Use the following trick to get a first round, thirty second round, thirty third round, thirty forth round, and thirty fifth round draft pick. Just trade your first pick for the team's first, second, third, fourth, and fifth round pick.
Go to the free agents and sign all the top free agents, then select any players you do not want on your team with a high salary and go shopping for cheap players, such as Ovechkin, Crosby, Malkin, Staal, Cheechoo, Pominville, Vanek, Afinogenov, Tucker, Gionta, and Cambell. Look for young players with a salary under $800,000 that are signed for more than one year. The best value in the game are Ovechkin and Crosby, but it might not be possible to get these players unless you trade your franchise player or start with their respected teams.
Start with any team. After the first year, when selecting free agents, choose a player named S. Whitaker. He is 16 years old and has 99 potential. He starts off with 82 overall, but by the time he is 18, he will be a superstar with 99 overall.
Start with the Toronto Maple Leafs, then hit the free agent market. Pick up every player rated over 80 overall, then hit the trade market. First sign Tucker to a long term deal, along with White, Colaiacovo, Steen, Wellwood, and Peca. Trade Sundin, Oneill, Kilger, and a under 60 overall rated player for Ovechkin. Trade Raycroft, two 80+ rated free agents, and two 70 overall rated fourth line players for Martin Broduer. Trade Newbury, Battaglia, and Stajan for Pominville and Vanek. Trade Gill and Kubina for either Neidermeyer or Pronger (what ever you prefer). Trade a free agent rated 80+ overall for F Kaberle. You now have some very good top forwards who are young, fast, and cheap, along with four solid defenseman. Your team should look like this: G Broduer, Aubin F Ovechkin, Steen, Wellwood, Pominville, Vanek, Tucker, Peca, plus free agents and farm players (D. Mccabe, Neidermeyer, or Pronger; or T. Kaberle and F. Kaberle; or Colaiacovo and White). The game uses a three line strategy, so your fourth line can be filled with below average players.