1. Colorado Avalanche – Nathan MacKinnon
- BPA in the draft, but not by much. If I were the Avs I'd take Jones, but I still there's a fair chance they move down a spot or two. But at this point its MacKinnon. Dynamic goalscorer, best two steps I've seen in a long time. Back-checks very well, and is very reliable in his own zone. Creates a ton of turnovers, and is always dangerous when given the puck.
2. Florida Panthers – Seth Jones
Most scouts have said during the season that this is the BPA of the draft, until after the memorial cup. Jones does it all, and is said to be the best D-man since Pronger (1993). Thats a lot of hype to live up to. Future Norris winner?
3. Tampa Bay Lightning – Jonathan Drouin
Highly skilled winger. I question about his game translating to the NHL, he tends to keep the puck for too long on his stick. Drouin certainly has all the tools to be a offensive force in the NHL, but might need to make some small adjustments to his game IMO.
4. Nashville Predators – Alexander Barkov Jr.
Big strong two-way center out of Finland. Has already dominated among men in the FEL. Looks to be NHL ready. Could improve his skating.
5. Carolina Hurricanes – Elias Lindholm
Swedish center, compared to Nicklas Bäckström. Strong in all areas of the game. Started out hot, but cooled off at the end of the season.
6. Calgary Flames – Shane Monahan
Good two-way center, compared to Toews. Put up impressive stats on a very poor team. Wondering what he could have produced on a better one.
7. Edmonton Oilers – Darnell Nurse
Everyone is talking about the Oilers needing a big center to complete their top6. No one available so Oilers happily selects the big defenseman from the greyhounds. Nurse biggest asset is his skating.
8. Buffalo Sabres – Valeri Nichushkin
Undeniable talent, a power-forward that uses his skating to go around the defense. Already played a season in the KHL. Could make the jump next year. Questions about his condition coming into the combine, but he had a very long season. Also heard he didn't really impress with the interview, but this could be affected by poor translating.
9. New Jersey Devils – Hunter Shinkaruk
Offensive winger that loves to score goals, and a leader.
10. Dallas Stars – Max Domi
One of my favorites in the draft. Domi possesses high skill and hockey IQ. Not the biggest guy, but his skill-level and IQ will get him far. Son of former NHLer Tie Domi.
11. Philadelphia Flyers – Nikita Zadorov
Philly looking for defense. And is getting a big mobile defenseman with lots of upside. Scouts love this guy. He does have offensive upside to produce fairly well at the pro-level.
12. Phoenix Coyotes – Alexander Wennberg
Swedish center that produced well in Allsvenskan. Offensive-minded with good hands.
13. Winnepeg Jets – Bo Horvat
A riser in the rankings. Strong playoffs for the Knights, and could be a steal.
14. Columbus Blue Jackets – Rasmus Ristolainen
Finnish blue-liner with good two-way play. Very mature for his age.
15. New York Islanders – Ryan Pulock
Captain of the Wheat Kings, and probably has the hardest shot in the draft. Good both ways, but takes pride in his offensive game.
16. Buffalo Sabres (via Minnesota Wild) – Mirco Mueller
Rising Swiss defenseman. Another defenseman with very good two-way play and positioning.
17. Ottawa Senators – Josh Morrissey
Strong skater, that likes to jump into the play. Strong puck-skills, and will not shy away from the physical game.
18. Detroit Red Wings – Fredrik Gauthier
Extremely good two-way player, that can play all situations. Hard to beat both in the offensive and defensive zone.
19. Columbus Blue Jackets (via New York Rangers) – Anthony Mantha
A goalscoring winger that put up 50 goals this season.
20. San Jose Sharks – Samuel Morin
Whats not to like about a 6'6 defenseman. Impressive skating for his size. Has just become better and better as the season has gone on.
21. Toronto Maple Leafs – Curtis Lazar
A lot of hype, but haven't really impressed me at least. A goalscorer, that always finds a way of impacting the game, either with a goal, fight or his physical play.
22. Calgary Flames (via St. Louis Blues) – Zachary Fucale
Athletic goalie, that won the Memorial Cup with MacKinnon/Drouin. Quick lateral movement, and hard to beat gloveside.
23. Washington Capitals – Valentin Zykov
A nose for the net, always around to score garbage goals. Won rookie of the year in the Q.
24. Vancouver Canucks – Ryan Hartman
A player you WANT on your team. This guy does it all (score, hit, fight etc). Won gold with team USA during the WJC.
25. Montreal Canadiens – Kerby Rychel
Back-to-back 40 goal seasons for Rychel. Everyone expected his production to decrease when the Spitfire iced a less talented team this year. Rychel proved those expert wrong and scored 40 again.
26. Anaheim Ducks – Adam Erne
Not really any "wow" factors to his game, but still a very talented and smart player. Put up solid numbers in the Q.
27. Columbus Blue Jackets (via Los Angeles) – Andre Burakovsky
Been sliding down the rankings during the season. Haven't really produced as expected, but is still a very good offensive player. Strong skating.
28. Calgary Flames (via Pittsburgh Penguins) – Shea Theodore
Offensive defenseman, like a Mike Green. Great at being QB on the PP.
29. Dallas Stars (via Boston Bruins) – Ian McCoshen
Good two-way defenseman that produced well in the USHL. Skating is excellent.
30. Chicago Blackhawks – Robert Hägg
Good at all areas of the game. Can both shutdown other teams top-lines, but can also contribute offensively when needed.
I've tried to take into team needs and BPA. Would love some feedback.
You never know what the Flyers will do, that said, if they are going to address a need at defense...I can't see them taking the long term project in Zadorov, when they have an NHL ready Ristolainen there.
No way Sharks take Morin. If we take ANY D prospect, it's someone who could eventually replace Boyle as a puck mover and PP QB. Morin is NOT that. Given your mock, I think we'd take one of: Rychel, Zykov, Burakowski, Erne or even Klimchuk over any D prospect still remaining.
If Ristolainen somehow dropped to us, like one of the NHL.com guys is projecting in a mock, yes, we'd take him. However, seeing as how this is the real world and not whatever bizarro-world that Steven Hoffner (the NHL.com talking head in question) is apparently living in, the chances of Ristolainen being there at #20 are exactly zero.