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NHL Draft: Mike G. Morreale's final 2015 mock draft

by Mike G. Morreale / Columbus Blue Jackets

1. Edmonton Oilers - Connor McDavid, C, Erie (OHL)

McDavid, No. 1 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of the top North American skaters eligible for the draft, was named player of the year in the Ontario Hockey League and the Canadian Hockey League. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound forward tied for fourth in the OHL with 44 goals and was third with 120 points in 47 regular-season games. In the OHL playoffs McDavid led all players with 21 goals and 49 points in 20 games.

2. Buffalo Sabres - Jack Eichel, C, Boston University (H-EAST)

The 18-year-old (6-2, 196) became the first college freshman since Paul Kariya (1992-93) to win the Hobey Baker Award as NCAA hockey's best player. He also was Hockey East Player of the Year, Hockey East Rookie of the Year, Hockey East Tournament MVP, and USA Hockey's College Player of the Year. Eichel led all NCAA players with 71 points, a plus-51 rating, 23 power-play points, and a 1.77 points-per-game average.

3. Arizona Coyotes - Dylan Strome, C, Erie (OHL)

A big (6-3, 185), strong skater, Strome has the agility, reach, and pedigree NHL scouts crave. He led the OHL with 84 assists and 129 points in 68 games as the second-line center behind McDavid. He had 10 goals and 22 points in 20 playoff games.

4. Toronto Maple Leafs - Mitchell Marner, C, London (OHL)

The 5-11, 160-pound, two-way forward finished second in the OHL with 82 assists and 126 points in 63 games. He has 128 assists and 185 points in 127 career OHL games. He had nine goals and 16 points in seven OHL playoff games before sustaining an upper-body injury April 9 that kept him out for the remainder of the playoffs. He's often compared to former Knights player Patrick Kane.

5. Carolina Hurricanes - Noah Hanifin, D, Boston College (H-EAST)

The 6-3, 203-pound left-shot defender had five goals, 23 points, and 52 blocked shots in 37 games as a freshman with the Eagles. Hanifin's defensive game is a bit underrated but his ability to excel in pressure situations and on the transition is well known.


6. New Jersey Devils - Pavel Zacha, C, Sarnia (OHL)

The Czech Republic native is relentless on the puck and creates scoring chances for teammates with his strength and smart decisions. Zacha (6-3, 210) had 16 goals, 34 points, and a plus-5 rating in 37 games; he exhibited good puck control, a strong work ethic, and a great shot. The Devils are in search of size down the middle and Zacha fits the bill.

7. Philadelphia Flyers - Mikko Rantanen, RW, TPS (FIN)

Rantanen was considered by many to be the best player for Finland at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship after he had a team-high four goals. The 6-4, 209 pound left-handed shooter averaged more than 16 minutes of ice time per game in Liiga, Finland's top professional league, and is effective on the power play. He has a solid combination of hockey sense, good hands, and an explosive shot.

8. Columbus Blue Jackets - Ivan Provorov, D, Brandon (WHL)

The 6-foot, 191-pound left-shot defender was fourth among Western Hockey League defensemen with 61 points (15 goals, 46 assists) in 60 games as a rookie. He had two goals and 13 points in 19 WHL playoff games. The Russian logs a lot of ice time, is good on special teams, and likes to play the body.

9. San Jose Sharks - Lawson Crouse, LW, Kingston (OHL)

A 6-foot-4, 213-pound power forward, Crouse is physically engaged each time he steps on the ice. He led the Frontenacs with 29 goals, two shorthanded goals, and 51 points in 56 games. Some scouts have compared his style of play to Eric Lindros or Cam Neely.

10. Colorado Avalanche - Zachary Werenski, D, Michigan (Big Ten)

The 6-foot-2, 206-pound freshman excelled as the youngest player in NCAA hockey. He led Michigan defenders with 25 points (nine goals, 16 assists), had 12 power-play points, a plus-9 rating, and tied for the team-lead with 59 blocked shots. He was named to the All-Big Ten Hockey First Team, and the All-Big Ten Freshman Team.

Check out the rest of Mike Morreale's mock draft HERE!
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