|1 || ||Nathan MacKinnon, C, |
|Ten days ago, I would have said this is where Seth Jones would be going, because it made total sense. However, with Joe Sakic stating his club won’t be selecting a D-man with the 1st pick, you have to think this is where Nathan Mackinnon winds up. |
|2 || ||Seth Jones, D, |
Jones goes to Florida, to a team that needs help in a lot of departments. Take a look at their defense corps and you’ll see that the big, skilled, calm and collected blueliner will slide right into the lineup.
|3 || ||Jonathan Drouin, LW, |
Elite level hockey sense and soft hands. The Playmaker. The Lightning have a guy who can bury the puck like no other, so why not give him a guy who can dish him the biscuit all the time? And, yes, Marty St.Louis is getting old.
|4 || ||Alexsander Barkov, C, |
|A former Oiler, who happens to be a hall of famer, from Finland, described this guy as an identical copy to Mikko Koivu. That’s pretty high praise. Unbelievable to see what kind of numbers Barkov put up in SM-Liiga (48 pts in 53 games), and he did it as a 17 year old! |
|5 || ||Valeri Nichushkin, RW, Chelyabinsk (Russia) || |
Saw this guy at the Draft Combine in Toronto a few weeks ago. He is a beast (think Ivan Drago from Rocky IV). Big, strong, and confident. Has the same agent as Alex Semin, who just signed a big-money, long term deal with the Canes.
|6 || ||Darnel Nurse, D, Sault St. Marie (OHL) || |
There are a lot of centremen ranked in the top 30 and the Flames have 2 more picks in the 1st round. Much like the Oilers, Calgary needs some help on D. Nurse has all the tools and the pedigree to be a tremendous player in the league.
|7 || ||Sean Monahan, C, Ottawa (OHL) ||I think if Nurse goes 6, then Monahan goes 7, or vice versa. Monahan is a big, strong centre that put up 2 straight 78 point seasons with Ottawa and gets credit for being responsible in his own zone. Seems like the perfect fit. |
|8 || ||Elias Lindholm, C, |
Buffalo has a lot of holes to fill, more so up front. Lindholm is a silky smooth Swede who has been compared to Niklas Backstrom.
|9 || ||Zach Fucale, G, Halifax (QMJHL) || |
Do you really want to go with a goalie in the top ten, especially considering how deep this draft is thought to be? If you’re New Jersey, I think you may want to think about it, especially when the combined age of your current goaltending tandem is 81.
|10 || ||Bo Horvat, C, London (OHL) || |
The Stars traded away Derek Roy at the deadline to the Canucks while Jamie Benn filled in down the middle, but he may be moved back to wing. With that logic, you would think Dallas would pick a centreman, and if that’s the case, I believe they go with Horvat who was clutch for the London Knights.
|11 || ||Anthony Mantha, RW, Val-d'Or (QMJHL) || |
He’s big, he scores, he has the PIMs to suggest he doesn’t back down. The size and scoring ability reminds me of a young Simon Gagne. The Flyers, who reacquired Gagne this past season, obviously like that kind of skill set.
|12 || ||Curtis Lazar, C/RW, |
We’ve had a chance to watch Lazar develop in front of us on Rexall Place ice over the past two seasons with the Oil Kings. He can snipe, he can make plays, and he can get greasy when he wants to. I was impressed when I watched him go toe-to-toe with Seth Jones in the WHL final, laying the body on the big d-man and never backing down. Lazar has grit, something the Coyotes forwards lack when you look at their top 9.
|13 || ||Alexander Wennberg, C, Djurgarden (Sweden) || |
Another skilled Swede who plays centre. I know the Jets have Mark Scheifele coming down the pipeline, but perhaps they choose another prospect to support him down the middle one day.
|14 || ||Nikita Zadorov, D, London (OHL) ||The Jackets have some solid blueliners in the lineup as is, but at 6’5” and 230lbs, how nice would it be to have a beast like that patrolling your own zone? |
|15 || ||Rasmus Ristolainen, D, |
A big, solid Finn who says he isn’t afraid of the rough stuff and has already played two full years in SM-Liiga. The Isles have lost Mark Streit to Philly. Lubo Vishnovsky, 36, is old by NHL standards (Radek Martinek is the same age). Add to that, Travis Hamonic is the only true solid young defenseman in the lineup. Ristolainen could find his way onto the team pretty quickly.
|16 || |
|Ryan Pulock, D, |
|Keep filling those holes. Sabres have some decent d-men already, but adding to the stable never hurts. Some have Pulock going in the top 10. |
|17 || ||Frederik Gauthier, C, Rimouski (QMJHL) ||A big centreman who put up some pretty solid numbers last year in the QMJHL. Keep stocking the shelves in the nation’s capital. |
|18 || ||Hunter Shinkaruk, C/LW, Medicine Hat (WHL) ||Whether, you’re big, small, skilled, physical, defensively oriented, or whatever, the Red Wings seem to be able to turn you into a legit NHLer. Shinkaruk isn’t big, but he knows what it takes to make the red lamp light up. |
|19 || |
|Nic Petan, C, Portland (WHL) || |
A bit of a surprise perhaps, but I really like this player. Petan jumped from 35 points to 120 the next season. Yes, he played with Ty Rattie and Brendan Leipsic on an excellent Portland team. But this guy made things happen. He was the guy creating a lot of plays, and also showed an ability to read his highly skilled linemates perfectly when he didn’t have the puck. His downside is his size.
|20 || ||Adam Erne, LW, Quebec (QMJHL) || |
He’s feisty and is coming off a 72-point season. Respectable size as well. The Sharks did all kinds of tinkering with their forwards this year. Brought in Scott Gomez, moved Brent Burns up from the blueline, traded away Ryan Clowe. Maybe this could be the right fit for both player and team.
|21 || ||Max Domi, C, |
I don’t know, it just seems right. I know some guys shy away from the shadow of what their dad did in the league in a certain market, while others love the attention. Domi seems like a confident enough kid that this could be the right fit. Add to that, the fact that he’s a crafty little hockey player who showed flashes of brilliance this past season.
|22 || |
|Morgan Klimchuk, LW, |
Calgary native put up 36 goals and 76 points with the Regina Pats last season. Great hands, speed and offensive instincts. Thrives in a puck possession system, which is something the Flames will be looking to build as they re-tool the franchise over the next few years.
|23 || ||Steven Santini, D, USNDT (USHL) || |
Doesn’t put up a lot of points (at least hasn’t during his time with U.S. Development team) but he’s highly regarded.
|24 || ||Kerby Rychel, LW, |
A pair of 40-goal seasons and comes from a hockey family. Not afraid to muck it up. Canucks, I’m sure, would love to have a guy like this.
|25 || ||Valentin Zykov, LW, Baie-Comeau (QMJHL) || |
Had an excellent season in the Q. 40 goals and 35 assists in 67 games don’t go unnoticed. Add to that, the Habs seem to do all right when it comes to Russian players.
|26 || ||Ryan Hartman, RW, Plymouth (OHL) || |
Ducks have solid goaltending and strong D. So I think they go looking for a forward. Hartman had 60 points in 56 games in his first year in the OHL. Average height and weight but still managed to chalk up 120 PIM. I think they call that “edge”.
|27 || |
|Andre Burakovsky, LW, Malmo (Sweden) || |
Might be a bit of a project but scouts say he could be a top 6 winger someday. Didn’t put up big numbers playing with Malmo last season.
|28 || |
|Mirco Mueller, D, |
Touted as a good all-around defenseman, Mueller adapted well to the North American game this season with the Everett Silvertips. The Swiss defender comes in at 6’3”, 184lbs.
|29 || |
|Samuel Morin, D, |
Could you imagine going 1 on 2 against 6’5” 200lbs Morin and 6’7” 241lbs Jamie Oleksiak? Scary, bro.
|30 || ||Michael McCarron, RW, USNDT (USHL) || |
And with the 30th pick, the Chicago Blackhawks select…Michael McCarron. He’s big and has skill. Wouldn’t the Hawks love to have someone to replace Bryan Bickell, if and when he takes a big contract offer elsewhere?