Future Considerations’ Ontario-based scout Daniel Deschenes gives his thoughts on who from the 2015 NHL Draft class left him impressed, who disappointed and who his sleeper is on draft day.
Aside from the obvious Mitchell Marner, Connor McDavid, and Dylan Strome, my favourite out of this year’s draft class is 2014 OHL Rookie of the Year Travis Konecny. Konecny was named captain of the 67’s this season and took on the weight of the team as he played on the first line and was a consistently the first one out on special teams.
Sure, he may be undersized, but he has the biggest heart around and is fearless on the ice. He showed off his desire to play a physical game all season, and made people take notice with some crushing hits and marvelous plays at the BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game. Had a rocky start to the year and suffered a concussion early on in the campaign, but he bounced back and found his rhythm once being moved to the right side and away from center.
To me he projects as a winger at the next level and a future NHL captain. When his team was down, he was the first to kick his play up a notch and see others follow suit. A dynamic skater with a wicked wrist shot, he has incredible hockey sense and isn’t someone to back down without a fight. The 5-foot-10 winger can score from anywhere and loves to create down low. Could be one of the fastest and most determined players in the draft. I’ve been high on him all season and am an advocate for being in the Top 10-15 in the draft. If a playoff team manages to get a hold on him, they will have gotten their hands on a keeper.
This player left me disappointed and even frustrated on some nights when I watched him play. Admittedly, there was a two month stretch I did not see him in action, but watching him consistently in Niagara until his trade to Windsor and towards the end of the season, I am left with choosing Hayden McCool as the player who left me disappointed this season.
There was some hype behind the big power forward entering the year but he got off to a rocky start and had a few too many inconsistent showings. Flashes of potential shine through but not enough to be someone I would jump for joy about selecting. Project him as a bottom line power forward that can play in a checking role, but he will really need to show consistent play and solidify his place in Windsor next season. McCool is a massive, physically imposing winger…when he wants to be. Sees the game fairly well but doesn’t get to the right areas in time. When he drives the net looking for some garbage goals in tight, he seems to find luck, but he never stood out enough for me to walk away happy with his performance.
Former CCHL Smiths Falls Bear Zach Senyshyn spent a majority of the season on the Greyhounds’ third and fourth line. His style of play — fast, consistent, in control, and offensive minded — fit in with the way Sheldon Keefe led his team. It was always exciting to watch the Soo play this season, and that’s not because of the NHL drafted players, but because you got to see Senyshyn and teammate Blake Speers shine.
Senyshyn bulked up in size, improved his speed, and shot up the rankings. This Kyle Dubas draftee is going to be a star if he keeps climbing. Sees the game at such a high level, loves to drive the net, sees offensive chances like no tomorrow, and has separation speed that will leave defenders wondering what happened. Don’t be surprised to see him picked really early on Saturday and start making the team that calls his name very happy.