The NHL draft was scheduled to take place in June.
There is a lot of uncertainty when it comes to everyday life right now and the NHL is certainly no exception. However, the one thing you can be sure of is that fans miss their hockey and along the same token some want to know what will happen with the draft. This draft has been one of the bright spots for a lot of teams who are rebuilding and are in need of some help in the not so distant future. So let’s put together a mock draft for all 31 picks in the first round. The World Hockey Report’s Cody Janzen and The Senstennial pod and 12oz Sports journalist Matthew Nafe look at what teams pick where.
We ran the simulator over at Tankathon.com once and the results had Ottawa’s 2nd pick moving up to one and Detroit moving to the two slot. Not a whole lot of movement here, but Sens fans are praying that this happens for everything that has happened over the past two years.
Matt’s 1st overall: The Sens select Alexis Lafreniere. The belle of the ball. Lafreniere is what could be the next great winger in the NHL, with a mix of size and immense skill he brings it all to the table. His season in the Q and performance at the world juniors show he is a force to be reckoned with.
Janner’s pick: Ottawa – Alexis Lafreniere. This is a no brainer. Too good to pass up in this year’s draft.
Matt’s 2nd overall: The Redwings select Quinton Byfield. They’re bummed they don’t get their franchise winger, however they’ll settle for a big bodied 1st line center whose PPG in the OHL was extremely impressive. Byfield remained the consensus 2nd overall pick all year, despite his poor showing at the world juniors. An excellent skater who has a nose for the net and a shot to boot will make the Redwings very happy.
Janner’s pick: Detroit – Tim Stutzle. I don’t see Stevee Y passing up on another German player with a ceiling as high as Leon. Stutzle is going to be a stud in the NHL and will be a top line player before he’s 20.
Matt’s 3rd overall: The Sens select Tim Stutzle. What a year this would be for the sens if they were able to get not only 1 top 3 pick, but two. Stutzle is everything you’re going to want in a 1st line center, solid build, a good skater, responsible defensively and drives the offensive play. The sens have questions marks above the 2nd line center position and Stuzle answers those.
Janner’s pick: Ottawa – Quinton Byfield. Another great piece to build around as Byfield has 100 point potential and is a big centreman.
Matt’s 4th overall: The Kings select Jamie Drysdale. With needs just about everywhere, the Kings take the consistent rise in Jamie Drysdale. In 2 years, you’ll be able to see one of the best pairings in the league with Drysdale and Doughty. His world Junior performance showed scouts he is strong defensively, poised with and without the puck, can QB the powerplay, and play on your PK. He’s your toolbox Dman, and the kings are happy to get him.
Janner’s pick: LA – Jamie Drysdale. I hate copying Nafer here but Drysdale could learn a ton from one of the best in the game in Doughty so this seems like a no brainer.
Matt’s 5th overall: The Ducks select Jake Sanderson. The first real shocker of the draft comes with the ducks picking US defenceman Sanderson. The ducks ranks on defensive futures is questionable and adding Sanderson would make there future on the back end a lot brighter. His best asset is his skating with quick and agile feet he’s difficult to get past. Another all around dman who will help get the ducks back to playoff contention.
Janner’s pick: Anaheim – Anton Lundell. A Swedish connection could pay off with how badly the Ducks need offence.
Matt’s 6th overall pick: The Devils select Marco Rossi. The 67s have become a feeder team for the devils and how are they going to overlook the highest scoring forward in the CHL. Rossi is such a dynamic center and one of the only drawback scouts seem to have about his game is his size. His strength on the puck for a player his size is exceptional, coming out of puck battles with the puck more often than not. He drives the play with his quick feet and helps finish with his high IQ. Rossi will make devils fans VERY happy.
Janner’s pick: New Jersey – Marco Rossi. They’ll look past the flag and see that the 67s F has a ton of upside and could be a top line forward at his peak.
Matt’s 7th overall pick: The Sabres select Alexander Holtz. The sabres get their future triggerman in Holtz, who has one of the best shots in the draft. Having him on the wing of Jack Eichel will make scoring a whole lot easier for the sabres. His strong skating ability will make it easy for him to keep up with Eichel’s dynamic pace.
Janner’s pick: Buffalo – Jake Sanderson. The Sabres need help on the backend and another smooth skating defenceman to help push the pace with Dahlin is what they need.
Matt’s 8th overall pick: The Canadiens select Lucas Raymond. The 2nd swede to go in the top 10 is none other than Raymond, who’s offensive ability sets him apart from others in the draft class. With good vision and playmaking ability he’s always an offensive threat. The Habs can use another top 10 pick and he’ll add a much needed piece to the prospect pool.
Janner’s pick: Montreal – Cole Perfetti. I feel like he will be a boom or bust pick, exactly what they love in Quebec…
Matt’s 9th overall pick: The Blackhawks select Yaraslov Askarov. The goalie is off the board! Askarov has been dubbed the next Carey Price and quite honestly we can see why. His natural ability is extremely impressive and he’ll be a main stay in the league for years. The blackhawks goaltending prospects are lacking, with much of their hope resting in Colin Delia, now they’ve solved that problem. His glove hand is something all goalies hope to have so hawks fans, be excited.
Janner’s pick: Chicago – Kaiden Guhle. The Hawks love the CHL guys and Guhle is my shocker in the draft. A big, well poised dman who will be an elite NHL defenceman if they don’t rush him in.
Matt’s 10th overall pick: The Devils select Jack Quinn. One of the most impressive goal scorers in the draft and the Devils get his linemate earlier and hope this mirrors their OHL success.. Quinn’s not only a goal scorer, he’s got good hockey IQ to follow along, however some question if his success is related to other 67s star Rossi. Quinn needs to improve his skating, but his offensive upside is what will make him succeed in the NHL.
Janner’s pick: NJD – Lucas Raymond. Raymond slipping to 10 would be perfect the Devils.
Matt’s 11th overall pick: The Wild select Cole Perfetti. How does a forward like this fall? Team needs. Perfetti is such an impressive offensive player that he really should have gone higher. His skating is his biggest question mark but regardless his hockey IQ makes up for a lot of it. The wild are lacking in top tier talent and they’re lucky to have a good pick in such a deep draft.
Janner’s pick: Minnesota – Alexander Holtz. A team struggling for offence would be hollow in the head to pass up on a player like Holtz at this spot.
Matt’s 12th overall pick: The Jets select Anton Lundell. The Jets and the Wild may be two of the luckiest teams as two amazing talents fall into their laps. Lundell has been on a steady decline in draft rankings, for what seems like no reason at all. He provides what could be the perfect game as a centre with top defensive and offensive ability. What should make jet’s fans excited about him is his ability to create offense seemingly out of nowhere, being in the correct areas to succeed.
Janner’s pick: WPG – Connor Zary. One of the most talented players in the dub this past season, but from what I saw of him in a couple games this winter, his defensive play is second to none.
Matt’s 13th pick: The Rangers select Connor Zary. He was seriously consistent for Kamloops in the WHL. Putting up 86 points in just over 50 games, the center has a serious ability to create offense. He’s no slouch defensively either, with strong skating and being difficult to be knocked off of the puck. He’s also considered one of the fastest players in the draft, which catches any teams attention.
Janner’s pick: NYR – Jack Quinn. Has some serious skills (52 goals isn’t bad right?!), although he does have some flaws in his game that will need to be touched up on before he’s ready for the NHL.
Matt’s 14th pick: The Panthers select Dylan Holloway. The University of Wisconsin freshman had a slow start to the season offensively, but was right at home in all other areas of his game. He was able to put it together in the late stages of the season before it ended abruptly. A strong centre who can dictate the play on the ice, impressing scouts with his ability to move the puck on a whim.
Janner’s pick: FLA – Seth Jarvis. I know they could use some help on the backend, but Jarvis could be a huge miss if you pass up on him.
Matt’s 15th pick: The Blue Jackets Dawson Mercer. The best way to describe Mercer is a well rounded player who can score at will. High IQ that makes him deadly coming into the zone. His offensive production was curtailed by injury but 60 points in 42 games shows he has the capability to be a high scoring player. His hands are also consistently described as silky smooth, good problem to have.
Janner’s pick: CBJ – Dawson Mercer. He just seems like the perfect Blue Jacket? Responsible is one word I would use to describe Mercer.
Matt’s 16th pick: The Flames select Jeremie Poirier. The flames see the high risk high reward defenseman as a piece to help build their future with. Poirier has such dynamic skill that get’s scouts excited but also a little nervous. He’s a good skater but his biggest asset is his NHL IQ what can make him a regular powerplay quarterback. The D core in Calgary is aging and Poirier will bring in such a great piece that fans can get very excited about.
Janner’s pick: CGY – Dylan Holloway. If the hometown boy and former Okotoks Oiler is on the board at 16 you can bet your ass the Flames are taking Holloway. Tearing up the NCAA as a freshman isn’t easy out of the AJ, and Holloway still has a long way to go to reach his potential.
Matt’s 17th pick: The Devils select Kaiden Guhle. The Devils taking 2 dynamic forwards with their first 2 picks, they finished their excellent first round with D-man Guhle. He posseses great size as an 18 year old that adds onto his defence first mentality. He found some offensive side this past season, but he won’t be relied on to put up points. The devils however are okay with that.
Janner’s pick: NJD – Noel Gunler. The big winger didn’t do much in the SHL which could be the reason why he was snubbed from the world juniors, but watching him in the Champions league, he does have a killer instict on offense which could translate well to the North American game.
Matt’s 18th pick: The Predators select Noel Gunler. Gunler was left off of the WJC Swedish team and it’s puzzling as to why. Gunler has been able to produce at the different levels of play that he plays at. He has an excellent shot that will make him a good fit on the preds top 6. A good skater with offensive ability will make him a welcomed commodity. The predators are always looking for upgrades offensively and this one won’t cost them much.
Janner’s pick: Nash – Jeremie Poirier. The youth will need to come through the d core soon enough and it wouldn’t hurt to develop some more elite young guns under the likes of Roman Josi.
Matt’s 19th pick: The Hurricanes select Rodion Amirov. The Canes go with one of the most interesting prospects in the draft to finish off their excellent first round. Amirov played all over the place this year, in the junior Russian league as well as in the KHL. He tries to model his game after Matthews and Kucherov and that should make the Canes fans excited. Dynamic offensively, responsible defensively? What’s not to like?
Janner’s pick: Carolina – Yaraslov Askarov. They haven’t had a true number one since Cam Ward so might as well take a risk on a backwards catching Russian, right?
Matt’s 20th pick: The Oilers select Seth Jarvis. The WHL offensive dynamo goes to the team made up of two other offensive dynamos. Jarvis’ raw skill is what makes him so exciting for teams. He put up just short of a 100 points. His skating will fit right in beside Connor Mcdavid and he’ll have every chance to score. He’s one of the most exciting players in the draft as he’ll be able to get you out of your seat as soon as he gets the puck.
Janner’s pick: Edmonton – Hendrix Lapierre. He could end up on the powerplay with Connor McDavid or Jesse Puljujarvi. Obviously you would like to see more of him, but he’s a damn good player to pass up on.
Matt’s 21st pick: The Senators select Hendrix Lapierre. Talk about a boom or bust pick. Lapierre this past year only played 19 games in the Q but was no slouch offensively, being able to easily find his teammates on the fly. If he’s able to stay healthy next season, you can expect to see him putting up ridiculous numbers, some consider him having some of the highest offensive ceiling in the draft.
Janner’s pick: Ottawa – Tyson Foerster. Another big centre with offensive ability. One of these has to pan out, right?!
Matt’s 22nd pick: The Stars select Braden Schneider. The Stars have always been heavy offensively and their d-core being a weak spot. Adding Schneider to an up and coming defensive unit will make Dallas even more of a legitimate contender. Schneider brings a strong defensive game but has the ability to put up good offensive numbers, tallying 42 points last season. His 6’2 frame isn’t done growing yet and I’m sure you’ll start to see him fill out and become a force.
Janner’s pick: Dallas – Rodion Amirov. They’re not afraid of a Russian, and aren’t in a rush to get one in the lineup, so this could pay off if he figures out the mens game.
Matt’s 23rd pick: The Rangers select Mavrik Bourque. One of the younger players in the draft, Bourque is considered one of the most offensively gifted. He’s possesses a good shot, good on-ice vision, and is defensively sound as well. His high IQ is what sets him apart from most, able to tell where a player will be going or how to get into the open space to make things happen.
Janner’s pick: NYR – Jan Mysak. Bring on the offence. Mysak has the potential to be a top line player in the league if he can get more comfortable with the puck on his stick in tight spaces.
Matt’s 24th pick: The Wild select Jan Mysak. Another extremely interesting prospect who’s rankings have taken a significant hit all year. He moved from the Czech league over the OHL to increase his exposure, once arriving being an over a point per game player. A great release will make him the ideal trigger man beside Cole Perfetti. The future just got a lot brighter in Minnesota.
Janner’s pick: Minny – Mavrik Bourque. Another well-rounded responsible forward who can play up the middle in all situations. Will take his offensive game to the next level in the Q next season.
Matt’s 25th pick: The Flyers select Justin Barron. Such an excellent pick up for the Flyers who still need to improve their back end. Barron was out of action for a good portion of the season which definitely had an effect on his draft stock. His best attribute is his skating which helps him pivot and move the puck with ease out of the zone. His size and skating make him a formidable opponent and the Flyers want that.
Janner’s pick: Philly – Braden Schneider. Smooth skating dman with a nice offensive side to his game.
Matt’s 26th pick: The Sharks select Jacob Perreault. Just about everything went wrong this year for the sharks and not having a first round pick in the draft would put the icing on the cake. On what became such a weird trade that brought in a 1st, Perrault will be the prize for San Jose. The strong center has a wicked shot and has all the tools to be a top 6 forward in the NHL. The issue for him will be his 2 way game, but you can teach that.
Janner’s pick: San Jose – Lukas Cormier. Although there may be better players available, Cormier could be the right pick on a Sharks team that needs to get younger on the back end in the next few years.
Matt’s 27th pick: The Avalanche select Lukas Cormier. The Avs take the undersized d-man who can skate himself out of any issue. He still has work to do on his defensive game, but his offensive ability makes up for that for now. He will add some high calibre offensive ability to Colorado’s already high calibre team. He’s a player that can slot in on the same pairing as Makar and have a great impact on the powerplay.
Janner’s pick: Colorado – William Wallinder. A 6’4 defenceman with offensive ability? This could be one of the steals of the draft. A year in Sweden playing against men could really help William fill into his body and turn into a true pro.
Matt’s 28th pick: The Golden Knights select Shakir Mukhamadullin. The Russian defenceman is another interesting prospect who as an 18 year old had no problem playing in the KHL with men. With his 6’3 frame he’s a great size that moves well, creates offense with his strong passing ability and hockey IQ. Vegas has time to let a player like him develop, but expect when there is an opening available, he’ll make the move to North America.
Janner’s pick: Vegas – Jacob Perreault. There’s no doubt the offence is there, but could be a defensive liability if he doesn’t learn the 200 ft game. I think the VGK could be a good team for his style, if he buys into the system.
Matt’s 29th pick: The Capitals select John Jason Peterka. As a lot of people saw, there were 3 dynamic players for the Germans at the world juniors and Peterka was one of them. He has all the tools to be the center of attention when on the ice, being solid defensively and then turning that into poignant offense. His numbers in the DEL aren’t eye catching, but considering that he’s a 18 year old playing with men, he’s such an interesting player here.
Janner’s pick: Washington – Jake Neighbours. He captained Canada White at the U17s and is a very dynamic forward. He’s the type of player the Caps can really mold into their system, for a very solid second line guy.
Matt’s 30th pick: The Blues select William Wallinder. The 6’4 swede catches just about anyone’s eye when he’s on the ice, a defensive minded d-man who skates well and outlets the puck just the same. There are question marks about whether Pietrangelo will be re-signing in St.Louis and adding D to the cupboards won’t hurt anyone. Considering they’re adding a defenseman who has a huge frame, skates well, and has the ability to improve his offense, I’m sure a lot of people are okay with this selection.
Janner’s pick: St. Louis – Lukas Reichel. I really liked John-Jason Peterka for Germany in the World Juniors, but Reichel stuck out even more to me with his elite level skating and incredible offensive IQ. It doesn’t hurt he had a much better season in the DEL as well.
Matt’s 31st pick: The Ducks select Tyson Foerster. The ducks shocked people when they selected Sanderson and they need to fill gaps just about everywhere. Foerster has one of the nastiest releases in the draft and has the tools to be an impact player anywhere on the ice. The right winger made his presence felt in the OHL by scoring 36 goals, an 80 points overall, he increased his scoring from the year before by 57 points. He’s grown his offensive game significantly and when he’s put with a pass first teammate, he could be dangerous.
Janner’s pick: Anaheim – Brendan Brisson. Don’t sleep on the USHL product. He’s going to be at Michigan with a mission and could end up being a lethal liney for Zegras.
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