With the Penguins hoisting Lord Stanley once again the draft slots have all been finalized. The Toronto Maple Leafs, of course, won the NHL Draft lottery, winning the prized number one overall draft position. This is the final edition of The Next Ones NHL Mock Draft.
The Great Northern Hope
Canadian franchises have, without a doubt, struggled this season. All seven Canadian teams failed to make the playoffs. Five of the top six picks, barring trades, will be made Canadian squads. Fanbases of these teams are all hopeful their team will find at least one key franchise cornerstone in this draft class.
The Perils of Mock Drafting
If only we could use mind-reading super powers in the predictive process of what might go down in Buffalo this June. Instead, we’ll have to stick to guessing the Red Wings will select at least one gem from Europe, likely Sweden.
Beyond that, this is merely a guesstimate of what take place on draft weekend.
“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.”
- As stated in the 2016 NHL Mock Draft: The Next Ones Offseason Edition
Article of Interest: The Next Ones Final Draft Rankings – The Top 120
Pro Sports Transactions was used for for the NHL draft order for this mock draft (accessed June 19th, 2016).
1. Toronto Maple Leafs: Auston Matthews, C, Zurich (SUI)
It’s official. Well, almost official. Leafs land a true franchise player at number one.Were he born two days earlier, Auston “Powers” would have given Jack Eichel a run for his money for the 2nd overall pick in the 2015 Draft. Team USA and is eventual NHL team hopeful he develops into an American version of Jonathan Toews.
2. Winnipeg Jets: Patrik Laine, LW/RW, Tappara (FIN)
Gifted Finnish forward can certainly finish, finished tied for goal-scoring at World Juniors lead with Auston Matthews – 7 goals apiece. Impressive offensive instincts. Rocket shot. Slick puck handling. 6’4″. Highly desirable talent. Laine will likely be battling countryman Puljujarvi for the number two slot. Have the Jets found their second coming of The Finnish Flash?
— Mike Morreale (@mikemorrealeNHL) June 17, 2016
3. Columbus Blue Jackets: Jesse Puljujarvi, RW, Karpat (FIN)
The Blue Jackets opt to draft the Finnish Ultimate Weapon to terrorize NHL defenses everywhere from the right wing. Puljujarvi might just be a Finnish version of Mats Sundin. Puljujarvi capped off a dominating performance at the World Juniors with a gold medal win. He notched 17 points in 7 games to lead the tournament. To give some perspective, knowing it is difficult to compare years, generational talent Connor McDavid registered 11 points in 7 games at the 2015 World Juniors. Size. Powerful skating with afterburner acceleration. Hockey Sense.
4. Edmonton Oilers: Matthew Tkachuk, LW, London (OHL)
Son of Keith is a chip off the old block and has been torching the OHL all season long, producing at a nearly two points per game clip, and was a game changer in the Knights run to win the Memorial Cup. Another of the draft eligible standout performances at the World Juniors, he tied Matthews for Team USA scoring lead with 11 points.
5. Vancouver Canucks: Pierre-Luc Dubois, C/LW, Cape Breton (QMJHL)
Habs ecstatic when Pierre-Luc falls to them. Dubois possesses desirable size, outstanding compete level, and is simply a well-rounded forward overall who will do whatever it takes to win.
6. Calgary Flames: Alexander Nylander, LW/RW, Mississauga (OHL)
Alex’s brother is Maple Leafs prospect William Nylander, both sons of former NHLer and ex-Flame, Michael (once dubbed The Swedish Gretzky). While his brother went down early in the tournament with an injury, Alex put his talents on display with 9 points in 7 games, finished tied for sixth in scoring at the World Juniors. The cerebral winger has also transitioned nicely to the the North American game as evidenced by his production in the OHL.
Oh, and his full name, for the record (via Elite Prospects):
- Alexander Maximiliam Michael Junior Nylander Altelius
— FCHockey (@FCHockey) June 15, 2016
7. Arizona Coyotes: Mikhail Sergachyov, D, Windsor (OHL)
Talented two-way Russian defender has the talent to potentially dominate at both ends of the rink. He is a powerful and smooth skater, tenacious, has exceptional anticipation, and exudes confidence with respect to puck skills.
8. Buffalo Sabres: Olli Juolevi, D, London (OHL)
Juolevi is yet another of the 2016 Finnish draft eligibles who struck gold in Helsinki at the most recent instalment of the World Juniors. Like his wingmen, he was an integral part of the team, far from a passenger. He is extremely poised on the blueline, times his attacks to perfection, and is strong defensively. The Sabres defense will look formidable with Juolevi eventually flanking countryman Rasmus Ristolainen.
9. Montreal Canadiens: Logan Brown, C, Windsor (OHL)
The son of veteran NHL blueliner Jeff Brown is a mammoth, mobile 6’6” centre who possesses an enticing skill-set, with good puck skills, and he uses his frame effectively.
— HabsWorld.net (@habsworld_net) June 10, 2016
10. Colorado Avalanche: Jakob Chychrun, D, Sarnia (OHL)
Tantalizing combination of size, skating ability, skill and hockey smarts. Chychrun plays a smooth transition game and brings a physical game when the situation calls for it.
11. New Jersey Devils: Clayton Keller, C, USA U-18 (USHL)
Slightly undersized centreman is an adaptive, explosive offensive catalyst with the shot of a marksman. He’s a Boston University commit.
12. Ottawa Senators: Tyson Jost, C/RW, Penticton (BCHL)
The University of North Dakota commit possesses tremendous speed, vision and hockey IQ. He captained Canada’s U18 squad at the U18 World Juniors and was named top forward, recording 15 points in 7 games which. At December’s World Jr. A Challenge, Jost was MVP for gold medal winning Canada West, leading the tournament in scoring with 9 points in 4 games.
— ISS Hockey (@ISShockey) June 7, 2016
13. Carolina Hurricanes: Kieffer Bellows, C/LW, USA U-18 (USHL)
Brian’s son: American Sniper, the hockey prospect.
14. Boston Bruins: Jake Bean, D, Calgary (WHL)
Super-poised blueliner was an apprentice to Philadelphia Flyers’ first rounder Travis Sanheim, and himself looks more than capable of running a NHL powerplay QB, and log plenty of all-situation minutes. He’s a smooth, sublime skater with outstanding puckhandling skills. His 24 goals scored in regular season led all CHL defenseman.
15. Minnesota Wild: German Rubstov, C, Team Russia U18 (MHL)
Robstov is the classic prospect that seemingly comes out of nowhere in his draft year to have an astronomical rise up many draft rankings. He had a standout World Jr. A Challenge for Russia with his magician-like hands on display. He’s a skilled and powerful player who makes his teammates better, while being a matchup nightmare for the opposition.
16. Detroit Red Wings: Dante Fabbro, D, Penticton (BCHL)
Fabbro, like Jost, is from the high octane Penticton Vees of the BCHL. He is a mobile two-way blue liner with a penchant for the offensive side of the game. He is composed and makes good decisions with the puck. He finished sixth in the BCHL in points-per-game, scoring at a 1.49 PPG clip. For perspective, the next closest defensemen is 20 year old Yanni Kaldis at 27th. Like Keller, he’s a Boston University commit.
17. Nashville Predators: Mike McLeod, C, Mississauga (OHL)
The relentless, crafty centreman is a speed demon. He is a responsible forward and helps his team’s possession game with his strength in taking face-offs. He simply has the look and feel of a Predator.
18. Philadelphia Flyers: Riley Tufte, LW, Fargo (USHL)
6’5″ skilled power forward has been tagged a clutch performer. He won the Mr. Hockey Award (Minnesota HS Award). Flyers hope they have a JVR clone.
19. New York Islanders: Charlie McAvoy, D, Boston University (H-EAST)
Mature, confident two-way defenseman with good hockey instincts plays a game that should translate seamlessly to the NHL. The Long Beach, New York native looks like a natural fit.
Marr said Central Scouting liked @TerrierHockey freshman Charlie McAvoy's consistency, was 2-way defender, stepped right into an NCAA team.
— Jeff Cox (@JeffCoxSports) June 3, 2016
20. Arizona Coyotes: Max Jones, LW, London (OHL)
Some have pegged Jones as the Lawson Crouse of this year’s draft class. The power forward is skilled, difficult to play against, and can chip in offensively. The Coyotes once again dip into the OHL talent pool to select another Max.
21. Carolina Hurricanes: Julien Gauthier, RW, Val-d’Or (QMJHL)
Size. Shot. Skating. An offensive power forward’s hat trick of goodness.
22. Winnipeg Jets: Lucas Johansen, D, Kelowna (WHL)
Prospect Profiler Notes: Ryan’s bro is a precision passing, puck-moving D, who is smart in his own zone
— Adam Kimelman (@NHLAdamK) June 16, 2016
23. Florida Panthers: Luke Kunin, C, University of Wisconsin (NCAA)
Complete player with high compete level all over the ice, Kunin plays with speed and has a laser precision shot, and gets it off his stick quickly. He impressively averaged nearly a point-per-game in college this past season.
24. Anaheim Ducks: Brett Howden, C, Moose Jaw (WHL)
Prospect Profiler Notes: Quinton’s brother also possesses nice size; complete game; has pro feel about him
25. Dallas Stars: Tage Thompson, C/RW, Univ. of Connecticut (NCAA)
6’5″ forward is impressively second on UConn (NCAA) in team scoring. All but one of his goals scored on the PP.
26. Washington Capitals: Rasmus Asplund, C, Färjestad BK (SHL)
Asplund is one of the youngest players in the Sweden Elitserien League (SHL). He was impressive at the World Juniors, putting his speed and outstanding hockey IQ on display.
27. Tampa Bay Lightning: Pascal Laberge, C/RW, Victoriaville (QMJHL)
The highly skilled centreman had a brilliant performance and Team Orr MVP at CHL Top Prospects Game.
The Next Ones Profile
28. St. Louis Blues: Tyler Benson, LW, Vancouver (WHL)
Prospect Profiler Notes: Has been highly touted since he was a 14-year-old. His game was really seeming to come together after some difficulties with injuries. He had 17 points in his last 13 games to close out 2015, but found himself in the infirmary again all too often in 2016. When healthy, he’s tough on the puck and hard to handle.
— Eyes on the Prize (@HabsEOTP) June 18, 2016
29. Boston Bruins: Logan Stanley, D, Windsor, OHL
Prospect Profiler Notes: Intriguing 6’7″ dman has tremendous wingspan, skates well for size, with decent shot
30. Anaheim Ducks: Libor Hajek, D, Saskatoon (WHL)
Prospect Profiler Notes: Rock solid, smooth, poised blueliner, effortlessly fends off attackers
For 2nd Round Picks continue to here
Your quintessential (and free)
– In depth profiles
– Exclusive rankings
– Mock drafts
– Team previews
– Unique insight
1st Round Traded Draft Picks
as per MyNHLdraft
# 20 – Arizona receives the NY Rangers 2016 1st round pick (lottery protected), a 2015 2nd round pick, Anthony Duclair, and John Moore for Keith Yandle (50 percent of his salary retained by the Coyotes), Chris Summers and a 2016 4th round pick.
# 21 – Carolina receives Los Angeles’s 2016 1st round pick and Roland McKeown for Andrej Sekera.
# 22 – Winnipeg receives Chicago’s 2016 1st round pick, Marko Dano and a conditional pick for Andrew Ladd, Jay Harrison and Matt Fraser.
# 29 – Boston receives San Jose’s 2016 1sts round pick and Sean Kuraly for Martin Jones.
# 30 – Anaheim receives Pittsburgh’s 2016 1st round pick from Toronto in Frederik Andersen trade.
Chris is THW’s senior draft/prospect analyst and a Managing Editor. Watch for “The Next Ones” Prospect Profile series, exclusive rankings, mock drafts, as well as the annual THW NHL Entry Draft Guide. Follow @ChrisRalphYQ on Twitter as he infiltrates, dissects and analyzes all happenings of hockey prospects and the NHL entry draft. Email: cralph[at]thehockeywriters[dot]com