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2015 NHL Draft Canadian Prospect Rankings



Posted By: Chris Ransom Last Updated: June, 6, 2015 Following Our monthly 2015 NHL Mock Draft


    Ready for the NHL In 2015-2016

  1. Connor McDavid, C, Erie Otters (OHL) Projected Round Top Pick Projected Team

    2014 Season Recap The 6-foot-1 and 190-pound center was named captain of the Erie Otters in 2014. This guy has the shooting power, shooting accuracy, passing, awareness at both ends. Has everything you look for in a center when you watch his tape.


    McDavid has played phenomenal so far on an Otters squad that is one of the primary contenders to win the OHL and play in the 2015 Memorial Cup. In 4 games McDavid has 5 goals, 7 assists, and 12 points. The Otters got off to a 4-0-0 start partially due to the fact that McDavid scored 5 of the teams 24 goals in the first four games nearly accounting for 25 percent of the teams goals. Dylan Strome has 1 goal on the year which means the McDavid/Strome combo is getting the job up front at center.


    After three more games, McDavid and Strome are the top two points players in the OHL. McDavid has 20 points in 7 games adding 2 more goals and 6 more assists to his points total.


    McDavid is what Andrew Luck was coming out of Stanford or what LeBron James was coming out of High School. He is the guy that everybody wants on their team.


    McDavid broke his hand in December when he got into a fight with a player. Despite missing six weeks, he still came back and finished third in the regular season in points with 120 points. McDavid led the OHL Playoffs in points with a whopping 49 points in 19 games.


    He will be the first player that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman summons to the draft podium when the 2015 NHL Entry Draft takes place in Florida. The NHL Team that won the NHL Draft Lottery is the Edmonton Oilers.



    Before 2014

    Connor McDavid is this decades version of Sidney Crosby. Besides John Tavares and Aaron Ekblad he is the only OHL player to receive exceptional status. In 2012, the Erie Otters drafted McDavid with the top pick in the 2012 OHL Priority Selection by drafting the 15 year old with the top pick. In a game against the Barrie Colts, McDavid recorded 4 assists and made Aaron Ekblad the top pick in the 2014 NHL Draft look like an incomplete player. The only other center to pick apart Ekblad was Sam Reinhart in the 2014 CHL Prospects game.


    McDavid registered 66 points during his rookie season as a 15-year-old. He followed that up with 99 points in 2013-2014 before turning 17 following the season. When a guy is posting near 100 points as a 17-year-old or an 18-year-old he is a good prospect. When somebody is approaching 100 points in the regular season at the age of 16 you know you got somebody special.


    Peter King did a story about McDavid when he first entered the OHL. A beat writer at USA Today called him the LeBron James of the NHL. As long as he doesn’t create drama during the off-season like James, he is A ok with me.


    Most of the Canadian prospects for the 2015 NHL Draft are playing like they need one more season in the CHL. Jeremy Roy might make the NHL, but he could use another season in the juniors. Travis Konecny and Matthew Barzal could probably make the jump to the NHL, but it would probably best if you gave them that extra year in the CHL and wait until 2016 to bring them up. There is only one prospect from Canada in the 2015 NHL Draft that looks NHL ready at this point. That player is Connor McDavid.



    Career Statistics Presented By Elite Hockey Prospects



  2. Dylan Strome, C, Erie Otters (OHL) Projected Round Top 5 Pick Projected Team

    2014 Season Recap Dylan Strome weighs 6-foot-3 and 187-pounds. Strome like McDavid is a pure playmaker center. The reason Strome is listed as high as McDavid is due to the fact that Dylan Strome has 12 assists and 13 points in 4 games. Dylan has to keep performing at a high level before we say bigger is better.


    In 3 more games, Strome scored 3 goals and 3 more assists. The more you watch Dylan play the more you think he could be ready for the NHL in 2015-2016. It is still too early to say that. I moved him up into top 5 pick territory.


    Dylan Strome is exceeding team expectations while reaping the benefits as a second-line center in the Ontario Hockey League. If Dylan can maintain this performance he may get drafted in the top 5 overall just like his older brother Ryan. The New York Islanders traded their 2015 first round pick, so Dylan will not be playing with Ryan in the NHL.


    Strome got some line 1 time later in the season when Connor McDavid broke his hand in that fight. Strome led the OHL with 126 points during the regular season before disappointing in the 2015 OHL Playoffs. Strome will make an immediate impact in the NHL. He should start out on a third line his rookie season and then move up a line each year. By his third year he will be the line 1 center on a team like the Toronto Maple Leafs assuming they drafted him.



    Before 2014

    Dylan Strome is the little brother of 2011 first-round pick Ryan Strome, and was the second-overall pick in the 2013 OHL Entry Draft. The Erie Otters added Strome to compliment the highly touted Connor McDavid.


    After receiving limited action on line 3 as a rookie with the Otters, Dylan Strome will receive more action on the second line in 2014-2015. Strome will likely need one more year of development in 2015-2016 on the Otters top line before moving up to the NHL.



    Career Statistics Presented By Elite Hockey Prospects



  3. Mitch Marner, C, London Knights (OHL) Projected Round Top 5 Pick Projected Team

    2014 Season Recap Mitch Marner had an awesome season with 123 points. Marner led the OHL in points for much of the season before being bested by Dylan Strome. The London Knights made it past the first round of the 2015 OHL Playoffs only to get swept by the Erie Otters. Marner can join a team right now as a line 3 right winger or line 4 center. He's going to need 2 years of development in the NHL before he becomes line 1 material.



    Before 2014

    Mitch Marner is the tenth best player available and the final top 10 prospect at this point heading into the 2014-2015 OHL season. Marner was drafted 19th overall by the London Knights in the 2013 OHL Entry Draft. Marner registered 13 goals, 46 assists, and 59 points in his first season with the Knights. Expect Marner to continue to develop in the OHL. At some point in the future he may play on an NHL roster. For now Marner needs to continue developing.



    Career Statistics Presented By Elite Hockey Prospects



  4. Matthew Barzal, C, Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL) Projected Round Top 10 Pick Projected Team

    2014 Season Recap Barzal has 2 assists in 3 games during the 2014-2015 WHL Season. Barzal is one of the best players due for a breakout season in 2014-2015. Even if his numbers stink right now, this guy has the tools that you look for in a top 10 prospect.


    Matthew Barzal was limited to 54 points. When you watch his tape you see a guy that can be a line 1 center with all the tools to succeed. Barzal will play for the NHL team that drafts him right away assuming he stays healthy putting any durability concerns that teams have about him to rest.



    Before 2014

    The Seattle Thunderbirds took Mathew Barzal with the top pick in the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft. Right now Barzal only has one year of experience with 14 goals, 40 assists, and 54 points. Another fantastic season could make Barzal a top 10 pick in 2015.


    Career Statistics Presented By Elite Hockey Prospects



    Ready for the NHL In 2016-2017

  5. Lawson Crouse, LW, Kingston Frontenacs (OHL) Projected Round Top 10 Pick Projected Team

    2014 Season Recap Bad news for Lawson Crouse is that center Sam Bennett will be out 4 to 6 months with an injury. Crouse will have to carry a Kingston team that is stacked with premium talent.


    Crouse has defensive awareness that is similar to Gabriel Landeskog. Landeskog was far more disciplined though as he was team captain of Kitchener Rangers. I don't think Crouse has that ability and it showed. Crouse only scored 26 goals in his final 52 games after starting the season with 3 goals in 4 games. I think you are looking at a line 2 left winger in the NHL at best. Crouse needs another year in the juniors after the Frontenacs got swept out of the first round of the 2015 OHL Playoffs.


    Even though Crouse is fifth to Carolina in my latest mock draft, he's also the 11th best player on my draft board. Crouse is one of two busts from this prospect list with Jake DeBrusk of the Swift Current Broncos being the other bust.



    Before 2014

    Lawson Crouse only registered a measly 27 points in 2013-2014 after being the fifth-overall pick in the 2013 OHL Entry Draft. With Sam Bennett likely returning to Kingston, there is a good chance, Crouse increases his production from a statistical standpoint.



    Career Statistics Presented By Elite Hockey Prospects



  6. Travis Konecny, C, Ottawa 67s (OHL) Projected Round 1st Round Projected Team

    2014 Season Recap Travis Konecny is off to a rocky start with 1 goal, 1 assist, and 2 points in 4 games. The 67s are 0-4-0 and have only scored 6 goals which is tied for worst in the OHL. Konecny was named team captain heading into the season and is being double-teammed by opposing defensemen. You cannot blame Koencny for his lack of production so far in 2014-2015. Still, you feel like he needs another year of seasoning in the OHL when you consider how bad this team started with him as the captain.


    The 67s still made the 2015 OHL Playoffs after the 0-4 start. Konecny may be ready to play right away in 2015-2016. At the same time there are just as many critics that believe he needs two more years in the juniors. I think he needs one more year in the juniors where he can prove himself before making the jump to the NHL.



    Before 2014

    Travis Konecny was the top pick in the 2013 OHL Entry Draft. In 63 games with the 67s, Konecny registered 26 goals, 44 assists, and 70 points during his first season in the OHL. Can you say top 10 pick?



    Career Statistics Presented By Elite Hockey Prospects



  7. Jeremy Roy, D, Sherbrooke Phoenix (QMJHL) Projected Round 1st Round Projected Team

    2014 Season Recap Jeremy Roy has 8 points in 10 games following a phenomenal rookie season where he posted 44 points on defense. Roy is off to a strong start and was a challenger to Noah Hanifin or Oliver Kylington to be the top defenseman drafted in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft early in the season.


    Roy struggled down the stretch as he dealt with injuries in the final months of the season. Roy only recorded 43 points and he was off to such a good start, so it's understandable why he's slipping on some draft boards. Roy's play down the stretch cost the Phoenix as they lost in the opening round of the 2015 QMJHL Playoffs. Roy should be healthy next season, and I expect a big year from him as I think he ends up getting called up to the NHL in a year from now in 2016-2017.



    Before 2014

    Jeremy Roy shows ideal size for a defenseman at 6-foot and 183-pounds. Roy registered 14 goals, 30 assists, and 44 points in his first season with the Phoenix after Sherbrooke drafted him fourth overall in the 2013 QMJHL Entry Draft.



    Career Statistics Presented By Elite Hockey Prospects



  8. Jake DeBrusk, LW, Swift Current Broncos (WHL) Projected Round 1st Round Projected Team

    2014 Season Recap Jake DeBrusk is my favorite sniper in this years draft. He had 42 goals, 39 assists, and 81 points in 2014-2015. DeBrusk snuck into the end of the first round with his stellar play.



    Before 2014

    Jake DeBrusk only had 39 points in 2013-2014. He looks like a third round pick and needs a big year to propel his way into the first round.



    Career Statistics Presented By Elite Hockey Prospects



  9. Daniel Sprong, RW, Charlottetown Islanders (QMJHL) Projected Round 1st Round Projected Team

    2014 Season Recap Sprong is playing much better this season. He has 4 goals, 5 assists, and 9 points in 10 games with the Islanders this season.


    The Islanders have mixed him up in different lines during his career. Sometimes he plays so poorly in practice that the coach bumps him down to the third line. Sometimes he is so good on game day Sprong plays on the top line. The Islanders have other wingers that have more points than Sprong this season even when Sprong plays on the top line.


    Sprong ended his 2014-2015 season with 88 points. That's 20 points better than his 68 points in his rookie season.


    Before 2014


    Daniel Sprong was born in the Netherlands. His family moved to Canada shortly after his birth as he lived in Canada before he began skating for the first time at the age of 4. Sprong kept practicing and playing hockey in Canada until he got drafted by the Charlottetown Islanders.


    Sprong registered 30 goals, 38 assists, and 68 points in his rookie season after the Islanders drafted him thirteenth overall in the 2013 QMJHL Entry Draft.


    Career Statistics Presented By Elite Hockey Prospects



  10. Nick Merkley, C, Kelowna Rockets (WHL) Projected Round 1st Round Projected Team

    2014 Season Recap Nick Merkley began the season with 3 assists in 3 games. He has been on a hot streak with 4 goals and 8 assists in the last four games. The play of Merkley has the Kelowna Rockets off to a 7-0-0 start along with the best record in the WHL. Merkley also currently ranks 3rd in the WHL with 14 points. Merkley went on to record 90 points in the 2014-2015 regular season.


    Merkley did so well during the regular season that he was ranked ahead of Leon Draisaitl on the Rockets top line after the third overall pick in the 2014 NHL Draft got traded to the Rockets. Draisaitl was used as a line 2 center and line 1 left winger before Merkley adjusted to the wing following a cold start in the 2015 WHL Playoffs.


    Despite Merkley's cold start, his team won the Ed Choynoth Cup in the Western Hockey League. As a result, the Kelowna Rockets went to the Memorial Cup where they finished second to the Oshawa Generals.



    Before 2014

    The Kelowna Rockets took Merkley 9th overall in the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft. Merkley saw ice for the first time in the 2013 WHL Playoffs when he recorded 3 assists in 7 games.


    Following a season where he was a reserve, Merkley finally became a starter in 2013-2014. During his rookie season he posted 25 goals, 33 assists, and 58 points in 66 games. He also posted 4 goals, 14 assists, and 17 points in 14 playoff games delivering for the Rockets in the WHL Playoffs once again.


    The 5-foot-11 and 187-pound Merkley won the Jim Piggot trophy for WHL rookie of the year in 2013-2014. Another good season with the Kelowna Rockets may bump him up into the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft. Right now he is a first to second round pick that looks like an early round 2 selection.



    Career Statistics Presented By Elite Hockey Prospects



    Ready for the NHL In 2017-2018

  11. Thomas Chabot, D, Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL) Projected Round 1st Round Projected Team

    2014 Season Recap Thomas Chabot made his presence known. He had 41 points and showed a lot of big time play as a defensive defender displaying sound awareness on both ends. The question is how much of that success was due to being line mates with Jakub Zboril?



    Before 2014

    Thomas Chabot shows ideal size for a defenseman at 6-foot-2 and 179-pounds. Chabot posted 22 points in his first season with the Phoenix after Saint John's selected Chabot with their second round pick in the 2013 QMJHL Entry Draft.



    Career Statistics Presented By Elite Hockey Prospects



  12. Jansen Harkins, C, Prince George Cougars (WHL) Projected Round 1st Round Projected Team

    2014 Season Recap Jansen Harkins had 20 goals, 59 assists, and 79 points. His play got him promoted to alternate captain and finally got the Prince George Cougars back to the WHL Playoffs.


    Before 2014


    Jansen Harkins only posted 34 points in 2013-2014. He's currently a third round prospect heading into this season. He needs a big year to move into the first round.



    Career Statistics Presented By Elite Hockey Prospects



  13. Ryan Pilon, D, Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL) Projected Round 2nd Round Projected Team

    2014 Season Recap Ryan Pilon has huge skates to fill as he is replacing Ryan Pulock, the captain of the Brandon Wheat Kings. He has 6 points and a +3 +/- rating in 4 games with the Wheat Kings. The Brandon Wheat Kings also named him an alternate captain after his 29 point season last year. Pilon is a good offensive defenseman, but he needs to stay in Brandon and perfect his defensive game if he expects to become a solid two-way defenseman.


    Pilon was a force throughout the 2014-2015 season carrying his brilliant play to the 2015 WHL Finals before the Kelowna Rockets swept the Brandon Wheat Kings. Pilon was a wreck in that series. Pilot will still get drafted in the first round.



    Before 2014

    The Lethbridge Hurricanes drafted Ryan Pilon with a third overall in the 2011 WHL Bantam Draft. Began the 2013-2014 season as an alternate captain on the Hurricanes, before the the Hurricanes traded him to the Wheat Kings after he scored 28 points in 2012-2013. Pilon improved scoring 29 points in 2013-2014.



    Career Statistics Presented By Elite Hockey Prospects



  14. MacKenzie Blackwood, G, Barrie Colts (OHL) Projected Round 2nd Round Projected Team

    2014 Season Recap MacKenzie Blackwood has regressed to an extent without the top overall selection in the 2014 NHL Draft. Losing Aaron Ekblad was huge.


    Blackwood ranked 11th in the OHL in goals against average with a 2.98 GAA in 45 games in 2013-2014. So far through 5 games in 2014-2015, Blackwood ranks 15th in the OHL with a 3.33 GAA. That is pretty bad when you consider there are 20 different teams with 20 starting goaltenders.


    Blackwood dropped 10 pounds and now weighs 205 pounds rather than 215. His save percentage also increased from .902 in the regular season to .903. The other positive is that Blackwood is more athletic between the pipes as his ability to make saves using the 5 hole technique has improved drastically so far through 5 games.


    Lousy defense without Ekblad is why his numbers are inflated. Blackwood will still be the first goalie to get drafted. He's a first round talent, but will most likely fall to the second round. He won't get past the 33rd pick since Edmonton has shown a lot of interest in him.



    Before 2014

    In football you can win a win a championship by building through the draft around your quarterback. Same can be said for the NBA with drafting a point guard. Most MLB teams buy players in free agency. Stanley Cup Winners build through the draft. The most important position in hockey is goalie. Most teams take centers or defensemen in the NHL Draft and try to go out and sign a goalie in free agency because the odds of drafting an NHL goalie that makes the Hall Of Fame is about as likely as drawing a gold ticket to Willie Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.


    MacKenzie Blackwood is the best goalie I have seen in quite some time. The 6-foot-4 and 215-pound goaltender has exceptional size for a 17-year-old prospect. Last season he played 45 games with a 2.98 GAA and a .902 save percentage. In ten playoff games during the 2014 OHL Playoffs, Blackwood posted a 2.61 GAA and and a .904 save percentage. He improved on his regular season numbers and showed NHL teams he can be a starting keeper in the NHL Playoffs with his breakout rookig season in the OHL.


    Aaron Ekblad probably had a huge influence on Blackwood’s ability to make saves during the season. Regardless, you cannot pass on a goaltender in the first round who plays this brilliant in his first season in the Ontario Hockey League. You have to take a goalie this talented in the top 10. His stock will drop if he struggles significantly without Ekblad. For now this is your guy period.


    Every draft class has a goalie that is a once in a decade type goalie or that can win you a Stanley Cup if you are patient and groom him. The 80’s had Grant Fuhr who became a household name on the Oilers’ winning four Stanley Cups with left winger Wayne Gretzky and center Mark Messier. In the 90’s you had Martin Brodeur who became the savior for the New Jersey Devils guiding them to four Stanley Cup Appearances winning two of those finals in 2000 and 2003. Brodeur helped the Devils win the Eastern Conference three times in four years in 2000, 2001, and 2003. After that Marc-Andre Fleury was drafted #1 overall by the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2003. Fleury would eventually help the Penguins win the 2008-2009 Stanley Cup Finals. Blackwood is a special prospect and has a chance to be this decades version of one of those rare goalies that can get you a Stanley Cup if you develop him after drafting him in the first round of the NHL Draft.



    Career Statistics Presented By Elite Hockey Prospects



    Ready for the NHL In 2018-2019

  15. Nicolas Roy, C, Chicoutimi Sagueneens (QMJHL) Projected Round 2nd Round Projected Team

    2014 Season Recap The Sagueneens began the 2014-2015 season with a 1-4-1 record. A three game winning streak has this team playing at a high level. Despite the streak, Chicoutimi is still in last place in the division while Nicolas Roy only has 4 points in 9 games.


    Roy did better down the stretch. He ended his season with 50 points in 68 games posting 9 more points than the previous season.


    Before 2014


    The 6-foot-4 and 203-pound Nicolas Roy is the twin brother of Jeremy Roy. Nicolas posted 41 points in 2013-2014 and led the Chicoutimi Sagueneens to the 2014 QMJHL Playoffs where the 13 seeded Sagueneens got swept by the 4 seed Rimouski Oceanic team that lost in the opening round of the 2013 QMJHL Playoffs before knocking out a Halifax Mooseheads team with Nate MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin in 2012 QMJHL Playoffs.


    Roy has the tools to be a first round guy. Most experts believe he is a first round prospect. Some think he could go higher. Despite this, I have reservations about Nicolas after watching his tape. When it comes to the Roy brothers I think Jeremy thrives in the NHL while Nicolas flops. It will be interesting to see what happens with the Roy brothers moving forward.



    Career Statistics Presented By Elite Hockey Prospects



  16. Noah Juulsen, D, Everett Silvertips (WHL) Projected Round 2nd Round Projected Team

    2014 Season Recap Noah Juulsen has 1 assist in 2 games with the Everett Silvertips this season. He has excellent ability as a defensive defenseman. He was horrible at creating scoring chances on offense in 2013-2014.


    Juulsen showed great improvement in that regard with 52 points. Juulsen could be a late first round pick. If Juulsen goes in the first round, he'd be the third defenseman on the Everett Silvertips in the last four years drafted in the first round.



    Before 2014

    Posted 10 points in 59 games. Had a +12 +/- rating in 2013-2014.



    Career Statistics Presented By Elite Hockey Prospects



  17. Vince Dunn, D, Niagara IceDogs (OHL) Projected Round 2nd Round Projected Team

    2014 Season Recap Vince Dunn is your typical offensive defenseman. He has the upside to develop into a solid line 2 defenseman in the NHL. It is going to take some time, and he will be a bit of a project.



    Before 2014

    Vince Dunn had 33 points in 2013-2014. Dunn needs more experience in 2014-2015. He looks like a late round pick.



    Career Statistics Presented By Elite Hockey Prospects



    Ready for the NHL In 2019-2020

  18. Mitch Vande Sompel, D, Oshawa Generals (OHL) Projected Round 2nd Round Projected Team

    2014 Season Recap Mitch Vande Sompel is an undersized offensive defenseman. His ability as a quarterback on the power play helped the Generals win the 2015 Memorial Cup. He also posted 63 points in the 2014-2015 OHL regular season.


    Before 2014


    Mitch Vande Sompel only had 20 points in 2013-2014. Despite how mediocre that sounds, that's actually pretty promising for a first year defenseman.



    Career Statistics Presented By Elite Hockey Prospects



  19. Travis Dermott, D, Erie Otters (OHL) Projected Round 2nd Round Projected Team

    2014 Season Recap Travis Dermott dominated as an offensive defenseman in 2014-2015. Dermott posted 8 goals, 37 assists, and 45 points. He also posted 17 points in 19 games as a defenseman.



    Before 2014

    The 5-foot-10 181-pound defenseman looks promising with 28 points. He needs a big year to improve his fifth round draft grade that he currently has heading into his second season.



    Career Statistics Presented By Elite Hockey Prospects



  20. Anthony Beauvillier, LW, Shawinigan Cataractes (QMJHL) Projected Round 2nd Round Projected Team

    2014 Season Recap In 44 games the 5-foot-11 and 176-pound center posted 42 goals, 54 assists, and 94 points nearly tripling his point total from 2013-2014. His lack of size is the only thing that will keep him from going in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft.


    Beauvillier has the versatility to play left wing, center, or right wing. He's a premier two-way forward with everything except size. His lack of size may cause him to move to left wing in the NHL.


    Before 2014

    Posted 9 goals, 24 assists, and 33 points in 2013-2014. He needs to improve on that in 2014-2015.


    Career Statistics Presented By Elite Hockey Prospects





NHL Draft Prospects

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