The 2015 NHL Mock Draft.
1. Edmonton Oilers – Connor McDavid (C/Erie OHL)
The consensus top player available, McDavid is hyped as the next Sidney Crosby. This will be the Oilers fourth top pick in the last six drafts, but the bigger issue at hand is the fact that the team is loaded offensively and is in need of defensive players and goaltending. McDavid can bring the hype, but he is far from the missing piece that will put this team back in contention.
2. Buffalo Sabres – Jack Eichel (C/Boston University)
The Sabres lost out on the McDavid sweepstakes, but Eichel is not a bad consolation prize. He is only 18 and has drawn comparisons to Mike Modano.
3. Arizona Coyotes – Noah Hanifin (D/Boston College)
Arizona’s defense was an atrocity last season. Hanifin is only 18 so he may need a year or two of seasoning before he reaches his potential, but he has been compared to the man he would ultimately be replacing, Keith Yandle.
4. Toronto Maple Leafs – Dylan Strome (C/Erie OHL)
Toronto can land their coveted man in order to begin their rebuilding process. Adding Strome will enable General Manager Brendan Shannahan to trade Phil Kessel.
5. Carolina Hurricanes – Mitch Marner (C/London OHL)
Marner could potentially see his stock take a hit because of his size, but he has the skills necessary to be a quality player in the NHL.
6. New Jersey Devils – Mikko Rantanen (RW/TPS Turku SM-Liiga)
At 6-foot-4, 211 pounds, Rantanen is a big winger who can bury the puck in the net. Even better, Rantanen is finding his stride on the ice.
7. Philadelphia Flyers – Lawson Crouse (LW/Kingston OHL)
Another power forward taken, Crouse is a physical winger who knows how to score.
8. Columbus Blue Jackets – Ivan Provorov (D/Brandon WHL)
Provorov is a two-way physical defenseman who would ease the sting of Columbus potentially losing Mike Reilly.
9. San Jose Sharks – Pavel Zacha (C/Sarnia OHL)
A physical two-way center, Zacha could be a nice compliment to fellow Czech Tomas Hertl. The only thing that could hold him back, however, is new Head Coach Pete DeBoer’s tendency to not play young guys.
10. Colorado Avalanche – Zach Werenski (D/Michigan)
Colorado already has the young talent on offensive, but they need defensemen to put them over the hump. San Jose could swoop in and take him as well.
11. Florida Panthers – Kyle Connor (C/Youngstown USHL)
Florida added their blue-liner of the future last year when they took Aaron Ekblad first overall, but now they need to find scorers. Connor scored 80 points, including 34 goals, in just 56 games last season.
12. Dallas Stars – Timo Meier (LW/Halifax QMJHL)
Meier can play center as well, but his physical style of play is more suited for left wing. Considered one of the safest picks in the draft, Meier’s on-ice vision has improved over the past season.
13. Los Angeles Kings – Mathew Barzal (C/Seattle WHL)
An ideal center, Barzal develops plays rather than being a pure scorer. All of his linemates will benefit with him on the ice.
14. Boston Bruins – Jakub Zboril (D/Saint John QMJHL)
A powerful defenseman known for being able to spread the puck on the power play, Zboril could ultimately supplant Zdeno Chara is Boston decides to clean house.
15. Calgary Flames – Jansen Harkins (C/Prince George WHL)
Harkins has the lineage (both his father and uncle played in the NHL) and skillset to be a very good player in the NHL. He has drawn compaisons to David Krejci.
16. Edmonton Oilers – Jeremy Roy (D/Sherbrooke QMJHL)
Edmonton may trade this pick away instead of the first overall (and I can’t imagine their fanbase forgiving them if they trade away the rights to McDavid) for a defenseman or goalie, but if they stand pat, Roy could be the pick.
17. Winnipeg Jets – Paul Bittner (LW/Portland WHL)
The Jets may look into stockpiling big bodied wingers to toe up against the larger teams in the Western Conference. The move could also propel Dustin Byfuglien back to defense.
18. Ottawa Senators – Travis Konecny (C/Ottawa OHL)
Konecny makes almost too much sense for the Senators to pass up. He is a local product who has lit the lamp in the OHL and could immediately become a favorite among the fans before he even dons a sweater.
19. Detroit Red Wings – Joel Erikkson-Ek (C/Farjestads BK SEL)
Detroit has a penchant for taking Swede forwards and may follow suit if Erikkson-Ek is available at this juncture.
20. Minnesota Wild – Colin White (C/US NTDP)
White has a strong two-way game and given the Wild’s hit with Charlie Coyle, they look at another Massachusett’s prospect. His stock has steadily risen following a strong late season spurt.
21. Buffalo Sabres – Oliver Kylington (D/Farjestads BK SEL)
Kylington has drawn comparisons to fellow Swede Erik Karlsson, who Sabres General Manager Tim Murray drafted, but there is one major difference: Kylington isn’t there mentally like Karlsson was. With this being the second pick in the draft, the Sabres can afford to take a high-risk-high-reward player.
22. Washington Capitals – Thomas Chabot (D/Saint John QMJHL)
With a big body and a hard slapshot, Chabot comes at a great value for the Capitals.
23. Vancouver Canucks – Evgeny Svechnikov (LW/Cape Breton QMJHL)
A big-bodied Russian winger with a hard shot whose skillset fits the Canucks system.
24. Toronto Maple Leafs – Nick Merkley (C/RW/Kelowna WHL)
If Merkley falls here, the Maple Leafs should be ecstatic. Merkley is a playmaker on offense whose best fit is probably as a center.
25. Winnipeg Jets – Denis Guryanov (RW/Tolyatti Yada KHL)
A Russian product, Guryanov has the ideal size and hands to play in the NHL.
26. Montreal Canadiens – Anthony Beauvillier (C/LW/Shawinigan QMJHL)
A tad bit undersized, his Beauvillier has the speed and smooth hands to take himself to the next level.
27. Anaheim Ducks – Jordan Greenway (LW/US NTDP)
At 6-foot-5, 225 pounds, Greenway is an ideal fit for the Ducks, one of the NHL’s biggest teams.
28. Tampa Bay Lightning – Noah Juulsen (D/Everett WHL)
Another cog to a strong defense in Tampa. Juulsen anchored one of WHL’s top defenses last season despite being one of the league’s youngest players. He has a natural feel for the game and excels at taking away passing lanes.
29. Arizona Coyotes – Ilya Samsonov (G/Magnitogorsk, Russian Juniors)
Along with poor defense, Mike Smith was awful in net last season. Samsonov could emerge as the team’s new No. 1 in the near future.
30. Philadelphia Flyers – Brandon Carlo (D/Tri-City WHL)
Carlo is one of the most improved prospects in this draft. His big, physical frame would remind Flyers fans of Chris Pronger.