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2016 NHL Entry Draft Results

Round 1 Picks 1-15

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Posted By: Chris Ransom Last Updated: June 24, 2016

  1. Toronto Maple Leafs: Auston Matthews, C, ZSC Lions (National League A) A+ Grade

    Toronto goes best available player with the top pick. The 6-2 194 lb Auston Matthews is a complete skater that can play left wing, center, or right wing in the NHL. Toronto has had some effective centers in the past, but a line 1 game changer like Matthews is what the doctor ordered in Toronto as Nazem Kadri who led the team with 45 points would be better on the second line.

    Matthews had 24 goals, 22 assists, and 46 points in 36 games. Matthews also had 3 assists in 4 playoff games before the ZSC Lions got swept in the opening round in the National League A playoffs despite having the best regular season record. Matthews may have missed some games due to injury, but when healthy he is the top prospect in the 2016 NHL Draft.

    Toronto's top 3 centers in 2016-2017 could very well be Auston Matthews on line 1, Mitch Marner on line 2, and William Nylander on line 3. Toronto drafted Nylander eighth overall and Marner fourth overall in 2014 and 2015. Add Matthews on the top line and this instantly becomes a team that is 3 deep at center. All three forwards have the versatility to move to the wing as well.

    Regardless Toronto has 3 centers for the future now in Matthews, Marner, and Nylander. Toronto should consider trading Kadri or Bozak. Nazem Kadri got suspended at the end of the season and has been suspended 3 times in the last three years. Tyler Bozak is 30-years-old. Both Kadri and Bozak are expendable at this point as Toronto's last three first round picks should all be ready to play for Mike Babcock in 2016-2017.

    Even if Toronto is patient with Matthews, the worst Matthews will do is start out as a second line center behind Kadri. As soon as Kadri screws up, Matthews would take his spot as the Maple Leafs top center and would never give that spot back.

  2. Winnipeg Jets: Patrik Laine, LW, Tappara (SM Liiga) A+ Grade

    Winnipeg will take the best available player and go with Patrik Laine after moving up from 6 to 2 following the 2016 NHL Draft Lottery. Laine is now the unanimous #2 overall prospect right behind Auston Matthews.

    The 6-4 210 lb Patrick Laine possesses exceptional defensive awareness. His one question mark heading into the season was his ability to score. Laine only had 1 point last season and he had 17 goals, 16 assists, and 33 points in 46 games with a +6 +/- ratio. Has 6 penalty minutes through 46 consecutive games this season making him extremely disciplined. Laine also had 10 goals, 5 assists, and 15 points in 18 Playoff games against SM Liiga teams in Finland.

    Laine has the awareness and hockey IQ that teams will look for. He led Tappara to the SM Liiga Championship game where they lost to Oulun Karpat in 2015, but this year Tappara got revenge on Oulun Karpat in the semifinals before defeating HIFK to win the 2016 SM Liiga League. His excellent shooting power on slap shots and wrist shots makes his shots very fast and difficult for gameplan against.

    Laine began the season with mixed reviews as high as fifth overall and as low as fifteenth overall. With all the momentum he's built with his 33 points on Tappara plus the 7 goals, 6 assists, and 13 points he posted at the 2016 World Junior Championships, Laine has to be the front runner to go second overall especially with Winnipeg having a dire need at left wing with Andrew Laad gone.

    Patrik Laine and 2015 first round pick Kyle Connor should both be on the Jets this season. Winnipeg had to take Laine with Matthews gone and having those two offense. Ehlers, Scheifele, and Wheeler should be on the Jets top line. Laine will probably play on the second line with Burmistrov and Stafford. The third line will likely feature Kyle Connor, Bryan Little, and Chris Thorburn next season giving the Jets three outstanding lines of forwards.

  3. Columbus Blue Jackets: Pierre-Luc Dubois, C, Cape Breton Screaming Eagles (QMJHL) A Grade

    Pierre-Luc Dubois had 42 goals, 57 assists, and 99 points in 62 games. Pierre-Luc Dubois has 7 goals, 5 assists, and 12 points in 7 games during the 2016 QMJHL Playoffs. Pierre-Luc Dubois had 1 goal, 2 assists, and 3 points in the 2016 CHL Prospects Game.

    I'm surprsied that the 6-3 205 lb Pierre-Luc Dubois was the pick since he provides a replacement to Ryan Johansen at center. I thought they were looking at Puljujarvi, but this is a great pick as Pierre-Luc Dubois reminds me of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins with the size and scoring that Jamie Benn provides. This is a great pick by Columbus at 3 even though some will call it a reach. There are some questions with Puljujarvi and Pierre-Luc Dubois is a safe bet.

  4. Edmonton Oilers: Jesse Puljujarvi, RW, Oulun Karpat (SM Liiga) A Grade

    There are a few questions with Puljujarvi he doesn't put enough shooting power on the puck at times, he made two separate twitter accounts, and knee surgery rehab on his left knee will keep him out of development camps, but he will be healthy by the regular season. I don't think these question marks will cause him to fall out of the top 5. He was supposed to go top 3, but fell to Edmonton.

    The 6-3 201 lb Jesse Puljujarvi is the third best prospect in 2016. Puljujarvi won back-to-back Championships with Oulun Karpat in the SM Liiga league and his defensive awareness is just as outstanding as his offensive awareness when working with the puck. Puljujarvi also has excellent stick handling.

    Puljujarvi had 13 goals, 15 assists, and 28 points in 50 games. He had 4 goals, 5 assists, and 9 points in 10 SM Liiga Playoff games. Puljujarvi is showing NHL scouts he can be a quality sniper and playmaker at the next level in 2015-2016, even though some teams see him as more of a playmaker at this point simply because his shooting power needs to improve. He doesn't show enough wrist shot power or slap shot power on his shots.

    Jesse Puljujarvi goes to Edmonton where he gets to be the Robin to Connor McDavid's Batman. I like this pick for the Oilers at 4 since Puljujarvi can play right away just like the top 3 picks.

  5. Vancouver Canucks: Olli Juolevi, D, London Knights (OHL) B Grade

    Olli Juolevi is the best defensive defenseman in this draft. He's not an offensive defenseman like Sergachev and he's not a two-way defender like Chychrun. I have to give Vancouver a B grade for one reason though. Matthew Tkachuk was the best player on the board and the Canucks needed a left winger to groom for the future.

    Olli Juolevi played for Jokerit over in Finland in the SM Liiga league before making the jump to the OHL. The 6-2 183 lb Olli Juolevi had 9 goals, 33 assists, 42 points, and a +38 +/- ratio in 57 games this season. Juolevi has 3 goals, 11 assists, 14 points, and a +15 +/- ratio in 18 OHL Playoff games. He received an A grade from Central Scouting Services just like Jakob Chychrun.

    Juolevi had 9 assists in 7 games at the 2016 World Junior Championships. Juolevi can make a case for being the top defenseman over Chychrun with Mikhail Sergachev gone, but all three defensemen are 1A, 1B, and 1C at this point.

    Juolevi was on the third line at the 2016 CHL Prospects Game. Nobody on Team Cherry's third line had a goal or assist and all 3 forwards on Team Cherry's third line had a 0 +/- ratio or lower thanks to Juolevi's defense. Juolevi has posted games like that on first lines during the 2016 OHL Playoffs as well as the 2016 Memorial Cup where London has outscored their opponents 20-5 in the first three games.

    This was a reach. It wasn't a reach that warrants a C grade though. That's why this pick got a B grade rather than an A grade at 5.

  6. Calgary Flames: Matthew Tkachuk, LW, London Knights (OHL) A+ Grade

    Calgary loved Matthew Tkachuk. I didn't think he'd fall to them at 6 and that's exactly what happened today. I think Tkachuk is a guy with more potential than Jesse Puljujarvi and he's one of the most consistent players in this draft.

    The 6-1 194 lb Matthew Tkachuk, exceeded expectations with 30 goals, 77 assists, and 107 points in 57 games with the London Knights. Tkachuk had 20 goals, 20 assists, 40 points, and a +23 +/- ratio in 18 OHL Playoff games. Tkachuk is supposed to be a pure left winger, but he's lined up at center and won face offs on plays when Mitch Marner has struggled with the face off as well as right wing.

    Tkachuk is talented enough to play in the NHL right away. Tkachuk only has one season of OHL experience after being teammates with Auston Matthews on the United States National Team Developmental Program back in 2014-2015 before going to London in 2015-2016.

    Matthew Tkachuk was the captain for Team Orr in the 2016 CHL Prospects Game. Tkachuk was one of five players that dominated in the 2015 USA Prospects Game earlier this season and seems like a safe bet as a top 5 pick.

  7. Arizona Coyotes: Clayton Keller, C, United States National Team Developmental Program (USHL) C Grade

    Arizona grabs another center to develop. The 5-10 163 lb Clayton Keller is a Coyote.

    Clayton Keller is a playmaker center who had 13 goals, 24 assists, and 37 points on the United States National Team Developmental Program in the USHL in 2015-2016. Keller also had 107 points on the USA Under 18 team against weaker competition.

    Clayton Keller will play for Boston University in the Fall. Keller could eventually be a future center on the Arizona Coyotes. Arizona could have had Alex Nylander, Logan Brown, or one of the two OHL defensemen. This felt like a slight reach, but its not a pick to be too upset about if you are a Coyotes fan.

  8. Buffalo Sabres: Alex Nylander, LW, Mississauga Steelheads (OHL) A Grade

    Buffalo needed defense. They passed on a defenseman for Alex Nylander so they will get an A- grade. I get that Nylanader is the best player available, but Buffalo is a team that cannot ignore their blue line.

    In 55 games, Nylander has 28 goals, 47 assists, and 75 points. Alex Nylander's strong 2015 campaign along with his impressive intangibles on tape will land him a spot in the top 10.

    Alex Nylander is in his rookie OHL season and he's at 75 points which is 18 more than the next best rookie who finished with 58 points. Alex's older brother William Nylander was drafted eighth overall back in 2014. Now Alex goes higher than his brother and gets drafted two years later in 2016 after Alex played on the top line for Team Orr in the 2016 CHL Prospects Game.

    Alex Nylander had 6 goals, 6 assists, and 12 points in 7 OHL Playoff games. Nylander will be a great NHL talent, but he's going to play for Rogle B.K. in 2016-2017.

    I'm bumping this up to an A grade. I forgot Evander Kane got arrested earlier today. Nylander in all likelihood will be Kane's eventual replacement in Buffalo.

  9. Montreal Canadiens: Mikhail Sergachev, D, Windsor Spitfires (OHL) A- Grade

    I felt like Logan Brown was the best player on Winsdor. Still taking Sergachev at 9 after I had him going at 8 to Buffalo is much better value than getting Olli Juolevi at 5. Montreal got someone to shore up their blue line.

    The 6-2 220 lb Sergachev, also known as Mikhail Sergachyov in Russia, possesses exceptional defensive awareness when you watch his tape in Russia prior to the OHL. His one question mark was his ability to score. Sergachev finally blossomed in the CHL upon joining the Windsor Spitfires after spending most of his youth in Russia.

    Sergachev had 17 goals, 40 assists, and 57 points in 67 games with a +15 +/- ratio. That play allowed Sergachev to win the 2016 Max Kaminsky Award for the top defenseman in the OHL. Sergachev became the first player to win the Max Kaminsky Award in his rookie season. Sergachev had 2 goals, 3 assists, and 5 points in 5 OHL Playoff games. Sergachev excelled on offense, but struggled on defense in the 2016 OHL Playoffs.

    Sergachev weighed 6-2 205 lbs and Jakob Chychrun weighed 6-2 215 lbs heading into the 2015-2016 OHL Season. Sergachev added 15 lbs of muscle to get up to 220 lbs while Chychrun lost 17 lbs to drop to 6-2 198 lbs at the 2016 NHL Combine. That may influence Buffalo to draft Sergachev first becaus e he had more points then Chychrun and has the biggest frame of the three first round defensemen.

    Mikhail Sergachev did allow a goal at the 2016 CHL Prospects Game, but he did play on line 1 with teammate Logan Stanley. Playing on the first line is why he's now a top 10 pick.

  10. Colorado Avalanche: Tyson Jost, C, Penticon Vees (BCHL) A Grade

    I love Tyson Jost in Colorado. I didn't think they'd take him at 10 as I heard no talks or rumors about Colorado taking Jost, but Jost was a guy I mocked to Colorado in April before I changed the pick. This is a great selection by Colorado as Jost can develop at North Dakota while Matt Duchene and Nate MacKinnon play through their contracts. Getting the captain of the Penticon Vees in the BCHL makes a ton of sense.

    The BCHL may be a pee wee league compared to the CHL where the OHL, QMJHL, and WHL all exist. One player from the BCHL that is not a pee wee player is Tyson Jost.

    At 6-0 194 lbs, Jost has the versatility to play left wing, center, or right wing at the next level. In 46 regular season games, Jost posted 23 goals, 22 assists, and 45 points. In 21 playoff games with the Penticon Vees, Jost posted 10 goals, 4 assists, and 14 points.

    This season Jost had 42 goals, 62 assists, and 104 points in 48 regular season games. Jost had 6 goals, 8 assists, and 14 points through 11 games in the BCHL Playoffs. He led the IIHF tournament with 15 points. Jost is averaging 2 points per game, and has really blossomed as a playmaker as well as a sniper. His excellent offensive awareness and blazing speed on tape make him a top 10 pick after maintaining this consistency for such a long period.

    Jost got voted team captain by the Penticon Vees for the upcoming 2015-2016 season. Jost is too talented to slip out of the top 10 even if he's not playing in the CHL and projects as a top 6 forward on a first or second line in the NHL. Realistically you are looking at a guy with upside to be a line 2 center or a line 1 winger in the NHL. Colorado has two proven centers so they can be as patient as they want with Jost.

  11. Ottawa Senators: Logan Brown, C, Windsor Spitfires (OHL) B Grade

    The Ottawa Senators get the 6-6 220 lb Logan Brown. Logan Brown had 21 goals, 53 assists, 74 points, and a +24 +/- ratio in 59 games this season. Brown had 17 goals, 26 assists, and 43 points in 2014-2015. Brown entered the year as a preseason top 10 pick in many 2016 NHL Mock Drafts, but fell after getting off to a rough start. Brown finished the season on a high note and built momentum in the CHL Prospects Game, IIHF World Championships, and the 2016 NHL Combine to go from being the 8th best overall player in the preseason that fell to 22 at the beginning of the year to move all the way up to the 7th best player following the NHL Combine.

    Logan Brown was the line 1 center for Team Cherry in the 2016 CHL Prospects game. Brown did some things and looked solid against his teammates from Windsor Mikhail Sergachev and Logan Stanley.

    Ottawa gave up 12 and 80 in the third round to move up one spot. Brown was the best available player and fills a huge need, but giving up that much is irresponsible.

  12. New Jersey Devils: Michael McLeod, C, Mississauga Steelheads (OHL) A Grade

    The New Jersey Devils get Michael McLeod at 12. McLeod was a top 10 to top 12 pick, but his stock is starting to fall so he slips to 16 in this mock. McLeod's performance in the OHL Playoffs was so bad that he's moving out of the top 15 on some boards. At the same time, some GMs think so highly of McLeod that he could play in the league for 10-15 years. I cannot see McLeod slipping out of the top 20.

    McLeod had 21 goals, 40 assists, and 61 points in 57 games this season. He also had 3 goals, 6 assists, and 9 points in 7 OHL Playoff games in 2016. McLeod ended up being a line 2 center instead of a back 6 center at the 2016 CHL Prospects Game. He struggled against Team Orr's defenseman on the second line which is why you cannot consider him a top 10 prospect even though some mocks have McLeod in the top 10 overall.

    New Jersey wanted McLeod, but Logan Brown was still there. Ottawa wanted Brown so badly, that they were willing to give up the 12th pick and the 80th pick in the third round which the Devils clearly deserve credit for acquiring.

  13. Carolina Hurricanes: Jake Bean, D, Calgary Hitmen (WHL) B Grade

    I felt like Carolina should have gone with Jakob Chychrun. That being said, the Hurricanes had bigger needs on offense at center and right wing. I'm giving this a B grade since Bean was the top defenseman after Chychrun with this pick.

    Bean had 5 goals, 34 assists, and 39 points in 51 games last season along with a +20 +/- ratio. This season the 6-0 172 lb Bean had 24 goals, 40 assists, 64 points, and a +8 +/- ratio in 68 games in 2015-2016. Bean had 2 assists in the 2016 WHL Playoffs.

    Bean played with Luke Green on the second line in the 2016 CHL Prospects Game for Team Orr. Bean and Green's line dominated on the second line and Bean is the only one of those defenseman with an A grade.

    Everyone in the WHL has really hurt their draft stock. Jake Bean seems like he's now the best WHL player. It's not just that, there are rumors buzzing that scouts are considering moving Bean into the top 15.

  14. Boston Bruins: Charles McAvoy, D, Boston University A Grade

    The Boston Bruins get Charles McAvoy at 14 and they needed youth on defense here. Boston University's Charles McAvoy has been building a lot of momentum leading up to the 2016 NHL Draft.

    Charles McAvoy has 3 goals, 22 assists, and 25 points with a +10 +/- ratio in 37 games. McAvoy is now ranked in the top 20 of every scouting service in the country so he moves up to 14 as the Bruins take him here, with McAvoy ranked as high as 12 on some NHL Draft Boards.

  15. Minnesota Wild: Luke Kunin, C, Wisconsin B Grade

    Minnesota gets a center in Wisconsin center Luke Kunin. Kunin may end up jumping into the late first round as some NHL teams have him as high as seventeenth overall.

    The 6-0 196 lb Luke Kunin had 19 goals, 13 assists, and 32 points in 34 games with the Wisconsin Badgers. Philadelphia may take him due to the fact that he's the best player on the board.

    Luke Kunin not Auston Matthews, was captain for Team USA's Under 18 Team at the World Junior Championships. Kunin had 6 assists in 7 games for Team USA so that will get him drafted in the top 20 with many teams having Kunin graded out as a top 20 prospect.

    I like Luke Kunin. This is a solid pick for the Wild. I thought Kunin was more of a top 20 player rather than a top 15 player, but I cannot give this pick anything lower than a B grade. It's a solid selection by Minnesota.

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