2016 NHL Draft

Mock Draft: Picks 61-90

European skill dominates well into Round Three
Steve Kournianos  |  02/12/2016 |  New York  |  [hupso]

Photo courtesy of IIHF

Kristian Reichel

Round 1Round 2 / Round 3 / Round 4 / Round 5 / Round 6 / Round 7

293px-Columbus_BlueJackets61. G Filip Gustavsson (Lulea, SHL): Part of Sweden’s next generation of big netminders, Gustavsson represented Sweden at a handful of international events, namely the 2015 Hlinka where he distinguished himself with quick reflexes and razor-sharp focus on his shooters. He’s done well in his limited minutes with Lulea, and will likely represent Sweden at the U18’s in Grand Forks.
62. LHD Lucas Johansen (Kelowna, WHL): Younger brother of Ryan Johansen who is a reliable, two-way defender with a special teams role on a very good Kelowna team. He isn’t a menacing presence, but his ability to slow the game down and make smart decisions allows him to expand on his natural passing/shooting abilities. There’s room to grow in terms of positioning, but he certainly has top-4 upside in a Kevin Klein kind of way.
63. LHD David Bernhardt (Djugardens J20, Superelit): Underrated Swedish puck rusher with a hard shot who loves to join the rush and assault openings from the circles inward. It looks like the Leafs hit a home run last year with Swede Dmytro Timashov, and adding a power play specialist like Bernhardt to spearhead the attack up ice would be intringuing to say the least. He’s more polished and puck savvy than any of Sweden’s first-year draft eligible rearguards.
64. LHD Markus Niemelainen (Saginaw, OHL): We see the reasons behind the hype — a 6’5 defenseman who can shoot the puck is understandably interesting in terms of upside. But the Finnish import is far from a finished product, as we’ve seen games where he makes poor choices in all three zones. From his dots down, he’s a monster — few can pin and hold like Niemelainin, who uses his long stick like a scythe to whip the puck away from trouble. North of the faceoff circles is where he needs help, and when his game finally matures, he may develop into a top-pairing shutdown defender with some added offense to boot.
*65. RW Joey Anderson (US U18, NTDP): Quick goal-scoring winger on the NTDP’s top line alongside Clayton Keller and Kieffer Bellows. Anderson isn’t a big kid, but his nose for the net and ability to pounce on loose pucks will serve him well when he heads to Minnesota-Duluth in the fall. Add him to the list of NTDP draft eligibles who can hang onto the puck for a long time whether he’s getting hounded or not.
66. RW Jordan Kyrou (Sarnia, OHL): A playmaking speedster from the flank who is inconsistent from a production standpoint but may simply be a product of Sarnia’s passive offensive strategy. He’s played well at several pre-draft competitions, namely the Hlinka and the CHL Top Prospects Game, but his razzle-dazzle with the Sting has been off and on. The bigger the spotlight, however, the better he’ll seemingly play. What that means to NHL GM’s remains to be seen.
*67. LHD Cam Dineen (North Bay, OHL): The bandwagon is getting overcrowded for this New Jersey native, who through January led OHL defensemen in scoring with 44 points in 47 games. He’s a structured blueliner who fits well in North Bay’s system, and there was a stretch during the WJC’s where he led the Battalion to several impressive victories against the OHL’s big boys. Dineen is a power play quarterback and top-pairing option who is patient in the offensive zone, while his positional defense is solid for a two-way type.
*68. C/LW Alan Lyszczarczyk (Sudbury, OHL): Sudbury’s top scorer and set-up man who plays primarily on the wing but can fill in at center when called upon. A Polish import with New Jersey ties, Lyszczarczyk has bounced between the Wolves’ top two lines in their season of misery. He’s a crafty puckhandler with a very good shot who will become an even bigger pain to play against as he fills into his 6’1/180-pound frame.
69. LHD Jacob Moverare (HV71 U20, Superelit): Mobile two-way defender who blitzed the junior competition after getting a bump to the SHL. He oozes skill and finesse, which the Habs should stockpile on their back end. We’ve been impressed with his quickness and first step, but what’s key is that he identified it as an area in need of improvement. Moverare is calm and collected in his own end, but don’t let it fool you — he can transition from defense to offense in a hurry.
70. RHD Andrew Peeke (Green Bay, USHL): Strong performances at the Hlinka, WJAC and the USHL Top Prospects Game are just some of the reasons to love this fast riser, who’s been Green Bay’s top defenseman since the start of the season. He’s a crease-clearer, but don’t call him a stay-at-home type — Peeke can skate and likes to join the rush. He makes smart, subtle plays to avoid pressure and never flings the pucks into danger areas.
71. LHD Vojtek Budik (Prince Albert, WHL): We don’t like blaming coaches or teammates for a specific player’s lack of production, but we’ll make an exception in Budik’s case. He’s a talented two-way defenseman who has taken a back seat to the bigger names on Prince Albert’s blue line, playing between the middle and bottom pairing and doing a fine job developing his defensive game. His intangibles and techniques are off the charts for a young defender, and we think he has top-pairing upside even if the eye-popping offense never surfaces.
72. LHD Ben Gleason (Hamilton, OHL): Lots of offense and an improving defensive game from this American-trained rearguard, who parlayed an early-season trade from London into a chance to strut his stuff as Hamilton’s top option. The team may be struggling, but Gleason has stayed within himself and not tried to hit the proverbial five-run homer with one swing of the bat. He’s a cerebral blueliner who makes up for his average size with solid anticipation skills.
*73. LHD Jacob Cederholm (HV71, SHL): Lots of skill in this big blueliner, but he opts for the safe play far too often. He’s captained Sweden’s U18 squad on a few occasions, and maybe time working with fellow Swede Adam Larsson will help draw the two-way abilities out of him. Cederholm has a hard shot and likes to sneak into the dots on occasion, and his leadership qualities should not be overlooked. He has a long stride and takes proper routes which helps him close on puck rushers a lot quicker than the majority of his peers
74. C/LW Mikhail Maltsev (Russia U18, MHL): Creative center with strength who like most of his teammates had a solid WJAC. He’s an aggressive forechecker with the kind of tenacity perfect for attacking offenses, and we appreciate the way he times his dump-ins with the speed he and his mates enter the zone. Maltsev has a long reach and is tough to leean on, which makes him a one-on-one nightmare.
75. RW Dmitri Sokolov (Sudbury, OHL): He’s been called lazy, and if you get a chance to watch him play, you’ll see a generally accurate assessment. Still, he’s a good goal scorer with quick hands and a deadly release, and his passing ability is well above average for a kid known for being a big-bodied sniper. In our view, he needs to slim down from his listed weight of 208 pounds, as his first step looks painfully slow. He’s just a hard summer away from being a top prospect. We’re not giving up on him just yet.
76. LHD Ryan Lindgren (US U18, NTDP) : Lindgren is your typical NTDP defensemen whose true talent is somewhat supressed and won’t surface until he gets to college (he’s committed to Minnesota). He can skate very well and hammer the puck from a great distance — skills he’ll use when he’s manning the point on the power play. Lindgren is positionally sound and takes calculated risks, which is what Nashville requires in all their blueliners.
77. C Brandon Gignac (Shawinigan, QMJHL): Gignac is a key contributor to Shawinigan, which is one of the QMJHL’s better teams. He’s quick when he needs to be, and can wire an accurate shot without overthinking it. He’s a fiery competitor who’s counted on to fill in at any three forward positions, and he’s far more confident in his shot selection than a season ago.
*78. LW Boris Katchouk (Sault Ste Marie, OHL): Greyhounds’ two-way star who along with Zach Senyshyn represent the bright spots on an otherwise disappoint season. Katchouk is a hard-charging wing who skates well and makes immediate plays off the forecheck. His real strength, however, is the ability to corral a loose puck regardless of where he’s located when he discovers it. In other words, he’s mastered the art of winning his 50/50 battles.
*79. C/LW Jordy Stallard (Calgary, WHL): Stallard is a key cog in Calgary’s youth movement, adding to his hustle with size and a good shot. He’s been far more decisive when possessing the puck in the offensive zone, and his 14 goals through February tie him for fourth on the team. We’ve been impressed with his play on the top line and he rarely, if ever, looks out of place.
80. RW Tim Gettinger (Sault Ste Marie, OHL): We may not see why some consider him a first round talent, but we definitely think he’s a talented power forward who can score goals and make plays in a lumbering, Mike Knuble kind of way. Gettinger was supposed to parlay a strong rookie season into a chart-topping sophomore campaign, but things simply haven’t materialized for him. He’s a great option for either the slot or the wall during the power play.
*81. C/RW Otto Somppi (Halifax, QMJHL): This playmaking Finnish pivot looks to have rebounded from a mini midseason slump with some of his best hockey of the season. Somppi is quick, but he’s far more confident in his decisions and has ditched the tendency to telegraph his passes. If Dallas is looking for a prospect who can connect on a hard pass through a maze of sticks and skates, it’s Somppi.
82. RW Maxime Fortier (Halifax, QMJHL): Fortier is a fast skater with excellent hands who loves involve himself in everything. Listed at 5’10, he’s far and away the Mooseheads’ top player, leading them with 27 goals and 64 points. The Mooseheads took a huge hit when Timo Meier was traded, and it was Fortier who stepped into the breach and distinguished himself as a lethal offensive force. Definitely one of our sleeper picks.
83. C Kristian Reichel (Litvinov, Extraliga): Another European prospect who has done nothing to warrant the lack of respect he’s received by most analysts. He anchored the Czech Republic’s top line in several international tournaments and earned a promotion to Litvinov’s top team, where he scored his first Extraliga goal. We think he’s a wonderful playmaker and good faceoff man who plays a lot like his father Robert, a former skill forward for the Calgary Flames in the 1990s.
84. RHD Adam Fox (US U18, NTDP): The Rangers struck out the last few attempts to draft and develop their first reliable power play quarterback since Sergei Zubov, so it behooves them to snatch up one of the 2016 draft’s top offensive defensemen. Fox, who is headed to Harvard in the fall, is the NTDP’s best skater and playmaker among their talented group of blueliners. He sees the ice extremely well and rarely tries to force passes or shots since his excellent footwork and array of fakes creates open lanes.
*85. C Michael O’Leary (Dubuque, USHL): Halifax native with a Notre Dame commitment who had an absolutely horrid start to his rookie USHL season but is slowly turning it around. A power center (6’1/200) with strong playmaking abilities, O’Leary has 12 points in his last 16 games, plus a dominating performance at the USHL Top Prospect Game, where he centered the top line in a winning effort. He’s a bit of a reach this high, but in a draft devoid of center depth, the Sabres and their multiple picks can take a shot at him.
*86. LW Jesper Bratt (AIK, Allsvenskan): A speedy waterbug with legit hands and creativity, using every inch of his 5’10 frame to pester, pressure and provoke — all accomplished within the rules. He’s always called upon to play for Sweden on the international stage, and on several occasions he’s outperformed the bulk of the competition. He’s one of the Allsvenskan’s better rookies, forging an alliance with New York Rangers’ draftee Robin Kovacs to provide AIK with excitement and timely scoring.
*87. C Mikhail Meshcheryakov (Russia U18, MHL): A versatile skill forward who is excellent in traffic and controlling the puck at a high rate of speed, Meshcheryakov is another one of Russia’s quality 1998’s who thrive in the possession game. He was a key contributor to Russia’s silver medal-winning entry at the 2015 World Junior “A” Challenge, where he used his size, long reach and stickhandling ability to weave through and around traffic.
*88. C/RW Oskar Steen (Farjestad, SHL): A torrid scoring pace in the Superelit and a dominant U18 Five Nations in November earned this shifty sidewinder a ticket to Sweden’s Big Show, where he attacks and wreaks havoc on seasoned SHL defensemen. We love the fact that he showed instant chemistry with the likes of 2015 first rounder Joel Eriksson Ek, and he’s a virtual lock for a spot on Sweden’s U18 squad for the upcoming Worlds. One of the draft’s best at stealing the puck from anyone, at any time.
89. C Aapeli Rasanen (Tappara U20, Liiga Jrs): Underrated two-way center with speed and smarts who preys on loose pucks and can transition from defense to offense in a hurry. He’s not overpowering, but rather keenly aware of his surroundings and won’t waste time fighting lost battles. Rasanen has been wearing out the international circuit by making plays off the rush and a having a Johnny-on-the-spot reputation.
*90. LHD Lukas Doudera (Trinec Ocelari, Extraliga): A marginal U19 WJAC followed a strong U18 Five Nations, and in between he’s been steady playing for the senior team in Trinec. The potential to drive the offense is there, and the Czechs leaned on him to anchor its green blue line at the recent U18’s in Finland. He’s not on the smallish side (5’11/175) and steadily improves his balance when being leaned on by bigger forwards.

*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.

*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.