Auston Matthews, C, Zurich (SWISS)
This has been the guy in this draft since minutes after the 2015 draft ended. No changes here.
Patrik Laine, RW, Tappara (LIIGA)
Laine rocketed up draft boards this winter and capped it off with a great performance at the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships. The Jets add another young scorer to their core of Scheifele, Ehlers, Burmistrov, etc.
Jesse Puljujarvi, RW, Karpat (LIIGA)
Rounding out the big three in this years draft, Puljujarvi gives the Blue Jackets a big winger who has the strength, shot, and speed to become a star in the league.
Olli Juolevi, D, London (OHL)
Loaded with talented young forwards that can put the puck in the net, the Oilers need to find a top tier defenceman to help keep the puck out of their own net.
Pierre-Luc Dubois, LW, Cape Breton (QMJHL)
After shipping Jared McCann to the Panthers for a big defenceman, the Canucks replenish their depth up the middle by adding Dubois.
Matthew Tkachuk, LW, London (OHL)
Coming off of a Memorial Cup win, Tkachuk brings a winning pedigree, a great bloodline, and lots of skill to the table. When you combine his talent with his level of grit, he is reminiscent of another early Flames pick - Sam Bennett.
Jakob Chychrun, D, Sarnia (OHL)
Another young team loaded with offensive fire power. Max Domi and Anthony Duclair are the future offensively, but they add arguably the top defenceman in the draft to pair with star Oliver Ekman-Larsson.
Mikhail Sergachev, D, Windsor (OHL)
Strong in his own end, Sergachev is very talented in the offensive zone. He was named the best defenceman in the OHL in his rookie season, so he’s pretty talented.
Alexander Nylander, RW, Mississauga (OHL)
The younger brother of Leafs prospect William Nylander, Alex is a phenomenal skater with a great nose for the net. He led all OHL rookies in points and was a big part of a talented Sweden team at the World Juniors.
10. Julien Gauthier, RW, Val-d’Or (QMJHL)
With lots of talent up the middle, the Avalanche bulk up on the wing with the 6’3” Gauthier. He’s got a big shot, great vision, and plays well in the tough areas.
Clayton Keller, C, USA Under-18 (USHL)
When you average a league-low 2.22 goals per game, it bodes well to add a playmaker like Keller. The 5’9” forward is a very skilled forward who racked up 70 assists and 107 points with the U-18 USA National Team Development Program.
12.Max Jones, LW, London (OHL)
The Senators add a big, throwback-style winger in Jones. Not a consistent scorer, Jones has the ability to find the back of the net in bunches. He’s a hard worker who will crash and bang and do the dirty work down low.
Michael McLeod, C, Mississauga (OHL)
The Hurricanes prospect pool is fairly light up the middle, so having McLeod get to them is fortunate. He’s a relentless skater who sees the ice well and has a knack for finding his teammates in open spaces.
Logan Brown, C, Windsor (OHL)
This is a big addition for the Bruins - really. A 6’6” centre with solid playmaking ability and a shot that can score from anywhere on the ice makes him a versatile and dangerous player.
Tyson Jost, RW, Penticton (BCHL)
Jost brings a lot of speed and an ability to create offence, something the Wild could use as they ranked 18th in goals for with 2.60 per game. His shifty feet and fantastic stick handling will help him be effective in the big leagues.
Kieffer Bellows, C, Sioux Falls (USHL)
Son of former NHLer Brian Bellows, Kieffer is strong on the puck and plays the game with an edge. He has one of the best shots in the draft and is a natural goal-scorer.
Charles McAvoy, D, Boston University (NCAA)
With their defensive core not getting any younger and having dealt away Seth Jones, Nashville snags a solid two-way defender in McAvoy.
Riley Tufte, LW, Blaine (USHS)
The Flyers add a big winger who plays with a skill set similar to that of a smaller player. But he still uses his size to his advantage when playing in front of the net or in the corner.
Jake Bean, D, Calgary (WHL)
With plenty of skilled forwards in the Islanders prospect pool, they’ll turn to the defensive side of the ball with this pick. Bean uses his solid skating and vision to move the puck up the ice and create offence in transition.
German Rubtsov, C, Russia U18 (MHL)
After adding Chychrun earlier in the draft, the Coyotes grab a two-way forward with excellent size. He plays hard and is really strong on the puck, keeping possession until he can find an open man.
Logan Stanley, D, Windsor (OHL)
The Canes add to their young defensive core and select Stanley, an extremely large rear-guard with talent in both ends of the ice. He still needs to develop further, but the potential is tantalizing.
Luke Kunin, C, University of Wisconsin (NCAA)
The Jets already added Laine and now they’re picking up a hard-nosed centre who works hard on the forecheck and is very strong in his own end. Pair that with an ability to move the puck and score and you’ve got a solid prospect.
Dante Fabbro, D, Penticton (BCHL)
With Gudbranson on his way to Vancouver, the Panthers shore up their farm system with a talented all-around defenceman. Fabbro can play in all situations thanks to his skating ability and heavy shot.
24. Rasmus Asplund, C, Farjestad (SWE)
He’s not a big centerman, but he uses his speed and hockey IQ to make plays. The Swede has shown the ability to make plays while playing in the World Juniors alongside William Nylander.
Vitali Abramov, LW, Gatineau (QMJHL)
The Stars aren’t short on offensive playmakers and adding Abramov makes them even more dangerous. He is very small, standing at 5’9”, but he possesses great vision and stick handling.
Carl Grundstrom, LW, Modo Hockey (SHL)
Grundstrom brings a gritty team-first style of play to a team that boasts plenty of top-end skill. He has a nasty streak and plays in the dirty areas. He enjoys playing on special teams units and will do whatever it takes to help his team win.
Alex DeBrincat, RW, Erie (OHL)
He might be small, but the Lightning know first hand that doesn’t matter - see Tyler Johnson. DeBrincat may be 5’7”, but he has the ability to get in and out of tight spaces on the ice. When left open, the sniper will find the back of the net very often.
Pascal Laberge, C, Victoriaville (QMJHL)
A work in progress, Faberge has - at times - wowed with his abilities to score goals in many different ways. An agile forward with good offensive instincts, he could provide great value late in the round.
Tyler Benson, LW, Vancouver (WHL)
Another player in need of development who could provide big dividends in the future. Strong in both the offensive and defensive ends, he’s not scared to get in the dirty areas and use all of his 5’11” stature.
Samuel Girard, D, Shawinigan (QMJHL)
Despite his small stature, he has proven to be a quality defender in the Q. But his real value comes on the offensive end where he can quarterback a PP and use his big shot.