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2015 NHL Draft: Mike's Mock Draft

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After doing some homework on the handful of guys I haven't seen or followed this year, I offer up my 2015 mid-season mock. Standings are those prior to games on 11 March.

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NHL TEAM

POS.

PLAYER

CURRENT TEAM

1

Buffalo Sabres

C

Connor McDavid

Erie Otters, OHL

2

Edmonton Oilers

C

Jack Eichel

Boston University, NCAA

3

Arizona Coyotes

C

Dylan Strome

Erie Otters, OHL

4

Toronto Maple Leafs

RW

Mitch Marner

London Knights, OHL

5

Carolina Hurricanes

D

Noah Hanifin

Boston College, NCAA

6

Columbus Blue Jackets

D

Zach Werenski

University of Michigan, NCAA

7

New Jersey Devils

LW

Kyle Connor

Youngstown Phantoms, USHL

8

Philadelphia Flyers

D

Ivan Provorov

Brandon Wheat Kings, WHL

9

Dallas Stars

RW

Mikko Rantanen

TPS, Finland

10

Colorado Avalanche

LW

Lawson Crouse

Kingston Frontenacs, OHL

11

Ottawa Senators

RW

Timo Meier

Halifax Mooseheads, QMJHL

12

Florida Panthers

C

Jansen Harkins

Prince George Cougars, WHL

13

San Jose Sharks

RW

Brock Boeser

Waterloo Black Hawks, USHL

14

Los Angeles Kings

D

Thomas Chabot

Saint John Sea Dogs, QMJHL

15

Calgary Flames

C

Mathew Barzal

Seattle Thunderbirds

16

Winnipeg Jets

C

Nick Merkley

Kelowna Rockets, WHL

17

Boston Bruins

LW

Antony Beauvillier

Shawinigan Cataractes, QMJHL

18

Vancouver Canucks

LW

Paul Bittner

Portland Winterhawks, WHL

19

Minnesota Wild

D

Jakub Zboril

Saint John Sea Dogs, QMJHL

20

Washington Capitals

C

Pavel Zacha

Sarnia Sting, OHL

21

Arizona Coyotes (Chicago)

C

Travis Konecny

Ottawa 67's, OHL

22

Detroit Red Wings

D

Oliver Kylington

AIK, Sweden-2

23

Edmonton Oilers (Pittsburgh)

D

Brandon Carlo

Tri-City Americans, WHL

24

Buffalo Sabres (St. Louis)

RW

Daniel Sprong

Charlottetown Islanders, QMJHL

25

Tampa Bay Lightning (Rangers)

RW

Evgeni Svechnikov

Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, QMJHL

26

Winnipeg Jets (Islanders via Sabres)

D

Jeremy Roy

Sherbrooke Phoenix, QMJHL

27

Philadelphia Flyers (Tampa Bay)

D

Nicolas Meloche

Baie-Comeau Drakkar, QMJHL

28

Anaheim Ducks

LW

Jake Debrusk

Swift Current Broncos, WHL

29

Toronto Maple Leafs (Nashville)

C

Colin White

USNTDP, USHL

30

Montreal Canadiens

C

Filip Chlapik

Charlottetown Islanders, QMJHL


Notes on the picks:

1) Sabres - C Connor McDavid: I don't need to go into any kind of detail here. McDavid is far and away the best available prospect, and has the ability to change the fortunes of the Sabres overnight. Granted, the lottery can potentially lead to another team stealing him from Buffalo, but they've done everything right so far in setting themselves up to draft him.

2) Oilers - C Jack Eichel: In any other year Eichel would be the first pick. Edmonton is chock full of offensive forwards, but there's no way they can pass on Eichel. Drafting him may open up the possibility of them trading one of their incumbent snipers.

3) Coyotes - C Dylan Strome: Arizona has embarked on a rebuild, and Strome is a great player to build around. With the likes of Anthony Duclair and Max Domi already in the organization, the future looks bright at forward for the Coyotes.

4) Maple Leafs - RW Mitch Marner: Though he's not the biggest forward, he's lethal offensively. He leads the OHL in scoring by a wide margin, and would give the rebuilding Leafs a sniper to build around, especially if the expected trade of Phil Kessel takes place.

5) Hurricanes - D Noah Hanifin: The "Canes' prospect pool is not very deep, but consensus top blueliner Hanifin gives Carolina a huge boost on the future blueline. He's a terrific compliment to last season's first rounder Haydn Fleury.

6) Columbus Blue Jackets - D Zach Werenski: Put me in the group that thinks that this season was a blip on the radar, a lost season derailed by injuries. If the Jackets have one down year and can pick up an excellent do-it-all blueliner like Werenski, I can handle that.

7) Devils - LW Kyle Connor: He's flown under the radar a bit due to the fact he's playing in the USHL, but the Michigan commit is currently leading the league in scoring. His offensive talent is needed in New Jersey.

8) Flyers - D Ivan Provorov: Come draft day, Provorov may already be gone due to his continued rise in the rankings, but if he's there Provorov gives the Flyers a much needed boost in the defense pipeline.

9) Stars - RW Mikko Rantanen: Like Provorov, Rantanen has steadily climbed the charts and 9th overall may be too late to snag him. A power forward, he would join the likes of Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, and Valeri Nichuskin to form a pair of lethal scoring duos. If the Jackets decide to go with a forward, he would be an excellent fit in Columbus as well.

10) Avalanche - LW Lawson Crouse: The Avs have a handful of excellent scoring forwards, Crouse would give them a rugged, yet talented complimentary forward who would fit nicely on a line with Gabriel Landeskog.

11) Senators - RW Timo Meier: The defense seems like the right idea here, Meier may be too tempting for the Sens. He plays tough, and puts up major offense. With Mike Hoffman and Mark Stone already seeing NHL duty, Meier gives them another great young forward to build around.

12) Panthers - C Jansen Harkins: A two-way center with passer's hands, Harkins adds to an impressive group of young Florida forwards. He's got NHL bloodlines as well.

13) Sharks - RW Brock Boeser: Boeser is all-offense, all the time. A late riser, the Sharks can be patient with him as he develops at the University of North Dakota.

14) Kings - D Thomas Chabot: Another player who ‘s stock has risen rapidly over the course of the season, Chabot is a two-way blueliner who can help the Kings' blueline, especially given the situation with Slava Voynov.

15) Flames - C Mathew Barzal: A major knee injury this season hurt his draft stock, but going into this year the playmaking forward was considered a top-ten talent. If the Flames can snag the Western boy at 15, it will be considered a steal.

16) Jets - C Nick Merkley: A hard-working center, Merkley joins a cast of talented young forwards in the ‘Peg. He won't "wow" you, but he rarely makes mistakes. Put him on a line with Nikolaj Ehlers and see what happens.

17) Bruins - LW Anthony Beauvillier: An undersized but speedy center, Beauvillier doesn't fit the archaic Bruins mold, but he will give them an offensive boost. He's adept at both scoring and setting up linemates.

18) Canucks - LW Paul Bittner: He's a rugged power forward who reminds me of Scott Hartnell. The Canucks don't exactly get pushed around, but the physical game, combined with offensive ability that Bittner brings is something the Canucks don't really possess right now.

19) Wild - D Jakub Zboril: The Minnesota defense pipeline is not exactly chock-full of exciting prospects, but Zboril can change that. He's a smooth skater who's good with the puck.

20) Capitals - C Pavel Zacha: Here's a player who's seen his stock fall over the course of the season, but he remains a talented offensive forward who can provide secondary scoring for the Caps down the line.

21) Coyotes - C Travis Konecny: I love this kid. He's a near clone of Boone Jenner in that he has offensive talent, does anything to win, and is a born leader. He wears the "C" in Ottawa and would be a great player to add the likes of Strome, Duclair and Domi.

22) Red Wings - D Oliver Kylington: His stock has plummeted this season for various reasons, both on-and-off the ice. If there was a team that could straighten him out and get the most out of his immense talent, it's the Red Wings.

23) Oilers - D Brandon Carlo: A huge, defense-first blueliner that fills a glaring organizational need. He makes smart plays and would fit in well as a future defense partner for Darnell Nurse.

24) Sabres - RW Daniel Sprong: After nabbing McDavid, Sprong is like icing on the cake. He can stick handle in a phone booth, and I've seen first-hand just how creative he is offensively.

25) Lightning - RW Evgeni Svechnikov: He's an excellent package of size, skill and shot. Tampa has been a haven for Russian players recently, so he'll fit right in.

26) Jets - D Jeremy Roy: After grabbing Merkley earlier in the draft, the Jets snag a talented blueliner who thinks the game the right way and fills a need in the organization.

27) Flyers - D Nicolas Meloche: The Flyers again go defense in the first round, this time taking offensive blueliner Meloche, who also has a physical aspect to his game. An organizational weakness is improved vastly in one night.

28) Ducks - LW Jake DeBrusk: A two-way winger with a nose for the net, he's a great compliment for the high-end offensive forwards in Anaheim. His father Louie was an NHLer.

29) Maple Leafs - C Colin White: With Marner taken earlier in the round, the Leafs take Boston College-commit White, a two-way center. The Leafs can take the slow and steady development path with him.

30) Canadiens - C Filip Chlapik: The Habs take the second Charlottetown player to end the first round. The Habs can keep close tabs on the offensive forward while he develops in the "Q".