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 2016 Draft Articles Click here.
For those who haven’t read the LWOS mock before here are the rules.
1) There are no trades allowed, except for those that have already been made by NHL teams.
2) The two-round Mock draft is done in four parts. The first two parts (ie the first round) were done earlier. The next two parts (ie the second round) will be done today and tomorrow.
3) Clicking the Player’s name will bring you to a full scouting report.
So with that out of the way, I present the LWOS Mock Draft.
2016 NHL Mock Draft Second Round (Picks 31-45)
31) Toronto Maple Leafs: Luke Green, Defence, Saint John Sea Dogs
Previous Picks: Auston Matthews, Carter Hart
The Maple Leafs have already found their future top line centre, as well as a possible franchise goaltender in our mock draft. They now look to add a puck moving defenceman. In Luke Green they get a defender who can play the right side, and work with Morgan Rielly on the Leafs power play. He might be a few years away, but Green has the talent to play big minutes.
32) Edmonton Oilers: Brett Howden, Centre, Moose Jaw Warriors
Previous Pick: Mikhail Sergachev
The Oilers have plenty of young offensive firepower on their team. Brett Howden is two-way centre who compliments Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. In time, he will be able to play against the other teams top lines and kill penalties. In addition to his strong defensive play, Howden can also create offense with a good shot and high hockey IQ.
33) Florida Panthers (from Vancouver): Alex DeBrincat, Right Wing, Erie Otters
Previous Pick: Logan Stanley
The Panthers received this pick in the recent Erik Gudbranson trade. New Panthers general manager Tom Rowe invests heavily in analytics. He will overlook DeBrincat’s height deficiency, and instead see his big-time scoring stats. DeBrincat could be an excellent compliment to big centres, Aleksander Barkov and Nick Bjustad, who are already on Florida’s roster.
34) Columbus Blue Jackets: Sam Steel, Centre, Regina Pats
Previous Pick: Jesse Puljujarvi
Rumors indicate that the Jackets are looking to add to their centre depth in this draft. In the first round they took winger Jesse Puljujarvi. He was the best player on the board and too good to pass up. In this round they strengthen up the middle with Sam Steel, from the Regina Pats. Steel can create with his quick skating, soft hands, and excellent passing skills.
35) Calgary Flames: Nathan Bastian, Wing/Centre, Mississauga Steelheads
Previous Pick: Matthew Tkachuk
The Flames added a powerful left wing, Matthew Tkachuk, with their first pick. They continue that trend by adding another a powerful right wing, Nathan Bastian. Bastian is 6-foot-4-inches tall. He uses his excellent size to win battles for loose pucks in the corners, to protect the puck on the cycle; as well as to establish position in front of the net.
36) Winnipeg Jets: Tyler Benson, Left Wing, Vancouver Giants
Previous Picks: Patrick Laine, German Rubtsov
The Jets added to a stellar prospect pool with two excellent forwards in the first round. While their first two picks came from overseas, they stay closer to home with the third. Tyler Benson has had injury issues this past season. When he was on the ice, he was an impressive power forward prospect. With their depth, the Jets can afford to take a chance on a player with large upside.
37) Arizona Coyotes: Dennis Cholowoski, Defence, Chilliwack Chiefs
Previous Picks: Alexander Nylander, Libor Hajek
After taking Hajek late in the second round, the Coyotes continue to build the prospect depth on their blue line with Dennis Cholowoski. He may come from the BCHL, but don’t let that be a knock against his talent. Cholowoski played very well in comparison to other top draft prospects at the World Junior A Championships. He is a strong two-way defender, who moves the puck very well, with a strong first pass out of the zone. He is also a very smart defender, as he always seems to be in the right position to make a play.
38) Buffalo Sabres: Boris Katchouk, Left Wing, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
Previous Pick: Olli Juolevi
Over the last several years, Tim Murray has built a solid stable of young centres in Buffalo. He looks to compliment that group with a powerful winger, Boris Katchouk here. Katchouk plays a simple, but effective game. He gets up and down the wing, creating offensive chances while still being responsible in his own end. Katchouk can beat goalies with an accurate wrist shot, which also features a quick release.
39) Montreal Canadiens: Cam Dineen, Defence, Brampton Battalion
Previous Pick: Tyson Jost
Andrei Markov is not getting any younger, and Marc Bergevin must start planning to find his replacement. The Canadiens have a strong prospect pool of right handed defenceman, but really lack depth on the left hand side. In Cam Dineen, they add the second highest scoring defenceman in the OHL this season. Dineen thinks a game at a very high level, which allows him to see openings in the defence to thread a pass to a teammate. Dineen quarterbacks things from the point on the powerplay. He shows poise with the puck, even while under pressure. Dineen walks the line to create passing and shooting lanes.
40) Colorado Avalanche (from Colorado via San Jose): Will Bitten, Centre, Flint Firebirds
Previous pick: Jakob Chychrun
This pick was originally sent from Colorado to San Jose as part of the Brad Stuart trade. Colorado re-acquired the pick in a swap of draft picks at last year’s NHL draft. After taking Jakob Chychrun to help bolster their defence in the first round, the Avalanche look for a forward in the second round. They take Will Bitten, who put up point-per-game numbers despite playing through controversy with the Flint Firebirds.
41) New Jersey Devils: Vitali Abramov, Left Wing/Right Wing, Gatineau Olympiques
Previous Pick: Logan Brown
Devils general manager Ray Shero knows that he must continue to add firepower to his roster. He picked up a big, playmaking centre in Logan Brown with his first pick. In the second round, he adds a speedy, but undersized winger in Vitali Abramov. Abramov marries his skating ability with soft hands and good stick handling ability. This makes him very tough to defend, especially off the rush. He can be both a goal scorer and a playmaker.
42) Ottawa Senators: Carl Grundstrom, Left Wing, Modo
Previous Pick: Clayton Keller
The Senators got a pint-sized, but supremely talented play maker when they took Clayton Keller with their first round pick. Ottawa has always drafted well out of Sweden, and go back to one of their favorite clubs in Modo to take Carl Grundstrom. Grundstrom is a pure goal scorer. He loves to shoot the puck, and does so whenever he gets the opportunity to do so. Grundstrom has a heavy wrist shot, with a quick release, that can give goaltenders issues. He plays a simple, but extremely smart game.
43) Carolina Hurricanes: Dillon Dube, Centre, Kelowna Rockets
Previous Picks: Jake Bean, Kieffer Bellows
The Hurricanes gave up a second round pick in yesterday’s trade with the Chicago Blackhawks, but it is the 50th overall pick, not this one. The Hurricanes added and offensive defenceman in Jake Bean, as well as a goal scoring winger in Kieffer Bellows earlier. They add Dillon Dube from the Kelowna Rockets with this pick. He is an undersized centre, who plays bigger than what his listed height says. Dube is always willing to get involved in the forecheck and battle for space in front of the net. He is not afraid to take on bigger opponents, and plays with a non-stop motor. After the whistle, Dube can be often be found in the middle of scrums, working to agitate opponents and get them off their game. He plays a feisty style that is similar to many top agitators.
44) Tampa Bay Lightning (from Boston): #40 Taylor Raddysh, Right Wing/Left Wing, Erie Otters
Previous Pick: Rasmus Asplund
The Lightning acquired this pick when they sent Brent Connolly to the Bruins at the 2015 NHL Trade Deadline. They take Taylor Raddysh who has very good size and speed. He has good acceleration which allows him to gets in quickly on the fore check. Once there, he finishes his checks, punishing opposing defenders, causing turnovers and creating offense. He could be even better if he could improve his first step.
45) Montreal Canadiens (from Minnesota via Buffalo): #47 Samuel Girard, Defence, Shawinigan Cataractes
Previous Picks: Tyson Jost, Cam Dineen
The Habs acquired this pick when they traded Josh Gorges to the Sabres. The Sabres had earlier received the pick from Minnesota as part of the 2014 Trade Deadline move that saw Matt Moulson join the Wild. After taking Cam Dineen earlier in the round, the Canadiens take another left-handed defenceman in Samuel Girard. He may be undersized, but he has tremendous skating and puck moving abilities. He has developed a quick pokecheck and good active stick which may help Girard avoid too many issues due to his size. However, it continues to be a major question mark for one of the most offensively talented defenceman in the draft.
Check back tomorrow for the rest of the second round.