The annual NHL Draft always breathes new optimism into an organization for a team falling short of the goal.
The addition of a new wave of prospects, with the thought that they soon will contribute to a winning team, gives the organization, fans and prospects alike a jolt that a new corner can be turned. The 2018 NHL Draft offers that same optimism, with seven rounds set in Dallas in just under two weeks time.
With that, the staff at Future Considerations have put together a three-round mock with how things would play out if they were at the helm of the 31 NHL organizations.
So with that, the Buffalo Sabres are on the clock.
With the first pick of the 2018 NHL Draft, the Buffalo Sabres select D, Rasmus Dahlin.
No young forward core in the NHL is more in need of a bonafide No. 1 defender than Buffalo, and this pick provides the best value and crosses of a glaring weakness for the team. Dahlin is an elite game-changer who has the ability to dominate games. He’s a franchise guy and projects to be an all-star. (Selection by Justin Froese).
With the second pick in the 2018 draft, the Carolina Hurricanes select RW, Andrei Svechnikov.
With Carolina’s overall depth at forward and defense, picking the best player available in Svechnikov is an easy no-brainer. He will bring solid size and goal-scoring ability to an already young and skilled core. (Selection by Guillaume Gervais)
With the third pick in the 2018 draft, the Montreal Canadiens select LW, Filip Zadina.
Montreal has a decent stable of NHL-level talent on the blue line, but could use an injection of youth up front. Zadina proved to be a game-breaking forward throughout the season and was dominant at the World Juniors, cementing his ability to drive a line from the wing. (Selection by Joseph Aleong)
With the fourth pick in the 2018 draft, the Ottawa Senators select LW, Brady Tkachuk.
Tkachuk is the best player available at the four-spot and Ottawa sorely needs more scoring depth up front. With the directive being ‘get younger now’, Tkachuk has the size, offensive smarts, and skill to slot into Ottawa’s lineup quickly. (Selection by Dylan Galloway)
With the fifth pick in the 2018 draft, the Arizona Coyotes select D, Quinn Hughes.
With lack of elite young defensemen going best player available on a rearguard is exciting for the Coyotes future on the blue line. Hughes will bring speed and solid mobility to an already mobile d-core with Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Jakob Chychrun. (Selection by Guillaume Gervais)
With the sixth pick in the 2018 draft, the Detroit Red Wings select D, Adam Boqvist
Boqvist is exactly the type of player the Red Wings need to pump some much needed life back into their aging defensive core. His dynamic skating and impressive offensive abilities, coupled with a strong two-way game, makes Boqvist a near perfect fit. (Pick selection by Chuck Chesnutt)
With the seventh pick in the 2018 draft, the Vancouver Canucks select C Oliver Wahlstrom.
The Canucks need help on the blue line, but they also need help everywhere else on the ice. Wahlstrom is the best player available. With his game-changing offensive ability, he will be another important piece in a dangerous forward group that will include Brock Boeser and Elias Pettersson. (Selection by Janik Beichler)
With the eighth pick in the 2018 draft, the Chicago Blackhawks select D, Evan Bouchard.
Looking forward to compliment a stable of strong forward prospects, Chicago goes for stability and leadership with the offensive star defender for the Knights as part of a retooling. Bouchard brings size and an all around game that has upside to allow him to grow into a cornerstone defender as a pro. (Selection by Justin Froese)
With the ninth pick in the 2018 draft, the New York Rangers select C, Jesperi Kotkaniemi.
The Rangers own a plethora of picks, and Kotkaniemi is the next puzzle piece of a hopefully quick rebuild. Underrated all year, Kotkaniemi has moved up the rankings and the Rangers are confident that they ended up with the best player available at ninth overall. (Selection by Janik Beichler)
With the 10th pick in the 2018 draft, the Edmonton Oilers select D, Noah Dobson.
Edmonton’s struggles this season showed that there are still numerous holes in the roster and chief among them is finding players to help keep the puck out of the Oilers net. While Ethan Bear and Caleb Jones are solid prospects, drafting Dobson gives the Oilers a potential top-pairing blue chip. (Selection by Derek Neumeier)
With the 11th pick in the 2018 draft, the New York Islanders select D, Ty Smith.
The smart, crafty and shifty skating defender will be a solid addition to a floundering Islanders. Adding a defender who has the ability to transition the puck through a nice passing ability or rushing it himself will add a foundational piece to a solid young core. (Selection by Dylan Galloway)
With the 12th pick in the 2018 draft, the New York Islanders select, D, Bode Wilde.
With back-to-back picks, the Islanders have the luxury of capitalizing on a strong defensive crop in this year’s draft. High-end right-handed D are a valuable asset to any team and hard to come by other than through the draft. Wilde adds another high-end puck moving D to the Islanders back end. (Selection by Dylan Galloway)
With the 13th pick in the 2018 draft, the Dallas Stars select LW, Joel Farabee
The Stars grab the best player available and nab one of the best playmakers in this year’s draft in Farabee. He needs to physically mature at college, however he has the looking of a point producing top-six winger at the pro level. (Selection by Derek Neumeier)
With the 14th pick in the 2018 draft, the Philadelphia Flyers select C, Joe Veleno.
The Flyers grab another cornerstone for the better part of the next decade. Veleno doesn’t have to step in immediately and help, giving the Montreal native will have time to iron out the kinks in his game at his own pace before he looks to nab a permanent spot. (Selection by Logan Fossum)
With the 15th pick in 2018 draft, the Florida Panthers select C, Barrett Hayton.
Florida gets a versatile forward with great playmaking ability to add to there core of young forwards in Hayton, who is the best player available at the pick. He adds another building block for a team knocking on the door to returning to the playoffs. (Selection by Zach Thompson)
With the 16th pick in the 2018 draft, the Colorado Avalanche select D, K’Andre Miller.
Colorado adds depth size and mobility on their blue line in the near future in Miller, who is a strong defensive player who can jump into play in the offensive zone, This big-bodied defenseman can be a positive factor in all three zones and phases of the game and will help in a lot of ways. (Selection by Jake VanBesien)
With the 17th pick in the 2018 draft, the New Jersey Devils select C, Rasmus Kupari.
There is no one at this slot that they will chase to fill a position of need, so Kupari fits the bill as best player available. He compliments the team mantra of skill and speed and with some other key youngsters arriving ahead of him to secure jobs, he will be given time to develop into a top-six hopeful. (Selection by Justin Froese)
With the 18th pick in 2018 draft, the Columbus Blue Jackets select D, Rasmus Sandin.
Sandin possess elite hockey sense to make that big stretch pass, can be physical in his own end and effective defensively. He isn’t an immediate solution on the blue line, but could develop into a difference-maker in Columbus down the road. (Selection by Zach Thompson)
With the 19th pick of the 2018 draft, the Philadelphia Flyers are select C, Isac Lundestrom.
Adding even more depth at forward, the Flyers add Lundestrom’s mature style of play — a two-way element with multiple tools. Lundestrom finds a way to make an impact on the play with or without the puck, and can display those attributes in Philadelphia down the road. (Selection by Logan Fossum)
With the 20th pick in the 2018 draft, the Los Angeles Kings select RW, Serron Noel.
After adding Gabe Vilardi and Jaret Anderson-Dolan in the 2017 draft, the Kings now add Noel, one of the best wingers in this year’s class. Noel fits the heavy cycle style of play that the Kings love to deploy, but he also possesses the skating speed to be a threat in open ice, something that the Kings need more of. (Selection by Derek Neumeier)
With the 21st pick in the 2018 draft, the San Jose Sharks select LW, Grigori Denisenko.
With most defensive options off the board, Denisenko becomes the most attractive pick for San Jose. Denisenko is a gifted forward who can play extremely physical and gritty. He goes to the tough areas and is able to protect the puck nicely using his strong skating balance. (Selection by Dennis Schellenberg)
With the 22nd pick in the 2018 draft the Ottawa Senators select D, Ryan Merkley.
The Senators are aware of the apparent baggage that comes with Merkley, but it’s hard to pass up the offensive talent he presents. Incredible vision and skating make Merkley extremely dangerous with the puck on his stick from his blue line up. (Selection by Dylan Galloway)
With the 23rd pick in the 2018 draft, the Anaheim Ducks select C, Ryan McLeod.
The Ducks lack that an offensively gifted, puck-moving center like McLeod. A very strong skater, mobile and smooth on his skates, McLeod possesses the skills and skating abilities that make him a nice fit for the Ducks. McLeod is able to set up plays at a high level. (Selection by Dennis Schellenberg)
With the 24th pick in the 2018 draft the Minnesota Wild select C, Akil Thomas.
The Wild add some depth in the middle of the rink with this selection. A talented center will look to help the aging Wild in the near future, and bolsters their forward positions by taking what seems to be the best available. (Selection by Jake VanBesien)
With the 25th pick in the 2018 draft, the Toronto Maple Leafs select D, Jett Woo.
The Maple Leafs have plenty of skill coming up through the ranks at forward, but lack high-upside prospects on the blue line. Woo is a solid combination of skating, smarts, and poise on the back end, and while he missed significant time this year, shouldn’t fall much further than this due to his two-way potential. (Selection by Joseph Aleong)
With the 26th pick in the 2018 draft, the New York Rangers select RW, Dominik Bokk.
Bokk is the definition of a high-risk, high-reward pick. An incredibly skilled winger with great vision and an excellent offensive toolkit, he needs to improve his play away from the puck and has question marks about his work ethic and attitude. The Rangers could take that risk. (Selection by Janik Beichler)
With the 27th pick in the 2018 draft, the Chicago Blackhawks select RW, Jonatan Berggren
One of most underrated performers of this draft class, Berrgren is a small skill player who excels in big moments and has the tools to excel in three zones. Possesses speed, ankle breaking puck tendencies and oozes hockey sense that bodes that makes him a good bet to pile up points as a pro. (Selection by Justin Froese)
With the 28th pick in the 2018 draft, the New York Rangers select D, Calen Addison.
The Rangers get a highly talented offensive defenceman in Addison, who is also the best player available at this point. The 5-foot-10 blue-liner is a dynamic offensive player with outstanding hockey IQ and, while he’ll need some time to round out his game, should be an important piece of the Rangers’ rebuild. (Selection by Janik Beichler)
With the 29th pick in the 2018 draft, the St Louis Blues select D, Jared McIsaac.
The Blues add to their stable with a defenseman who doesn’t get enough credit for his abilities. McIsaac, adept at both ends of the ice, was overshadowed by some of the other members of the 2018 class but still possesses high upside because of his plethora of tools. (Selection by Aaron Vickers)
With the 30th pick in the 2018 draft , the Detroit Red Wings select C, Ty Dellandrea
One of the draft’s more popular centers and a potential late-riser, Dellandrea adds additional value in a year devoid of potential top-six centers. An all-situations pivot, Dellandrea has the potential to blossom given his array of tools and skating ability. (Selection by Chuck Chesnutt)
With the 31st pick in the 2018 draft, the Washington Capitals select RW, Martin Kaut.
There’s a mature game in Kaut, who has spent the entire season in the Czech Extraliga playing against men and had a strong showing at the World Juniors. Kaut is a very smart two-way player who can contribute at both ends of the ice. He’s a player who can take on many different roles within a team. (Selection by Dennis Schellenberg)
|4||OTT||6||Tkachuk, Brady||Boston University||NCAA||LW||DG|
|5||ARI||4||Hughes, Quinn||U Michigan||NCAA||D||GG|
|15||FLO||11||Hayton, Barrett||Sault Ste Marie||OHL||C||ZT|
|17||NJD||13||Kupari, Rasmus||Karpat||Jr A||C||JF|
|18||CBJ||18||Sandin, Rasmus||Sault Ste Marie||OHL||D||ZT|
|21||SJS||17||Denisenko, Grigori||Loko Yaroslavl||MHL||LW||DS|
|25||TOR||26||Woo, Jett||Moose Jaw||WHL||D||JA|
|36||DET||71||Marchenko, Kirill||Mamonty Yugry||MHL||RW||CC|
|41||NYI||41||Dudas, Aidan||Owen Sound||OHL||C||DG|
|45||STL||40||O"Brien, Jay||Thayer Academy||USHS||C||AV|
|47||COL||52||Durzi, Sean||Owen Sound||OHL||D||JV|
|48||NYR||62||Fonstad, Cole||Prince Albert||WHL||RW||JB|
|49||CBJ||58||Ranta, Sampo||Sioux City||USHL||LW||ZT|
|50||PHI||42||Alexeyev, Alexander||Red Deer||WHL||D||LF|
|56||MTL||95||Skarek, Jakub||Dukla Jihlava||Extraliga||G||JA|
|57||BOS||70||Burzan, Luka||Moose Jaw||WHL||C||LF|
|61||VGK||64||Nordgren, Niklas||HIFK||Jr A||RW||JB|
|67||DET||73||Morozov, Ivan||Mamonty Yugry||MHL||C||CC|
|79||ANA||60||Rtishchev, Nikita||Krasnaya Armiya||MHL||RW||DS|
|89||NAS||121||Galenyuk, Danila||SKA St.P||MHL||D||CC|
Joseph Aleong, Janik Beichler, Chuck Chesnutt, Logan Fossum, Justin Froese, Dylan Galloway, Guillaume Gervais, Donesh Mazloum, Derek Neumeier, Dennis Schellenberg, Zach Thompson and Aaron Vickers contributed to this mock draft.