Welcome back to my weekly Prospect Ramblings column!
As you may know, over the past two weeks I have released the first round of a mock draft carried out by myself, and 6 other members of the scouting community. For the first 15 picks of the first round, as well as some information on myself and the other scouts involved in this draft, please click here. If you would like to check out pick 16 through 30 of the first round, click here.
We’ve certainly seem some surprises in the first round, so let’s see what happens in the second!
***It should also be noted that this mock draft took place during the Conference Finals; as a result, picks 27-30, and 57-60 were based on regular season point totals, and no compensatory picks for unsigned draft selections were factored***
31st Overall: The Toronto Maple Leafs select, from the Everett Silvertips of the Western Hockey League, goaltender Carter Hart.
DM: This is an opportunistic pick, since we assess Hart to be the best goalie in the entire draft. He possesses excellent athleticism and rebound control that is not normally found in players of this age. Most importantly, he is a competitor through and through – in reality, he has been Everett's starter since the age of 16 and has more than held his own. In our market, we need a net-minder who can handle the pressure. We see that in Carter.
32nd Overall: The Edmonton Oilers select, from the Flint Firebirds of the Ontario Hockey League, center Will Bitten.
ZF: Despite playing through some adversity on an odd Flint Firebirds team, Bitten thrived. He comes in a bit undersized but plays a big game. He uses his explosiveness and lower body strength allowing him to evade defenders knocking him off the puck. Bitten is a multi-dimensional player but his offensive abilities are his bread and butter. Good finisher with above-average vision and a strong work ethic
33rd Overall: The Vancouver Canucks select, from the North Bay Battalion of the Ontario Hockey League, defenseman Cam Dineen.
ZF: Dineen is a dynamic offensive force from the back-end. He displays elite vision in the offensive zone. Dineen utilizes his skating ability well to create space and evade attackers. He doesn't make many mistakes and defends well courtesy of positioning and great stick work. Can get outmuscled as he's undersized and needs to close the gap a bit more.
34th Overall: The Columbus Blue Jackets select, from the Mississauga Steelheads of the Ontario Hockey League, center Nathan Bastien.
NT: Versatile forward made great strides throughout the season. His on-ice awareness is incredible. He struggled early on this year in his one on one physical battles, but that aspect of his game has come a long, showing a willingness to learn and improved. Was very impressed with how he stepped up his game in Mcleod's absence.
35th Overall: The Calgary Flames select, from the Erie Otters of the Western Hockey League, right winger Taylor Raddysh.
DM: Raddysh is a bruising winger who doesn't hesitate to use his size. Don't be fooled though – this a player who surprises a deceiving amount of offensive acumen. While his scoring ability may not translate to the NHL game, he will be a valuable piece on any team going forward. Improving his already decent skating will only help that. This is a kid who could become a fan favourite in Calgary.
36th Overall: The Arizona Coyotes select, from the Saginaw Spirit of the Ontario Hockey League, defenseman Markus Niemlainen.
NT: Big bodied defender has mobility and stays out of trouble. If his offence comes along he could be quite the player.
37th Overall: The Winnipeg Jets select, from the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League, defenseman Victor Mete.
MA: Winnipeg may be tempted to take one of the many skilled forwards available at this position, and definitely look at defensemen of varying talents, but see Mete's dynamic offensive game and elite speed as something too good to pass on. Mete may be criticized for his developing defensive play and his stature, but his creativity from the backend and the potential he possesses makes up for that. The best defense is a good offense, and Mete's game embraces this logic perfectly.
38th Overall: The Buffalo Sabres select, from Timra IK of the Allsvenskan, left winger Jonathan Dahlen.
MA: With Buffalo's top tier talent at center, they will look for a scoring winger to compliment their talent in the middle of the ice. Dahlen looks to be an impressive offensive talent, who has all the tools to be a very good complimentary piece on the wing in a top six unit if he continues to develop the way many think he can. With a great shot and a knack to find the right spots on the ice to give himself the best chance to capitalize on offensive opportunities, the Sabres will be very happy to find a future winger for one of the their young centers.
39th Overall: The Montreal Canadiens select, from the St. John Sea Dogs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, defenseman Luke Green.
NT: Quarterback style defender rushes the puck well and pushes the pace. Competes hard but does need to tighten up his gap coverage.
40th Overall: The Colorado Avalanche select, from AIK of the Allsvenskan, left winger Jesper Bratt.
MA: With top end defensive prospects dwindling at this point in the draft, the Avs will avoid taking a mediocre defenseman, and instead look for a player that might be a hidden gem in the draft. Due to his smaller stature and the fact that he wasn't in the spotlight all season, Bratt may have been at least slightly overlooked. The fact is that while Bratt is small, he also possesses great speed, hands, and playmaking abilities.
41st Overall: The New Jersey Devils select, from the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League, center Adam Mascherin.
CM: Mascherin has made a name for himself based primarily on his shot and unwavering work ethic. He can beat goaltenders from anywhere in the offensive zone, and is effective as the go-to shooter on a power play. While not exceedingly tall, Mascherin plays a heavy game and impressively wins puck battles both in corners and in front of the opposition's net. He holds the tantalizing potential to become an effective top-six forward at the NHL level, but with his relentless style of play, Mascherin's floor should remain, at minimum, an energy-inducing bottom-six forward that can have an impact on the game wherever he plays.
42nd Overall: The Ottawa Senators select, from the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League, center Sam Steel.
ZF: Steel plays well in both ends of the ice, but thrives in the offensive zone. Steel put up big numbers in the regular season and playoffs. He accomplished this with great playmaking ability and his seamless release off of the rush. His skating and edge work is second to none. He relies heavily on his first step and evasiveness to separate himself from opponents. Shies away from physical play and dirty areas.
43rd Overall: The Carolina Hurricanes select, from Brynas IF of the Swedish Hockey League, defenseman Lucas Carlsson.
CM: Carlsson is a shifty defenseman who possesses a soft set of hands and a nose for the net. He generates offense from the backend in a variety of ways, and can effectively finish plays with an accurate shot. Carlsson reads the ice very well, and understands the appropriate time to use his speed and rush the puck. Altogether he makes up a highly skilled offensive defenseman that is capable of quarterbacking a power play.
44th Overall: The Tampa Bay Lightning select, from the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, center Otto Somppi.
DM: Was hurt early in the season, which caused him to fall, but a quick forward who can line up at center with great playmaking skills and a high-pressure game. Has a decent frame which he will need to add muscle to, and still needs to refine his defensive game if he wants to play up the middle despite great effort in this area. Mostly, I love his pace – he pushes the play forward, which is contagious for teammates and a terror for defenders
45th Overall: The Montreal Canadiens select, from the Mississauga Steelheads of the Ontario Hockey League, defenseman Sean Day.
NT: What an enigma! The hardest player to judge in the draft. Day has all the tools to make him destined for superstardom: Speed, strength, size, skill. However, his on-ice awareness and decision-making are well behind where they need to be at this stage of his development. I credit that to him having skipped his minor midget-season. He did not get the chance to have that extra time with the puck, learn to make plays. At this point in the draft, I take a chance on him, knowing full well he will play three more seasons in the OHL. The chance to dominate in his overage season could compensate, and there is hope yet he can put it all together and play a regular shift in the NHL.
Thanks for checking in to see picks 31-45 of this year’s NHL Mock Draft! Next week, we finish off picks 46-60. Check back the following week on Friday, June 17th for an analysis of the trade scuttlebutt leading into the draft and how it could affect your Keeper League.