The NHL Draft is just a few days away and I’m here with my final mock draft to get you ready for the weekend.
I mixed some things up and even threw in a wild trade at the end of round one. Enjoy!
1. Buffalo Sabres | Rasmus Dahlin - D - Frolunda (SHL)
Finally about to become a reality.
2. Carolina Hurricanes | Andrei Svechnikov - RW - Barrie Colts (OHL)
Obvious pick 2.0. Let’s start to get crazy after this pick!
3. Montreal Canadiens | Jesperi Kotkaniemi - C - Assat (Liiga)
The Alex Galchenyuk for Max Domi trade only solidified my belief that the Canadiens are going with a center. Reports say their man is Finnish forward Kotkaniemi.
4. Colorado Avalanche (via Ottawa Senators) | Quinn Hughes - D - University of Michigan
Yes, I know this spot is supposed to belong to the Senators. However, with the fire sale going on in Ottawa the Senators would be wise to hand this pick over as part of the Matt Duchene trade and focus on Jack Hughes next year.
The Avs go with defense in the top five for the second straight year. Hughes has really shot up boards into the top five over the last few weeks.
5. Arizona Coyotes | Filip Zadina - RW - Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)
In my first mock draft I had Zadina going at three, then fourth in my second and now he drops to five here. I still have him ranked as my third best player in this draft, he’s a natural scorer. The Coyotes will have the making of a dangerous offense with Zadina added to a roster featuring Clayton Keller and Alex Galchenyuk.
6. Detroit Red Wings | Adam Boqvist - D - Brynas IF (SuperElit)
The Red Wings get some much needed help on the blue line. Boqvist won’t be ready for a few more years, but has a very high ceiling.
7. Vancouver Canucks | Brady Tkachuk - LW - Boston University (NCAA)
This isn’t the player I would pick in this spot if I was on the board, but I think the Canucks go with the power forward Tkachuk. He’ll be in the same division as his brother.
8. Chicago Blackhawks | Oliver Wahlstrom - LW - US National Team U18 (UNDP)
The rich get richer. This is a steal for the Blackhawks at eight. One pick ahead of the Rangers who were likely drooling over the idea of Wahlstrom falling to them. The Blackhawks add one of the best scorers in the draft.
9. New York Rangers | Noah Dobson - D - Acadie-Bathurst Titan (QMJHL)
With the first of three picks the Rangers grab Memorial Cup winner Noah Dobson to boost their blue line depth.
10. Edmonton Oilers | Evan Bouchard - D - London Knights (OHL)
Edmonton gets much needed help for their blue line in London Knights defender Bouchard.
11. New York Islanders | Barrett Hayton - C - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL)
The Islanders pick up a center here to start to recoup some of the void that could be left by the departure of John Tavares.
12. New York Islanders (via Calgary Flames) | Ty Smith - D - Spokane Chiefs
With their second pick the Islanders grab offensive minded defender Ty Smith.
13. Dallas Stars | Joel Farabee - LW - US National Team U18 (UNDP)
The Stars go with scoring winger Farabee. He’s a quick forward that scored 76 points in 62 games while wearing the “C” for the U18 USA National Team. He’ll fit right in on the wing with Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin down the road.
14. Philadelphia Flyers (via St. Louis Blues) | Joe Veleno - C - Drummondville Voltigeurs (QMJHL)
With the first of their two picks the Flyers grab play-making center Veleno.
15. Florida Panthers | Isac Lundestrom - C/LW - Lulea (SHL)
The Panthers get some depth behind Aleksander Barkov in the versatile Swede, Lundestrom.
16. Colorado Avalanche | Martin Kaut - RW - HC Dynamo Pardubice (Czech Republic)
Kaut is a nice pick here for the Avalanche. It’s possible he can go in the top 12 to 15 picks. Getting him at 16 would be nice grab for Colorado.
TRADE: LOS ANGELES KINGS ACQUIRE 17TH OVERALL FOR 20TH AND 82ND OVERALL (THIRD-ROUND PICK)
17. Los Angeles Kings (via New Jersey Devils) | Rasmus Kupari - C - Karpat (Liiga)
The Kings move up the board to jump in front of the Blue Jackets and pick Finnish center Kupari.
18. Columbus Blue Jackets | Vitali Kravtsov - RW - Traktor Chelyabinsk (KHL)
The Blue Jackets may be trading a Russian winger soon, but they grab another one here in Kravtsov who is a big kid that could add some nice size to the Jackets roster down the road.
TRADE: OTTAWA SENATORS ACQUIRE 19TH AND 112TH OVERALL (FOURTH-ROUND PICK) FOR 22ND AND 95TH OVERALL (FOURTH-ROUND PICK)
19. Ottawa Senators (via Philadelphia Flyers) | Bode Wilde - D - US National Team U18 (USDP)
The Sens move up ahead of the Devils to grab solid two-way defenseman Wilde. He recently announced that he won’t be attending Michigan University next season. We’ll see where he ends up.
20. New Jersey Devils (via Los Angeles Kings) | Ryan McLeod - C - Mississauga Steelheads (OHL)
The Devils grab the brother of their 2016 first-round pick Michael McLeod and add some help down the middle.
21. San Jose Sharks | K’Andre Miller - D - US National Team U18 (USDP)
I stick with my selection of defense for the Sharks, but go with a different one this time in Miller.
22. Philadelphia Flyers (via Pittsburgh Penguins/Ottawa Senators) | Serron Noel - RW - Oshawa Generals (OHL)
The Flyers pick up big winger Noel, who has started to make a late push up draft boards.
23. Anaheim Ducks | Dominik Bokk - RW - Vaxjo (SuperElit)
The Ducks add another highly-skilled winger to their prospect pool.
24. Minnesota Wild | Akil Thomas - RW - Niagara IceDogs (OHL)
Minnesota goes with Thomas who can play either center or the wing for the Wild.
25. Toronto Maple Leafs | Ryan Merkley - D - Guelph Storm (OHL)
Still sticking with Merkley here.
TRADE: OTTAWA SENATORS ACQUIRE 26TH OVERALL, (F) VLAD NAMESTNIKOV & (D) BRADY SKJEI FOR (D) ERIK KARLSSON, (F) BOBBY RYAN & 2019 SECOND-ROUND PICK
26. Ottawa Senators (via Boston Bruins/New York Rangers) | Rasmus Sandin - D - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL)
The trade we’ve all been waiting for finally drops. Erik Karlsson is moved and not to the Vegas Golden Knights, but the Rangers. Talk about expediting the rebuild.
The Senators get some more help for their blue line by going with a safe pick in Sandin.
27. Chicago Blackhawks (via Nashville Predators) | Alexander Alexeyev - D - Red Deer Rebels
After grabbing Wahlstom at eight, the Blackhawks pick up the solid Russian blueliner from Red Deer. A pretty safe pick at 27.
28. New York Rangers (via Tampa Bay Lightning) | Ty Dellandrea - C - Flint Firebirds (OHL)
The Rangers are back on the board again and use the first round pick from Lightning to grab another forward in Dellandrea. His high hockey-IQ get him into the last few picks of round one.
29. St. Louis Blues (via Winnipeg Jets) | Nils Lundkvist - D - Lulea (SHL)
Lundkvist is a mobile puck-moving defender who has made a late climb up draft boards. He was considered an early second-round pick, but could now sneak into the final few picks of round one.
30. Detroit Red Wings (via Vegas Golden Knights) | Mattias Samuelsson - D - US National Team U18 (USDP
The Red Wings double down on defense and go with the big defenseman out of the US National Development program Samuelsson.
31. Washington Capitals | Grigori Denisenko - LW - Loko Yaroslavl (MHL)
The Caps end round one by selecting the skilled Russian Denisenko.
32. Buffalo Sabres | Jonatan Berggren - RW - Skelleftea (SuperElit)
I’ll stick with my theme and have the Sabres select Berggren with the first pick of round two. Perhaps wishful thinking, but he may slip down the board to the Sabres.