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Mike G. Morreale's 2015 final mock draft

by Mike G. Morreale

Morreale's Draft

Connor McDavid, C, Erie (OHL)

McDavid, No. 1 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of the top North American skaters eligible for the draft, was named player of the year in the Ontario Hockey League and the Canadian Hockey League. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound forward tied for fourth in the OHL with 44 goals and was third with 120 points in 47 regular-season games. In the OHL playoffs McDavid led all players with 21 goals and 49 points in 20 games.


Jack Eichel, C, Boston University (H-EAST)

The 18-year-old (6-2, 196) became the first college freshman since Paul Kariya (1992-93) to win the Hobey Baker Award as NCAA hockey's best player. He also was Hockey East Player of the Year, Hockey East Rookie of the Year, Hockey East Tournament MVP, and USA Hockey's College Player of the Year. Eichel led all NCAA players with 71 points, a plus-51 rating, 23 power-play points, and a 1.77 points-per-game average.


Dylan Strome, C, Erie (OHL)

A big (6-3, 185), strong skater, Strome has the agility, reach, and pedigree NHL scouts crave. He led the OHL with 84 assists and 129 points in 68 games as the second-line center behind McDavid. He had 10 goals and 22 points in 20 playoff games.


Mitchell Marner, C, London (OHL)

The 5-11, 160-pound, two-way forward finished second in the OHL with 82 assists and 126 points in 63 games. He has 128 assists and 185 points in 127 career OHL games. He had nine goals and 16 points in seven OHL playoff games before sustaining an upper-body injury April 9 that kept him out for the remainder of the playoffs. He's often compared to former Knights player Patrick Kane.


Noah Hanifin, D, Boston College (H-EAST)

The 6-3, 203-pound left-shot defender had five goals, 23 points, and 52 blocked shots in 37 games as a freshman with the Eagles. Hanifin's defensive game is a bit underrated but his ability to excel in pressure situations and on the transition is well known.


Pavel Zacha, C, Sarnia (OHL)

The Czech Republic native is relentless on the puck and creates scoring chances for teammates with his strength and smart decisions. Zacha (6-3, 210) had 16 goals, 34 points, and a plus-5 rating in 37 games; he exhibited good puck control, a strong work ethic, and a great shot. The Devils are in search of size down the middle and Zacha fits the bill.


Mikko Rantanen, RW, TPS (FIN)

Rantanen was considered by many to be the best player for Finland at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship after he had a team-high four goals. The 6-4, 209 pound left-handed shooter averaged more than 16 minutes of ice time per game in Liiga, Finland's top professional league, and is effective on the power play. He has a solid combination of hockey sense, good hands, and an explosive shot.

  8. CBJ

Ivan Provorov, D, Brandon (WHL)

The 6-foot, 191-pound left-shot defender was fourth among Western Hockey League defensemen with 61 points (15 goals, 46 assists) in 60 games as a rookie. He had two goals and 13 points in 19 WHL playoff games. The Russian logs a lot of ice time, is good on special teams, and likes to play the body.


Lawson Crouse, LW, Kingston (OHL)

A 6-foot-4, 213-pound power forward, Crouse  is physically engaged each time he steps on the ice. He led the Frontenacs with 29 goals, two shorthanded goals, and 51 points in 56 games. Some scouts have compared his style of play to Eric Lindros or Cam Neely.

10.COL Zachary Werenski, D, Michigan (Big10)

The 6-foot-2, 206-pound freshman excelled as the youngest player in NCAA hockey. He led Michigan defenders with 25 points (nine goals, 16 assists), had 12 power-play points, a plus-9 rating, and tied for the team-lead with 59 blocked shots. He was named to the All-Big Ten Hockey First Team, and the All-Big Ten Freshman Team.


Timo Meier, RW, Halifax (QMJHL)

The 6-1, 209-pound left-shot forward can play center or the wing and is strong with and without the puck. He has a high-end hockey sense, competes hard and is effective in 1-on-1 situations. Meier led Halifax in goals (44) and power-play goals (23), and was second with 90 points in 61 games.


Kyle Connor, LW, Youngstown (USHL)

The 6-1, 177-pound University of Michigan recruit led the United States Hockey League with 80 points and was fourth with 34 goals. Named USHL Player of Year and Forward of the Year, Connor has great quickness in tight spaces; he's elevated his game this season.


Travis Konecny, C, Ottawa (OHL)

The highly skilled forward showed the ability to create scoring opportunities for teammates. He had 29 goals and 68 points in 60 games. The 5-10, 175-pound right-handed shot skates well, has excellent speed, and isn't afraid to get involved in battles or move through traffic.


Nicholas Merkley, RW, Kelowna (WHL)

The 5-10, 191-pound forward can play right wing or center, is strong on the power play and a dangerous sniper on the penalty kill (two shorthanded goals). He has a great compete level, led Kelowna with 70 assists and 90 points in the regular season, and played on the top line for a team that went to the Memorial Cup championship game.


Mathew Barzal, C, Seattle (WHL)

Barzal is a fantastic east/west skater with the capability of creating time and space for linemates. The 5-11, 175-pound right-shot forward was the top center for the Thunderbirds. He has great vision, puck skills and playmaking ability. He had 45 assists and 57 points in 44 regular-season games, and four goals and eight points in six playoff games.

(From PIT)

Jakub Zboril, D, Saint John (QMJHL)

A skilled, two-way defenseman who plays with poise and confidence and can quarterback the power play. The 6-1, 184-pound left-shot defender had 13 goals, 33 points and 73 penalty minutes in 44 games. The Czech Republic native brings a physical edge as well, keeping the opposition on its toes.


Jansen Harkins, C, Prince George (WHL)

Harkins is a smart, two-way player who contributes in all three zones. The 6-1, 182-pound forward excelled as a playmaker, leading the Cougars with 59 assists and 79 points despite usually drawing the oppositions' top checking line and defense pair.


Jeremy Roy, D, Sherbrooke (QMJHL)

The 6-foot, 180-pound right-shot defender has a great shot from the point, and great transitional speed, hands and feistiness that NHL scouts hanker. He was hampered by an ankle injury for parts of the season but had 43 points in 46 games. He patterns his game after the Los Angeles Kings' Drew Doughty.


Evgeny Svechnikov, LW, Cape Breton (QMJHL)

Svechnikov is a power forward with decent speed and balance, good offensive hockey sense, and creative instincts. At 6-2 and 199 pounds, Svechnikov considers his game similar to that of Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin. In his first season in North America, he was second among QMJHL rookies with 78 points and third with 32 goals.


Thomas Chabot, D, Saint John (QMJHL)

Chabot is a smooth skater with great transitional speed. The 6-2, 180-pound defenseman had good size and mobility to defend and lead Sea Dogs defenders 12 goals and 41 points in 66 regular-season games. He has the capability of advancing the puck under pressure and into the opposing end.

(From NYI)

Oliver Kylington, D, Farjestad (SWE)

Kylington is a good, mobile skater with great vision and a good skill set. The defenseman (6-foot, 185) is a talented prospect but saw limited ice time in Farjestad before moving to AIK in Sweden's second division and then back to Farjestad. He has too much potential to pass up at this stage; proper development will make him reliable and tough.

22.WSH Gabriel Carlsson, D, Linkoping Jr. (SWE-JR.)

At 6-foot-4 and 183-pounds, the left-shot defender plays big and smart and is considered a stay-at-home defenseman with good reach. He plays a safe game and has become very reliable while seeing his stock rise among scouts. He uses his size and strength in a smart way.

23.VAN Paul Bittner, LW, Portland (WHL)

A smooth skater with good hands, Bittner is capable of making smart plays along the wall while protecting the puck well. His 6-4, 204-pound frame is enticing to scouts, particularly since he can retrieve pucks on the forecheck and is tough to contain down low. He had 34 goals and 71 points in 66 games.

(From NSH)
Jacob Larsson, D, Frolunda Jr. (SWE-JR.)

The 6-2, 191-pound left-shot defender split time between the junior league and top league in Sweden; he makes smart decisions, is mobile and reads the game well. The Leafs need defensive depth and Larsson is a solid choice this late. He needs to put on some muscle but knows where to go on the ice and how to transition.

(From STL)
Joel Eriksson Ek, C, Farjestad (SWE)

The 6-2, 180-pound left-shot forward plays a 200-foot game, is strong on faceoffs and is very responsible defensively. The Jets could use some size down the middle and Eriksson Ek, No. 4 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of European skaters, fits the bill. He has great vision and a good shot.

26.MTL Filip Chlapik, C, Charlottetown (QMJHL)

The native of Praha, Czech Republic, is effective on faceoffs and has improved his defensive game. A smooth skater with good vision and skills, the QMJHL rookie knows where to go with or without the puck. The 6-1, 196-pound left-handed shot had 33 goals, 10 power-play goals and 75 points, and won 48.8 percent of his faceoffs in 64 games.

27.ANA Brock Boeser, RW, Waterloo (USHL)

The two-way forward tied for first in the United States Hockey League with 35 goals and 32 power-play points, and was third with 68 points in 57 regular-season games. He was named to the USHL All-Rookie Team and All-USHL First Team. Boeser (6-foot, 191) is committed to the University of North Dakota for next season.

(From NYR)
Denis Gurianov, RW, Togliatti 2 (RUS-JR)

The Lightning have no issues with drafting quality Russian players and this 6-3, 192-pound left-handed shooter fits the bill. He's a big power forward who likes to use his physical strength and is gritty in all areas of the ice. Many scouts believe he has the hardest shot of this year's draft class.

(From TBL)

Jake DeBrusk, LW, Swift Current (WHL)

He's tenacious on the puck and an extremely hard worker. DeBrusk (6-foot, 174), the son of former NHL forward Louie DeBrusk, creates havoc on the forecheck and forces turnovers. He ranked first on Swift Current with 42 goals, 81 points, and 13 power-play goals; has 57 goals, 120 points in 144 WHL games in two seasons.

(From CHI)
Colin White, C, USA U-18 (USHL)

The Boston College-bound right-hand shot has been compared to Patrice Bergeron for his preparedness and detail on every shift. White (6-foot, 183) is deceptive and hard to play against because of his smarts, speed and strength. He's the type of player that will wear an opponent down during the course of a game.


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