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2015 NHL Draft: Final Mock Draft

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The draft is three weeks away, and I've settled on my final top-30.

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

With the Oilers winning the draft lottery on Saturday, we now know the draft order for the first 14 picks. The remaining order is based off of current standings. I'll post my final mock draft after the Stanley Cup is awarded.

#

NHL TEAM

POS.

PLAYER

CURRENT TEAM

1

Edmonton Oilers

C

Connor McDavid

Erie Otters, OHL

2

Buffalo Sabres

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

New Jersey Devils

C

Pavel Zacha

Sarnia Sting, OHL

7

Philadelphia Flyers

LW

Lawson Crouse

Kingston Frontenacs, OHL

8

Columbus Blue Jackets

D

Ivan Provorov

Brandon Wheat Kings, WHL

9

San Jose Sharks

RW

Mikko Rantanen

TPS, Finland

10

Colorado Avalanche

D

Zach Werenski

Michigan, NCAA

11

Florida Panthers

LW/C

Kyle Connor

Youngstown Phantoms, USHL

12

Dallas Stars

C

Mathew Barzal

Seattle Thunderbirds, WHL

13

Los Angeles Kings

C/RW

Nick Merkley

Kelowna Rockets, WHL

14

Boston Bruins

RW

Timo Meier

Halifax Mooseheads, QMJHL

15

Calgary Flames

RW

Travis Konecny

Ottawa 67's, OHL

16

Edmonton Oilers (Pittsburgh)

G

Ilya Samsonov

Magnitogorsk, MHL

17

Winnipeg Jets

D

Jakub Zboril

Saint John Sea Dogs, QMJHL

18

Ottawa Senators

C

Joel Eriksson Ek

Farjestad, SHL

19

Detroit Red Wings

D

Thomas Chabot

Saint John Sea Dogs, QMJHL

20

Minnesota Wild

C

Colin White

USNTDP

21

Buffalo Sabres (Islanders)

RW

Denis Guryanov

Togliatti 2, MHL

22

Washington Capitals

RW

Evgeni Svechnikov

Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, QMJHL

23

Vancouver Canucks

D

Jeremy Roy

Sherbrooke Phoenix, QMJHL

24

Toronto Maple Leafs (Nashville)

RW

Brock Boeser

Waterloo Black Hawks, USHL

25

Winnipeg Jets (St. Louis via Buffalo)

LW

Paul Bittner

Portland Winterhawks, WHL

26

Montreal Canadiens

D

Brandon Carlo

Tri-City Americans, WHL

27

Anaheim Ducks

LW

Jake Debrusk

Swift Current Broncos, WHL

28

Tampa Bay Lightning (Rangers)

C

Jansen Harkins

Prince George Cougars, WHL

29

Philadelphia Flyers (Tampa Bay)

D

Noah Juulsen

Everett Silvertips, WHL

30

Arizona Coyotes (Chicago)

D

Gabriel Carlsson

Linkoping, Swe-J20


Notes on the picks:

For the sake of completion, I've assumed the Blackhawks will defeat the Lightning for the 'Cup. This is neither my personal prediction or hope for the final result, however.

1) Oilers - C Connor McDavid: The time is now for the Oilers to turn into a contender.

2) Sabres - C Jack Eichel: Eichel is the real deal. The Sabres' rebuild has been slow, but Eichel may be the piece that brings them back to the playoffs.

3) Coyotes - C Dylan Strome: With Max Domi, Anthony Duclair, and now Strome, the Coyotes will be very exciting up front in coming seasons.

4) Maple Leafs - RW Mitch Marner: The Leafs are starting a new chapter, and Marner is the first big addition.

5) Hurricanes - D Noah Hanifin: He and '14 first rounder Haydn Fleury could form a lethal top pairing down the line.

6) Devils - C Pavel Zacha: He's polarizing, but he's got a tantalizing mix of size and skill. He'll have plenty of mentors in New Jersey.

7) Flyers - LW Lawson Crouse: I'm re-using my blurb from my last mock - he seems like a Flyer, doesn't he? Rugged, some offense, and good size. He may give the Flyers what they lost in Scott Hartnell down the line.

8) Blue Jackets - D Ivan Provorov: Not only best player available, but Provorov shores up a weak defensive pipeline. He does it all, and the thought of he and Ryan Murray playing together is exciting, to say the least.

9) Sharks - RW Mikko Rantanen: The Sharks have some great young forwards, but they can't let Rantanen fall any further. He's a power forward who would look great with Joe Pavelski.

10) Avalanche - D Zach Werenski: He was a standout as the youngest player in the NCAA. The Avs need good, young blueliners in the worst way, and Werenski is a perfect fit.

11) Panthers - LW/C Kyle Connor: He's committed to Michigan in the fall, so the Panthers can be patient with him. He's a two-way threat that would compliment Florida snipers Huberdeau, Barkov and Bjugstad.

12) Stars - C Mathew Barzal: A bit of a steal, Barzal is a terrific playmaker who likely would have gone much higher if he didn't deal with a serious injury this season.

13) Kings - C/RW Nick Merkley: Undersized, but full of skill and smarts. He was an important player on a loaded Kelowna squad this past season, helping them to win the WHL Championship. Though the Rockets lost in the Memorial Cup final to Oshawa, Merkley was very good and will give the Kings a player who'll be on a scoring line in a couple of seasons.

14) Bruins - RW Timo Meier: Boston fans will love Meier. He fights for pucks, isn't afraid of mucking it up, and puts up points. He creates a lot of space for his linemates and has a lethal wrist shot.

15) Flames - RW Travis Konecny: The Flames have some excellent young snipers in Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Sam Bennett, but Konecny gives them a potential future captain who is a responsible, two-way player. The last time the Flames used a first rounder on a 67's forward it worked out pretty damned good. (Monahan)

16) Oilers - G Ilya Samsonov: Was named the top goaltender at the World U-18s, giving him a huge boost in pre-draft rankings. The Oilers can afford to take a bit of a chance with this pick where they already have McDavid, but if it works out they'll finally have a stud goaltender to develop. He models his game after Sergei Bobrovsky.

17) Jets - D Jakub Zboril: The Jets have a handful of exciting young forwards in the pipeline, but they could use some more talent on defense. Zboril is an excellent skater with offensive ability. He and 2013 first rounder Josh Morrissey would make a great pairing.

18) Senators - C Joel Eriksson Ek: He split last season between the SHL and their J20 league, and was an offensive threat in both leagues. The Sens could use another high-end forward in the organization, and he would have countryman and Sens captain Erik Karlsson to help with his transition.

19) Red Wings - D Thomas Chabot: A no-nonsense blueliner that the Wings can easily mold to their system. They've had success with another "Q" defense prospect in Xavier Ouellet.

20) Wild - C Colin White: He's heading to Boston College in the fall, joining 2014 Minnesota first rounder Alex Tuch. The duo can develop together from college on to pro hockey. Interesting narrative aside, White gives the Wild a much-needed talent boost in the pipeline.

21) Sabres - RW Denis Guryanov: Similar to Edmonton with Samsonov, the Sabres can afford to use their second pick of the opening round on a high-risk, high-reward player. Guryanov is a very skilled offensive forward with excellent size, and was great for Russia at the U-18s.

22) Capitals - RW Evgeni Svechnikov: The Capitals best young forwards are already on their NHL roster outside of Jakub Vrana, so they could use a boost in the pipeline. Svechnikov is committed to playing in North America, and would give the Caps another offensive weapon down the line.

23) Canucks - D Jeremy Roy: The Canucks are quite thin defensively in their prospect pool, and Roy would give them a talented two-way player who can play a top-four role in a couple of seasons.

24) Maple Leafs - RW Brock Boeser: With Marner, and now Boeser, the Leafs have added two elite scorers to their pipeline. The Leafs can be patient with Boeser as he's committed to North Dakota this fall.

25) Jets - LW Paul Bittner: From Crookston, Minnesota, just a few hours south of the 'Peg. This past season the Jets revealed a distinct identity, and to me, Bittner just looks like a Jet. Great pickup after getting Zboril earlier in the round.

26) Canadiens - D Brandon Carlo: A huge blueliner that plays a defense-first game. He would be a natural Alexei Emelin replacement in a few seasons.

27) Ducks - LW Jake Debrusk: The Ducks are built to grind their opponent while defeating them in the skill game. Debrusk is a battler, and has offense to burn. A great fit.

28) Lightning - C Jansen Harkins: The Bolts have snipers-a-plenty, but Harkins would give them a two-way forward to compliment them. He'll do it all for his teammates, a true "glue guy".

29) Flyers - D Noah Juulsen: Juulsen completes the trifecta of Philly first-round defense picks, joining 2013 first rounder Samuel Morin and 2014 first rounder Travis Sanheim. Juulsen is a smart player that contributes in all zones.

30) Coyotes - D Gabriel Carlsson: The 'Yotes got a stud in Strome earlier in the round, and they add Carlsson to cap off the first round. Carlsson is a huge, defense-first blueliner who has a ready-made mentor in Oliver Ekman-Larsson in Arizona. Their playing styles would compliment each other perfectly on a pairing.