2016 NHL Mock Draft: Edition I (January)
Standings as of 1/19/15
Edition I of my mock drafts. January’s is always tough to predict, especially because of the standings.
1. CBJ: Auston Matthews: best player available in draft, almost sure fire #1 overall
2. TOR: Jesse Puljujarvi – explosive offensively, good in WJC for gold medal winning Finland
3. BUF: Patrik Laine – another Finland native, could easily go second
4. EDM: Matt Tkachuk – best player available, plays tough and aggressive. Would be a good add for Edmonton.
5. CGY: Jakob Chychrun – best defenseman in the draft but not ready to immediately step in
6. WPG: Alex Nylander – high profile scorer, brother of William. Will fit in nicely with core of Ehlers and Petan
7. ANA: Julien Gauthier – one of the better Canada players at the WJC
8. CAR: Michael McLeod – big, two-way center. Carolina needs a forward at their pick.
9. VAN: Olli Juolevi – good skater and two way defender. Vancouver could go with a number of options, however.
10. NSH: Pierre-Luc Dubois – big scorer who fits Nashville’s size and skill model
11. PHI: Clayton Keller – small in size but good skater with skill; similar to Konecny
12. NJD: Kieffer Bellows – skilled winger that New Jersey needs
13. PIT: Jake Bean – quick defenseman who fits Pittsburgh’s quick style of play
14. OTT: Mikhail Sergachev – big, smart defenseman. Ottawa could go F here too but hard to see Sergachev slip further
—CURRENT PLAYOFF CUTOFF—
15. COL: Dante Fabbro – good puck moving defenseman that Colorado needs
16. ARZ: Max Jones – big powerforward that would complement Domi nicely in the future
17. BOS (SJS): Tyson Jost – playmaker, big in size and fits Boston’s mold
18. MTL: Tyler Benson – one of the better scoring forwards that could slip later in the draft if MTL gets it together
19. BOS: Logan Brown – another big, skilled forward for the B’s
20. TBL: Dimitry Sokolov – Russian, good all around offensively
21. MIN: Charles McAvoy – smart skater and breakout in college. Represented USA at WJC
22. ARZ (NYR): Logan Stanley – huge defenseman but has a tendency to take penalty minutes
23. NYI: Alex DeBrincat – high scoring forward who will slip due to size
24. DET: Rasmus Asplund – skilled forward and quietly great at WJC
25. FLA: Kale Clague – good defensively & skating wise
26. CAR (LAK): Sam Steel – good all around playmaker
27. STL: Riley Tufte – good shot, big player too which fits St. Louis
28. DAL: Brett Howden – good all around powerforward
29. CHI: Markus Niemelainen – not flashy but gets job done defensible
30. WSH: Vitalii Abramov – small but skilled like Vrana
More mock drafts will come in the future. The earliest ones are always the hardest, but we’ll get a clearer look once the draft comes nearer and we can get past the trade deadline to see which team is doing what.