Now that some of the dust has settled, here are my updated predictions for hte 2015 NHL Draft.
1. Edmonton Oilers – Connor McDavid
Oh Buffalo. Can’t even tank right. I don’t think there’s another pick that fits in this spot.
2. Buffalo Sabres – Jack Eichel
That’s not that bad of a consolation prize. He’ll be a really good 1C, but probably not a generational player like McDavid.
3. Arizona Coyotes – Noah Hanifin
They’re the big loser of the draft lottery. They try to tank, and end up not getting either McDavid or Eichel. It’s a toss up between Strome and Hanifin for me. Both great picks, but Arizona has some depth at the Center position with players such as Max Domi, Laurent Dauphin, and Ryan Macinnis. On defense though, I believe there is a drop in talent after Brandon Gormley.
4. Toronto Maple Leafs – Dylan Strome
The Leafs need a big strong 1C. Strome fits that role. He also plays a nice defensive game. If the Coyotes get Hanifin, the Leafs get Strome. If the Coyotes get Strome, the Leafs get Hanifin. It’s a two horse race for me. I don’t believe the Leafs will get Marner or Crouse.
5. Carolina Hurricanes – Mitchell Marner
Nice speedy winger with a bit of toughness and a defensive game. If this draft wasn’t so top heavy, he’d be the first overall pick in the draft.
6. New Jersey Devils – Lawson Crouse
Big power forward. Can play both wings. I project him as a James Van Riemsdyk type of player. Big strong player, can score some goals. Had 29G in 56GP this season in the OHL.
7. Philadelphia Flyers – Mikko Rantanen
After this, the draft is kind of wide open. Most people have a defenseman in the 7 spot, but the Flyers have a few strong defenseman prospects such as Travis Sanheim, Shayne Gostisbehere, and Samuel Morin. Mikko Rantanen can play the wing where they are a little weak on high level depth.
8. Columbus Blue Jackets – Zach Werenski
9. San Jose Sharks – Matthew Barzal
10. Colorado Avalanche – Ivan Provorov
He is the highest ranked Russian in the draft. Good strong defenseman. Has a great passing game.
11. Florida Panthers – Timo Meier
Florida has quite of few good young centers such as Nick Bjugstad, and Jonathan Huberdeau, Rocco Grimaldi and a few good young defenseman such as Ian McCoshen and Mike Matheson. They’re a little weak on the wing and Timo Meier will be a good addition for the team.
12. Dallas Stars – Pavel Zacha
Dallas has a very strong system with many good young players in the system. They don’t have to draft for need, but instead can draft the best player available. Zacha has great size, an elite shot, and isn’t scared of hitting. Plays a great two way game.
13. Los Angeles Kings – Kyle Connor
Great two way player. Plans on playing at U of Michigan next year. Nice two way players. Curious how he plays against higher level competition versus the USHL.
14. Boston Bruins – Nick Merkley
15. Calgary Flames – Jansen Harkins
16. Edmonton Oilers – Oliver Kylington
The Oilers are vey strong up front and needs to pick up some high level defenseman. Kylington is the best defenseman on the board, and will immediately improve the defensive aspects of the Oilers’ system.
17. Winnipeg Jets – Travis Konecny
18. Ottawa Senators – Jakub Zboril
19. Detroit Red Wings – Yevgeni Svechnikov
20. Minnesota Wild – Paul Bittner
I personally love Bittner’s game. Big powerful forward that isn’t all about banging into others. He can score as well; scoring 34 goals in 66 games in the WHL.
21. Buffalo Sabres – Thomas Chabot
The Sabres will pick a defenseman in this spot. That is unless the Sabres totally lose their mind and pick Hanifin instead of Eichel. If that happens, then the Sabres will pick a forward. But really? That’s not happening.
22. Washington Capitals – Daniel Sprong
23. Vancouver Canucks – Jeremy Roy
24. Arizona Coyotes – Brock Boeser
25. Toronto Maple Leafs – Brandon Carlo
26. Philadelphia Flyers – Anthony Beauvillier
Most scouting reports have him going a bit later, but I think he fits in well with the Flyers. They’ve got a lot of gritty players and Beauvillier is a quick centerman, with a knack for scoring. He scored 42 goals in 67 games with the Shawinigan Cataractes this year.
27. Winnipeg Jets – Colin White
28. Anaheim Ducks – Filip Chlapik
29. Montreal Canadiens – Jordan Greenway
30. Tampa Bay Lightning – Jacob Larsson
First Goalie to be taken: Mackenzie Blackwood
I’d go with somewhere in the mid to late 2nd round.
That’s my list. Where does your team fit? Let us know. Comment below. Don’t agree with us? Let us know as well by commenting, or tweeting at me @hkyblogger. Make sure to share it with your friends!
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