We all know about the big names in the upcoming draft. You have your Connor McDavid’s and your Jack Eichel’s. Now what about your other names?
Noah Hanifin (ISS – #3), (TSN – #3) – Not as sexy as a franchise player like McDavid or Eichel, but still a very good player. If it wasn’t for two franchise players like McDavid and Eichel, Hanifin would be your consensus number 1 pick, and he wouldn’t be a shabby number one pick. He’s currently a 17 year old playing in the NCAA and he’s doing very well. As a defenseman, he has 3 points in four games, almost unprecedented at 17 years old. He does need to work on his shot a little bit, but he’s going to have a very good career in the NHL. You can watch him this year playing at Boston College.
Pavel Zacha (ISS – #10) (TSN – #6) – Allan Walsh’s client has been coined as the Czech Wonder Kid. He’s currently playing for the Sarnia Sting of the OHL. Not the a superstar skill player like Connor McDavid, he’s a big physical player with skill that can be compared to Nick Ritchie or possibly Milan Lucic. He has the size to play in the NHL sooner than later, but may need some time to work on his passing. He’s a great overall package. I had him as #5 on my list. Superstar ceiling.
Paul Bittner (ISS – #18) (TSN – #29) – WHL superstar Paul Bittner seems like he’s been in the WHL forever, and it wouldn’t be a lie. This is his 3rd WHL season and he’s still 17 years old. Very physical player. Could be a Pavel Zacha-lite player, but still very good. If drafted near TSN’s ranking of 29, he could be a huge steal. I personally can’t see that happening. I have him at #18 as well. His floor would be a bottom six player in my opinion, but his ceiling is much higher. No matter how he does in the preseason after he’s drafted, I would put him back in the WHL. He could use some seasoning. Make sure to check him out playing for the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL.
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