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2015 NHL Draft team grades – Sample reports

McKeen's Head Scout Grant McCagg analyzes the 2015 NHL Draft and provides grades for all thirty teams in a series of article by division for ours subscribers. Here is a free sample from the articles featuring one team from each division.

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Central Division - Winnipeg Jets
Rnd Overall Player Pos Country HW/WT Team (League)
1 17 Kyle Connor C USA 6-1/185 Youngstown (USHL)
1 25 Jack Roslovic C USA 6-0/185 NTDP (USA)
2 47 Jansen Harkins C Canada 6-1/180 Prince George (WHL)
3 78 Erik Foley LW USA 5-11/185 Cedar Rapids (USHL)
4 108 Michael Spacek C Czech 5-11/190 Pardubice (Cze)
6 168 Mason Appleton C USA 6-2/195 Tri-City (USHL)
7 198 Sami Niku D Finland 6-0/175 JyP Jyvaskyla (Fin)
7 203 Matteo Gennaro C Canada 6-2/190 Prince Albert (WHL)
Photo by Tom Sorensen
Photo by Tom Sorensen

The Jets were the beneficiaries of Connor dropping on draft day. Ranked 12th overall by McKeen's, the 6-1 left winger led the USHL in scoring thanks to his plethora of offensive tools, including speed, reach, puck protection skills, vision and shot. Roslovic was another solid pickup in the first round, giving Winnipeg two of the draft's top offensive talents. Projected to play center next season at Miami (Ohio), he may push for a top-six role in three years time.  Harkins represented decent value at 47th overall...he needs to get stronger and quicker, but he's a smart playmaker.  Foley had a productive season in Cedar Rapids, and there were some whispers that he may go in the second round, while Spacek went from being a second-round lock early in the year to a fourth-round Jets' selection due to his lackluster play. Gennaro is a big body with good skating skills who lacks creativity and finishing skills. Grade: A 

Atlantic Division - Ottawa Senators
Rnd Overall Player Pos Country HW/WT Team (League)
1 18 Thomas Chabot D Canada 6-1/180 Saint John (QMJHL)
1 21 Colin White C USA 6-0/185 NTDP (USA)
2 36 Gabriel Gagne RW Canada 6-5/190 Victoriaville (QMJHL)
2 48 Filip Chlapik C Czech 6-1/195 Charlottetown (QMJHL)
4 107 Christian Wolanin D USA 6-2/185 Muskegon (USHL)
4 109 Filip Ahl LW Sweden 6-3/210 HV 71 (Swe)
5 139 Christian Jaros D Slovakia 6-3/200 Lulea (Swe)
7 199 Joel Daccord G USA 6-2/185 Cushing Academy (USHS-MA)

Chabot_AB41365The Senators had spots to fill in their prospect pool on defence and at center, and through some draft-day maneuvering were able to come away with two of our top rated prospects in defenceman Thomas Chabot and center Colin White.  Ottawa selected five players ranked in McKeen's top 100, and two honourable mentions in Wolanin and Jaros, two overage defencemen who really improved their play this season.  Wolanin caught scouts' attention with his strong performance at the World Junior A Challenge, while Jaros was a rock for Slovakia at the U-20's.  Chabot was one of the draft's best skaters, and in an age where mobile, puck-moving blueliners are becoming more and more valuable, Chabot is a good addition to the club. White is a smart two-way center with good wheels who will challenge for a second-line spot some day, as will Chlapik, good value at 48th overall.  AHL was thought by many to be a second-round pick early on but had a disappointing get him 109th overall though was well worth the risk.  Gagne is the only pick where we thought the club overreached..he will have to play with more grit at the pro level, but the size and scoring ability are certainly there.  Grade: A

Metropolitan Division - Philadelphia Flyers
Rnd Overall Player Pos Country HW/WT Team (League)
1 7 Ivan Provorov D Russia 6-0/195 Brandon (WHL)
1 24 Travis Konecny C Canada 5-10/175 Ottawa (OHL)
3 70 Felix Sandstrom G Sweden 6-2/190 Brynas (Swe)
3 90 Matej Tomek G Slovakia 6-2/180 Topeka (NAHL)
4 98 Samuel Dove-McFalls LW Canada 6-2/205 Saint John (QMJHL)
4 104 Mikhail Vorobyov C Canada 6-2/195 Salavat Ufa (Rus)
5 128 David Kase C Czech 5-11/170 Chomutov (Cze)
6 158 Cooper Marody C USA 6-0/180 Sioux Falls (USHL)
7 188 Ivan Fedotov G Russia 6-6/190 Nizhnekamsk (Rus)

Provorov_AB41090The Flyers had a spate of high picks entering the draft, and through some maneuvering and shrewd drafting were able to draft seven players ranked in McKeen's top 120.  Provorov was the plum pick, a terrific two-way defenceman who may play in the NHL as soon as this season given his talent, guile and poise.  Konecny's selection 24th overall was one of the steals of the draft...don't let his size fool you...he will be an extremely effective NHLer given his tenacity and skill.  Sandstrom was considered to be second-round goalie prospect in the scouting community most of the season, but had a mediocre U-18 that evidently hurt his draft stock. Tomek was a standout netminder in the NAHL, giving the Flyers two solid young goalies in the system for the first time in years.  Vorobyov might be the best value pick of all, and that's saying a lot....a crafty, two-way center with second-line upside.  Dove-McFalls is a defensively conscientious center who will compete for a bottom-line roster spot in a few years.  Kase is undersized, but given his skill and compete level was a stellar fifth-round selection.  Grade: A+  

Pacific Division - Calgary Flames
Rnd Overall Player Pos Country HW/WT Team (League)
2 53 Rasmus Andersson D Sweden 6-0/210 Barrie (OHL)
2 60 Oliver Kylington D Sweden 6-0/185 Farjestads (Swe)
5 136 Pavel Karnaukhov LW Belarus 6-2/195 Calgary (WHL)
6 166 Andrew Mangiapane LW Canada 5-10/170 Barrie (OHL)
7 196 Riley Bruce D Canada 6-6/195 North Bay (OHL)

Rasmus Andersson of the Barrie Colts. Photo by Terry Wilson/OHL Images.The Flames addressed a team need for defence sooner rather than later by acquiring Dougie Hamilton for draft picks..which automatically gave them a passing grade.  The team maintained the focus on defence with a couple of 6-0 Swedish defenceman that have offensive abilities..but who also pose some risks.  Both will have to improve defensively to make the big step.  Kylington is one of the draft's best skaters while Andersson might be one of the worst thanks to some weight issues...Andersson for us was a bit of a reach at 53.  Kylington will have to overcome some issues with his decision making. The later picks were okay value..but none were top 100 prospects on McKeen's board. Karnaukhov has the talent to play pro, but is the desire there? Mangiapane was passed over last draft because of size concerns..a solid junior player, but he didn't grow in the past year.  Draft Grade: B

Follow Grant on twitter: @grantmccagg