With less than 24 hours, here’s a look at what I think may happen on draft day!
1. Edmonton Oilers: Connor McDavid – C – Erie Otters (OHL)
GP: 47 G: 44 A: 76 PTS: 120
Not much to be said. He changes absolutely everything. Will make an impact next season, and for years to come.
2. Buffalo Sabres: Jack Eichel – C – Boston University (NCAA)
GP: 40 G: 26 A: 45 PTS: 71
Will be a huge piece for the Sabres moving forward. The rebuild is looking good with ayers like Ristolainen, Kane, and Reinhart already in place.
3. Arizona Coyotes: Dylan Strome – C – Erie Otters (OHL)
GP: 68 G: 45 A: 84 PTS: 129
Strome deepens the already strong group of young forwards in Arizona. Next to Domi and Duclair, Strome could be a 90 point guy in the NHL.
4. Toronto Maple Leafs: Mitchell Marner – C/RW – London Knights (OHL)
GP: 63 G: 44 A: 82 PTS: 126
Marner is electrifying, and Leaf fans could use a little excitement. He’s undersized, so jumping to the next level may take time, but he has all the tools to be dominant in the NHL.
5. Carolina Hurricanes: Noah Hanifin – LD – Boston College (NCAA)
GP: 37 G: 5 A: 18 PTS: 23
Hanifin solidifies the defence core in Carolina. He’s a stud, and I believe when we look back at this draft he’s the guy everyone says should have gone second or third. Watching him next to Faulk will be thrilling.
6. New Jersey Devils: Pavel Zacha – C/LW – Sarnia Sting (OHL)
GP: 37 G: 16 A: 18 PTS: 34
Zacha brings both the offence and grittiness to be a New Jersey Devil. Scouts have been somewhat split on Pavel, but he will be a difference maker in the Devils retool. Could see him being a consistent 60 point player.
7. Philadelphia Flyers: Ivan Provorov – LD – Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)
GP: 60 G: 15 A: 46 PTS: 61
The Flyers would be ecstatic to grab their future number one defenceman at seven. Though stacked with left handed defenders on the depth chart, Provorov brings that “elite” aspect you look for in the draft.
8. Columbus Blue Jackets: Zach Werenski – LD – University of Michigan (NCAA)
GP: 35 G: 9 A: 16 PTS: 25
The Jackets are loaded up front with players like Wennberg, Johanssen, and Dano, so Werenski is a natural fit. He will be able to fill the role that Ryan Murray seemingly can not.
9. San Jose Sharks: Mikko Rantanen – C/W – TPS (Liiga)
GP: 56 G: 9 A: 19 PTS: 28
Mikko Rantanen is a stud. He brings both size and offensive ability, something every team salivates over. He’s not overly creative, but his hands and shot make him a constant threat in the offensive zone.
10. Colorado Avalanche: Timo Meier – RW – Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)
GP: 61 G: 44 A: 46 PTS: 90
It’s Timo Time in Denver. With Nate Mackinnon set to break out, he could use a player on his right side to bang a few home. He’s fiery player who doesn’t quit on pucks. Could be a 30-35 goal player in the NHL.
11. Florida Panthers: Lawson Crouse – LW – Kingston Frontenacs (OHL)
GP:56 G: 29 A: 22 PTS: 51
With a strong group of young forwards like Barkov, Huburdeau, and Bjugstad, the Panthers could use a player like Lawson Crouse. There’s mixed feelings on Crouse, but I’m optimistic he will succeed.
12: Dallas Stars: Mathew Barzal – C – Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL)
GP: 44 G: 12 A: 45 PTS: 57
Dallas may be shocked the Barzal is there at 12, but they will surely not turn him down. There’s not a ton of center prospects with a high ceiling, but Barzal could be the second line center in Dallas for a very long time.
13. Los Angeles Kings: Kyle Connor – C – Youngstown Phantoms (USHL)
GP: 56 G: 34 A: 46 PTS: 80
Connor is an interesting case. He has the size and stat line to suggest he could be a top 10 pick, but he does have a few areas he needs to work on. If everything pans out, the Kings land themselves a good top 6 playmaker.
14. Boston Bruins: Nick Merkley – C/RW – Kelowna Rockets (WHL)
GP: 72 G: 20 A: 70 PTS: 90
The Bruins are shallow in the prospect department. They are still a competitive squad, however they are in dire need of future B’s. Merkley brings that never quit attitude that will allow him to be a successful NHL’er.
15. Calgary Flames: Jeremy Roy – RD – Sherbrooke Phoenix (QMJHL)
GP: 46 G: 5 A: 38 PTS: 43
The Flames have built a nice group of young forwards up front, but the back end is still lacking. Roy will be a very good defender for the Flames as he possesses both the raw instincts and puck moving ability to be a difference maker on any given night.
16. Edmonton Oilers: Joel Eriksson Ek – C/LW – Farjestad (SHL)
GP: 34 G: 4 A: 2 PTS: 6
Soured by the fact that Roy is off the board, the Oilers go with a player who’s not far off from being an NHL’er. Eriksson Ek’s stock has risen a lot over the past 4 months, and I think if you’re willing to call Chabot the Sanheim of this year, then Eriksson Ek is the Vrana of 2015.
17. Winnipeg Jets: Travis Konecny – C – Ottawa 67’s (OHL)
GP: 60 G: 29 A: 39 PTS: 68
Not a surprise to see the Jets walk away with another stellar prospect as Konecny falls right into their hands at 17. He’s ranked higher than 17, but both size and inconsistency has been a problem for him. If he pans out, he could be the next Tyler Johnson.
18: Ottawa Senators: Jakub Zboril – LD – Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL) – GP: 44 G: 13 A: 20 PTS: 33
Zboril is a mean two way defender who will be a great fit next to Erik Karlsson. He has the offensive ability to put up good numbers and he can be trusted in a shut down role. If there’s one word to be used when describing Zboril it would be “intriguing”.
19. Detroit Red Wings: Jansen Harkins – C – Prince George Cougars (WHL)
GP: 70 G: 20 A: 59 PTS: 79
Harkins is a favourite of mine and soon to be a favourite of all Wings fans. He brings a good combination of skill and two way ability that allows him to play in all situations. At the NHL level, he’s a good second line center. The name Nick Bonino pops into my head when I watch him.
20. Minnesota Wild: Evgeni Svechnikov – C/RW – Cape Breton Screaming Eagles (QMJHL)
GP: 55 G: 32 A: 46 PTS: 78
Svechnikov is a great pick at 20. He’s a fun player to watch, however some nights he doesn’t necessarily show up. He’s got a great set of hands, and the skating ability to make him a threat around the opposing teams net. That’s a lot of value twenty picks deep.
21. Buffalo Sabres: Denis Guryanov – LW – Ladia Togliatti (MHL)
GP: 23 G: 15 A: 10 PTS: 25
Guryanov is one of the most interesting player in the entire draft. He has size, skill, and speed, and I do believe a few GM’s have mentioned all three of those things as important factors. I want to see him go in the top 10, but that’s unlikely as he arrived onto the scene so late. Buffalo gets a steal at 21.
22. Washington Capitals: Colin White – C/RW – U.S U-18 Team (USDP)
GP: 47 G: 17 A: 28 PTS: 45
It will be interesting to see how White develops over the next few years, but I believe it will be in a good direction. He’s a player you can rely upon to play smart in all three zones and in key situations. Washington needs a guy with versatility and White brings that.
23. Vancouver Canucks: Paul Bittner – LW – Portland Winterhawks (WHL)
GP: 66 G: 34 A: 37 PTS: 71
Bittner will be a key piece of the Canucks moving forward. He needs some work when it comes to putting all his tools together, but when he does you better look out.
24. Toronto Maple Leafs: Jacob Larsson – LD – Frolunda (SHL) – GP: 20 G: 1 A: 2 PTS: 3
I’m very high on Jacob Larsson, and it appears the Leafs are as well. He’s a strong defender who gives his opponent little room. Though he didn’t have great offensive numbers in the SHL, he has a good offensive side to his game.
25. Winnipeg Jets: Thomas Chabot – LD – Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL)
GP: 66 G: 12 A: 29 PTS: 41
Another great addition for the Jets… Chabot is a good offensive/two way defender who has learned how to be strong in the defensive zone. He may not be a guy you have on the ice in the last minute of a game, but he’ll surely be a guy you can rely on when you’re down a goal.
26. Montreal Canadiens: Jake Debrusk – C/LW – Swift Current Broncos (WHL)
GP: 72 G: 42 A: 39 PTS: 81
If you peg Debrusk as a soft playmaker, you have it all wrong. He’s a strong offensive forward who plays with a little bite in his game. Never afraid to throw a hit or mix things up with an opponent, Debrusk will be a fan favourite in Montreal.
27. Anaheim Ducks: Jeremy Bracco – RW – U.S U-18 Team (USDP)
GP: 58 G: 27 A: 54 PTS: 81
Though the Ducks love their 6’3, 200 pound players, they can afford to swing for a home run this year given their success in recent drafts. Bracco is, well, great. Everything he does is great. His skating, his hands, his shot, it’s all very, very good. The only question mark is his size.
28. Tampa Bay Lightning: Oliver Kylington – LD – Farjestad (SHL)
GP: 18 G: 2 A: 3 PTS: 5
The Bolts are stacked up front, and Oliver Kylington may be the gem of this draft. He fell a ton this year, but going to Tampa Bay may I still some confidence into this offensive defenceman, and it would be scary to think of a future where Kylington and DeAngelo are running the power play.
29. Philadelphia Flyers: Jack Roslovic – C/RW – U.S National U-18 Team (USDP) GP: 65 G: 27 A: 52 PTS: 79
I love Jack Roslovic and the game he brings on a consistent basis. At 6’1, Jack has a good frame for an NHL team to work with. He has so many underrated tools, like his passing ability and offensive IQ. I can not wait to see what he becomes.
30. Arizona Coyotes: Ilya Samsonov – G – Stalnye Lisy Magnitogorsk (MHL) GP: 18 GAA: 2.66 SV%: .918
The Yotes will have to apologize to the Sabres after this one, as once again, a great player has been ripped from their grasps. Samsonov is a great goalie, and unlike Visentin, I’d put money on it that Ilya pans out and becomes a great NHL goalie.