Game plan: Thanks to trades for now-departed centre Dominic Moore and defenceman James Wisniewski, Canadiens general manager Pierre Gauthier only has two picks in the top 100 and six selections overall. His first-round pick is 17th overall, which could still reap a benefit, although Gauthier may try to move up. The Habs could use some size at forward and possibilities include Dmitrij Jaskin of the Czech Republic or Tyler Biggs, a 6-foot-2, 210-pounder who played for the United States under-18 team and is ranked 17th overall by Mark Seidel's private North American Central Scouting service.
Picks: Nos. 17, 78, 113, 138, 168, 198
Game plan: Senators GM Bryan Murray has most picks of any team (12) thanks to the flurry of trades he made late last season, when it was decided to break up the failing team for a major rebuild. Since Mike Fisher was one of those shipped out, Murray is looking for a second-line centre and his sixth-overall pick gives him a shot at one who could play in the NHL fairly soon. Gabriel Landeskog, Ryan Strome, Jonathan Huberdeau and Sean Couturier are all ranked in the top seven by North American Central Scouting, so chances are Murray will get one of them.
Picks: Nos. 6, 21, 35, 61, 66, 96, 126, 156, 171, 186, 204 (Ottawa will also get either the 36th, 43rd or 48th pick from the Chicago Blackhawks as part of the Chris Campoli trade.)
Toronto Maple Leafs
Game plan: Brian Burke loves making blockbuster trades on draft day, often to the dismay of his scouts who see a year's worth of work go down the drain when picks are traded away. This year, the Maple Leafs GM is looking to move up in the draft from 25th overall, which will be difficult. As of Thursday, he has a total of 11 picks to plot for. Burke could also package some or all of his first three picks - Nos. 25, 30 and 39 - for the No. 1 centre the team desperately needs. As an organization, the Leafs are well-stocked on defence and in goal, and Burke says he is looking for character and speed, so look for some fast forwards to be taken with the surviving picks.
Picks: Nos. 25, 30, 39, 86, 100, 130, 152, 160, 173, 190, 203
Game plan: The Flames added two extra second-round picks from the New York Rangers on June 1, but the price was high - the rights to prospect Tim Erixon, a developing all-around player they couldn't get signed and as a result was about to go back into the draft. All of the wheeling and dealing done by former general manager Darryl Sutter over the past couple of years cost the franchise first- and second-round picks galore, something that will theoretically change under Jay Feaster, who is not averse to trading down from No. 13 to land an extra pick on Friday. If the Flames do go ahead and draft there, it will be their highest draft position since 2003, when they took defenceman Dion Phaneuf ninth overall.
Picks: Nos. 13, 45, 57, 104, 164
Game plan: The Oilers received the 19th-overall pick from the Los Angeles Kings in the Dustin Penner deal this spring, and will try to leverage that, and No. 31, for a chance to move into the top 12. Assuming they do grab forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins first overall, that would still permit them to draft an aggressive, abrasive defenceman such as Duncan Siemens from nearby Sherwood Park. With an early September birthday, Siemens is one of the youngest players in the draft. Edmonton's extra third-rounder is from Calgary in the Steve Staios trade.
Picks: Nos. 1, 19, 31, 62, 74 , 92, 114, 122, 182
Game plan: There aren't enough hours in the day for GM Kevin Cheveldayoff to whittle through his off-season to-do list, so for the draft, he'll rely on Marcel Comeau, the Atlanta Thrashers chief scout for the past eight years, to handle matters. With the No. 7 pick, Winnipeg can fill an organizational void at centre because one of Sean Couturier, Ryan Strome or Mika Zibanejad is likely to be on the board when its turn arrives. Winnipeg is missing its second-rounder as a result of the Andrew Ladd trade last year, but added Montreal's fourth-, Carolina's fifth-, San Jose's fifth- and Calgary's seventh-rounders in deals for Nigel Dawes, Radek Dvorak, Ben Eager and Freddy Modin, respectively.
Picks: Nos. 7, 67, 97, 108, 133, 149, 157, 187, 194
Game plan: The Canucks are delighted to have made the Stanley Cup final and still retain all their 2011 picks. They didn't select until the fourth round last year, and traded future third-round picks to fortify their roster at the deadline. This is a rare chance to stockpile seven youngsters. The Canucks don't shy away from undersized skill players, nor players with strong academic credentials and university commitments. At some point, GM Mike Gillis has to start replenishing the blueline with high-end prospects, so look for a defenceman to go in the first two rounds. Trades for immediate help are also possible as the Canucks believe their time is now.
Picks: Nos. 29, 60, 90, 120, 150, 180, 210