FC’s Staff 2016 Mock Draft (Picks 1-10)

Special To FC2016 Draft Center

Future Considerations has asked a few of our evaluators who have been in the rinks all season scouting 2016 eligible prospects to give their input on team need, drafting tendencies and who they think NHL teams will be looking to add to their prospect pool in this first round mock draft.





Top Need: A top line center to build around
Secondary Needs: Defensive depth, a goal scorer on the wing and a high-end puck stopper
Top Five In Pipeline:

  1. C William Nylander
  2. C Mitch Marner
  3. RW Kasperi Kapanen
  4. RW Connor Brown
  5. D Nikita Zaitsev

Toronto selects: C Auston Matthews, 6-2, 200, Zurich, NLA

SCOUTING REPORT: A big, mature two-way centre that can control the pace of play in both ends. Creates his own scoring chances and makes those around him better. Strong on his skates, protects the puck, battles for puck possession, displays skilled hands, sees the ice very effectively and consistently makes the right play. Can both setup a teammate with an accurate pass as easily as he can snipe a goal top shelf. Dedicated to working hard in the defensive zone and actively supports his defense.

REASONING: Toronto likes goal scorer Patrik Laine and his moxy but loves the big top line center the organization must have to build a championship-worthy team around.

Pick and team report by: Dan Stewart – FC Scouting Director


Top Need: Elite talent to play in the top-six
Secondary Needs: Defenders of all shapes and sizes, scoring depth at all positions
Top Five In Pipeline:

  1. C Kyle Connor
  2. D Josh Morrissey
  3. G Conner Hellebuyck
  4. LW Brendan Lemieux
  5. C Jack Roslovic

Winnipeg selects: RW Patrik Laine, 6-4, 210, Tappara, Liiga

SCOUTING REPORT: One of the best snipers to come along in quite some time. Known for scoring big goals and his rocket shot, but he has become more rounded than a simple run-and-gun player. Laine’s IQ with the puck and his distribution skills are elite. His size and tenacity are strengths making him almost impossible to knock off the puck. With a bit of development he could turn into a strong skater who will have no problem playing a 200-foot game at the NHL level.

REASONING: The Jets have a need at defense but those necessities will go by the wayside at this juncture. No consolation prize here, Laine is exactly what the doctor order, a top line guy who will be in Winnipeg’s lineup come fall.

Pick and team report by: Justin Froese – FC Western Canadian Evaluator


Top Need: Top-six scoring and a replacement for the top-line centre they traded away
Secondary Needs: Continued building of skill at all positions
Top Five In Pipeline:

  1. D Zach Werenski
  2. C Sonny Milano
  3. RW Oliver Bjorkstrand
  4. D Gabriel Carlsson
  5. G Anton Forsberg

Columbus selects: RW Jesse Puljujarvi, 6-3, 200, Karpat, Liiga

SCOUTING REPORT: Big, strong forward who can do it all and wants to make a difference. Can carry the puck and push the play, finding open teammates before heading to the net or an area of the ice where his teammates can just as easily find him. Does things with a lot of wherewithal and headiness. Possesses a winner’s mentality and every indication is that he’ll be a productive player throughout his career. That he’s well-built and shows tenacity and a strong work ethic in all three zones has pretty much the entire scouting community certain that he will be able to not only handle, but excel through the rigors of the NHL game.

REASONING: Despite various rumblings that Columbus would be willing to drop back in the draft, it’s only logical that they will not skip out on adding one of the top prospects available. The Blue Jackets will likely move Puljujarvi to centre down the line gives credence to adding a kid who could be the top line centre they are after.

Pick and team report by: Chapin Landvogt – FC European Evaluator


Top Need: Right-handed, puck-moving defenseman
Secondary Needs: Restocking the wings and depth at goaltender.
Top Five In Pipeline:

  1. D Griffin Reinhart
  2. G Laurent Brossoit
  3. C JujharKhaira
  4. LW Anton Slepyshev
  5. D Caleb Jones

Edmonton selects: C Pierre-Luc Dubois, 6-3, 205, Cape Breton, QMJHL

SCOUTING REPORT: Versatile, high-end talent with an impressive blend of imposing size, overpowering strength and hockey sense. Anticipates well and really brings a solid power game using his strong understanding of body position and strength to his advantage. He moves well on his feet and can carry the puck, protecting it through traffic. Goes to the net hard and battles for pucks along the wall. Has a strong shot and underrated vision. Does many of the little things to help his team win.

REASONING: The Oilers have many options this year. Keep the pick, trade back, trade a core player with the pick for a top pairing defenseman. If they hold the pick, Dubois is a strong candidate. Playing in the west, the Oilers have to get bigger. Even if the center position is stacked, you can never have enough, and Dubois could move to the wing to play with McDavid or Draisaitl. His big body will come in handy playing in the NHL’s Western Conference.

Pick and team report by: Randy Stoochnoff – FC Western Canadian Evaluator


Top Need: Add a blue-chipper to the blue line
Secondary Needs: Replacement for the recently departed McCann and depth on the back end
Top Five In Pipeline:

  1. RW Jake Virtanen
  2. G Thatcher Demko
  3. RW Brock Boeser
  4. D Jordan Subban
  5. LW Brendan Gaunce

Vancouver selects: D Jakob Chychrun, 6-2, 198, Sarnia, OHL

SCOUTING REPORT: Chychrun is exactly what the Canucks are in desperate need of — a blue chip defender that excels at both ends of the rink. Chychrun will provide the Canucks with a true two-way threat from the blue line, with his exceptional puck distribution skills, hard shot, and patience. He can play whatever role is given to him, and will match up well playing against the oppositions best. An elite skater, with a bit of a physical edge, Chychrun isn’t overly flashy, but he is solid and steady, and will play big minutes at the NHL level.

REASONING: Vancouver is in need of a defender that can play at both ends of the rink. With the recent acquisition of Gudbranson, the Canucks have a shut down, defensive defenseman ready to go for next season, but they still lack organization depth and a guy that can play effectively in the offensive zone.

Pick and team report by: Scott Palmer – FC Ontario Evaluator


Top Need: Top-six scoring depth on the wing
Secondary Needs: Depth on the wing
Top Five In Pipeline:

  1. LW Hunter Shinkaruk
  2. LW Emile Poirier
  3. D Oliver Kylington
  4. D Rasmus Anderson
  5. C Mark Jankowski

Calgary selects: C Clayton Keller, 5-10, 163 lbs, USA U18

SCOUTING REPORT: An absolute offensive stud who possesses elite vision and playmaking abilities. He can do things with the puck others just dream about. Has great hands and is calm on the puck and finds teammates with accuracy and through sticks. Exceptional skater in terms of quickness, agility, acceleration and possesses tremendous elusiveness. Not only a playmaker, he can also rip the puck to the net with accuracy and quickness to beat goaltenders from nearly any spot. A real offensive dynamo who is poised with the puck and looks like a future all-star offensive center at the NHL level.

REASONING: The Flames are actually in need of a winger and Matthew Tkachuk would be a perfect fit for them at this spot. However, they go for Keller because of his high-end offensive upside. They believe that Keller is a top-five pick in terms of pure skill and believe that his potential is higher than Tkachuk’s, who is believed to be safer.

Pick and team report by: Dennis Schellenberg – FC European Evaluator


Top Need: Top-four defensive prospect
Secondary Needs: Goaltending and defensive depth
Top Five In Pipeline:

  1. C Dylan Strome
  2. LW Christian Dvorak
  3. RW Conor Garland
  4. LW Brendan Perlini
  5. RW Christian Fischer

Arizona selects: D Olli Juolevi, 6-2, 185, London, OHL

SCOUTING REPORT: Juolevi is an extremely intelligent, poised defender both with and without the puck. With the puck on his stick, he possesses strong ability as a handler and a fluid stride that allows him to make calculated up-ice plays and create clean zone exits and entries. While he isn’t the best shooter, he can nonetheless be a presence and even a threat on the power play or at even strength. He isn’t afraid to carry the puck deep into the offensive zone, but doesn’t take as many risks as some of his high-end defensive counterparts in the draft. Without the puck, he’s a mature man-on-man defender who has proven himself to be among the best shutdown options in the OHL at a young age.

REASONING: It is no secret that the Coyotes have one of the best prospect pools up front in the NHL. When a high-end young player like Nick Merkley is left off of any team’s top-five prospect list, it speaks volumes to its depth. And the Coyotes are in dire need of an upgrade on the back end. There isn’t strong organization depth on defense, and Juolevi provides a competent defensive option down the line and instantly becomes the Coyotes’ top defense prospect.

Pick and team report by: Scott Wheeler – FC Quebec Evaluator


Top Needs: Top-six offensive talent.
Secondary Needs: Overall depth at forward and on defense plus a blue chipper to develop in the crease.
Top Five In Pipeline:

  1. D Brendan Guhle
  2. RW Hudson Fasching
  3. RW Justin Bailey
  4. RW Nick Baptiste
  5. D Will Borgen

Buffalo selects: LW Matthew Tkachuk, 6-1, 195, London, OHL

SCOUTING REPORT: Tkachuk, son of former NHL star Keith Tkachuk, is one of the smartest players in this draft class. He was part of the best offensive line in junior hockey last season. His vision is absolutely on an elite level, he sets up his teammates with accurate passes, he creates plays that will take you out of your seat and is more playmaker than scorer. Still he possesses a very good shot. He is an average skater but he will find a way to be successful at the next level. He plays a pro-style game, he uses his big body to protect the puck, he makes decisive plays in tight areas, goes hard to the net and is that type of player that you love to play with but hate to play against him.

REASONING: Alexander Nylander seems to be the perfect fit for the Sabres, but Tim Murray, his scouting staff and the fans in First Niagara Center will be thrilled to see Tkachuk available and select him at eight.

Pick and team report by: Miro Simurka – FC European Evaluator


Top Need: Top-six scorers with some size
Secondary Needs: Depth at defense
Top Five In Pipeline:

  1. RW Michael McCarron
  2. D Noah Juulsen
  3. RW Nikita Scherbak
  4. G Zach Fucale
  5. C Charles Hudon

Montreal selects: RW Alexander Nylander, 6-0, 180, Mississauga, OHL

SCOUTING REPORT: A real game breaker, Nylander can do everything with the puck, from great set-up plays to highlight real goals. He is among the greatest in his year class in terms of raw talent, combining superior vision to great stick-handling abilities and quick feet. He is in constant motion on the ice and has the desire to be and become a game breaker. He is at his best when he can create some working space in the offensive zone and taking advantage of bad gap control from the opposite defensemen. We only have seen a glimpse of the kind of impact he can have at the World Juniors and Nylander seems to have well assimilated the niceties of the North-American style.

REASONING: So technical in every aspect of his game, it’s a no-brainer for Montreal to astonishingly grab him at the ninth spot. It could also turn out to be a great rivalry between the two Nylander brothers.

Pick and team report by: Simon Rouillard – FC Quebec Evaluator


Top Need: Point-producing forward
Secondary Needs: Depth on wing
Top Five In Pipeline:

  1. RW Mikko Rantanen
  2. G Calivn Pickard
  3. D Chris Bigras
  4. C JT Compher
  5. D Duncan Siemens

Colorado selects: C Logan Brown, 6-6, 210, Windsor, OHL

SCOUTING REPORT: Brown is a power forward prototype that possesses soft hands, a scoring touch, quick feet, and has the frame to have physical presence. Brown shares a lot of similarities with Sharks center, and former first overall pick, Joe Thornton. He plays the game the right way, has exceptional vision and great hockey sense. Uses his combination of size and agility to be a headache to contain. Excellent at winning puck battles, and reliable in his own end, Brown plays a very effective two-way game.

REASONING: The Avalanche go with the best player available, and that is Brown. Brown will provide the Avalanche with a big center with great playmaking ability. Smart, physical, reliable, all the traits you want to see from a developing hockey play.

THIS pick and team report by: Scott Palmer – FC Ontario Evaluator