The Minnesota Wild own the 20th overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft and are sure to have a bevy of excellent prospects to choose from come June 26th. Of course, there will be some surprises on the big day, but the Wild will definitely have their eye narrowed down to a few special players. Whether they decide to pursue a forward or defenceman, they are plenty of options. Those realistic possibilities at 20th overall are listed below, with the top 3 forwards and defencemen that the Minnesota Wild could hope to select.
At 20th Overall:
3: Jansen Harkins- 70GP, 20G, 59A, 79PTS for the Prince George Cougars of the WHL.
Harkins is a tremendous playmaker who competes hard and is a smart player who sees the ice really well and is able to find space where most can’t see any. His skating could use some work but the center will have a few years to work on that no doubt. He played for Team Canada in the Ivan Hlinka tournament and also at the U18’s this year. Would join a bevy of WHL prospects for the Minnesota Wild.
Rankings: 25th by ISS, 15th by Central Scouting, 21st by THN.
2: Colin White- 20GP, 4G, 13A, 17PTS for the U.S. National Development Team of the USHL.White came into the 2014-15 season with great hype after a sensational campaign for the US NTDP in 2013-14, but often found himself hidden behind Auston Matthews and Matthew Tkachuk, both top prospects for the 2016 NHL Draft. The centerman has good speed and is a terrific two-way player who is relied on in any situation. He represented USA at the U18’s this year, putting up 6 goal and 9 points in 7 games. He was one of USA’s best players.
Rankings: 15th by ISS, 29th by Central Scouting, 19th by THN.
1: Travis Konecny- 60GP, 29G, 39A, 68PTS for the Ottawa 67’s of the OHL.
Konecny was the 1st overall pick in the 2013 OHL Draft and has proved his worth to the 67’s in two years so far. His knock is his 5’10 and 172 pound frame, but he plays like a 6’3 power forward. HIs style is comparable to the Wild’s Zach Parise in that he competes in every single battle, and usually wins them. He has an NHL calibre shot already and has the attributes of a leader. He never shoes away from the physical side of the game. Minnesota would be very lucky to nab him at 20th overall.
Rankings: 12th by ISS, 14th by Central Scouting, 24th by THN.
3: Jakub Zboril- 44GP, 13G, 20A, 33PTS for the Saint John Sea Dogs of the QMJHL.
Zboril is a very physical defenceman who plays a very relaxed game which is proven thorough his safe playmaking abilities and the ease with which he separates player from puck. He has a great shot from the blueline, a sharp snapshot, that he gets through the lanes and on net to create scoring chances. The two-way defender represented Czech Republic at the U18’s and scored a goal and two points in three games.
Rankings: 22nd by ISS, 12th by Central Scouting, 22nd by THN.
2: Thomas Chabot- 66GP, 12G, 29A, 41PTS for the Saint John Sea Dogs of the QMJHL.
Chabot is an extremely smart defenceman that possesses excellent skating abilities. He makes good decisions with the puck and is always reliable in starting the breakout. He’s noticeably improved consistently throughout this year. He represented Canada in the U18’s posting a goal and 5 points in 7 games for the bronze medal winning squad.
Rankings: 16th by ISS, 16th by Central Scouting, 23rd by THN.
1: Jeremy Roy- 47GP, 5G, 38A, 43PTS for the Sherbrooke Phoenix of the QMJHL.
Roy has tremendous hockey sense and he shows it off each night. He’s an all around defenceman who is totally reliable in his own end and can use either his body or his stick to break up plays. He finds lanes to break out and will join the rush when possible. He quarterbacks the power play and knows exactly when to set a play up or get the puck to the net. Scored 3 goals and 4 points in 7 games for Canada at the U18’s.
Rankings: 23rd by ISS, 21st by Central Scouting, 26th by THN.
Contributor for the Toronto Maple Leafs and Prospects. Scout with the Oakville Blades of the OJHL. For questions, concerns, or comments, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter @SlawsonTHW.