It’s that time of the year, the lottery’s done, and the dust has been settled. So given the knowledge we have, here’s our updated mock draft. We have a few explanations below, so tell us what you think!
- Toronto Maple Leafs – Auston Matthews
- Winnipeg Jets – Patrik Laine
- Columbus Blue Jackets -Jesse Puljujarvi
- Edmonton Oilers – Jacob Chychrun
- Vancouver Canucks – Pierre-Luc Dubois
- Calgary Flames – Matthew Tkachuk
- Arizona Coyotes – Mikhail Sergachev
- Buffalo Sabres – Alex Nylander
- Montreal Canadiens – Logan Brown
- Colorado Avalanche – Olli Juolevi
- New Jersey Devils – Tyson Jost
- Ottawa Senators – Max Jones
- Carolina Hurricanes – Michael McLeod
- Boston Bruins – Clayton Keller
The whole Matthews vs Laine debate is just media hype in my opinion. It’s not really close, and Laine’s hype comes from a handful of games. Every year there’s always a scenario pitting the established guy versus this hotshot underdog! Who’s going to be picked first?! At the end of the day, it brings in views. I’m not saying that Laine will be a ECHL player for his entire career, but at this point Matthews is a clear #1 selection for me. All of that is my opinion and there’s a pretty good chance I’m wrong.
Look for the Edmonton Oilers to trade down. Possibly with the Montreal Canadiens. The best players available are all forwards (Tkachuk, Nylander, Dubois), and the best defenseman are all available lower down (Chychrun, Sergachev, Juolevi). The Oilers are full of young wingers, and the Habs would love to get their hands on Pierre Luc Dubois. If a trade doesn’t happen, the trade talks for players such as Eberle, Hall, and Yakupov to heat up. But for simplicity’s sake, we’re assuming no trades happen.
We also know that the Canucks are planning to draft a forward so that removes a few defenseman, off our list. For us it’s a coin flip between Dubois and Tkachuk but Dubios’ offensive talent gives him a little edge over Tkachuk.
The Sabres could use a little more talent on the wings, so they take the best wing available left in Alex Nylander.
The Montreal Canadiens need a bigger center and choose the 6’6 Logan Brown. His game is a bit more polished and could possibly slot in at the 3C position next year. Well this is as long as Michel Therrien doesn’t play him on the wing à la Galchenyuk.
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