2018 NHL Draft: Fisher’s Top 93 Midseason Rankings

Filip Zadina has done it — he’s overtaken Andrei Svechnikov as the second-best prospect for this year’s NHL draft.

There’s no challenging Rasmus Dahlin as the consensus No. 1 in 2018, but getting the better of two head-to-head matchups — first at the World Junior Championship, then at the CHL Top Prospects Game — gave Zadina a slight edge on Svechnikov in my midseason rankings.

Neck and neck entering that second showcase, with Svechnikov still ahead by a hair coming out of the World Juniors, the Czech sniper outshone the Russian power forward again on the biggest scouting stage.

Zadina showed off his wicked release in scoring twice for Team Cherry in a 7-4 victory over Team Orr and Svechnikov, who was held off the scoresheet and limited to one shot on goal, while Zadina fired a team-high seven shots. Zadina’s first goal stood up as the winner, making it 5-0 in that surprisingly lopsided contest on Jan. 25 in Guelph, Ont.

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The result was similar to their first meeting, on Boxing Day at the World Juniors, when Zadina produced two power-play points, with a goal and an assist, to help the Czech Republic knock off Russia 5-4. Svechnikov was blanked there too, though most were willing to give him the benefit of the doubt at No. 2 since Svechnikov was coming off a broken hand and playing a smaller role for Russia in that tournament, while Zadina was a front-liner from the outset for the Czechs.

Zadina had a whale of a tournament, finishing tied for second with seven goals, including four on the power play. Svechnikov failed to score in five games despite looking dangerous at times and factoring into the offence with five assists.

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Svechnikov had a few flashes in the Top Prospects Game too, but the battle of import forwards favoured Zadina enough to steal that No. 2 ranking on my list as of February. There’s still lots of hockey to be played and scouts will be keeping a close eye on who rises to the occasion in the postseason, but that’s how I see it right now.

Brady Tkachuk isn’t far off at No. 4 and the rest of my top six remains unchanged from my WJC Afterthoughts column, which received a vote of confidence from Bob McKenzie’s midseason rankings for TSN. Granted, he still had Svechnikov over Zadina the morning after the Top Prospects Game.

Teams can’t go wrong with any of those three wingers, with Zadina looking more and more like a young Jaromir Jagr, Svechnikov appearing reminiscent of Ilya Kovalchuk, and Tkachuk simply a chip off the old block from his father Keith and older brother Matthew.

The rest of my Top 93 midseason rankings do vary, in some cases drastically, from McKenzie and from NHL Central Scouting’s midterm list that was released on Jan. 22, just prior to the Top Prospect Game. And this update is quite different from my Top 93 preseason rankings, with several new names now on my radar and others dropping off.

RELATED: Fisher’s Top 93 Preseason Rankings

Like everybody else in the scouting world, I have my favourites and players that I’m higher on than most. You try not to put too much stock in one game, but I will say that I saw first-round talent in Aidan Dudas’ performance at the Top Prospects Game — size be damned — and ditto for Jonny Tychonick in the little bit that I’ve been able to watch him live here in the BCHL.

I’ll save the rest of the spoilers for the list and, without further ado, I give to you my Top 93 midseason rankings for the 2018 NHL draft:

First Round

1) Rasmus Dahlin (LHD, Sweden, Frolunda SHL)

2) Filip Zadina (LW, Czech Republic, Halifax QMJHL)

3) Andrei Svechnikov (RW, Russia, Barrie OHL)

4) Brady Tkachuk (LW, USA, Boston University NCAA)

5) Adam Boqvist (RHD, Sweden, Brynas J20)

6) Quinn Hughes (LHD, USA, Michigan NCAA)

7) Evan Bouchard (RHD, Canada, London OHL)

8) Oliver Wahlstrom (RW, USA, NTDP U18)

9) Joe Veleno (C, Canada, Drummondville QMJHL)

10) Ty Smith (LHD, Canada, Spokane WHL)

11) Bode Wilde (RHD, USA/Canada, NTDP U18)

12) Ryan Merkley (RHD, Canada, Guelph OHL)

13) Joel Farabee (LW, USA, NTDP U18)

14) Barrett Hayton (C, Canada, Sault Ste. Marie OHL)

15) Isac Lundestrom (C/LW, Sweden, Lulea SHL)

16) Rasmus Kupari (C, Finland, Karpat)

17) Jesperi Kotkaniemi (LW/C, Finland, Assat)

18) Noah Dobson (RHD, Canada, Acadie Bathurst QMJHL)

19) Jared McIsaac (LHD, Canada, Halifax QMJHL)

20) Grigori Denisenko (LW, Russia, Loko Yaroslavl MHL)

21) Martin Kaut (RW, Czech Republic, Pardubice)

22) Ryan McLeod (C/LW, Canada, Mississauga OHL)

23) Serron Noel (RW, Canada, Oshawa OHL)

24) Ty Dellandrea (C, Canada, Flint OHL)

25) Akil Thomas (C/RW, Canada, Niagara OHL)

26) Aidan Dudas (C, Canada, Owen Sound OHL)

27) Calen Addison (RHD, Canada, Lethbridge WHL)

28) Jett Woo (RHD, Canada, Moose Jaw WHL)

29) Jonny Tychonick (LHD, Canada, Penticton BCHL)

30) Jacob Olofsson (C, Sweden, Timra)

31) Dominik Bokk (RW, Germany, Vaxjo J20)

Second Round

32) Benoit-Olivier Groulx (C, Canada, Halifax QMJHL)

33) Jakub Lauko (C, Czech Republic, Chomutov)

34) Jesse Ylonen (RW, Finland/USA, Espoo United)

35) Jack McBain (C, Canada, Toronto OJHL)

36) Jay O’Brien (C, USA, Thayer High School)

37) Blake McLaughlin (C, USA, Chicago USHL)

38) Alexander Alexeyev (LHD, Russia, Red Deer WHL)

39) Mattias Samuelsson (LHD, USA/Sweden, NTDP U18)

40) Jakub Skarek (G, Czech Republic, Dukla Jihlava)

41) Dmitry Zavgorodniy (RW, Russia, Rimouski QMJHL)

42) Vitali Kravtsov (RW, Russia, Chelyabinsk KHL)

43) Alexander Khovanov (C, Russia, Moncton QMJHL)

44) Curtis Hall (C, USA, Youngstown USHL)

45) Sampo Ranta (RW, Finland, Sioux City USHL)

46) Milos Roman (C, Slovakia, Vancouver WHL)

47) Cole Fonstad (RW, Canada, Prince Albert WHL)

48) Nando Eggenberger (RW, Switzerland, Davos)

49) K’Andre Miller (LHD, USA, NTDP U18)

50) Kevin Bahl (LHD, Canada, Ottawa OHL)

51) Rasmus Sandin (LHD, Sweden, Sault Ste. Marie OHL)

52) Cam Hillis (C, Canada, Guelph OHL)

53) Luka Burzan (C, Canada, Brandon WHL)

54) Jonatan Berggren (C/W, Sweden, Skelleftea J20)

55) Filip Hallander (C/W, Sweden, Timra)

56) David Gustafsson (C, Sweden, HV71 J20)

57) Oskar Back (C/W, Sweden, Farjestad J20)

58) Adam Ginning (LHD, Sweden, Linkoping J20)

59) Filip Johansson (RHD, Sweden, Leksands J20)

60) Nico Gross (LHD, Switzerland, Oshawa OHL)

61) Philip Kurashev (C, Switzerland, Quebec QMJHL)

62) Egor Sokolov (LW, Russia, Cape Breton QMJHL)

Third Round

63) Scott Perunovich (LHD, USA, Minnesota-Duluth NCAA, over-ager)

64) Sean Durzi (RHD, Canada, Owen Sound OHL, over-ager)

65) Giovanni Vallati (LHD, Canada, Kitchener OHL)

66) Filip Kral (LHD, Czech Republic, Spokane WHL)

67) Stanislav Demin (LHD, USA, Wenatchee BCHL)

68) Jacob Bernard-Docker (RHD, Canada, Okotoks AJHL)

69) Allan McShane (C, Canada, Oshawa OHL)

70) Ivan Muranov (LW, Russia, HK MVD MHL)

71) Albin Eriksson (LW, Sweden, Skelleftea J20)

72) Jan Jenik (LW, Czech Republic, Liberec U20)

73) Jake Wise (C, USA, NTDP U18)

74) Curtis Douglas (C, Canada, Windsor OHL)

75) Blade Jenkins (C, Canada, Saginaw OHL)

76) Riley Sutter (C/RW, Canada, Everett WHL)

77) Olivier Rodrigue (G, Canada, Drummondville QMJHL)

78) Kevin Mandolese (G, Canada, Cape Breton QMJHL)

79) Jacob Ingham (G, Canada, Mississauga OHL)

80) Alexis Gravel (G, Canada, Halifax QMJHL)

81) Jacob Tortora (LW, USA, Boston College NCAA, over-ager)

82) Jake Pivonka (C, USA/Czech Republic, NTDP U18)

83) Tyler Madden (C, USA, Tri-City USHL)

84) Nicolas Beaudin (LHD, Canada, Drummondville QMJHL)

85) Xavier Bernard (LHD, Canada, Drummondville QMJHL)

86) Gabriel Fortier (C/W, Canada, Baie-Comeau QMJHL)

87) Anderson MacDonald (LW, Canada, Moncton QMJHL)

88) Kyle Topping (C, Canada, Kelowna WHL)

89) Vladislav Kotkov (LW/RW, Russia, Chicoutimi QMJHL)

90) Kirill Nizhnikov (RW, Russia, Sudbury OHL)

91) Samuel Bucek (LW/RW, Slovakia, Chicago USHL, over-ager)

92) Samuel Fagemo (LW, Sweden, Frolunda J20)

93) Mathias-Emilio Pettersen (C, Norway, Muskegon USHL)

Honourable Mentions

94) Arttu Nevasaari (RW, Finland, Karpat U20)

95) Ondrej Buchtela (RHD, Czech Republic, Chomutov)

96) Martin Fehervary (LHD, Slovakia, Oskarshamn Sweden)

97) Xavier Bouchard (RHD, Canada, Baie-Comeau QMJHL)

98) Jack Drury (C, USA, Waterloo USHL)

99) Tyler Weiss (C/LW, USA, NTDP U18)

100) Johnny Gruden (LW, USA, NTDP U18)

That’s all for now, with the other 117 names to be revealed in my seventh annual mock draft come June, when I attempt to predict all seven rounds for the third year in a row.