The 2011 draft promises to be one of the most chaotic in years, particularly at the top. Dominoes will fall based on the first pick and conventional wisdom may be tossed on its ear. With that in mind, this mock draft is based on one of those possible outcomes and is not necessarily "best player available." For an inside scoop on some of the other twists expected to occur, read my column that will appear this Friday.
Minnesota hosts this year's draft starting June 24 and though THN's Draft Preview ranked Ryan Nugent-Hopkins as the top pick, there are a number of top prospects who could go No. 1.
So without further ado, we present our 2011 mock draft.
Oilers need defensemen and the all-around Swede with size can step into lineup right away
Stacked down the middle, Avs go for a heart-and-soul winger who can score and kill penalties
A huge coup at No. 3, RNH’s dazzling vision and playmaking sorely needed by drab Cats offense
Devils already have a great core; adding a dominating, big-bodied center is the icing on the cake
Monster playoff run showed off his sick hands; now imagine him as the No. 2 center behind Tavares
Rebuilding Sens don’t have a lot of high-end skill, something the goal-scoring Strome has in spades
Two-way defenseman boasts a 6-foot-4 frame, great power play acumen and leadership skills
Highly skilled winger would give Jackets two future stars from Portland along with Ryan Johansen
B’s playing with house money, so why not tab undersized D-man with mad power play skills?
Highlight-reel Swede can score and throw big hits; Wild future not so dark with him and Granlund
Mobile defenseman brings a little of everything to the table, including leadership. Could be in NHL soon
Big blueliner would bring both skill and snarl to Canes back end. Not afraid to drop the gloves
Flames need offense and the Sea Dogs center knows how to get on the scoresheet
Stars ‘D’ corps needs more weapons and big Saint John star can contribute at both ends of ice
Budding power forward from Finland is lethal with man advantage and not afraid to shoot the puck
For a team that scores by committee, ‘Koko’ would be another potent weapon and brings strong character
Habs fans worried about team size will love power forward with versatile game and hockey sense
Two-way power forward has immediate potential; plays responsible game in all three zones
Oilers may as well keep stocking that blueline with biggest player in the draft at 6-foot-7, 244 pounds
Skilled big man would join fellow Dane Mikkel Boedker in the desert; shoots the puck well
One of the smallest players in draft, Grimaldi is also one of the most dynamic and tough to knock off puck
Jonas Hiller’s vertigo issues exposed Ducks’ goalie depth; big Gibson is best available at the position
All he does is score and for a Penguins team in need of wingers for its sublime centers, he fits the bill
Responsible defenseman from Sweden sounds like classic Wings pick; great stride and puck skills
Leafs need top-six forwards and Puempel provides pure goal-scoring and a great work ethic
Swedish pivot brings both size and skill to table, plus he’s an ace in the faceoff circle and works hard
Big, physical defenseman has NHL bloodlines. Knows how to take away space and make the first pass
Slovakian import dazzled at the CHL skills competition and was a constant threat on loaded Sea Dogs
Big-bodied Czech finishes his checks and always competes. Doesn’t mind mixing it up in traffic
A force for Canada at the under-18s, the Barrie Colt is a beast around the net and puts up big numbers