This will be the final installment of my mock draft preview as I’ll finish the first round here. With the last ten picks to be made, a variety of players come in, some ranked in the first round, some not.
I’ll also add in a few honorable mentions who could find themselves sliding up into the top 30 picks in the draft this year.
Now, lets get started.
5’11 – 171lbs – Windsor Spitfires – OHL
Khokhlachev isn’t the biggest guy out there, not by a long shot, but you wouldn’t be able to tell the way he plays. He’ll walk right through all three zones and is difficult to knock around.
He’s got great offensive instincts and his skill set allows him to make plays that will pull you out of your seat.
He’s a flashy player, which sometimes does get him into trouble when he tries to make that extra move and loses the puck, but when he’s on, he is on. He’ll walk around the other team completely then deposit the puck in the back of the net.
He’s got a very good shot but his pass is also top notch. I could see him swing between a sniper and a playmaker depending on who he is playing with.
Granted the Senators picked up Huberdeau early in the draft, they stock pile their offensive talent to match their defensive prospects. With the likes of Erik Karlsson, David Rundblad, Jared Cowen, and Patrick Weircoch, their defensive score is strong and this pick helps strengthen their offensive core.
6’3 – 193 lbs – Vancouver Giants – WHL
Musil is a gift to the Ducks defense as he falls to them at the 22nd pick.
I first had Musil pegged to be a middle first rounder, going between 13-18 yet he fell a bit after I really started thinking all of it out and placing players with teams.
Musil is a big bodied defensmen who is skilled at moving bodies out from in front of the net. He is a guy who will block shots all night long without complaining and will do the dirt work in the corners, in front of and behind the net.
With Luca Sbisa and Cam Fowler being the Ducks two main defensive prospect, both lacking size and solid defensive ability, Musil would fit nicely in the Ducks prospect pool.
6’3 – 199 lbs – Praha HC Slavia – Czech
Jaskin is a big power-forward with a hard accurate shot, a winger who will fill nicely in on the right side with either Sid or Geno.
He has good vision and a pretty nice set of hands for a guy his size. He’s slick with the puck, able to move it around the ice rather easily.
He’s a climber at 23, as most have him as an early to mid-second round pick. For me, he’s a fit with the Penguins. A right-winger, something they lack at the NHL level, a big bodied forward to play the crash and go game along with a few others players on the Pens roster.
He does need to improve on a few things, including his skating and two-way play, but he’d be a solid pick for the Penguins regardless.
5’10 – 180 lbs – Portland Winterhawks – WHL
Bartschi is a sleeper pick at 24 and the Wings get a gem.
Bartschi needs time to develop and the Wings are known for letting their prospects develop for along time before really stepping into the line up, look at Jimmy Howard, Jakub Kindle, and Justin Abdelkader. All three players who paid their dues in the minors and then after time were brought up to play at the NHL level.
Bartschi is one of the fastest wingers available in the draft and he has high end scoring ability. He has a quick first step and has break away ability, but like all players needs to improve in certain areas.
His puck battles are usually lost and he needs to be more involved with the play. He can hover a lot making him a perimeter player at times and he’s usually ineffective when that occurs.
A good player who can develop over time to a solid NHL top six forward is just what the Wings could use.
5’6 – 157 lbs – US-Under-18 – (USAH-NTDP)
Grimaldi is a very undersized forward who is not limited by his small stature.
He’s a fearless player, battles hard anywhere on the ice and has a laser of a shot. I would out of my way to say he potentially has the best shot in this draft. He’s a fantastic skater, has a very high hockey IQ, and back checks with the best of them.
He’s a great overall player. If he was 5 inches taller and 40-50 pounds heavier, I’d have no doubts the kid would be in the top ten of the draft.
Brian Burke and company have proven they don’t mind taking risks with prospects and getting Grimaldi here would really put a highly talented player in their prospect pool.
5’11 – 160 lbs – London Knights – OHL
Vladislav Namestnikov is a very talented Russian who has a great set of hands.
He plays a very up tempo style and moves around the ice with ease. Skating is a strong point for Namestnikov and uses it to his advantage offensively and defensively.
He’s a solid two way player who can wow you at both ends of the ice, whether it’s a spectacular play to put the puck in the net or it’s his great back-checking ability to break up a play on the defensive side of the puck. The kids can do it at both ends of the rink.
The Caps have proven they don’t mind risking a pick on a Russian and Namestnikov is a solid solid player to use a pick on.
6’3 – 194 lbs – US-Under-18 – (USAH-NTDP)
A big, mobile defensmen, with a good offensive skill set, with a lot of potential to grow.
That is a solid way of describing Connor Murphy.
The kid skates with such ease for a big man and is really learning the offensive game of jumping into the play and getting shot through defenders to the net. An asset all players could use.
He’s very raw, however. He’ll need to be groomed into a role and not rushed. Tampa can give him the time to grow and become a defender who fits nicely in a NHL role.
6’2 – 197 lbs – Oshawa Generals – OHL
Jensen is one of a few Danes who’ve been drafted in the first round or have been in the NHL the last five or so years. Some noticeable are Montreal’s Lars Eller, Phoenix’s Mikkel Boedker, and Islander’s Frans Nielsen.
Jensen fits the mold of a Lars Eller type. Bigger bodied, skilled, and solid defensively. He’s got a great amount of skill and he, like a lot of late first rounders are raw and need time to develop.
The Sharks are a very deep team and have plenty of depth in their organization. Jensen will have plenty of time to grow into a NHL caliber player in the Sharks system.
6’2 – 199 lbs – Saginaw Spirit – OHL
Saad is the type of player that a team needs to succeed in the playoffs. He’s big, mean, and talented.
He plays a very hard hitting style of play. He uses his size to his advantage and he’s able to man-handle his competition. This makes him a viable player to put out in high tenacity situations.
His ability to score or set up a play makes him an asset to have in ones organization.
If developed properly, Saad could turn into a James Van Riemsdyk type of player. A power-forward who has top six potential with the ability to play defensively and also able to score. The ability to develop into a player that the Canucks could use in their system. The ability to develop into a player that can help you win a cup.
6’0 – 193 lbs – Oshawa Generals – OHL
Jenner is another one of those fearless players who goes out hitting like a wrecking ball. His ability to play offensively is a big compliment to his game.
Another asset Jenner has is his leadership skills. His leadership ability is one that not a lot of prospects have this year.
We can go on about his puck possession skills and his grit are probably his best assets.
He needs to work on his two way game and his foot speed, however, if he wants to make it to the NHL level.
That completes the end of the first round of the my mock draft. Now there are some players who could very well sneak into the first round of the draft. Here are my five honorable mentions for round one.
Duncan Siemens – D – Saskatoon Blades – WHL
Zack Phillips – C – Saint John Sea Dogs – QMJHL
Rickard Rakell – C – Plymouth Whalers – OHL
Victor Rask – C – Leksands – (Allsvenskan)
J.T. Miller – RW – US-Under-18 – (USAH-NTDP)
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed it.
Topics: Alexander Khokhlachev, Anaheim Ducks, Boone Jenner, Boston Bruins, Brandon Saad, Connor Murphy, David Musil, Detroit Red Wings, Dmitrij Jaskin, Duncan Siemens, J.t. Miller, Leksands, London Knights, Nashville Predators, Nicklas Jensen, Ntdp, Oshawa Generals, Ottawa Senators, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Plymouth Whalers, Portland Winterhawks, Praha HC Slavia, Rickard Rakell, Rocco Grimaldi, Saginaw Spirit, Saint John Sea Dogs, San Jose Sharks, Saskatoon Blades, Sven Bartschi, Tampa Bay Lightning, Us-under-18, Vancouver Canucks, Vancouver Giants, Victor Rask, Vladislav Namestnikov, Washington Captials, Windsor Spitfires, Zack Phillips