This is a no brainer pick. John Tavares is easily the best forward in this draft and has been compared to the likes of Wayne Gretzky. With absolutely no offensive talents on this team outside the likes of Kyle Okposo, Tavares will have some growing pains. But with the continued struggles of this team, it is about time to give this franchise a face and bring some excitement back to Long Island.
Even if the Lightning won the first overall pick in this years draft, I still think they would make this pick. The Tampa Bay Lightning easily had one of the worst defenses in the NHL last season and it showed. So the addition of Hedman will give an automatic boost to a struggling Lightning team and give them further optimism for next season.
With the ever aging Joe Sakic expected to retire this season and there only legitimate scoring center being Paul Stastny, this team needs depth down the middle. Duchene could make the team out of the draft and immediately give them a second line. Plus he has the best acceleration I have seen in some time and his playmaking ability is stellar. At worst will make the team for the 2010-2011 season.
4. The Atlanta Thrashers will select Evander Kane of the Vancouver Giants
One of Don Cherry’s favourite players, Evander Kane is a great scorer while bringing a physical presence with his small frame. He would definitely give Ilya Kovalchuk reason to stay in Atlanta while fitting in perfectly on a team lacking real talented scorers. Plus when he finally does fill out a little bit, will be an amazing player in the NHL.
5. The Los Angeles Kings will select Magnus Svensson-Paajarvi of Timra (Sweden)
This team already has a stable of prospects that is almost scary to look at and with another player that has been compared to Peter Forsberg being thrown into the mix, I can only imagine how good they soon will be. Plus with he fact that the Kings have chosen defenders in the past two drafts, this pick makes the most sense.
6. The Phoenix Coyotes will select Jared Cowan of the Spokane Chiefs
The Phoenix Coyotes are another team that has a scary amount of prospects and with Derek Morris being traded at the Trade Deadline, Wayne Gretzky will be looking for another defenseman to fill that hole. Even though he is a year or two away from making the NHL, Jared Cowan has the potential to be a premier shutdown defenseman in the NHL.