The NHL Combine has ended, same with the Memorial Cup. Players have made a name for themselves and some have not. The Draft is still 20 days away. There are some new names, and names in new places. Here is look at my second mock draft:
1. Colorado Avalanche: Seth Jones, Defenseman (Portland, WHL)
The Avalanche will take the best player available. Joe Sakic has had his eye on this player since he was a little kid. There is a rumor that the Avs might amazingly trade away this pick, Jones is the best player available, the most athletic and a complete defenseman.
2. Florida Panthers: Nathan McKinnon, Center (Halifax, QMJHL)
McKinnon and Co. did defeat Jones in the Memorial Cup, showing that he can step up his game. He will be a great complement to newcomer Jonathan Huberdreau. McKinnon has a competitive edge that Dale Tallon is looking for.
3. Tampa Bay Lightning: Jonathan Drouin, Left Wing (Halifax, QMJHL)
Some scouts believe he is the best skill-player in the draft. He is the man with the last second goal to win the Memoria Cup. He has amazing hands and would be the ideal replacement for Martin St. Louis, once he decides to retire, they possess the same skill set.
4. Nashville Predators: Aleksander Barkov, Center (Tappara, Finland)
He will give the immediate scoring that the Predators need. He is arguably the best power forward in this class and has proved he can play with the big boys on the international stage. Not only do the Preds need offense, they need offense up the middle.
5. Carolina Hurricanes: Valeri Nichuskin, Left Wing, (Cherlyabinsk, Russia)
Some scouts believe he is the best player in the draft. Some GM’s are afraid of this prospect because he is still under contract with the KHL for two more years. But at the combine Valeri said that his team voided his contract and can sign with his team. He wants to either play in the NHL or go back to the KHL, he will not got to the AHL first. He is an Evgeni Malkin clone.
6. Calgary Flames: Sean Monahan, Center (Ottawa, OHL)
Calgary needs players with impact on the offensive zone. Monahan is just that, when he was the best player on a terrible Ottawa 67s team. He still put up huge numbers with the defense keying him. Calgary will love this player.
7. Edmonton Oilers: Darnell Nurse, Defenseman (Sault St. Marie, OHL)
He is a highly competitive defenseman that will complement newcomer Justin Schultz. Unlike Schultz, he is more of a defensive defenseman, but has the offensive prowess to help out in the zone. The team needs back-end help to complement their young offensive guns.
8. Buffalo Sabres: Ryan Poulock, Defenseman (Brandon, WHL)
A physical D-man with a powerful shot and a physical presence. The Sabres have many need areas, so they will most likely take the best player available.
9. New Jersey Devils: Hunter Shinkaruk, Center/Left Wing (Medicine Hat, WHL)
An undersized forward with great offensive skill, think Zach Parise and Brian Gionta. The Devils have a bunch of help on D, they need to score a little more, and Shinkrauk can do that for the Devils.
10. Dallas Stars: Elias Lindholm, Center (Byrnas, Sweden)
New GM Jim Nill would love this prospect to fall to them at 10. People believe that he is another Niklas Backstrom, but needs to get bigger in the weight room.
11. Philadelphia Flyers: Zach Fucale, Goalie (Halifax, QMJHL)
The man who backstopped Halifax to the Memorial Cup, the Flyers need a goalie with Ilya Bryzgalov’s future uncertain. Philadelphia needs a goalie who does nothing but win. He could be in the NHL soon for the Flyers.
12. Phoenix Coyotes: Anthony Mantha, Right Wing (Val-d’-Or, QMJHL)
He posted 50 goals this season and would go to a team that would love to have his skill. He has the potential to be a high-impact forward. Dave Tippet, if he stays, needs a player like Mantha.
13. Winnipeg Jets: Max Domi, Center/Left Wing (London OHL)
Son of Tie Domi, showed up big in the playoffs, he is undersized but makes up for it many ways. The Jets were close to the Playoffs last year, and with their young crop, Domi could fit right in.
14. Columbus Blue Jackets: Ryan Hartman, Right Wing (Plymouth, OHL)
Tough player, who did get hurt towards the end of the season, is a deceptively good offensive player and packs a toughness that is needed for the Blue Jackets.
15. New York Islanders: Bo Horvat, Center (London, OHL)
This guy made a name for himself in playoffs, and he did the same thing at the NHL Combine. Imagine him joining John Tavares and newcomers Ryan Strome and Co, the Islanders could be even better.
16. Buffalo Sabres (Via Minnesota Wild): Adam Erne, Left Wing (Quebec, QMJHL):
A high-octane Jeff Skinner-type player. The Sabres have needs on all facets of the game. They already got the defenseman and now they get their offensive need in the draft.
17. Ottawa Senators: Kerby Rychel, Left Wing (Windsor, OHL):
The one thing the Ottawa Senators need is goals, and he had 40 this season. He plays with an edge to his offensive game, and this is something that will fit in well with the Sens and coach Paul McLean.
18. Detroit Red Wings: Frederick Gauthier, Center (Rimouski, QMJHL)
He is a player that plays the two-way game that coach Mike Babcock loves. If there is a team that can scout and get great players, at any point in the draft, it has been the Red Wings. They do not have much need, so they will take the player that best fits their system, Gauthier is that.
19. Columbus Blue Jackets (Via New York Rangers): Alexander Wennberg, (Djurgarden, Sweden)
New GM Jarmo Kekalainen should have a edge with scouting European talent. Alex possess a high-finesse game that could help the Blue Jackets.
20. San Jose Sharks: Rasmus Ristolainen, Defenseman (TPS, Finland)
A huge D-man with great puck-moving skills, which will help the Sharks and their aging blue-line. GM Doug Wilson will be able to get a great pick.
21. Toronto Maple Leafs: Samuel Morin, Defenseman (Rimouski, QMJHL)
a 6’7 defenseman that will add to the depth that the Leafs have on the back-end. The Leafs may go the offensive rout, but this man a risen of late and will be a first round pick.
22. Calgary Flames (Via St. Louis Blues): Mirco Mueller, Defenseman (Everett, WHL)
The Flames get another Swiss prospect who will help the Flames. Mueller played well at the World Junior Championships. The Flames need prospects with upside, Mueller fits that bill.
23. Washington Capitals: Nikita Zadarov, Defenseman (London, OHL)
It is not everyday that a Russian plays juniors in North America. This saves any team having to teach them the North American style of play. A 6’5 man that would help the Caps with an back end that needs help dearly.
24. Vancouver Canucks: Nicolas Petan, Center (Portland, WHL)
He is undersized, but put up 120 points in 70 games. He will fit in nicely with the Canucks and whoever the new coach will be.
25. Montreal Canadiens: Valentin Zykov, Left Wing (Bale-Comeau, QMJHL)
This is the prospect that the Habs want, they have had their eye on him and his 40 goals this season.
26. Anaheim Ducks: Ian MrCoshen, Defenseman (Waterloo, USHL)
He is one of the top US defenseman, and someone that advisor Brian Burke knows really well, with his hands on the US program. The Ducks missed out on Justin Schultz, they shouldn’t miss here.
27. Columbus Blue Jackets (Via Los Angeles Kings): Morgan Klimchuk, Left Wing (Regina, WHL)
This is the third pick for the Jackets, and Morgan had a great WJC. He would be a great addition to their third or fourth line.
28. Calgary Flames (Via Pittsburgh Penguins): Joshua Morissey, Defenseman (Prince Albert, WHL)
Another team with a third pick, a Calgary native who said he would love an opportunity to stay home and help the team rebuild.
29. Dallas Stars (Via Bostons Bruins): Robert Haag, Defenseman (Modo-Jr, Sweden)
A physical player who could score. Will need some time to develop, but could turn heads in the future.
30. Chicago Blackhawks: JT Compher, Center (US-NTDP, USHL)
A smart offensive player who is committed to Michigan. He will only get better playing college, but the Hawks get another great prospect.