Bob McKenzie released his mid-season rankings today (here), that’s a good time to re-set Edmonton’s draft situation and my personal top 30. A reminder, my list rewards offense, a range of skills and does not give high value to players who have a lot of their value tied up in the defensive side of the game.
EDMONTON’S CURRENT DRAFT PICKS FOR 2016
The NHL’s draft lottery has changed, so let’s assume for the sake of conversation Edmonton remains at their current number. Here are their current picks:
- No. 2 overall
- No. 32 overall (Note: This pick, or the 2017 pick, goes to Boston for Peter Chiarelli)
- No. 62 overall
- No. 92 overall
- No. 122 overall
- No. 152 overall
- No. 182 overall
LOWETIDE TOP 30
- (1) C Auston Matthews, Zurich Lions (Swiss-A): Running away with top spot, his NLA performance (31GP, 23-15-38) includes a strong recent run.
- (2) W Patrik Laine, Tappara (Sm-Liiga): He could be in the NHL next season, sniper is 35GP, 13-14-27 in the SM-Liiga. Great offensive prospect.
- (3) R Jesse Puljujarvi, Karpat (Sm-Liiga): Big, fast, incredibly skilledhe is 41GP, 8-12-20 in the SM-Liiga. He is an astounding combination of size and speed.
- (4) Matthew Tkachuk, London Knights (OHL): He is 41GP, 20-57-77 and among the leading OHL scorers in his draft-eligible season. He might be better than the Finns, these are insane numbers (NHLE: 46, about where Hall was as a junior in his draft year).
- (5) D Jacob Chychrun, Sarnia Sting (OHL): Impressive overall skills, he is not stepping forward from a year ago in the offensive categories. So difficult to measure defensemen in terms of offense, but if he is going top five overall, must be a complete talent.
- (6)R Alexander Nylander, Mississauga Steelheads (OHL): Romping through the OHL at a 1.39 points-per-game clip, his brother is probably the best comparable.
- (7) D Mikhail Sergachev, Windsor Spitfires (OHL): He has a big shot and skates well, appears to have a complete set of skills. I think we will see some separation of these defensemen as the season rolls.
- (8) R Alex DeBrincat, Erie Otters (OHL): Small sniper, he is at 1.66 points-per-game and has 38 goals in 41 OHL games. I am probably underrating him here.
- (9) C Pierre-Luc Dubois, Cape Breton Screaming Eagles (QMJHL): Has size, skill, speed and defensive awareness.
- (13) D Dante Fabbro, Penticton Vees (BCJHL): Kirk Luedeke describes him as ‘smooth’ and possessing two-way ability.
- (11) D Olli Juolevi, London Knights (OHL): Smooth skater, great passer, he seemed a little shy physically at the WJs. That may hurt his final number at the draft, he looks fabulous from here.
- (18) C Clayton Keller, USNDTP (USHL): Undersized, very skilled, above average speed. Looks like there is great offensive potential, he is ripping up the USHL.
- (10) R Julien Gauthier, Val D’Or Foreurs (QMJHL): He is a monster 6.04, 224 and has great hands. Speed will be his issue if there is one, he has 36 goals in 38 games.
- (17) C Michael McLeod, Mississauga Steelheads (OHL): Playmaking center who will probably stretch to 6.03, 200 pounds as a mature player.
- (12) D Jake Bean, Calgary Hitmen (WHL): Intelligent defender with across the board skills, he is not famous like the blue ahead of him. With 46 points in 51 WHL games, he looks like one of the best offensive defenders in the draft.
- (14) L Tyson Jost, Penticton Vees (BCJHL). Elite Prospects: Crafty goal-scorer that carries out plays as quickly as he envisions them.
- (15) G Carter Hart, Everett Silvertips (WHL): A .925 save percentage gets him here.
- (21) C German Rubtsov, Team Russia (MHL). Steve Kournianos of the Draft Analyst suggests he’s arguably the 2016 draft’s best two-way forward.
- (16) L Max Jones, London Knights (OHL): Big man (6.03, 201) touted as a power forward, and speed is mentioned as a positive part of his game.
- (28) R Taylor Raddysh, Erie Otters (OHL). Another big winger (6.02, 202), he is over a point-per-game in the world’s best junior league.
- (19) C Luke Kunin, Wisconsin (NCAA): He is 6.0, 196 and has a range of skills.
- (20) L Dillon Dube, Kelowna Rockets (WHL): Undersized WHL scorer who has enjoyed a strong season so far, speedy and cashes a lot at evens.
- (22) D Cam Dineen, North Bay Battalion (OHL): Undersized at 6.0, 180 he is mobile, great passer.
- (23) C-L Kieffer Bellows, USNDTP (USHL). A nice offensive forward with good size (6.01, 194) and a scorer’s touch.
- (24) C Rasmus Asplund, Farjestads (SHL). His is 6.0, 180 and quality checker but the offense will have to come if he is going to stay in the first round.
- (25) C-R Nathan Bastian, Mississauga Steelheads (OHL): At 6.04, 207 he possesses both good (and improving) speed and some offensive touch.
- (NR) L Riley Tufte, Fargo Force (USHL). Big winger (6.04, 205) with raw skills across a wide range. Complete wild card who may take some time to deliver on promise.
- (29) C Sam Steel, Regina Pats (WHL).Fast, quick and skilled.
- (30) C Logan Brown, Windsor Spitfires (OHL): He is 6.06, 215 and has impressive offensive skills. A playmaker, the questions revolve around foot speed.
- (31) R Simon Stransky, Prince Alberta Raiders (WHL). Small, so he will fall into the second round, but he is a high skill player. 39, 14-28-42 WHL.
McKenzie and his top 60 are here.