Top-14 NHL mock draft

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Credit: Wikipedia.org

*Please note these are simply predictions based off what I would like to see happen and what I think each team should go for at the upcoming draft.

 

 

1.Toronto Maple Leafs

Pick: Auston Matthews

Position: Center

Shoots: Left

Between Matthews and Laine, Matthews is the obvious choice for Toronto, they need a big, 1st line center. The Arizona native played for the Zurich Lion in the Swiss-A League and had an impressive 46 points in 36 games. Matthews is strong on the puck, has great hockey IQ and an amazing shot to go with his skill set. Most analysts claim he is a more complete player than Laine is. Matthews will be key in the Leafs rebuild.

 

2.Winnipeg Jets

Pick: Patrik Laine

Position: Left Wing

Shoots: Right

Laine is the obvious second pick, he is another big body and has tremendous poise with the puck. He also has an amazing shot with a deadly release, some already comparing it to Alexander Ovechkin’s. Laine played in Europe like Matthews and had a decent season, putting up 33 points in 46 games. But he turned it up a notch in the SM-liiga playoffs, where he scored 10 goals (and 15 points) in 18 games to win the Jari Kurri trophy (playoff MVP) as an 18-year-old.

 

3.Columbus Blue Jackets

Pick: Jesse Puljujarvi

Position: Right Wing

Shoots: Right

Not a bad player to be selecting at 3rd overall. Puljujarvi is a big winger capable of scoring and passing. He is a phenomenal playmaker and he put all his talent on display at the World Juniors, where he had 17 points in 7 games and won tournament MVP. He was considered by most to be the 2nd overall pick, but Laine’s hot streak bumped him down a tad. Still a very good player, Puljujarvi has a big 6’3″ frame, soft hands and his speed is also outstanding. Even though Columbus has plenty of talent in their system, this is a case of drafting the best player available. Columbus can’t pass on Puljujarvi.

 

4.Edmonton Oilers

Pick: Jakob Chychrun 

Position: Defense

Shoots: Left

There has been a lot of speculation that Edmonton is willing to trade their 4th overall pick. However, if they keep it, Jakob Chychrun should be the pick. A solid two-way defenseman with enormous potential. The Oilers desperately need to draft a defenseman and Chychrun would slide in perfectly. He had 49 points in 62 games this season in the OHL playing for Sarnia. Chychrun has a great stick, plays a solid two-way game and knows how to sneak into a play to create scoring opportunities. He could be a game changer for Edmonton.

 5.Vancouver Canucks

Pick: Mikhail Sergachev

Position: Defense

Shoots: Left

A 17-year-old Russian defenseman that put up 57 points in 67 games for the Windsor Spitfires last season would be a great acquisition for the Canucks. On a team that already has plenty of offensive talent like Jake Virtanen, Cole Cassels, Brock Boeser and Brendan Gaunce, a young offensive defenseman would be a perfect addition to their future. Sergachev has a rocket at the point and knows when to jump into the play. He is only going to get better, keep in mind he is only 17. His strong play on the man advantage could help a struggling Canucks powerplay (27th last season).

 

6.Calgary Flames

Pick: Matthew Tkachuk

Position: Left Wing

Shoots: Left

Tkachuk is a very gritty player, he will battle for every inch and that probably explains why he was so successful with the London Knights. He had 107 points in 57 games this season and possesses a great shot and very good speed. Tkachuk also has very good hands and the ability to find his teammates to create prime scoring chances. He may have played with Marner and Dvorak, but Tkachuk can certainly stand out from the pack, he is a talented player.

 

7.Arizona Coyotes

Pick: Olli Juolevi

Position: Defense

Shoots: Left

The Coyotes already have a handful of young talent up front (Domi, Duclair, Strome, Garland, Dvorak), but they really need to build their blue line. Olli Juolevi would be a solid addition to an Arizona team with already a bright future. He brings a complete game to the table and could easily go top-5 in the draft depending on the what the other teams draft. Juolevi was exceptional at the World Juniors and put up a very good season with the London Knights (42 points in 57 games). Juolevi is a great puck mover.

 

 8.Buffalo Sabres

Pick: Pierre-Luc Dubois

Position: Center

Shoots: Left

After a 99-point season in the QMJHL at the age of 17, Dubois could easily be a top-5 draft pick. However, depending on the needs of certain teams, he could slide down to 8th overall and the Buffalo Sabres would have another solid center in their prospect bank to go with Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart. Dubois is a highly skilled player, he is very mobile and plays a 200-foot game. He was also ranked #1 North-American skater by the NHL Central Scouting.

9.Montreal Canadiens

Pick: Tyson Jost

Position: Center

Shoots: Left

A prospect who is under the radar for some. Jost played this past season in the BCHL (British Columbia Hockey League) in order to retain his NCAA eligibility. He will play for North-Dakota next season. Jost had 104 points in 48 games in the BCHL and made quite a splash at Canada’s recent U-18 tournament, where he notched 15 points in 7 games. Jost is an explosive skater with high playmaking skills. He would be a nice addition for the Canadiens.

 

 10.Colorado Avalanche

Pick: Alexander Nylander

Position: Left Wing

Shoots: Right

After an impressive rookie season with the Mississauga Steelheads, Alex Nylander is looking to follow his brothers impressive steps into the NHL. He was named rookie of the year in the OHL this season after putting up 75 points in 57 games. Nylander is a great skater,  has a lethal shot and great playmaking ability.

 

11.New-Jersey Devils

Pick: Logan Brown

Position: Center

Shoots: Left

Another big center for the Devils would be a good option. When looking at New-Jersey’s depth chart, they lack in young prospects. Logan brown would be a good fit in New-Jersey, playing behind Pavel Zacha in a few years. Brown has a large 6’5″ frame, but has good hands and excellent vision for a big man. His size also allows him to win puck battles, go to the dirty areas and be a force on the forecheck. He had 74 points in 59 games for Windsor.

 

12.Ottawa Senators

Pick: Michael McLeod

Position: Center

Shoots: Right

McLeod plays a great 200-foot game. He is fierce on the puck and has great hands. He is a dynamic player, his speed is something to behold. He played for the Mississauga Steelheads with Alexander Nylander this season and had 61 points in 57 games. McLeod has a strong wrist shot and excellent vision. He would be great behind Turris and Zibanejad.

 

13.Carolina Hurricanes

Pick: Clayton Keller

Position: Center

Shoots: Left

A player who models his game after Patrick Kane is always a good thing to have. Keller has good speed and agility to go with an amazing skill set, despite his small size. He has a good shot and release. He’s also very patient with the puck. Keller had 37 points in 23 games for the U.S. National Development team. Carolina desperately needs to add at center.

14.Boston Bruins

Pick: Jake Bean

Position: Defense

Shoots: Left

After Boston traded away Dougie Hamilton and watched Zdeno Chara slightly decline this season, they need to rebuild on defense. They have a few decent prospects but Jake Bean would be a good draft choice. Bean benefited of playing with Travis Sanheim on the Calgary Hitmen blue line, he had 64 points in 68 games this past season and can move the puck well. He is only 17, one of the youngest players in this draft class.

 

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