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McDavid consensus top pick in mock drafts @NHLdotcom

When the 2014-15 season began, Connor McDavid of the Ontario Hockey League's Erie Otters was considered the best prospect for the 2015 NHL Draft.

Months later very little has changed.

In the latest mock drafts by staff writers Adam Kimelman and Mike G. Morreale, McDavid remains the consensus No. 1 pick.

McDavid is viewed by many scouts as the best draft-age prospect since Sidney Crosby in 2005. Despite playing about 20 fewer games than most of the scoring leaders in the OHL, McDavid finished third in scoring with 120 points and tied for fourth with 44 goals.

Both mock drafts feature the same player going second, Boston University freshman center Jack Eichel. The 6-foot-2, 196-pound forward dominated NCAA hockey, leading all players in scoring at an average of 1.83 points per game.

McDavid and Eichel are Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, in NHL Central Scouting's midterm ranking of the top North American skaters for the 2015 draft.

"During the [Central Scouting midterm] meetings there were no negative components brought forward on Eichel or McDavid since both are recognized as truly outstanding, gifted young hockey players," Director of NHL Central Scouting Dan Marr said. "They play different styles, yet both bring the exceptional skills, character and intangibles to be a franchise-type player for an NHL club."

After that point the mock drafts begin to differ. Rounding out Kimelman's top five are Boston College defenseman Noah Hanifin, Erie center Dylan Strome and center Mitchell Marner of the London Knights of the OHL; Morreale has Strome, Hanifin and Lawson Crouse of the Kingston Frontenacs of the OHL.

The standings used for this latest mock draft were based on games played through March 22. Six teams have multiple first-round picks: the Buffalo Sabres acquired the New York Islanders' pick in the Thomas Vanek trade last season; the Arizona Coyotes got the Chicago Blackhawks' selection in the Antoine Vermette trade; the Edmonton Oilers acquired the Pittsburgh Penguins' pick in the David Perron trade; the Toronto Maple Leafs got the Nashville Predators' pick for defenseman Cody Franson and forward Mike Santorelli; the Philadelphia Flyers acquired the Tampa Bay Lightning's pick for Braydon Coburn; the Winnipeg Jets have St. Louis Blues' pick via the Sabres as part of the Evander Kane trade.

The Carolina Hurricanes could make that list seven; if the Los Angeles Kings make the Stanley Cup Playoffs they will send their pick to the Hurricanes as part of the Andrej Sekera trade. But as of the standings Sunday, the Kings were outside the playoffs and kept their pick.

Does one draft seem more accurate to you? Let us know in the comment section.

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