- Gare Joyce
It's not too early to talk about winners and losers in the NHL draft. The biggest loser? The Toronto Maple Leafs.
If Boston and Philadelphia had lost their Game 7s, the Leafs would be sitting at Nos. 21 and 22 instead of further down the table. Ottawa took a smaller hit with Nashville getting into the second round.
On the flip side, the Oilers scored a small win with L.A.'s elimination -- or you might look at it as a loss for the Kings' poorly investing their draft capital in Dustin Penner.
One note before we dive in: Because the playoffs will continue to sort out the final order, after pick No. 22, our order is based only on regular-season finish.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, C, Red Deer (WHL)
The trend in drafting is puck skill trumping everything else. Maybe the Oilers would be better off drafting Larsson in terms of team-building, but they're taking the most skilled player in the draft at a position of need.
In Gare Joyce's second 2011 NHL mock draft, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is the No. 1 pick and Ryan Strome overtakes Gabriel Landeskog in the top five.