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Mike G. Morreale's 2016 mock NHL Draft

by Mike G. Morreale

Morreale's Draft

Auston Matthews, C, Zurich (SUI)

The 6-foot-1, 210-pound forward has all the tools to become a world-class, two-way center in the mold of Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews. He has 16 goals and 27 points in 23 games for Zurich in National League A, Switzerland's top professional league. He led the U.S. with seven goals and 11 points at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship.


Jesse Puljujarvi, RW, Karpat (FIN)

A powerful skater with good acceleration, balance and outstanding hockey sense, the 6-3, 203-pound forward is a threat each time he is on the ice. Puljujarvi led all scorers at the WJC with 17 points in seven games to help Finland win the gold medal.


Jakob Chychrun, D, Sarnia (OHL)

A gifted puck handler, Chychrun (6-2, 215) is considered by many the best defenseman available in the draft. He can make a smooth transition from defense to offense and has good defensive awareness. He's intelligent and enjoys playing physical when the opportunity arises.


Patrik Laine, RW, Tappara (FIN)

The 6-4, 206-pound forward has a combination of size, skill, strength and soft hands. Laine tied Matthews for most goals (seven) at the World Juniors and finished third in scoring with 13 points for Finland. He has a nose for the net and great offensive instincts.


Matthew Tkachuk, LW, London (OHL)

The son of U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame member Keith Tkachuk, Matthew plays the same style as his father, combining strength, skill and smarts. Tkachuk (6-1, 195) tied Matthews for the U.S. lead at the World Juniors with 11 points. He's also among the top scorers this season in the Ontario Hockey League.

(From SJS)
Alexander Nylander, RW, Mississauga (OHL)

Nylander (6-foot, 179) picked up the offensive slack for Sweden at the WJC when his brother William Nylander (Toronto Maple Leafs) sustained an injury in the first game. He led Sweden at the tournament with four goals and nine points. He has good separation speed and leads Mississauga in goals and points as a rookie.


Michael McLeod, C, Mississauga (OHL)

The 6-2, 188-pound forward always will look to score, but has the creativity of a playmaker and is exceptional in the faceoff circle. McLeod ranks second on Mississauga with 45 points and has a fantastic work ethic that makes him tough to defend in the offensive zone.

  8. ANA

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

A prototype power forward who can skate well, score and play with an edge. Gauthier (6-3, 225) has a solid combination of skating, skills and physical assets. He was the only draft-eligible player to play for Canada at the WJC; he had two assists and four shots on goal in five games.


Olli Juolevi, D, London (OHL)

A smooth-skating defenseman with great poise and composure, Juolevi (6-2, 179) helped Finland to a gold medal at the WJC; he tied for the tournament lead among defensemen with nine points, all assists. He logs big minutes, can play any situation and makes good decisions on the fly.

10.CAR Tyson Jost, C, Penticton (BCHL)

The captain for Penticton this season, Jost (5-11, 191), a smart, skilled forward, is committed to attend the University of North Dakota in 2016-17. He has 26 goals, 41 assists, 11 power-play goals and six game-winning goals in 34 games.


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

The 6-foot, 208-pound defenseman already has a pro game in his arsenal and his skills should translate well to the NHL. He has one goal, 11 points and 24 blocked shots in 19 college games. He had a plus-5 rating and seven shots on goal in seven games for the U.S. at the WJC.


Dante Fabbro, D, Penticton (BCHL)

A strong positional player with solid read-and-react instincts, Fabbro (6-foot, 189) is committed to Boston University next season. He has the ability to be in good position to break up plays and can get his shot from the point on net. He's second among BCHL defensemen with 35 assists and 44 points in 28 games.


Mikhail Sergachev, D, Windsor (OHL)

An intimidating presence along the blue line, Sergachev (6-2, 206) has a good shot, can defend well and knows how to push the pace. An offensive-minded defenseman, he has 12 goals and is sixth among OHL defensemen with 28 points in 41 games.


Max Jones, LW, London (OHL)

Jones (6-3, 205) has a relentless motor, is good at tracking pucks, plays with an edge and knows how to use his size and strength to his advantage. He has 17 goals, 34 points, 63 penalty minutes and a plus-15 rating in 34 games this season.


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

An excellent skater with elite hockey sense, the 5-9, 168-pound Boston University commit makes players around him better, has great vision and can create scoring chances. A late cut from the U.S. team that won bronze at the WJC, Keller leads the USA Hockey's National Team Development Program under-18 team with 42 assists and 63 points in 32 games.


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

Bellows (6-foot, 196), committed to attend Boston University in 2016-17, is a goal scorer capable of getting pucks on net from any spot on the ice. He leads the NTDP under-18 team with 26 goals, seven power-play goals, and five game-winning goals, and is second with 44 points in 33 games.


Tyler Benson, LW, Vancouver (WHL)

Benson (5-11, 201) is a pro-style forward with a good hockey IQ, a nice shot and he's proven to be an impact top-six forward. He has eight goals, 26 points and 40 penalty minutes in 28 games this season, his second full WHL season.


Rasmus Asplund, C, Farjestad (SWE)

A tremendous leader with a great set of skills, Asplund (5-11, 176) had five points in seven games for Sweden at the WJC. He is an excellent competitor and is considered a finesse player. He has three goals and five points in 27 games for Farjestad in the Swedish Hockey League.


Jake Bean, D, Calgary (WHL)

A puck-moving defender who can quarterback a power play, Bean (5-11, 173) appears to be gaining traction on the draft board because of his poise and excellent shot from the point. He has 15 goals, including six on the power play, and is tied for third among WHL defensemen with 39 points.


Pierre-Luc Dubois, LW, Cape Breton (QMJHL)

A big, skilled forward who plays a complete game and goes to the high-traffic areas to create offensive opportunities. Dubois (6-2, 202) plays with grit, has good vision and exhibits good hands in tight spaces. He leads Cape Breton with 35 assists, 61 points and a plus-22 rating in 41 games.


Luke Kunin, C, University of Wisconsin (BIG10)

Kunin (6-foot, 193) plays a high-paced game and can move the puck quickly on the transition. He has a great work ethic and can fire the puck from the point. He has seven goals, 15 points, 13 blocked shots and 60 shots on goal in 18 games for Wisconsin.

(From NYR)
Kale Clague, D, Brandon (WHL)

His greatest asset might be his ability to get from Point A to Point B quickly in transition. He thinks the game well and gets himself in good position to collect a pass. Clague (5-11 177) is considered a top player at his position in the Western Hockey League and has solid upside.

23.DETGerman Rubtsov, C, Team Russia U-18 (RUS-JR)

Rubtsov (6-2, 178) is a hard-working skater and competitor with fine straight-away speed and good vision. He is good in the traffic areas and can find teammates with tape-to-tape passes. He has nine goals and 20 points in 18 games this season.

24.MINLogan Brown, C, Windsor (OHL)

A giant on skates, Brown (6-6, 222) moves deceptively well and uses his size to win puck battles in his end. A left-shot forward, he has displayed good hands and is difficult to contain when driving to the net, as evidenced by his six goals and 35 points in 33 games. He's also good on faceoffs, winning 52.4 percent.

25.STLDmitry Sokolov, RW, Sudbury (OHL)

Considered to be one of the top Russian-born players available in the draft this season, Sokolov (5-11, 220) has good playmaking ability with a strong shot. He has 15 goals and 29 points in 41 games this season, his first in North America.

(From LAK)
Nathan Bastian, RW, Mississauga (OHL)

The 6-3, 208-pound forward plays a power game and thinks the game extremely well. He's capable of moving the puck to the open man and has good skills to complement his strength. He has 12 goals, five power-play goals and 40 points in 38 games.

27.FLA Carl Grundstrom, RW, Modo (SWE)

Grundstrom (6-foot, 194) is a power forward with an excellent work ethic and aggressive style. He continually battles for loose pucks, is a mobile skater and enjoys getting under the skin of the opposition. He had one goal and nine shots on goal in seven games for Sweden at the WJC.

28.CHIRiley Tufte, LW, Blaine (HIGH-MN)

Tufte (6-5, 205), committed to the University of Minnesota-Duluth for 2016-17, has a good understanding of how to use his size to become a valuable asset. He's capable of getting shots off quickly, distributes well and has good finish. He has 22 goals and 37 points in 12 games this season.


Chad Krys, D, USA U-18 (USHL)

Krys (5-11, 185), who will attend Boston University in 2016-17, doesn't force what isn't there on defense and he's learning when to jump into the play and when to play it safe. He is fast off the transition and has a knack for angling opponents to the outside. He played for the U.S. at the WJC, and has 17 points in 24 games for the NTDP.

30.WSHAlexander DeBrincat, RW, Erie (OHL)

DeBrincat offers a unique skill set that combines tenacity and playmaking ability. His 5-7, 163-pound frame might not be an asset but hasn't affected him from becoming a prolific scorer in the OHL. DeBrincat, who played for the U.S. at the WJC, has 34 goals and 60 points in his second season with Erie.


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