Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2015 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Sports is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! For a Complete Listing of all our 2015 Draft Articles Click here.
Now that the order of 28 of the first 30 picks have been determined, I will be releasing my 2015 NHL mock draft.
For those who haven’t read the LWOS mock before here are the rules.
1) No trades except for those that have already been made by NHL teams.
2) A two-round Mock draft will be done in four parts. The first two parts (ie the first round) will be done today. The next two parts (ie the second round) will be done tomorrow.
3) Clicking the Player’s name will bring you to a full scouting report.
2015 NHL Mock Draft Part Two (Picks 16-30)
16. Edmonton Oilers (acquired from Pittsburgh): Brandon Carlo, Defence, Tri-City Americans, WHL
Earlier Pick: Connor McDavid
The Oilers young forwards are set for a very long time, and so they use this pick to add to their blue line. New general manager Peter Chiarelli loves size on the backend and so they take a huge defenceman who played for Team USA at the World Juniors in Brandon Carlo. Carlo plays shut down defense and has shown some signs of adding offense to his game. He’s a couple years away but should help Darnell Nurse, Oscar Klefbom, Martin Marcinin and others as the next wave of Oilers defence.
17. Winnipeg Jets: Travis Konecny, Centre/Right Wing, Ottawa 67s, OHL
The Jets have one of the best prospect pools in hockey, and so when they get the opportunity to add to it, they have no real pressing need for any particular position. They have not been afraid to go with talent over size either, and do so here. Konecny might be a little undersized, but he plays the game like a buzzsaw.
18. Ottawa Senators: Joel Eriksson-EK, Centre, Farjestads BK, SHL
Under Bryan Murray the Senators have absolutely loved drafting players from two places; Sweden, and the National Capital Region. For this pick, they go back to Sweden, looking at a big center who had an excellent 2015. Eriksson-Ek rocketed up draft boards with his performance in the second half for his club team, and at the Five Nations, and World Under 18s.
19. Detroit Red Wings: Oliver Kylington, Defence, Farjestads IF, SHL
The Wings are another team with depth in the prospect pool, and are able to take the best player available. Oliver Kylington was once a consensus top 10 pick, but has really fallen in the second half of the season. This is also the type of player the Wings haven’t been afraid to draft, and in many cases rehabilitating these falling 18 year olds has given Detroit solid prospects going forward. They add a defenseman who has the potential to bring a level of offense from the blueline that the Wings haven’t had in some time.
The Wild will be looking to replace Mikko Koivu as the two-way centre who checks the oppositions top line, while also providing offense at some point in the coming years. In Colin White they hope they have drafted the player who will fill Koivu’s shoes in two or three years time.
21. Buffalo Sabres (acquired from N.Y. Islanders): Nick Merkley, Centre/Right Wing, Kelowna Rockets, WHL
Earlier pick: Jack Eichel
The Sabres have added players at nearly every position over recent drafts. They have had a plethora of picks and filled the prospect cupboard at nearly every position. This gives the Sabres the ability to draft the best player available, and at this point its Nick Merkley of the Memorial Cup finalist Kelowna Rockets. His versatility to play both centre and wing is also something the Sabres will find attractive, as they develop so many prospects, being able to play multiple positions gives them roster flexibility.
22. Washington Capitals: Thomas Chabot, Defence, Saint John Sea Dogs, QMJHL
Beyond Madison Bowey, the Capitals prospect pool is a little thin on the blue line. They address that need with Thomas Chabot, a solid two-way defender with the Sea Dogs in the QMJHL. Chabot’s silky smooth skating allows him to cover a lot of ice.
23. Vancouver Canucks: Jacob Larsson, Defence, Frolunda, SHL
The Canucks have gone forward heavy with their early picks in recent drafts, and now turn to address needs at the blue line. They may not get a lot of flash out of Larsson, but with some development could be drafting a two-way defender who will play in their top four down the line.
24. Toronto Maple Leafs (acquired from Nashville): Daniel Sprong, Right Wing, Charlottetown Islanders, QMJHL
Earlier Pick: Mitch Marner
After getting a forward with their first pick, many Leafs fans will be hoping for a defenceman with the second pick. However, given that management has emphasized the importance of drafting well, I don’t think they will be drafting for need, and so the Leafs take the best player available here, and that is sniper Daniel Sprong from Charlottetown in the QMJHL.
25. Winnipeg Jets (acquired from St. Louis, via Buffalo): Evgeni Svechnikov, Left Wing, Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, QMJHL
Earlier Pick: Travis Konecny
The Jets acquired this pick from the Buffalo Sabres as part of the Evander Kane deal. With their prospect pool they again decide to go with the best player available and judge that to be Evgeni Svechnikov, a talented Russian who played for Cape Breton. Svechnikov is 6’3″ and has a pro level shot already. The Jets will hope he develops the rest of his game.
26. Montreal Canadiens: Jeremy Roy, Defence, Sherbrooke Phoenix, QMJHL
The Montreal Canadiens have gone very forward heavy at the draft table since the hiring of Marc Bergevin in 2012, only drafting three defenceman since that time. They were well stocked on defence before Bergevin arrived, but over time prospects have made the NHL full-time (Nathan Beaulieu), or are on the cusp of doing so (Jarred Tinordi, Greg Pateryn). Others have seen the expectations around them need to be lowered. When a local product, with high end puck moving skills (Andrei Markov isn’t getting any younger), and in a position the Habs could stand to add a prospect in, is the best player available, this is a no-brainer pick for Trevor Timmins and Marc Bergevin.
27. Anaheim Ducks: Jansen Harkins, Centre, Prince George Cougars, WHL
The Ducks already have an excellent, young defense corps at the NHL level, and so they look to add to their forward group. After getting a pure shooter in Nick Ritchie last year, the Ducks add a pure playmaker to their prospect pool in Jansen Harkins this year.
28. Tampa Bay Lightning (from New York Rangers): Brock Boeser, Right Wing, Waterloo Blackhawks, USHL
A young team, in the Stanley Cup Final, with high end youngsters in Jonathan Drouin and Andrei Vasilevskiy unable to get regular spots in the lineup, high end prospects in Adam Erne (nearly a goal per game in the QMJHL playoffs) and Anthony DeAngelo (OHL Defenceman of the year) finishing their final year of junior hockey, there aren’t a lot of big time needs for the Lightning going forward. Some size and power in their forward group would be an added bonus though, and they go for that in Brock Boeser.
30. Philadelphia Flyers (from Tampa Bay): Anthony Beauvillier, Centre/Left Wing, Shawinigan Cataractes, QMJHL
Earlier Pick: Lawson Crouse
In the 2007 draft the Flyers hit a major home run by taking an undersized but extremely talented centre out of the QMJHL with a late first round pick. They try to replicate that success in this year’s draft, taking Anthony Beauvillier. He put up a ton of points for the Cataractes this season, and has high end offensive skill.
30. Arizona Coyotes (from Chicago): Jake Debrusk, Left Wing, Swift Current Broncos, WHL
Earlier Pick: Dylan Strome
In recent years, the Coyotes have been huge on drafting players with NHL bloodlines. The do it again with this pick, taking rugged winger Jake DeBrusk, the son of former Oilers’ tough guy Louie DeBrusk. Much like 2013 Coyotes pick Max Domi, the younger DeBrusk seems to have gotten the skill in the family.