2015 NHL Mock Draft

0121-draft15

Every year, everybody
and their dog post a mock draft on their hockey blog and swear theirs is the
best. Then, the NHL Draft actually starts and it all ends up looking nothing like any of the
mock drafts, because the draft itself is wacky and unpredictable. Nonetheless,
mock drafts a lot of fun to read and really amp up the anticipation to the real
thing.

Like every year, I made one of my own. Last year, I nailed the Top 7 (woo), got 9 of the Top 10, and 26 of my projected first rounders ended up going in the Top 30, with two of them (Brendan Lemieux [31] and Ivan Barbashev [33]) being selected in the Top 33, so I’d like to think my mock draft isn’t total crap.

Methodology

You’ve got to approach these in some way other than Best Player Available (which is the method most teams employ at the actual draft) because then it would just be a simple prospect ranking with team names attached to them. 

So, I combined Future Considerations’ rankings, with a little bit of personal preference and with what each team needs in their system – and to a lesser extent on their actual NHL roster – to determine whom they make select. It’s still a total crap shoot, but it was a lot of fun to make. 

To try and eliminate as much bias I could, I avoided reading any other mock drafts – because there are a ton – with the exception of mynhldraft.com because I like checking it throughout the year. As a result, you may see some crazier picks than in other places, but that too adds to the fun of it all. 

All the scouting reports are courtesy of EliteProspects (who each player’s name is linked to) unless otherwise specified.

So, without further ado, here’s how I see the 2015 NHL Draft shaking down.


1.nhl_edm_logo

Connor McDavid – C

Why: Not much in the way of explanation needed here. Best player in the draft may even be an understatement, seeing as some believe McDavid could be the best player in the NHL soon enough. Regardless, the Oilers may finally have the piece it takes to right their dreadful ship.

Scouting Report: “A generational talent, Connor McDavid is a catalyst for positive plays in all three zones. Thinks the game analytically and recognizes scoring chances before they have even happened. Blessed with good size and an elite-level skillset, which includes nimble skating and deft puckhandling. All-in-all, a dominant center with all of the will, power, and intangibles to become a successful hockey luminary.”

NHL Arrival Time: 2015/16


2.  SABRES+LOGO+NEW+2010

Jack Eichel – C

Why: Tim Murray will have to try and not sound disappointed again as he drafts what could be the second generational player in this draft. If McDavid wasn’t McDavid, it would be Jack Eichel getting all the hoopla and praise. Fact is, Jack Eichel is going to be a superstar in his own right, and a staple on the Sabres top line for decades. 

Scouting Report: “When Jack Eichel is on the ice, the pace of the play shifts; if players can’t keep up, they are left behind. A consistent scoring threat on the ice, Eichel possesses next-level hockey-IQ, an elite-level skillset, and the natural size and work ethic to let him play his role as a scoring power center. All-in-all, Jack Eichel is that uncontainable, dynamic center that can make other players look out of place in his wake.”

NHL Arrival Time: 2015/16


3. Arizona_Coyotes.svg

Dylan Strome – C

Why: A freshly minted rebuilding plan calls for a new number one centerman. Martin Hanzal would look much better as the number two, or even three centerman in Arizona, and adding a elite offensive talent like Strome helps that cause. He may not be ready for NHL duty just yet, but he’s certainly worth the wait. Having Strome in the middle of Max Domi and Anthony Duclair is enough to make all 17 Coyote fans drool. 

Scouting Report: “A competitive offensive dynamo in nature, Dylan Strome possesses the technical skills and the intangible traits that differentiate leaders from followers. He makes his own luck; no number that shows up beside his name on the score sheet is handed to him on a silver platter. He consistently showcases the size and speed to attack and break through the opposition defense, and always knows where his linemates are in relativity to his position. Possesses a hard, accurate release on his shot, which he is never afraid to use. All-in-all, Dylan Strome is a player who wants to win more than anybody else, a person who takes it upon himself to do everything he can to help his team win, and a leader who provides his team with the motivation and will that it takes to win.”

NHL Arrival Time: 2015/16 or 2016/17


4. 159574a

Mitch Marner – C

Why: The Leafs have a lot of the London Knights’ management team, so they have a pretty good idea of what Marner is about, internally. With Kessel, Lupul and Kadri almost surely out the door, the Leafs will soon be thirsting for skill in their lineup – which Marner brings an abundance of. While taking one of the defenseman is tempting, things will soon be much more dire upfront than the backend, with Gardiner and Reilly still yet to hit their primes. Whoever is picked here better be comfortable with rocking a crown though, because they’ll be anointed Prince Saviour the second they’re selected. I hope they don’t rush him, because Marner really does have star potential, with proper nurturing. 

Scouting Report: “A dynamic offensive forward that backchecks hard and establishes his presence through playing smart, puck-possession hockey. A very quick skater gifted with great hands and hockey sense. Battles hard in all three zones and shows a willingness to do whatever it takes to get the puck to the back of the net; an unselfish player. Embodies the definition of a dynamic number-generating machine who makes the players around him better.”

NHL Arrival Time: 2015/16 or 2016/17


5. carolina-hurricanes.jpg

Mikko Rantanen – RW

Why: This is a tough one. While the Hurricanes need help on defence in the NHL and in their system, they’re even more bare at RW. We’re talking bone-dry, butt naked bare. Rantanen already has parts of 3 Liiga seasons under his belt and is at NHL size right now. A guy like Noah Hanifin would be a good fit too, but with the Haydn Fluery selection last year, the Hurricanes can afford to address another screaming need with the 5th overall pick. 

Scouting Report: “An exceptionally talented playmaker and always a consistent threat on the ice; Rantanen is a combination of elite-level hockey sense, silky smooth hands, and nimble skating. Needs to improve his shot and physical play, as he doesn’t take advantage of his size in many situations. All-in-all, an intelligent, big-bodied forward that oozes skill.”

NHL Arrival Time: 2015/16 or 2016/17


6.  New_Jersey_Devils_logo.svg

Mathew Barzal – C

Why: With a log jam of talented defenseman available, the Devils can’t bring themselves to oversaturate their blueline depth even more. They’ve been desperate for skill upfront for years since Parise and Kovalchuk left, and have been drafting defenseman after defenseman ever since. Well, not anymore. Mat Barzal is that super skilled forward Devils fans have been dreaming about. With Travis Zajac not getting any younger, make room for the next generation in New Jersey. 

Scouting Report: “Matthew Barzal is an offensive forward with very good skating abilities. Has tremendous puck-handling and is poised with the puck, while looking for the perfect pass-option using his strong vision. Owns an excellent wrist shot with a remarkable release. Barzal reads the plays well, looking for interceptions and is not afraid to block shots, playing a reliable two-way game. A complete player with strong hockey sense.”

NHL Arrival Time: 2016/17  


7.  Philadelphia

Noah Hanifin – D

Why: Happy Flyers fans are happy. Philadelphia has a wealth of young defensive prospects, but they can add a legitimate blue-chipper to the lot with Noah Hanifin. He’s everything Flyer fans have been crying for: Great size, tremendous on both sides of the puck, would look damn good in orange. I’m happy for you, Philly. You’ve got yourself a gem. Kimmo Timonen out, Noah Hanifin in. The circle of life is a beautiful thing.

Scouting Report: “A dynamic two-way defenseman that has no holes in his game. An exceptionally strong skater who isn’t afraid to take the puck himself and move it up-ice. The confidence that he has in his abilities lets him thrive under heightened competitive levels. The skilled defenseman’s undeniably high level of hockey sense is showcased whenever he touches the puck in the offensive zone. Defensively, he is aggressive, constantly pushing for puck possession and a quick transition to offense, but at the same time steadfast, reliable, and patient. He is poised beyond his years and mature in his decision making. All-in-all, Noah Hanifin is the ideal all-around defenseman that leaves no area of his game untended.”

NHL Arrival Time: 2015/16 


8.  Columbus08

Ivan Provorov – D

Why: The Blue Jackets had been looking for a defenseman long before Mike Reilly stiffed armed them to continue his duties as quarterback of the Edmonton Eskimos (I’ve got the right Mike Reilly, right?), and are gifted a likely NHL ready blueliner with the 8th overall pick. Provorov will fill the void left by James Wisniewski and aid the scrappy Blue Jackets greatly in their battle back to the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Scouting Report: “An offensively gifted defenceman who can direct the game’s pace when the puck is on his stick. Provorov is a quick and agile skater with an accurate release on his shot, which he can get off anywhere below the blue line; creates many chances on the power play and can even create offense during the penalty kill. Is an adroit and creative passer who knows how to use his teammates well. All-in-all, a complete defenceman who knows how goals are scored and executes accordingly.”

NHL Arrival Time: could be 2015/16, 2016/17 at the latest  


9. San Jose08

Zach Werenski – D

Why: The Sharks’ prospect base has a lot of glaring holes, but none bigger than the one at defence. Werenski will be the crown jewel is San Jose’s system, and will arrive in the NHL surrounded by the likes of Marc-Eduard Vlasic, Brent Burns and Brendan Dillon – quite the supporting cast. The Sharks’ front end needs a face-lift, but Werenski is too good to pass up. 

Scouting Report: “A smooth-skating, puck-moving defenceman that has a strong understanding of the game. Excels in key situations and is able to execute under pressure. Possesses good vision and awareness on the ice; uses his abilities to put offensive and defensive pressure on the opposition. All-in-all, a very strong all-around defenceman that consistently brings his game every night.”

NHL Arrival Time: could be NHL ready by 2016/17, but may finish school (has 3 years left)


10. Colorado

Oliver Kylington – D

Why: The Avs gets stiffed out of the Top 3 blueliners, but take the gamble on the uber skilled Swede. The Avalanche blueline is suffering greatly and without many options coming up through the system, it’s imperative they go defence with the 10th overall pick. If Kylington reaches potential though, this Avalanche team just went from scary, to absolutely petrifying. 

Scouting Report: “A smart two-way defenseman, who has tremendous feeling for the game and reads the plays well. Oliver Kylington is only average sized, but lets you forget the missing inches with his hockey sense, his strong vision and remarkable skating abilities. Owns a good shot from the blue-line and combined with this very good puck- and passing-skills, he can guide a power-play and the team’s offensive game to success.”

NHL Arrival Time: 2016/17 or 2017/18


11. Florida 

Timo Meier – RW

Why: The Panthers have good depth at just about every position in their system, so they go with best player available. Meier is a personal favourite of our own Kent Wilson, and owns great numbers to go along with the glowing scouting reports. This is sure to garner cheers from the 7 Panther fans in attendance on Friday. 

Scouting Report: “A physically dominant winger with the ability to play in a skill or character role. In the offensive end, Meier is very aware and gets himself into spaces where he can easily make seeing eye passes or snap hard, accurate shots. Can impact the game in a number of different ways, and is very consistent in his efforts. All-in-all, the kind of versatile player that you can put on a skill line, and trust to create dangerous chances, or on a shutdown line, and trust to help stop pucks from going into your net.”

NHL Arrival Time: 2016/17 or 2017/18


12. Dallas-13-pres

Jeremy Roy – D

Why: Dallas’ defence was their one glaring weakness this year, with an especially glaring lack of puck moving presence. Jeremy Roy checks all the boxes for the Stars, who don’t have much in the way blueline depth on the farm either. This is one of those picks that just makes sense. Might be considered a reach by some, but there many around the league really high on Roy.

Scouting Report: “Jeremy Roy is a gifted two-way defenceman that establishes his presence on the ice through playing authoritative hockey, with and without the puck. His absolute and total awareness of other players’ positions on the ice is a testament to his incredible knowledge of the game. Roy possesses the intangibles of maturity and character that can’t be taught, as well as the individual skill that turns heads every time he is on the ice. All-in-all, a highly intelligent defenceman that plays high-percentage hockey and is a catalyst for positive plays in all three zones.”

NHL Arrival Time: 2016/17 or 2017/18


13. Los-Angeles-11-pres.gif

Kyle Connor – C

Why: Center depth has been a staple strength of the LA Kings over the course of their playoff dominance the past few years, but there really isn’t much in the way of a succession plan in place. Enter, Kyle Connor. With Jarrett Stoll’s sinus’ snorting away the rest of his career, there may be an opening for Connor sooner rather than later, depending on how he chooses to handle his college career. 

Scouting Report: “A dynamic two-way center with speed and creativity to burn. Consistently displays elite-level skating ability, and an astonishing top speed. Sees the ice very well and is constantly looking to either score or make a player; the confidence he has in his abilities lets him do things with the puck that other players wouldn’t even try. Skillful puckhandling skills, paired with a deceptively accurate shot, make him a lethal scoring threat. His will to compete and, ultimately, win fuels his defensive game; he tracks the puck well and creates a lot of turnovers. All-in-all, a highly skilled, proactive center that can dominate in all three zones.”

NHL Arrival Time: Starts 4 year college degree in the fall, depends when/if he leaves college.


14. Boston08

Lawson Crouse – LW

Why: Cam Neely said the Bruins need to get back to being the Bruins, which either makes a lot of sense to you, or absolutely no sense. Basically, he wants Boston be the BigBadBruinsCo. again, and Lawson Crouse fits that bill. He plays hard, hits hard, and his hard to play against. Those three characteristics are the not what you ideally want to identify as a top prospects best traits, but they are for Crouse and it’s what the Bruins have said they want. 

Scouting Report: “A big-bodied power winger with the ability to physically dominate, making him a prominent forechecking presence every night. Possesses good hands that can be used to make crisp passes or to let loose accurate, NHL-level shots; paired with his strength and skating ability, his skill set allows him to contribute offensively, as well as create space for teammates.”

NHL Arrival Time: 2016/17 or 2017/18


15. Calgary

Travis Konecny – C/RW

Why: (I swear I made this pick before Ryan published this.) The Flames have said they’re taking best player available at 15, but they have a need at RW, and factor character and hockey IQ greatly into their drafting. Well, Travis Konecny checks off all the boxes, minus Burke’s desire for size. Konecny stands only 5’10, but plays with a desire similar to Sam Bennett’s – he’ll go through all of the walls to win. Konency comes advertised as a center/wing, meaning coming out of junior he’s already comfortable playing both positions, and the Flames showed a liking to stacking their lines with multiple centerman in the event the de facto faceoff taker is kicked out of the draw. If the Flames can get over his stature, Travis Konecny is the perfect fit in Calgary.

Scouting Report: “A talented scoring forward that can play either as a center or on the wing; plays with the bite and intensity of a guy who is willing to do anything to win a game. Possesses dynamic skating ability that allows him to accelerate rapidly with each step, incredible hockey sense, electrifying puckhandling skills, and a lightning release on his shot; when you put this skillset together with hard-nosed determination, proactiveness in all three zones, and a physical willingness to grind and persevere, you get a game-changer who can be extremely difficult to play against.”

NHL Arrival Time: 2016/17 or 2017/18


16. Edmonton

Thomas Chabot – D

Why: This one is a case of BPA and need rolled into one. The defence depth in the Oilers system has increased of late, but with Martin Marincin reportedly on the block, it could thin out considerably (if you consider him a prospect, still.) Chabot has risen quickly in the rankings, similar to Travis Sanheim last year, and makes for a nice encore to the Connor McDavid selection. 

Scouting Report: “A quick-thinking two-way defenseman that is able to make fast decisions and help his team whenever he is on the ice. Possesses excellent mobility and has good individual puck skills; can catch the opposition off guard with his speed. All-in-all, a player who strives to be better with every shift, staying a student of the game. Has the potential to flourish into a very reliable all-around defenseman that can eat up minutes.”

NHL Arrival Time: 2017/18


17. Winnipeg-11-pres.gif

Jakub Zboril – D

Why: Another case of BPA, the Jets have amassed a wealth of prospects since their move from Atlanta, and pocket another quality one in Jakub Zboril. Coincidentally, the Jets prospect base is rather bare on defence, with Josh Morrissey the only bluechip resident, so adding the big Czech is a satisfying grab for the Jets. 

Scouting Report: “Jakub Zboril is a smart, fleet-footed two-way defenseman that plays to his strengths in all three areas of the ice. While he doesn’t aim to impress, he does all of the little things right and plays with an edge. The neutral zone is his launching pad: he is able to take off into the offensive end, or backcheck quickly into his own end. Very sound positionally. Smooth skater with lots of energy to burn. Not afraid to lay the body, or take a hit to make the play; can and will stand up for teammates. Possesses good hands and awareness on the ice, as well as a hard shot that is quite accurate. All-in-all, a complete defenseman that is relied upon to offset any oncoming attacks, as well as create chances in the opposing end.”

NHL Arrival Time: 2017/18


18. Ottawa08

Nick Merkley – C

Why: The Senators are in dire need of a Top 6 forward, and Merkley projects as such. Sure, not immediately, but the Senators system won’t complain to add thus blue-chipper to the pile. He’s a solid offensive contributor with an exceptional work ethic, and while a little undersized, it seems to be less of an issue in today’s NHL.

Scouting Report: “A playmaking center that has an excellent eye for the game; sees the ice like a hawk from above. Creates scoring chances and on-ice energy through taking advantage of puck-possession and making the most of turnovers. Incredible work ethic; will battle against larger players and isn’t afraid to do the dirty work in front of the net. Does not possess the largest frame or a dynamic level of skating; however, he does boast a remarkably high level of Hockey-IQ and a deep understanding of the game. There is something left to be desired having observed his individual skills, such as puckhandling, footspeed, and decision-making, for a prolonged period of time; there is definitely room for improvement in the small areas of his game. All-in-all, Merkley brings a medley of skill, smarts, and work ethic to the table, making him an invaluable asset as a Center.”

NHL Arrival Time: 2017/18


19. Detroit

Joel Eriksson Ek – C

Why: The Red Wings drafting a Swede who needs some time to mature and develop but could turn into a really solid hockey player? No way! Eriksson Ek (who I hope drops the ‘Eriksson’ and goes as Joel Ek which is badass) projects as second line centerman, but not for a while. He needs some seasoning, and no one is better at seasoning their prospects than Detroit. 

Scouting Report: “A very competitive center who uses his size, skill, and skating to power to the net and create scoring chances. Possesses an elite-level shot, great vision, and slick puckhandling skills; as a result, it’s no surprise that he has a natural knack for scoring big goals. Offensive catalyst, but also defensively responsible. Plays a creative, 200-foot game. All-in-all, an intelligent, scoring center that is productive at both ends of the ice.”

NHL Arrival Time: 2017/18 


20. Minnesota

Evgeni Svechnikov – LW

Why: Minnesota’s system is screaming for a high skill, bluechip forward since it graduated Mikael Granlund. Enter Evgeni Svechinkov. Svechnikov at full potential playing with the group of forwards Minnesota has assembled is terrifying.  

Scouting Report: “Incredibly skilled offensive winger. Has a remarkably accurate shot to go along with some magic hands. Could be better defensively, but his game is based around his acute sense of what is happening on the ice in the offensive zone. All-in-all, a deadly player who possesses good size, elite-level skill, and smooth skating.”

NHL Arrival Time: 2016/2017 or 2017/18 


21. Buffalo-10-pres

Pavel Zacha – C

Why: Zacha was rated much higher than this, so Sabres go with BPA and grab the toolsy centerman. My biggest faller, for the simple reason he didn’t produce enough offence this year to fit the “offensive dynamo” label some are sticking on him. 

Scouting Report: “Pavel Zacha is an offensively dynamic center with the size, speed, and skill to make a significant impact on the game. He can play physical, but is at his best when using his high-end offensive abilities, such as his shot, stickhandling, and footspeed, to generate numbers in the opposition’s end of the ice. All-in-all, Zacha is a lethal weapon that can be depended upon to create, and finish, dangerous scoring chances whenever he is on the ice.”

NHL Arrival Time: 2016/2017 or 2017/18 


22. Washington08

Colin White – C

Why: On a team full of “sexy” players, there’s nothing sexy about this pick. Might be one of the safest picks in draft, as White projects as second or third line centerman.

Scouting Report: “A prolific scoring threat, Colin White is a strong 3-zone player with an eye for scoring chances. Thinks the game at a high level and always seeks to make an impact on the ice, with or without the puck. Never seems to be outbodied and is an exceptional skater. Puck-possession is definitely a strength. All-in-all, a skilled, 200-foot player that does all of the little things right and is able to make a large impact on the game and its outcome.”

NHL Arrival Time: Starts 4 year college degree in the fall, depends when/if he leaves college.


23. Vancouver08

Jacob Larsson – D

Why: Canucks prospect desperately needs some sort of defensive presence, and the Canucks reach a bit to grab a Swede that looks similar to their very own Alex Edler.

Scouting Report: “Larsson is very smart and poised and makes plays under pressure. A very good passer who gives you the puck in good time. Doesn’t pass along his problems and finds good options when he has the puck. His skating is solid and he maneuvers well to gain strong defensive positioning and to take advantage offensively. Ideally suited to today’s NHL.” – Craig Button

NHL Arrival Time: 2017/18 or 2018/2019 


24. Toronto

Gabriel Carlsson – D

Why: Leafs go for the classic forward-defenseman combo with their first rounders, taking a shutdown giant who has risen in the ranking significantly recently. 

Scouting Report: “Gabriel is a big, mobile defenceman who can defend and take up space. Very smart in his positioning and makes good, clean outlet passes. His game is based on having a real good base of defending and ensuring his team can close down the opponents’ cycle and exit the defensive zone quickly and efficiently. Lots of projection but potential is very good.” – Craig Button

NHL Arrival Time: 2017/18 or 2018/2019


25. Winnipeg-11-pres.gif

Vince Dunn – D

Why: Jets go with their second defenseman of the 1st round, reaching a bit on Vince Dunn to secure his excellent offensive toolset. With Morrissey, Zboril and Dunn all Jets property to go with their loaded arsenal of young forwards, the Jets sport one of the best prospect bases in all of hockey. 

Scouting Report: “An offensive defenceman that sees the ice well and makes high-percentage plays. Very mobile, poised with the puck, and actively joins the rush. Is great with his stick; possesses a good shot and makes seamless tape-to-tape passes. Not the biggest body, but can out-work bigger opponents for puck possession. All-in-all, an offensive defenceman who will thrive in a system where puck possession is key.”

NHL Arrival Time: 2017/18 or 2018/2019


26. Montreal

Jansen Harkins – C

Why: A rangy scorer with good work ethic and drive, the Canadiens don’t do anything fancy, taking the BPA in Jansen Harkins. 

Scouting Report: “An offensive defenceman that sees the ice well and makes high-percentage plays. Very mobile, poised with the puck, and actively joins the rush. Is great with his stick; possesses a good shot and makes seamless tape-to-tape passes. Not the biggest body, but can out-work bigger opponents for puck possession. All-in-all, an offensive defenceman who will thrive in a system where puck possession is key.”

NHL Arrival Time: 2017/18 or 2018/2019


 27. Anaheim2

Brock Boeser – RW

Why: A rugged winger who play “Ducks hockey”, owns a wicked wrist shot. He’ll have plenty of time to develop in a loaded Ducks system.

Scouting Report: “A dynamic offensive winger and natural goal scorer. Has great instincts and is able to quickly get into position for premium scoring chances; possesses an accurate release on his shot which he can get off in the blink of an eye. He always knows where his linemates are, and is a great passer; that being said, his individual puck possession play is incredible and sets him apart as an offensive player. He will need to work on defensive zone coverage and a slew of small details such as board battles, but Brock Boeser has a ton of elite-level scoring potential due to the way he can read, make, and finish plays.”

NHL Arrival Time: 2017/18 or 2018/2019


28. Tampa-11-pres.gif

Daniel Sprong – RW

Why: Yzerman has proved time and time again he’s not afraid to go for the big boom or big bust player – in fact he built a Stanley Cup contender with them – and that’s exactly what Sprong represents. Sky high upside, but the higher you are, the harder you fall. 

Scouting Report: “A prolific scoring winger who possesses an elite-level skillset: has dynamic skating ability, is a creative passer, and has incredible puckhandling ability. While he is offensively dominant, he is also defensively responsible. A very hard working player who strives to improve all aspects of his game. Absolutely electric.”

NHL Arrival Time: 2017/18 or 2018/2019


 29. Philadelphia

Jake DeBrusk – LW

Why: Son of former NHLer Louie DeBrusk, Jake is as natural a goalscorer as you’ll find in the draft. Flyers may have themselves a future trigger man. 

Scouting Report: “A two-way winger with good mobility and scoring ability. Willing to battle in the dirty areas and can always find the puck and make the smart play below the hashmarks. Shows good creativity and deception with the puck. Good individual skills and makes good use of any time and space found. DeBrusk won’t beat you up physically, but he can definitely beat you up on the scoreboard. All-in-all, a competitive two-way winger with the natural goal scorer’s instincts.”

NHL Arrival Time: 2017/18 or 2018/2019


30. Arizona_Coyotes.svg

Jeremy Bracco – C/RW

Why: Coyotes are rebuilding and need as many assets as they garner. Bracco is one of the smaller players in the draft, but has elite level skill. A Johnny Gaudreau-lite perhaps?

Scouting Report: “Bracco has great confidence with the puck and he’s looking to make plays and break defences when he has it.  He can make pinpoint passes in traffic and through sticks and skates. He could shoot more and become a greater threat in that regard. He has good agility but improving his explosiveness quickness would make him that much more dynamic.” – Craig Button

NHL Arrival Time: Starts 4 year college degree in the fall, depends when/if he leaves college.


Thanks for reading, I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions in the comments. Here’s to another great draft this Friday and Saturday. 

  • Byron Bader

    Despite Bennett being ranked as the best forward available last year the Flames got him with the 4th pick and you were dead on, Christian. So you have my trust. Welcome to Calgary, Konecny.

  • SmellOfVictory

    This draft is so deep its crazy, love it.

    Although McDavid is clearly the number 1 consensus.. it’s interesting that players like Eichel, Zacha, Hanifin and Barzal were all once considered potential first overall picks in this years draft.

  • Christian Roatis

    Christian have you done the 2nd round?
    Here is my short list for the Flames and I would prefer 2 defenders.

    45/52/53:
    F: Alexander Dergachyov (С 6’4” 200 L), Denis Guryanov (RW/LW,6’2” 190 L), Christian Fischer (RW/C 6’ 212 R), Jack Roslovic (C/RW 6’1” 190 R), Zachary Senyshyn (RW 6’1”190 R), Nicolas Roy (C 6’3”185 R)
    or
    D: Gabriel Carlsson (D 6’4” 180 L), Oliver Kylington (D 6’ 180 L), Jacob Larsson (D 6’2” 190 L), Rasmus Andersson (D 6’2” 210”R), Ryan Pilon (D 6’2” 205 L), Guillaume Brisebois (D 6’2 180 L), Matt Spencer (D 6’2” 203 R) and Meloche if he falls this far but I doubt it.

    • Christian Roatis

      No, I don’t do 2nd round mocks because it just gets far too messy and unpredictable.

      It’s fun to try and guess and identify players teams would like, but I just don’t think there’s much value in doing it because lists start looking drastically different by that point.

      • Christian Roatis

        I understand but do you an opinion on what the draft looks like between 40-60 where the Flames have 3 picks that could ultimately shape the success of this draft for them.

        Personally I doubt that the Flames can move up or get another first rounder but am hopeful they can try and move up in the 2nd round. The teams I would target are Columbus with 34 and 38 along with Arizona which has 2 firsts and 32 I think. Listening to BT talk a week ago in sure sounded like the 2nd was thick with talent especially on the back end.

      • Christian Roatis

        Yes very true. A few guys I’d really like in the second round include Jack Roslovic, Parker Wotherspoon, Guryanov (if he slips that far, he’s worth a gamble. After the Russian Scout Series I don’t want him anywhere near 15), Filip Chaplik, Vande Sompel, Siegenthaler, Kovacs and in the third round, I’d love me some Dymtro Timashov.

        • everton fc

          I like Roslovic, Guryanov and Siegenthaler, who may be on Hartley’s radar based on the Swiss connection.

          If Guryanov’s available when our first pick in the second comes up, you have to take him. Not as big a risk with another pick right behind it. He could become an elite player. Or, he could be a bust. You never do know, but I’d roll the dice on him before I would have rolled the dice on Jankowski. Anyday, all day.

          If Roslovic can be converted to RW, he’d be quite a fetch in the 2nd round.

          And if Tim McGauley’s around in the 3rd, I’d have a look.

  • JMK

    Report/rumor is ROR is asking the avs for 60 mill for 8 yrs… avs might be forced to trade

    ROR is a good player but wow a 60 point player at that much. I do understand he is a possesion monster but comparing to backlund and factoring in twice the salary no thanks for me.

  • JMK

    With Treliving and Burke bringing up “size” within most press visits and the incessant talk of bowing out to Anaheim because of their ‘biggerness,’ (not a real quote) I don’t think Konecny or Merkley put on the red C on Friday.

    Assuming Meier, Zacha, Crouse, Barzal, Connor and Rantanen are gone, I expect that the Flames take a hard look at Svechnikov prior to Konecny: he’s just finished his first CHL year, wants to play in NA, and has some outstanding stats (particularly at even strength and without allstar linemates); even with a supposed leg injury this year. Plus played between C and RW this year apparently.

    And he’s bigger.

  • everton fc

    I actually don’t see Shanahan necessarily moving either Kessel or Kadri. Why not see how both do under Babcock?

    And I know I’ll get universal thumbs down here, but a team with a good, inspirational coaching staff and veteran leadership in “the room” might be a good fit for Kessel, as he won’t have to be “the guy”. If the Leafs would eat 1.5mill/yr. of that whacked-out contract, Kessel is certainly worth 6.5mill/season, regardless of his “challenges”.

    Also with the Devils and Isles (and Rangers) somewhat “thick” with d-men, I wonder if we could work a trade with any of them for one or two good young defencive prospects? Also, if he’s available with our first pick in Round 2, I’d grab Guryanov. He’s big. Skilled. Plays with an edge, and wants to play in the NHL. He’s also a RW. Svechnikov is also a big kid who plays hard. If all the big guys are gone at 15, the big wings… Svechnikov may be worth a look.

    Kylington/Roy/Chabot all still interest me. Vince Dunn, as well, but only if he falls to the 2nd Round, which probably doesn’t happen, though the Devils “Nation” site, which has some knowledgeable fans posting there, says he might, due to “defencive deficiencies that need to be ironed out”.

    • Big Ell

      Has Guryanov (Gurianov?sp) stated clearly that he wants to play in the NHL?

      If so, there’s an argument to take him at 15 if he’s available. If he’s been real clear and dedicated to letting people know that, very doubtful that he makes it to our second round pick.

      Images of the next Tarasenko dancing in GMs heads and all that, probably (justified or not).

      • everton fc

        I think he has; trying to find proof. Will post, if found.

        He’a a bit of a risky pick in the first round, but no so much as Jankowski, which still boggles this fans mind. The risk is two-fold; will he come over here, and when? I’d like to see the Flames draft people very close to “ready”. Some of the other big guys mentioned – forwards, and perhaps one or two of the d-men – are either “ready”, or very close. Guryanov is only 18. And I don’t know who owns his rights, all that on the other end in Russia.

        But he’s certainly an interesting “concept”.

    • Big Ell

      I have this recurring fantasy where somehow he screws up drafting McDavid:

      He signs Hamilton to an offer sheet.. and somewhere in the CBA they have to surrender there first overall pick in compensation.. Or he steps up to the podium and has a heart attack mid-sentence and wheezes “Edmonton Oilers are proud to select Heeeehaaaafnn”

      • Big Ell

        If he does sign Hamilton to an offer sheet. They are going to be paying McDavid the maximum in three years. Some team will offer sheet McDavid, especially an expansion team.

        I mean if Boston loses Hamilton they should take the the pics. Be mediocre for a year while unloading all their valuable pieces (Chara/Bergeon,Kreijci, Lucic etc) at max. value. Stock up on future pics. Keep Rask and Pasternak, Subban, Spooner etc. Then blast Edmonton with a 12 million x 8 per year deal for McDavid.

        Then see Edmonton match and be stuck with McDavid, Hall and Nuge accounting for a 1/3 of their cap.

    • Christian Roatis

      If he gets past Carolina, that’s where he goes. Someone may very well trade up for him.

      Read that Columbus offered Rychel, Anisimov and 8th overall which is NUTS.

  • KiLLKiND

    Colin White sounds a lot like Backlund and if he goes that low I think Calgary should think about trading down their pick, taking him and making a package for another pick around 24. We could get two 1st round picks in this uber deep draft, and it sounds like we are right at the cut off of players we want. Getting two first round picks means we could afford to take a gamble on Sprong as well as he has elite offensive abilities from what I’ve read and if he turns out it’s an amazing draft. If Sprong dissapoints White should still be solid. and we could probably still have a 2nd and a 3rd, maybe an extra 2nd or 3rd.

  • Derzie

    I have Konecny closer to 45 than 15. At 15 I project we take one of Meier, McGauley, Svechnikov or Beauvillier. My method is to ignore the popular lists and rank based on NHLE only.

    • piscera.infada

      I don’t know. Based on last year, if this organization chose an over-ager who went undrafted twice (McGauly) at 15, people’s heads would explode with anger.

      But that’s fine. Do you, I guess.

    • Derzie

      You should include age in your rankings. McGauley is a third-time eligible.

      Besides, you should have Connor Garland ahead of McGauley anyway. Both younger and better.

  • Was bored so decided to do a mock draft as well (cue the trashes), big prediction is Jackets and Coyotes make a big trade….we’ll see.

    Hope the Flames end up with one of Kylington / Roy / Merkley / White / Konecny

    1 Oilers – Connor McDavid C

    2 Sabres – Jack Eichel C

    3 Blue Jackets (Trade) – Noah Hanifin D

    4 Leafs – Mitch Marner C/RW

    5 Hurricanes – Dylan Strome C

    6 Devils – Matthew Barzal C

    7 Flyers – Ivan Provorov D

    8 Coyotes (Trade) – Zach Werenski D

    9 Sharks – Lawson Crouse LW

    10 Avalanche – Pavel Zacha C

    11 Panthers – Mikko Rantanen RW

    12 Stars – Kyle Connor C

    13 Kings – Timo Meier RW

    14 Bruins – Travis Konecny C

    15 Flames – Oliver Kylington D

    16 Oilers – Jeremy Roy D

    17 Jets – Nick Merkley C/RW

    18 Sens – Jakub Zboril D

    19 Wings – Colin White C/RW

    20 Wild – Evgeny Svechnikov LW

    21 Sabres – Paul Bittner LW

    22 Capitals – Thomas Chabot D

    23 Canucks – Jansen Harkins C

    24 Leafs – Daniel Sprong RW

    25 Jets – Brock Boeser RW

    26 Canadiens – Joel Eriksson Ek C

    27 Ducks – Denis Guryanov RW

    28 Lightning – Brandon Carlo D

    29 Flyers – Jake DeBrusk LW

    30 Coyotes – Jeremy Bracco RW