Skip to main content

NHL Draft

NHL Draft

Dahlin, Svechnikov unanimous 1-2 in final 2018 mock draft

Projected to go to Sabres, Hurricanes by NHL.com experts; Tkachuk, Zadina order in question at Nos. 3, 4

NHL.com @NHL

Rasmus Dahlin remains the unanimous pick to be the No. 1 selection of the 2018 NHL Draft in the final NHL.com mock drafts.

NHL.com writers Adam Kimelman, Mike G. Morreale and Guillaume Lepage agree the Buffalo Sabres will select the defenseman from Frolunda in the Swedish Hockey League with the first pick of the draft at American Airlines Center in Dallas.

The first round is Friday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVAS); Rounds 2-7 are Saturday (11 a.m. ET; NHLN, SN, TVAS).

The writers also agree the Carolina Hurricanes will select forward Andrei Svechnikov of Barrie of the Ontario Hockey League with the No. 2 pick.

 

[RELATED: Complete NHL Draft coverage]

 

They also believe forwards Brady Tkachuk of Boston University in Hockey East and Filip Zadina of Halifax in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League will be the next two selections. The order, though, was in dispute.

That wasn't the only place they disagreed; the three writers totaled 35 players for 31 draft slots.

The first 15 picks were set by the NHL Draft Lottery, which was won by the Sabres. Picks 16-27 were determined after the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, with the eliminated teams slotted in inverse order of regular-season points. The 28th and 29th picks went to the teams that lost in the conference finals, in inverse order of regular-season points.

The Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals received No. 31.

No. 30 went to the Vegas Golden Knights, the losing team in the Final, but their pick belongs to the Detroit Red Wings, who acquired it in a trade for forward Tomas Tatar on Feb. 26.

The Red Wings are one of six teams with multiple first-round picks.

The New York Rangers have three selections; in addition to No. 9, they have No. 26, acquired from the Boston Bruins in the trade for forward Rick Nash on Feb. 25, and No. 28, which they received in the trade with the Tampa Bay Lightning for defenseman Ryan McDonagh and forward J.T. Miller on Feb. 26.

The Philadelphia Flyers have No. 14, and No. 19, acquired in a trade with the St. Louis Blues; the New York Islanders have No. 11 and No. 12, acquired from the Calgary Flames; the Ottawa Senators have No. 4 and No. 22, which they got from the Pittsburgh Penguins; and the Chicago Blackhawks have No. 8 and No. 27, which they acquired from the Nashville Predators.

 

1. Buffalo Sabres

Kimelman -- Rasmus Dahlin, D, Frolunda (SWE): Dahlin (6-foot-3, 185 pounds) is the consensus No. 1 player in this year's draft class and could step onto the Sabres' top defense pair next season.

Morreale -- Dahlin: His hands and skating are as good as any forward in the draft, and his intelligence with the puck on his stick is second to none. Dahlin was named the best defenseman at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship and was the youngest player by seven years for Sweden at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics.

Lepage -- Dahlin: The Sabres will get a player who has the ability to change the face of the franchise. The dynamic defenseman undoubtedly will have a significant role with the Sabres next season.

Video: What Rasmus Dahlin can bring to the table

 

2. Carolina Hurricanes

Kimelman -- Andrei Svechnikov, RW, Barrie (OHL): Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell believes his team needs scoring help; Svechnikov (6-2, 192), a skilled power forward who scored 40 goals in 44 games this season, should help in that regard.

Morreale -- Svechnikov: The Canadian Hockey League Top Prospect of the Year, Svechnikov has great offensive instincts, high-end skills, puck control and a fantastic shot. He had 72 points (40 goals, 32 assists) in 44 games this season, his second in North America and first in the OHL.

Lepage -- Svechnikov: Waddell has signaled Svechnikov will be the choice, and the forward looks ready to make the leap to the NHL as soon as next season.

 

3. Montreal Canadiens

Kimelman -- Brady Tkachuk, LW, Boston University (H-EAST): Tkachuk might not be a dominant scorer but his size (6-3, 191) and strength will make his linemates a few inches taller. And when he's not scoring, he'll help in other areas of the game.

Morreale -- Filip Zadina, RW, Halifax (QMJHL): The Czech Republic-born forward (6-0, 197) goes to the tough areas to generate chances and has the makings of a perennial 30-goal scorer in the NHL. He had 20 power-play points (eight goals, 12 assists) and won the Michael Bossy Trophy as the top professional prospect in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League this season after finishing first in rookie scoring with 82 points (44 goals, 38 assists).

Lepage -- Tkachuk: He may not be the most talented forward available but he has a set of unique qualities the Canadiens should not pass on. In addition to holding his own offensively, Tkachuk brings an intense and gritty style of play, attributes general manager Marc Bergevin said he feels his team needs.

 

4. Ottawa Senators

Kimelman -- Zadina: The sublimely skilled forward showed an easy transition to the smaller North American ice. He's a dynamic goal scorer and also knows how to best use his linemates to create offense deep in the zone.

Morreale -- Tkachuk: He might be the best power forward in this draft, but also has great hands and intelligence to play along the half-wall on the power play, at the same time dictating and controlling play with his speed and physical attributes. He creates matchup problems and excels in high-pressure moments.

Lepage -- Zadina: He had a great season and took advantage of every opportunity to showcase his individual skills. A sharpshooter with good size, he can change the course of a game when he decides to take matters into his own hands.

 

5. Arizona Coyotes

Kimelman -- Noah Dobson, D, Acadie-Bathurst (QMJHL): Maybe the most impressive thing about Dobson, a 6-3, 177-pound right-shot defenseman, was he was just as good in the Memorial Cup final, his 91st game of the season between the QMJHL regular season, playoffs and Memorial Cup, as he was at any other point during the season.

Morreale -- Dobson: He has an effective two-way game, makes good decisions under pressure, and has a big shot from the point. He had 69 points (17 goals, 52 assists) in 67 games, can transition the puck well, plays big minutes and contributes when needed on offense.

Lepage -- Dobson: He increased his value throughout Acadie-Bathurst's run to the Memorial Cup championship. With his extraordinary vision and skating ease, he shouldn't need too much development time to establish himself as a major part of the Coyotes' future.

Video: Top prospect Noah Dobson on his combine performance

 

6. Detroit Red Wings

Kimelman -- Quintin Hughes, D, Michigan (BIG10): His ability to control the game far exceeds any questions about his size (5-10, 173). He's a dazzling skater and puck-handler with a hard, accurate shot from the point. And Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill got a chance to see him up close for the United States during the 2018 IIHF World Championship.

Morreale -- Hughes: He's great in transition and is a strong skater with good poise and puck skills. He can play at any pace and rarely is overpowered by bigger players. He has begun to understand how to be more effective in all three zones, and likely will continue that development at Michigan for another season.

Lepage -- Hughes: He has a few shortcomings, mostly his defensive play, but has the potential to become a star. Detroit fans will appreciate his on-ice vision and instincts.

 

7. Vancouver Canucks

Kimelman -- Evan Bouchard, D, London (OHL): Big (6-2, 196), strong, skilled right-shot defensemen are a rare commodity, and Bouchard dominated at each end of the ice this season. The Canucks have done well building a nice group of young forwards, and now is the time to add some top-end defensemen. After three full seasons in the OHL, he could be ready to jump right into the NHL.

Morreale -- Bouchard: He led London with 33 power-play points (10 goals, 23 assists) and seven game-winning goals. He tied for seventh in the OHL with 87 points (25 goals, 62 assists); he's the first defenseman to finish in the top 10 in the OHL in scoring since Windsor's Ryan Ellis, now with the Nashville Predators, tied for fourth with 104 points in 2010-11.

Lepage -- Adam Boqvist, D, Brynas Jr. (SWE-JR): At 5-11, 165 pounds, Boqvist is cast from the same mold as Hughes, except Boqvist shoots right-handed. He has well-developed offensive instincts, but it remains to be seen what he can do against men. He'll get that chance next season with a full-time spot in the Swedish Hockey League.

 

8. Chicago Blackhawks

Kimelman -- Oliver Wahlstrom, RW, USA U-18 (USHL): The Blackhawks need an infusion of young skill up front and Wahlstrom (6-1, 208) is a strong skater who scored 48 goals in 62 games with USA Hockey's National Team Development Program under-18 team, and seven goals in seven games to help the U.S. win the silver medal at the 2018 IIHF World Under-18 Championship. He has the puck skills to create room for himself and get his shot off from above the dots, and the size and strength to execute below the circles.

Morreale -- Jesperi Kotkaniemi, C, Assat (FIN): Kotkaniemi (6-2, 181) is a playmaker with good hockey sense, a high compete level, a quick shot and a nose for the net. He gained valuable experience in Liiga, Finland's top pro league, with 29 points (10 goals, 19 assists) in 57 games against men this season, and he had nine points (three goals, six assists) for gold medal-winning Finland at the 2018 World U-18 Championship.

Lepage -- Wahlstrom: He not only is fast, but he might have the best wrist shot of any player in the 2018 draft class. With that kind of power to go with his formidable size, the Blackhawks will be in business.

 

9. New York Rangers

Kimelman -- Kotkaniemi: He already plays regular minutes in Liiga and won't turn 18 until July 6. He was used in the middle and on the wing, and kills penalties. That kind of deployment at a young age speaks to his high hockey IQ.

Morreale -- Wahlstrom: He has an NHL caliber shot, elite scoring ability, a quick release and creates space for himself and linemates. He has a great compete level and is a very motivated player. He led the NTDP U-18 team in points (94), power-play goals (13) and game-winning goals (six).

Lepage -- Kotkaniemi: Even though he had a disappointing playoff series, he did enough during the season to prove to the Rangers he is the best option at this spot. He was dominant at the 2018 World U-18s, which helped drive his draft stock up.

 

10. Edmonton Oilers

Kimelman -- Boqvist: The right-shot defenseman has the skills and size of another Sweden-born defenseman, Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators. Boqvist likely will need at least one more SHL season to add strength and improve his consistency and commitment to the defensive side of the puck, but then should add a high-end puck-moving piece to the Oilers attack.

Morreale -- Boqvist: He has excellent vision and on-ice awareness with a very good understanding of the game. He's a finesse-type player who at times plays bigger than he is, but has a tremendous shot and his upside is high with proper development.

Lepage -- Bouchard: He has shown he is able to handle very important responsibilities with a young London team. The Oilers won't pass on the opportunity to select this big, strong right-shot defenseman.

Video: Evan Bouchard performs at 2018 NHL Scouting Combine

 

11. New York Islanders

Kimelman -- Barrett Hayton, C, Sault Ste. Marie (OHL): One scout said of Hayton, "He's a player you win with." Hayton (6-1, 190) was used primarily in a checking role this season but still had 60 points (21 goals, 39 assists) in 63 games. When asked to step into an offensive role when teammates were playing in the WJC, he had 10 points (four goals, six assists) in eight games on the top line.

Morreale -- Hayton: He knows where to locate linemates as a natural playmaking center. He has great hockey sense, can play on the power play or penalty kill and move the puck well in transition. He scored eight power-play goals and five game-winning goals, and won 49.9 percent of his face-offs.

Lepage -- Hayton: He probably is one of the most complete centers in this draft. He proved his effectiveness in a defensive role with Sault Ste. Marie, but he also distinguished himself offensively when the opportunity presented itself. With the uncertainty surrounding center John Tavares' future, the Islanders could take this opportunity to replenish their organizational depth at center.

 

12. New York Islanders (from Calgary Flames)

Kimelman -- Ty Smith, D, Spokane (WHL): Smith (5-11, 176) won't solve all the Islanders' defensive issues, but the left-shot defenseman has the ability to make all the right plays in his end. He also can skate the puck out of the zone or carry it and create in transition. He had 73 points (14 goals, 59 assists) in 69 games.

Morreale -- Bode Wilde, D, USA U-18 (USHL): The 6-foot-2, 198-pound right-shot defenseman had 41 points (12 goals, 29 assists) and a plus-35 rating in 61 games. Wilde is skilled, tough and has a good shot from the point. The Islanders need to replenish their pipeline of defenseman prospects, and Wilde is a good place to start.

Lepage -- Smith: After getting Hayton, the Islanders could opt for a defenseman and Smith appears to be the perfect fit. He's not as dominant offensively as some other first-round prospects at the position, but his defensive game is very solid.

 

13. Dallas Stars

Kimelman -- Serron Noel, RW, Oshawa (OHL): Few players have Noel's blend of size (6-5, 203), skill and skating ability. He'll need some time to get stronger and more consistent offensively but he has one of the highest ceilings among players in this year's draft class.

Morreale -- Joseph Veleno, C, Drummondville (QMJHL): A fantastic playmaker (6-1, 191) who rediscovered his scoring touch in the second half with Drummondville after being traded there by Saint John, with 48 points (16 goals, 32 assists) in 33 games after the trade. He has a great work ethic, is willing to learn and plays with a lot of pace. He also has great leadership traits.

Lepage -- Veleno: His excellent second half of the season allowed him to increase his value and rise among the best at his position. The Stars' future on defense is in good hands with Miro Heiskanen, the No. 3 pick of the 2017 NHL Draft, so Dallas can opt for a forward here.

 

14. Philadelphia Flyers (from St. Louis Blues)

Kimelman -- Joel Farabee, LW, USA U-18: The Flyers have drafted a number of talented forwards the past two years, including five in the first four rounds in 2017. But what separates Farabee (6-0, 162) is his speed, combined with a high hockey IQ and a quick-release shot that produced 33 goals in 62 games this season. He also can kill penalties, an area the Flyers have struggled the past few seasons.

Morreale -- Farabee: He is a two-way puck mover with outstanding vision who plays a hard game in all areas of the rink. Committed to Boston University in 2018-19, he has earned high praise for his passing, hockey sense and compete level. Farabee was second in scoring with the NTDP U-18 team with 76 points (33 goals, 43 assists) in 62 games. He had eight power-play goals and four game-winning goals.

Lepage -- Noel: The big forward draws attention because of his impressive size, but when you focus on his offensive contributions and his skating ability, Noel fits perfectly with the kind of players the Flyers like.

 
 
15. Florida Panthers

Kimelman -- Vitali Kravtsov, RW, Chelyabinsk (RUS): Kravtsov (6-3, 184) is a determined goal-scorer who can carry the puck and create from in close, or use a good, hard shot to score from distance. After a solid season playing against men in the Kontinental Hockey League, he raised his stock in KHL playoffs with 11 points (six goals, five assists) in 16 games.

Morreale -- Noel: Noel might have the highest ceiling of any player selected in the first round; he's raw but talented. A good skater and proven scorer, he had 53 points (28 goals, 25 assists) in 62 games.

Lepage -- Rasmus Kupari, C, Karpat (FIN): Kupari (6-1, 189) has impressive offensive skills and the Panthers certainly won't overlook a center of his caliber available beyond the top 10. Florida already boasts a top Finland-born center in Aleksander Barkov, and Kupari could be their next one.

 

16. Colorado Avalanche

Kimelman -- Kupari: He had a bit of an up-and-down season, but Kupari's offensive skills were on display at times during the season; he had 14 points (six goals, eight assists) in 39 games in Liiga. His skating is close to elite; now he just needs to find consistency and add strength.

Morreale -- Grigori Denisenko, LW, Yaroslavl 2 (RUS-JR): Denisenko (5-11, 172) is one of the most skilled two-way players in this year's draft class. A right-handed shot, he can maneuver well in traffic, protect the puck and is strong and effective in the corners. He had 22 points (nine goals, 13 assists) and a plus-8 rating in 31 games for Yaroslavl in the MHL, Russia's junior league. He's best suited to play on the wing but can take face-offs and is responsible in his end.

Lepage -- Farabee: Playing in the shadow of linemates Wahlstrom and Jack Hughes, a top prospect for the 2019 NHL Draft, Farabee was extremely effective at the 2018 World U-18s for the U.S. with eight points (four goals, four assists) in seven games. He earned points with scouts for his work ethic and on-ice intelligence.

 

17. New Jersey Devils

Kimelman -- Wilde: He checks all the boxes teams look for in defensemen: size, scoring touch (41 points in 61 games) and skating ability. The Devils need young defensemen, and with patience Wilde should evolve into a top-end player.

Morreale -- Rasmus Sandin, D, Sault Ste. Marie (OHL): The 5-11, 186-pound left-shot defenseman has tremendous poise and hockey sense, and never puts teammates in a bad position with the puck. Sandin led OHL rookies with a plus-35 rating, and led rookie defensemen with 45 points (12 goals, 33 assists) in 51 games.

Lepage -- Denisenko: The forward did very well in his second season in Russia's junior league. He is blessed with individual skills and knows how to turn on the jets when a lane opens. He plays very aggressively and knows how to use his body. 

 

18. Columbus Blue Jackets

Kimelman -- Denisenko: An outstanding skater and playmaker, Denisenko excelled in Russia's junior league. He earned his first promotion to the KHL and got into four playoff games. Not the biggest player on the ice, but he's fearless and physical.

Morreale -- Dominik Bokk, RW, Vaxjo Jr. (SWE-JR): Born in Schweinfurt, Germany, the 6-1, 176-pound right-shot forward had 41 points (14 goals, 27 assists) in 35 games as a rookie for Vaxjo in Sweden's junior league, and 11 points (five goals, six assists) in eight playoff games to help Vaxjo win its league championship. Bokk is a finesse-type forward who is strong on his skates and looks to shoot. 

Lepage -- Isac Lundestrom, C, Lulea (SWE): In a draft class that comes up a bit short in top-line centers, Lundestrom (6-0, 183) catches the eye with his speed, puck protection skills and offensive zone flair. He played well for Sweden at the WJC and already has developed a complete game.

 

19. Philadelphia Flyers

Kimelman -- K'Andre Miller, D, USA U-18 (USHL): Flyers GM Ron Hextall said he'd like to add a defenseman considering Philadelphia's top prospects at the position have graduated to the NHL (Ivan Provorov, Travis Sanheim, Robert Hagg) or are close to NHL-ready (Samuel Morin, Philippe Myers). Miller (6-3, 198) has been a defenseman for three seasons but has developed quickly. He'll get the time he needs to further that development at the University of Wisconsin.

Morreale -- Mattias Samuelsson, D, USA U-18 (USHL): Samuelsson (6-4, 218) plays a steady, physical game, reminiscent of his father, Kjell Samuelsson, who played 813 NHL games and works in player development for the Flyers. Mattias Samuelsson had 31 points (11 goals, 20 assists), 113 penalty minutes and 93 shots on goal in 58 games.

Lepage -- Wilde: The big defenseman hits hard and has a devastating shot. He's reliable in all three zones and could become the Flyers' go-to defenseman down the road if he further develops his sense of the game.

 

20. Los Angeles Kings 

Kimelman -- Alexander Alexeyev, D, Red Deer (WHL): The Kings haven't drafted a defenseman in the first round since Derek Forbort in 2010, and Los Angeles didn't have one younger than 25 play more than 35 games this season. Young defensemen are a need, and Alexeyev is big (6-4, 195) and skilled with excellent hockey sense.

Morreale -- Smith: An extremely effective performer on the power play, he finished second on Spokane with 27 power-play points (three goals, 24 assists). He can dissect the opposing forecheck and move the puck smoothly out of his zone. He's smart and can adapt his game to any situation with poise and patience.

Lepage -- Martin Kaut, RW, Pardubice (CZREP): With seven points (two goals, five assists) in seven games for the Czech Republic at the WJC, Kaut (6-1, 176) proved he belongs among the elite. The confidence he gained during that tournament carried him through a strong second half of the season against men in the top Czech Republic pro league.

 

21. San Jose Sharks

Kimelman -- Sandin: He had an easy transition to North America this season from his native Sweden. The Sharks need to add defensemen to their prospect pipeline, and Sandin is solid and smart in all three zones. 

Morreale -- Miller: He shifted from forward to defenseman at the suggestion of his coach at Minnetonka (Minn.) High School and the move has been a success. He had 29 points (nine goals, 20 assists), two shorthanded goals, a plus-23 rating and 103 shots on goal in 58 games. He has range, a good defensive stick and can skate well.

Lepage -- Sandin: It didn't take long for him to adapt to the North American style of play after coming to Sault Ste. Marie. He was a key player on a team that led the OHL in goals (317) and allowed the fewest (186).  

 

22. Ottawa Senators (from Pittsburgh Penguins)

Kimelman -- Veleno: A good mix of work ethic and offensive skill. Veleno won't wow anyone with any single aspect of his game, but he's diligent and smart in all areas of the ice.

Morreale -- Kupari: Capable of playing center or right wing, Kupari is a strong, mobile skater who can create opportunities at top speed. His acceleration is his best asset, and his shot has been compared to Carolina Hurricanes forward Sebastian Aho.

Lepage -- Ty Dellandrea, C, Flint (OHL): Dellandrea (6-0, 184) gained in the eyes of scouts in part because of the two goals he scored at the CHL Top Prospects Game in January. He was the best player for Flint, which finished 19th of 20 teams in the OHL.

 

23. Anaheim Ducks

Kimelman -- Lundestrom: As stalwarts Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Ryan Kesler get older, the Ducks need to add skilled young forwards to support them. At 18, Lundestrom already has two full seasons playing against men in the SHL. He's a strong skater with a finishing touch and a well-developed 200-foot game.

Morreale -- Kravtsov: The KHL rookie of the year, Kravtsov is a strong skater with balance and speed, and can create offense around the net.

Lepage -- Akil Thomas, C, Niagara (OHL): Thomas (5-11, 177) has great speed and led draft-eligible OHL players with 81 points (22 goals, 59 assists) in 68 games. Scouts like his work ethic and compete level.

 

24. Minnesota Wild 

Kimelman -- Dellandrea: Scouts loved how hard he fought through a tough season with Flint and continued to contribute in all areas. When given the chance to play with better players, Dellandrea raised his game; he helped Canada win the gold medal at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup and was one of Canada's top players at the World Under-18s.

Morreale -- Kaut: An exceptional skater with great acceleration and the speed to create odd-man rushes, Kaut had 16 points (nine goals, seven assists) in 38 regular-season games and a solid showing for the fourth-place Czech Republic at the 2018 WJC.

Lepage -- Miller: The big defenseman has drawn the attention of several teams. He was one of the best defensemen with the NTDP and appears to have a lot of potential.

 

25. Toronto Maple Leafs 

Kimelman -- Jared McIsaac, D, Halifax (QMJHL): Smarts and skating are the foundation of McIsaac's game. The Maple Leafs need players who can trigger the transition game, and McIsaac (6-1, 188) can do that by carrying the puck out of the zone or with a smart pass to an open forward.

Morreale -- Ryan McLeod, C, Mississauga (OHL): He has great speed and is considered one of the better passers in the draft. McLeod (6-2, 206) had 70 points (26 goals, 44 assists) and six power-play goals in 68 games, and won 54.3 percent of his face-offs. He's the younger brother of New Jersey Devils forward prospect Michael McLeod.

Lepage -- McLeod: He's possibly one of the fastest players in this year's draft class. His speed would make him a good fit for how the Maple Leafs like to play.

 

26. New York Rangers (from Boston Bruins)

Kimelman -- Bokk: He never looked out of place with the step-up in competition in Sweden, and he excelled against older players with Germany at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship Division 1A tournament. The Rangers are well-positioned to let Bokk fully develop in Sweden and then reap the reward when he's ready to bring his high-end offensive game to North America.

Morreale -- Lundestrom: A good combination of speed and skills along with excellent offensive instincts, Lundestrom had 15 points (six goals, nine assists), a plus-7 rating and 15 blocked shots averaging 16:04 of ice time in 42 SHL games. He also had two goals in seven games to help Sweden win a silver medal at the 2018 WJC.

Lepage -- McIsaac: After an impressive first season in Halifax in 2016-17, he took a while to get going this season but ultimately found his stride. He had a solid season offensively but it looks like his calling card in the NHL will be his defensive effectiveness.

 

27. Chicago Blackhawks (from Nashville Predators)

Kimelman -- Calen Addison, D, Lethbridge (WHL): The Blackhawks have a need for youth at the position, and Addison's skating and offensive ability are high-end. A 5-10, 178-pound right-shot defenseman, he needs to get stronger to improve his defensive play, but that should come with time and proper development.

Morreale -- Dellandrea: He was Flint's top offensive weapon with 59 points (27 goals, 32 assists) in 67 games. Dellandrea is a prototypical puck hound with plenty of speed, scoring ability and determination.

Lepage -- Alexeyev: It was not an easy season for Alexeyev. He took time off after the death of his mother in January, then missed games late in the season because of an injury. Scouts like that he kept coming back and playing well, especially in the WHL playoffs, when he had five points (two goals, three assists) in three games.

 

28. New York Rangers (from Tampa Bay Lightning)

Kimelman -- Thomas: The playmaking right-shot center is versatile enough to play on the wing and strong enough to win battles along the boards. 

Morreale -- McIsaac: He's smart and steady, can play physical, has good vision and carries the puck well. McIsaac had 47 points (nine goals, 38 assists) and a plus-14 rating, and led Halifax with 21 power-play points (four goals, 17 assists) in 65 games.

Lepage -- Benoit-Olivier Groulx, C, Halifax (QMJHL): Groulx (6-1, 193) may not shine because of his individual skills on the ice, but he is a well-rounded center. He was in the middle of Halifax's top line this season and can be used in all situations.

 

29. St. Louis Blues (from Winnipeg Jets)

Kimelman -- McLeod: The Blues need to add depth in the middle and McLeod has the makings of a solid second-line center. He has high-end hockey sense and is an outstanding skater.

Morreale -- Thomas: He has a great wrist shot and shows that he wants to be a difference-maker each shift.

Lepage -- Bokk: Bokk's individual skills make him one of the most intriguing players in this draft class. He played well enough that he was called up to play 15 games with Vaxjo in the SHL.

 

30. Detroit Red Wings (from Vegas Golden Knights)

Kimelman -- Samuelsson: After getting the offensive-minded defenseman they need early in Hughes, it makes sense for the Red Wings to select a big, sound, physically dominant partner for him. Samuelsson likely won't be a point producer in the NHL, but his offensive game has taken strides, and he'll further his development next season not far from Detroit at Western Michigan University.

Morreale -- Jett Woo, D, Moose Jaw (WHL): Woo (6-0, 200) had 25 points (nine goals, 16 assists) in 44 games. The right-shot defenseman has a good shot, makes plays, is physical and has a good work ethic. The Red Wings need defensive-minded defensemen in their system and fans are going to enjoy Woo's relentless motor.

Lepage -- Jacob Olofsson, C, Timra (SWE-2): Olofsson (6-2, 189) had 21 points (10 goals, 11 assists) in 43 games in his first full season against men, in Sweden's second division. His maturity and his two-way game draws scouts' attention.

 
 
31. Washington Capitals

Kimelman -- Liam Foudy, C, London (OHL): Foudy (6-0, 174) showcased his elite-level skating in the second half of the season when his ice time went up. He had 33 points (20 goals, 13 assists) in his final 30 games, after he had seven points (four goals, three assists) in his first 35. He learned to use that speed as a weapon offensively and on the penalty kill to score a London-best five shorthanded goals.

Morreale -- Olofsson: The left-shot forward was named the best junior-age player in Allsvenskan, Sweden's second division. He's strong on the puck, makes good decisions and is a solid two-way player. He sees time on the power play and the penalty kill.

Lepage -- Kravtsov: His performance during the KHL postseason suggests he is not too far from the NHL in terms of his development.

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.