NHL Draft Talk Mock Draft Version 1.0
The easiest pick in the draft, McDavid will change the Oilers forever.
2. Buffalo Sabres: Jack Eichel - C - Boston University (NCAA) GP: 40 G: 26 A: 45 PTS: 71
Another easy selection, Eichel will be Buffalo's franchise center they so desperately need.
3. Arizona Coyotes: Noah Hanifin - LD - Boston College (NCAA) GP: 37 G: 5 A: 18 PTS: 23
Toss up between Strome, Marner, and Hanifin. Strome could be their number one center, but a top pairing franchise defenceman is tougher to find. If not Hanifin, they go with Strome.
4. Toronto Maple Leafs: Dylan Strome - C - Erie Otters (OHL) GP: 68 G: 45 A: 84 PTS: 129
This pick pleases the fan base as they get their future first line center. If not Strome, Marner makes sense because of both the Hunter connection, as well as the fact that Marner has a higher compete level, something Shanahan has said is key to his evaluation of talent.
5. Carolina Hurricanes: Ivan Provorov - LD - Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL) GP: 60 G: 15 A: 46 PTS: 61
Passing on Mitchell Marner could be a huge mistake, but Ivan Provorov has the potential to be a top pairing defenceman who can put up 50+ points every year, something you don't see often. His defensive ability and instinct is second to none in the WHL. If not Provorov, they go with Marner.
6. New Jersey Devils: Mitchell Marner - RW - London Knights (OHL)GP: 63 G: 44 A: 82 PTS: 126
Initially I had slotted in Mikko Rantanen at 6, meaning Marner falls to 7. After looking back on past drafts, LL usually sides with the BPA meaning Marner is a Devil. Marner is the 3rd best forward in this draft. If not Marner, they go with Rantanen.
7. Philadelphia Flyers: Lawson Crouse - LW - Kingston Frontenacs (OHL)GP:56 G: 29 A: 22 PTS: 21
The fans in Philly will adore Lawson Crouse and his agitating style. Next to Giroux, Crouse could be a 60 point player, however if he doesn't reach his ceiling, he could be a career 3rd liner. He's NHL ready in my opinion. If not Crouse, they go with Zacha or Rantanen.
8. Columbus Blue Jackets: Zach Werenski - LD - University of Michigan (NCAA) GP: 35 G: 9 A: 16 PTS: 25
It's evident that the Blue Jackets need help on defence. Werenski brings them a future top 4 offensive two way defenceman, who has the potential to be a top pairing (number two) defenceman. Columbus is high on Crouse and if he's available at 8 they will likely go with him. If not Werenski, Rantanen or Kylington are likely.
9. San Jose Sharks: Mathew Barzal - C - Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL) GP: 44 G: 12 A: 45 PTS: 57
In any other year, Barzal is likely a top 5 pick. Thankfully for the Sharks, McDavid and Eichel push this future star center all the way to 9. He will be a top 6 forward, and don't be surprised if he's the steal of the draft and records Seguin like numbers. If not Barzal, Rantanen or Zacha.
10. Colorado Avalanche: Mikko Rantanen - C/W - TPS (Liiga) GP: 56 G: 9 A: 19 PTS: 28
Like Columbus, Colorado needs help on the back end. Unfortunately the top 3 defenceman have been selected leaving them with the consolation prize of Mikko Rantanen. One of my favourites, Rantanen is an extremely smooth skater with good offensive instinct. If not Rantanen, Meier, Zboril, Kylington are solid options.
11. Florida Panthers: Pavel Zacha - C/W - Sarnia Sting (OHL) GP: 37 G: 16 A: 18 PTS: 34
I view Zacha much like Nichushkin in his year. Great player who will fall. Zacha has an elite level shot and I wouldn't be surprised if he's one who cracks the Panthers lineup next season. If not, then another year in Sarnia will be huge for him. If not Zacha, then Kylington, Meier, Guryanov are options. Wouldn't be surprised if they reach and grab Svechnikov or Guryanov.
12: Dallas Stars: Kyle Connor - C - Youngstown Phantoms (USHL) GP: 56 G: 34 A: 46 PTS: 80
With an aging Spezza, and no real solid top 6 center prospects, Connor fits a huge need in Dallas and is also the BPA. He has the potential to be a very good 2nd line center, and in a perfect world he becomes the next David Krejci. If they choose to look at a defenceman, my money would be on Zboril, Chabot a close second.
13. Los Angeles Kings: Jansen Harkins - C - Prince George Cougars (WHL) GP: 70 G: 20 A: 59 PTS: 79
Harkins has been "the guy" in PG for 2 years now and for good reason. This is likely higher than most people have him but Jansen Harkins WILL play in the NHL and WILL be a very good player during his time. Likely a 2nd line center. If not Harkins, Konecny and Meier are good options.
14. Boston Bruins: Travis Konecny - C - Ottawa 67’s (OHL) GP: 60 G: 29 A: 39 PTS: 68
With an aging center core, Konecny is a good fit in Boston. He competes extremely hard, and Bruin fans will fall in love with him. He's small, but his upside is huge. Could very well be a 1st line NHL'er. Konecny could very well rise into the top 10 if a team overlooks his size. If not Konecny, Zboril, Chabot, Eriksson Ek could all be options.
15. Calgary Flames: Nick Merkley - C/RW - Kelowna Rockets (WHL) GP: 72 G: 20 A: 70 PTS: 90
Merkley competes extremely hard, and though his size isn't something any player would envy, his heart and determination is. I watched him get run over 7 times in a period and instead of giving up, he picked up his pace and intensity. He's a good player, and at this point it's hard to tell how good he'll be at the NHL. Safe to say he's a middle 6 forward.
16. Edmonton Oilers: Jeremy Roy - RD - Sherbrooke Phoenix (QMJHL) GP: 46 G: 5 A: 38 PTS: 43
It's very likely the Oilers will not be selecting at 16, but if they do Roy is a great selection. Have seen services that have him in the 20's, but he's far better than that. He's a solid two way player who is very smart in the offensive zone. If they lean to a forward, Guryanov, Bittner, White would be options.
17. Winnipeg Jets: Timo Meier - RW – Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL) GP: 61 G: 44 A: 46 PTS: 90
Meier would be an absolute steal at 17. Due to my earlier picks, the Jets land another stellar prospect and Ehlers line mate. He's a very intriguing player offensively. Will be a top 5 scorer in the Q next season. If not Meier, Chabot, Zboril, and Kylington could be options.
18: Ottawa Senators: Oliver Kylington - LD - Farjestad (SHL) GP: 18 G: 2 A: 3 PTS: 5
The Sens grabbed Karlsson at 15, so why not Kylington at 18? If they can fix some flaws and develop him properly, Kylington will be a steal. He has some challenges defensively, but his skating and offensive instincts allow you to overlook that aspect. If the Sens pass on Kylington, Zboril, Chabot, and Larsson could be had.
19. Detroit Red Wings: Colin White - C/RW - U.S U-18 Team (USDP) GP: 47 G: 17 A: 28 PTS: 45
No matter who the Wings take they are going to turn out to be a steal. Selecting another American forward, the Wings get a very smart two way forward. White is looking more and more like Dylan Larkin and would look scary alongside him in Detroit. If not White, Guryanov, Bittner, Erikkson Ek are options. In speaking with someone close to the Wings, it's safe to say they are more than impressed with what Guryanov did at the U-18s.
20. Minnesota Wild: Evgeni Svechnikov - LW - Cape Breton Screaming Eagles (QMJHL) GP: 55 G: 32 A: 46 PTS: 78
Svechnikov is a good pick at 20 if you're looking for a guy with the potential to bury 30 per year. He had an explosive start to the year, but came back down to earth down the stretch. He has very good offensive tools but needs some work in his own end. If not Svech, Bittner, Carlo, and Eriksson Ek are options.
21. Buffalo Sabres: Paul Bittner - LW - Portland Winterhawks (WHL) GP: 66 G: 34 A: 37 PTS: 71
You're going to look back on this draft and say to yourself "how did Paul Bittner fall to 21?" This could very well be the Max Pacioretty pick every team dreams of. Bittner is big yet mobile. He gets around the ice with ease, and as a 17 year old stood out as the best player on the ice in the Winterhawks playoff run. If not Bittner, Guryanov, Chabot, Debrusk are all good options.
22. Washington Capitals: Denis Guryanov – LW – Ladia Togliatti (MHL) GP: 23 G: 15 A: 10 PTS: 25
Guryanov put on a clinic at the U-18s solidifying himself - in my opinion - as a lock for the 1st round. Though the Caps may have to wait a year or two due to his KHL contract, Guryanov is someone you should be patient for. His goal scoring ability is well above average, and his size separates him from most snipers in the NHL. If not Guryanov, Debrusk, Eriksson Ek, Bracco would be good fits.
23. Vancouver Canucks: Jake Debrusk - C/LW - Swift Current Broncos (WHL) GP: 72 G: 42 A: 39 PTS: 81
Another addition to a skilled group of forward prospects, Debrusk brings the edge the Canucks are looking for. By no means is Jake big, but he isn't afraid to get in there with other guys and mix things up. He's a good example of what the WHL is all about: skill and grit. He is poised to have an excellent season as a 19 year old in Swift. If not JD, Eriksson Ek and Boeser would be good picks up front.
24. Arizona Coyotes: Daniel Sprong - RW - Charlottetown Islanders (QMJHL) GP: 68 G: 39 A: 49 PTS: 88
Sprong is a guy who's stock is up in the air. Some believe he's a top 15 guy, others have him out of the first round. 24 is a good spot, and Arizona is a solid fit for Daniel. He brings great offensive ability, and is pretty solid in his own end as well. Sprong would be a great addition to a solid group of young forwards in the desert. If not Sprong, Carlo, Eriksson Ek, and Boeser would be good in AZ.
25. Toronto Maple Leafs: Joel Eriksson Ek - C/LW - Farjestad (SHL) GP: 25 G: 21 A: 11 PTS: 32
Joel had a solid season this year, and capped it off with a great showing at the U-18s. You never really know which Euros are ready to step into the league right away (Pastrnak last season) but I believe he will have a good season in the A next year if he comes over and could see time with the Leafs. If not Eriksson Ek, Carlo, Bracco, Chlapik are good options.
26. Philadelphia Flyers: Brandon Carlo – RD – Tri City Americans (WHL) GP: 63 G: 4 A: 21 PTS: 25
Carlo is a huge defenceman, and with 6'7 Samuel Morin already in the system, Carlo could be part of the biggest defensive pairing in the league. Some believe Carlo's ceiling is a shutdown, 4th pairing defenceman, which is fair however he's shown signs that he is very capable with the puck. Carlo could be a massive riser or taller in the 2015 draft. If not Carlo, Juulsen, Bracco, Boeser would be smart picks.
27. Winnipeg Jets: Thomas Chabot - LD - Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL) GP: 66 G: 12 A: 29 PTS: 41
Many will disagree with Chabot being this low, however the combination of teams leaning towards forwards in the first round, as well as some question marks around his defensive ability, I believe he should go in the 20's. Not saying he won't be good, in fact he's shown signs of brilliance on the ice, I just feel he's the guy that will fall in this years draft. If not Chabot, Zboril, Bracco, Larsson are all options
28. Anaheim Ducks: Brock Boeser - RW - Waterloo Blackhawks (USHL) GP: 57 G: 35 A: 33 PTS: 68
The Ducks have solid prospects all throughout their system. Boeser brings size and offensive ability that the Ducks are always on the hunt for. He will spend the next year in university, but don't be surprised if he makes the jump to the NHL sooner than expected. If not Boeser, Bracco, Novak, Chlapik are options.
29. Montreal Canadiens: Filip Chlapik - C - Charolettetown Islanders (QMJHL) GP: 63 G: 33 A: 42 PTS: 75
Chlapik is a good center who projects to be a middle 6 playmaking center. He's 6'1 right now and is expected to hit 6'2. He was strong at the Top Prospects game and had a very good offensive year in Charolettetown. He has smooth hands, and is a good skater. Could fall to the second round. If not Chlapik, Zboril, Novak, Beauvillier are strong candidates.
30. Tampa Bay Lightning: Jeremy Bracco - RW - U.S U-18 Team (USDP)GP: 58 G: 27 A: 54 PTS: 81
Jeremy Bracco could be the next elite small man. At 5'8, you wouldn't think he has the potential to be a 1st line winger, but Bracco has all the offensive tools to do so. He's elusive, and gets to open areas in the blink of an eye. His hands are ridiculously good and he also possesses a deceptive shot. Needs to work on strength. If not Bracco, Zboril, Ahl, Beauvillier are options.