Nevalainen: 2020 Mock Draft

by Jokke Nevalainen on June 29, 2020

 

Now that we got some clarity on the draft order, it’s time to do a mock draft. The goal of this mock draft is to be as realistic as possible, so you won’t see any wild swings here. But instead, you’ll see a mock draft with 93 selections instead of just the usual 10 or 31.

 

Defining draft order

 

As we all know, the full final draft order isn’t set yet. We don’t even know which team is drafting first overall. But we gained some information from the draft lottery (part one), so that was used here. For the rest, I did my best to guesstimate what might happen. For the final order of this mock draft, I made the following assumptions:

  • The favorites always win their match-ups in the play-in series and playoffs or the playoffs are cancelled altogether (the results are the same in both cases)
  • Montreal wins the second draft lottery (all eight teams will have equal odds but Montreal had the worst regular season record among those teams, so I felt they deserved it)

 

After putting together the final order of the teams based on those assumptions, I checked to see which draft picks have been traded. After that, I also checked to see what kind of conditional draft picks are yet to be determined and what would happen to them based on the assumptions above.

 

Making the selections

 

To create the most reliable mock draft possible, I used Bob McKenzie’s Final Draft Rankings as a guideline throughout the process. I copied the list of names and their stats from the TSN website and then tried to figure out at each pick which player they might select at that spot taking team needs and draft tendencies into consideration. Player’s placement on Bob’s rankings are mentioned in the mock draft under the column “Bob”.

 

I followed Bob’s rankings pretty closely, mostly just moving players up and down a little bit based on what I expect to happen. But there is one big exception to that – goalies. Bob’s rankings didn’t have any goalies in the second round whereas I believe three of four of them will be drafted there. Goalies may not end up high on consensus rankings because scouts can’t seem to agree which ones are the best. But they generally get drafted pretty high, so I would be shocked if no goalies went in the second round.

 

Please remember that this is a mock draft, not my personal ranking. In many cases, I would not make the same selection that I expect NHL teams to make. I also didn’t include players like Veeti Miettinen, Oskar Magnusson and Anton Johannesson who would certainly be on my top 93 but weren’t on Bob’s list.

 

Mock draft results

 

The full mock draft results are in the table below. After the table, I will go through the most interesting teams and their selections, trying to provide some sort of reasoning for all the selections they made.

 

 

 Pick  NHL team  Bob  Player  Team  Ht  Wt  GP  P
 1  MTL  1  Alexis Lafreniere, LW  Rimouski (QMJHL)  6’1  193  52  112
 2  LAK  3  Quinton Byfield, C  Sudbury (OHL)  6’4  215  45  82
 3  OTT (SJS)  2  Tim Stutzle, C/LW  Mannheim (DEL)  6’1  187  41  34
 4  DET  5  Cole Perfetti, C/LW  Saginaw (OHL)  5’10  177  61  111
 5  OTT  4  Jamie Drysdale, D  Erie (OHL)  5’11  175  49  47
 6  ANA  6  Lucas Raymond, RW  Frölunda (SHL)  5’11  170  33  10
 7  NJD  8  Jake Sanderson, D  USA U-18 (USHL)  6’2  185  47  29
 8  BUF  7  Marco Rossi, C  Ottawa (OHL)  5’9  183  56  120
 9  CHI  11  Yaroslav Askarov, G  St. Petersburg (VHL)  6’3  176  18  0.920
 10  NJD (ARZ)  9  Alexander Holtz, LW/RW  Djurgårdens (SHL)  6’0  192  35  16
 11  MIN  12  Anton Lundell, C  HIFK (SM Liiga)  6’1  185  44  28
 12  WPG  10  Jack Quinn, RW  Ottawa (OHL)  6’0  176  38  89
 13  NYR  14  Kaiden Guhle, D  Prince Albert (WHL)  6’2  186  64  40
 14  FLA  13  Dawson Mercer, C/RW  Chicoutimi (QMJHL)  6’0  180  42  60
 15  CBJ  16  Dylan Holloway, C/LW  Wisconsin (NCAA)  6’0  203  35  17
 16  CGY  17  Braden Schneider, D  Brandon (WHL)  6’2  202  60  42
 17  NJD (VAN)  18  Seth Jarvis, C  Portland (WHL)  5’10  175  58  98
 18  NSH  15  Hendrix Lapierre, C  Chicoutimi (QMJHL)  6’0  179  19  17
 19  CAR (TOR)  19  Rodion Amirov, LW  Ufa (KHL)  6’0  177  17  22
 20  EDM  21  Jacob Perreault, RW  Sarnia (OHL)  5’11  192  57  70
 21  OTT (NYI)  22  Connor Zary, C  Kamloops (WHL)  6’0  178  57  86
 22  NYR (CAR)  20  Lukas Reichel, LW  Berlin (DEL)  6’0  170  42  24
 23  MIN (PIT)  28  Noel Gunler, RW  Lulea (SHL)  6’2  176  45  13
 24  DAL  25  Justin Barron, D  Halifax (QMJHL)  6’2  195  34  19
 25  VGK  23  John-Jason Peterka, LW  Munich (DEL)  5’11  192  42  11
 26  PHI  24  Ridly Greig, C  Brandon (WHL)  5’11  163  56  60
 27  WSH  27  William Wallinder , D  MoDo (SWE J20)  6’4  191  37  24
 28  SJS (TBL)  26  Mavrik Bourque, C  Shawinigan (QMJHL)  5’10  178  49  71
 29  COL  29  Tyson Foerster, RW  Barrie (OHL)  6’2  194  62  80
 30  STL  30  Brendan Brisson, C  Chicago (USHL)  5’11  179  45  59
 31  ANA (BOS)  32  Helge Grans, D  Malmo (SWE J20)  6’2  206  27  27
 32  DET  34  Jan Mysak, C/LW  Hamilton (OHL)  5’10   175  22  25
 33  OTT  31  Jake Neighbours, LW  Edmonton (WHL)  6’0  195  64  70
 34  SJS  37  Ryan O’Rourke, D  Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)  6’0  178  54  37
 35  LAK  33  Jeremie Poirier, D  Saint John (QMJHL)  6’0  196  64  53
 36  ANA  39  Ty Smilanic, C/LW  USA U-18 (USHL)  6’1  175  34  22
 37  NSH (NJD)  38  Topi Niemela, D  Karpat (SM Liiga)  5’10  156  43  7
 38  BUF  41  Sam Colangelo, RW  Chicago (USHL)  6’2  205  44  58
 39  MTL  36  Tyler Kleven, D  USA U-18 (USHL)  6’4  200  45  12
 40  MTL (CHI)  43  Luke Tuch, LW  USA U-18 (USHL)  6’2  203  47  30
 41  ARZ  64  Nico Daws, G  Guelph (OHL)  6’4  199  38  0.924
 42  MIN  35  Marat Khusnutdinov, C/LW  St. Petersburg (MHL)  5’11  176  44  38
 43  WPG  44  Daemon Hunt, D  Moose Jaw (WHL)  6’0  198  28  15
 44  CAR (NYR)  40  Ozzy Wiesblatt, RW  Prince Albert (WHL)  5’10  183  64  70
 45  FLA  42  Shakir Mukhamadullin, D  Ufa (MHL)  6’4  178  13  10
 46  OTT (CBJ)  49  Lukas Cormier, D  Charlottetown (QMJHL)  5’10  180  44  36
 47  CGY  47  Dylan Peterson, C  USA U-18 (USHL)  6’4  192  45  25
 48  LAK (VAN)  45  Will Cuylle, LW  Windsor (OHL)  6’3  204  62  42
 49  NSH  46  Jean-Luc Foudy, RW  Windsor (OHL)  5’11  177  59  43
 50  TOR  56  Brock Faber, D  USA U-18 (USHL)  6’0  190  46  12
 51  DET (EDM)  71  Jan Bednar, G  Sokolov (CZE Jr.)  6’4  196  24  0.873
 52  OTT (NYI)  48  Justin Sourdif, C/RW  Vancouver (WHL)  5’11  173  57  54
 53  CAR  50  Luke Evangelista, RW  London (OHL)  5’11  166  62  61
 54  CHI (PIT)  52  Roby Jarventie, LW  Koovee (Mestis)  6’2  184  36  38
 55  OTT (DAL)  87  Drew Commesso, G  USA U-18 (USHL)  6’2  180  30  0.920
 56  LAK (VGK)  51  Thomas Bordeleau, C  USA U-18 (USHL)  5’10  175  47  46
 57  PHI  53  Daniel Torgersson, LW  Frolunda (SWE J20)  6’3  199  39  44
 58  DET (WSH)  54  Roni Hirvonen, C  Assat (SM Liiga)  5’9  164  52  16
 59  TBL  59  Vasiliy Ponomarev, C  Shawinigan (QMJHL)  5’10  180  57  49
 60  SJS (COL)  HM  Joel Blomqvist, G  Karpat (SM Liiga Jr.)  6’1  182  34  0.931
 61  MTL (STL)  55  Jack Finley, C  Spokane (WHL)  6’6  213  61  57
 62  BOS  60  Joni Jurmo, D  Jokerit (SM Liiga Jr.)  6’4  190  43  28
 63  DET  66  Theodor Niederbach, C  Frolunda (SWE J20)  5’11  172  40  48
 64  OTT  65  Brandon Coe, RW  North Bay (OHL)  6’4  188  60  57
 65  DET (SJS)  67  Emil Andrae, D  HV71 (SWE J20)  5’8  181  40  38
 66  LAK  61  Danil Gushchin, LW/RW  Muskegon (USHL)  5’8  165  42  47
 67  ANA  57  Donovan Sebrango, D  Kitchener (OHL)  6’1  189  56  30
 68  VGK (NJD)  62  Yan Kuznetsov, D  Connecticut (NCAA)  6’4  209  34  11
 69  CAR (BUF)  58  Eemil Viro, D  Turku (SM Liiga)  6’0  165  29  3
 70  MTL  68  Brett Berard, LW  USA U-18 (USHL)  5’9  155  41  34
 71  CHI  73  Zion Nybeck, LW/RW  HV71 (SWE J20)  5’6  182  42  66
 72  WSH (ARZ)  74  Jaromir Pytlik, C  S.S. Marie (OHL)  6’0  200  56  50
 73  NSH (MIN)  78  Kasper Simontaval, RW  Tapparra (SM Liiga Jr.)  5’9  177  48  57
 74  OTT (WPG)  70  Eamon Powell, D  USA U-18 (USHL)  5’10  165  43  14
 75  NYR  69  Emil Heineman, LW  Leksands (SWE J20)  6’1  185  29  41
 76  FLA  63  Maxim Groshev, RW  Nizhnekamsk (KHL)  6’2  194  36  7
 77  LAK (CBJ)  75  Martin Chromiak, RW/LW  Kingston (OHL)  6’0  187  36  38
 78  CHI (CGY)  80  Tyler Tullio, RW  Oshawa (OHL)  5’10  165  62  66
 79  VAN  81  Wyatt Kaiser, D  Andover (USHS)  6’0  173  31  43
 80  NSH  HM  Calle Clang, G  Rogle (SWE J20)  6’2  194  34  0.913
 81  COL (TOR)  84  Carter Savoie, LW  Sherwood Park (AJHL)  5’9  192  54  99
 82  EDM  76  Antonio Stranges, LW  London (OHL)  5’10  168  61  40
 83  NYI  72  Ian Moore, D  St. Mark’s (USHS)  6’2  171  28  46
 84  NJD (CAR)  83  Egor Sokolov, LW  Cape Breton (QMJHL)  6’4  223  52  92
 85  PIT  77  Zayde Wisdom, RW  Kingston (OHL)  5’10  195  62  59
 86  NYR (DAL)  89  Alexander Pashin, RW  Ufa (MHL)  5’8  154  37  39
 87  VGK  90  Evan Vierling, C  Barrie (OHL)  6’0  167  43  44
 88  TBL (PHI)  79  Ryan Francis, RW  Cape Breton (QMJHL)  5’10  170  61  72
 89  MTL (WSH)  85  Sean Farrell, LW  Chicago (USHL)  5’8  175  44  56
 90  TBL  82  Jack Thompson, D  Sudbury (OHL)  6’0  178  63  32
 91  FLA (COL)  86  Landon Slaggert, LW  USA U-18 (USHL)  6’0  180  47  24
 92  STL  88  Oliver Suni, RW  Oshawa (OHL)  6’1  188  43  32
 93  BOS  HM  Tristen Robins, RW  Saskatoon (WHL)  5’10  176  62  73

 

 

Team-by-team breakdowns

 

Montreal

 

After winning the second draft lottery, Montreal makes the obvious choice and drafts winger Alexis Lafrenière first overall. With that selection, they get a player who can be inserted into their top line immediate on day one and who can put up 60+ points in his rookie season (whenever it may start).

 

After drafting a franchise player in the first round, the Canadiens focus on adding size and physicality in the second round by taking 6-foot-4 defenseman Tyler Kleven, 6-foot-2 power winger Luke Tuch, and 6-foot-6 center Jack Finley. They may not offer much on offense but their games project well to the NHL. Kleven is one of the best hitters in the entire draft, and when you combine that with his decent defensive game, there’s definitely some value in a player like that – although I wouldn’t personally draft him that high.

 

After getting enough size and physicality in the first two rounds, the Canadiens add some small-sized skill in Brett Berard and Sean Farrell in the third round. These picks are more of a gamble than the second round picks but if just one of them makes it to the NHL, that would be a huge success for the team because it’s unlikely they’d play on the fourth line.

 

Los Angeles

 

The Kings have drafted many centers recently but they can’t pass up the chance to add Quinton Byfield to their organization because of his Yevgeni Malkin like potential. He may not be ready to be an impact player right away but his long-term upside is massive, and the Kings are willing to wait to see the results of that selection.

 

After making a rather safe selection in the first round, the Kings take a boom-or-bust player early in the second round when they select defenseman Jérémie Poirier. Many doubt Poirier’s ability to play the defense position at the NHL level but if he can figure things out, he could end up being a top 15 player from this draft class. With a deep prospect pool, the Kings are willing to roll the dice here – the same way they did with Arthur Kaliyev a year ago.

 

After Poirier, the Kings add four forwards with middle-six potential in Will Cuylle, Thomas Bordeleau, Daniil Gushchin and Martin Chromiak. Bordeleau is the lone center among that group but even he may end up being a winger at the NHL level – and that’s fine for the Kings because as said, they already have a lot of center prospects in their system. The Kings know that the odds are that one of these four end up becoming an NHL player but they’re hoping for two – and it’s definitely possible.

 

Ottawa

 

Even though Ottawa was unlucky in the draft lottery, they still have two top five picks which is great news for their organization. With those picks, the Senators select forward Tim Stützle and defenseman Jamie Drysdale. Stützle has played center in the past but likely ends up being a winger at the NHL level. However, he offers a lot of offensive upside because of his skating, smarts and skills with the puck. Like Byfield, Stützle may not be ready to be an impact player in the NHL right away but he is eligible to play in the AHL if that is deemed the best course of action for him.

 

Drysdale is the best defenseman in this draft class, and the Senators see a great fit putting him with Thomas Chabot on their top pair in the future. Drysdale could push for NHL job a year from now but even if he doesn’t, the Senators are drafting him for the player he will be for the next 15 years instead of the next two years. Drysdale will be able to play big minutes at even strength and run the top power play unit at the NHL level. Top pair defensemen with right-handed shot are hugely valuable.

 

After getting two elite players in the top five, the Senators add seven more prospects to their already deep pool. Forwards Connor Zary, Jake Neighbours, Justin Sourdif and Brandon Coe all bring a game that can be projected to the NHL. Zary is a natural center but if there’s no room for him down the middle, I can see his game working pretty well at the wing. Neighbours doesn’t quite have the offensive upside of Zary but he’s nearly as good a prospect nonetheless – maybe more of a third line player but with good NHL certainty.

 

Defensemen Lukas Cormier and Eamon Powell add some depth to their organization, and with proper development, maybe one of them even turns into a number four defenseman which would be a big win. They’re both around 5-foot-10 which is not ideal – especially when they also drafted Drysdale who is around that same size – but at that point of the draft, there are no perfect options remaining. With so many picks available, the Senators also draft one goalie in Drew Commesso who has potential to eventually become an NHL starter. They had a deep prospect pool before this draft but after the draft, it will be ridiculously deep, and full of good options at every position.

 

Detroit

 

Detroit dropped to fourth in the draft lottery but they’re still able to add a great prospect in Cole Perfetti. Perfetti needs a bit more development time but he offers number one center upside, especially if he can work on his skating a little bit. He is one of the smartest and most skilled players in the draft, and Detroit sees him as a player who can make others around him better. Even if he doesn’t make it as a center, he’s shown he can easily adjust to the wing and be effective there as well.

 

Early in the second round, the Red Wings pick forward Jan Mysak who split the season between Europe and North America, thus giving all of their scouts good opportunities to watch him live. Many believe he can outperform that draft position. After Mysak, Detroit picks up another Czech in goalie Jan Bednar. Bednar had a bit of a tough draft season but Detroit believes he can be their goalie of the future with proper development because he already has all the tools and great size as well.

 

At this point, Detroit hands the reigns to their Director of European Scouting Håkan Andersson who picks up forwards Roni Hirvonen and Theodor Niederbach as well as defenseman Emil Andrae. Hirvonen and Andrae may be small but they’re stocky and they’ve shown they can handle themselves against men. Niederbach is a bit of a project because he missed the entire 2018-2019 season due to injury but he offers a lot of offensive upside. There’s definitely some risk involved with all three selections but at that point of the draft, every player has their risks.

 

Anaheim

 

With the sixth overall pick, the Ducks selected winger Lucas Raymond who many believe to be the third best prospect in this draft class. Raymond played a very limited role on a stacked Frölunda team which affected his points totals but his skills are undeniable and only matched by his work ethic which is among the highest in this group. Anaheim already has a good group of Swedes in their organization, so Raymond fits right in – after a year, that is, because he needs more development time.

 

With the last pick of the first round, Anaheim goes back to Sweden to select defenseman Helge Grans. Grans has an excellent package of physical tools and a good amount of experience from the SHL already. He’s a 6-foot-3 right-handed shot defender with great skating and passing ability. There are some inconsistencies in his game and his decision-making needs some work but he has potential to become one of the best defensemen out of this draft class.

 

In the second and third round, Anaheim adds center Ty Smilanic from the USNTDP and defenseman Donovan Sebrango from Kitchener in the OHL. They are not expected to turn into difference-makers but they add quality depth to the organization. They both have decent size and a pretty good all-around game which means they will be able to play a smaller role at the NHL level even if their potential doesn’t fully materialize.

 

New Jersey

 

At pick seven, realizing they have another pick at ten, the Devils look at their board and notice that their top tier of available players includes just one defenseman and four forwards, so they decide to draft the lone defenseman with their first pick, taking Jake Sanderson seventh overall. Sanderson pushed himself to top ten consideration with a great second half of the season where he started to show some very interesting offensive potential in addition to his rock-solid defensive game and excellent skating ability. Sanderson and Drysdale are the only defensemen in this draft class who can be safely projected to the top pair at the NHL level.

 

At pick ten, the Devils add Swedish winger Alexander Holtz who is arguably the best goal-scorer in this draft class. Holtz and Jack Hughes could become an elite duo in a few years – Hughes pushing for triple-digit point totals and Holtz challenging for the Rocket Richard Trophy. Holtz, like Sanderson, needs another year of development but could make the NHL team after that.

 

After making two pretty safe selections in the top ten, the Devils take forward Seth Jarvis at pick 17. Jarvis had an incredible second half which pushed him to top 15 consideration. He needs at least a couple of years before pushing for an NHL job but his long-term potential is very high. A natural center who stands at 5-foot-10, he projects to the wing at the NHL level.

 

With their lone pick in the third round, the Devils take Russian winger Yegor Sokolov. Sokolov has gone through the draft twice already but he exploded offensively this season in the QMJHL with 46 goals and 92 points in 52 games. At 6-foot-4 and 240 pounds, Sokolov is a massive player. And at age 20, he is already eligible to play in the AHL as soon as he’s drafted. There are some obvious risks involved with drafting Sokolov but that is true for everyone drafted in the third round.

 

Buffalo

 

With pick number eight, the Sabres take Austrian center Marco Rossi. Rossi was one of the best players in the CHL this season, and the only thing potentially holding him back is his size (5’9″, 179 lbs). But he is strong on his feet and plays bigger than his size suggests. As one of the oldest players in this draft class and with a very mature 200-foot game, Rossi could push for NHL spot right away, and if that doesn’t happen, he’s expected to spend the upcoming season in Europe playing against men. The Sabres see him as a player who could become an excellent number two center behind Jack Eichel or perhaps Eichel’s running-mate on their top line if they want to move Rossi to the wing.

 

With their second selection, the Sabres grab winger Sam Colangelo from the Chicago Steel in the USHL. Colangelo had an excellent season and he’s going to Northeastern University. Like Rossi, he’s on the older side in this draft class, but unlike Rossi, he has great size (6’2″, 205 lbs). NCAA players can take a few years before you start to see the results but he’s worth the wait.

 

Chicago

 

With pick number nine, the Blackhawks fill their biggest organizational need and grab their franchise goalie in Yaroslav Askarov. Askarov is by far the best goalie available this year and the latest example of the excellent job Russians are doing at developing goalies. The Blackhawks may need to find a temporary replacement to Corey Crawford for a couple of years but they’re banking on Askarov being ready to take over the crease after that.

 

In the second round, the Blackhawks select Finnish winger Roby Järventie. Järventie is a bit of a one-dimensional player but when that one dimension is scoring goals, you take it. He has a lot of natural talent but finding consistency will be key for him. But a package of a 6-foot-2 frame with very good skating ability and an excellent shot is just too good to pass up.

 

In the third round, Chicago looks for some high-end skill in small packages. Swedish winger Zion Nybeck is their first selection, and he offers a ton of offensive upside in a small frame. Many believe he’s a first-round talent, even a top 20 talent. Their second selection is forward Tyler Tullio from Oshawa in the OHL. Tullio is a natural center but he projects to be a winger at the NHL level. These are both players who will take a few years but they offer legitimate upside if they can hit it.

 

Minnesota

 

At pick 11, the Wild select Finnish center Anton Lundell. Lundell projects to be a similar type of player as Mikko Koivu, so it will be an easy transition for the Wild when they lose their long-time captain. Lundell could play a small role in the NHL right away but giving him another year of development time is probably the best course of action for his long-term potential. Considering the players in their organization right now, Lundell could become a number one center in Minnesota but it might be better for the team if they found someone to challenge him for that position, turning it more into a 1A/1B situation or possibly even pushing Lundell to be the clear number two center.

 

At pick 23, the Wild select Swedish winger Noel Gunler. Gunler is a top 15 talent in this draft class but his lack of playing time in the SHL as well as lack of international experience drops his draft stock enough for the Wild to scoop him up at pick 23. Some people love to spread rumors about Gunler’s possible attitude issues but the Wild know those are baseless rumors and he hasn’t had any issues with Luleå’s SHL team. Minnesota has some Swedes already on their NHL team which makes Gunler’s eventual transition there a bit easier as well.

 

At pick 42, Minnesota takes Russian center Marat Khusnutdinov. The Wild organization knows that pretty soon they’ll have Kirill Kaprizov on their NHL roster which will then make it easier to add more Russians to their roster. Khusnutdinov is slightly undersized but a very skilled player with great skating ability. He plays an excellent 200-foot game which makes it easier to project him to be a middle-six forward at the NHL level.

 

Winnipeg

 

The Jets would love to add a defenseman in the first round but after seeing that winger Jack Quinn is still available at pick 12 and the best defense options are not at that same level, they quickly pick the talented goal-scorer off the board. Quinn exploded offensively this season in the OHL to the tune of 52 goals and 89 points in 62 games. He’s not ready to jump straight to the NHL but he can jump to the AHL a year from now because he’s on the older side.

 

In the second round, the Jets finally get their defenseman when they select Daemon Hunt. Hunt is a physically mature player whose stock has dropped this season but the Jets still see him as a potential number four defenseman.

 

Rangers

 

At pick 13, with the entire top 12 tier taken just ahead of them, the Rangers pick up defenseman Kaiden Guhle to fill a need on the left side of their defense group. Guhle is not a flashy player but he has the size (6’3″, 187 lbs), skating, passing and defensive ability to become a number three defenseman. It is not a sexy selection by any means but that’s just the value you have to pay to acquire good defensemen.

 

With their other first round selection, the Rangers go for more upside by selecting German winger Lukas Reichel. Reichel comes from a hockey family, and he played an excellent season against men in DEL. He’ll need a couple more years before pushing for an NHL job but his upside as a scoring winger on the top six is worth the wait.

 

With no second round pick available, the Rangers are hoping to find some talent from the third round. They utilize their strong European scouting crew to pick up wingers Emil Heineman and Alexander Pashin. Heineman is a player who is easy to project to the NHL. He has an excellent work ethic on the ice and he also has a good amount of skill to go with it. Even if his offensive game doesn’t fully translate to the NHL level, he can still be a valuable complementary player on a bottom-six role.

 

Pashin, on the other hand, is very different from that. The 5-foot-7 Russian needs to have the puck on his stick, and he’ll even cheat on defense for a chance to create some offense. He’s a boom-or-bust type prospect but late in the third round, he’s worth the risk – especially when you consider the safer selections they’ve made earlier in the draft.

 

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I think those were the most interesting teams to go through for the purposes of this mock draft. If you want to hear my reasoning for any other team’s selections, please write it down in the comments below or contact me on Twitter (@JokkeNevalainen).