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Adam Kimelman's 2016 mock NHL Draft

by Adam Kimelman / NHL.com

Kimelman's Draft
  1.CBJ

Auston Matthews, C, Zurich (SUI)

The 6-foot-1, 210-pound forward has all the markings of a franchise center. He's dominated his peers and now he's excelling against men in Switzerland's top pro league. Had he been born two days earlier, he would have made it a very tough decision for the Buffalo Sabres with the No. 2 pick of the 2015 draft.

  2.BUF

Jesse Puljujarvi, RW, Karpat (FIN)

He dominated for Finland at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship, leading the tournament with 17 points in seven games, and has had a strong season against older competition in Liiga, Finland's top pro league. Scouts rave about his hockey sense and how well he skates for his size (6-3, 203).

  3.EDM

Jakob Chychrun, D, Sarnia (OHL)

As the son of a former NHL player, Chychrun has outstanding hockey sense. His size (6-2, 215) and skating ability help him cover a lot of ground. He's the best all-around defenseman in the 2016 draft and would fill an area of need for the Oilers.

  4.TOR

Patrik Laine, RW, Tappara (FIN)

The 6-4, 206-pound power forward showed scouts his full wealth of skills at the WJC; he tied Matthews for the tournament lead with seven goals in seven games. He has a heavy, accurate shot and has had little problem playing against more mature, older players in Liiga.

  5.CGY

Matthew Tkachuk, LW, London (OHL)

At 6-1, 195 pounds, he isn't as big as his father, Keith Tkachuk (6-2, 235), but Matthew plays a similarly tough, strong down-low game in the offensive end. After starring with USA Hockey's National Team Development Program, he's among the top scorers this season in the Ontario Hockey League.

  6.BOS
(From SJS)
Alexander Nylander, LW, Mississauga (OHL)

The 6-foot, 179-pound forward became a leader for Sweden after his older brother, William Nylander (Toronto Maple Leafs), was injured in the first game of the WJC; he led fourth-place Sweden with four goals and nine points. He's among the top-10 scorers in the OHL this season and leads all first-year players in the league in goals, assists and points.

  7.WPG

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

The 6-3, 225-pound power forward was the only draft-eligible player to skate for Canada at the WJC. He's among the top goal-scorers in the QMJHL. Scouts view him as a strong skater who can use his size and strength to win battles along the walls. His game-to-game consistency could be better, but that should come as he matures.

  8. ANA

Michael McLeod, C, Mississauga (OHL)

The 6-2, 188-pound forward is an outstanding skater who is able to change speeds on the move. He can take the puck to the net to create scoring chances for himself or his teammates. He plays on a line with Nylander in Mississauga, and is considered defensively responsible and strong on faceoffs.

  9.VAN

Olli Juolevi, D, London (OHL)

The 6-2, 179-pound left-shot defenseman tied for the scoring lead at his position at the World Juniors and had an easy adjustment moving from Finland to the OHL this season. In addition to his smart offensive play, scouts view him as an outstanding skater with good 1-on-1 defending ability and a quick stick.

10.CAR Pierre-Luc Dubois, LW, Cape Breton (QMJHL)


Scouts like the skills, smarts and size (6-2, 202) Dubois brings to the equation. He can use his size to create chances in front of the net. He turned not making Canada's roster for the World Juniors into motivation that has seen him develop into one of the top scorers in the QMJHL.

11.PHI

Logan Brown, C, Windsor (OHL)

At 6-6, 222 pounds, Brown is one of the bigger players in the 2016 draft class and also brings a wealth of skill. He can win battles anywhere on the ice but also has the vision and hands of a top-end playmaker and is a strong skater for a player his size.

12.COL

Mikhail Sergachev, D, Windsor (OHL)

The 6-2, 206-pound left-shot defenseman has the kind of skill set the Avalanche have been looking to add to their defense. He's adapted well in his first season in North America, showing an ability to skate the puck out of trouble or make smart outlet passes. He’s also willing to play physical.

13.NSH

Tyson Jost, C, Penticton (BCHL)

The University of North Dakota-bound playmaker is averaging nearly two points per game in the British Columbia Hockey League. Jost is not big (5-11, 191), but he is shifty with a low center of gravity that makes him tough to knock off the puck.

14.PIT

Kieffer Bellows, LW, USA U-18 (USHL)

The Penguins need some young skill on the wing and the 6-foot, 196-pound son of former NHL player Brian Bellows fits the bill. He has a hard, accurate shot and is strong enough on his skates to get to the net to score from prime locations. He's planning to continue his development at Boston University next season.

15.OTT

Clayton Keller, C, USA U-18 (USHL)

Keller is an offensive dynamo who is averaging nearly two points per game with USA Hockey's National Team Development Program under-18 team. Despite his size (5-9, 168), he can score from anywhere on the ice. A strong skater, he is capable of making plays with the puck at top speed. He could join Kyle Turris and Mika Zibanejad to give the Senators a high level of skill down the middle.

16.TBL

Dante Fabbro, D, Penticton (BCHL)

Outstanding skating ability allows the 6-foot, 189-pound right-shot defenseman to excel in transitioning the puck. Scouts also like his elite hockey sense and ability to make accurate passes anywhere on the ice. He's committed to Boston University next season.

17.ARI

Alexander DeBrincat, RW, Erie (OHL)

The 5-7, 163-pound forward is one of the best goal-scorers in junior hockey. He had 51 goals last season as an OHL rookie and this season is averaging nearly one goal per game. The Coyotes certainly have seen DeBrincat a lot; his linemate is Dylan Strome, who they selected with the third pick of the 2015 draft.

18.NJD

Max Jones, LW, London (OHL)

Jones is a 6-3, 205-pound wrecking ball of a power forward. He skates well and has a hard shot. He has a nasty edge to his game that allows him to create enough open ice for himself to get his shot off. The Devils could use some younger skilled players, and one who enjoys playing physical that much more.

19.BOS

Charles McAvoy, D, Boston University (H-EAST)

The 6-foot, 208-pound right-shot defenseman is having a solid freshman season not far from TD Garden and has shown lots of upside. He's a strong skater with great vision who can carry the puck out of trouble or make smart passes out of the zone. He has a heavy shot from the point and should be able to run an NHL power play.

20.MTL

Jake Bean, D, Calgary (WHL)

The Canadiens could use some young defensive talent to develop, and Bean has the look of an outstanding future pro. He has quick feet that allow him to get the transition play going but needs to get bigger and stronger (5-11, 173); that should come as he matures physically and gets help from an NHL strength coach.

21.NYI

Rasmus Asplund, C, Farjestad (SWE)

Depth down the middle is an organizational need, and Asplund could be a player worth building around. The 5-11, 176-pound forward is adjusting well to playing against men in the Swedish Hockey League, and scouts like how he has shown great speed and an ability to create scoring chances.

22.ARI
(From NYR)
Tyler Benson, LW, Vancouver (WHL)


The 5-11, 201-pound playmaker is averaging about a point per game in the Western Hockey League. His stocky build allows him to be stronger than most along the wall in puck battles, and he's proven to be difficult to handle down low in the offensive zone.

23.DET Chad Krys, D, USA U-18 (USHL)


The Red Wings need to add some defense to their development system, and the 5-11, 185-pound left-shot defenseman would be a strong addition. Scouts like how Krys uses his best attribute, his skating, to lead the rush and help his positioning defensively. He'll continue his development next season at Boston University.

24.MIN Luke Kunin, C, Wisconsin (BIG10)


The 5-11, 193-pound forward began his season with two goals at the All-American Prospects Game and used that as a springboard to an outstanding start to his college hockey career. Scouts like his quick feet and quicker release on his shot. He's also a willing player in all three zones. He would make a strong addition to the Wild, who need to develop quality young centers.

25.STL Riley Tufte, LW, Blaine (HIGH-MN)


The 6-4, 205-pound forward moves well in all directions and has shown nice hands when it comes to shooting the puck or setting up his linemates. No U.S. high school player has been picked in the first round since 2010, but with a deep prospect base, the Blues can take Tufte and allow him to spend a few seasons at Minnesota-Duluth, where he'll play next season.

26.CAR
(From LAK)
Carl Grundstrom, RW, Modo (SWE)


The 6-foot, 194-pound forward already is in his second season playing against men in the Swedish Hockey League. He also did well for Sweden at the World Juniors. Scouts like how he can generate speed off the rush and get to the dirty areas to score goals. Grundstrom could provide the infusion of offensive skill that the Hurricanes need.

27.FLA Sam Steel, C, Regina (WHL)


The 5-11, 177-pound forward is averaging a point per game in the WHL. Scouts like how Steel can hang on to the puck for an extra half-second to allow plays to open up for his linemates, then make precision passes. He's also shown a nice shot and quick release.

28.CHI Samuel Girard, D, Shawinigan (QMJHL)


The Blackhawks need to start thinking about the future of their defense. Though Girard is on the small side (5-9, 160), he makes up for it with a strong lower body and elite-level hockey sense. He also has proven himself to be an outstanding skater and passer who excels in transition.

29.DAL

Nathan Bastian, RW, Mississauga (OHL)

The 6-3, 208-pound forward has gotten better as the season has gone on and is averaging more than a point per game. A gifted offensive player, Bastian has shown an ability and willingness to play hard in all three zones.

30.WSH Kale Clague, D, Brandon (WHL)


The Capitals have been successful with drafting WHL defensemen the past few years, from Mike Green to Karl Alzner to Madison Bowey, and Clague (5-11, 177) could be next on that list. Strong skating allows Clague to excel at each end of the ice. Scouts like his smarts when it comes to his positioning in the defensive end.

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