2016 NHL Mock Draft: The Next Ones Offseason Edition

Whether it be the Boston Bruins going off the board to take Zachary Senyshyn, the rapid rise or fall of a Swedish blueliner’s stock, or Nikita Korostelev free-falling to the seventh round, a mock draft can go off the rails quicker than Auston Matthews can execute a dynamic, game-changing play. This draft class, though maybe not as heralded as the 2015 McEichel special one, possesses great depth.

Why even bother  go through the futile task of mock draft creation? Given there is a complete season yet to be played, eligible players’ stocks will rise and fall, as will NHL teams placement in the standings. It is admittedly intriguing this far out to where teams may slot in for the 2016 draft and which prospects are potentially available when they are on the clock to select.

2015 NHL Mock Draft Performance

I published a series of mock drafts this past season, capped off by a mega three round final version. Well, all was swell for precisely five picks. And then the Devils got all caught up in the tantalizing combination of size and skill that is Pavel Zacha instead of opting for Mathew Barzal, who I add cleverly penciled them in for. Seven other GMs also passed over The Cerebral Catalyst, Barzal, as well – the Bruins’ Don Sweeney and crew inexplicably three times. I did get eight of the top ten bang on.

All 91 selections guesstimated ultimately got drafted and many of them not far off where they actually were picked. The lone wolf – second year eligible diminutive, but uber-talented, defenseman Sebastian Aho. The Swedish one. Yes, the Finnish forward Sebastian Aho did get selected. Actually, only 5 other prospects from The Next Ones Final Top 120 Rankings failed to get selected – the others:

The Mock Draft Order

dylan strome
(Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports)

Perhaps surprisingly, the source of this mock draft order stems from power rankings published earlier this month by ESPN’s Scott Burnside.  Teams who have traded their first round picks are noted in brackets by the respective pick. Interestingly, the Bruins end up with back-to-back picks in this mock, having attained the Sharks first rounder in the Martin Jones trade. Part of a Bruins wild 2015 draft weekend were three picks in a row in the first round.

As always, this is not my personal draft rankings (The Next Ones Preliminary Rankings published separately – here) – rather, this is a guesstimate (at this point a slapshot in the dark) at what might go down on June 24–25, 2016 at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, New York.

[Related: The Next Ones 2015 NHL Draft Guide]

The Picks

Scottsdale, Arizona native Auston Matthews is the frontrunner to go first overall in the 2016 NHL Draft. Could he save hockey in the desert?


# Team Last Name First Name YR/MTH/D LEAGUE POS S HT WT
1 Coyotes MATTHEWS AUSTON 97-09-17 USHL C L 6’1.5″ 194
2 Leafs CHYCHRUN JAKOB 98-03-31 OHL D L 6’2.0″ 195
3 Canes PULJUJARVI JESSE 98-05-07 FINLAND RW R 6’3.0″ 198
4 Flyers JONES MAX 98-02-17 USHL LW L 6’1.75″ 189
5 Canucks TKACHUK MATTHEW 97-12-11 USHL LW L 6’0.5″ 188
6 Sabres BEAN JAKE 98-06-09 WHL D L 5’11.5″ 165
7 Devils SOKOLOV DMITRI 98-04-14 RUS-JR RW L 6’0.0″ 203
8 Stars FABBRO DANTE 98-06-20 BCHL D R 6’0.0″ 188
9 Avs JUOLEVI OLLI 98-05-05 FIN-JR D L 6’2.0″ 185
10 Oilers BROWN LOGAN 98-03-05 OHL C L 6’5.0″ 215
11 Bruins (Sharks) LAINE PATRIK 98-04-19 FINLAND RW R 6’4.0″ 209
12 Bruins SERGACHYOV MIKHAIL 98-06-25 RUS-JR D L 6’2.5″ 198
13 Panthers BENSON TYLER 98-03-15 WHL LW L 5’11.5″ 198
14 Sens NYLANDER ALEXANDER 98-03-02 SWE-JR RW R 5’11.0″ 156
15 Canes (Kings) BELLOWS KIEFFER 98-06-10 USHL C L 6’0.0″ 189
16 Jets STEEL SAM 98-02-03 WHL C L 5’10.25″ 167
17 NYI CLAGUE KALE 98-06-05 WHL D L 5’11.0″ 185
18 Leafs (Pens) JOST TYSON 98-03-14 BCHL C L 5’10.5″ 185
19 Red Wings GAUTHIER JULIEN 97-10-15 QMJHL RW R 6’3.5″ 217
20 Coytotes (NYR) DAY SEAN 98-01-09 OHL D L 6’2.5″ 222
21 Canadiens HOWDEN BRETT 98-03-29 WHL C L 6’1.25″ 190
22 CBJ DUBOIS PIERRE-LUC 98-06-24 QMJHL LW L 6’2.0″ 183
23 Flames LAJOIE MAXIME 97-11-05 WHL D L 6’0.5″ 169
24 Capitals PASTUJOV NICK 98-01-21 USHL LW L 5’11.5″ 195
25 Preds KRYS CHAD 98-04-10 USHL D L 5’10.75″ 182
26 Wild ASPLUND RASMUS 97-12-03 SWEDEN C L 5’10.5″ 176
27 Blues GRUNDSTROM CARL 97-12-01 SWE-JR RW L 5’11.25″ 187
28 Lightning CEDERHOLM JACOB 98-01-30 SWE-JR D R 6’3.0″ 176
29 Blackhawks MCAVOY CHARLES 97-12-21 USHL D R 5’11.5″ 206
30 Ducks KELLER CLAYTON 98-07-29 USHL C L 5’9.25″ 165

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Email: CRalph@TheHockeyWriters.com