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What the Mock Drafts Say

by Michael Smith / Carolina Hurricanes

We’re just days away from the 2016 NHL Draft in Buffalo. The pool of draft eligible prospects, especially those likely to be first-round selections, has been analyzed and dissected for months, and across the media landscape are numerous mock drafts, conducted in an attempt to project how things will shake out.

While there seems to be a consensus with the top three picks, projections begin to vary wildly as the first round progresses. We’ve compiled a collection of mock drafts below for both of the Hurricanes’ first-round selections (13th and 21st overall). Who will it be?

NHL.com, Mike Morreale

13th: Clayton Keller, C, USA U-18 (USHL)

“Keller (5-10, 164) led USA Hockey's National Team Development Program Under-18 team with 70 assists and 107 points. He helped the United States win the bronze medal at the 2016 IIHF World Under-18 Championship with 14 points, second in the tournament. He's committed to Boston University for 2016-17.”

21st: Kieffer Bellows, LW, US NTDP (USHL)

“Bellows (6-0, 197) is a pure goal scorer capable of getting pucks on goal from any angle. He led the NTDP with 50 goals, 12 power-play goals and nine game-winning goals, and was second with 81 points in 62 games. He's committed to Boston University in 2016-17.”

NHL.com, Adam Kimelman

13th: Tyson Jost, C, Penticton (BCHL)

“The talented center had an outstanding season in the BCHL with 42 goals and 104 points in 48 games, and also led Canada in goals (six) and points (15) and was named the best forward at the 2016 IIHF World Under-18 Championship. Jost (5-11, 190) will face a higher level of play next season at the University of North Dakota, but he has the look of a building block for the Carolina offense.”

21st: Julien Gauthier, RW, Val-d'Or (QMJHL)

“A pure sniper, Gauthier had 41 goals in 54 games this season. Scouts also like how the 6-3, 231-pound forward gets up and down the ice with a strong skating stride. He also was the only 2016 draft-eligible player to make Canada's roster for the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship.”

CBS.com, Chris Peters

13th: Kieffer Bellows, LW, US NTDP (USHL)

“After taking defensemen with their top picks in each of the last two years, the Hurricanes could be looking at a forward at No. 13. One of the best available is Bellows, who put up 50 goals playing alongside Clayton Keller last season at the National Team Development Program. The son of former NHL sniper Brian Bellows, Kieffer has some power elements in his game to go along with his devastating shot.”

21st: Max Jones, LW, London (OHL)

“Jones' projections are all over the map, but the Hurricanes should be pleased if he falls to 21st. A powerful skater, whose bursts of speed might catch you off guard due to his 6-foot-3, 205-pound frame, Jones had 52 points for the Memorial Cup champs last season. While he's prone to some poor decisions on the ice, usually involving penalties, he brings an element the Hurricanes may lack in their system presently.”

TSN, Bob McKenzie (prospect rankings)

13th: Jakob Chychrun, D, Sarnia (OHL)

“Outstanding skater and this is the hallmark of his game. Capable of beating pressure defensively, transporting the puck and opening up ice quickly. Will jump into offensive thrust.”

21st: Riley Tufte, LW, Fargo Force (USHL)

“Rangy with skill and the ability to use his size and length to gain advantages offensively around net and past defenders. Reads play well and gets open to spots where he is dangerous.”

TSN, Craig Button

13th: Kieffer Bellows, LW, US NTDP (USHL)

“Outstanding scorer who does it in multiple ways. Can score from a distance but is hungry inside dots and around net. Reads play and gets himself into prime positions to score.”

21st: Riley Tufte, LW, Fargo Force (USHL)

“Rangy with skill and the ability to use his size and length to gain advantages offensively around net and past defenders. Reads play well and gets open to spots where he is dangerous.”

Sportsnet, Jeff Marek

13th: Tyson Jost, C, Penticton (BCHL)

“Loaded on the back end for years to come, Carolina needs to shore up the forward group of the future. Getting Jost here addresses that need big time.”

21st: Julien Gauthier, RW, Val-d'Or (QMJHL)

“He’s big, strong, goes to the net hard and scores goals. Carolina grabs the gym rat from Val d’Or (and you thought former ‘Cane Rod Brind’Amour worked out hard, wait ‘til you see this kid).”

Sportsnet, Damien Cox

13th: Clayton Keller, C, US NTDP (USHL)

“Have added Teuvo Teravainen up front for more skill, and Keller might be the most skilled centre in the draft.”

21st: Riley Tufte, LW, Fargo Force (USHL)

“Headed to Minnesota-Duluth next season. Bit of a head scratcher to evaluate, bounced between USHL and high school.”

USA Today

13th: Kieffer Bellows, LW, US NTDP (USHL)

“He has inherited his father Brian’s scoring touch, and will be a finisher at the NHL level. This is a logical pick for an NHL team that really needs some excitement and juice on the front end.”

21st: Boris Katchouk, LW, Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)

“They already added the big goal-scorer, now they look to inject some grit and spirit into a bland forward group. He may need added development time, but will end up being an important player to build a winning team chemistry.”

The Hockey News (prospect rankings)

13th: Max Jones, LW, London (OHL)

“Jones’ game is very much in a straight line, which is why he’s sure to be part of a second tier of forwards taken, just outside the top 10.”

21st: Luke Kunin, C, Wisconsin (BIG10)

“Kunin does a lot of things well and is one of a number of undersized forwards in this draft who have definite NHL potential.”

SB Nation, Canes Country

13th: Kieffer Bellows, LW, US NTDP (USHL)

“Bellows is known as a pure sniper, a scoring machine.”

21st: Riley Tufte, LW, Fargo Force (USHL)

“Tufte could be a first line power forward, much like a young Rick Nash. He's too interesting to pass up at this spot.”



Michael Smith
MICHAEL SMITH is the Web Producer for the Carolina Hurricanes.

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