As the World Junior Hockey Championship is on our doorstep, we will be able to witness some of the top talent going into the NHL draft this season. Most of these skilled youngsters have forged their way on to a roster, but others will also be looking to up their stock for the draft.
Auston Matthews (C):
The 18-year-old from Scottsdale is looking like he is going to be the next 1st overall pick at the upcoming NHL entry draft. He is currently playing for Zurich in the Swiss League and is just over a point-per-game. The interesting part is the fact that he is only 18 and is playing amongst men. Matthews has tremendous skill, skating ability and hockey IQ. There is no doubt in my mind that he should go number one, making him the 1st American born player to go 1st overall in the draft since Patrick Kane in 2007.
Matthew Tkachuk (LW):
Son of former NHL star Keith Tkachuk, Matthew is hoping to achieve the same level of greatness his father once had. At the moment, he is tearing up the OHL with 59 points in 29 games. His fellow teammate and Arizona Coyotes prospect Christian Dvorak is the only one ahead of him with 65 points. Tkachuk will most likely go somewhere in the top 5.
Alex DeBrincat (C):
Sitting in 4th place in OHL scoring and 1st in goals, Alex DeBrincat is a small but very skilled player. The young sniper has 33 goals in only 30 games playing alongside Dylan Strome. He will be another useful weapon for team USA at the upcoming World Juniors and is a potential top 15 pick.
Jakob Chychrun (D):
He did not make team Canada, but Chychrun is one of the better defenders in the OHL and is only 17 years of age, he will try to use this cut as motivation to make the team next season. He is ranked #1 defenseman in the upcoming draft and will most likely be a top 3 pick.
Pierre-Luc Dubois (LW/C):
Another 17-year-old cut from team Canada, Dubois is going to be a top 15 and maybe even top 10 pick at the draft. His 50 points are good enough to place him in 9th place for QMJHL scoring. Like Chychrun, he will use this cut as motivation and step up his game for next year.
Jesse Puljujarvi (RW):
The big Finnish winger will be a high pick this year, he is big, mobile, plays good at both ends of the ice and has a tremendous shot. He was very impressive at the World Juniors last year. The 17-year-old has 12 points in 31 games playing for Kärpät in the Liiga.
Patrik Laine (RW/LW):
No I didn’t misspell Patrick Kane. Laine is a 6’4″, 209 pound forward with a fantastic shot and uses his size to his advantage much like Puljujarvi. Also 17, Laine has played 24 games this season for Tappara Tampere and has 16 points through those games.
Alexander Nylander (RW/LW):
Just like his brother, Alexander hopes to be a high pick at the 2016 entry draft. He plays for the Mississauga Steelheads in the OHL and has 49 points (21 goals) in 33 games.
There are many more prospect to be on the lookout for this season, stay tuned.
Brandon Murphy – @2murphy8