Draft needs: Breaking down positions by team
All 30 teams arrive at the 2013 NHL Draft on Sunday (3 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN) with different lists of players and different goals to accomplish.
Each has a plan in place on how to either replenish its roster now, or in years down the line.
There will be trades and surprises and all sorts of machinations as the day progresses, but here's a team-by-team look at what each organization could be looking to do when they set up on the floor of Prudential Center for Sunday's 2013 NHL Draft (3 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC):
Anaheim Ducks: The Ducks have done a nice job the past few years adding to their ranks of young forwards, with Kyle Palmieri, Emerson Etem, Devante-Smith Pelly, Rickard Rakell and Peter Holland. But with Bobby Ryan's name always popping up in trade talks, they could look to add another talented forward with their first pick, at No. 26 in the first round.
The Ducks have five picks -- one each in the top three rounds, plus fifth- and sixth-round picks -- and could look to add to their depth defensively with at least one of those selections.
Coming off their second trip to the Stanley Cup Final in three seasons, the Bruins' present is good shape. Dougie Hamilton, the No. 9 pick of the 2011 NHL Draft, had a solid rookie season despite being a healthy scratch for most of the postseason. However, restocking its pool of young blueliners could be something Boston looks to with at least a few of its six picks.
Buffalo Sabres: With 10 picks, including two in the first round and five of the top 69, the team's rebuilding plan has a chance to shift into high gear this weekend. While general manager Darcy Regier and director of amateur scouting Kevin Devine said moving up would be tough, moving back and gaining even more assets in the process remains an option. Regarless of what they do, the Sabres believe they'll come away with at least a few good players.
"We've got some holes to fill on both sides," Devine said. "In the past year, two or three years, our defensive depth on the back end has been very good. So we're really going into a draft where it's a tossup between the forwards and defense, at least for the first pick -- and the second pick, maybe even the goaltending comes into it."
Calgary Flames: With three picks in the first round and eight total, Flames general manager Jay Feaster said, "The importance of this draft is not lost on the organization and it certainly isn't lost on the management of the organization."
The Flames are in need of help across the board, with the trades of Jarome Iginla and Jay Bouwmeester, and now the possible retirement of goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff opening big holes. Feaster said he will look into moving up from their first pick, No. 6, or he could stand pat and hope to find quality from his quantity.
Carolina Hurricanes: On a team that ranked No. 21 or lower in goals-allowed per game four straight seasons, defense certainly is a place the Hurricanes could look to use at least one of its five picks, including the fifth pick in the first round.
Adding depth up the middle also could be an option with one of their other picks -- one choice each in the second, third, fifth and six rounds.
Chicago Blackhawks: Some of the drawbacks to winning the Stanley Cup are poor draft position or a lack of picks, and the Blackhawks currently suffer from both. They have the No. 30 pick in the first round, and then won't select again until the final pick of the fourth round -- the Hawks sent their second- and third-round picks to the Winnipeg Jets for defenseman Johnny Oduya at the Trade Deadline in 2012.
However, as deep as this year's draft is, it's likely the Blackhawks will get a quality player at No. 30. The draft is deep in talented centers and defensemen, which are two areas the Blackhawks could be looking to replenish in the next three to five years. Since there won't be a rush for those players to make an impact, the team won't feel any need to rush whatever prospects they land.
Colorado Avalanche: The Avalanche have just about removed any suspense surrounding the top pick, all but announcing Halifax Mooseheads center Nathan MacKinnon would be their choice. While MacKinnon's talent is unquestioned, the Avs have other holes to fill, and ample opportunities to fill them.
The Avs currently have the second pick in the second through seventh rounds, and will use at least one of those selections to upgrade a defense that allowed more than three goals per game in the regular season in 2012-13, and had just one blueliner score more than one goal.
Columbus Blue Jackets: First-year Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen is in good shape entering this year's draft, with three first-round picks (Nos. 14, 19 and 27), and four picks in the top 44. As Kekalainen told NHL.com at the Scouting Combine, he's ready for all possibilities.
"We're going to keep our options open and we're going to be open for talks," he said. "I've expressed the willingness to move one of those picks if we could get some help for our team. … We might be looking to move up, or move back, but it all comes down to what's available at the time our pick comes up."
Dallas Stars: New GM Jim Nill ran the Detroit Red Wings' drafts for most of the last two decades, and now brings that knowledge and judgment to Dallas. And even better for Stars fans, he's well-armed, with two first-round draft picks, five of the first 68 picks and nine in all.
"We have four picks in the top 54," Nill recently told NHL.com. "… it gives you a chance to get four pretty good players and it gives you options to do things at the draft, whether its trading up or trading down. Gives you a lot of flexibility."
Detroit Red Wings: The Red Wings have one pick in each round, starting with No. 18 in the first round. They had an influx of young forwards step up this season, including Gustav Nyquist and Joakim Andersson, with a few others on the way.
Defensive depth could be an area of interest, but the Wings could settle for what they believe is the best player available, regardless of position.
Edmonton Oilers: Oilers GM Craig MacTavish said he'd like to add some grit and physicality to his young core group. How he accomplishes that, however, remains to be seen. In addition to having the seventh pick in the first round, they have No. 37 and No. 56 in the second round.
That gives MacTavish options, but said moving from No. 7 right now doesn't appear to be one of them. "I've had a number of offers for our pick," he told reporters, "but nothing that even remotely would sway me to move it."
Florida Panthers: The Panthers have done well to stockpile a number of picks heading into this year's draft -- five of the first 98 selections. In addition to the No. 2 pick in the first round, they have the first pick of the second round and three selections in the fourth.
GM Dale Tallon told NHL.com he's looking for a player at No. 2 who can make an immediate impact in the NHL. With a strong crop of young forwards rising through the system, adding to the club's depth on the blue line could be an area the team targets Sunday.
Los Angeles Kings: The Kings don't have a first-round pick -- their No. 27 pick belongs to Columbus via the Jeff Carter trade -- but they have them throughout the rest of the draft: 10 in all, including one each in the second and third round, and three in the fourth.
That stockpile could allow GM Dean Lombardi to be creative as far as potentially moving back into the first round. With a few aging defenseman, adding youth and depth at that position could be an area he intently explores.
Minnesota Wild: The Wild sent their first-round pick, No. 16, to the Buffalo Sabres as part of the Jason Pominville deal, so they won't pick until No. 46, in the second round. But with eight selections in all -- including two in the third round -- GM Chuck Fletcher will be busy.
Finding a goalie for the future could be something addressed early in the draft, as their best prospect, Matt Hackett, also went to Buffalo in the Pominville deal.
Bergevin told reporters he's not ruling out any options with his stash of picks: "We could have six, we could have four or we could have eight. Everything's possible. We'll talk to teams about moving up or making some changes, but I think in the last two days before the draft is when teams will start really talking."
Nashville Predators: The Predators are tied for the most picks this year with 10, including a first-round pick for the first time since 2010. In addition to the No. 4 pick -- the highest they've chosen since their first draft, in 1998 -- they have one pick in the third round, three in the fourth and two in the fifth.
Adding offense likely will be the focus -- they were 29th in the League in goals per game in 2012-13 and have one consistent 20-goal scorer in Patric Hornqvist. They'll certainly have their pick of top scoring talent in the first round, but with a draft deep in centers, the opportunity is there for the Predators to really add bulk to their development system.
New Jersey Devils: With four picks heading into Sunday -- one each in the first, second fourth and sixth rounds -- the host Devils might have a quiet day.
With Zach Parise leaving this past summer and impending free agent David Clarkson possibly joining him, the Devils could focus on replenishing their offense, starting with the ninth pick in the first round. However, top scout David Conte told NHL.com the team will attempt to get "the best possible player for what's afforded us in the picks that we have."
New York Islanders: How will the Islanders build on their first Stanley Cup Playoff appearance since 2007? It will start with six picks Sunday, beginning with No. 15 in the first round.
The Islanders used all seven picks at the 2012 draft on defense, led by top prospect Griffin Reinhart, who might be ready to step into the NHL lineup in 2013-14. Young centers Ryan Strome and Brock Nelson also could be NHL-ready, so one position the team could look to target could be skill on the wings.
New York Rangers: The Rangers have five picks, but won't make their first selection until the third round, where they have three picks.
Ottawa Seantors: The first of the Senators' seven picks is No. 17 in the first round, but general manager Bryan Murray said he would like to change that, telling reporters this week that he's trying to get into the top 10.
Assistant GM Tim Murray said if the team can't go up, then going back isn't really an option, and the team likely will use its first pick on a forward. "If you go back and look at the past drafts, it's tough to get an impact defenseman at that point," he said. "I'll let [the media] figure that out. The percentages say it will be a forward, but maybe a defenseman drops."
Philadelphia Flyers: Ten years ago, the Flyers had the No. 11 pick at the 2003 NHL Draft and came away with All-Star sniper Jeff Carter. The Flyers will have the No. 11 pick Sunday, but their focus likely will be on another area -- defense.
General manager Paul Holmgren may have tipped his hand a bit when he said Finnish defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen might be "the most ready to jump right in [to the NHL], " after top prospect Seth Jones.
Phoenix Coyotes: With four of the top 73 selections -- one pick each in the first and second rounds, plus a pair of third-rounders -- Phoenix GM Don Maloney has a chance to add some quality players to the prospect pipeline.
One area of need is front-line scorers, and with the No. 12 pick in the first round and a draft top-heavy with offensive talent, expect Phoenix too look in that direction first.
The Penguins have made a recent habit of choosing defensemen, especially early -- they've taken a blueliner with their first pick three of the past four years. With defense being one of this draft's positions of strength, it wouldn't be surprising to see the Pens stick with that philosophy.
San Jose Sharks: The Sharks have eight picks this year, but four in the top two rounds, making general manager Doug Wilson extremely excited for what he potentially could accomplish Sunday.
"We have the extra second-round picks to jump up if we want," Wilson said of three picks in the second round. "If things fall the way they have, we might not need to. If you can get quality and quantity, that's your ultimate goal. We're in a really good position for that."
St. Louis Blues: The Blues don't have a first-round pick now -- theirs went to the Calgary Flames in the Jay Bouwmeester deal -- but general manager Doug Armstrong says there's still a lot of time to change that.
"We don't have a first-round pick yet," Armstrong recently told NHL.com. "But the draft's not tomorrow, either."
Tampa Bay Lightning: With six picks -- including the third selection in the first and second rounds -- Tampa Bay top scout Al Murray said he is aiming to get at least one impact player who can play in the NHL right away.
"We're all hopeful, in a salary-cap world, that everybody can jump in and have an impact quickly," Murray told NHL.com. "… I think there's going to be a number of players this year that can walk into the NHL and play. I don't know that you want to rush anybody, but there are a lot of guys because there's a lot of late birthdays at the top."
Toronto Maple Leafs: With one pick in each round, starting at No. 21 in the first round, it's likely the Maple Leafs focus on upgrading their talent pool at forward.
Center is an organizational need, and also one of the positions richest in draft talent. Defense is another strong area, but recent draft picks Morgan Rielly, Matthew Finn and Stuart Percy appear ready to challenge for roster spots. So if there's a tie talent-wise, expect the forward to be the choice.
Vancouver Canucks: With six picks, including No. 24 in the first round, the team needs to replenish a farm system that is going to be counted on to take some pressure of a few aging key players, including the Sedins, who will turn 33 before the start of the 2013-14 season.
They also could look at adding depth defensively. Frank Corrado made his NHL debut in 2012-13 and has a promising future, but the Canucks haven't drafted and developed an impact blueliner since Alexander Edler in 2004.
Washington Capitals: General manager George McPhee said he's taking an open mind, along with his eight picks, into the draft. He has one in each round, including two in the fifth. The Caps have the No. 23 pick in the first round and could address their depth at the forward spot there, but McPhee said he's not ready to commit to anything.
"I'm not really married to any position; we'll get there and see what people want to do," he said. "Sometimes things come up and you can move up. How far up do you want to move is the question, what is it going to take? We'll see. I'm open to that."
Winnipeg Jets: With 10 picks, including six in the first three rounds, Sunday could prove to be a very big day for the franchise. At No. 13 in the first round, the Jets have a need for an impact forward to play in the top six. However, the Jets also could use that pick as part of a deal to move up or move down. General manager Kevin Cheveldayoff said anything is possible.
"There are opportunities to move in both directions," he said. "My focus here would be to see if there is an opportunity to move up in the draft if the right player was there and we had the assets that could work to move [up]."