Its here!!!  It is quite frankly embarrassing how geeked up I get for the draft.  Can’t help it.  I know most love the movement that happens during the draft, and don’t get me wrong I do too.  But I just love to see how these teams build.  The draft is the most important day on the calendar for NHL clubs, and even though it takes 5-10 years to know the results, I love watching it all unfold.


If you’re new to my mock drafts, I’m going to take this time to brag.  Last year with my final mock draft, I was 6/6 to start, hit on 7 picks total, and had 28 of 31 going in the first round.  In comparison, Sam Cosentino and Bob McKenzie had 27 of 31.  I went 7/8 to start the draft in 2015, was all over Columbus to pass on Puljujarvi for a centre (initially I said Dubois, but figured by draft day they would move back) earlier than anyone else was (feel free to seek out my 2016 3.0 mock draft), and though I don’t like to put it in with the others, my third mock draft in 2014 I ended up doing the best I’ve done, hitting on 11 of 30 first round picks (the problem being that I did two more mocks after that and the immense trade talk around that draft really screwed me over, lesson learned).  I don’t like bragging (though you’d never know it from this paragraph), but I work my ass off on these pieces and take a lot of pride in them (although, expect spelling mistakes because I close to 5,000 words here and can’t catch them all).


Something new I’ve done this season is put the tier the player is in along with the ranking.  So normally beside a players name in the mock drafts I have where I’ve ranked the prospect on my top prospects list.  Now, I’ve put his tiering first, followed by his ranking.  So Rasmus Dahlin for example is in the first tier, and ranked first, so he’s listed as 1-1.  Filip Zadina is in the second tier and is fifth ranked, so he’s listed as 2-5.  Ty Dellandrea is in the fifth tier and is 25th raned so he’s 5-25.  If you don’t have it by now, I don’t know what to tell you other than you might have an ADHD issue.


Want to know more about where I’m coming from on some of these prospects?  You can read my thoughts on them in my Top 75 Prospects piece I put up just yesterday.


1. Rasmus Dahlin (1-1)  Frolunda  SHL

Pos: RD  Ht: 6’3  Wt: 185  Shot: L

Comparison: Drew Doughty

No point in changing this write up.  I don’t believe we need to spend much time on this one.  Jackpot if you’re a Sabres fan.  They were desperate for someone who could anchor their blueline, and they won one of the best D prospects of all time.  This was a DARK season for Buffalo, a terrific hockey market who don’t deserve what they’ve been going through.  Happy for them, and Dahlin is the real deal.

Other Options: None


2. Andrei Svechnikov (2-6)  Barrie  OHL

Pos: RW  Ht: 6’2  Wt: 192  Shot: L

Comparison: Thomas Vanek

I worry about Svechnikov, but I’ve never denied his upside or looked to hate on what other people see in him.  And if he pans out the way just about everyone believes he will, the Canes will have a great combination up front (Necas and Svechnikov) to go with a lot of depth and then a terrific blueline.  Its funny, Dundon apparently wants to make dramatic changes, yet on paper it looks like if they just continue to be patient that they could be in the playoffs next season with tremendous potential to be a powerhouse in the years to come.  Winnipeg was the same way, and look how loaded they now are.  Dundon should be ecstatic that the heavy lifting has been done for him already.

Other Options: None


3. Jesperi Kotkaniemi (2-3)  Assat  Liiga

Pos: C  Ht: 6’2  Wt: 181  Shot: L

Comparison: Mikko Koivu

Its between Kotkaniemi and one of the D-men (I would highly assume Dobson).  A trade back sounds like something Bergevin would like to do, but come on.  I’ll believe one is capable of happening in the top five once it happens.  Twice in the last 17 years has it happened, once was it simply a trade back as Bergevin wants to do.  Once in 17 years.  He stays at three at makes his pick, and I believe its Kotkaniemi.  He’s the type of centre teams crave, a guy who can play the tough minutes while putting up 55-65 points a season.

Other Options: Noah Dobson


4. Noah Dobson (2-4)  Acadie-B.  QMJHL

Pos: RD  Ht: 6’3  Wt: 177  Shot: R

Comparison: Seth Jones

What a mess.  Me being an Oilers fan, fuck, did we go through a lot of dark years (and still aren’t out of those woods).  But NOTHING compared to what the Sens and their fans are going through right now and I feel horrible for them.  Anyway, this pick is extremely interesting.  We still don’t know for sure if they’re going to keep it or perhaps look to swing a deal with the Avs to get back that 2019 first.  We’ll see.  But assuming they keep it, on one hand I could see them going with Filip Zadina for PR purposes.  Not that he’d be anything of a reach, but a kid who just lit the Q up and will step right in for the Sens in the fall might be something that just has to happen for the Sens.  But they don’t take wingers high.  They haven’t taken a winger in the first round since 2011, haven’t taken one with their top first round pick since 2006 (Nick Foligno).  Couple that with how bad things are all of a sudden looking on the blueline throughout their organization and I believe they’ll go with the top D-man they can get which in my mind would be Dobson.  He fits the bill perfectly for them.

Other Options: Filip Zadina, Evan Bouchard


5. Evan Bouchard (3-11)  London  OHL

Pos: RD  Ht: 6’2  Wt: 196  Shot: R

Comparison: Larry Murphy

This is not a “good young hockey team”, it’s just a “young hockey team”.  They have a very long ways to go, and really can’t make a wrong move in terms of need no matter who they select here.  A lot of people believe it’ll be Brady Tkachuk, as did I for a long time.  But that is more of a PR move, and something I’ve learned in the NHL is to not assume teams are going to do PR picks in the draft.  For pretty much all these teams, not even the GM’s have much say in the picks, its the director or heads of amateur scouting who do it.  The blueline doesn’t look good moving forward, especially on the right side.  Even on the big club currently, Demers is getting older, Hjalmarsson is on the last year of his deal (I know he’s a lefty but he plays the right side), its not pretty.  And as Marek pointed out (and I hadn’t caught this so full credit goes to him), they LOVE the OHL.  11 kids out of the OHL in the last four drafts.  Its nuts.  So with all this taken into consideration, Bouchard is looking like a kid who makes all the sense in the world for the Coyotes at five.

Other Options: Filip Zadina, Brady Tkachuk


6. Quinn Hughes (3-13)  Michigan  NCAA

Pos: LD  Ht: 5’9  Wt: 168  Shot: L

Comparison: Phil Housley

So most agree with me that they should be taking a D-man, and Quinn Hughes was playing in their backyard this past season, so in this scenario he seems to make all the sense in the world.  But I have heard that they would prefer a forward here.  If Ken Holland were to take another winger with a top pick I might lose my skull.  They made a bad pick to this point with Svechnikov over a kid like Joel Eriksson Ek, and Colin White in 2015, and Michael Rasmussen last year looks good but I truly believe he’s going to end up on the wing in the pros.  You’re set on the wings (no pun intended), you need to start looking after the important shit Kenny!  So I really hope in this scenario, for the sake of Wings fans, its either Hughes or Boqvist….but I wonder.

Other Options: Filip Zadina, Adam Boqvist


7. Adam Boqvist (3-10)  Brynas  SWE-J20

Pos: RD  Ht: 5’11.5  Wt: 165  Shot: R

Comparison: Kris Letang

If this is how things break, I really believe the Canucks will still take a D-man.  I know Canucks beat writer Ben Kuzma was discussing this scenario (or one similar to it) with his followers last weekend, but that’s where I’ve also got my stuff on how Jim Benning wants to go D with this pick.  The question for me is would it be Boqvist, or would they go what would perceived to be off the board with Ty Smith?  You’re in a spot where you can’t move back to eight or nine because the Hawks and Rangers are sitting there with three of Zadina, Tkachuk and Wahlstrom all still on the board and knowing they’re now getting one of them.  And if you go back to eleven you’re running the risk of losing Smith to the Oilers because it sounds like they’re obsessed with him.  So its yet another damn difficult spot for the Canucks, and I believe they’ll stand pat and grab Boqvist whom the fans would still be excited about and he fills a key need for them moving forward.

Other Options: Filip Zadina, Ty Smith


8. Brady Tkachuk (3-8)  Boston University  NCAA

Pos: LW  Ht: 6’3  Wt: 192  Shot: L

Comparison: Keith Tkachuk

Well what a break this would be for the Blackhawks.  Their choice of three kids who I’d assume they love relatively equally.  Tkachuk though in my opinion can play that puck possession style they love to play, while giving them an agitating and power forward style of game they lack.  I know most would suggest that if it broke like this that Zadina would be the pick.  But I’m guessing in this scenario they’d have an eye on next season and next season a kid like Tkachuk is maybe more of a need than a sniper like Zadina.  I got the other options below, but I didn’t mention Barrett Hayton.  Word at one time was that they really wanted a centre.  He’s a kid who I could see a team reaching a bit on.

Other Options: Filip Zadina, Oliver Wahlstrom


9. Filip Zadina (2-5)  Halifax  QMJHL

Pos: LW  Ht: 6’0  Wt: 197  Shot: L

Comparison: Nikita Kucherov

I’ve talked a lot in recent weeks about the noticeable amount of New Englanders with the Rangers both on and off the ice, which led me to believe that Oliver Wahlstrom is going to be their pick.  I think he is, if anyone (realistically) EXCEPT Filip Zadina were here.  But if Zadina gets to this point, how in the Blue shirt hell do you pass on him?  Wahlstrom looks like the goods, but Zadina is just simply better.  I don’t know how else to put it.  Will Zadina get here?  I can’t imagine both him and Tkachuk getting to this range of the draft, but don’t forget the 2012 draft which was also D heavy at the top.  Filip Forsberg was looked at by the Oilers for the number one pick (I don’t think all that seriously, but I recall they flew him in pre draft).  Sometimes, its just circumstances and I believe this is what we could see tonight.

Other Options: Oliver Wahlstrom, Vitali Kravtsov


10. Ty Smith (3-12)  Spokane  WHL

Pos: LD  Ht: 5’11  Wt: 176  Shot: L

Comparison: Brain Rafalski

Oliver Wahlstrom is still on the board in this scenario, and yet I think it won’t matter who might fall to them, they’re hell bent on taking Smith which I love from the standpoint of being an Oilers fan from Lloyd, but I don’t like it for the Oilers or Ty because if they take him while passing on someone the rest of the hockey world has higher ranked then he’s in for an uphill climb right off the bat.  It’ll be mixed for me, because I’m sky high on the player, I completely understand what they see in him, but over Wahlstrom?  And if not Wahlstrom, potentially Zadina?  Or potentially Tkachuk?  I don’t like any prospect entering the organization having to carry that burden.  Passing on Boqvist for him wouldn’t be so bad, but one of those three….I cringe at the thought for both the player and the team.

Other Options: Barrett Hayton, Vitali Kravtsov


11. Oliver Wahlstrom (3-7)  USNTDP  USHL

Pos: RW  Ht: 6’1  Wt: 208  Shot: R

Comparison: Phil Kessel

How ironic would it be for the Oilers to pass on a talent like this and the Islanders reap the rewards.  First Mathew Barzal, then Jordan Eberle, and if you want to say they reap the rewards of just Peter Chiarelli he also gifted them Johnny Boychuk back when he was with the Bruins.  You think if the Isles got Wahlstrom after bringing in Lamoriello as GM and Trotz as coach might be able to convince Tavares to stay?  I’d say so.  Wahlstrom MIGHT be ready to step in this fall.  But at the max I’d say he’s ready to go for 2020.

Other Options: Joe Veleno, Vitali Kravtsov


12. Barrett Hayton (4-15)  Sault Ste. Marie  OHL

Pos: C  Ht: 6’1  Wt: 186  Shot: L

Comparison: Ryan O’Reilly

Originally Calgary’s pick.  Even if Tavares re-signs the Islanders still can use some strengthening in the middle and should use one of these two picks to do so.  If JT bolts, he’s a potential second line centre to do the dirty work behind Barzal.  If JT re-signs (and sure looks like he’s going to), he’s a perfect third line centre as I’ve described.  Of course in either case this won’t be for another year or two, but the Isles simply have nothing coming at centre, so expect them to take at least one centre with these two picks.  Side note: you can add these other options to the two I gave with the previous pick, any of these six total players make sense to me for the Isles.

Other Options: K’Andre Miller, Grigori Denisenko


13. Joe Veleno (2-2)  Drummondville  QMJHL

Pos: C  Ht: 6’1  Wt: 194  Shot: L

Comparison: Brad Richards

Last year, my Stars “guy” was spot on with where they were going.  This year he’s maintained that the Stars are looking hard at centres going into this draft.  As you can read, I’m sky high on Veleno.  I’m not a scout, and in the Veleno case that might benefit me, because I don’t have a chip on my shoulder for this guy not meeting my expectations.  The scouting community definitely do though, and they’ve forgotten (in my mind) what the upside is with this kid and that he has the work ethic and drive to get that upside out of him.  This could be a grand slam pick for the Stars.

Other Options: Isac Lundestrom, Rasmus Kupari


14. Vitali Kravtsov (4-22)  Chelyabinsk  RUS

Pos: LW  Ht: 6’2  Wt: 170  Shot: L

Comparison: Filip Forsberg

Originally St. Louis’ pick.  You know, the draft REALLY opens up, not just this one, but every year around the 10th or 11th pick.  Teams lists just simply do not look alike.  I’ve seen a few people suggest this pick, and it makes sense.  The Flyers went with a Russian kid just two years ago (German Rubtsov who doesn’t look like a great pick thus far), and they can use some skill up front, and Kravtsov still brings the size and a little bit of bite that we know they love in Philly.  Plus, if Kravtsov made it here, it’d likely be viewed as a BPA falling into their lap as some see him as a dark horse to sneak into the top 10.

Other Options: Serron Noel, Grigori Denisenko


15. Serron Noel (3-9)  Oshawa  OHL

Pos: RW  Ht: 6’5  Wt: 204  Shot: R

Comparison: Blake Wheeler

I feel like someone is taking Noel higher than most people have him.  There have been a few rumours that suggest Noel scouting staffs for NHL teams like him a lot more than independent guys.  I obviously like him more than the independent guys myself, but I understand the fears with him.  Dale Tallon and the Panthers are old school.  They love size, and while I wouldn’t say they LOVE the OHL, they’ve taken their fair share of OHL guys.  So I’m guessing that Noel is directly in their wheelhouse.  And with a young roster which is locked down, they can afford to take a guy like Noel and give him the two or three years he needs to develop.

Other Options: K’Andre Miller, Martin Kaut


16. Joel Farabee (4-22)  USNTDP  USHL

Pos: LW  Ht: 6’0  Wt: 162  Shot: L

Comparison: Kyle Palmeri

12 months ago I would have suggested they need to invest three or four straight first rounders on D-men!  Fast forward to now and the Avs own Cale Makar, Conor Timmins, and Sam Girard.  It’s not enough, but it’s a HELL of a start!  They have picks 47 and 58 to perhaps add a couple more quality D-men to that stable.  If you look at the Avs organizational depth chart, they don’t have a lot of high end skill playing behind MacKinnon and Rantanen.  Farabee isn’t the most skilled player left on the board, but he’s a burner, he’s a character kid that they’ve loved (Landeskog, Conner Bleackley, Jost), and its not as though he’s lacking skill either.

Other Options: Martin Kaut, Rasmus Kupari


17. K’Andre Miller (4-17)  USNTDP  USHL

Pos: LD  Ht: 6’3  Wt: 198  Shot: L

Comparison: Ed Jovanovski

I say they still really need some D.  Ray Shero did a HECK of a good job piecing a competent blueline together last season.  Having said that, they still need some guys and Miller would fit the bill.  The upside on this kid is just ridiculous.  They have a good enough blueline in the short term to get by and let him develop for in my opinion two years minimum (yet who knows what kind of strides he can make in a year), but I believe they’ll want a D and he has the biggest upside of the D-men left on the board.

Other Options: Nils Lundkvist, Bode Wilde


18. Rasmus Kupari (4-23)  Karpat  Liiga

Pos: RW  Ht: 6’1.5  Wt: 189  Shot: R

Comparison: Matt Duchene

I really hate suggesting that their Finnish GM is going to take a Finnish player, because just about everyone (not me…not so humble brag) believed that’s why he was taking Jesse Puljujarvi the whole way leading up to the 2016 draft.  Here however, it makes sense.  Aaron Portzline is their top beat guy and he believes they’ll almost certainly be taking the top forward on the board here, and while none of us know what their board looks like, Kupari is definitely one of the most talented players available in this scenario.  He’s listed as a centre, but I firmly believe he’s playing the wing in the show.

Other Options: Martin Kaut, Dominik Bokk


19. Nils Lundkvist (4-14)  Lulea  SHL

Pos: RD  Ht: 5’11  Wt: 173  Shot: R

Comparison: Nick Leddy

With both Kravtsov and here with Lundkvist, neither guy feels like a Philly guy.  But that’s what Ron Hextall is attempting to build here.  He’s looked to get away from their old ways and build and much more intelligent roster.  I love the fit here because they’ve graduated most of the high picks they spent on D-men from 2013-2015.  Only the first of that group (Samuel Morin) is left in the system, and he’s starting to look like more of a suspect than prospect.  They do have Phillippe Myers on the come, and Myers is the only serious RH shooting D prospect in the system.  Add to that, they only got one on the current roster (Radko Gudas).  So they could really stand to add a righty D-man, and while this might seem early for some, I really love Lundkvist and believe he’s going in the 11-20 range.

Other Options: Martin Kaut (again), Bode Wilde


20. Liam Foudy (6-43)  London  OHL

Pos: C  Ht: 6’0  Wt: 174  Shot: L

Comparison: Andrew Cogliano

I can’t bring myself to move off the point that the Kings are in love with the OHL.  There are other players from the OHL who they might have interest in here like Akil Thomas, Ty Dellandrea, maybe a defenceman like Rasmus Sandin, but I’m going with a hunch here.  Foudy is an OHL kid with blazing speed, and the Kings have been looking to add a lot more speed to their organization.  Another reason for the hunch here is that risers rise.  Foudy ended up 29th on Bob McKenzie’s list, so I tend to believe that he’ll end up going higher than that.  Maybe I’m really reaching here, but I believe this makes a ton of sense.

Other Options: Akil Thomas, Ty Dellandrea


21. Martin Kaut (4-20)  Pardubice  CZE  Extra

Pos: RW  Ht: 6’1  Wt: 176  Shot: R

Comparison: Alex Steen

They’re a candidate to trade back, to the point where I kind of expect it, especially if things break this way.  If one of Miller or Lundkvist gets here, I like one of them.  But if they don’t, they don’t have a second or a third rounder and they don’t have much in the system.  I don’t do trades in my mocks, so I’m picking, and with no D-man in sight that I believe they’ll love getting Kaut here who is very much so their type of player.  Reminds me a little of Hertl, a little of Meier, and if they were to move back then they could focus on D-men at that time.  As for the trade back possibilities, perhaps the Rangers for 26 or 28 (not both, one or the other) and 39 for 21?  Maybe Detroit could pull it off too perhaps by giving 30 and 36?  Maybe even Montreal for 35, 38 and 62?  They have seven picks total in the draft, but only one in the top 110.

Other Options: Bode Wilde, Rasmus Sandin


FUN FACT: the lowest I’ve ever projected someone to a team was Freddy Gauthier to the Leafs at 21 in 2013, so the rest of these are very, very wrong!  At least I KNOW I’m getting two spot on this year.


22. Nicolas Beaudin (6-32)    Drummondville  QMJHL

Pos: LD  Ht: 5’11  Wt: 172  Shot: L

Comparison: Torey Krug

Originally Pittsburgh’s pick.  After giving this some thought, the Sens are going to be open to taking another D-man with this pick.  They have too big of a hole on that blueline moving forward.  Sure, they could address it some if/when (without a doubt when unfortunately for Sens fans) they move Erik Karlsson, but even then they will likely need more.  I’ve soured a bit on Rasmus Sandin recently, and really fallen hard for Beaudin as I see them as very similar guys but Beaudin is the better skater and the less physically developed.  Not to mention, the Sens know the Q very well, so I’ll say its Beaudin.

Other Options: Bode Wilde, Rasmus Sandin


23. Isac Lundestrom (4-16)  Lulea  SHL

Pos: C  Ht: 6’0  Wt: 183  Shot: L

Comparison: Frans Nielsen

They’ve had such tremendous success with Swedes over the last five drafts or so.  For me, Lundestrom falls to them.  But that isn’t the case if you look at most scouting services.  Most of them aren’t too high on Lundestrom.  I do think its likely they go centre though even if its not Lundestrom.  Getzlaf and Kesler are on the back nine of their careers, and while I like Sam Steel, and Adam Henrique is still only 28, its simply not enough.

Other Options: Ty Dellandrea, Jack McBain


24. Grigori Denisenko (5-28)  Yaroslavl  MHL

Pos: LW  Ht: 5’11  Wt: 163  Shot: R

Comparison: Sergei Samsonov

Its my opinion that they need some help on the blueline and should be focusing there.  Beat writer Mike Russo seems to think they need to grab an elite offensive talent.  I always get a little scared when beat writers claim they know what the team wants and it fits exactly what a beat writer would love to see the team do.  But for now I’ll take his word for it and believe the Wild are going for the most dynamic forward on the board which would be Denisenko.  They have a lot of need though and are really in no man’s land as an organization right now.  It feels like Wild fans are stuck just waiting for the rebuild to happen.

Other Options: Bode Wilde, Dominik Bokk


25. Ty Dellandrea (5-25)  Flint  OHL

Pos: C  Ht: 6’0  Wt: 184  Shot: R

Comparison: Elias Lindholm

To me, Dellandrea just makes a ton of sense here to the Leafs.  I’m pretty confident that they go centre here.  To my eye they have two needs in the system and that’s RH D-men, and centres.  But they have Timothy Liljegren so its not as though they don’t have anyone on the blueline with a righty shot.  But they don’t have a centre who is anything of a threat for a prospect.  Being a righty fits in really well behind Matthews and Kadri down the line.  I’ve seen some suggest Ryan Merkley here, I can’t see it.  I think that’s still a very real possibility with the 52nd pick to be honest.

Other Options: Akil Thomas, Bode Wilde


26. Bode Wilde (4-18)  USNTDP  USHL

Pos: RD  Ht: 6’2.5  Wt: 198  Shot: R

Comparison: Jacob Trouba

The fall of Wilde ends here, although it doesn’t really sound like a fall anymore….just where he’s projected to go.  At least according to Sam Cosentino, who I definitely trust.  I still like Wilde a lot, as I’ve said all along a top four D-man who leaves you wanting more is still a top four D-man.  Think of Bouwmeester, think of Phaneuf, think of Bogosian, all guys with all the talent but maybe don’t have the elite intelligence to be that number one guy.  The Rangers with three first round picks are definitely a candidate to take a swing on him should he get to this point in the first.

Other Options: Akil Thomas, Dominik Bokk


27. Akil Thomas (4-19)  Niagara  OHL

Pos: RW  Ht: 5’11  Wt: 165  Shot: R

Comparison: Mitch Marner

Originally Nashville’s pick.  All things even at eight, I believe they’d take a centre.  But there really isn’t a centre to take anywhere near eight, and I had Zadina and Tkachuk falling right into their lap.  This one is interesting though, because I really don’t see Thomas as a centre.  I love his game, but see him as a one way player and there for he’d be much better suited for the wing.  Still, I believe Thomas talent at this point is too good for a team who LOVE guys who can play a puck possession game and be creative in the offensive zone.  So I say they take him here

Other Options: Dominik Bokk (again), Johnny Tychonik


28. Dominik Bokk (5-26)  Vaxjo  SuperElite

Pos: RW  Ht: 6’1  Wt: 179  Shot: R

Comparison: Martin Havlat

Originally Tampa Bay’s pick.  FINALLY I have Bokk going after viewing him as a possibility for what felt like half the league.  However with these two picks the Rangers have late first, I won’t be anything shocked if they end up going WAY off the board with both.  Filip Chyitl was on my radar as a potential late first last year, but I’m sure nobody thought he’d go as high as 21st.  Both their top picks last year showed that they aren’t afraid to do what they think.  I could see a kid like Kirill Marchenko, I could see Johnny Tychonik, I could see Calen Addison, a lot of options for the Rangers who need a lot of different things.  But I’ll GUESS they snag Bokk here.

Other Options: Kirill Marchenko, Johnny Tychonik


29. Rasmus Sandin (6-33)  Sault Ste. Marie  OHL

Pos: LD  Ht: 5’11  Wt: 186  Shot: L

Comparison: Andrej Sekera

Originally Winnipeg’s pick.  The Blues could go about a billion ways with this pick to be frank.  After they’ve walked out of the last two drafts with two real good centres (Tage Thompson, Robert Thomas) and two real good wingers (Jordan Kyrou, Klim Kostin), if I had to guess with this one I’d say they’ll be looking for a D-man here.  It’s not as if they’ve got an old blueline, they don’t.  Next season they likely feature Parayko, Vince Dunn and Jordan Schmaltz all as regulars and they’re all 25 and under.  But you always want that next wave to be ready, and there is a nice pocket here where there will be a lot of D in this range.  .

Other Options: Alexander Alexeyev, Adam Ginning


30. Jonatan Berggren (4-21)  Skelleftea  SWE J-20

Pos: RW  Ht: 5’10  Wt: 181  Shot: L

Comparison: Jaden Schwartz

Originally Vegas’ pick.  They got their D-man at six, and while I’d definitely argue that they should be looking to take a centre here, I can’t see them passing on Berggren should he get to this pick.  We all know their track record with Swedish kids, and this looks like a BPA scenario so I agree with taking him here.  If they did go centre, I mention the two kids below, but also Ivan Morozov is a kid I personally think very highly of and we all remember the success the Wings of the late 90’s/early 2000’s had with Russians.

Other Options: Jacob Olofsson, Ryan McLeod


31. Alexander Alexeyev (6-39)  Red Deer  WHL

Pos: LD  Ht: 6’4  Wt: 196  Shot: L

Comparison: Matthias Ekholm

We know how well they’ve done with Russian kids.  Its not just Ovechkin, not just Kuznetsov, Alex Semin (even though he washed out in the league), Orlov, Varlamov, Ilya Samsonov has stayed on course thus far, they’ve had tremendous success with Russian kids.  They also have gone to the WHL for a lot of recent picks, and I’d suggest the need here for them is more so on the blueline.  So with this said, I love Alexeyev to go to the Caps.  But like anyone else down here, they could go a million different ways.  I spoke about how well they’ve done with Russians and two that I LOVE in this range are Kirill Marchenko and Ivan Morozov.  There’s three other Western Canadian D-men in this range too in Jet Woo, Jacob Bernard-Docker and Calen Addison.  Or maybe its a kid they feel has fallen like a Ryan McLeod.  It is a total guessing game at this point.

Other Options: Kirill Marchenko, Calen Addison


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