The NHL held its draft lottery this week, and those teams that missed out on the Stanley Cup Playoffs can now switch their attention to this year's top prospects and grab a player that can help them in their goal of making the post-season next year and beyond.
Edmonton was the lucky winner for the top choice, and the Oilers will likely take Nail Yakupov, who is considered the top offensive player in this year's class. The team has struggled with defensive play over the last couple of seasons, but passing on the young Russian is not really an option as his upside is terrific and most experts consider the young winger a can't-miss player.
Columbus continued their woeful year by losing out on the playoffs and the lottery, but the Blue Jackets did get the second overall choice and should pick a quality player to help with their rebuilding. Winger Filip Forsberg is a tough youngster with plenty of upside, and with the recent rumors of the team looking to trade Rick Nash, taking a physical player that can play both ends of the ice is necessary for this team to succeed.
Montreal won the third overall choice in the 2012 NHL Draft, and the Canadiens are projected to take Mikjail Grigorenko. The young center is ready to jump in now and take on a key role with whatever team decides to draft him. Grigorenko is considered a polished offensive player, but his defensive skills need work for him to become a complete player.
Teams have about two months before the draft, and off-season workouts could change what players end up in what city, but these three youngsters will hear their name called at the top of the draft and should see plenty of action in the very near future.