With the start of the 2012 NHL Draft just a few days off, teams all around the league are preparing their draft boards as they look to add young talent to their rosters. Here is the latest first round projections for every pick in the first round.
The first pick in the upcoming draft has little drama as winger Nail Yakupov is likely the top pick, but after that selection things get a little more interesting, especially if team's look to move up in the first round via trade.
Hockey Buzz has Columbus taking center Alex Galchenyuk with the second overall pick, but the Blue Jackets struggled enough on defense last year that the front office could take youngster Ryan Murray with this pick.
The most surprising choice is Toronto, who has the fifth overall selection and could go in any direction with their pick. The latest mock has the Maple Leafs taking center Radek Faska, a big center with good offensive skills. With the Leafs looking to add size this off-season, taking Faska ahead of Mikhail Grigorenko makes sense.
While defense has rules earlier mock drafts, several players jumped up draft boards with good showings at the NHL Combine last week. While several of these offensive players are a bit on the small side, teams will benefit down the line when these youngsters gain some size and experience in the lower hockey leagues.