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NHL Draft

Mock 2020 NHL Draft: Drysdale, Sanderson among top defensemen

Lafreniere unanimous No. 1 in experts' latest selections

by @NHLdotcom

With the release of NHL Central Scouting's final rankings on April 8, writers Adam Kimelman, Mike G. Morreale and Guillaume Lepage make their predictions as to how the first round of the 2020 NHL Draft could turn out.

Alexis Lafreniere will be the first player chosen at the 2020 NHL Draft, according to three writers. After that, however, their opinions differ greatly.

The 2020 NHL Draft was postponed from its initial date, June 26-27, due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus. A new date has yet to be announced.

The order used for this mock draft is based on the standings when the NHL season paused March 12.


[RELATED: Lafreniere tops final ranking of North American skatersStuetzle atop final ranking of International skaters]


The Ottawa Senators and Anaheim Ducks each currently have two first-round selections. In addition to their pick, the Senators have the San Jose Sharks' pick from the Erik Karlsson trade Sept. 13, 2018; the Ducks have the Boston Bruins' first pick from the Ondrej Kase trade on Feb. 21.

The Senators could have a third first-round pick (the New York Islanders) from the Jean-Gabriel Pageau trade Feb. 24. The pick would go to Ottawa as long as it's not in the top three.

The New Jersey Devils also could have three first-round picks depending on certain conditions. They acquired the Arizona Coyotes' pick in the Taylor Hall trade Dec. 16, and the Vancouver Canucks' selection from the Tampa Bay Lightning, in the Blake Coleman trade on Feb. 16. The Lightning previously had acquired the pick from the Canucks as part of the trade for forward J.T. Miller.

The New York Rangers (Carolina Hurricanes) and Minnesota Wild (Pittsburgh Penguins) also have acquired conditional first-round picks that could change hands based on the final standings.


1. Detroit Red Wings

Kimelman -- Alexis Lafreniere, LW, Rimouski (QMJHL): Lafreniere (6-foot-1, 193 pounds) combines elite puck skills, high-end decision-making and a physical edge. He's used to excelling against older competition, including playing for Canada in the IIHF World Junior Championships at age 17 and 18; he was named tournament MVP this year while helping Canada win the championship. That makes him the top talent in the draft and should allow him to step into a significant NHL role next season.

Morreale -- Alexis Lafreniere: He led all players in the Canadian Hockey League (QMJHL, Ontario Hockey League, Western Hockey League) with 2.15 points per game. But as skilled and talented as Lafreniere is, what makes him even more impressive is his relentlessness and willingness to play a hard game and finish checks.

Lepage -- Alexis Lafreniere: The top scorer in the QMJHL with 112 points (35 goals, 77 assists) in 52 games, as well as the MVP of the WJC has allowed Lafreniere to cement his status as the favorite to go No. 1 at the draft.


2. Ottawa Senators

Kimelman -- Quinton Byfield, C, Sudbury (OHL): Byfield has everything a rebuilding team seeks: Great size (6-4, 215) and a tremendous skater whose skill set is reminiscent of Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin. As good as Byfield is now, he still can add strength and go from outstanding to elite.

Morreale -- Quinton Byfield: The big left-shot center is a powerful skater with breakaway speed and an exceptional skill set. He led Sudbury with 82 points (32 goals, 50 assists) in 45 OHL games.

Lepage -- Tim Stuetzle, LW, Mannheim (GER): Stuetzle (6-1, 187) showed up on hockey fans' radars thanks to his brilliant performance at the WJC, where he had five assists in five games for Germany. He carried that momentum to his season in Deutsche Eishockey Liga, Germany's top pro league. He had 34 points (seven goals, 27 assists) in 41 games and won the league's rookie of the year award.


3. Ottawa Senators (from San Jose Sharks)

Kimelman -- Tim Stuetzle: Stuetzle's mature game allowed him to earn a significant role on the top team in the German league as a teenager. That experience against more developed competition should help him when he makes the jump to the NHL.

Morreale -- Jamie Drysdale, D, Erie (OHL): Drysdale might be the best defenseman available in the draft. The 5-11, 175-pound right-hand shot is capable of driving play with his skating and elite hockey sense.

Lepage -- Jamie Drysdale: Ottawa has built up its prospect base with forwards over the past few years; now the Senators can shore up their depth on defense by selecting the best player at his position in this class.


4. Los Angeles Kings

Kimelman -- Marco Rossi, C, Ottawa (OHL): Rossi plays bigger than his size (5-9, 193) with a feistiness and competitive level that's reminiscent of Philadelphia Flyers forward Claude Giroux. Rossi led all CHL players with 120 points (39 goals, 81 assists) in 56 games, willingly goes to the net to produce offense and his high hockey IQ makes him a solid two-way player who can kill penalties.

Morreale -- Tim Stuetzle: A hard-working left-shot forward capable of playing in all situations with speed, great vision and swagger.

Lepage -- Quinton Byfield: He won't turn 18 until Aug. 19, which makes Byfield him one of the youngest players in this year's draft. But he's also one of the largest and most complete. He offers an excellent mix of speed, skill and physicality that would mesh well with the Kings' style of play.


5. Anaheim Ducks

Kimelman -- Jamie Drysdale: The Ducks have invested heavily in forwards in recent drafts, and a chance to add the best defenseman in this year's class should be too hard to pass up. Drysdale is a complete player, able to skate the puck out of his zone and lead the breakout or smartly and accurately pass the puck up the ice. He always keeps a good gap and uses his stick and body positioning in the defensive zone to keep opponents to the outside.

Morreale -- Jake Sanderson, D, USA U-18 (NTDP): A mobile, puck-moving left-handed shot who defends with aggression and passion. Sanderson (6-1, 185), who is committed to play at the University of North Dakota next season, had 29 points (seven goals, 22 assists) in 47 games.

Lepage -- Marco Rossi: Although the Austria-born forward may give up a lot in size against the majority of his opponents, he still dominated his competition.


6. New Jersey Devils

Kimelman -- Alexander Holtz, RW, Djurgarden (SWE): With left-shot centers Nico Hischier and Jack Hughes as the foundation of their team, adding a shoot-first right wing makes sense for the Devils. Holtz (5-11, 192) is a strong skater and can get a hard, accurate shot off from anywhere in the offensive zone.

Morreale -- Marco Rossi: The left-shot forward had the most points by an OHL player since Chicago Blackhawks forward Alex DeBrincat had 127 with Erie in 2016-17. He's capable of winning 50/50 puck battles, is strong on face-offs (58.5 winning percentage) and generates offense with his high hockey IQ, good hands and playmaking ability.

Lepage: Lucas Raymond, LW, Frolunda (SHL): The 5-11, 170-pound forward has great hands and is a threat to score every shift. Lined up to the left of either Hughes or Hischier, he could wreak havoc for seasons to come.


7. Buffalo Sabres

Kimelman -- Cole Perfetti, C, Saginaw (OHL): As much as Perfetti's skill level stands out, it's his smarts and high hockey IQ that allows him to always be in the right spot in all three zones.

Morreale -- Cole Perfetti: A skilled 5-10, 177-pound left-shot forward with high hockey IQ, compete and a great release. He was second in the OHL with 111 points (37 goals, 74 assists) in 61 games.

Lepage -- Cole Perfetti: Perfetti is not the biggest player, but he is an offensive catalyst. His 111 points were the third-most in the CHL, after Rossi and Lafreniere, and are the most since the franchise moved to Saginaw in 2002-03.


8. Montreal Canadiens

Kimelman -- Jake Sanderson: An outstanding skater whose game got better as the season progressed. His defensive play is strong and his offensive game isn't far behind. Sanderson was captain of the NTDP U-17 and U-18 teams, which shows the respect he's earned from his coaches and teammates.

Morreale -- Jack Quinn, RW, Ottawa (OHL): The 6-foot, 176-pound forward was second in the OHL with 52 goals and tied for eighth with 89 points in 62 games. Seven other OHL players have scored at least 50 goals in their NHL draft season since 2000-01: Corey Locke (63, 2002-03), Patrick Kane (62, 2006-07), Steven Stamkos (58, 2007-08), John Tavares (58, 2008-09), Jeff Skinner (50, 2009-10), DeBrincat (51, 2015-16) and Arthur Kaliyev (51, 2018-19).

Lepage -- Alexander Holtz: The Canadiens have stocked up on centers and defensemen at the draft the past few years, so this would be a good time to focus on depth on the wing. With a scorer of Holtz's caliber, the Canadiens' top-six could be completely transformed during the next few seasons.


9. Chicago Blackhawks

Kimelman -- Jack Quinn: His skating got better as the season progressed, which allowed Quinn to further grow his offensive game. That's likely to continue as he gets better off-ice training in pro hockey. He's already strong enough to win most battles along the walls and is tough to knock off the puck.

Morreale -- Alexander Holtz: A pure goal scorer with a great shot selection, Holtz plays a tough, intelligent game. He had 16 points (nine goals, seven assists) and 55 shots on goal while averaging 12:53 of ice time in 35 games in the Swedish Hockey League.

Lepage -- Anton Lundell, C, HIFK (FIN): The forward (6-1, 185) had 28 points (10 goals, 16 assists) in 44 games in Liiga, Finland's top pro league, and has developed into one of the most complete centers available in this draft. The Blackhawks already have begun to prepare for life after Jonathan Toews by selecting Kirby Dach with the No. 3 pick of the 2019 NHL Draft and could opt for a player with a similar skill set this year.


10. Arizona Coyotes

Kimelman -- Anton Lundell: The Coyotes like smart, two-way players, and Lundell is one of the best centers who play a 200-foot game in this year's draft. He's played well against men and would have played for Finland at the World Juniors for the second straight year were it not for an upper-body injury. He's fully healed and would add to a nice group of young forwards in Arizona.

Morreale -- Lucas Raymond: He plays a strong two-way game with excellent vision, intensity, a good wrist shot and a nose for the net. He's a tremendous asset on the power play and the penalty kill.

Lepage -- Iaroslav Askarov, G, Neva St. Petersburg (RUS-2): After Darcy Kuemper and Antti Raanta, the Coyotes' depth chart in goal is thin. They could start building toward the future with Askarov (6-3, 176), who is considered by some scouts to be the best goaltending prospect since Montreal's Carey Price.


11. Minnesota Wild

Kimelman -- Iaroslav Askarov: Askarov had a mixed performance for Russia at the World Juniors, but it's the lone blip during his outstanding development path. He has the size NHL teams look for in goalies, and scouts like his strength in the crease, his quickness and the way he reads plays. With Devan Dubnyk turning 34 on May 4, it's time for the Wild to start looking to the future in goal, and that could be by selecting the best goalie in the draft.

Morreale -- Iaroslav Askarov: An intimidating presence in net with great poise, athleticism and a quick glove, Askarov was 12-3 with a 2.45 goals-against average and .920 save percentage in 18 games in Russia's minor league.

Lepage -- Dylan Holloway, C, Wisconsin (BIG10): Eric Staal (35) and Mikko Koivu (37) aren't getting any younger, and even though the Wild have several young centers in their pipeline, few have the offensive potential and the dynamic skating ability of Holloway (6-foot, 203).


12. Vancouver Canucks

Kimelman -- Lucas Raymond: A great playmaker who excels as a right-handed shot on his off-wing, Raymond's tenacity, great hands, high hockey IQ and vision should fit well with the Canucks' collection of young offensive talent.

Morreale -- Anton Lundell: The two-way left-shot forward can protect the puck extremely well and finds teammates in traffic. He averaged 15:49 of ice time against older, more developed men in Finland's top pro league.

Lepage -- Dawson Mercer, C, Chicoutimi (QMJHL): The 6-foot, 180-pound forward does everything well. He can play in the middle or on the wing and should provide a boost on special teams.


13. Nashville Predators

Kimelman -- Kaiden Guhle, D, Prince Albert (WHL): His skating allows him to excel in any style of game, from up-tempo and attacking to grinding and physical. At 6-2, 186 pounds, he's strong enough to use his body. But his offensive game took a big step this season and those who have watched him closely said they believe there will be more to come.

Morreale -- Kaiden Guhle: The two-way left-shot defenseman is a good skater with a hard shot. He had 40 points (11 goals, 29 assists) in 64 games this season and would be a great value pick at this spot.

Lepage -- Jake Sanderson: The NTDP defenseman raised his stock in the eyes of NHL scouts during the course of the season thanks to his effectiveness in all facets of the game. He can direct a power play and shut down the opposition in his end. He has all the qualities that the Predators have shown to love in defensemen prospects.


14. Florida Panthers

Kimelman -- Justin Barron, D, Halifax (QMJHL): If Barron (6-1, 195) hadn't missed three months with a blood clot issue, he might have been higher than No. 16 on Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters. He returned Feb. 26 and continued to show he's an excellent skater who moves the puck quickly and efficiently. He's expected to improve defensively as he gets stronger.

Morreale -- Braden Schneider, D, Brandon (WHL): A two-way right-shot defenseman (6-2, 202) capable of playing the power play and penalty kill with great competitiveness and smarts, Schneider had 42 points (seven goals, 35 assists) in 60 WHL games.

Lepage -- Kaiden Guhle: The Panthers have plenty of depth at forward and could opt for a defenseman here. Guhle, who is regarded for his strong skating, elevated his game despite having more responsibilities with Prince Albert this season.


15. Calgary Flames

Kimelman -- Jeremie Poirier, D, Saint John (QMJHL): Poirier plays defense like a forward, with a skill set similar to Shayne Gostisbehere of the Philadelphia Flyers. He has a hard, accurate shot from the point, and at 6-foot, 196 pounds, Poirier can play physical and skates well. His defensive game should get better as he gets older and works with pro coaches.

Morreale -- Seth Jarvis, C, Portland (WHL): A smart, skilled right-shot forward who executes with pace and excels as a penalty killer. Jarvis (5-10, 175) was second in the WHL with 98 points (42 goals, 56 assists) in 58 games.

Lepage -- Noel Gunler, RW, Lulea (SWE): A talented playmaker, Gunler (6-2, 176) has an accurate, fast and powerful shot and he's able to create space for himself.


16. New York Rangers

Kimelman -- Connor Zary, C, Kamloops (WHL): Zary (6-foot, 178) would be a nice addition as the Rangers continue to build depth at the center position. He had 86 points (38 goals, 48 assists) in 57 games and showed good vision and passing touch. He also is strong enough to hold off opposing players and find quality scoring areas.

Morreale -- Dawson Mercer: The right-shot forward had 60 points (24 goals, 36 assists) in 42 games. Mercer is a smart, heads-up skater who finishes checks and is strong on the power play and penalty kill.

Lepage -- Braden Schneider: The Rangers have built their prospect pool at every position the past few years, and adding Schneider to a defenseman group that also includes 2018 first-round picks K'Andre Miller (No. 22) and Nils Lundqvist (No. 28) would make it even stronger.


17. Winnipeg Jets

Kimelman -- Braden Schneider: Depth at defenseman was a big problem for the Jets this season, but it might not be for much longer. Schneider's physical style and developing offensive game could be ready to join Ville Heinola, their 2019 first-round pick (No. 20), and Dylan Samberg, a second-round pick (No. 43) in the 2017 NHL Draft, in Winnipeg sooner rather than later.

Morreale -- Connor Zary: Zary has taken steps this season as a dominant two-way player who shows patience with the puck. He tied for fifth in the WHL with 86 points, tied for third with 15 power-play goals and tied for fourth with three shorthanded goals.

Lepage -- William Wallinder, D, Modo Jr. (SWE-JR): The left-shot defenseman has imposing size (6-4, 191) and opened eyes at the Five Nations Tournament in November, largely due to his mobility. One of the youngest players in this draft -- he turns 18 on July 28 -- there still are areas where Wallinder needs to improve, but his potential is enormous.


18. New York Islanders

Kimelman -- Hendrix Lapierre, C, Chicoutimi (QMJHL): Upper-body injuries ended Lapierre's season Nov. 21, but the skill he displayed in 19 QMJHL games earned him consideration among the top forwards in this year's class. His skating and speed allows him to back off defensemen, and his vision lets him find open spots for himself or teammates to produce. Lapierre (5-11, 179) had 17 points (two goals, 15 assists), but really stood out with Canada at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup in August, when he was second among all players with 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in five games.

Morreale -- Dylan Holloway: The left-shot forward is a complete two-way center with a great skill set, hands, competitiveness and drive to create offense. He should be the first NCAA player selected after he had 17 points (eight goals, nine assists) in 35 games as a freshman for the University of Wisconsin.

Lepage -- Connor Zary: Zary, who turned 18 on Sept. 25, is one of the oldest forwards in the draft. He was Kamloops' driving force offensively and is powerful around the net.


19. Columbus Blue Jackets

Kimelman -- Dawson Mercer: The versatile right-shot forward opened eyes with Team QMJHL at the Super Series in November, which earned him a spot with Canada's World Junior team. He continued to show his versatility, vision and finishing ability as the season progressed.

Morreale -- Rodion Amirov, LW, Ufa (RUS): An offensive-minded forward, Amirov (6-foot, 167) is capable of playing in all situations and is skilled, fast and smart with the puck. The 18-year-old had two assists in 21 KHL games and 22 points (10 goals, 12 assists) in 17 games with Tolpar Ufa in Russia's junior league.

Lepage -- Rodion Amirov: Amirov split the season between the KHL and the MHL, Russia's junior league, where he dominated. He would be a nice addition to the Blue Jackets' group of young forwards.


20. Toronto Maple Leafs

Kimelman -- Dylan Holloway: Wisconsin struggled this season, but Holloway had moments where he stood out, especially with his skating and 200-foot play. He's strong enough to win battles along the boards and hold onto the puck, and he has excellent vision.

Morreale: Hendrix Lapierre: The left-shot forward has great hockey sense, competitiveness and playmaking qualities. He was limited to 19 games because of upper-body injuries but may have the highest ceiling of any player projected to go in the first round.

Lepage -- Jan Mysak, C, Hamilton (OHL): After starting the season with Litvinov in the Czech league, Mysak (5-10, 175) joined Hamilton on Jan. 18 and had 25 points (15 goals, 10 assists) in 22 games. He showed no problem adjusting to the North American style of play.


21. Carolina Hurricanes

Kimelman -- William Wallinder: Scouts like his skating ability for a player his size. His mobility, hockey sense and puck skills make him a desirable prospect, and his defensive play is expected to improve as he develops physically.

Morreale: Helge Grans, D, Malmo (SWE): The 6-2, 206-pound right-shot defenseman has good vision and an understanding of the game, can move and can transition the puck well. He had 27 points (four goals, 23 assists) in 27 games with Malmo's team in Sweden's junior league and played 21 games for Malmo in the SHL.

Lepage -- Jack Quinn: The Hurricanes rely on a solid core of young defensemen and could decide to add a bit of punch to their offense. Quinn was one of two CHL players to score 50 goals, along with Toronto Maple Leafs forward prospect Nicholas Robertson (52).


22. Dallas Stars

Kimelman -- Seth Jarvis: After a slow start, Jarvis was one of the best offensive players in the CHL this season after the Christmas break with 65 points (28 goals, 37 assists) in 29 games. He does everything at full speed.

Morreale -- Ridly Greig, C, Brandon (WHL): A good skater with breakaway speed who plays a strong game at each end of the ice and is utilized at the point on the power play. Greig (5-11, 163) had 60 points (26 goals, 34 assists) in 56 games.

Lepage -- Jacob Perreault, RW, Sarnia (OHL): The Stars' core forwards, 28-year-old Tyler Seguin and 30-year-old Jamie Benn, are likely on the backside of their prime seasons and could use some help. Perreault (5-11, 192) has a good mix of strength, physicality and offensive skill that allowed him to score 39 goals in 57 games this season.


23. Edmonton Oilers

Kimelman -- Noel Gunler: With a quick, hard release, Gunler might have the best shot among the European draft prospects this season. He's already earned enough respect from opponents that he's able to fake shots to draw goalies out of position and find open teammates. It's fun to think of what Gunler could do with time and space afforded by playing alongside forwards Connor McDavid or Leon Draisaitl in Edmonton.

Morreale -- Jacob Perreault: The son of former NHL forward Yanic Perreault is creative with the puck, can execute plays at top speed and possesses one of the best shots among players in this class.

Lepage -- Mavrik Bourque, C, Shawinigan (QMJHL): Even going up against top lines all season, Bourque (5-10, 178) still managed 71 points (29 goals, 42 assists) in 49 games. He could have an impact on the Oilers sooner rather than later.


24. Vegas Golden Knights

Kimelman -- Shakir Mukhamadullin, D, Ufa (RUS): The left-handed shot showed he's capable of playing against men in the KHL at 18. He can use his strength and size (6-3, 178) to his advantage defensively and his offensive game is developing quickly. He's a good passer and has shown he can make big plays in big situations -- he scored in double-overtime for Russia in the championship game at the World Junior A Challenge in December. He had 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in 13 games with Tolpar Ufa in Russia's junior league.

Morreale -- Ozzy Wiesblatt, RW, Prince Albert (WHL): The 5-10, 183-pound right-shot forward is a smart, tenacious player on the puck, quick to find openings, and excelled after moving to center from right wing late in the season. He was second with Prince Albert with 70 points (25 goals, 45 assists) in 64 games and first with 27 power-play points (10 goals, 17 assists).

Lepage -- Jeremie Poirier: The defenseman always has been known for his offensive ability. He needs to improve in his own end, but Vegas should be able to give Poirier time to hone his skills.


25. Pittsburgh Penguins

Kimelman -- Helge Grans: The Penguins sent their best defenseman prospect, Calen Addison, to the Minnesota Wild as part of the Jason Zucker trade. Grans was one of the more improved European defensemen as the season progressed and showed he had the skill, mobility and strength to handle playing against men in 21 SHL games with Malmo.

Morreale -- Brendan Brisson, C, Chicago (USHL): The 5-11, 179-pound left-shot forward is a strong threat on the power play and established himself as a consistent two-way player with 59 points (24 goals, 35 assists) in 45 games.

Lepage -- John-Jason Peterka, LW, Munich (GER): The dynamic forward impressed at the 2020 World Juniors with six points (four goals, two assists) in seven games for Germany. After selecting forwards with four of their first five picks at the 2019 draft, topped by Samuel Poulin at No. 21, the Penguins could be looking to stock up on offensive players as Sidney Crosby (32) and Evgeni Malkin (33) age.


26. Philadelphia Flyers

Kimelman -- Tyson Foerster, RW, Barrie (OHL): The 6-foot-1, 194-pound forward opened eyes with two goals at the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in January and continued to build on that success with Barrie over the final months of the season. He finished with 80 points (36 goals, 44 assists) in 62 games.

Morreale -- Justin Barron, D: The right-handed shot is a proven skater and competitor capable of making the good first pass.

Lepage -- Hendrix Lapierre: This intelligent forward was limited by injuries, but his ability to read the play in the offensive zone is simply too impressive to ignore.


27. Washington Capitals

Kimelman -- Thomas Bordeleau, C, USA U-18 (NTDP): The left-shot forward plays bigger than his size (5-9, 175). He actually uses that size to his advantage, utilizing smarts, quickness and a low center of gravity to slip in and out of smaller holes down low a bigger player might normally struggle to get through.

Morreale -- Jeremie Poirier: An offensive defenseman with good puck skills, hockey sense and game-breaking ability, Poirier led QMJHL defensemen with 20 goals in 64 games.

Lepage -- Brendan Brisson: The forward grew up in the presence of some of the biggest names in the NHL, including John Tavares of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche, who are among the players represented by his father, sports agent Pat Brisson. Brendan dominated the USHL this season, finishing second in the league with 59 points in 45 games.


28. San Jose Sharks (from Tampa Bay Lightning)

Kimelman -- Brendan Brisson: The left-shot center has been able to learn up close from the game's top stars. Brendan established himself as one of the top players in the USHL this season and is expected to continue that upward trajectory at the University of Michigan next season. He should be worth the wait for the Sharks, who need to add center depth.

Morreale -- Tyson Foerster: Foerster's goal-scoring ability stood out at the start of the season and his play continued to develop throughout the second half. He had 32 points (15 goals, 17 assists) in his final 24 games.

Lepage -- Lukas Cormier, D, Charlottetown (QMJHL): Cormier has drawn comparisons to Avalanche defenseman Samuel Girard with the way he controls the play, thanks to his vision and brilliant skating. Cormier (5-9, 180) would provide a boost to the Sharks' pool of defensemen prospects.


29. Colorado Avalanche

Kimelman -- Mavrik Bourque: A strong skater who is elusive with the puck and reads the play well enough to find gaps in the defense he can exploit, Bourque is also a hard worker in the defensive zone. He has some qualities similar to Bruins center Patrice Bergeron.

Morreale: Ty Smilanic, C, USA U-18 (NTDP): The 6-1, 175-pound left-shot forward experienced some health issues this season, including mononucleosis, an ankle sprain and an upper-body injury. But he still showcased himself as one of the fastest skaters and top playmakers available in this draft.

Lepage -- Seth Jarvis: Even though their centers show no signs of slowing down, the Avalanche might be enticed by Jarvis, a right-shot and a natural scorer. He was third in the WHL with 42 goals.


30. St. Louis Blues

Kimelman -- Ozzy Wiesblatt: The feisty right-shot forward is an emotional leader who one scout compared to Hurricanes forward Justin Williams. Wiesblatt's eventual NHL impact could be as much off the ice as it is on the ice, where he's highly regarded for his all-around skill, vision and hockey IQ.

Morreale -- Mavrik Bourque: The right-shot center tied for the Shawinigan lead with 71 points, and he led his team with 25 power-play points (four goals, 21 assists) in 49 games. He also excels in the defensive zone.

Lepage -- Thomas Bordeleau: The forward led the NTDP with 46 points (16 goals, 30 assists) in 47 games. Bordeleau is creative, quick, and extremely skilled offensively and is committed to play at the University of Michigan next season.


31. Anaheim Ducks (from Bruins)

Kimelman -- Ty Smilanic: Despite being limited to 34 games, Smilanic showed strong skating, vision and playmaking. With a burgeoning group of young forward prospects ready to move into full-time NHL duty, Anaheim could allow Smilanic the time he needs to develop his game. He's committed to play at Quinnipiac University next season.

Morreale -- Noel Gunler: Gunler has good passing skills, shot selection and a willingness to drive to the net. He had 13 points (four goals, nine assists) in 45 SHL games with Lulea.

Lepage -- Justin Barron: The time spent out of the lineup could push Barron down the draft boards for some teams, but he remains a very dependable defenseman who is able to counter an attack.



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