Although top picks Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel are busy in the NHL, there are still plenty of names that NHL fans should find themselves familiar with, even if they don’t keep up with the juniors game. Here’s a rundown of all the 2014 and 2015 NHL draft picks participating in the 2016 World Junior Championship in Helsinki, Finland. Simply click on the link to check out a detailed prospect profile on each player.
Dylan Strome, 2015 3rd Overall, Phoenix Coyotes
He used to be known as McDavid’s linemate on the Erie Otters, but he’s making a name all on his own. After being the first player drafted not being a part of the ‘McEichel’ hybrid, he’s continued to excel at the junior level. He joins an impressive crop of Arizona Coyotes prospects headlined by Max Domi and Anthony Duclair. On Team Canada, he’ll be expected to be a scoring catalyst on a deep lineup.
Mitch Marner, 2015 4th Overall, Toronto Maple Leafs
Another Team Canada forward who’s not shy when it comes to scoring is Mitch Marner. Marner finished second in scoring during the 2014-15 OHL season, only trailing Strome.
Jake Virtanen, 2014 6th Overall, Vancouver Canucks
Jake Virtanen comes into the tournament with 19 games of NHL experience under his belt, which should translate well considering the past success of players like Rasmus Ristolainen and Sam Reinhart.
Haydn Fleury, 2014 7th Overall, Carolina Hurricanes
Although this is a surname NHL fans find familiar, there is no relation to Theo or Marc-Andre Fleury. Haydn Fleury is a big-bodied defenseman who plays well at both ends of the ice.
Lawson Crouse, 2015 11th Overall, Florida Panthers
So draft pundits had Lawson Crouse going in the top five of the 2015 draft, but he slipped to the Panthers right outside the top 10. At 6’4″, 212 lbs., Crouse possesses a rarely seen combination of size and skill. He can dangle around a defender or plow through to the net.
Brendan Perlini, 2014 12th Overall, Arizona Coyotes
Although Brendan Perlini plays for Canada, he was born in Guildford, Great Britain. Perlini has great acceleration and on ice vision to set up his teammates.
Mathew Barzal, 2015 16th Overall, New York Islanders
Although Mathew Barzal doesn’t have the size, he makes up for that with his tenacity. He’s a good two-way center and could see a lot of time against the opposition’s top line.
Travis Sanheim, 2014 17th Overall, Philadelphia Flyers
Travis Sanheim is a very smart defenseman who rarely makes mental mistakes. He can also use his large frame to separate the opposition from the puck.
Thomas Chabot, 2015 18th Overall, Ottawa Senators
Thomas Chabot is an offensively skilled defenseman. His exceptional skating ability allows him to carry the puck up ice or pinch on the rush to generate scoring chances.
Travis Konecny, 2015 24th Overall, Philadelphia Flyers
Travis Konecny is a versatile forward who can play either the wing or pivot position. He’s no stranger to playing with top talent as he found himself on a line with McDavid Timo Meier during the CHL Top Prospects game.
Anthony Beauvillier, 2015 28th Overall, New York Islanders
Anthony Beauvillier is a small, shifty forward. If he’s given too much space, it can spell trouble for defenders. He always plays well away from the puck, as an aggressive forechecker.
John Quenneville, 2014 30th Overall, New Jersey Devils
The name should sound familiar as John Quenneville is the second cousin of Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville. Quenneville is an aggressive, chippy forward who plays the game with a lot of emotion.
Pavel Zacha, 2015 6th Overall, New Jersey Devils
Pavel Zacha has tremendous upside because of his natural abilities. He can skate, has good size, solid puck handling abilities and can make plays. He’s expected to be a center piece of the Czech team.
Jakub Zboril, 2015 13th Overall, Boston Bruins
Jakub Zboril has worked hard to bring more consistency to his game. Look for the Czechs to utilize his hard shot on the power play.
David Pastrnak, 2014 25th Overall. Boston Bruins
David Pastrnak has been loaned out by the Boston Bruins, making him a late and welcome addition to the Czech roster. He brings with him NHL experience to a degree seldom seen at the World Juniors; 56 games played, scoring 31 points.
Mikko Rantanen, 2015 10th Overall, Colorado Avalanche
Mikko Rantanen has been playing against grown in the Finnish SM-liiga since he was 16. Helping him with that early transition is his large frame which he uses to crash the net and possess the puck.
Kasperi Kapanen, 2014 22nd Overall, Toronto Maple Leafs
Son of former NHL player Sami Kapanen, Kasperi Kapanen has NHL pedigree. Like Rantanen, Kapanen also spend several teenage years playing in the SM-liiga.
Ivan Provorov, 2015 7th Overall, Philadelphia Flyers
Ivan Provorov is a free wheeling defenseman who’s not afraid to jump in on the rush. His creativity and skating ability make him a highly skilled offensive blue liner.
Evgeny Svechnikov, 2015 19th Overall, Detroit Red Wings
Evgeny Svechnikov possesses a high hockey IQ, as he alway knows where to be on the ice. He shows a ton of offensive ability, but is working on becoming a multi-dimensional forward.
Ilya Samsonov, 2015 22nd Overall, Washington Capitals
Ilya Samsonov finds himself as the only goaltender on the list. He’s got everything scouts look for in a goalie today. He’s got great size and athleticism in order to cover the whole net.
William Nylander, 2014 8th Overall, Toronto Maple Leafs
William Nylander is another prospect with NHL pedigree, as his father Michael Nylander spent 15 years in the NHL. Nylander has great hockey sense, hands and skill.
Joel Eriksson Ek, 2015 20th Overall, Minnesota Wild
Joel Eriksson Ek was a forward who played his way into the first round last season. His work ethic and hard-nosed play was made apparent playing in the top Swedish league the SHL.
Jacob Larsson, 2015 27th Overall, Anaheim Ducks
Jacob Larsson is a solid two-way defenseman. When he gets the puck, he looks to make a play by connecting on an outlet pass. If the pass isn’t there, he’s not afraid to carry the puck up the ice.
Gabriel Carlsson, 2015 29th Overall, Columbus Blue Jackets
Gabriel Carlsson is the exact opposite player compared to Larsson. He’s a big stay-at-home defenseman. Additionally, he has good reach and good hockey sense.
Adrian Kempe, 2014 29th Overall, Los Angeles Kings
Adrian Kempe plays a tough hard-nosed game, but also has a bit of scoring touch if he’s placed with the right linemates. He’s not afraid to play the body or go to the front of the net.
Timo Meier, 2015 9th Overall, San Jose Sharks
Timo Meier is a good skater who accelerates quickly with his short quick strides, creating space. Meier has a great wrist shot and is always looking to use it.
Zachary Werenski, 2015 8th Overall, Columbus Blue Jackets
Zachary Werenski is captain of the U.S. squad. He’s leveraged his excellent freshman season at the University of Michigan and continues his development as a prolific scoring defenseman.
Sonny Milano, 2014 16th Overall, Columbus Blue Jackets
Sonny Milano is an exceptional stick handler. He looks to make plays and set up his teammates with his soft hands.
Nick Schmaltz, 2014 20th Overall, Chicago Blackhawks
Nick Schmaltz also looks to pass first. His hockey IQ is off the charts. If the passing lanes aren’t open, he has the speed and quick to skate by defenders.
Colin White, 2015 21st Overall, Ottawa Senators
Colin White plays well in all three zones of the ice. He’s always back checking and is committed to winning battles along the wall. When needed, he can also add a bit of a scoring touch.
Brock Boeser, 2015 23rd Overall, Vancouver Canucks
Brock Boeser is strong on his skates. Not only does this give him a step on defenders, but it also makes it very difficult to take the puck away from him.
This already impressive crop of prospects doesn’t even take into account the soon to be first rounders headlined by Auston Matthews and Jesse Puljujärvi.
As an American based in Amsterdam, Joe provides a unique hockey insight, bringing a global perspective to the game. Joe has several years of experience covering the game on both a domestic and international level, including being credentialed for multiple World and World Junior Championships.