Each year around this time, as the NHL Entry Draft draws near, experts, media members, scouts and post their mock drafts, projecting what each NHL team will do with their first round selection. Some give well-researched and well-argued reasons for their picks; some are just throwing names against a wall. We aim to compile them here to see what the world thinks GM Steve Yzerman and Director of Amateur Scouting Al Murray will do when the draft gets underway in Sunrise on June 26.
|Yahoo!||Brock Boeser||Boeser fills an organizational need for the Lightning; he lacks game-breaking, high-end skill but makes up for it with size and physicality.|
|Sportsnet (Damien Cox)||Brock Boeser||Might we see a trend beginning to develop? National media are (correctly) identifying "power forward" as an organizational need.|
|Sportsnet (Jeff Marek)||Denis Guryanov||Marek, unlike most of the national media, sees a trend with Tampa Bay 1st rounders -- high end skill (and lack of aversion to Russian prospects).|
|USA Today||Jake DeBrusk||A 42-goal center at 28th overall? Would be surprised to see DeBrusk still available at this point in the draft but have no qualms about adding a skilled pivot to the prospect pool.|
|Bleacher Report||Anthony Beauvillier||Speed, skill, hockey sense. A 5'10, 185 pound frame won't bother the Lightning one bit. This selection matches our own in the SB Nation NHL Mock Draft.|
|McKeen's||Jeremy Bracco||Plenty of mock drafters pointing out Tampa Bay's success with smaller players in justifying their projection. Bracco's stock is inordinately affected by his size (5'9). On skill alone, he's a surefire 1st round talent.|
|My NHL Draft||Gabriel Carlsson||There will likely be a significant run on defensemen late in the 1st round, as there are quite a few ranked near each other from around pick 20 on. Carlsson is a fine prospect that projects as a solid two-way NHL D. That said, would think Tampa Bay looks to add some skill up front after drafting three D in the top 60 in 2014. Carlsson is not particularly known for his offense from the blue line.|
|The Hockey Writers||Noah Juulsen||If Tampa Bay is going to get a defensemen in the 1st round, Juulsen would be a great pick. 52 points in 68 games is near-elite production from the blue line, particularly in the WHL. He's by no means a purely offensive guy, however, as scouts laud his polished two-way game.|
|NESN||Daniel Sprong||Sprong would be a very good get this late in the 1st round. Elite offensive numbers (88 points in 68 games) and a fantastic set of offensive tools (passing, shooting, puckhandling all at elite levels).|
|Today's Slapshot||Denis Guryanov||Another vote for Guryanov here, who most folks still think will fall to the 2nd round. TSS sees this pick as coup for Yzerman; Guryanov is, like others before him, a very talented prospect (TSS says he has the deadliest shot in the whole draft) likely being pushed down draft boards because of his Russian passport.|
|Hockey's Future||Thomas Chabot||
Another vote for a late-round D. Chabot, like Juulsen, would be a solid pick at 28. He's a solid puck mover developing a respectable all-around game.
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