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#1. San Jose Sharks - Macklin Celebrini - C - Boston University (HE)

At this point, San Jose might as well announce this now. The entire hockey world knows that Celebrini is going to be its guy. This is a pivot without any true weaknesses who projects as a franchise leader for the Sharks moving forward. Think of the impact that Jonathan Toews had on turning the Blackhawks rebuild around.

#2. Chicago Blackhawks - Artyom Levshunov – D - Michigan State (B1G)

Part of me believes that Chicago might really like Sam Dickinson because of how much value they have been placing on skating in recent drafts, but another part believes that Levshunov will be the Hawks guy. We prefer Dickinson, but there’s no doubting that Levshunov has among the highest two-way upside of any defender in this draft. With his high-end skill and offensive aggressiveness, he’ll be able to give the Hawks a dynamic puck mover on both of their first two pairings (with Korchinski).

#3. Anaheim Ducks - Anton Silayev – D - Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod (KHL)

On one hand, the Ducks haven’t used a Top 50 pick on a Russian based player (as in playing in the KHL, MHL, etc) since Stanislav Chistov in 2001. It’s obvious that they have preferences for other regions. However, what’s also obvious is the fit here. The Ducks have so many terrific puck moving defenders. The system is loaded. However, the team’s high end defensively oriented prospects have had their development stall like Noah Warren and Drew Helleson. Anaheim could see Silayev as an amazing fit beside guys like Mintyukov and Zellweger, allowing them to play freely and aggressively.

#4. Columbus Blue Jackets - Ivan Demidov – RW - SKA-1946 St. Petersburg (MHL)

The Jackets have had great success with young Russian players recently, even forming a great Russian kid line involving Chinakhov, Voronkov, and Marchenko. Not only is Demidov clearly the best player available at this point, but he also helps add significant skill to the wing for the organization that needs it. This is an offensive play driver solely needed.

#5. Montreal Canadiens - Cayden Lindstrom – C - Medicine Hat (WHL)

This is one of the best-case scenarios for Montreal. Is Lindstrom’s injury history a concern? Likely for some teams. However, the upside here is too large for Montreal to pass up. Not only is Lindstrom a fantastic young player, but he also helps the Canadiens get bigger and heavier up front, which was a reason for preferring Slafkovsky at first overall two years ago.

#6. Utah Hockey Club - Zeev Buium – D - Denver (NCHC)

Seems likely that Utah could lean towards taking one of the high-end offensive defenders available with this pick. In the last five drafts, the Coyotes have not taken a single player out of the OHL. This leads me to believe that Buium is a guy that the team could find really attractive at #6. He’s such an intelligent playmaker from the backend and he would really help Utah improve their transitional game and powerplay production.

#7. Ottawa Senators - Sam Dickinson – D - London (OHL)

Dickinson is the perfect defender for the modern era thanks to his high-end skating ability. He’s the kind of blueliner who projects as an all situations, minute eater. Given how terrific he has been in this year’s OHL playoffs (and the Memorial Cup), Ottawa likely sees him as a terrific fit as a “winner” who can help them get over the hump in the coming years. The Sens really need to hit on this pick and Dickinson is as safe as safe can be to be an impact player.

#8. Seattle Kraken - Beckett Sennecke – RW - Oshawa (OHL)

There is a ton of traction for Sennecke to be a high pick and Seattle strikes us as a likely landing spot. They’ve targeted the OHL pretty heavily and, playing in the Pacific, they want to load up their lineup with heavier players who can withstand the punishing style in the division. Sennecke oozes upside as an athletic winger still growing into his frame. He is skilled, physical, and intelligent. A great combination. Logic says Seattle finally uses their first on a defender, but something about this spot screams Sennecke.

#9. Calgary Flames - Tij Iginla – C - Kelowna (WHL)

Maybe this is far-fetched. But maybe it’s not. Teams don’t use top ten selections for the sole purpose of nostalgia. But how can you pass up the opportunity to draft an iconic name, who also happens to be worthy in this spot. Iginla was terrific in the second half of the year, and this gives Calgary an injection of skill and tenacity. He could have a similar impact to his father in Calgary.

#10. New Jersey Devils - Konsta Helenius – C - Jukurit (Fin-Liiga)

The Devils are a team that definitely don’t want to be picking in this range. The organization has been trying to escape the rebuilding phase, so would it not make sense for them to target a player who has great upside, but who can also make an impact pretty quickly? Helenius fits in well with the players already in New Jersey and the Devils have liked the region in recent drafts.

#11. Buffalo Sabres - Zayne Parekh – D - Saginaw (OHL)

Yeah, we know that the Sabres already have Dahlin and Power on the back end. That powerplay unit is already loaded. However, at some point, you have to say that Parekh is too good to let slide further. One of the draft’s most creative and intelligent defenders, Parekh is the ultimate wild card. He could go as high as the top five or fall out of the lottery all together. This would be great value for the Sabres.

#12. Philadelphia Flyers - Cole Eiserman – LW - U. S. NTDP U18 

Often tagged as being the draft’s purest goal scorer, Eiserman had an up and down year with the NTDP. However, he still managed to break the program’s scoring record and that is impressive. Big wingers who can put the puck in the net do not grow on trees. While the Flyers could go defense here, having just dealt top prospect Cutter Gauthier for defender Jamie Drysdale, it seems unlikely that they will go that route.

#13. Minnesota Wild - Carter Yakemchuk – D - Calgary (WHL)

This seems low for Yakemchuk. But someone is going to need to fall a bit considering the talent available in the lottery. While Yakemchuk’s upside is significant, we think teams may have concerns over his puck management and skating combination. That said, he’s a great fit in Minnesota as a potential puck mover and triggerman who can help their powerplay and move quickly through the system.

#14. San Jose Sharks (via Pittsburgh Penguins) - Stian Solberg – D - Valerenga (Norway)

The draft is bound to get pretty wild around this point given the wild fluctuation among rankings. Solberg has had a ton of momentum the last month and we really like this fit. Solberg was tremendous at the World Championships, showing that he can impact the game in a lot of different ways. This is someone who can come in and be a defensive stalwart for the Sharks in the future.

#15. Detroit Red Wings - Berkly Catton – C - Spokane (WHL)

This is much lower than our ranking for Catton, but we realize that we may be more aggressive on him compared to the NHL community. He is the kind of play driver who can elevate Detroit’s first two lines in the future. He’s more skilled than Danielson and Kasper, but he has that same kind of high-end work ethic. If Catton is still available at fifteen, this should one hundred percent be his landing spot.

#16. St. Louis Blues - Trevor Connelly – LW - Tri-City (USHL)

Where does Connelly go? That’s one of the draft’s biggest questions considering the noise around his off-ice “issues.” However, we do think that someone bites considering Connelly has among the highest offensive upsides of any forward in this draft. The Blues need more firepower. They need more play drivers. Connelly is someone who can make this St. Louis team better down the line if he progresses well.

#17. Washington Capitals - Adam Jiricek – D - Plzen (Czechia)

It was a pretty tough draft year for Jiricek, after he missed the majority of the year with injury. However, he came into the year as a potential top ten selection for a reason. He’s talented and a potential two-way stalwart like his brother David. So many options here but could see the Caps lean defense if Jiricek is still on the board.

#18. Chicago Blackhawks (via New York Islanders) - Michael Brandsegg Nygard – RW - Mora (Allsvenskan)

The Hawks have really been focusing on selecting strong skaters in recent years, so there’s a chance that they team will jump on a guy like Jett Luchanko here. However, we like Brandsegg Nygard here for a few reasons. One, he’s one of the best players available. Two, he’s an excellent fit alongside some of the high-end skill that Chicago has brought in. His hard work and attention to detail could make him the kind of high-end role player that Chicago had during their Cup runs.

#19. Vegas Golden Knights - EJ Emery – D - U. S. NTDP U18 

Did you know that Vegas has never drafted a player out of the U.S. NTDP? Seems wild, but this could be the year. Vegas has used their first selection on a center every year of existence. That kind of commitment is impressive. However, we believe that this is the year that the streak breaks. We love Emery’s physical tools and upside as a defensive stalwart, and he fits the exact mold of the kind of defender Vegas seems to love. The team’s defensive core is getting older, and he could be a great fit there in a few years.

#20. New York Islanders (via Tampa Bay Lightning) - Michael Hage – C - Chicago (USHL)

We like this potential landing spot for Hage. He was, perhaps, the best player in the USHL in the second half of the year. This was the real Michael Hage, after he put some personal turmoil behind him. He has upside as a top six, power center and his skill is badly needed in a prospect pool that is currently lacking it.

#21. Los Angeles Kings - Jett Luchanko – C - Guelph (OHL)

We know the Kings love the OHL. Luchanko would be a great pick here. The tenacious and intelligent pivot brings speed and playmaking ability to the table and looks like a future fixture as a second line center. There aren’t a ton of natural pivots in the system right now, so it also makes sense for Los Angeles to target that position, if a good one is available.

#22. Nashville Predators - Leo Sahlin Wallenius – D - Vaxjo Lakers (Swe J20)

A strong skating, potential two-way defender, Sahlin Wallenius proved to be a bit of a chameleon in his draft year. What’s his real future role? Regardless, the physical tools are going to be intriguing to a team like Nashville.

#23. Toronto Maple Leafs - Harrison Brunicke – D - Kamloops (WHL)

This would be the first time since 2018 that Toronto uses its first-round selection on a defender. We’d say it’s needed. Brunicke is a strong skating rearguard with upside at both ends. He excelled defensively at the U18’s and he’s the kind of modern-day defender that Toronto sorely lacks. The organization would have also seen a fair amount of Brunicke while scouting Fraser Minten in Kamloops.

#24. Colorado Avalanche - Igor Chernyshov – LW - Dynamo Moskva (KHL)

We could see Colorado moving this pick at the draft for some immediate help after their disappointing playoff performance. However, if they keep this selection, a guy like Chernyshov could make a ton of sense. He can attack with speed and power, playing a North/South game that fits their system.

#25. Ottawa Senators (via Boston Bruins) - Liam Greentree – RW - Windsor (OHL)

Back-to-back OHL players for Ottawa in our mock, this time the team selects Windsor winger Greentree, who has the potential to be a Jason Robertson kind of player in the future. He is creative and skilled but needs to improve his skating. We believe improving the team’s skill and finishing ability on the wing should be a focus.

#26. Montreal Canadiens (via Winnipeg Jets) - Sam O’Reilly – RW - London (OHL)

With a strong OHL playoffs and Memorial Cup performance, O’Reilly has surged up draft rankings to close out the year. The physical, two-way center has more offensive upside than he has shown thus far playing in a secondary scoring role. Worst case scenario could see him developing into a Scott Laughton type, which would still be terrific value at this point of the first.

#27. Carolina Hurricanes - Alfons Freij – D - Vaxjo Lakers (Swe J20)

The Hurricanes always seem to love the same kind of players that the amateur scouting community love. Freij is one of those amateur scouting darlings this year that we (as a community) seem to love more than the NHL community (as a whole). The skating ability and skill are evident. He was a standout at nearly every international event for Sweden and projects as a skilled top four defende

#28. Calgary Flames (via Vancouver Canucks) - Cole Beaudoin – C - Barrie (OHL)

After drafting Iginla early, the Flames opt for a different kind of forward late in the first. Beaudoin projects as the kind of guy you win in the playoffs with. He brings versatility. He brings leadership. He brings consistency. He is an intelligent playmaker and can excel as a middle six complementary piece. Just seems very likely that at least one NHL team likes his intangibles enough to draft him in the first.

#29. Dallas Stars - Emil Hemming – RW - TPS (Fin-Liiga)

The Stars haven’t drafted a player out of Finland since Miro Heiskanen in 2017, but we’d say that has worked out pretty well. At this point, Hemming fills a need and represents the best player available. He brings tenaciousness and he is one of the draft’s best goal scorers from the wing.

#30. New York Rangers - Charlie Elick - D - Brandon (WHL)

Elick has a similar profile to Braden Schneider when the Rangers drafted him and that worked out pretty well. The size, skating, and physicality combination make Elick a potential shutdown defender for a decade. His decision making needs to improve, but New York has actually improved this component in several of their defensive prospects.

#31. Anaheim Ducks (via Edmonton Oilers) - Julius Miettinen – C - Everett (WHL)

Miettinen improved by leaps and bounds over the course of the year and represents a big body with skill. His skating took a big leap from the beginning of the year to the end, and it has really improved his projection as a top six forward. Anaheim really seems to favor forwards with a well-rounded profile and that’s Miettinen.

#32. Philadelphia Flyers (via Florida Panthers) - Ben Danford – D - Oshawa (OHL)

This pick might surprise some people, but Danford is a player who rocketed up rankings in the second half as part of an Oshawa team that went to the OHL finals. He’s one of the better defensive players in the draft; a shot blocking expert who has terrific defensive instincts. He’s also a strong skater who has shown flashes of more offensively. Shades of Oliver Bonk here and that worked out really well so far.


#33. San Jose Sharks - Dean Letourneau – C - St. Andrew's (CHS-Ontario)

There’s definitely a chance that Letourneau goes in the first, but we feel that teams may be more comfortable using a second on a prep player given that many of those chosen in the first have not developed well. The Sharks can take a chance on Letourneau, given the team’s window is a ways away. The big man oozes upside because of his athleticism.

#34. Chicago Blackhawks - Henry Mews – D - Ottawa (OHL)

With the Hawks focusing so much on strong skating ability, Mews makes sense here. He’s a terrific four-way mover who possesses excellent upside as an offensive defender. He’s a creative rush attacker and his defense did improve over the course of the season.

#35. Anaheim Ducks - Terik Parascak – RW - Prince George (WHL)

A highly intelligent playmaker, Parascak makes up for only average skating by being a step ahead of others mentally. He’s skilled. He’s tenacious. He projects as a quality complementary piece in the top six and he would fit in perfectly with what Anaheim already has in the system.

#36. Philadelphia Flyers (via Columbus Blue Jackets) - Sacha Boisvert – C - Muskegon (USHL)

Why not double down on a top goal scorer? After drafting the draft’s best in Cole Eiserman, the Flyers now take one of the other best options in power center Sasha Boivert. His skating needs to continue to improve, but he can really fire it.

#37. Winnipeg Jets (via Montreal Canadiens) - Cole Hutson – D - U. S. NTDP U18 

Wouldn’t it be fitting if the Jets used the Montreal pick to select Lane’s brother Cole? Cole battled some injuries this year, but he closed out the year on a high note by returning for the U18’s. He can control the tempo with his handling ability and mobility. His defensive game is also probably more advanced compared to Lane’s at the same age.

#38. Utah Hockey Club - Teddy Stiga – C - U. S. NTDP U18 

Back-to-back NTDP members are chosen here as Stiga ends up being Utah’s pick. He is a terrific complementary piece who was one of the NTDP’s most improved players this year. He plays at a feverish pace, and he is skilled and intelligent enough to play with high end, creative playmakers. Could be the perfect future linemate for Logan Cooley.

#39. Ottawa Senators - Linus Eriksson – C - Djurgardens (Allsvenskan)

Erikson is a strong skating, two-way center with a strong chance of developing into an excellent and versatile middle six piece. He was solid for Sweden internationally this year and adds great depth to Ottawa’s center position down the line.

#40. Seattle Kraken - Will Skahan – D - U. S. NTDP U18 

One of the draft’s most physical defenders, Skahan is big, reasonably mobile, and projects as a top four shutdown blueliner. Seattle has never really drafted a player like Skahan, and we would argue that in order for them to take that next step, they’ll need players like him in the Pacific.

#41. Calgary Flames - Dominik Badinka – D - Malmo (SHL)

Strong, two-way defender who played a ton at the SHL level. His true offensive upside was hidden by playing sheltered minutes against men. The Flames opt for defense here and have had some luck taking Swedish based defenders in recent years (Badinka is Czech but played out of Sweden).

#42. San Jose Sharks (via New Jersey Devils) - Andrew Basha – LW - Medicine Hat (WHL)

The Sharks opt for a bit of a safer selection at this spot after really rolling the dice with the previous two picks. Basha is an excellent complementary piece who projects as someone who can elevate the play of a creative and skilled pivot. He could be the perfect linemate for the likes of Celebrini, Smith, or Eklund because he is skilled and does the dirty work to open up ice.

#43. Buffalo Sabres - Maxim Masse – RW - Chicoutimi (QMJHL)

Buffalo makes Masse the first QMJHL player off the board. He’s one of the better pure goal scorers in the draft and he plays a mature, pro style game that sees him get to the middle of the ice. The skating needs to keep improving, but this is a player who could fit in well with some of the others in Buffalo’s system.

#44. Pittsburgh Penguins (via Philadelphia Flyers) - Lucas Pettersson – C - MoDo Hockey (Swe J20)

With their first pick in the draft, the Penguins opt for Swedish center Lucas Pettersson. He’s a strong skating, two-way pivot who projects as a solid middle six piece who can play in a variety of different situations. Building up prospect depth needs to be a focus of Kyle Dubas, after the system was bled dry for the last half a decade.

#45. Minnesota Wild - Brodie Ziemer – RW - U. S. NTDP U18 

A Minnesota native heading to the University of Minnesota, the Wild get the captain of this year’s NTDP. He projects as a terrific complementary piece in the top nine who can help bring out the best in more skilled players. He plays a heavier game, which fits in with the theme that Minnesota seems to be focusing on at the draft in recent years.

#46. Pittsburgh Penguins - Aron Kiviharju – D - HIFK (Fin-Liiga)

If there is a team that is going to take a chance on Kiviharju bringing everything together, the Penguins make a ton of sense. With a couple of seconds, they should be focusing on bringing in high upside players and Kiviharju is just that. Is there concern that he has plateaued? Absolutely. However, there’s also a chance that injuries this year really prevented him from being at his best.

#47. Detroit Red Wings - Leon Muggli – D - Zug (Sui-NL)

The Red Wings opt for Leon Muggli, a Swiss defender who really emerged as a top-notch NHL prospect this year. He showed well playing against men in the NL. He’s intelligent and mobile and should have a solid floor as an NHL rearguard in some capacity.

#48. St. Louis Blues - Matvei Shuravin – C - Krasnaya Armiya Moskva (MHL)

Long and lean Russian defender with intriguing two-way upside. He was a player who was hard to get a read on this year with his limited minutes in the KHL, however he has an intriguing combination of size and mobility. It’s possible that he reminds the Blues of drafting Colton Parayko back in the day.

#49. Utah Hockey Club (via Washington Capitals) - Yegor Surin – C - Loko Yaroslavl (MHL)

Utah and their scouts have not been shy about selecting Russian players in recent drafts. Surin is better than the 49th player selected. He is a competitive, but skilled pivot who could end up developing into a versatile player for Utah down the line. Maybe the perfect linemate for fellow Russian Daniil But?

#50. Chicago Blackhawks (via New York Islanders) - John Mustard – C - Waterloo (USHL)

One of the best names in the draft, but also one of the best skaters. Mustard had a breakout campaign in the USHL this year. He’s an explosive player and a talented goal scorer. However, he is also an intense competitor, something that should make Mustard an NHL player in some capacity if the offensive game doesn’t translate.

#51. Philadelphia Flyers (Compensation Pick for Jay O’Brien) - Ryder Ritchie – RW - Prince Albert (WHL)

Ranked as a first rounder by us, there is thought that we are higher on him than NHL scouts after a bit of a disappointing second half mired by injuries. Ritchie is a competitive winger who plays bigger than his size (excuse the cliche). He has solid upside as a complementary piece on a scoring line. This is a nice swing for Philadelphia with their compensation pick.

#52. Washington Capitals (via Vegas Golden Knights) - Marek Vanacker – LW - Brantford (OHL)

The Capitals opt for speedy Hamilton winger Marek Vanacker, the last of our first round graded players. He was extremely consistent all year long and has intriguing offensive upside because of the pace he can play at. Washington would be very familiar with him thanks to their scouting of Patrick Thomas.

#53. Nashville Predators (via Tampa Bay Lightning) - Heikki Ruohonen – C - Kiekko-Espoo (Fin-U20)

The Preds have long loved Finnish players, with a strong presence in that market. Ruohonen was one of the biggest risers in the second half of the year; he was excellent at the U18’s for the Finns. He is a competitive, two-way, power center eventually heading to Harvard.

#54. New York Islanders (via Los Angeles Kings) - Adam Kleber – D - Lincoln (USHL)

Kleber is a massive defender whose game really improved over the second half of the year. His mobility, in particular, really took a positive step forward. The USHL rearguard projects as a physical stay at home type, but he does flash some intriguing offensive tools too.

#55. Nashville Predators - Mikhail Yegorov – G - Omaha (USHL)

There has been a ton of talk about Nashville moving on from Juuse Saros, handing over the keys to Askarov. However, there isn’t much of a back-up plan behind Askarov if he doesn't pan out. Taking a goalie makes sense for the Preds in round two and Yegorov is an excellent athlete who their goaltending development coaches can really work with.

#56. St. Louis Blues (via Toronto Maple Leafs) - Luke Misa – C - Mississauga (OHL)

Misa is a speedy, two-way forward who projects as a solid middle six option for St. Louis down the line. He had a solid year for Mississauga in the OHL and is the type of player who could move quickly through the system as a later birthday.

#57. Montreal Canadiens (via Colorado Avalanche) - Tory Pitner - Youngstown (USHL)

Montreal has done well by selecting heady defenders in recent years and Pitner is definitely that. He’s one of the draft's most intelligent blueliners, especially in the defensive end. He competes hard and projects as a solid two-way, second pairing type.

#58. Anaheim Ducks (via Boston Bruins) - Tarin Smith – D - Everett (WHL)

A team with an already loaded defensive talent pool can afford to take chances on high upside defenders like Smith. He’s very raw, but his physical tools are excellent. He skates well. He can create offense. How it all comes together remains to be seen, but Anaheim can afford to be patient.

#59. Nashville Predators (via Winnipeg Jets) - Adam Jecho – C - Edmonton (WHL)

An enigma to the highest degree, Jecho is one of the draft’s ultimate boom or bust prospects. At times, he dominates in the offensive end with his size and skill. Other times, he looks lumbering, lazy, and disengaged. Which Jecho will emerge as the real one? Nashville has always loved wingers like this with high end physical tools.

#60. Carolina Hurricanes - Nikita Artamonov – LW - Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod (KHL)

This just seems like an amazing fit. The Canes have loved players like Artamanov. High end processor. Not the quickest or most physical, but efficient. They’ve also been one of the most aggressive NHL franchises in drafting Russian talent recently.

#61. New York Islanders (via Vancouver Canucks) - AJ Spellacy – RW - Windsor (OHL)

Spellacy was outstanding in the second half of the OHL season after he fully recovered from a knee injury. He has great length and speed and projects as a high end third line player who can be an elite penalty killer and defensive forward. The last Windsor forward NYI took worked out well.

#62. Calgary Flames (via Dallas Stars) - Raoul Boilard – C - Baie-Comeau (QMJHL)

What’s the finished product going to look like with Boilard? This is completely unknown due to some consistency issues. However, the Flames need to improve their center depth in the organization and Boilard is a rangy pivot who could end up being a solid middle six piece.

#63. Seattle Kraken (via New York Rangers) - Jesse Pulkkinen – D - JYP (Fin-Liiga)

The first re-entry to go in this mock draft, Seattle has not shied away from selecting players outside of their first year of eligibility. Pulkkinen is a big offensive defender who plays an aggressive style. He needs major refinement, but the tools are there.

#64. Edmonton Oilers - Pavel Moysevich – G - SKA St. Petersburg (KHL)

Have to think the Oilers go with a goalie here if there is one on the board that they really like. Moysevich is a re-entry who was fantastic in the KHL this past season. He is one of the draft’s best athletes and he could move quickly through the system.

#65. Utah Hockey Club (via Florida Panthers) - Jack Pridham – RW - West Kelowna (BCHL)

There is a connection between Utah (previously Arizona) and the St. Andrew’s College program of late. Pridham is a graduate of that program who had a solid year in the BCHL. He is a big winger with great skating ability. The upside is a bit of a mystery, but the tools are legitimate.