2018 NHL Draft Rankings: Slawson’s November Edition

Just a little less than eight months away from the 2018 NHL Draft, we are beginning to see a fairly consistent top 31 around the majority of scouting outlets.

Rasmus Dahlin
Rasmus Dahlin remains the consensus #1 pick for the 2018 NHL Draft. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

Although much can change from now to June, the top 10 seem to be cementing themselves among this year’s list of top prospects. Rasmus Dahlin and Andrei Svechnikov remain the consensus top two picks across the board. Dahlin has continues to impress with his hockey IQ and puck skills, while continuing to strengthen his all-around game. He has added seven points in 16 SHL games. Prior to suffering a hand injury, which will sideline Svechnikov for 6-8 weeks, the young Russian was off to a blazing start with the OHL’s Barrie Colts, playing at a goal-per-game pace.

As it stands today, the Arizona Coyotes look to be the frontrunners heading into the 2018 Draft Lottery, struggling out of the gate. With a stacked prospect pool already constructed, a shot at drafting Dahlin must be extremely disappointing but salivating at the same time.

2018 NHL Draft Prospects Trending Up

There hasn’t been a ton of major movement among the top 31 through the first month of action, but Filip Zadina has made his case to be considered among the top three. Playing in the QMJHL as a result of the CHL Import Draft, Zadina has racked up 16 goals and 29 points in his first 19 games, leading the way among draft-eligible CHL players.

Oliver Wahlstrom is another highly skilled forward whose production continues to vault him up the rankings. He currently leads the U.S. National U18 offence and consistently showcases the hockey IQ and puck skills that made him a viral sensation. His 21 points in 13 games have him on pace for a Clayton Keller-esque season.

Jett Woo’s ability to play a responsible two-way game with exciting offensive upside has pushed him up into the second tier of 2018’s defensive prospects. A player who can be trusted in any situation, Woo has the size and strength to compete at the professional level in just a few years.

Serron Noel’s hot start in the OHL hasn’t gone unnoticed, as he’s faulted his way into first-round projections. Standing at 6’5″ and with an ex-CFL father, Noel has the genes to play a tough, hard-hitting game. But his goal-scoring ability is what has scouts taking note, with 10 goals in 13 games thus far.

Serron Noel Oshawa Generals
Serron Noel of the Oshawa Generals. (Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images)

Standing at just 5’7″, Aidan Dudas is often knocked for his size, an ideology that is slowing diminishing in the NHL. He has already surpassed his 2016-17 goal total, adding 11 goals in 16 games so far, adding an important element of depth to the Owen Sound Attack lineup.

2018 NHL Prospects Trending Down

The OHL’s reigning Rookie of the Year, Ryan Merkley is a consistent offensive defenceman who can help a team’s production each night. However, his defensive game was lacking during his rookie campaign and has continued to hinder his development this year as well. Scouts are worried whether or not he will ever grow into a responsible two-way defenceman at the professional ranks.

Ryan Merkley’s defensive game has been at the root of his slight fall down the 2018 NHL Draft rankings. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

A projected top-15 prospect entering the 2017-18 season, Alexander Khovanov has been unfortunately set back for the foreseeable future after contracting Hepatitis A during a trip to the Dominican Republic. The second overall selection in the 2017 CHL Import Draft, Khovanov was expected to have a huge season with the Moncton Wildcats.

The first-overall selection in the 2016 QMJHL Draft, Benoit-Oliver Groulx understandably had large expectations placed around his future. After a solid, yet underwhelming rookie season, Groulx has continued to struggle to meet his outlook in 2017-18, failing to hit the point-per-game rate.

Related: 2018 NHL Draft Rankings: Slawson’s July Edition

Another former first overall pick, David Levin is in his third OHL season after failing to qualify for the 2017 NHL Draft by just one day. However, he is by no means lighting up a league that he should be by now, struggling to produce offensively before going down to the injury bug. Levin currently projects as a late second to third round pick.






1 Rasmus Dahlin LHD 6’2″/183 Frolunda HC (SHL)
2 Andrei Svechnikov RW 6’2″/187 Barrie Colts (OHL)
3 Filip Zadina LW 6’1″/192 Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)
4 Adam Boqvist RHD 5’11″/170 Brynäs IF J20 (SuperElit)
5 Joseph Veleno C 6’1″/194 Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL)
6 Brady Tkachuk C/LW 6’3″/196 Boston University (NCAA)
7 Quinton Hughes LHD 5’10″/174 University of Michigan (NCAA)
8 Rasmus Kupari C 5’11″/163 Kärpät (Liiga)
9 Oliver Wahlstrom C/RW 6’1″/205 U.S. National U18 Team (USDP)
10 Ty Smith LHD 5’10″/174 Spokane Chiefs (WHL)
11 Ryan McLeod C 6’2″/190 Mississauga Steelheads (OHL)
12 Bode Wilde RHD 6’2″/194 U.S. National U18 Team (USDP)
13 Jett Woo RHD 6’0″/205 Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL)
14 Joel Farabee LW 5’11″/161 U.S. National U18 Team (USDP)
15 Akil Thomas C 5’11″/170 Niagara IceDogs (OHL)
16 Jared McIsaac LHD 6’1″/194 Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)
17 Anderson MacDonald LW 6’2″/205 Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL)
18 Alexaner Khovanov C 5’11/179 Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL)
19 Ryan Merkley RHD 5’11″/170 Guelph Storm (OHL)
20 Isac Lundeström C/LW 6’0″/185 Luleå HF (SHL)
21 Allan McShane C 5’11″/190 Oshawa Generals (OHL)
22 Barrett Hayton C 6’1″/185 Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL)
23 Adam Samuelsson LHD 6’5″/240 U.S. National U18 Team (USDP)
24 Jesperi Kotkaniemi C 6’2″/190 Ässät (Liiga)
25 Calen Addison RHD 5’10″/179 Lethbridge Hurricanes (WHL)
26 Benoit-Olivier Groulx C 6’1″/190 Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)
27 Grigori Denisenko LW 5’10″/165 Loko Yaroslavl (MHL)
28 Serron Noel RW 6’5″/201 Oshawa Generals (OHL)
29 Cole Fonstad C/LW 5’10″/161 Prince Albert Raiders (WHL)
30 Aidan Dudas C 5’7″/165 Owen Sound Attack (OHL)
31 Brady Hinz C 5’9″/150 Sarnia Sting (OHL)