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NHL Draft

Skilled players still available at NHL Draft

A look at the top 15 prospects heading into Round 2

by Mike G. Morreale @MikemorrealeNHL / Staff Writer

BUFFALO -- The first round of the 2016 NHL Draft is in the books, meaning 30 players have begun the first phase of their professional careers after being selected at First Niagara Center on Friday.

There are several top prospects at every position still available on the draft board and are expected to be chosen early when the draft resumes with rounds 2-7 here on Saturday (10 a.m. ET; NHLN, SN).

Here's a look at the top 15 players still available to begin Day 2 (listed alphabetically):

Vitaly Abramov, RW, Gatineau (QMJHL)
NHL Central Scouting final North American ranking: 29
2015-16 stats: 63 games, 38-55-93

He played his off-wing as a left-handed shot and led Gatineau in goals, assists, points and a plus-36 rating as a rookie. He had a plus-36 rating and 11 power-play goals. Abramov (5-foot-9, 175 pounds) is small in stature but has a great compete level and will go into the corners and win puck battles. He spent last season with Russia's Under-17 program and Chelyabinsk of the MHL, and was chosen in the first round (No. 13) of the 2015 CHL import draft.

Frederic Allard, D, Chicoutimi (QMJHL)
NHL Central Scouting final North American ranking: 32
2015-16 stats: 64 games, 14-45-59

An offensive defenseman, Allard (6-0, 183) has improved his point totals in each of his three seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. He handles the puck well, is smart on the transition and can play a big role on the power play. He had 11 power-play goals this season, and has 112 points in 187 career regular-season games in the QMJHL.

Rasmus Asplund, C, Farjestad (SWE)
NHL Central Scouting final international ranking: 4
2015-16 stats: 46 games, 4-8-12

The top Swedish-born player on NHL Central Scouting's international ranking has a fantastic compete level and smarts with the puck; he's considered a finesse-type player. Asplund (5-10, 176) is a solid skater and playmaker; making him an attractive prospect. The left-handed shooter was a leader on and off the ice in Farjestad.

Nathan Bastian, RW, Mississauga (OHL)
NHL Central Scouting final North American ranking: 35
2015-16 stats: 64 games, 19-40-59

An effective power-forward who can also serve as a playmaker; Bastian (6-3, 206) is capable of using his size and skill to create offense. He finished third on Mississauga in points, has good finish in tight spaces, is responsible with and without the puck, and plays with an edge. He had 22 power-play points and generated 162 shots on goal.

Tyler Benson, LW, Vancouver (WHL)
NHL Central Scouting final North American ranking: 24
2015-16 stats: 30 games, 9-19-28

The No. 1 pick in the 2013 WHL bantam draft by the Giants had nine goals and 28 points in 30 games but had his season cut short due to injuries. Benson (5-11, 197) never fully recovered after missing the first month of 2015-16 after having surgery to remove a cyst near his tailbone. The injury shouldn't affect his draft status; scouts consider him a smart, skilled player with good offensive instincts.

Alexander DeBrincat, RW, Erie (OHL)
NHL Central Scouting final North American ranking: 21
2015-16s stats: 60 games, 51-50-101

The 2015 CHL and OHL Rookie of the Year picked up where he left off last season, scoring 51 goals and 101 points in 60 games for the Otters. DeBrincat (5-7, 165), who had 13 power-play goals, two shorthanded goals and 10 game-winning goals, has good hockey sense and an awareness where to go on the ice to position himself for offensive opportunities. Despite his smaller frame, he's tenacious on pucks and not afraid to battle in traffic.

Kale Clague, D, Brandon (WHL)
NHL Central Scouting final North American ranking: 27
2015-16 stats: 71 games, 6-37-43

He's considered a strong skater who can elude defenders and make the solid first pass off the transition. Clague (6-0, 184) had six goals, 43 points and a plus-25 rating in 71 games for the Wheat Kings. Scouts like the fact he's a composed player who is capable of making good choices in pressure situations. Clague had six goals and 14 points in 20 WHL playoff games.

Cam Dineen, D, North Bay (OHL)
NHL Central Scouting final North American ranking: 39
2015-16 stats: 68 games, 13-46-59

Dineen (5-11, 185) had an excellent rookie season for the Battalion in the Ontario Hockey League. Dineen rose 78 spots between NHL Central Scouting's midterm and final rankings of North American skaters, from No. 117 in January to No. 39 in April. The native of Toms River, N.J., had eight assists in 10 OHL playoff games. He had 25 power-play points and four shorthanded assists. He has great hockey sense, makes quality decisions with the puck and is able to put himself and others in positions to have success.

Timothy Gettinger, LW, Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)
NHL Central Scouting final North American ranking: 37
2015-16 stats: 60 games, 17-22-39

The native of North Olmsted, Ohio, a west side suburb of Cleveland, is projected to be a third-line power forward. The 6-6, 202-pound forward has size and mobility. He competes hard, is strong along the boards and protects the puck as well as anyone in this year's draft.

Carl Grundstrom, RW, Modo (SWE)
NHL Central Scouting final international ranking: 6
2015-16 stats: 49 games, 7-9-16

A 6-foot, 194-pound two-way forward capable of competing hard and getting under the skin of his opponent. Scouts like the "willpower and go" in his game, and tenacity along the boards. Grundstrom is reliable because he knows how to keep it simple. He had seven goals, 16 points and 86 shots on goal in 49 games for Modo.

Filip Gustavsson, G, Lulea Jr. (SWE-Jr.)
NHL Central Scouting final international ranking for goalies: 1
2015-16 stats: 20 games, 3.22 GAA, .893 save percentage

Gustavsson (6-1, 190), a big fan of Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov, played his first season with Lulea in Sweden's junior league this season and went 4-2-0 with a 3.22 goals-against average and .893 save percentage in 20 games. Regarded for his calm demeanor, he gained the attention of scouts after being named best goaltender at the 2016 IIHF World Under-18 Championship, helping Sweden to a silver medal with a 2.70 GAA and .905 save percentage in five games.

Boris Katchouk, LW, Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)
NHL Central Scouting final North American ranking: 25
2015-16 stats: 63 games, 24-27-51

Relentless and capable of playing an in-your-face style, Katchouk (6-1, 190) possesses good hockey sense, instincts and can frustrate opponents with his agitating style. The OHL rookie had six power-play goals and six game-winning goals; he was also an effective penalty-killer.

Jordan Kyrou, C, Sarnia (OHL)
NHL Central Scouting final North American ranking: 34
2015-16 stats: 65 games, 17-34-51

Kyrou (6-0, 169), who had a goal and an assist to help Canada to a gold medal at the 2015 IIHF Ivan Hlinka Memorial, is a high-end skater with breakaway speed. The right-handed center is dangerous in 1-on-1 situations, is creative with the puck and presents a quick release.

Pascal Laberge, C, Victoriaville (QMJHL)
NHL Central Scouting final North American ranking: 28
2015-16 stats: 56 games, 23-45-68

The right-handed shooter led the Tigres in points and shots on goal (185). He had two goals and three points and was named player of the game for Team Bobby Orr in a 3-2 win against Team Don Cherry at the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in January. A strong skater with an extra gear to pull away from defenders, Laberge (6-1, 174) competes at a high level and will battle for loose pucks.

Markus Niemelainen, D, Saginaw (OHL)
NHL Central Scouting final North American ranking: 52
2015-16 stats: 65 games, 1-26-27

A 6-4, 198-pound mobile defenseman capable of defending well in 1-on-1 situations with good body positioning and in the way he uses his stick against opposing forwards. He handles the puck well at the offensive blue line, has a good work ethic and is quick and agile in his own end. The native of Kuopio, Finland, was in his first season in North America, and was used on the power play and in penalty-killing situations.

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