15th overall – Pittsburgh – 2010 rank: 24th – Movement: (+9)
Top 5 Prospects: Brett Connolly (F), J.T. Miller (F), Eric Tangradi (F), Gustav Nyquist (F), Curtis Hamilton (F)
Team Analysis: The top five speaks for itself. Pittsburgh is going in full-force to bring home a solid foundation up front and build from there. With only one defenseman ranked in the top 10, Pittsburgh has tried to create group that will rival others forwards crops. Connolly is a scoring wiz who could flourish in Tampa, J.T. Miller will bring the grit and leadership that might be lacking in NY and Nyquist could very well end up being the second-coming of Val Filppula. Siemens should and could be a force & tank for the Colorado blue line as early as 2 years from now. The only concern is the lack of quality goaltending depth and a top notch defenseman. Two solid sleepers in Fraser and Ambroz could make this forward crop even stronger.
14th Overall – St. Louis – 2010 Rank: 17th – Movement (+2)
Top 5 Prospects: Gabriel Landeskog (F), Scott Glennie (F), Ian Cole (D), Matt Hackett (G), Nick Bjugstad (F)
Team Analysis: An overall nice blend of talent and some future first line potential, St. Louis has three in the making. Landeskog, Glennie and Bjugstad are three different players but all three are definitely slated for first line status. Hackett might emerge at the right time, just when Backstrom might be on the way out in a few years. Ian Cole should fight for a full-time spot in the 12-13 season. Depth at defense is strong with Smith-Pelley, Postma, Beaueboom and Junland. Jaskin and Panik is the big-time dark horse because of their vast talent set they could end up becoming future stars. Their inability to be consistent sets them apart right now.
13th overall – Los Angeles – 2010 Rank: 10th – Movement (-3)
Top 5 Prospects: Jonathan Bernier (G), Joe Colborne (F), Simon Despres (D), Beau Bennett (F), Mattias Tedenby (F)
Team Analysis: Franchise goalie? Check. Stud forwards? Check. Stud defenseman? Check. What else could really be asked of? This farm has a very nice blend of physical size with skill in Colborne, and a very shift, creative and highly skilled kid in Tedenby. To compliment Bernier, Chris Gibson will provide some depth at this position, not to mention he’s no slouch either. Rattie and Calvert are two who will go unnoticed in this farm to some, but not from this writer. Both are highly skilled kids with good motors; Calvert should be in the big show this year and Rattie will just take a few seasons to refine his game. Nothing to dislike about this farm’s direction. How it went -3 in terms of movement, we will never know.
12th overall – Detroit - 2010 Rank: 22nd – Movement: (+10)
Top 5 Prospects: Travis Hamonic (D), Ryan Spooner (F), TJ Brodie (D), Taylor Beck (F), Mark Scheifele (F)
Team analysis: Travis Hamonic is a stud. Kid get points, kid fights people. Fantasy goldmine. Getting Scheifele outside of the top 10 and then having him go to a team that really lacks centers and dominates through camp really shows how much Shaun has come around with this drafting thing in the OHL. Mr. OHL has continued to find other studs in the OHL, such as top goalie prospect Mark Visetin, future top 6 forwards in Spooner and Knight. What sticks out this year over previous years is the depth. Shane Prince ranked at 11 goes to show the quality within the farm in Detroit. For everyone else’s sake, let’s hope he doesn’t continue to draft like the real Red Wings or we’re doomed.
11th overall – Anaheim – 2010 Rank: 5th – Movement (-5)
Top 5 Prospects: Cam Fowler (D), Alex Pietrangelo (D), Adam Larsson (D), Calvin Pickard (G), Jakub Kindl (D)
Team analysis: Ducks have not received the memo that you can only dress 6 defenseman a week. Joking aside, find a better 1-2-3 tandem and I will call you a liar. All three are essentially All-star’s in the making. Pickard could end up being the goalie of the future but he’s going to have to impress a lot more to de-throne Rinne in Nashville. Kindl might get a shot on Detroit’s blueline but he also could very well see himself playing the end of the season in another team’s uniform as well, which would help his stock as he probably won’t see much playing time. Outside of those top 5, the depth gets a little thin. A lack of top six forwards in the top 10 affects this ranking. However, with the lack of quality defensemen around the league, Anaheim could easily shift one of those stud dmen for a franchise forward.
10th overall – Minnesota – 2010 rank: 6th – Movement (-4)
Top 5 prospects: Oliver Ekman-Larsson (D), Nikita Filatov (F), Jakob Silfverberg (F), Joel Armia (F), Justin Schultz (D)
Team Analysis: Recently drafted Joel Armia and Oscar Klefbom the Wild's two best non-pro prospects. Palmieri had a solid first NHL audition. Oliver Ekman-Larsson has the most pressure to produce and justify the hype and expectations surrounding him. Justin Schultz and Derek Forbort are the next best defense prospects on the Wild.