The NHL has released their final rankings for the 2016 NHL Draft, which will be held in Buffalo, NY June 24-25. NHL Central Scouting Bureau released its final ballot of draft-eligible skaters, and forward Auston Matthews tops that list.
Director of Central Scouting Dan Marr says Matthews is “an extraordinary prospect with NHL size, speed and smarts combined with an exceptional work ethic and a relentless compete level.”
Matthews, a Scottsdale, AZ native, skated for Zurich in Switzerland this past season, leading his team in goals with 24 (24-22-46). Matthews ranks at the top of the European skaters list, followed by Finnish wingers Patrik Laine (Tappara) and Jesse Puljujarvi (Karpat).
Laine is a 6-foot-3, 200-pound winger who scored 17 goals and had 33 points in 46 games for Tappara in Finland. He was a part of the Finland team that won gold at the 2016 World Junior Championship.
Puljujarvi was also on that Finnish team. The 6-foot-3, 201-pound right winger had 28 points (13-15-28) in 50 games for Karpat.
Atop the final rankings for North American skaters is Cape Breton left winger Pierre-Luc Dubois. The next two are London’s Matthew Tkachuk and Alexander Nylander.
Dubois scored 42 goals and finished his season with 99 points and 112 penalty minutes for the QMJHL’s Screaming Eagles. He is a big left-shot winger at 6-foot-3 and 202 pounds.
Tkachuk played for the OHL’s Knights, potting 30 goals and adding 77 assists for 107 points in 57 games this season. He comes from a hockey family, as the son of long-time NHL winger Keith Tkachuk and the brother of 2018 draft-eligible Brady Tkachuk.
Nylander, a winger, played 2015-16 with the Mississauga Steelheads of the Ontario Hockey League. The son of long-time NHL player Michael Nylander and brother of Toronto prospect William Nylander finished the year with 75 points (28-47-75) in 57 games.
The final rankings feature the top 210 skaters and 30 goaltenders from the U.S. and Canada, as well as the top 150 skaters and 15 goaltenders from Europe.
The 2016 NHL Draft Lottery will be held on April 30.