This is a list of my top 15 draft prospects. Please keep in mind that this is where I rank my prospects, not where I see them actually getting drafted, that’s a whole other ball game!
1) Nail Yakupov:
Yakupov is the clear cut top prospect in this draft.
2) Alex Galchenyuk:
Hasn’t received much publicity due to long-term injury but was suppose to challenge for first overall this season. Has size and skill to be a number 1 center in the NHL.
3) Griffin Reinhart:
Bit of a bold statement but I think this guy has the potential to be a top two defenseman in the NHL. He has an offensive side to his game as well has a very good defensive game. He has great size but doesn’t play overly physical, so if coached the right way he could be a star.
4) Filip Forsberg:
Has a great two-way game, and a tremendous amount of skill. He has the size to be successful in the NHL and he’s also very versatile up front, can play any of the forward positions.
5 ) Mikhail Grigorenko:
He has the skill,size,and two-way game to be much higher on this list but scouts question his effort, and consistency. And well, we all know how Russians who have been projected to lack effort and consistency turn out.
6) Cody Ceci:
Being from Ottawa I’ve had the luxury of seeing this kid play a lot, and he almost always impresses me. Some expect him to be more of a defensive defenseman in the NHL, but I see Ceci as a strong two-way defenseman with underrated offensive potential. He looks a bit awkward when he carries the puck but he gets the job done. He’s a good skater with a great shot.
7) Morgan Rielly:
Another player who had potential to be a top 5 pick in this years draft but will likely fall due to a season ending injury. For purely offensive, puck carrying defensemen, Rielly is probably at the top of his class. He’s fast, and smooth skater, with great puck carrying abilities. Potential is high for this kid.
8 ) Ryan Murray:
I know a lot of people think he probably “fell” on my list or isn’t given enough credit but I just don’t know how much more upside he has. With that said he’s already extremely good and mature for his age and I think he will be a top 2 defenseman and future captain in the NHL. Also I believe he will go top 3.
9) Mathew Dumba:
Somewhat of a wild card. He’s a high risk-high reward kind of player. His potential to be star is through the roof but his “bust” potential is unfortunately high as well. He plays an uptempo,big hit, all out offensive game, which causes him to make poor decisions. He’s very good but teams will take caution.
10) Radek Faksa:
Maybe one of the safest picks in the draft. He has great size and a nice skill set. Might not be more then a third-line center but has potential to be a really good second-line center, and maybe even a first-liner.
11) Jacob Trouba:
He’s a big two-way defenseman with lots of potential. He must learn to play a better defensive game but all the tools are there for him to be a top 2 defenseman in the NHL.
12) Sebastian Collberg:
Collberg may lack size but in today’s NHL size isn’t as important as skill, and Collberg has lots of that. He’s a few years away from doing any damage in the NHL but if developed right he could be a great top 6 forward.
13) Zemgus Girgensons:
I’ve had the luxury of talking to Girgensons and he’s a stand up guy. He’s a complete player that any team would want, and need. He plays a physical two-way game, and has great leadership. Much like Faksa, scouts question what kind of a center he will be in the NHL, third-line or second-line, but he’s a very safe pick because he’ll likely end up in the NHL no matter what. I also have to add that he’s a warrior. He played two periods with a broken jaw.
14) Andrei Vasilevski:
People really took notice of Vasilevski during his stellar performance at the World Junior Championships this past winter. He’s a big,athletic goalie, who does everything in his power to stop the puck. Vasilevski has no quit in him. His only downfall will be the fact that he’s Russian, which isn’t his fault at all. Teams may be worried he might stay in the KHL rather than come over, which could make a team take Malcolm Subban, or Oscar Dansk over him.
15) Brendan Gaunce:
Gaunce is the top Canadian forward available in this years draft. He has great size,decent skill, and a great work ethic. He’s a safe pick with his size and rive, and at the very least will be a great third-line center.