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Tom Gazzola's 2016 Mock Draft

by Tom Gazzola / Edmonton Oilers



mock drafts: Bob Stauffer | Jack Michaels | Tom Gazzola | Chris Wescott | Meg Tilley
1 TOR Auston Matthews, C, Zurich (SUI) Leafs get their guy. Swiss League, World Juniors, World Championship, he's impressed at every level.
2 WPG Patrik Laine, LW, Tappara (FIN) I'm excited to see what Laine does when he gets to the NHL. Also curious to see how the Jets evolve with him in the lineup.
3 CBJ Matthew Tkachuk, LW, London (OHL)
At the Combine, everyone talked about Jarmo Kekalainen as a wild card. If he doesn't trade this pick, maybe he surprises people and goes with Tkachuk, who has done everything in his power to raise his stock and has succeeded.
4 EDM Jesse Puljujarvi, RW, Karpat (FinE) If, and that's a big if, Tkachuk goes third, Peter Chiarelli and the Oil take Puljujarvi, who many believe is ready to play and contribute right away.
5 VAN Pierre-Luc Dubois, F, Cape Breton (QMJHL) Canucks go with the big forward who split time between wing and centre last season.
6 CGY Alexander Nylander, RW, Mississauga (OHL)
Flames select the skilled winger to join their young guns. Doesn't hurt that Nylander has ties to the community as well.
7 PHX Olli Juolevi, D, London (OHL) Arizona has done a nice job of bringing in highly skilled young forwards and Dylan Strome will be the next one to join them. If they take Juolevi, he would have a perfect mentor in Oliver Ekman-Larsson..
8 BUF Jakob Chychrun, D, Sarnia (OHL) Like Arizona, the Sabres have brought in some high-end young talent who have stepped right in at forward with Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart. Sabres could go with the big blueliner who has made it his mandate to make the NHL next season.
9 MTL Logan Brown, C, Windsor (OHL) This kid is massive and has good skill to complement his size. Habs could use a big centre that can chip in on the offensive side while providing grit. Brown doesn't have to be a bruiser to be effective.
10  Mikhail Sergachev, D, Windsor (OHL) The big Russian possesses size and skill and had a very good year playing for Rocky Thompson in Windsor. Sergachev drew a lot of interest in Buffalo at the Scouting Combine.
11 NJD Tyson Jost, RW, Penticton (BCHL) The St. Albert native has drawn comparisons to Zach Parise. If Jost is anything like Parise at the NHL level, I think the Devils would be more than pleased.
12 Michael McLeod, C, Mississauga (OHL) Credited for being a reliable centre at both ends of the rink, Ottawa could be McLeod's landing spot where the Sens can groom him. Like we've seen in recent years, trading for centres is hard and comes at a steep cost.
13 CAR Clayton Keller, C, USA U18 (USHL) The Canes are in a time of transition, Eric Staal is gone, how long will his brother Jordan stick around? Carolina had a surprisingly strong (and young) defensive unit last season, which could lead them to targeting a highly skilled centre such as Keller.
14 Charles McAvoy, D, Boston University (NCAA) If the Bruins are indeed on the hunt for a defenceman at the draft this year, could McAvoy, who played at BU be their target?
15 Kieffer Bellows USA U18 (USHL)
Minny finished last season with eight forwards over the age of 30. Perhaps the high-scoring Bellows could be a focal point for the next wave of offensive stars for the Wild. Also helps that his dad was a North Star and that he's from The State of Hockey where they love their homegrown talent.
16 DET Luke Kunin, RW, Wisconsin (NCAA) Wings go with the guy touted for having a tremendous hockey IQ and ability to find the back of the net.
17 Dante Fabbro, D, Calgary (WHL) Nashville has a strong blueline, but with Fabbro committed to Boston University, there's buffer time to allow him to develop and mature for a few years.
18 PHI Max Jones, LW, London (OHL) A big guy with skill and a mean streak. Sounds like a Flyer to me.
19 Julien Gauthier, RW, Val-d'Or (QMJHL) Islanders perhaps look to replenish their talent at forward. Big winger who potted 41 goals in 54 games with Val-d'Or this season.
20 PHX
(From NYR)
Jake Bean, D, Calgary (WHL) Coyotes go with another defenceman with their second pick of the first round. Bean is credited for being silky smooth and can move the puck.
21 CAR
(From LA)
German Rubstov, C, Russia MHL 98 (RusJr) Another centre for Carolina. This time though, they take the big Russian who has a nice blend of size and skill.
22 WPG
(From CHI)
Logan Stanley, D, Windsor (OHL) At 6-foot-7 Stanley is a tower of power. Would blend right in on the Jets blueline, especially if Winnipeg is seriously looking to move Jacob Trouba.
23 FLA Boris Katchouk, LW, S.S. Marie (OHL) Panthers go with the guy credited for being a leader and who goes to the tough areas of the ice.
24 ANA Tage Thompson, C, Connecticut (NCAA) The Ducks are another team loaded with young defencemen who are soon to contribute with the big club or already there. Having said that, with this pick they go with the big centre out of Connecticut.
25 DAL Brett Howden, C, Mosse Jaw (WHL) Described as a solid two-way player who split time between centre and wing, the Stars go with a guy who could become a versatile member of the club down the road.
26 WSH Riley Tufte, LW, Fargo (USHL) Caps go with the 6-foot-5 left winger who put up big numbers at the high school level and was still able to produce when he stepped up to the USHL last season.
27 Jacob Moverare, D, HV71 (SweJE) Swedish defencemen have become a valuable commodity around the league. Moverare could eventually be a steady presence to complement Tampa's blueline core.
28 Alex DeBrincat, RW, Erie (OHL) No Connor McDavid on his line, no problem. DeBrincat still managed to have another 50-goal season. He's small, so what? Makes up for lack of size with feistiness.
(From SJ)
Kale Clague, D, Brandon (WHL) If the Bruins want to stock up on d-men, Clague is an offensive guy who put up solid numbers in Brandon this past season.
30 TOR
(From PIT)
Taylor Raddysh, RW, Erie (OHL) Toronto kid who had a strong year in Erie. The knock on him is his skating, but that's something that can be worked on.
31 TOR Dennis Cholowski, D, Chilliwack (BCHL) Leafs go for a defenceman. Cholowski is dubbed a steady two-way defender and had very respectable season in Chilliwack with 40 points in 50 games.
32 EDM Nathan Bastian, C, Mississauga (OHL) Jack and Bob went with local guys with this pick but I'm going a different route. Bastian is described as a big centre that plays the right way at both ends of the rink and makes you pay if you get in his way. Sounds like the type of player Peter Chiarelli likes.


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