Yes, we’re really late to the party once again, but better late than ever! So here is our first NHL Mock Draft! These are my predictions based on my conversations with scouts, hockey players, what I’ve seen myself, and obviously a bit of gut feeling. The order is based on the NHL standings and not anything else because I am not smart enough to figure out who would get what pick. So without further to do, here is our NHL Mock Draft V1.0.
1. Buffalo Sabres – Sam Reinhart – C – Kootenay (WHL)
Everyone can use a big centre right? He’s a great guy to push the rebuild forward.
2. Florida Panthers – Aaron Ekblad – D – Barrie (OHL)
NHL ready defenseman. Can step into the NHL next year. Would make an interesting pairing with Brian Campbell
3. Edmonton Oilers – Sam Bennett – C/LW – Kingston (OHL)
I feel that if the Oilers cannot get Aaron Ekblad, they will try to trade the pick for some defensive help. They have all the talent they want up front, but not much in the back end.
4. Calgary Flames – Michael Dal Colle – LW – Oshawa (OHL)
Has great speed and upside. Just a little far fetched thinking, but the line of Klimchuk, Monahan, and Dal Colle will be something to consider for the future.
5. New York Islanders – Leon Draisaitl – C/LW – Prince Albert (WHL)
Everyone wants a big centre and the Islanders are no different. Has had some comparisons to Jaromir Jagr. Averaging more two points a game in Prince Albert.
6. Vancouver Canucks – Haydn Fleury – D – Red Deer (WHL)
Higher than most people expected, but the Canucks need some good young defenders now.
7. Carolina Hurricanes – Nick Ritchie – RW – Peterborough (OHL)
The top five picks are pretty much consensus, but after that it’s a free for all. I have Ritchie up rather high not due to his skill, but team need. The RW shelves are pretty bare for the Hurricanes.
8. Toronto Maple Leafs – Jake Virtanen – C/LW – Calgary (WHL)
The Leafs need help down the middle and Virtanen could provide good depth and power down there.
9. Winnipeg Jets – William Nylander – C/LW – Sodertalje (SWE)
10. Anaheim Ducks (From Ottawa) – Alex Tuch – C/RW – USANTDP
It’s a shame eh? Ottawa could have used a guy like Tuch.
11. Nashville Predators – Roland McKeown – D – Kingston (OHL)
12. Phoenix Coyotes – Jared McCann – C – Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)
Big 2-way center. Needs to make sure he continues to play defensively.
13. Washington Capitals – Brendan Perlini – LW – Niagra (OHL)
14. Dallas Stars – Nikolaj Ehlers – LW – Halifax (QMJHL)
15. Detroit Red Wings – Julius Honka – D – Swift Current (WHL)
They have all the talent in the world upfront with Nyqvist, Jurco, and Mantha. Could use a bit more help defensively in the future. He would make an interesting defensive pair with DeKeyser.
16. Columbus Blue Jackets – Ivan Barbashev – LW – Moncton (QMJHL)
17. Philadelphia Flyers – Kasperi Kapanen – LW – KalPa (FIN)
18. New York Rangers – Dylan Larkin – LW – USNTDP
I have a gut feeling that the Rangers may trade the pick and get a defenseman instead, but it’s impossible to assess the likelihood of trades. So I’m going with Dylan Larkin here. The best LW the Rangers have in the system is currently Pavel Buchnevic who isn’t expected to ever join North America.
19. Minnesota Wild – Thatcher Demko – G – Boston College (H-East)
20. LA Kings – Sonny Milano – LW – USNTDP
Good LW. Will need a lot of time to develop. Currently committed to Bosotn College. Lots of speed, great hands. Reminds me of Mike Richards
21. Montreal Canadiens – Nikolay Goldobin – RW – Sarnia (OHL)
22. Tampa Bay Lightning – Josh Ho-Sang – C/RW – Windsor (OHL)
23. Chicago Blackhawks – David Pastrnak – LW/RW – Sodertalje SK (SWE)
24. Pittsburgh Penguins – Adrian Kempe – C – MoDo U-20 (SWE)
25. San Jose Sharks – Anton Karlsson – RW – Frolunda Jr (SWE-JR)
Quick feet, has a scoring touch. I wonder what he’d be like playing with Logan Couture?
26. St. Louis Blues – Brendan Lemieux – LW – Barrie (OHL)
27. Colorado Avalanche – Kevin Fiala – RW – HV71 J20 (SWE)
28. Anaheim Ducks – Robby Fabri – C/LW – Guelph (OHL)
29. Boston Bruins – Ryan MacInnis – C – Kitchener Rangers (OHL)
Yes, he’s the son of HOF’er Al MacInnis. Good centre, will need time to develop.
30. New Jersey Devils – Markus Pettersson – D – Skelleftea Jr. (SWE)
Could use another defenseman in the system. Will take a bit longer to develop, but will be a serviceable defenseman in the future.
Final thoughts: This draft is not as deep as last year’s draft, but there are still many good players available. Many of them will need time to develop, but many of them will be serviceable defenseman.
Thoughts? Let us know below! You can follow us on Twitter: @hkyblogger or you can “like” us on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/notyouraveragehockeyblog