The Next Ones Midterm NHL Draft Rankings

The 2015 NHL Draft to be held on June 26–27, 2015 at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida promises to be a talent-laden draft with some potentially franchise-altering players available, even beyond the McDavid-Eichel sweepstakes.

The McDavid-Eichel-Hanifin Sweepstakes

As TSN’s Bob McKenzie alluded to in his midterm rankings, the consensus amongst scouts is that McDavid, Eichel and Hanifin remain distinguished from the rest of the pack, although some would argue prospects like Mitch Marner may have something to say that. I’d maybe even make a case for Ivan Provorov as a potential disruptor come June.

I highlighted the following in the Fall Edition of The Next Ones rankings; even though Eichel and Hanifin are undoubtedly exceptional prospects, McDavid is on a separation mission:

“One hopes franchises do not tank to land a prized prospect, but it has happened in the past. This season, like others, has some catchy phrases highlighting the next wave of phenoms at the head of the class. Whether a team is displaying Dishonour for Connor [McDavid], going to Slack for Jack [Eichel] or Tankin’ for [Noah] Hanifin,  for the top three picking franchises there are potential cornerstone players available. Beyond those three consensus top picks remains a plethora of talent extending beyond the first round.”

 

The Next Ones Midterm Top 30 NHL Draft Rankings

For even more in-depth draft prospect information be sure to check out THW’s War Room Top 120 rankings which includes NHL Central Scouting’s midterm rankings combined.

  1. Connor McDavid

Ht/Wt: 6′ 0″/185 lbs

Position:C

Team: Erie (OHL)

Prospect Profiler Notes: Dynamic forward; generational talent

 

  1. Jack Eichel

Ht/Wt: 6′ 2″/193 lbs

Position: C

Team: Boston Univ. (NCAA)

Prospect Profiler Notes: High octane, cornerstone franchise centre

 

  1. Noah Hanifin

Ht/Wt: 6′ 2″/200 lbs

Position:D

Team: Boston College (NCAA)

Prospect Profiler Notes: Phenomenal skating ability, high hockey IQ, mature game

  1. Mitch Marner

Ht/Wt: 5’10″/164 lbs

Position: C

Team: London (OHL)

Prospect Profiler Notes: A hockey magician with exceptional acceleration and highly creative; after slow start, perhaps most impressive CHLer this season

Mitch Marner
Mitch Marner is a magician with the puck and smart without it. (Photo: OHL Images)
  1. Dylan Strome

Ht/Wt: 6′ 2″/177 lbs

Position: C

Team: Erie (OHL)

Prospect Profiler Notes: NYI’s Ryan’s brother; creative, visionary offensive centre, defensively responsible

 

  1. Ivan Provorov

Ht/Wt: 6′ 0″/191 lbs

Position: D

Team: Brandon (WHL)

Prospect Profiler Notes: Highly skilled, versatile defender with laser-like precision passing skills. Provorov has told me he patterns his game after Nik Lidstrom, but he was realistic about the comparison; however, his game that particular night against the Calgary Hitmen was Listrom-esque.

Ivan Provorov
Ivan Provorov is putting his name in contention for best defenseman available for the 2015 NHL Draft with his exceptional play in the WHL. (Credit: Darwin Knelsen/Swift Current Broncos)

 

  1. Mathew (Matt) Barzal

Ht/Wt: 5’11″/174 lbs

Position: C

Team: Seattle (WHL)

Prospect Profiler Notes: Cerebral, visionary playmaking centreman

 

  1. Oliver Kylington

Ht/Wt: 6′ 0″/180 lbs

Position: D

Team: Farjestads BK (SHL)

Prospect Profiler Notes: Outstanding skating, puck-moving dman; youngest player to score a goal in the SHL.

 

  1. Nick Merkley

Ht/Wt: 5’10″/175 lbs

Position: C/RW

Team: Kelowna (WHL)

Prospect Profiler Notes: Catalyst for positive plays all over the rink

Here’s FC Hockey’s head WHL scout on Merkley:

 

  1. Zack Werenski

Ht/Wt: 6′ 1″/206 lbs

Position: D

Team: Univ. of Michigan (NCAA)

Prospect Profiler Notes: Versatile combination of size, skating, strength, two-way blueliner

 

  1. Lawson Crouse

Ht/Wt: 6′ 3″/200 lbs

Position: LW

Team: Kingston (OHL)

Prospect Profiler Notes: Burgeoning power forward impressive as draft eligible prospect at World Juniors

Lawson Crouse
Power forward Lawson Crouse is regarded very highly as his place in NHL Central Scouting’s Midterm rankings depitcts. (OHL Images)

 

  1. Mikko Rantanen

Ht/Wt: 6′ 4″/195 lbs

Position: C/RW

Team: TPS Turku (a) (SM-liiga)

Prospect Profiler Notes: Great size, high hockey IQ, tough on the boards, good puck protections skills

 

  1. Timo Meier

Ht/Wt: 6′ 1″/209 lbs

Position: RW

Team: Halifax Mooseheads

Prospect Profiler Notes: Good size, strong, responsible Swiss winger with excellent puck skills

 

  1. Pavel Zacha

Ht/Wt: 6′ 3″/200 lbs

Position: C/LW

Team: Liberec (CZE)

Prospect Profiler Notes: Tantalizing combination of size, skill, shot & work ethic

 

  1. Travis Konecny

Ht/Wt: 5’10″/172 lbs

Position: C

Team: Ottawa 67’s (OHL)

Prospect Profiler Notes: Picasso-on-ice – sensational creativity and speed, bullet shot with rocket release; CHL Top Prospects Game player of the game.

 

  1. Jansen Harkins

Ht/Wt: 6′ 1″/177 lbs

Position: C

Team: Prince George (WHL)

Prospect Profiler Notes: Bloodlines (son of Todd), character, extremely smart two-way playmaker

 

  1. Kyle Connor

Ht/Wt: 6′ 1″/170 lbs

Position:C

Team: Youngstown (USHL)

Prospect Profiler Notes: Two-way, intelligent playmaking centreman

 

  1. Jeremy Roy

Ht/Wt: 6′ 0″/183 lbs

Position: D

Team: Sherbrooke (QMJHL)

Prospect Profiler Notes: Offensive, great puck skills, puckmoving defenseman, powerplay QB

 

  1. Colin White

Ht/Wt: 6′ 0″/175 lbs

Position: C/RW

Team: USA U18 NTDP

Prospect Profiler Notes: ?Patrice Bergeron 2.0 – does all the small things coaches covet

 

  1. Brandon Carlo

Ht/Wt: 6′ 5″/198 lbs

Position: D

Team: Tri-City (WHL)

Prospect Profiler Notes: Desirable monster-sized defenseman who skates really well; understands defensive side of the puck, developing offensive side

 

  1. Thomas Chabot

Ht/Wt: 6′ 2″/179 lbs

Position: D

Team: Saint John (QMJHL)

Prospect Profiler Notes: Blueliners’ stock surging reminiscent of Travis Sanheim in 2014.

 

  1. Evgeni Svechnikov

Ht/Wt: 6′ 1″/180 lbs

Position: LW

Team: Cape Breton (QMJHL)

Prospect Profiler Notes: Ridiculous upside; smooth North American transition for big, skilled forward

 

  1. Jake DeBrusk

Ht/Wt: 6′ 0″/177 lbs

Position: LW

Team: Swift Current (WHL)

Prospect Profiler Notes: Louie’s son has explosive scoring ability and contributes currently on over one-third (34.44%) of the Broncos’s points registered, which is just above Nick Merkley’s team contributions and just behind Jansen Harkins.

 

  1. Brock Boeser

Ht/Wt: 6′ 1″/192 lbs

Position: RW

Team: Waterloo (USHL)

Prospect Profiler Notes: High hockey IQ and lethal shot

 

  1. Jeremy Bracco

Ht/Wt: 5′ 9″/156 lbs

Position: C/RW

Team: USA U18 NTDP

Prospect Profiler Notes: Undersized but limitless offensive upside – creative, energetic, slick puck skills

 

  1. Paul Bittner

Ht/Wt: 6′ 4″/201 lbs

Position: LW

Team: Portland (WHL)

Prospect Profiler Notes: Prototypical power forward with a good shot

 

  1. Daniel Sprong

Ht/Wt: 5’11″/175 lbs

Position: RW

Team: Charlottetown (QMJHL)

Prospect Profiler Notes: Flying Dutchman; electrifying offensive spark-plug originally from Amsterdam, needs to improve team play.

 

  1. Jakub Zboril

Ht/Wt: 6′ 1″/184 lbs

Position: D

Team: Saint John (QMJHL)

Prospect Profiler Notes: Well rounded defender with offensive flare

 

  1. Nicolas Meloche

Ht/Wt: 6′ 2″/202 lbs

Position: D

Team: Baie-Comeau (QMJHL)

Prospect Profiler Notes: Eastern hockey bird-dog, Eldon MacDonald:

“Mr. Poise – NHL size, NHL meanness – effective on the power play.”

 

  1. Filip Chlapik

Ht/Wt: 6’1″/190 lbs

Position: C

Team: Charlottetown (QMJHL)

Prospect Profiler Notes:

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For more about how The Next Onesrankings (a.k.a. Chris’s List) come to fruition check out the end of this article.