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NHL Draft

Mock draft: Jets select Laine at No. 2's Mike G. Morreale projects the top 14 picks

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / Staff Writer

Cheveldayoff on #2 pick

Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff on getting the #2 pick

Jets General Manager Kevin Cheveldayoff on getting the #2 pick in this year's NHL Draft

  • 01:28 • Staff Writer Mike G. Morreale projects the top 14 selections in the 2016 NHL Draft:

1. Toronto Maple Leafs - Auston Matthews, C, Zurich (SUI)
The 6-foot-1, 210-pound left-shot forward is a world-class two-way center in the mold of Anze Kopitar of the Los Angeles Kings. He had 24 goals and 46 points in 36 games, won the Rising Star Award and was second in voting for MVP in National League A, Switzerland's top professional league. He also led the United States to the bronze medal with seven goals and 11 points at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship.

2. Winnipeg Jets - Patrik Laine, RW, Tappara (FIN)
The 6-4, 206-pound forward, who might possess the best one-timer of anyone in the draft class, has a combination of size, skill, strength, vision and soft hands. He had 10 goals in 18 playoff games and was named postseason MVP while leading Tappara to the championship in Liiga, Finland's top professional league. His 17 goals and 33 points in 46 games led Liiga rookies. He tied Matthews for most goals at the WJC while helping Finland win the gold medal.

3. Columbus Blue Jackets - Jesse Puljujarvi, RW, Karpat (FIN)
A powerful skater with good acceleration, balance and outstanding hockey sense, Puljujarvi (6-3, 203) has what it takes to play center but is better suited at right wing. He had 13 goals and 28 points in 50 games for Karpat in Liiga. The 17-year-old had 17 points in seven games for Finland at the WJC, one point shy of Jaromir Jagr's record for under-18 players at the tournament. 

4. Edmonton Oilers - Jakob Chychrun, D, Sarnia (OHL)
A gifted puck-handler, Chychrun (6-2, 215) is considered the best and most NHL-ready defenseman available on the draft board. He is an excellent skater with very good offensive instincts, has good defensive awareness and enjoys playing physical. He had 11 goals, 49 points and a plus-23 rating in 62 games.

5. Vancouver Canucks - Matthew Tkachuk, LW, London (OHL)
The son of U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame member Keith Tkachuk is too good to pass up at this point. He combines a gritty style with strength, skill and smarts. Tkachuk (6-1, 195), who might be the best player below the faceoff dots available in the draft, had 30 goals, 107 points and 42 power-play points in 57 games. He finished tied with Matthews in scoring for the U.S. at the WJC with 11 points.

• Adam Kimelman's mock draft: Maple Leafs land franchise center

6. Calgary Flames - Pierre-Luc Dubois, LW, Cape Breton (QMJHL)
A highly skilled forward capable of playing all three forward positions, Dubois goes to the traffic areas to create offensive opportunities. The 6-2, 202-pound forward plays with an edge, has good vision and exhibits good hands in tight spaces. He led Cape Breton with 57 assists, 99 points and a plus-40 rating in 62 games.

7. Arizona Coyotes - Olli Juolevi, D, London (OHL)
A smooth-skating defenseman with great poise and composure, Juolevi (6-2, 182) helped Finland to a gold medal at the WJC and was tied for the tournament lead among defensemen with nine points, all assists. He had nine goals, 42 points and a plus-38 rating while playing big minutes in all situations for the Knights.

8. Buffalo Sabres - Alexander Nylander, RW, Mississauga (OHL)
Nylander (6-foot, 180) had four goals and nine points for Sweden at the WJC, picking up the offensive slack when his brother William Nylander of the Toronto Maple Leafs sustained an injury. He has good separation speed, and led Mississauga with 28 goals, nine power-play goals and 75 points in 57 games as a rookie.

9. Montreal Canadiens - Logan Brown, C, Windsor (OHL)
Brown (6-6, 222) is a left-handed center with deceptive speed and good puck-handling skills. It is difficult finding players of his size down the middle; he has good hands and is difficult to contain when driving to the net. He had 21 goals, 74 points and 29 power-play points in 59 games. He also won 53.0 percent of his faceoffs.

10. Colorado Avalanche - Mikhail Sergachev, D, Windsor (OHL)
An intimidating two-way presence along the blue line, Sergachev (6-2, 208) plays with poise and confidence, and has deceptive speed and quickness. An offensive-minded defenseman, he had 17 goals, 57 points, and 31 power-play points in 67 games as an OHL rookie.

11. New Jersey Devils - Clayton Keller, C, USA U-18 (USHL)
A skilled left-shot forward, Keller (5-9, 168) possesses the smarts, speed and competitiveness to succeed at the next level. He led USA Hockey's National Team Development Program Under-18 team with 107 points in 62 games. He had four goals and 10 points in seven games to help the U.S. win bronze at the 2016 IIHF World U-18 Championship. Keller is committed to Boston University in 2016-17, but also was selected in the second round (No. 40) of the 2014 OHL Draft by Windsor.

12. Ottawa Senators - Charles McAvoy, D, Boston University (H-East)
The 6-foot, 208-pound right-shot defender has a real pro game in his arsenal and his skills should translate well to the NHL. He had three goals, 25 points, a plus-10 rating and 39 blocked shots in 37 games as a freshman. He also had a plus-5 rating and seven shots on goal for the bronze medal-winning U.S. at the WJC.

13. Carolina Hurricanes - Julien Gauthier, RW, Val-d'Or (QMJHL)
Gauthier (6-3, 225) is a prototypical power forward who can skate well, score and play with an edge. He had 41 goals, including 11 power-play goals, and 57 points in 54 games. He was the only 2016 NHL Draft-eligible player to play for Canada at the WJC, where he had two assists in five games.

14. Boston Bruins - Kieffer Bellows, LW, USA U-18 (USHL)
Bellows (6-foot, 196), committed to Boston University in 2016-17, is a pure goal-scorer capable of getting pucks on goal from any angle. He led the NTDP Under-18 team with 50 goals, 12 power-play goals and nine game-winning goals, and was second with 81 points in 62 games. He had five goals and eight points to help the U.S. win the bronze medal at the World U-18 Championship.

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