Almost every conversation about the 2015 NHL Draft involves Erie Otters center Connor McDavid and Boston University freshman center Jack Eichel.
It's almost a certainty McDavid and Eichel will be the first two players selected when the draft is held June 26-27 at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla.
Though NHL teams have to wait six more months to make their decisions, NHL.com has opted to make its picks today, based on League standings at the All-Star break.
NHL.COM'S 2015 MOCK DRAFTS
The choice was unanimous for NHL.com writers Adam Kimelman and Mike Morreale, who predicted McDavid will be picked first, followed by Eichel.
McDavid was leading the Ontario Hockey League in scoring when he sustained a broken hand Nov. 11; eight weeks later when he returned, he was one point out of the top 10. In between, he tied for the tournament scoring lead while helping Canada win the gold medal at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Eichel is averaging 1.64 points per game through Saturday, second among freshmen in NCAA history to Paul Kariya's 2.56 points per game in 1992-93. He also was captain of the United States at World Juniors.
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."
Kimelman and Morreale also agreed Boston College freshman defenseman Noah Hanifin will be the third pick and Erie forward Dylan Strome the fourth pick.
However, the NHL.com writers' opinions begin to differ with the No. 5 pick.
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