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2015 NHL Draft USA Prospect Rankings




Posted By: Chris Ransom Last Updated: June, 13, 2015 Following Our monthly 2015 NHL Mock Draft


    Ready for the NHL In 2015-2016

  1. Jack Eichel, C, Boston University Projected Round Top 5 Pick Projected Team

    2014 Season Recap After two seasons in the USHL, Eichel finally enrolled at Boston University. In an exhibition game he scored 6 goals in a 12-1 victory. Boston University won the season opener 8-2 and Eichel had 2 goals, 2 assists, and 4 points in that contest.


    Jack Eichel was the line 1 center and team captain for Team USA at the 2015 World Junior Championships. That boosted his stock.


    Eichel has to help Boston University win the Beanpot to validate his status as a top 2 pick. He reinforced that status by leading the NCAA with 71 points and became the first freshman to win the Hobey Baker Award since Paul Kariya won the Hobey Baker Award with Maine. Boston University lost the Mens Hockey Championship to the Providence Fryars, but they led the game heading into the third period thanks to the play of Eichel.



    Before 2014

    Jack Eichel turned down the chance to be Nate MacKinnon’s prodigy on the Halifax Mooseheads after Halifax took Eichel in the first round of the 2012 QMJHL Draft. Eichel chose to play for the United States National Team Development Program in the United States instead.


    During his rookie season in 2012-2013, Eichel recorded 13 goals, 14 assists, and 27 points in 35 games. Eichel lacked defensive awareness during his rookie season.


    Heading into year 2, Eichel was drafted in the 10th round by the Saint John Sea Dogs. Eichel turned down the Sea Dogs before applying to Yale. After getting accepted into Yale, Eichel turned them down to go to Boston University after finding out he would start out on the third line due to competition at Yale.


    Eichel returned to the USHL where he posted 20 goals, 25 assists, and 45 points with 2014 NHL Draft prospects line Sonny Milano and Alex Tuch. Eichel beat out Dylan Larkin for the line 1 spot in both of his years with the USNTDP team in the USHL. Eichel improved his defensive awareness greatly in year 2.



    Career Statistics Presented By Elite Hockey Prospects



  2. Noah Hanifin, D, Boston College Projected Round Top 5 Pick Projected Team

    2014 Season Recap Noah Hanifin is a line 1 defenseman for the Boston College Eagles defense this season. He compliments goalie Thatcher Demko on the Eagles top line.


    Hanifin is the most NHL ready defenseman when you watch his tape. Scouts say he has the upside, but I feel like he already reached his full potential. Despite this, I think Hanifin will make an NHL roster right away and max out his ability as a line 2 defenseman. There are other guys in this draft with line 1 potential on defense, but those players need more time in College or in the juniors to develop. If you want a defenseman that's a sure thing to make an immediate impact by making the NHL as an 18-year-old on the blue line, Noah Hanifin is your guy.


    Hanifin thought he did 11 pull ups at the NHL Combine. He only did 7 of those pull ups properly. When you are 6-3 205 lbs you should have no problem doing 10 pull ups consistently.


    There's no question this guy can play on a second line right now at this point. I just don't see Hanifin growing beyond that even though he's the best prospect in this years draft after Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel.


    He struggled against Boston University in the second and third periods when Boston College faced Boston University on NBC Sports Network. Hanifin also had issues when facing the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Boston College lost the opener of the Beanpot to Northeastern after winning the Beanpot 5 years in a row prior to Hanifin's arrival. When Hanifin made Team USA at the World Junior Championships, he was the #4 defenseman on the second line rather than the #1 defenseman on the first line which is another red flag in my eyes.


    People will say this guy is this years version of Victor Hedman or Drew Doughty. If Hanifin were as good as those guys he would not have been demoted to the second line when making the World Junior Championships for Team USA.



    Before 2014

    The highly coveted two-way defenseman played with the United States National Team Developmental Program in 2013-2014. In 31 games, the 6-foot-2 and 205-pound defenseman posted 6 goals, 14 assists, and 20 points on a line 1 unit featuring forwards like left winger Sonny Milano, center Jack Eichel, and right winger Alex Tuch.


    Hanifin will commit to Boston College after spending time in the USHL. If he does well at Boston College he could be a top 5 pick in a year from now.



    Career Statistics Presented By Elite Hockey Prospects



    Ready for the NHL In 2016-2017

  3. Zack Werenski, D, Michigan Projected Round Top 10 Pick Projected Team

    2014 Season Recap Zack Werenski is a #1 defenseman on the Michigan Wolverines. The 6-foot-2 and 207-pound defenseman has the tools that you look for in a two-way defenseman.


    Werenski has the size and defensive ability that you look for. He blocks shots with his body, skates, or hands. Werenski hits hard. His 25 points were better than Noah Hannifin's 23 points.


    Werenski did well at the 2015 NHL Combine. There was speculation about teams like the Buffalo Sabres, Arizona Coyotes, and Toronto Maple Leafs all moving Michigan's defenseman in the top 5 of their draft boards at number 5. Despite giving this strong impression, he won't go in the top 5 because he has to compete with Ivan Provorov who looked solid on tape.


    The bottom line is that Werenski is a top 10 prospect. If he gets to 12 he won't get past Dallas. Werenski may need another year with the Michigan Wolverines. By 2016-2017, he will be ready for the NHL. I also believe that Werenski will have a better career than Hannifin and am okay with being wrong because I have the audacity to make a gutsy prediction.



    Before 2014

    Playing next to Noah Hanifin in 2013-2014, did wonders for Zack Werenski. Werenski posted 6 goals, 13 assists, and 19 points in 35 games. You have to like what Werenski did for the United States National Team Development Program by playing on an line 1 unit that featured Milano, Eichel, Tuch, and Hanifin. When you have that much talent on your top line, you are bound to make plays.



    Career Statistics Presented By Elite Hockey Prospects



    Ready for the NHL In 2017-2018

  4. Kyle Connor, LW, Youngstown Phantoms (USHL) Projected Round 1st Round Projected Team

    2014 Season Recap Kyle Connor scored a hat trick against the United States National Team Developmental Program in a 6-3 loss during an exhibition game. Right now he has 2 goals, 4 assists, and 6 points on the year in 2014-2015.


    Connor helped the Youngstown Phantoms finish with the best record in the USHL during the regular season as he finished his 2014-2015 campaign with 80 points. Connor can play left wing, center, or right wing. The playmaker can dish it to his teammates or shoot it himself by using his deadly wrist shot and potent slap shot. Both of his shots have tremendous power, velocity, and accuracy making him a threat to help his team score every single time he touches the puck.


    Next season, Connor will play for the University of Michigan. He will play on the Michigan Wolverines second line behind Dylan Larkin a 2014 first-round pick that is already on the Wolverines top line. Connor can either play on the second line behind Larkin or enter the CHL Import Draft. Connor may have to play for the Saginaw Spirit team that drafted him in the 14th round of the 2012 OHL Priority Selection.


    Regardless of whether Connor goes to the CHL or goes to Michigan he will need more seasoning in the juniors. Kyle Connor will be a fun player to watch in a few years.



    Before 2014

    Kyle Connor began his career with the Youngstown Phantoms in 2012-2013. During his rookie season with the Youngstown Phantoms, Connor played 62 games with the Phantoms posting 17 goals, 24 assists, and 41 points.


    In 2013-2014, Connor improved upon his rookie season. Connor posted 31 goals, 43 assists, and 74 points in 56 in 56 games.


    Connor’s one weakness is defensive awareness. Connor posted a -17 +/- rating in 2012-2013. In 2013-2014 he posted a -15 +/- rating.



    Career Statistics Presented By Elite Hockey Prospects



  5. Brandon Carlo, D, Tri-City Americans (WHL) Projected Round 1st Round Projected Team

    2014 Season Carlo has 5 assists in 10 games. The 6-foot-5 and 195-pound defenseman has improved as a defensive defenseman. Look for him to continue develop as a quarterback on the power play.


    Carlo did well leading up to the 2015 World Junior Championships. In practice at the WJC's for Team USA he played so well that he beat out Noah Hanifin for the #1 defenseman role on Team USA. When game day occurred he played really poorly after one or two strong shifts and allowed quite a bit of goals at the 2015 World Junior Championships.


    When I watch Carlo on tape I see a guy that can be that complete defenseman. I also see a guy who cannot be that complete defenseman consistently. That's why I think Carlo will bust.


    At the same time, I also believe Carlo will go top 20. The Dallas Stars, Edmonton Oilers, Winnipeg Jets, Ottawa Senators, and Detroit Red Wings have all interviewed Carlo. When five teams picking in the top 20 all interview the same prospect, that usually means that player is going in the top 20. The question is where will they go.



    Before 2014

    Carlo was a tenth round draft pick in the 2011 WHL Bantam Draft. It took him 2 years to make the roster and did not see ice time until 2013-2014 where he posted 3 goals, 10 assists, and 13 points in 71 games.



    Career Statistics Presented By Elite Hockey Prospects



  6. Colin White, C, Team USA (USHL) Projected Round 1st Round Projected Team .

    2014 Season Recap Colin White got off to a rough start and only recorded 20 points in 2014-2015 on the United States National Team Developmental Program in the USHL. He is also the captain of the United States National Under 18 team outside of the USHL. White has 4 goals, 4 assists, and 8 points on the United States National Under 18 team that he captains. White has the versatility to play left wing, center, or right wing.


    White will play for Boston College in 2015-2016. He will likely make the jump to the NHL in 2017-2018.


    The fact that White is struggling on the USHL while thriving on the Under 18 team means he needs more seasoning outside of the NHL before making the jump. Jonathan Toews played one season at North Dakota after getting drafted before making the jump to the NHL where he played next to Patrick Kane and look how that turned out. White will need at least two seasons at Boston College if he wants to be where Jonathan Toews was.



    Before 2014

    Being an alternate captain right off the bat for the United States National Under 17 team helped White gain some confidence. White acquired so much confidence, that he made the jump to the USHL.


    White played in the USHL for 35 games. In those 35 games White posted 14 goals, 14 assists, and 28 points while posting a +5 +/- rating limiting himself to 50 penalty minutes on the season in 2013-2014.



    Career Statistics Presented By Elite Hockey Prospects



  7. Paul Bittner, LW, Portland Winterhawks (WHL) Projected Round 1st Round Projected Team

    2014 Season Recap Paul Bittner is the leader of a Portland Winterhawks squad that looks lost without former head coach Mike Johnston who is now the Head Coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins. So far Bittner has 3 goals in 8 games after the team named him an alternate captain heading into the season.


    After getting off to a rough start, Bittner played much better down the stretch. He ended the season with 34 goals, 37 assists, and 71 points in 68 games after that rough start. Bittner's persistence payed off as he played well enough to defeat the Seattle Thunderbirds in the opening round of the 2015 WHL Playoffs before losing to the eventual WHL Champion Kelowna Rockets in the 2015 Western Conference Finals after getting in as a 4 seed.



    Before 2014

    Bittner might play in Canada, but he was born in the United States. The 6-foot-4 and 194-pound left winger is a playmaker that has the versatility to adapt to center or right wing, even though left wing is his primary position.


    Paul Bittner posted 12 goals, 11 assists, and 23 points in 2012-2013. In 2013-2014, Bittner posted 22 goals, 27 assists, and 49 points in 63 games with a +25 +/- rating. Bittner also scored 6 goals, 6 assists, and 12 points in 21 playoff games with the Portland Winterhawks before losing to the eventual Memorial Cup Champion Edmonton Oil Kings in the WHL Championship.



    Career Statistics Presented By Elite Hockey Prospects



    Ready for the NHL In 2018-2019

  8. Brock Boeser, RW, Waterloo Blackhawks (USHL) Projected Round 2nd Round Projected Team

    2014 Season Recap Brock Boeser can play left wing, center, or right wing just like Thomas Novak. In 5 games Boeser has 6 goals, 2 assists, and 8 points. Boeser is posting better than Novak despite the fact that Novak is graded out as the better prospect early in the season.


    Brock Boeser ended his 2014-2015 season with 68 points. If one of the two Waterloo Blackhawks cracks the first round it will be Brock Boeser instead of Thomas Novak.



    Before 2014

    The Sioux City Musketeers drafted Boeser fourth overall in the 2013 USHL Entry Draft one pick after Thomas Novak. Funny thing is that Novak and Boeser will be teammates in Waterloo in 2014.



    Career Statistics Presented By Elite Hockey Prospects



  9. Thomas Novak, LW, Waterloo Blackhawks (USHL) Projected Round 2nd Round Projected Team

    2014 Season Recap Thomas Novak has incredible versatility as he can play left wing, center, or right wing in the USHL. Novak already has 3 assists in 5 games for the Waterloo Blackhawks.


    Thomas Novak wasn't as good as expected. He only finished the 2014-2015 season with 48 points which is mainly why Boeser jumped ahead of him in our rankings.



    Before 2014

    Novak was drafted by the Des Moines Buccaneers third overall. Last season, Novak complimented played on the fourth line with the United States National Team Developmental Program for 2 games.



    Career Statistics Presented By Elite Hockey Prospects



  10. Dennis Yan, LW, Shawinigan Cataractes (QMJHL) Projected Round 2nd Round Projected Team

    2014 Season Recap The Shawinigan Cataractes drafted Dennis Yan eighth overall in the 2014 CHL Import Draft. In 11 games, Yan has 9 goals, 3 assists, and 12 points. Yan needs more seasoning in the QMJHL. He looks like a future NHL prospect to keep an eye on.


    The 6-foot-1 and 187-pound Yan ended up with 33 goals and 31 assists. Yan may be the most well rounded sniper in America and the best part is you can get him in the second round.



    Before 2014

    Posted 14 points as a line 3 left winger for the United States National Team Developmental Program in 2013-2014. Dennis Yan is an American born citizen from Portland, OR with ties to Russia.



    Career Statistics Presented By Elite Hockey Prospects



  11. Jack Roslovic, RW, Team USA (USHL) Projected Round 2nd Round Projected Team

    2014 Season Recap Jakc Roslovic transitioned from being a line 3 center to a line 1 right winger. He beat out Jeremy Bracco and Christian Fischer for spots on the Team USA USHL Team.


    Roslovic got 38 points as a line 1 right winger by playing next to 2016 draft prospects Auston Matthews and Matthew Tkachuk.



    Before 2014

    Jack Roslovic showed a lot of promise as he posted 14 points with the United States National Team Developmental Program as a line 3 center.



    Career Statistics Presented By Elite Hockey Prospects



    Ready In 2019-2020

  12. Jeremy Bracco, RW, Team USA (USHL) Projected Round 2nd Round Projected Team

    2014 Season Recap Jeremy Bracco is undersized at 5-foot-9 and 172-pounds. He has excellent versatility as he can play left wing, center, or right wing. In 3 games he has 3 goals, 3 assists, and 6 points. Bracco could move up the boards if he keeps playing this well.


    Bracco had 32 points in 24 games. His attitude rubbed NHL scouts the wrong way. Yet the Buffalo Sabres think he's a late first round prospect. If he's there in the middle of the second by the time Buffalo uses their second second round pick, he will be gone.



    Before 2014

    Last season in 34 games, Bracco posted 9 goals, 28 assists, and 37 points. Bracco has talent on offense. His lack of size may keep him in the NHL. Bracco needs to keep developing after being a line 2 right winger next to Jordan Greenway and Dylan Larkin in 2013-2014.



    Career Statistics Presented By Elite Hockey Prospects



  13. Nicholas Boka, D, Team USA (USHL) Projected Round 2nd Round Projected Team

    2014 Season Recap Currently has 1 point in 2 games. Boka is a defensive defenseman that anchors the line 1 unit this season.


    Boka is an awesome defensive defenseman. You need to take a few years off to work with him on perfecting his offensive prowess on the blue line because he only finished the regular season with 4 points.



    Before 2014

    Boka posted 11 points in 35 games with the United States National Team Developmental Program last season. He set up scoring chances for Dylan Larkin and Jordan Greenway last season, but he is more of a defensive defenseman. The potential to mold into a two-way defenseman is there through.



    Career Statistics Presented By Elite Hockey Prospects



  14. Tory Dello, D, Tri-City Storm (USHL) Projected Round 2nd Round Projected Team

    2014 Season Recap Tory Dello is a defensive defenseman that is undersized at 6-foot-1 and 190-pounds. He only has 1 assist in 5 games this season. He finished the season with a disappointing 17 points in 63 games. Despite this, Dello is a late second round prospect.


    Dello is playing for Notre Dame next season. I really don't think he will be ready until 2019-2020, so he should stay at Notre Dame for four years and get his education rather than attempting to enter the CHL Import Draft.



    Before 2014

    Dello was drafted by the Chicago Steel in the 19th round of the 2012 USHL Draft. The Steel parted ways with Dello and the Tri-City Storm would pick him up later in the season.


    Dello saw 3 games in 2012-2013. He did not do much as a rookie season. Dello posted 2 goals, 5 assists, and 7 points in 2013-2014.



    Career Statistics Presented By Elite Hockey Prospects



  15. Christian Fischer, RW, Team USA (USHL) Projected Round 3rd Round Projected Team

    2014 Season Recap Christian Fischer had 15 goals, 15 assists, and 30 points in 25 games. He split games with Jeremy Bracco as a line 2 right winger.



    Before 2014

    Christian Fischer was a line 3 right winger as he was line mates with Dennis Yan and Jack Roslovic. Fischer should get an opportunity to be a line 1 right winger. If he doesn't cease that opportunity or improve statistically, it will be hard to make a case for drafting Fischer.



    Career Statistics Presented By Elite Hockey Prospects



  16. Jordan Greenway, LW, Team USA (USHL) Projected Round 3rd Round Projected Team

    2014 Season Recap Jordan Greenway already has 3 assists in 3 games with the United States National Team Developmental Program in 2014-2015. Greenway will play for Boston University on the first line in 2015-2016.


    Despite Greenway's promising start, he regressed in 2014-2015. Greenway ended his season with 20 points which was six fewer than the 26 points he posted in 2013-2014. Greenway is a line 2 left winger in the NHL at best.



    Before 2014

    Greenway played next to Dylan Larkin in 2013-2014 for 33 games on the USNTDP second line at the left wing position. His 10 goals, 16 assists, and 26 points are something to be proud of.



    Career Statistics Presented By Elite Hockey Prospects



  17. A.J. Greer, LW, Boston University Projected Round 3rd Round Projected Team

    2014 Season Recap A.J. Greer only had 7 points in 37 games. Greer has good size at 6-foot-3 and 205 lbs. That will help him get drafted in the first three rounds.



    Before 2014

    Anthony John Greer also known as A.J. Greer was an unknown before joining Boston University. Greer was line mates with Jack Eichel and it should get him drafted in the top 100 as a project player to develop for the future.



    Career Statistics Presented By Elite Hockey Prospects



  18. Erik Foley, LW, Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (USHL) Projected Round 3rd Round Projected Team

    2014 Season Recap Erik Foley posted 27 goals, 27 assists, and 54 points in 55 games. Foley was pretty productive with the RoughRiders in 2014-2015.


    Foley will play College Hockey at Providence. His only out is to enter the 2015 CHL Import Draft.



    Before 2014

    Erik Foley only played 1 game in 2013-2014. He will get more action next season and needs to show a lot more ability to step up.



    Career Statistics Presented By Elite Hockey Prospects



  19. Brent Gates, C, Green Bay Gamblers (USHL) Projected Round 3rd Round Projected Team

    2014 Season Recap Brent Gates is a center that is undersized at 6-foot-1 and 190-pounds. He posted 10 goals, 17 assists, and 27 points in 33 games. Gates needs a few more years to develop. He will get the chance to be that guy on the Minnesota Golden Gophers.


    Gates should go to Minnesota. Stay there for at least 3 to 4 years until he gets an education while he develops his hockey game. Once he gets his Bachelors degree he can come up to the NHL.



    Before 2014

    Brent Gates scored 11 goals, 4 assists, and 15 points in 2013-2014. Gates showed a lot of ability as a sniper with the Green Bay Gamblers.



    Career Statistics Presented By Elite Hockey Prospects



  20. Caleb Jones, D, Team USA (USHL) Projected Round 4th Round Projected Team

    2014 Season Recap Caleb Jones finally scored his first career goal in the USHL. Caleb Jones only finished the year with 2 goals, 6 assists, and 8 points in 25 games.


    Caleb Jones is the brother of Seth Jones. In 2015-2016 he will play for the Portland Winterhawks. The same team that drafted Seth Jones in the 2012 CHL Import Draft. It's clear that Caleb isn't as talented as his older brother. Still he will get the honor of following in his older brothers footsteps.



    Before 2014

    Caleb Jones was drafted by the Portland Winterhawks in the third round of the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft. Portland was loaded with defensive prospects at the time. As a result, he went to the United States National Team Developmental Program to develop his game as a defenseman.


    In 2013-2014 he failed to score a single goal. He had 7 assists on the third line defense for Team USA in the USHL though.



    Career Statistics Presented By Elite Hockey Prospects





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