It's that time of the month once again. The order is, as always, determined by the reverse order of the standings, and now, the results of the Draft Lottery. These are my own opinions that I base on the extensive draft research I do each year so I ask you respect them as I would yours (as is stated in the DieByTheBlade rules). The number in parentheses next to each player is that player's rise/fall since the March mock.
I am making the personal prediction that the New York Islanders will give us their pick this year. Also, the St Louis Blues are not in a slot in the conference finals so they keep their pick. I also added all picks for the Buffalo Sabres through the end of the draft.
So without further ado, here it is:
1.) Florida Panthers - Aaron Ekblad, D, Barrie (OHL) (+1)
Florida is in desperate need of a defenseman, and Aaron Ekblad may be the most NHL-ready player in the draft.
2.) Buffalo Sabres - Sam Reinhart, C, Kootenay (WHL) (-1)
This one was a toss up between the two Sam's. I think Reinhart has the slight (and I do mean slight) advantage though, so that is why I had Buffalo choose him here.
Regular Season Line: 36-69-105 in 60 games
3.) Edmonton Oilers - Leon Draisaitl, C, Prince Albert (WHL) (+2)
While I would put Sam Bennett here under normal circumstances, I have heard multiple reports that if Edmonton can't get Ekblad, they will select Draisaitl.
4.) Calgary Flames - Sam Bennett, C, Kingston (OHL) (-1)
2nd overall on my list behind Reinhart, Calgary gets a high-quality forward that will dress for them come October in Bennett.
5.) Buffalo Sabres (from New York Islanders) - Michael Dal Colle, LW, Oshawa (OHL)
Dal Colle has the greatest shot in the Draft, period. He was also 2nd among Draft-eligible OHL players in Goals.
Regular Season Line: 39-56-95 in 67 games
6.) Vancouver Canucks - Haydn Fleury, D, Red Deer (WHL) (+7)
Vancouver is in desperate need of an elite Defenseman, and Fleury is that guy.
7.) Carolina Hurricanes - Nick Ritchie, LW, Peterborough (OHL) (-1)
8.) Toronto Maple Leafs - Nikolaj Ehlers, LW, Halifax (QMJHL) (-1)
9.) Winnipeg Jets - Brendan Perlini, LW, Niagara (OHL) (-1)
11.) Nashville Predators - Jake Virtanen, RW, Calgary (WHL) (-2)
12.) Arizona Coyotes - Kasperi Kapanen, RW, KalPa (Finland) (-1)
13.) Washington Capitals - Jared McCann, C, Sault Ste Marie (OHL) (+1)
14.) Dallas Stars - Ivan Barbashev, LW, Moncton (QMJHL) (-2)
15.) Detroit Red Wings - Alex Tuch, RW, U-18 NTDP (USHL) (+3)
16.) Columbus Blue Jackets - Julius Honka, D, Swift Current (WHL) (-1)
17.) Philadelphia Flyers - Josh Ho-Sang, C, Windsor (OHL)
18.) New York Rangers - Dylan Larkin, C, U-18 NTDP (USHL) (+1)
19.) Minnesota Wild - Adrian Kempe, LW, Modo (Sweden) (+1)
20.) Los Angeles Kings - Nikita Scherbak, LW, Saskatoon (WHL) (+5)
21.) Montreal Canadiens - Sonny Milano, LW, U-18 NTDP (USHL) (+1)
22.) Tampa Bay Lightning - Roland McKeown, D, Kingston (OHL) (-1)
23.) Chicago Blackhawks - Conner Bleackley, C, Red Deer (WHL) (-7)
24.) San Jose Sharks - David Pastrnak, RW, Sodertalje (Sweden)
25.) St Louis Blues - Nikolay Goldobin, RW, Sarnia (OHL) (-2)
26.) Pittsburgh Penguins - Robby Fabbri, C, Guelph (OHL) (+3)
27.) Colorado Avalanche - Brendan Lemieux, LW, Barrie (OHL) (+8)
28.) Anaheim Ducks - Nick Schmaltz, C, Green Bay (USHL) (-1)
29.) Boston Bruins - Kevin Fiala, LW, HV71 (Sweden) (+4)
30.) New Jersey Devils - Anton Karlsson, RW, Frolunda (Sweden) (-4)
Honorable Mentions: Jakub Vrana, Eric Cornel, Jack Dougherty, Chase De Leo, John Quenneville
31.) Buffalo Sabres - Anthony DeAngelo, D, Sarnia (OHL) (-3)
DeAngelo is a smallish offensive defenseman with high upside who could go as high as 20.
Regular Season Line: 15-56-71 in 51 games
39.) Buffalo Sabres - Spencer Watson, RW, Kingston (OHL)
Watson is a pure goal scorer who needs to put on a few pounds.
Regular Season Line: 33-35-68 in 65 games
50.) Buffalo Sabres - Nicolas Aube-Kubel, RW, Val-d'Or (QMJHL)
Aube-Kubel is solid two-way winger who will drop the gloves when necessary.
Regular Season Line: 22-31-53 in 65 games.
61.) Buffalo Sabres - Mason MacDonald, G, Charlottetown (QMJHL)
MacDonald is the #2 goaltender on Central Scouting's NA list, but I have him as my #5 goaltender. Solid value here.
121.) Buffalo Sabres - Ryan Rehill, D, Kamloops (WHL)
Rehill is a pure enforcer. 182 penalty minutes in 72 games.
151.) Buffalo Sabres - Axel Holmstrom, C, Skelleftea (Sweden)
Holmstrom is a big, point-per-game Center in Sweden's top Junior League
Regular Season Line: 15-23-38 in 37 games
181.) Buffalo Sabres - Alex Gillies, LW, Salmon Arm (BCHL)
Decent sized offensive winger. Doubtful to make it to the NHL but could surprise.
Regular Season Line: 28-30-58 in 46 games