract issues. Nichushkin will be a beast when he gets to the NHL in a few years time.|
|6||Calgary Flames||Sean Monahan||The Flames need some help down the middle and Sean Monahan provides that help. With the Flames firmly in rebuilding mode Monahan provides them with an important part to construct a new future for the flames in the future.|
|7||Edmonton Oilers||Darnell Nurse||The Oilers have one of the most talented young forward groups in the league, its help on the backend that they need. Darnell Nurse would definitely become a key part of their blueline and potentially pushes this team towards the post season their fans have been dying for.|
|8||Buffalo Sabres||Elias Lindholm||The most talented Swede in the draft won't fall past the Sabres who are perfectly happy to take one of the most interesting players in the draft. He will help build up their forward prospect units which look a bit bare.|
|9||New Jersey Devils||Hunter Shinkurak||The Devils need some forward help and they take the speedy Shinkurak from the WHL. He's got a nose for the net and the Devils could use him within their organisation.|
|10||Dallas Stars||Ryan Pulock||Yes... The Stars take a defenseman at number 10. Despite their depth on the blueline they can't ignore one of the most offensively talented defensemen in this draft. Theres no such thing as too much depth when it can be traded but with the draft going like this they have to take the best player available, even if it is a defenseman.|
|11||Philadelphia Flyers||Rasmus Ristolainen||The Flyers have been bleeding at defence for a while now and Ristolainen's style of play screams Flyers hockey. He has impressed in the SM-Liiga and he will certainly loom on the Flyers blueline at some near point in the future.|
|12||Phoenix Coyotes||Max Domi||The Coyotes take the small but talented forward from the OHL's London Knights. He will certainly improve their forward group.|
|13||Winnipeg Jets||Alexander Wennberg||The Jets need some talented wingers to help even out their prospect pool and this Swedish will certainly help them do that. He's one of the more intriguing prospects and could pay huge dividends for the Jets a few years down the line.|
|14||Columbus Blue Jackets||Nikita Zadarov||The Blue Jackets have three picks in the first round so can focus on getting the best player that can. Zadarov will certainly help build up what is already an impressive group of prospects on the Blue Jackets blue line.|