Our panel of scouting experts predicts Mitch Mattson will be picked 46th overall in the 2016 NHL entry draft.
Welcome back to my weekly Prospect Ramblings column!
This week, I conclude the mock draft that has been carried out by myself and six other members of the scouting community with picks 46 through 60. 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. For the first half of the second round, picks 31 through 45, click here.
Before concluding, I’d like to recognize and thank the other scouts who took time out of their schedules to put the time into participating in this mock draft: Nick Tropper (@FocusedScouting), Zach Fraleigh (@zachfraleigh), Chris Mazza, Matt Anderson (@MattAnderson9), Darren Faria (@DLHockeyCanada), and Kyle Bezaire. Cheers boys!
***It should also be noted that this mock draft took place during the conference final; 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.***
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46th Overall: The Detroit Red Wings select, from the University of North Dakota, center Mitch Mattson.
DF: Big body at 6-4 is what the Wings need down the middle. Mattson plays a full 200-foot game and has great playmaking abilities, using a powerful stride to propel around all three zones. With Datsyuk and Zetterberg leaving the Wings in the very near future, it’s time to start filling the void at center.
47th Overall: The Nashville Predators select, from the Victoria Tigres of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, center Pascal Laberge.
DM: He’s a quick forward who showed off his offensive prowess at the prospects game, and the Predators are happy to see Laberge still on the board. While he still needs to add weight to his lanky frame, he is a player who certainly possesses NHL potential. Perhaps most impressive about Laberge is how much adversity he has gone through outside the rink and has maintained his focus as an athlete. A top-end prospect, and a top-end human being.
48th Overall: The Philadelphia Flyers select, from the Peterborough Petes of the Ontario Hockey League, goaltender Dylan Wells.
DF: The Flyers select Goaltender Dylan Wells from the Peterborough Petes with the 48th selection. Wells possesses great confidence in his game and it reflects well in his stellar performances. He has great vision and just about always makes the first save, not to mention his great rebound control. The Flyers need some help in the pipes and Wells provides some security down the line.
49th Overall: The Boston Bruins select, from the Chilliwack Chiefs of the British Columbia Hockey League, defenseman Dennis Cholowski.
DM: Though I am typically averse to using high picks to draft from second-tier leagues, there is a reason Cholowski has skyrocketed up the rankings lately. Playing a highly intelligent game in all three zones with very good skating and excellent vision, he is a guy who could develop into a really solid addition. His shot needs a fair bit of work, and he has virtually no grit in his game, but a very good player all the way. He's committed to St. Cloud State University next season.
50th Overall: The Carolina Hurricanes select, from Karpat of the SM-Liiga, center Janne Kuokkanen.
CM: Kuokkanen's greatest strengths are his on-ice awareness and his strong, accurate passing game. He understands the game very well, and recognizes where other players are at all times, both teammates and the opposition. His awareness leads him to be a responsible player in all three zones, while his stick is always active, resulting in takeaways and the creation of offensive scoring chances.
51st Overall: The Los Angeles Kings select, from the Lethbridge Hurricanes of the Western Hockey League, center Brayden Burke.
MA: Burke may scare away some teams due to his below-average frame and the fact that he was not selected in last year's draft, his first in which he was eligible, but the kind of season Burke has had will definitely make teams look at him this time around. The Kings are not afraid to take a player who was not previously selected in the draft, as they have developed Tanner Pearson into a solid NHLer since they selected him 30th overall in 2012. The best part of Burke's game is his playmaking ability, though he has shown that he can finish with the best of them in the WHL, too. He may take a few years to develop into a player who can score consistently at the NHL level, but he definitely has the talent to do so.
Footage: Brayden Burke notches his first WHL hat trick:
52nd Overall: The Philadelphia Flyers select, from the University of Connecticut, center Tage Thompson.
DF: Big body at 6-5 and can play either C/RW, giving the Flyers some versatility up front. Has the potential to become a top power forward with some added weight and skating development. A big man with skill, he should fit right in with the Flyers' culture.
53rd Overall: The Calgary Flames select, from the Saskatoon Blades of the Western Hockey League, defenseman Libor Hajek.
DM: Aggressive and skilled, Hajek had a solid top prospects game. While he can carry the puck, he also has the kind of physical approach that can handle things on the wall and throw around his weight a bit. On top of all this, he has high-end skating with decent speed but great edgework. Surprised to see him fall this far, the Flames are thrilled to have him.
54th Overall: The Pittsburgh Penguins select, from the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League, defenseman Lucas Johansen.
ZF: Much like older brother Ryan (NSH), Johansen bears a respectable frame. He registers as a smart two-way defenseman with moderate offensive skill. Johansen relies on his strong skating abilities, vision and stickwork to be most effective. The D-man is no slouch defensively, as he reads plays, ties up opponents and battles along the boards hard. He can stand to bulk up, build on his balance, and play with more of an edge.
55th Overall: The Calgary Flames select, from the Moose Jaw Warriors of the Western Hockey League, left winger Brett Howden.
DM: Brother of Quinton Howden, Brett is a big boy who plays a rough-and-tumble game. A handful in front of the net, he shows good smarts and skills in the offensive zone combined with a solid frame and good strength. While he needs to work on his skating and defensive responsibilities, there is a whole lot of potential to work with that the Flames are happy to bring into the organization.
56th Overall: The Toronto Maple Leafs select, from the Windsor Spitfires of the Ontario Hockey League, defenseman Logan Stanley.
DM: A big, big defenseman at just under 6-7, Stanley is an imposing figure – but one who is surprisingly mobile for his size. Still needs work on balance and acceleration, but his fantastic reach helps mitigate the damage at least at the junior level. Very calm demeanor, but a player who will take time. Toronto has the time to invest in a player like Logan, who is very different from what they already have in the prospect pool.
57th Overall: The Tampa Bay Lightning select, from the University of Minnesota-Duluth, right winger Joey Anderson.
DM: Anderson is a project prospect, but one who looks like he is a relatively safe one to develop into an NHL player. Has a short and compact frame, which he likes to throw around a lot. Questionable if his offensive game can translate at the highest level, but he's the kind of guy you want getting under the skin of the opposition. If his scoring touch can stay with him, could be a steal.
58th Overall: The San Jose Sharks select, from the Sarnia Sting of the Ontario Hockey League, right winger Jordan Kyrou.
NT: High-end skill gives him the potential to put up scary offensive numbers, and he has the smarts to reach that level. His physical involvement and his play in traffic will need to take a step to reach the next level.
59th Overall: The Pittsburgh Penguins select, from MODO Hockey of the Swedish Hockey League, left winger Carl Grundstrom.
ZF: Grundstrom played the season in the SHL for MODO Hockey. Despite playing among men, he demonstrated bullish strength exceeding those he played against. He plays a simple game but plays it hard and effectively. Grundstrom possesses a powerful stride, which he willfully uses on both the forecheck and backcheck. Although he plays a gritty game, this Swede can bury the puck with his heavy wrist shot. Not the most creative or exceptionally skilled player.
60th Overall: The St. Louis Blues select, from the US National Training & Development Program, defenseman Adam Fox.
MA: Fox has shown that he can be an effective offensive defenseman at the next level, proving he was able to lead a USNTDP defense corps with some interesting prospects. While Clayton Keller has been the main producer of offense amongst forwards, Fox has stood out as the main contributor from the back end. While he may not be the biggest or most physically imposing defenseman remaining in the draft, he does possess a level of creativity, puck skills, playmaking ability, and vision that few defensemen remaining have. The bottom line with Fox is that he is one of the best offensive producers, on forward or defense, remaining at this point in the draft.
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Thanks for checking in to this year’s NHL mock draft! Next week, I will conduct analysis of the trade scuttlebutt leading into the draft and how it could affect your keeper League.