Czech Republic's Vojtech Mozik (L) tries to stop a slap shot by Russia's Nail Yakupov during the second period of play at the 2012 IIHF U20 World Junior Hockey Championship in Calgary, Alberta, January 2, 2012. (Photo : REUTERS/Todd Koro)
Hundreds of prospects and 30 teams will be on hand in Pittsburgh for the annual NHL Draft on Friday. The weeks leading up to this draft have been filled with speculation, trade rumors, and mock drafts. Here is Latinospost's Mock Draft for the 2012 NHL Draft.
1. The Edmonton Oilers draft Nail Yakupov 1st overall. They may need defense, but there is no way that the Oilers pass up on a top end offensive talent like Yakupov to play alongside franchise cornerstones Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Taylor Hall.
2. The Columbus Bluejackets draft Filip Forsberg with the 2nd pick. They already have a strong defensive core, a top center in Ryan Johansen, and will opt for a franchise winger in the Forsberg. He will be the ideal complement to Forsberg moving forward.
3. Mikhail Grigorenko will be the Montreal Canadiens' pick at number 3. He is an all world talent that has been questioned for his work ethic. However, the Habs will find it hard to pass on that franchise center that they have lacked for so long.
4. The New York Islanders are in an interesting dilemma. They could probably use another all-world talent like Alex Galchenyuk or a top defenseman like Ryan Murray. They will opt for the latter and take Murray with the fourth pick, providing stability to an otherwise sloppy defense.
5. The Toronto Maple Leafs will be thrilled to take Alex Galchenyuk and end their search for their number one center.
6. Anaheim will reach here and grab Griffin Reinhart, who many believe may be the best defenseman of this draft when all is said and done. With Reinhart, they add size to their defense and the perfect complement to Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler.
7. Minnesota was dismal offensively this season and will look to fix this problem for the future by selecting Teuvo Teravainen, a young Finish player who has rocketed up the charts for his late season play. He may be small, but he is dynamic and has tremendous upside.
8. Carolina needs to score and will take center Radek Faksa as he is the best available player at this point in the draft.
9. The Jets already have a franchise center in Mark Scheiffle, a franchise winger in Evander Kane, a top defenseman in Tobias Enstrom, and a second-line center in Alex Burmistrov. They will take advantage of the wealth of defenseman in the draft to take Morgan Rielly.
10. Tampa Bay will utilize the first of their two picks to sturdy up their defense. They will happily take Matthew Dumba who was expected to go higher, but falls due to his high risk play. They already have big Victor Hedman manning the defense, so taking the smaller Dumba who has high upside is not a high risk pick for the Lightning.
11. The Capitals take the highly skilled and reliable Ollii Maata with their first pick to add some depth to their blueline.
12. Buffalo opts for a right winger to complement new number one center Cody Hodgson. Thomas Wilson is their pick.
13. Dallas needs defense and they will take Codi Ceci at this spot to address that need.
14. Calgary needs to face the fact that their core is not getting younger and a rebuild is imminent. They will look to grab a center with Brendan Gaunce who is known for his strength on and off the puck. He isn't a franchise center, but is a strong leader that will serve the team well moving forward.
15. Ottawa is loaded with offensive prospects and will go with defense here. They will go after Derrick Pouliot who is seen as a poised defenseman who plays with edge and speed.
16. Washington gets its second pick and will look to add offensive depth. Sebastian Collberg, who had a strong World Junior Championship with Sweden and is the third ranked European Skater, will get a chance to play with Alex Ovechkin in future years.
17. The San Jose Sharks will take American-born Stefan Matteau to add some grit and strength to their forward core.
18. The Chicago Blackhawks have one glaring need: goaltending. However, this is a team built to win sooner rather than later and a goalie would not be ready for another four to five years. They will instead do the second best thing and draft defenseman Matthew Finn.
19. Tampa Bay returns to the podium and looks to the long-term future in goal. They have Anders Lindback, but no one knows if he will be the long term solution. They go after goaltender Malcolm Subban with this pick and take their future number one goalie.
20. The Philadelphia Flyers take Dalton Thrower, whose physical game fits well with their style of play.
21. Buffalo comes back once more to grab goalie Oscar Dansk. Goalie Ryan Miller is getting old and there are no assurances that Jhonas Enroth will be the future of the franchise in net.
22. The Pittsburgh Penguins are "set" down the middle and have a solid defensive core. However, they may not be able to keep Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Jordan Staal together for much longer as their three centers. Staal looks to be on the way out and the Penguins need a replacement. Zemgus Grigensons will be that replacement.
23. Florida has a strong pool of defensive prospects. They will go after secondary scoring and will get that with Center Colton Scissons.
24. The Boston Bruins have their number one goalie in Tuuka Rask. But after him, they have no one. They go for 6'3" goalie Andrei Vasilevski to add some security at the position.
25. Hampus Lindholm falls to the St. Louis Blues who are happy to add the Swede to their rich core of defenseman.
26. Martin Frk goes to the Vancouver Canucks who are happy to add the speedy forward to their potent offensive unit.
27. Phoenix goes after winger Pontus Aberg to add some offensive depth to its otherwise weak offense.
28. The New York Rangers are a pretty complete team with no gaping holes. They have a knack for going after USA developed players and will take Brady Skjei to add to their top-end defense.
29. The New Jersey Devils will go defense in this round due to the lack of true elite defenseman outside of Adam Larsson. They will take a gamble on Jordan Schmaltz.
30. The Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings will look to add some offense and will pick up Tanner Pearson.
The NHL Draft takes place Friday June 22 at 7 PM. Rounds 2 through 7 take place Saturday June 23.