1. Andrei Svechnikov | Barrie Colts - OHL | RW
The Russian has distanced himself from the pack in regards to the forwards. He’s hands down the number two prospect in the upcoming draft behind Rasmus Dahlin in our opinion.
Svechnikov has all the tools. Size, speed, skill and finish. He’s dominating the OHL with 34 goals and 59 points in 38 games for the Barrie Colts this season.
Positives: One of the most exciting players to watch at the junior level, Svechnikov can create scoring chances from anywhere. He is able to get shots off from tight angles and with velocity and accuracy on them.
Negatives: Not many. His stride can become inconsistent on the rarest of occasions, but can and will get better with training
2. Filip Zadina | Halifax Mooseheads - QMJHL | LW
Zadina really caught some attention at the World Junior Championships in Buffalo. The Czech winger was arguably the best player in the tournament besides Sabres prospect Casey Mittelstadt.
Like Svechnikov, Zadina is having a big year in juniors. He has 39 goals and 71 points in 51 games for the Halifax Mooseheads of the QMJHL. He plays a very similar game to Svechnikov with the speed, size, skill and scoring ability.
Positives: Carries a Fantastic shot that comes heavy on the quick release. Able to make room with quick cuts and agility. He’s great around the net and puts himself in the right places to clean up.
Negatives: Loses assignments in the defensive zone and can be caught flatfooted.
3. Oliver Wahlstrom | US National Development Team | C/RW
Wahlstrom is soaring up the draft boards with a great season. The big forward is a special offensive talent and a natural goal scorer. Not sure he’ll be able to run down Svechnikov but could pass Zadina by the time June rolls around.
Positives: One of the more underrated draft prospects in the offensive zone. Has tremendous creativity and pure skill to go along with it. Makes others on the ice find openings through puck work and skating
Negatives: Improvement needed in board play and other physical aspects of the game.
4. Brady Tkachuk | Boston University - NCAA | LW
Tkachuk really made a name for himself with a strong World Junior Championship. He’s scored seven goals and 26 points in 34 games for Boston University. He’s up and down the top five depending on who you ask.
Positives: Possesses quality power needed to play at the professional level. Opens up the ice with body play and contributes to the transition. Plays two-way game well
Negatives: Lacks goalscoring touch and acceleration in skating.
5. Isac Lundestrom | Lulea - SHL | C/LW
The Swedish forward has a good mix of speed and kill. He’s good at creating space in the offensive zone. He needs to work on his 200-foot game and pick up a little more of a shooting mentality.
He scored two goals for Sweden in the World Junior Championship in Buffalo. Lundestrom has six goals and 15 points in 39 games for Lulea of the Swedish Elite League.
Positives: A strong two-way center who can dish the puck in tighter areas than most. A heavy puck mover that uses body positioning well on offense and defense.
Negatives: Aptitude in the offensive zone does not always match his defensive zone capabilities. Stride can and should be developed.