USA TODAY Sports hockey columnist Kevin Allen offers his mock draft for the NHL's first round in Philadelphia on Friday:
1. Florida Panthers: Defenseman Aaron Ekblad (Barrie). Whether the Florida Panthers trade the pick or keep it, it would seem likely that Ekblad would go No. 1. Anyone who makes a trade should be coming up to grab an impact defenseman and the Panthers could certainly use a premium young defenseman. It's believed he's ready to move into the lineup like Seth Jones did last season in Nashville. You have to believe that the Edmonton Oilers are going to make a strong pitch to move up because they desperately need a premium young defenseman.
2. Buffalo Sabres: Center Sam Bennett (Kingston). He is a nice fit for a team that is collecting young talent, such as Zemgus Girgensons, Nikita Zadorov and Rasmus Ristolainen. Bennett is a Jonathan Toews-like center. Based on their talent influx, the Sabres could be a very good team in three seasons.
3. Edmonton Oilers: Left wing Leon Draisaitl (Prince Albert). If they don't move up to land Ekblad, the Oilers might use this pick to acquire a more proven defenseman. But if there is no trade, German-born Draisaitl is an attractive power forward. Some teams have him ranked No. 2 overall.
4. Calgary Flames: Center Sam Reinhart (Kootenay). He is the son of former Calgary Flames standout Paul Reinhart. This would be a nice fit because the team landed Sean Monahan last season. a Monahan-Reinhart center combination looks promising moving forward. Reinhart is a scoring center with a high hockey IQ.
5. New York Islanders: Left wing Michael Dal Colle (Oshawa). GM Garth Snow had the choice giving their first-round pick this summer or in 2015. He chose to go with the 2015 pick because he knew the Islanders would land an exceptional player this season. Dal Colle scored 39 goals this past season and is considered one of the more natural scorers in the draft. He has a 6-2 frame, but he needs to add some weight.
6. Vancouver Canucks: Left wing Nikolaj Ehlers (Halifax). He is not very big, but he can be a dazzling offensive presence. Ehler makes things happen in the offensive end.
7. Carolina Hurricanes: Right wing Kasperi Kapanen (KalPa). His dad, Sami, used to play for the Hurricanes and was a very popular player. Kasperi is slightly bigger than his father.
8. Toronto Maple Leafs:Forward William Nylander (MoDo). He is the son of former NHL player Michael Nylander. He can score dazzling goals.
9. Winnipeg Jets: Left wing Nick Ritchie (Peterborough). He's the 220-pound power forward that every team is seeking at the trade deadline. He's tough and he can score.
10. Anaheim Ducks (from the Ottawa Senators in Bobby Ryan trade): Defenseman Haydn Fleury (Red Deer). No one can remember a season when there were so few defensemen considered worthy of first-round selection. He's a big, mobile defenseman.
11. Nashville Predators: Left wing Brendan Perlini (Niagara). Offensive power winger goes to a team looking for offensive help. Perlini's dad, Fred, once played for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
12. Arizona Coyotes: Right wing Jake Virtanen (Calgary). He will be out four to six months with shoulder surgery, but that won't impact his draft status. He is a quality skater.
13. Washington Capitals: Center Jared McCann (Sault Ste. Marie). He is a skilled playmaker. He's strong enough defensively to make him a favorite of new Washington coach Barry Trotz.
TRANSCRIPT: Kyle Woodlief's draft chat
14. Dallas Stars: Defenseman Julius Honka (Swift Current). The Finnish-born offensive defenseman put up impressive numbers this season. He's an intriguing player.
15. Detroit Red Wings: Center Dylan Larkin (U.S. under-18). The dependable two-way forward would fit perfectly into Detroit's puck-possession offense. He's a good skater.
16. Columbus Blue Jackets: Left wing Alex Tuch (USA Under-18). He's almost 6-4 and he can score. He got better as the season progressed.
17. Philadelphia Flyers: Center Ryan MacInnis (Kitchener). The son of Hall of Fame defenseman Al MacInnis is a big center who is considered a bit of a project. But he has the right DNA.
18. Minnesota Wild: Left wing Sonny Milano (USA Under-18). Although most teams pick the best player regardless of position, the Wild could use a scorer with some flair. That is Milano's game.
19. Tampa Bay Lightning: Right wing David Pastrnak (Sodertalje). He's a Czech athlete playing in Sweden. He's a very creative player with a keen understanding of how the game should be played.
20. San Jose Sharks: Center Kevin Fiala (HV-71). He's a spunky offensive player who sees plays happening a couple of seconds before everyone else.
21. St. Louis Blues: Center Ivan Barbashev (Moncton). You can't overlook the fact that he had 68 points in 48 games. He also plays a physical game.
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22. Pittsburgh Penguins: Center Nick Schmaltz (Green Bay). He has plenty of skill and he's sharp hockey vision. Blessed with a quality collection of young defenseman, the Penguins are looking for a forward.
23. Colorado Avalanche: Defenseman Anthony DeAngelo (Sarnia). Avalanche could use some younger skilled defenseman to add to their mix. He's a player who can quarterback a power play.
24. Vancouver Canucks (from Anaheim Ducks in Ryan Kesler trade): Right wing Jakub Vrana (Linkoping). He has the speed and the shot necessary to become a dangerous NHL goal scorer.
25. Boston Bruins: Defenseman Travis Sanheim (Calgary). He's 6-3 and he's mobile. He made a dramatic rise in the rankings as the season progressed.
26. Montreal Canadiens Left wing Adrian Kempe (MoDo). A power forward with speed and nastiness, he could be a Bill Guerin-style winger.
27. Chicago Blackhawks: Center Robby Fabbri (Guelph). He is small, but he's an offensive presence. He's 5-10, 170 pounds of skill.
28. Tampa Bay Lightning: (from New York Rangers in Martin St. Louis trade): Center Conner Bleackley (Red Deer). The hard-working, two-way player has excellent leadership qualities. Coaches will love the way he plays.
29. Los Angeles Kings: Defenseman Marcus Pettersson (Skelleftea). He's a 6-4 Swedish defenseman with mobility. He is a two-way defender who is comfortable on the power play or defending one-on-one.
30. New Jersey Devils: Left wing Brendan Lemieux (Barrie). He is the son of former Devils player Claude Lemieux and he plays like him. He is an agitating presence and knows what to do in front of the net