7th Round Mock Draft (Picks 182-211): June Edition
|RHD AUSTIN STRAND: Red Deer’s steady defender who quietly had a solid season from primarily minimizing risk and always taking the safest route possible. He hasn’t shown much on the offensive end but he has decent foot speed and can cover ground in a hurry when he’s able to find the courage to use it.
|LHD CHAZ REDDEKOPP: Big and physical defender for Victoria who would probably be a top-60 pick a few drafts ago. You have to think his high CSB ranking (82nd NA) was due to some scouts with a somewhat outdated opinion on what a defenseman’s core requirements should now be. There will always be room for shutdown defenders, and he will develop into a good one.
|LHD TATE OLSON: A night-and-day season of two halves cost the Prince George defender big time, as he went from being a legit top-pairing prospect in the first half to a struggling gamble the next. He can skate really well and plays physical, but he needs to work on making and receiving passes.
|LHD CHRIS MARTENET: A 6’7 project who actually plays a smooth, heads-up game. Martenet was a reliable defender for London, which didn’t heap a ton of pressure on him in the beginning but later changed its tune. The Leafs could use a steady blueliner who doesn’t panic and actually knows when to leave his position and when not to.
|G LIAM HERBST: Nice comeback story as this Ottawa 67 overager overcame serious knee and hip injuries to play as Mackenzie Blackwood’s replacement at the CHL Top Prospects Game, where he stopped all 21 shots he faced. The former OHL first rounder (2012) was fourth in the league with a 2.76 GAA.
|LOS ANGELES via NEW JERSEY
|RW EVAN WEINGER: The Kings would be smart to take this local kid for several reasons; the most important being he’s an tenacious forechecker and a physical winger close to 6’0/190. The fact that he’s from El Segundo and a product of the Junior Kings is simply the condiment on the In-and-Out burger. Was a key depth player on a veteran-heavy Portland team.
|RW MATT SCHMALZ: Ridiculously strong power forward who was one of Sudbury’s few bright spots. Sure, he was the worst among forwards at an astonishing -57, but he also led the team in goals with 24. At 6’6/209 and growing, he’s the right guy to gamble on this late.
|LW SAMUEL LABERGE: There’s something to be said about a young depth player on a strong team who consistently gives you what you expect. Buried under Rimouski’s veteran rank and file, the 6’2/210 Laberge still managed to finish top-10 among QMJHL rookie goal scorers with 15 in 61 games.
|LHD BRANDON CRAWLEY: Garden State native who has a pretty extensive skill set for a guy who arguably was misused by London. He can skate, plays with an edge, and his passes are accurate with zip on them. Very patient and calm under pressure, Crawley may go higher but certainly deserves to have his name called.
|LHD CAMERON LIZOTTE: Fierce competitor and hits the way he plays — hard and with conviction. Stepped up as a sort of leader for a struggling Peterborough team hurt by a wave of man games lost, and made a name for himself by being a pain to play against. Still needs to improve his timing and the timeliness of his aggressiveness, but a great late-round find nonetheless.
|LHD JAKE MASSIE: UMass-bound puck mover who opted to ditch the Quebec League for the NCAA. Still pretty thin at 6’1/170 but he skates well and makes accurate breakout passes.
|RW ARTEM ARTEMOV: Didn’t produce the expected jump in production after leaving the USHL for Saginaw, but this power forward still finished sixth in team goal scoring (14 goals in 68 gp) and led the Spirit in scoring during their brief playoff showing. He can take a beating in front of the net when he decides to go there.
|LHD AUSTIN CHO: Slick, mobile blueliner who is headed to R.P.I in the fall after a stellar career at St. Andrews College. Plays a very smart and steady game, and does not shy away from physical battles.
|RHD STEVEN RUGGIERO: Providence College will certainly welcome this steady yet mobile big-bodied defenseman, who split last year between Youngstown and the U18 team. Was a bit tentative at the U18 Worlds but did his job considering the opponent’s ridiculously low shots attempted game to game.
|G ALES STEZKA: He may have been Daniel Vladnar’s backup at both the U18’s and the Hlinka but this Czech netminder showed a lot of athleticism in his few starts. One could say he outperformed Vladnar is both tournaments.
|RW SPENCER SMALLMAN: Solid two-way winger who is dangerous on either side of special teams. Smallman placed second on Saint John in scoring with 56 points in 66 games, but his draft stock slipped because he’s an overager and doesn’t play a flashy game. A very good depth option and power play specialist nonetheless.
|C ALEX BARRE BOULET: Lightning bug playmaker who finished eighth among QMJHL rookies with 51 points in 68 games. Had a strong close to his season for Drummondville, but he’s 5’9/160 and doesn’t play physical at all.
|LHD BAILEY WEBSTER: Two-way blueliner with appealing size (6’3/210) who had a strong enough second half to jump almost 30 spots in the final CSB rankings. He didn’t get many looks on the power play or when Saint John was trailing late, but you can see the potential is there for added responsibility.
|C TRENT FOX: A snail’s-pace decline in production following a trade from Erie to Belleville impacts this big pivot’s draft slot, but at 6’2/195 he’s an intriguing bottom-6 option because he can make plays and be a contributor during close-quarter battles. Not overly physical or possess quickness, Fox comes across as the type of player who could develop into an offensive threat but only through patience and with wingers who can finish.
|RHD JOSEPH CECCONI: Led Muskegon’s surprising march deep through the USHL playoffs thanks to a physical style and very strong positional game. He’s not going to amaze you with his puck skills, but the Michigan-bound rearguard is a solid static and transitional defender whose active stick and long reach makes him tough to beat during zone entries.
|NEW YORK ISLANDERS
|C JOHN MCDERMOTT: Another member of David Quinn’s tremendous incoming class at Boston University, McDermott is a big, agile center who moves very well and was one of the prep circuit’s better puck protectors.
|WINNIPEG via WASHINGTON
|C KARSON KUHLMAN: Minnesota-Duluth’s outstanding freshman playmaker who had a solid rookie season in the USHL (and a brief stint with the U18 team) before joining the collegiate ranks. He went undrafted a year ago and is almost a double overager, but worth a look since he projects to be a top-line NCAA player as an underclassman.
|MINNESOTA via VAN/TB
|G ADAM WERNER: Doesn’t get as much recognition playing backup to fellow-2015 draft eligible Felix Sandstrom, but certainly a cool customer who tracks the puck well enough to merit a selection. Standing almost 6’5, Werner needs to improve his glove-hand quickness as his penchant for playing deep in the net has made him susceptible to the only real opening his big frame cannot mask.
|RHD CHRISTIAN JAROS: Another rugged stay-at-home defenseman who made some noise playing for Slovakia at the WJC. He’s got the size (6’3) and a good shot, and his numbers for Lulea’s Allsvenskan and Superelit squads indicates he has offensive upside.
|FLORIDA via STL/NJD
|G MAXIM TRETIAK: The name rings a bell as it should, but he’s likely not gong to become as legendary as Grandpa Vladislav. He’s got new-NHL size (6’4) but still extremely raw. Tretiak’s postseason play for CSKA’s MHL affiliate should be enough to give him a longer KHL look in 2016
|LHD DAVID HENLEY: Bruising and gifted, Henley has kept many of his onlookers waiting (and waiting) for an offensive breakout that just hasn’t happened in his two years (for two different QMJHL teams ). He was a scorer in midget, but you can’t fault Charlottetown’s depth as a reason why he hasn’t put up points.
|TAMPA via ANAHEIM
|RW KIRILL PILIPENKO Skilled winger who has yet to make his KHL debut after a couple of above-average campaigns in the MHL. He’s very talented with the puck and showcased his skills at the U19 World Junior “A” Challenge, where he finished third in tournament scoring.
|NEW YORK RANGERS
|LHD YEGOR RYKOV: Very hard seeing him go this late, but he’s easily one of Russia’s most reliable defenders. Especially when you consider how mistake-prone most members of the national team are. Rykov is also not an overager, so the likelihood he goes higher than his Russian peers is even greater. Still, the ridiculous “Russian Factor” keeps him a late-round pick.
|SAN JOSE via TB/NYI
|LHD GARRETT MCFADDEN: Guelph’s slick puck mover who isn’t the biggest or toughest on his skates, but can definitely advance the puck and complete accurate passes which lead to successful breakouts. He even received some power play time, and towards season’s end he was one of Guelph’s better defenders.
|G JAKE MORRISSEY: Kelowna’s athletic and nimble backup who posted sparkling numbers while backstopping the Rockets’ star-studded skaters. Say what you want about the team in front of him, but a slant of 1.98/.932 in 11 games is quite uncommon for a rookie sub in any league.
- Los Angeles owns New Jersey’s 2015 7th round pick (187th overall) from a 2013 Draft Day trade in which the Kings traded their 2013 7th round pick (208th overall — Anthony Brodeur) to the Devils for this pick.
- Winnipeg owns Washington’s 2015 7th round pick (203rd overall) from a 2014 Draft Day trade in which the Jets traded Edward Pasquale, a 2014 6th round pick (159th overall -Steven Spinner) to the Capitals for a 2014 6th round pick (164th overall -Pavel Kraskovsky), a 2014 7th round pick (192nd overall -Matt Ustaski) and this pick.
- Minnesota owns Vancouver’s 2015 7th round pick (204th overall) from a 2014 Draft Day trade in which the Wild traded their 2014 3rd round pick (79th overall -Brayden Point) to Tampa for a 2014 3rd round pick (80th overall -Louis Belpedio) and this pick. The Lighting previously acquired the pick from the Canucks in the Jason Garrison trade.
- Florida owns St. Louis’ 2015 7th round pick (206th overall) from a Sept. 28, 2013 trade in which the Panthers traded Scott Timmins, a 2014 6th round pick (152nd overall -Joey Dudek) to New Jersey for Krys Barch and this pick. The Devils previously acquired this pick from the Blues in the Matt D’agostini trade.
- Tampa owns Anaheim’s 2015 7th round pick (208th overall) from the Nate Thompson trade.
- The New York Rangers re-acquired their 2015 7th round pick (209th overall) from Tampa in the Daniel Walcott trade. The Lighting previously acquired this pick from the Rangers as a condition from the Ryan Callahan/Martin St. Louis trade. Tampa received this pick from the Rangers after they signed Ryan Callahan to a contract extension.
- San Jose owns Tampa’s 2015 7th round pick (210th overall) from a condition of the Tyler Kennedy trade with the New York Islanders. The Sharks received this pick when Kennedy did not play in 50% of the Islanders’ playoff games, and they did not win the Stanley Cup. The Islanders previously acquired this pick from the Lightning in a 2014 Draft Day trade in which the Islanders traded their 2014 7th round pick (185th overall – Cameron Darcy) to Tampa for a 2014 7th round pick (200th overall -Lukas Sutter) and this pick.