Every year I throw out my best ideas concerning draft projections and every year I get more choices wrong than right, but it's fun so I will give it another go round this season.
The first round of the draft is this Friday night with the subsequent rounds on Saturday. We will have an open thread/live blog during all of the rounds both days and will be reporting live from the Hurricanes media "war room" at the PNC Arena. More about that later in the week.
As we already know, the Hurricanes have the eighth overall pick. Can they find another Sean Courturier at that spot, like the Flyers did last year? Or will they deal the pick as part of a package in a huge draft day trade? Stay tuned.
1. Edmonton Oilers: Nail Yakupov This will be the third straight year that the Oilers have the number one pick and just like the previous years, they will select the highest rated forward. After all, who needs defense when you have Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and now Nail Yakupov?
2. Columbus Blue Jackets: The Jackets will go for scoring here so look for them to take Filip Forsberg. He is the number one rated European skater by the ISS and the Red Line Report calls him a "complete package".
3. Montreal Canadiens: Mikhail Grigorenko Nice size and skill. Too good to pass up here. Previous injury to Galchenyuk might make them pass on him.
4. New York Islanders: They need defense and should seek the best available blueliner and the one most ready to play in the NHL, Ryan Murray.
5. Toronto Maple Leafs: Alex Galchenyuk He is the best payer available here, previous knee injury or not.
6. Anaheim Ducks: The Ducks have had good luck with Finns and will attempt to continue the trend with the selection of Teuvo Teravainen. He has been cited by many as having the most skill in this draft.
7. Minnesota Wild: Morgan Rielly The Wild have already made it known that they are going after Zach Parise, so they will go with defense here and Rielly is one of the top rated blueliners in the draft.
8. Carolina Hurricanes: The Canes will try their best to trade this pick as part of a package, but those deals are tough to come by. Instead they will pick Matt Dumba, a big hitter with a big shot. He is rated the third best player in the draft by the Red Line Report. Hard to ignore 20 goals and 57 points scored in WHL last season.
9. Winnipeg Jets: Griffin Reinhart Big defenseman has an all around game at a young age.
10. Tampa Bay Lightning: The Bolts just traded for a goalie so will try to solve their need on defense and go with Jacob Trouba, a rock solid USA defenseman.
11. Washington Capitals: Radek Faksa Reportedly, the best two-way center in the draft falls to the Caps.
12. Buffalo Sabres: Zemgus Girgensons Another highly rated two-way center.
13. Dallas Stars: Codi Ceci Good size and potential
14. Calgary Flames: Olli Maata Finnish defender could go this high.
15. Ottawa Senators: Brendan Gaunce Big, strong, can score but can he skate? The Sens will find out.
16. Washington Capitals: Hampus Lindholm Caps happy to take the smooth Swede d-man here.
17. San Jose Sharks: Derrick Pouliot This defenseman is rated higher than 17 on many charts.
18. Chicago Blackhawks: Malcolm Subban Hawks roll the dice here and go for the highly rated goalie.
19. Tampa Bay Lightning: Pontus Aberg Yzerman goes with one of the best Swedes available.
20. Philadelphia Flyers: Matt Finn Flyers look for defense and there are still good ones to be had.
21. Buffalo Sabres: Tom Wilson Big, tough guy, Sabres will gamble he can score enough to warrant this high of a pick.
22. Pittsburgh Penguins: Tomas Hertl Solid Czech player a good choice here.
23. Florida Panthers: Sebastian Collberg Some say he outplayed countryman Forsberg in the Worlds.
24. Boston Bruins: Colton Sissons Mixed reviews but a worthy pick at this spot.
25. St. Louis Blues: Mark Jankowski Blues reach a bit for a highly skilled guy with room to grow
26. Vancouver Canucks: Stefan Mattaeu Will bring physical game
27. Phoenix Coyotes: Tanner Pearson Late bloomer could fit well here.
28. New York Rangers: Scott Laughton More grit is added to team already full of it.
30. Los Angeles Kings: Brady Skjei Steady defenseman with good size.
Bonus pick: Carolina's second rounder, 38th overall: Philip Di Giuseppe The ISS has him at the 22nd best North American skater and Red Line Reports says that "checkers bounce off" him.