2016 NHL Draft

Top 250 Prospects (March)

Blue chippers jockey for position as lottery draws near
Steve Kournianos  |  03/21/2016 |  New York  |  

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Photo courtesy of Heikki Saukkomaa

How deep is the 2016 NHL Draft? Well, for brevity’s sake, it’s not. And while teams without the benefit of a first round pick will need Lady Luck on their side to find star potential in the later rounds, that doesn’t necessarily mean there won’t be a gem or two within a relatively bland crop of draft eligibles. There is a sizable gap separating the cream from both the Canadian Hockey League and the United States Hockey League with the above-average or “boom or bust” types, which means scouts and general managers may be inclined to turn their gaze towards Europe and gamble on their ability to convince one or several from its talented pool of skill players to cross the pond and play in North America.

With that, there is no change to the top spot, as Arizona-raised pivot Auston Matthews concluded his strong season in Switzerland’s National League with a nomination for most valuable player and remains the draft’s only center with franchise, or “generational” potential. Workhorse puck-moving defender Jakob Chychrun (No. 2) of the Ontario Hockey League’s Sarnia Sting carried his team to a high seed for the playoffs, logging well over 30 minutes per game and finishing fourth in scoring among defensemen. Finland’s top prospect is uber-scoring winger Patrik Laine (No. 3), whose torrid production slowed down in March without compromising effort or involvement. We view him as the best draft-eligible goal scorer since Alexander Ovechkin in 2004, and one can argue Laine’s pre-draft season in the Finnish league is as, if not more, impressive than what Ovechkin did in Russia in 2003-04.

Jesse Puljujarvi (No. 7), Laine’s fellow countryman and star of the 2016 world junior championship, was dropped to seventh for one reason and one reason only — his play at even strength did not match what he did with the man advantage, scoring only two ES goals in his last 31 games before his regular season was shut down following a nasty hit in a match against Helsinki on March 4th. While his upside is certainly worthy of a top-three pick, we feel all but one of his peers ranked ahead of him have been far more consistent — with Mississauga’s Alexander Nylander (No. 6) seeing a dip in goal and shot production only to exhibit his already advanced playmaking ability.

Moving Up

Quebec is known for producing finesse players, but we’re working overtime to try and find a QMJHL-trained prospect who played the skill game with dominating physicality like Cape Breton forward Pierre-Luc Dubois (No. 5), who finished third in scoring with 99 points, and 12th with 112 penalty minutes. He’s a nasty player who’s physically ready to endure trench warfare at the highest level.

The rebuilding University of Wisconsin Badgers may have had a disappointing season in the standings, but top player Luke Kunin (No. 16) produced an outstanding freshman campaign, leading his team with 19 goals, and scoring 13 goals and 21 points in his last 17 games. The St. Louis native and former NTDP product owns one of the draft’s best shots and can flat out fly, but there’s more to his game than offense.

Two OHL products — Kitchener’s Adam Mascherin (No. 33) and Saginaw’s Tye Felhaber (No. 148) — were red hot in March. Mascherin is a strong, thick playmaker with tremendous vision and a lethal shot who carried the Rangers’ offense. He’s a bit undersized (5’9) and his skating is slowly improving. But his playmaking is world class, and he ranks up there as one the draft’s top set-up men. Felhaber, one of the top picks in the 2014 OHL Priority Selection, rebounded from a brutal first half with a strong second-half effort centered on hustle and setting up his teammates. He’s relentless on the forecheck and can make quick plays from a scrum or puck battle right into prime scoring areas.

Sliding Down

We were guessing Chad Krys’s (No. 45) nomination to Team USA’s world junior squad would boost his game in the second half, but it’s been a pretty uneventful season for the Boston University-bound product, who at one point last year was considered a possible top-10 pick. He’s mobile and can jump start an offense, but his decision making in his own end is unbecoming of a top prospect, especially when you consider how low expectations are for NTDP defenders. He’s going to need a strong under-18 world championship in April to stabilize his season.

Sarnia set-up winger Jordan Kyrou (No. 81) has a ton of talent, but still tries to do too much and is guilty of turning the puck over far too often. He’s still dangerous off the rush, but we’re noticing defenders treat him differently than they did last year, almost daring him to make a play. We’d like to see him play inside more.

Russian goalie Vladislav Sukhachov (No. 116) was the darling of the 2015 Ivan Hlinka, but the undersized netminder has been far too up and down for Russia’s U18 squad. He’s quick and feisty, but toning it down should be his first step towards recovery. We now feel teammate Mikhail Berdin (No. 85) may be the better option.

*New additions bolded in yellow

RANK PLAYER POS TM LGE
1 Auston Matthews C Zurich NLA
2 Jakob Chychrun LHD Sarnia OHL
3 Patrik Laine LW Tappara Liiga
4 Matt Tkachuk LW London OHL
5 Pierre-Luc Dubois C/LW Cape Breton QMJHL
6 Alex Nylander LW Mississauga OHL
7 Jesse Puljujarvi RW Karpat Liiga
8 Olli Juolevi LHD London OHL
9 Mike McLeod C Mississauga OHL
10 Mikhail Sergachyov LHD Windsor OHL
11 Julien Gauthier RW Val-D’or QMJHL
12 German Rubtsov C Russia U18 MHL
13 Clayton Keller C US U18 NTDP
14 Tyson Jost C/LW Penticton BCHL
15 Kieffer Bellows LW US U18 NTDP
16 Luke Kunin LW Wisconsin Big-10
17 Logan Brown C Windsor OHL
18 Pascal Laberge C Victoriaville QMJHL
19 Will Bitten C Flint OHL
20 Alex DeBrincat RW Erie OHL
21 Dante Fabbro RHD Penticton BCHL
22 Max Jones LW London OHL
23 Rasmus Asplund C Farjestad BK SHL
24 Sam Steel C Regina WHL
25 Dillon Dube C Kelowna WHL
26 Vitalii Abramov C/RW Gatineua QMJHL
27 Charlie McAvoy RHD Boston Univ. Hockey East
28 Samuel Girard LHD Shawinigan QMJHL
29 Carter Hart G Everett WHL
30 Jake Bean LHD Calgary WHL
31 Libor Hajek LHD Saskatoon WHL
32 Tyler Benson C/LW Vancouver WHL
33 Adam Mascherin LW Kitchener OHL
34 Kale Clague LHD Brandon WHL
35 Brett Howden C/LW Warriors WHL
36 Carl Grundstrom RW MoDo SHL
37 Simon Stransky LW Prince Albert WHL
38 Frederic Allard RHD Chicoutimi QMJHL
39 Givani Smith LW Guelph OHL
40 Taylor Raddysh RW Erie OHL
41 Artur Kayumov LW Russia U18 MHL
42 Cam Morrison C Youngstown USHL
43 Nathan Bastian C Mississauga OHL
44 Victor Mete LHD London OHL
45 Chad Krys LHD US U18 NTDP
46 Riley Tufte RW Fargo USHL
47 Tage Thompson RW UConn Hockey East
48 Luke Green RHD Saint John QMJHL
49 Lucas Johansen LHD Kelowna WHL
50 Vladimir Kuznetsov LW Acadie-Bathurst QMJHL
51 Janne Kuokkanen RW Karpat U20 Liiga Jrs
52 Aapeli Rasanen C Tappara U20 Liiga Jrs
53 Noah Gregor C Moose Jaw WHL
54 Jonathan Dahlen C Timra Allsvenskan
55 Matt Filipe C/W Cedar Rapids USHL
56 Jacob Moverare LHD HV71 SHL
57 Otto Makinen C/LW Tappara U20 Liiga Jrs
58 Andrew Peeke RHD Green Bay USHL
59 Stephen Dhillon G Niagara OHL
60 Logan Stanley LHD Windsor OHL
61 Alan Lyszczarczyk C/RW Sudbury OHL
62 Filip Hronek RHD HR Kravlove Czech Extraliga
63 Dmitri Sokolov RW Sudbury OHL
64 Adam Fox RHD US U18 NTDP
65 Filip Gustavsson G Lulea SHL
66 Tim Gettinger LW Sault Ste Marie OHL
67 Joey Anderson RW US U18 NTDP
68 Jacob Cederholm RHD HV71 SHL
69 Veini Vehvilainen (OA) G JYP Liiga
70 Boris Katchouk LW/RW Sault Ste Marie OHL
71 Maxime Fortier RW Halifax QMJHL
72 Kristian Reichel C Litvinov Czech Extraliga
73 Brandon Gignac C Shawinigan QMJHL
74 David Bernhardt LHD Djugardens Jrs Superelit
75 Tobias Eder RW Bad Tolz Oberliga
76 Cameron Hebig (OA) C Saskatoon WHL
77 Sean Day LHD Mississauga OHL
78 Ryan Lindgren LHD US U18 NTDP
79 Willie Knierim RW Dubuque USHL
80 Cam Dineen LHD North Bay OHL
81 Jordan Kyrou RW Sarnia OHL
82 Travis Barron C/LW Ottawa OHL
83 Trent Frederic C US U18 NTDP
84 Vojtek Budik LHD Prince Albert WHL
85 Mikhail Berdin G Russia U18 MHL
86 Oskar Steen C/RW Farjestad BK Superelit
87 Jordy Stallard C/LW Calgary WHL
88 Mikhail Maltsev LW Russia U18 MHL
89 Kyle Maksimovich RW Erie OHL
90 Jack Kopacka LW Sault Ste Marie OHL
91 Jesper Bratt RW AIK Allsvenskan
92 Nolan Volcan LW Seattle WHL
93 J.D. Greenway LHD US U18 NTDP
94 Benjamin Gleason LHD Hamilton OHL
95 Ross Colton (OA) LW Cedar Rapids USHL
96 Evan Fitzpatrick G Sherbrooke QMJHL
97 Eetu Tuulola RW HPK Liiga
98 Lukas Doudera LHD Trinec Czech Extraliga
99 Brandon Hagel LW Red Deer WHL
100 Otto Somppi C Halifax QMJHL
101 Mikael Hakkarainen C Brookings NAHL
102 Connor Bunnaman C/LW Kitchener OHL
103 Markus Niemelainen LHD Saginaw OHL
104 Jack Lafontaine G Janesville NAHL
105 Kristaps Zile LHD Riga MHL
106 Dmitri Alexeyev LHD Russia U18 MHL
107 Patrik Bajkov RW Everett WHL
108 Will Lockwood RW US U18 NTDP
109 Henrik Borgstrom (OA) C HIFK U20 Liiga Jrs
110 Carsen Twarynski LW Calgary WHL
111 Dawson Davidson LHD Kamloops WHL
112 Matthew Boucher C Quebec QMJHL
113 Kristians Rubins LHD Vasteras Allsvenskan
114 Ty Ronning RW Vancouver WHL
115 Sam Rossini LHD Waterloo USHL
116 Vladislav Sukhachov G Russia U18 MHL
117 Igor Shvyrev C/LW Stalnye Lisy MHL
118 Mikhail Meshcheryakov C Russia U18 MHL
119 Joona Koppanen C/LW Ilves U20 Liiga Jrs
120 Antoine Samuel G Shawinigan QMJHL
121 Mitch Mattson C/LW Grand Rapids HS-MN
122 Linus Lindstrom C Skelleftea Jrs Superelit
123 Otto Koivula LW Ilves U20 Liiga Jrs
124 Seamus Malone (OA) C Wisconsin Big-10
125 Artem Ivanyuzhenkov RW Russia U18 MHL
126 Nikita Makeyev RHD Russia U18 MHL
127 Marco Miranda C/LW GCK NLB
128 Max Lajoie LHD Swift Current WHL
129 Konstantin Dubin LW Sarmaty MHL
130 Tyler Parsons G London OHL
131 Tarmo Reunanen LHD TPS Turku U20 Liiga Jrs
132 Kenny Johnson LHD Shattuck HS-MN
133 Alexander Iakovenko LHD Russia U18 MHL
134 David Quenneville RHD Medicine Hat WHL
135 Michael Graham LW/C Eden Prairie HS-MN
136 Nick Pastujov LW US U18 NTDP
137 Adam Brizgala G Sparta Praha Extraliga Jrs
138 C.J. Dodero LW Sioux City USHL
139 Zach Sawchenko G Moose Jaw WHL
140 Evgeni Mityakin RW Avtomobilist KHL
141 Vladimir Bobylev (OA) LW Victoria WHL
142 Max Gerlach LW Medicine Hat WHL
143 Andrey Svetlakov (OA) C CSKA KHL
144 Dennis Cholowski LHD Chilliwack BCHL
145 Ondrej Najman LW Dukhla U20 Extraliga Jrs
146 Dante Salituro (OA) C/RW Ottawa 67’s OHL
147 Matt Ladd G Avon Old Farms HS-CT
148 Tye Felhaber C Saginaw OHL
149 Ilya Karpukhin LHD Russia U18 MHL
150 Juha Jääskä LW HIFK Jrs Liiga Jrs
151 Garrett Pilon C Kamloops WHL
152 Liam Murphy LW Moncton QMJHL
153 Tanner Kaspick C/W Brandon WHL
154 Michael O’Leary C Dubuque USHL
155 Collin Adams LW Muskegon USHL
156 Callum Fryer (OA) RHD UMass Hockey East
157 Lee Roberts RW/LW Laussanne NLA
158 Zach Osburn (OA) RHD Michigan State Big-10
159 Nikolai Chebykin (OA) C/LW HC MVD MHL
160 Max Zimmer C/LW Chicago USHL
161 Joe Masonius (OA) LHD UConn Hockey East
162 Tim Wahlgren C MoDo Jrs Superelit
163 Grant Jozefek RW Lincoln USHL
164 Cole Candella LHD Hamilton OHL
165 Josh Mahura LHD Red Deer WHL
166 Mitchell Balmas C/LW Charlottetown QMJHL
167 Dylan Gambrell (OA) RW Denver NCHC
168 Griffin Luce LHD US U18 NTDP
169 Graham McPhee LW US U18 NTDP
170 Ivan Kosorenkov LW Russia U18 MHL
171 Chase Priskie (OA) RHD Quinnipiac ECAC
172 Samuel Solensky C/LW Liberec Jrs Extraliga Jrs
173 Jake Ryczek RHD Sioux City USHL
174 Yegor Korshkov (OA) RW Lokomotiv KHL
175 Daniil Miromanov LW Acadie-Bathurst QMJHL
176 Jiri Karafiat C/RW Zlin U20 Extraliga Jrs
177 Oliver Felixson LHD Saint John QMJHL
178 Jonathan Ang C Peterborough OHL
179 Michael Boyle RHD Sioux City USHL
180 Josh Anderson LHD Prince George WHL
181 Adam Werner (OA) G Farjestad Superelit
182 James Sanchez LW US U18 NTDP
183 Nikita O. Popugaev LW Russia U18 MHL
184 Cameron Askew (OA) C Moncton QMJHL
185 Yegor Zaitsev LHD JHC Spartak MHL
186 Antii Kalapudas (OA) C Karpat Liiga
187 Blake Lizotte C Fargo USHL
188 Stepan Falkovsky (OA) LHD Ottawa OHL
189 Cliff Pu RW London OHL
190 Michal Roman LHD Trinec Extraliga Jrs
191 Keaton Middleton LHD Saginaw OHL
192 Nicolas Werbik C Rimouski QMJHL
193 Sebastian Repo (OA) C Pelicans Liiga
194 Tanner Laczynski (OA) C Chicago USHL
195 Andrey Altybarmakyan LW Russia U18 MHL
196 Sebastian Ohlsson (OA) C/LW Skelleftea SHL
197 Carson Meyer (OA) RW Tri-City USHL
198 Jake Kryski C Kamloops WHL
199 Zach Poirier C/RW North Bay OHL
200 Luke McInnis LHD Youngstown USHL
201 Ondrej Vala LHD Kamloops WHL
202 Linus Weissbach LW Frolunda Jrs Superelit
203 Julius Mattila C/LW Ilves U20 Liiga Jrs
204 Brayden Burke (OA) LW Lethbridge WHL
205 Noah Carroll LHD Guelph OHL
206 Drake Rymsha C Ottawa OHL
207 Keenan Suthers LW US U18 NTDP
208 Wade Allison RW Tri-City USHL
209 Alexander Polunin (OA) LW Yaroslavl KHL
210 Jacob Bryson LHD Omaha USHL
211 Jacob Neveu RHD Rouyn-Noranda QMJHL
212 Livio Stadler LHD Zug NLA
213 Luke Coleman LW Prince Albert WHL
214 Filip Lestan RW HV71 SHL
215 Jordan Maher C Acadie-Bathurst QMJHL
216 Anthony Salintiri LW Sarnia OHL
217 Casey Fitzgerald (OA) RHD Boston College Hockey East
218 Mike Campoli LHD US U18 NTDP
219 Marcus Ersson LHD Brynas SHL
220 Derek Topatigh (OA) RHD Orangeville OJHL
221 Evan Sarthou G Tri-City WHL
222 Nikita Bashkirov LW Stalnye Lisy MHL
223 Michal Gago LW Zlin U20 Extraliga Jrs
224 Egor Babenko (OA) LW Lethbridge WHL
225 Kaspar Bjorkqvist (OA) LW Blues Liiga Jrs
226 Zakery Galambos (OA) RHD Johnstown NAHL
227 Filip Suchý LW HC Plzen Extraliga Jrs
228 William Bower C Moncton QMJHL
229 Ilya Avramenko LW Russia U18 MHL
230 Rem Pitlick C Muskegon USHL
231 Anton Brandhammar (OA) LHD Farjestad BK Superelit
232 Dante Hannoun C/RW Victoria WHL
233 Brett Murray LW Carleton Place CCHL
234 Ludvig Hoff (OA) LW Lincoln USHL
235 Greg Printz LW U18 Selects  USPHL
236 Mathieu Bellemare G Gatineau QMJHL
237 Daniel Gazda (OA) LHD Zlin U20 Extraliga Jrs
238 Frantisek Hrdinka LHD Frolunda Jrs Superelit
239 Radek Koblizek RW Karpat Liiga
240 Manuel Wiederer (OA) RW Moncton QMJHL
241 Domenic Commisso C Oshawa OHL
242 Artur Lauta (OA) RW Avangard Omsk KHL
243 William Pethrus RHD Mora IK Superelit
244 Matthew Phillips LW Victoria WHL
245 Severi Isokangas G Karpat U20 Liiga Jrs
246 Ryan Cranford RW Kingston OHL
247 Jarkko Parikka (OA) LHD Ilves Liiga
248 Jamie Armstrong LW Avon Old Farms HS-CT
249 Matt Dillon LHD Cushing HS-MA
250 Trent Fox (OA) LW Hamilton OHL