The 2015 NHL entry draft is one that could change the future of many teams. Year after year, experts weigh in on who they think will be drafted. After evaluating the prospects of this year’s draft, it is easy to conclude that this is a very deep draft. In this top 10, I will be presenting which player I think each team should draft.
1. Edmonton Oilers: Connor McDavid
The choice is rather obvious, Connor McDavid is a lock for first overall pick in the 2015 NHL entry draft. The young phenom is already being compared to the NHL’s best player, Sidney Crosby. Even Wayne Gretzky, arguably the greatest player to ever play in the game, said ‘’He (Connor McDavid) is the best player to come into the league in the last 30 years’’. With a stunning 120 points in a total of 47 games, Connor McDavid is viewed as a generational player and quite possibly the one to turn this franchise around.
- Buffalo Sabres: Jack Eichel
Despite not winning the draft lottery, the Buffalo Sabres get a nice consolation prize with Jack Eichel, a dynamic player that was in the run for 1st overall pick alongside Connor McDavid at the beginning of the year. Eichel will play a key part in Buffalo’s rebuild, as he will join in with the talented roster with key names such as Sam Reinhart, Evander Kane, Cody Hodgson and others.
- Arizona Coyotes: Dylan Strome
The Arizona Coyotes are in desperate need of offense. With Max Domi and Anthony Duclair coming up for the Coyotes in the future, Dylan Strome would be the perfect addition for them considering their lack of depth on offense (Ranked 29th in goals for). Strome had an excellent season, with a total of 129 points in 68 games; this guy could give the Coyotes the boost they need for years to come.
- Toronto Maple Leafs: Ivan Provorov
Most people may consider this an unusual choice, but sources have said that the Toronto Maple Leafs will not be taking Hannifin at the upcoming draft. Ivan Provorov could be the guy that Toronto is looking for, with 61 points in 60 games as defenseman; Provorov could provide a good boost for the Toronto Maple Leafs on defense. He will join in the talented group of prospects such as William Nylander, Frederik Gauthier and Connor Brown. He will also be added to a young defensive core along with Morgan Rielly and Jake Gardiner. If Toronto does not take Provorov, look out for Barzal. If Dylan Strome is still available, he is a lock for Toronto.
- Carolina Hurricanes: Noah Hannifin
The Carolina Hurricanes will be looking to add depth on defense; Noah Hannifin would be a perfect fit and dream come true for Hurricanes fans. Hannifin has great skating ability and high hockey IQ, he will be a stud on the blue line for many years. The Hurricanes already have decent offense, with Eric and Jordan Staal, Jeff Skinner, Elias Lindholm and others. Adding to their defensive core would be great for them.
- New-Jersey Devils: Mitch Marner
The Devils are lacking many things, mainly a #1 center. Mitch Marner could fill in that void, he had a tremendous season, racking up 126 points in 63 games; Marner could be an essential player in the Devils path to becoming a playoff team. Adam Larsson is looking to become a key piece to the Devils blue line, Severson, Gelinas and Merril are all young defenseman who could make an impact on this roster. Losing players like Parise and Kovalchuk a few years ago has really damaged this team, Marner would be a step in the right direction if available.
- Philadelphia Flyers: Mikko Rantanen
This should be a no-brainer for the Flyers organization; they are in a desperate need of young, talented left wingers. With youngsters like Travis Sanheim, Samuel Morin, Shayne Gostisbehere and Robert Hagg coming up in a few years on defense, it would be a good idea to draft a big, mobile winger like Rantanen. In addition, the Flyers have too many centers (Giroux, Schenn, Couturier, Laughton, Lecavalier, etc.). Rantanen would be the best player for them and would also be a perfect fit.
- Columbus Blue Jackets: Pavel Zacha
Pavel Zacha would be a great fit for Columbus. They are a huge team (6’1’’, 204 lbs average) with a load of skill upfront. Zacha is a center who can also play the wing; he would fit in with the big bodies like Ryan Johansen, Nick Foligno, Brandon Dubinsky, Scott Hartnell, Boone Jenner and David Clarkson on offense. If the Columbus Blue Jackets can avoid injuries this season, I think they could very well be a great playoff team. The addition of Zacha would be icing on the cake for the next seasons. Another option for them would be Lawson Crouse, he is also a big body presence.
- San Jose Sharks: Matthew Barzal or Zack Werenski
Joe Thornton is not going to be around forever, which is why the San Jose Sharks would need a guy like Matthew Barzal. He is a skilled player who accumulated 57 points in 44 games this season, he could fit very well down the middle as their #2 under Logan Couture. Another option for them could be Zack Werenski, the 6’2’’, 214 lbs defenseman could also be a great fit for the Sharks with his size, strength who has the potential to be one of the top defenseman of this year’s draft class. Either way, San Jose should have a great pick to help them become a playoff team again.
- Colorado Avalanche: Lawson Crouse or Zack Werenski
Colorado’s goal is to get bigger. Lawson Crouse would be a great addition for this very young Colorado team. His play style would fit right in with Patrick Roy’s system. Not only is he a big body, but he has a fantastic skill set that could make him a top player for the Colorado Avalanche. He would be joining a young cast with players like Matt Duchene, Nathan MacKinnon, Ryan O’reilly, Gabriel Landeskog, Tyson Barrie and Eric Johnson. The Avalanche could also opt for a defenseman such as Zack Werenski (if available), who is more of an organizational need. Either way, Colorado’s future is looking bright.
Brandon Murphy – @2Murphy8