by Corey Pronman
As always when doing mock drafts as most know this is not my personal rankings in terms of players, but how I believe Friday will play out. I only believe in doing mock drafts based if I have sources feeding me information as opposed to guessing what will happen. For that reason, I can only do a mock draft for the top ten picks as I don’t have enough information beyond that. I have not heard directly from teams on their picks and wouldn’t ‘t bet my house on any of these picks, but scouts I’ve talked to have given me enough information that I feel I can do a mock draft without feeling blindfolded through the process.
1. Edmonton Oilers: Nail Yakupov, Right Wing, Sarnia-OHL
The top two picks I believe are going to be Yakupov and Ryan Murray, but the order is unclear. Scouts I’ve talked to have said the talk about Ryan Murray and even Griffin Reinhart going at 1 is just a smoke screen. Barring the Oilers dealing the pick, Yakupov should be the guy.
2. Columbus Blue Jackets: Ryan Murray, Defense, Everett-WHL
As I said, I don’t think Yakupov at 1 will be a sure thing and if he falls despite all the talk in the mainstream about Columbus not wanting to take a Russian, I’ve heard no indication that they have such a stance. If Yakupov gets to 2, he’ll stop there. Otherwise I think Ryan Murray will be the pick here.
3. Montreal Canadiens: Filip Forsberg, Right Wing, Leksands-Allsvenskan
This one is a hard pick to get a read on because of the recent regime change in Montreal. I’d say it’s between Forsberg and Galchenyuk here, and while I’m not as sure as I am in the top two, I think Montreal will be leaning to the big winger.
4. New York Islanders: Matt Dumba, Defense, Red Deer-WHL
I’ve heard them on Dumba, Grigorenko and Galchenyuk and none of three would surprise me at 4. The industry has varying opinions on Dumba and if a scout or team likes him, he’s likely vey high on their board.
5. Toronto Maple Leafs: Alex Galchenyuk, Center, Sarnia-OHL
Plays the style they like, the upside, fills an organizational hole with Joe Colborne’s concerning season, plays in the OHL and more. Too many pieces fit here.
6. Anaheim Ducks: Griffin Reinhart, Defense, Edmonton-WHL
I’ve heard scouts say someone is going to pick Morgan Rielly pretty high so was considering him here, but ultimately I think Reinhart stops at 6. I’ve heard from a few scouts who would still be worried about taking in the 5-7 range, but most people in the industry see him in this range without a doubt and I can’t see him getting past 6.
7. Minnesota Wild: Teuvo Teravainen, Left Wing, Jokerit-SM-Liiga
I could see either Grigorenko or Teravainen going at this pick.
8. Carolina Hurricanes: Mikhail Grigorenko, Center, Quebec-QMJHL
His slide I think will end at either 7 or 8 if he doesn’t end up going in the top five. I’ve heard scouts ambiguously say there is at least one team in the 6-10 range that is very high on him.
9. Winnipeg Jets: Morgan Rielly, Defense, Moose Jaw-WHL
From scouts I’ve talked to there is an industry consensus top 10 between Ceci, Dumba, Galchenyuk, Grigorenko, Forsberg, Murray, Reinhart, Rielly, Teravainen and Yakupov. The Jets didn’t have any problems going off the consensus last season, but I think the pick will be Rielly at 9, a player who will be notably higher on several teams boards.
10. Tampa Bay Lightning: Cody Ceci, Defense, Ottawa-OHL
And filling in the last blank is a player who I know a few teams have on their boards in the 6-8 range.
Other players I’ve heard mentioned as top ten picks in order of likelihood:
Radek Faksa, Center, Kitchener-OHL
Zemgus Girgensons, Center, Dubuque-USHL
Olli Maatta, Defense, London-OHL
Jacob Trouba, Defense, USNTDP
Pontus Aberg, Left Wing, Djurgarden-SEL
After the first round ends, I’ll have a recap up later in the night. Then starting on either Tuesday or Wednesday, I will be doing division be division draft reviews before starting the Top 10 Prospects series again.
I will be covering the draft via twitter during both days so follow @coreypronman for analysis. Thanks for reading our draft coverage thus far and enjoy the festivities this weekend.