It's February, and time for another mock draft. In the month of love, what teams will find their perfect match?
1. New York Islanders- John Tavares (C)
While the Isles are in the bottom spot again, they're actually closing in on their lottery rivals. Just four points back of Atlanta and five behind Ottawa, the Isles could potentially pass either very soon. The 'good' news? With the trade deadline looming, New York could shed #1 and #2 centers Mike Comrie and Doug Weight, and top-line forward Bill Guerin- a fool-proof formula to land Tavares. Since joining London in an OHL deadline deal, Johhny T has amassed an incredible 15 goals in 11 games. His 41 goals and 78 points leads the league. Even a potentially major shoulder injury against Windsor two days ago won't knock him from the top spot, although it's worrisome considering Zach Kassian got him in the same spot during the TPG.
2. Atlanta Thrashers- Victor Hedman (D)
With two games in hand on NYI, it might not be long until Atlanta is the one taking Tavares. However, despite an underwhelming WJC, Victor Hedman is still proving he's a worthy consolation prize. Since returning from Ottawa, the mammoth Swede has amassed seven points. With 18 points, he is tied with Blues bluechipper Lars Eller for the U20 scoring lead. Named to the LG Hockey Games for his efforts, Hedman is anchoring the second pairing for Team Sweden along with former NHLer Mattias Timander.
3. Ottawa Senators- Magnus Svensson-Paajarvi (LW)
Since firing rookie head coach Craig Hartsburg, the Senators have lost two straight and scored just three goals, while giving up 56 shots against. That's probably not the turn-around they had in mind. While some will have Ontario native and OHL star Matt Duchene in this spot, the Sens have always loved high-octane European products. That they embraced their Swedish heritage by having Daniel Alfredsson 'select' Erik Karlsson at last year's draft reinforces this pick. While Paajarvi has slowed down considerably in offensive output, he showed flashes of superstardom with his game-breaking speed and size during the WJC.
4. Tampa Bay Lightning- Ryan Ellis (D)
Hanging steadily in the bottom five, the Tampa Bay Lightning don't look at any risk to tear up the standings any time soon. Like Ottawa, a one-line attack and inconsistent defensive play has doomed a team that looked dangerous on paper in pre-season. One of the biggest problems for Tampa has been offensive support from the backend; with Dan Boyle gone, there are no powerplay QBs in the system. Ellis is a slight reach here (a major reach if you're CSB) but 66 points in 44 games is tough to argue.
5. Toronto Maple Leafs- Matt Duchene (C)
While Brian Burke and Ron Wilson have been good for some choice soundbites when it comes to thei