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NHL.com Mock Draft: Adam Kimelman weighs in

by Adam Kimelman / Columbus Blue Jackets

NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor Adam Kimelman projects the top 14 selections in the 2016 NHL Draft:

1. Toronto Maple Leafs - Auston Matthews, C, Zurich (SUI)

The Maple Leafs find the franchise center they've been looking for since Mats Sundin left in 2008. The 6-foot-1, 210-pound center played against older competition in Switzerland and excelled; he was second in voting for MVP in National League A.

2. Winnipeg Jets - Patrik Laine, RW, Tappara (FIN)

The Jets were in the bottom-third of the League in scoring this season and the 6-4, 206-pound forward likely can step right into their lineup and produce. Big and skilled with a lightning-quick release.

3. Columbus Blue Jackets - Jesse Puljujarvi, RW, Karpat (FIN)

A talented playmaker who can drive the offense with great speed and puck-handling skill. The 6-3, 203-pound forward starred at all levels this season. He had 28 points in 50 games in Liiga, Finland's top pro league. He helped Finland win the gold medal at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship and the World Under-18 Championship. At the WJC, his 17 points were one shy of Jaromir Jagr's WJC record for an under-18 player.

4. Edmonton Oilers - Jakob Chychrun, D, Sarnia (OHL)

At 6-2 and 205 pounds, Chychrun has NHL-ready size, skills and smarts. A two-way defenseman who can skate well enough to lead the attack or step up to defuse the rush. The Oilers also need to add to their scoring, but can't pass on the best defenseman in the draft.

5. Vancouver Canucks - Matthew Tkachuk, LW, London (OHL)

The Canucks spent recent first-round picks on centers Bo Horvat and Jared McCann, and now it's time to find some wings to play with them. The 6-1, 200-pound Tkachuk attacks the net in the offensive zone. He has the skill and strength to go there with the puck, and the soft hands to tip pucks and get to rebounds.

6. Calgary Flames - Mikhail Sergachev, D, Windsor (OHL)

The 6-2, 208-pound Russian-born, left-shot defender has the offensive skills that can drive possession. He was named the best defenseman in OHL in his first season in North America. He's also strong enough to take on opposing forwards in the defensive zone.

Read Adam Kimelman's complete 2016 mock draft on NHL.com.
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