Yesterday I looked at the top half of the first round, and today I examine the 2nd half of Round 1. In these picks, it is anyone’s guess as to what direction teams will go, so this is just a best guess based on team needs and who is left on the board.
16. Buffalo -Oscar Klefbom – Talented and feisty Swede could dominate games and could eventually become a dominant partner for Tyler Myers.
17. Montreal – Joel Armia – Will bring a much needed physical presence to the Montreal forward corps, also bringing skill and the Finnish work ethic.
18. Chicago – Duncan Siemens - Big, slick defenseman will fit nicely along Chicago’s blue line in a couple of years, once the Salary Cap jam in Chicago is relieved.
19. Edmonton – Brandon Saad – His stock fell a bit this season but he has the size and skill to be a solid contributor in Edmonton in the future.
20. Phoenix – Mark Scheifele - Big, smooth skating centres are at a premium, and Scheifele wasn’t on a lot of radars at the beginning of the season. The Barrie centre has skyrocketed up the rankings and is only getting better.
21. Ottawa (FR NSH) – J. T. Miller – Left Winger with size and skill, and a knack for scoring big goals. Will not be ready for a couple of years as he is committed to NCAA powerhouse University of North Dakota.
22. Anaheim – Tomas Jurco – Another player with top end talent, just needs to display it on a more consistent basis. He is another player who can be a game breaker when he wants to be.
23. Pittsburgh – Nicklas Jensen – Good hands and a sniper, could fit in along with the offensive minded Penguins stars, and they can only help his scoring totals.
24. Detroit – Connor Murphy - His stock has dropped somewhat due to a serious back injury that has taken a couple of years to recover from. He returned late in the season, and if he can return to form, he has the talent to be a top pairing defenseman within 5 years.
25. Toronto (From PHI) – Rocco Grimaldi - Pint-sized player with big league skills. If he was even 5 inches taller than his 5’6″ frame, he would be a top-10 player in this draft, maybe top 5. He is competitive enough to be a solid offensive contributor. Will attend University of North Dakota in the fall as well.
26. Washington – Boone Jenner - The Capitals can use his combination of grit and talent to balance out the pure talent that they currently have. Won’t put up huge numbers at the next level, but will be a contributor
27. Tampa Bay – David Musil - A towering defenseman with great bloodlines. Musil is a shutdown player who has enough ability to put up some points. He can play a physical style, but it is not his first preference. A good comparison might be Chris Phillips.
28. San Jose – Joseph Morrow – A playmaker from the blue line, who has the size and skill to play in the league. Dan Boyle will be a good mentor for Morrow.
29. Vancouver – Alexander Khokhlachev - A little on the smallish size at 5’10″, 175 lbs, Khokhlachev made a nice transition from Russia to the OHL. His talent level is superior and he could be a diamond in the rough, however his Russian passport may have some GM’s looking the other way, given past history with Russian born players.
30. Toronto (From BOS) – Ty Rattie – A player who just puts up points. He will have to add some muscle to his 6′, 170 lb frame. He has good playmaking ability from the wing and isn’t afraid of the physical game despite his slight size.
So there is my roll of the dice, toss the dart at the board, prediction of what may happen this Friday night. I can guarantee that it won’t happen this way, but hey, my guess is as good as anyone’s, right?
Thanks for reading and as always, comments are welcomed.
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Topics: Alexander Khokhlachev, Anaheim Ducks, Boone Jenner, Brandon Saad, Buffalo Sabres, Chicago Blackhawks, Connor Murphy, David Musil, Detroit Red Wings, Duncan Siemens, Joe Morow, Joel Armia, JT Miller, Mark Scheifele, Montreal Canadiens, NHL Mock Draft, Nicklas Jensen, Oscar Klefbom, Ottawa Senators, Pittsburgh Penguins, Rocco Grimaldi, San Jose Sharks, Tampa Bay Lightning, Tim Murray, Tomas Jurco, Toronto Maple Leafs, Ty Rattie, Vancouver Canucks, Washington Capitals