62. G Stephen Dhillon (Niagara Ice Dogs, OHL):
There are a handful of reasons we are extremely high on this native Buffalonian, who bit the bullet for Niagara and assumed an understudy role to Carolina 2014 second rounder Alex Nedeljkovic. This kid has a ton of potential, and he’s one of the draft’s youngest eligible goalies — he is only a few days from being eligible for next year. Dhillon plays an aggressive butterfly, and the kinks we noticed the the Hlinka (form, net awareness) were quickly addressed, albeit in limited opportunities. His size-quickness combination is rare, and with draft picks for days, the Leafs can afford to take a chance on him early.
63. RW Joey Anderson (U.S. NTDP)
: Team USA’s “other” top-line forward who earned and held his role as a goal mouth-area maven, depositing rebound after rebound into the back of the cage while playing with heralded prospects Clayton Keller and Kieffer Bellows. Anderson sure knows how to pick his spots, which is important for a forward on a line with two shoot-happy linemates. He likely won’t develop into the kind of guy you can lean on above anyone else, but he’s fast and reliable enough to develop as a top-six power play specialist. The 5’11 Anderson will play for the University of Minnesota-Duluth in the fall.
64. RHD Jacob Cederholm (HV 71, SHL):
The Canucks have had luck with steady, mobile defenders (Tanev, Hamhuis…) and Cederholm would be a nice addition to their burgeoning prospect pool. He’s got size and decent mobility thanks to a long stride, and he’ll even take the puck coast to coast on occasion. Cederholm’s most valuable asset is one-on-one play, specifically from the dots inward, but he also uses his noggin to make smart, subtle plays like timely pinches and gap-filling in the offensive zone. He won’t top out as a 40-point blueliner, but his skill and leadership traits will undoubtedly benefit Vancouver in the long run.
65. LHD Chad Krys (U.S. NTDP):
Once considered a possible top-10 pick for 2016, Krys’s season with the NTDP was more plain than reassuring. He still maintained a top-four position and was a key cog in all situations, and you can’t blame him for teammate Adam Fox’s record-breaking campaign. We like the fact that he didn’t look out of place against older competition at the WJC’s, and there were periods when he played like the leader many expect him to become. The Boston University commit is mobile and an excellent stretch passer, and the Jackets can view this pick as a potential fill-in for 2015 defector Mike Reilly.
66. C Otto Makinen (Tappara U20, Liiga Jrs):
Finland is having one heck of a season on the international stage, where a puck-distributing pivot like Makinen made a name for himself. His play took off as early as the Hlinka, and you can argue he was his nation’s top draft-eligible forward immediately following Patrik Laine and Jesse Puljujärvi for quite some time. He’s a decent skater, but what Makinen can do best is stickhandle and make precision plays off zone entries. And don’t sleep on his finishing abilities – he has butter-soft hands and a quick release.
*67. (WPG) C Henrik Borgstrom (HIFK U20, Liiga Jrs):
Tall yet lanky skilled pivot who dominated Finland’s junior circuit in his second year of draft eligibility. Borgstrom is crossing the pond to suit up for the Denver Pioneers, so the college schedule will provide him plenty of time to fill into his 6’3 frame. He’s a dual-purpose threat from the middle, where he has a penchant for shooting first and asking questions later. But Borgstrom can also be a quick-pass threat on the power play and stickhandle his way through dicey situations in order to open up lanes. You always have to be leery about overagers, but the Canes can afford to take a flier and add him to their growing pool of Finnish-trained propects.
68. C/RW Tobias Eder (Bad Tolz, Oberliga Jrs):
A sniper who can play any forward position, Eder is the best of a rather thin, almost non-existent pool of worthy German draft eligibles. He’s had a handful of strong tournaments, albeit against the IIHF’s second tier of competition, and bounced back from a late-season high ankle sprain with a strong showing at the Division IA U18’s. Nevertheless, he can scoot and shoot, using his 6’0 frame and reach to protect the puck as he bullies his way to the net. The Yotes hit a home run in acquiring German speedster Tobias Reider from the Oilers, who should be considered another serious candidate to grab him, albeit a few spots earlier.
69. RW Dmitri Sokolov (Sudbury Wolves, OHL):
If you judge a player solely on production, then Sokolov’s rookie season was nothing short of outstanding – he led OHL rookies with 30 goals, including 15 over his last 23 games. But digging deeper into the power winger’s season reveals disconcerting traits, to include accusations of laziness and poor off-ice work ethic. A shoulder injury may have had something to do with that, but the fact that he played the entire season should help his case. Remember, he’s just a kid, and one who left Russia to play in North America no less. His size/shot combo is lethal, and he has a soft set of hands to bury the roughest of goal-mouth feeds.
70. C Brandon Gignac (Shawinigan Cataractes, QMJHL):
A real hustler with quick hands and very good instincts, Gignac exhibits the kind of all-out effort a downtrodden fan base can only hope becomes infectious. He’s one of the draft’s fastest skaters, but he proved this season that he can blow past oppoenents with his head up to either find the open man, or take the puck strong to the net. And he’s not just flash and dash – he won close to 60 percent of his draws and can be used in any situation.
71. LW Jack Kopacka (Sault Ste Marie, OHL):
A rebuilding year in Sault Ste Marie turned out to be a good thing for its young forwards, as the strong yet elusive Kopacka got a chance with top-six minutes to finish tied for fourth on the squad with 20 goals while firing off 179 shots. He’s a classic power forward in terms of size (6’2, 190) but he’s very quick and owns a pretty good shot. Like all big men, however, he can pull a lengthy vanishing act, and he doesn’t always battle through adversity in the form of clogged skating lanes and slogging matches.
*72. (NJD) LHD Dennis Cholowski (Chilliwack Chiefs, BCHL):
Steady two-way defender whose name started to ring bells following December’s World Junior “A” Challenge. He’s got good size to work with, and he makes smart plays, specifically picking the right time to either join the rush or sneak into the left circle for a quality scoring chance. Cholowski is bound for the University of Minnesota-Duluth, so the Leafs can be patient with a defender with top-4 upside. He’s far from physical, however, and it seems the way he processes the game is the biggest, possibly only reason why he’s skyrocketed up the rankings. If Cholowski has one thing going for him, it’s the way he processes the game under the most harrowing of circumstances.
*73. (OTT) LHD Jacob Moverare (HV71, SHL)
: The Swedes are known for producing sound, multi-purpose rearguards who know how to move the puck out of harm’s way. And although it’s been almost a decade since the Tre Kronor produced a defenseman with all-star acumen, you can add Moverare to the high-upside list of 2016 draft eligibles. He has good size, but his mobility and passing are what will get him to the next level. Making questionable decisions is par for the course for offensive-minded defenders, so the Devils should expect a bumpy development path.
74. LHD Victor Mete (London Knights, OHL):
Easily one of the toughest draft-eligible prospects to gauge because he does so many things at a high level, yet is an undersized defenseman on a loaded, powerhouse of a team. His biggest asset is speed — he is lightning-quick and doesn’t have to tinker with his quickness in order to blow the doors off an opponent. This kid has made very sound checkers looked novice in their approach, and can cap off an end-to-end rush with a smart play towards the net, or a cut back in order to open up the ice around him. Mete relies on push-and-shove tactics to deny bigger forwards the opportunity to take the puck inside, but he needs to get stronger if he wants to be counted on at higher levels.
*75. (BOS) C Mikhail Maltsev (Russia U18, MHL):
One of the draft’s few two-way centers with size who tips more towards the grinder side than that of a pivot with pure skill. Maltsev did a fine job as Team Russia’s second-line center behind German Rubtsov, using his size/reach advantage to really give opponents the business. He can play an in-your-face style and uses good speed to get in on the forecheck without over-committing or leaving his linemates out to dry. At 6’3, 200 pounds, it’s scary to think that he can get bigger, hopefully without costing him in the mobility department. On the power play, he likes to acquiesce to his gifted puck distributors and take a spot near or directly behind the net. Maltsev is very good on faceoffs, which is probably the reason he’s playing with the man advantage to begin with.
*76. (MIN) RW Jordan Kyrou (Sarnia Sting, OHL):
A prodigious playmaker with breakaway speed, Kyrou bounced between Sarnia’s top two lines and has the potential to be an impact forward. He’s battled through inconsistent play and is prone to turning the puck over at inopportune times, but he’s too tantalizing a prospect to pass over in a draft thin in pure skill. Kyrou’s what we’d call a “Spotlight Ranger”, beefing up his stock with solid all-around play at high-profile events like the U18 Hlinka and the CHL Top Prospects Game. You can say almost any skill forward in this year’s draft leaked defensive prowess from start to finish, but in Kyrou’s case, it’s a serious concern.
*77. (DET) LW Alan Lyszczarczyk (Sudbury Wolves, OHL):
A super-skilled winger with speed who can also fill in at center, Lyszczarczyk had a fine season in Sudbury, finishing sixth in rookie scoring with 50 points in 67 games. At 6’1, 180, he’s got the kind of size the Devils can work with, as he’s already a very good playmaker and owns an excellent shot that he doesn’t use as often as he should. Born in Poland and raised in the Garden State, Lyszczarczyk tore up the Czech junior circuit, then performed as one of Poland’s top players at the Division IA U18’s.
78. RW Yegor Korshkov (Lokomotiv, KHL):
Double-overage two-way winger who had an accomplished campaign for both Lokomotiv in the KHL and Russia’s National Team. You can’t dent the hockey sense and creativity he oozes, but you’d only hope that a 20-year-old who winger stands 6’4 would impose his will against younger international competition. He was a depth forward for Loko, but the handful of games we watched revealed a competitive player with shiftiness and a tremendous work ethic in board battles. Korshkov is a good skater who can shift gears to catch opponents off guard.
79. LHD Markus Niemelainen (Saginaw Spirits, QMJHL):
The Flyers have little to no need for another defenseman in their already overflowing talent pool, but some may view the Finnish Niemelainen as an uppercut pick other staffs may have slept on. To be frank, he’s a project, using God-given talent to his advantage far more than taking steps to improve his shortcomings with decision making. The Niemelainen we saw in September was the same one from the recent U18’s — big, mobile blueliner with a decent shot who is a beast from the dots down but makes a handful of bad choices per outing. At his absolute best, he’s a less physical version of a pre-injuries Marc Staal, so getting Niemelainen in the late third round could end up becoming a steal.
*80. (NYI) LHD Sean Day (Mississauga Steelheads, OHL):
If the third round was renamed the Island of Draft Hype Castoffs, then Day would undoubtedly rule the land. Blessed with pro-level speed and size, Day couldn’t piece them together into one explosive package. Rather, his three-zone (or any zone) consistency was up and down, and it took a solid showing at the Top Prospects Game and the subsequent second half to save his draft stock from bottoming out. In our view, he’s worth the pick and worth the worry, because if things work out, he could be one of the best to come out of the 2016 draft.
81. C Igor Shvyryov (Stalnye Lisy, MHL):
A brief stint with Russia’s U18 team for the Hlinka was followed by an outstanding MHL campaign by this sublime offensive talent, who’s deserving of more love than he’s received. Shvyryov (pictured above) is an exceptional stickhandler and passer, and can do both while moving at a high rate of speed. He’s a pure finesse pivot who will lend immediate assistance to any power play, where he likes to position himself along the half wall in order to dissect passing lanes with pinpoint precision. Shvyryov is able to maintain balance on his skates and control of the puck as he bombs down the wing with his head up. He compliments a superior understanding of the offensive side of the game with a team-first attitude.
*82.(LAK) RW Brandon Hagel (Red Deer Rebels, WHL):
A late-August, 1998 birthdate whose fast start made some people wonder how in the world he was overlooked in WHL Bantam Drafts. Hagel (6’0 / 170 lbs) is one of the Rebels’ many offensive weapons who can fill in on the flank on any of their first three lines. He’s an accurate shooter with a quick release and will fight to get to the tough areas around the net. We view him as a pass-first forward with a ton of hustle and sandpaper who can top out as an excellent penalty-killing option.
83. LW Eetu Tuulola (HPK U20, Liiga Jrs):
Tuulola is the Finnish power forward who is not seeing his name plastered all over the place by hockey scribes in his native land and abroad. But not being a top-three pick shouldn’t detract from how good a goal-scoring prospect this kid currently is. Tuulola has a heavy shot and a quick release, and getting involved in the dirty areas is something he seems to enjoy. He is a very good open-ice hitter, and we wouldnt be the least bit surprised if he snuck into the second round, which says a ton about the depth Finland provided for this draft.
*84. (FLA) RHD Luke Green (Saint John Sea Dogs, QMJHL):
One of the steadier defensemen available for any round who quietly had a strong season for an Ice Dogs’ squad with a deep blue line. Green came to Saint John with high regard — he was the first overall pick in the 2014 QMJHL Draft — but he stagnated after a strong rookie season a year ago. Compounding things was a nasty hit from Cape Breton’s Pierre-Luc Dubois in March which may have been the catalyst behind his average postseason. Still, Green is a very good skater with terrific instincts and is one of the draft’s better shot selectors from the back end; if Green is taking a shot, it’s going to be hard and accurate. You can count on him for making the sure play, but you’d love to see him play up to his potential.
*85. (ANA) LHD J.D. Greenway (U.S. U18, NTDP):
We have to hand it to Greenway — he certainly knows how to pick his spots. The tall defender with above-average mobility and strong instincts made a nifty play to set up a goal in front of the NHL scouting community at the All-American Top Prospects Game, then closed out his season with a memorable, Forsberg-esque tuck-in tally in April’s U18 world championship. These displays of offensive prowess, however, were few and very far between, but that shouldn’t take away from his ability to poke, pin and hold with the best of his class. Greenway, whose older brother J.D. was a 2015 second round pick of the Wild, recently committed to Wisconsin after rumors indicated he was OHL-bound to Flint.
*86. (DAL) RW Vladimir Kuznetsov (Acadie-Bathurst Titan, QMJHL):
A fearless, crash-and-bang sniper who is super quick on his feet and can unload a heavy shot, Kuznetsov was the top overall pick in last year’s CHL Import Draft. The thick Russian winger didn’t disappoint either — he finished fourth in QMJHL rookie scoring. He was one of only two draft-eligible CHL players to suit up for Russia’s U18 squad at the world championship, and his tournament was a microcosm of the regular season in that there were times he looked lost on the ice, if you were keen enough to even notice him. The Sabres’ stockpiling finishers will pay off in spades.
*87. (WSH) LW Artur Kayumov (Russia U18, MHL):
We’d be lying if we said we weren’t disappointed Kayumov (among other Russians) was banned from participating at the U18’s when he and his entire squad tested positive for the substance meldonium. Life certainly goes on, but the incident likely hurts his draft stock. Quick and decisive, Kayumov is usually the one orchestrating the attack for the Russians, especially on the power play. He’s dandy on the zone entry, and his balance is strong for a kid listed under six feet tall. There were periods where he was the best player for Team Russia, and we see him as a high pick in the upcoming CHL Import Draft.
88. LHD Marcus Ersson (Brynas IF, SHL):
There are a handful of big two-way defensemen who had a strong J20 Superelit season, but Ersson is a kid who doesn’t get the coverage notable prospects like David Bernhardt and overager Filip Berglund have received. He’s a wonderful talent with a hunter’s mindset who loves to either create a rush up ice, or join it and gun straight for the net. His positioning in the defensive zone needs a little work, as he has a tendency to float away from his area of responsibility. His side of the ice wasn’t attacked as often as you’d think, and there’s a strong possibility he gets more than bottom-pairing minutes for Brynas next season.
*89. (STL) RW Jesper Bratt (AIK, Allsvenskan):
A pesky waterbug with an arsenal of moves and a sick wrist shot who teamed with 2015 draft pick Robin Kovacs to form one of the Allsvenskan’s top young lines. His footwork and play with the puck in traffic are excellent, and he’s proven to beat defenders to the outside with regularity. He isn’t very big or physical, and he’s just over a month away from being eligible for next year’s draft, but he uses his body advantageously and can separate his man from the puck. Bratt was one of Sweden’s better forwards at the U18 worlds, and could be a real steal this late in the third round, if he even lasts that long.
*90 (SJS). C/W Dillon Dube (Kelowna Rockets, WHL):
It wasn’t too long ago when Dube was a projected first round pick thanks to his non-stop motor and ability to create scoring chances off an intense forecheck. But the second half of his season was a bit of a battle as he blew so many gimme chances that you have to wonder if someone hexed him. The good news is that his struggles have nothing to do with work ethic or effort — this kid busts it every shift and bring a tremendous amount of enthusiasm and respect of the game to any organization he’ll join. Plus, he finished the season as a point-per-game player with 66 points in 65 games, and was one of the WHL’s best draft eligibles in even-strength scoring.
*91 (PIT). C/LW Tanner Kaspick (Brandon Wheat Kings, WHL):
Bruising two-way power forward who was a depth player for both Team Canada at the Hlinka and with Brandon’s loaded title squad. Kaspick is the kind of versatile, hard-nosed prospect the stats don’t do justice, as he’d be far more productive had his role been expanded. You can’t fault his coaching staff in Brandon though; the Wheat Kings are a perennial powerhouse. Still, he took to his support role with aplomb, and his production from the regular season (0.59) wasn’t that far off from his playoff output (0.48). He missed a chunk of the season due to an undisclosed upper-body injury but looked fine since.
*Carolina owns Winnipeg’s 2016 3rd round pick from the Jiri Tlusty trade.
*Vancouver re-acquired its 2016 3rd round pick via Pittsburgh from the Brandon Sutter trade. The Penguins previously acquired the pick from Buffalo as compensation for the Sabres’ hiring of former Pittsburgh head coach Dan Bylsma. Buffalo previously acquired this pick from the Islanders in the Michal Neuvirth/Chad Johnson trade. The Islanders previously acquired this pick from Vancouver in 2014 when they traded Andrey Pedan to the Canucks for Alexandre Mallet and this pick.
*New Jersey owns Ottawa’s 2016 3rd round pick from a 2015 Draft Day trade in which the Devils swapped a 2015 2nd round pick (36th overall – RW Gabriel Gagner) for Ottawa’s 2015 2nd round pick (42nd overall – G Mackenzie Blackwood) and this pick.
*New Jersey owns Minnesota’s 2016 3rd round pick via Florida from the Jaromir Jagr trade. The Panthers previously acquired this pick from the Wild in the Sean Bergenheim trade.
*New Jersey owns Detroit’s 2016 3rd round pick from a condition in the Marek Zidlicky trade. The pick became a 3rd rounder when the Red Wings were eliminated in the first round of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
*Toronto owns New Jerseys 2016 3rd round pick via Pittsburgh from the Phil Kessel trade. The Penguins perviously acquired this pick from New Jersey as compensation for the Devils hiring John Hynes as head coach.
*Dallas owns San Jose’s 2016 3rd round pick from the Jason Demers/Brenden Dillon trade.
*Buffalo owns St. Louis’s 2016 3rd round pick from unmet conditions in the Ryan Miller trade.
*Philadelphia owns Los Angeles’s 2016 3rd round pick from the Vincent Lecavalier trade.
*Anaheim owns Florida’s 2016 3rd round pick via New Jersey from the Kyle Palmieri trade. The Devils previously acquired this pick from Florida as a condition of the Jaromir Jagr trade. New Jersey has the option of giving Anaheim the lower of either Florida’s original 3rd rounder (this pick), or the 3rd rounder the Panthers acquired from Minnesota in the Sean Bergenheim trade). As of the printing of this edition, this pick was less favorable to New Jersey than the Minnesota pick, so it goes to Anaheim.
*Buffalo owns Dallas’s 2016 3rd round pick via San Jose from a condition in the Jonas Enroth trade. The condition was the Sabres would receive a 2nd round pick in 2015 if Enroth won four playoff games for Dallas, which never qualified for the postseason.
*Ottawa owns the New York Islanders’ 3rd round pick from the Shane Prince trade.
*Edmonton owns Pittsburgh’s 2016 3rd round pick via the Justin Schultz trade.
*St. Louis owns Washington’s 2016 3rd round pick from the T.J. Oshie trade.
Note: Detroit has the option to choose any one of Toronto’s 3rd round picks from 2016, 2017 or 2018. This condition is from the Maple Leafs’ hiring of former Red Wings’ coach Mike Babcock.
Note: New Jersey has the option to choose any of of Toronto’s 3rd round picks from 2016, 2017 or 2018. This condition is from the Maple Leafs’ hiring of former Devils’s GM Lou Lamoriello.