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2015 NHL Entry Draft

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Here's a podcast from Section 328 with Mark Seidel from Central Scouting.  Some interesting insight into the draft and what the Canes might do. 

 

http://section328.com/2015/05/20/cheaters-never-win-podcast-mark-seidel-draft-prep-edition/

 

According to Seidel, RF puts high value on big and strong, and good skating (not trying to get into the obvious debate, just repeating what he said).  He really talks up Rantanen as a possible Canes pick.

 

Worth a listen.

 

It took me a while, but I also finally gave this a listen.

 

First, thank you Coastal for posting this. Those guys hit on just about every question that was forming in my mind. Very well done. They now have interviews w/ Noah Hanifin and Mitch Marner available too.

 

I came away with this from that interview:

 

There is a definitive top 3-5 (the mock drafts all suggest this too). Hanifin, Marner, Strome. And that's the order that Seidel has them ranked. He is notably concerned about Strome's skating as not NHL level. He points out that Cory Perry had that problem too, and that's why he dropped to the early 20's. I have heard that was a knock on Tavares also, who apparently really got to work on it and improved that area signficantly.

 

No doubt in his mind on Hanifin: future #1 dman, should be taken #3. (I am reminded that Hanfin started college early. He is essentially a high school senior much more than holding his own at the highest level of collegiate hockey).

 

No doubt Marner is the #4 pick in his mind. Superstar upside even more than Hanifin, but #1 dmen are so important that Marner slides down one notch. Not tiny, but needs to add bulk. He is convinced he will go 3 or 4 and will not be there for us. He is "a special player".

 

What is interesting, as has been mentioned here, is that he is essentially predicting that we will pretty much be picking from Strome, Crouse, and Rantanen. He is further predicting that Strome's skating deficiencies and Crouse's risk of not producing NHL offense, combined with Vellucci's predeliction for size (with skill and skating) could very well equal us going Rantanen. So while he has Strome ranked higher, he has us w/ Strome on the board, but picking Rantanen.

 

He also suggested that other teams are high on Rantanen also, so trading down w/ hopes of grabbing Rantanen probably doesn't work.

 

So his predicition on who we would take if left on the board at 5:

 

Hanifin: take him

Marner: take him

Strome: take Rantanen

 

And that the last scenario is his prediction as the most likely the way it actually plays out: Rantanen.

 

He did give some love to Crouse, but did seem to think Francis and Vellucci would be go Rantanen very clealry over Crouse.

 

His key quote (to me) on the very strong move of bringing Vellucci in was: (paraphrased) "I'm very confident in what I do. But if I don't like a guy, and Velluci does, I go back and reasses my view. He's one of the few guys for me that I do that."

 

Another intersting question was on Provorov. In his mind very clearly below Hanifin, but also has him below Werenski, and he is not sold on Provorov's defense. Very unlikely either of those next tier defense guys (Werenski, Provorov) goes at #5.

 

He was also asked about Fleury (wish he was asked about McKeown, my only nit pick). He was still optimistic that Fleury has vast upside, but predicted 2 more years before he is NHL ready, and Canes fans should be patient because he will be woth the wait. (I would add that Fleury is also on the young side of the age range for his class).

 

Good stuff.

Edited by remkin

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Also a few new mock drafts.

 

Overall the trend of Arizona taking Hanifin is solid. And the Hanifin, Strome, Marner in some combination is almost absolute.

 

DC sports lists 25 mock drafts since the lottery determined the actual order of picks. Only ONE has Strome dropping to us, so at least the mock drafters don't agree w/ the above Seidel contention that Strome will the guy left for us.

 

If we follow the mock drafters on who will be left over and Seidel on who we will take, then we end up with Marner, with a outside shot at Hanifin (who almost all think will be gone).  If we go with Seidel all the way, mostly likely we end up picking Rananten over Strome.

 

Somewhat intersetingly there really is a very clear 6 and 7 developing as a rule: Crouse and Rantanen.

 

Of the aformentioned 25 mocks since the lottery, the number of times each guy slots into 6 or 7 (or higher):

 

Crouse: 15

Rantanen: 10

Barzal: 5

Werenski: 5

Provorov: 4

Zacha: 3

 

Also for a rough top 10 (11): these guys round it out. Based on mock draft votes since the lottery the draft would go:

 

McDavid, Eichel, Hanifin, Strome, Marner, Crouse, Rantanen, Barzal/Werenski (tie), Provorov, Zacha.

 

 

So, at this exact moment I read our draft as most likely coming down to Marner or Rantanen with an outside shot at Hanifin if there is a run on forwards. With the decision tree being what I posted immediatly above this but to repeat:

 

1. If Hanifin is there, we take him: most desirable.

2. If Marner is there, we take him: next most desirable.

3. If Stome is there, we take Rantanen, a Vellucci kind of player.

 

Trading down to get either Crouse or Rantanen will not work. The reason is that especially Rantanen will almost certainly go in the top 7 (he thinks 6 if we pass on him) and at least I beleive that dropping to 8 is the move that makes the most sense. (Teams at 6 and 7 not likely to give up enough to make it worthwhile to drop one spot).

 

That said, Marner and even Strome might be a big enough bait for the Devils or Flyers to "overpay". To be sure we get Rantanen though, it would have to be the Devils, and it just doesn't make much sense to me. Say Strome is left at 5 and we are sure the Devils want him bad. Well we want Rantanen. So they pay to move up. But the price to move from 6 to 5 historically is the #60 pick. The Devils have the #66 pick (3rd round) not much...now if they want Strome so bad to give up their #36 pick, that would be a steal for us, BUT while they might like Strome over Rantanen, maybe not enough to give up much..just gets so complicated. Why it rarely happens so high in the draft.

 

IF we trade down to 8 (the deal that might be there) we likely pick from Barzal, Werenski, Provorov and Zacha. This was not discussed in the pod cast or on mock drafts but Werenski and Barzal both have big upside, so if Vellucci and GMRF like one of them....never know...in my opinion that should net a very high second round pick, which in this draft is very good, but history suggests we walk up and pick at #5.

 

It seems most likely to be Marner or Rantanen with lower chances at Hanfin or Strome.

Edited by remkin

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. . .

 

No doubt in his mind on Hanifin: future #1 dman, should be taken #3. (I am reminded that Hanfin started college early. He is essentially a high school senior much more than holding his own at the highest level of collegiate hockey).

. . .

 

Werenski, who also played Div 1 college hockey, is 6 months younger than Hanifin.  Hanifin turned 18 in Jan, Werenski doesn't turn 18 until July.

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Werenski, who also played Div 1 college hockey, is 6 months younger than Hanifin.  Hanifin turned 18 in Jan, Werenski doesn't turn 18 until July.

 

Good point. Seidel likes Werenski better than Provorov by a clear margin. He appears to be likely the second defenseman taken. That is a guy I see we could get in a trade down. There is a pretty decent chance he is there at #8. The last 7 mocks have him at 7,8,13,10, 8,10, 8.

 

He would be our second consecutive run at the second best dman available by most estmates (I know many have Provorov ranked higher, but recent mocks and Seidel favor Werenski, it is about a push) but I cannot see us reaching for him at #5.

 

I still think that we are fortunate to be in the running for the next tier of three guys (all of whom are said to be potential #1's in a different year (don't see that about Werenski) and I would make Columbus overpay to move up if we go that way. At the very least their #34 pick. I'm not sure they'd pay that, but to me it would take that to even think it over. I read somewhere that Toronto might trade picks w/ Columbus, but is was speculative. I don't buy it though.

 

At the end of the day we walk up there at #5 and just pick Hanifin > Marner > Ratanen. That's what I'm thinking presently after listening to Seidel and reviewing rankings and mock drafts.

Edited by remkin

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My problem with drafting Rantanen at 5 is no matter what, we wouldn't be drafting the best player available.  He doesn't have a higher ceiling than Hanifin/Strome/Marner, and is debatable with the likes of Crouse/Provorov/Werenski.  For all the good things people say about him, he still does have some red flags.  To me, I just don't see him having more of an impact for this team than Hanifin/Strome/Marner/Provorov/Werenski.

 

Also, the ISS Hockey rankings have been used a lot, and they currently have Rantanen as the 9th ranked prospect.  I think that's probably where he'd go if we don't draft him.  Doubt he goes to Jersey, seeing as how they need a #1 center (could see them taking Barzal/Zacha).  Doubt he goes to Philly, as they need to get younger at their blueline (Provorov) and a lot of their fans want them to move up and draft Marner.  Columbus could take him.

Edited by PenaltyKiller17

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My problem with drafting Rantanen at 5 is no matter what, we wouldn't be drafting the best player available.  He doesn't have a higher ceiling than Hanifin/Strome/Marner, and is debatable with the likes of Crouse/Provorov/Werenski.  For all the good things people say about him, he still does have some red flags.  To me, I just don't see him having more of an impact for this team than Hanifin/Strome/Marner/Provorov/Werenski.

 

Also, the ISS Hockey rankings have been used a lot, and they currently have Rantanen as the 9th ranked prospect.  I think that's probably where he'd go if we don't draft him.  Doubt he goes to Jersey, seeing as how they need a #1 center (could see them taking Barzal/Zacha).  Doubt he goes to Philly, as they need to get younger at their blueline (Provorov) and a lot of their fans want them to move up and draft Marner.  Columbus could take him.

 

That is debatable. There is much less scouting of the guys from Europe than in juniors, so his potential is not as "established" as the other guys. Also, have you seen Strome skate? He is not fast...Rask might beat him in a foot race. One of the scouts referenced in the above links from the section328 podcast doesn't even think he has 1st round speed. I'm not a big Crouse fan and I'd think about taking Crouse over Strome if both were there...and I'd probably take Rantanen over both. I just hope Arizona takes Strome at number three and we can avoid the issue all together.

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Dylan Strome

 

Ranked #6 by Hockeyprospect.com
Ranked #3 by ISS Hockey
Ranked #4 by Future Considerations
Ranked #8 by McKeen's Hockey
Ranked #4 by NHL Central Scouting (NA Skaters)

 

Mikko Rantanen

 

Ranked #19 by Hockeyprospect.com

Ranked #9 by ISS Hockey
Ranked #7 by Future Considerations
Ranked #12 by McKeen's Hockey
Ranked #1 by NHL Central Scouting (EU Skaters)

 

Those rankings speak for themselves.  We can spin it anyway we want as far as European players not being seen as much, or someone's skating ability, or someone's size being too small.  The top scouts of the world have these guys ranked where they are for a good reason.  We've only seen glimpses of these players while scouts attend daily games to watch these guys.

 

As far as skating ability goes, we've had clutch playoff performances from guys with so called skating deficiency (Justin Williams/Jussi Jokinen).  And others have point to many current elite players falling because of this reason and teams paying the price for overlooking these players.  Also, Rantanen has had some knocks on him because of his skating as well.  He's known for having an unorthodox style of skating, and some scouts say he may not be up to NHL skating ability.  He's also coming from a losing environment, as his team finished 2nd to last an he was a minus player on said team.  While he is skilled, he's not known to be explosive.   His shot has been described as above average.  All of that combined with some low draft projections makes me want Carolina to stay clear of him at number 5.

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2 years ago, we took the European prospect (Lindholm) over the consensus higher ranked prospect from Juniors in Canada (Monahan). I like Lindholm and think his future is bright, but Monahan centered Calgary's second line this year and scored 31 goals. I think the rankings I have seen for most of this year have consistently rated Hanifan, Strome and Marner 3 - 5, in some order, and I would like to see the Canes take one of the three.

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2 years ago, we took the European prospect (Lindholm) over the consensus higher ranked prospect from Juniors in Canada (Monahan). I like Lindholm and think his future is bright, but Monahan centered Calgary's second line this year and scored 31 goals. I think the rankings I have seen for most of this year have consistently rated Hanifan, Strome and Marner 3 - 5, in some order, and I would like to see the Canes take one of the three.

Monahan centered the first line between Hudler (who scored more even strength points than any other player), and Gaudreau (who may win the Calder trophy).

Monahan was also on the 1st PP unit.

Also, most people wanted us to take Nichushkin (non-Canadian juniors), Ristolainen (non-Canadian juniors), or Nurse two years ago with the exception of a few (myself included who wanted/and still believes in Lindholm).

You could also make the case that Drouin, who came from the juniors in Canada, was ranked higher than Lindholm and has had less of an impact.

However, your point is well taken and I'm sure others feel the same way.

.

Edited by Kyrule

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2 years ago, we took the European prospect (Lindholm) over the consensus higher ranked prospect from Juniors in Canada (Monahan). I like Lindholm and think his future is bright, but Monahan centered Calgary's second line this year and scored 31 goals. I think the rankings I have seen for most of this year have consistently rated Hanifan, Strome and Marner 3 - 5, in some order, and I would like to see the Canes take one of the three.

 

I agee with your final point. The exact analogy is fair, but I would argue that in that draft we fell just outside the real consesus grouping. As everyone here knows I am a big fan of Linholm and predict a big year for him next year if healty. But the consensus grouping was Jones, MacKinnon, Barkov and Drouin. After that, Monahan was marginally ahead of Lindholm, but at points in the year Lindholm was higher in the rankings a mock drafts. I have long held that the Cane's must have had Lindholm valued signficanlty higher than Monahan, because Monahan was the natural pick: a big Canadian Center with skills. Yet they took Lindholm. Anyway, so far Monahan is the hit, but Linholm can (and I think will) be as good in the end. But we missed Jones by one. That was the dropoff.

 

But the main point now is looking forward. And here I do think the point is well taken. There is only unanimity for picks one and two. Has been since forever. But there is a very very solid trend tying the next three together Hanifin, Strome, Marner. This is the concensus next grouping after which concensus forms loosely around Crouse and Rantanen as the next two, then even more losely around Barzal, Zacha, Provorov, and Weresnski.

 

Every player who is not part of McEichel has question marks for various reasons. The question is the questions. How many of them and how deep? How well do past performances of similary types of players predict that the particular strengths of the player will prevail over the questions into them becoming the player you need to get picking #5 in a draft where the top 5 guys have all been mentioned as possible number one picks in other years?

 

Hanifin: For some reason, maybe Craig Button dropping him, maybe mock drafters and scouts wanting to stand out with their own opinions, Hanifin, who was for a long time considered a lock at #3, dropped in some rankings and mock drafts for a while. What is his weakness? Not having an overdeveloped single strength. Just being excellent at every aspect of playing the position as a boy with young men in the highest level of college hockey. So, some doubt crept in there. But it would seem that most prognosticators have gotten that out of their system and Hanifin is back VERY solidly in the #3 slot. 10/13 of the last mock drafts listed on dcsports put him #3. DC sports lists about 40 mock drafts this calander year, starting in January. Only 1/40 has Hanifin outside the top 5, and they put him at #6.

 

So it is unlikely that he drops to us. But he might for two reasons: Strome and Marner. Basically, just like the bigger player gets the nod in an otherwise tie, forwards tend to get the nod over dmen, especially centers.

 

Strome: The recent excellent link by Coastal to Seidel's comments and the widespread knock on his skating seem to be making Stome the next fall guy for a while. But in reality, this is only an illusion and a matter of degree. The mock drafters universally have Strome gone before our pick at #5, and have never really waivered on that. Since the lottery, there are listed 25 mock drafts. Only one has Strome dropping to us, and none past us. Of course, one is reminded of Cam Fowler's unexpected drop and anything can and does happen. But I doubt it. GMs like big guys: check. GM's like centers: check. GM's like guys with proven productivity: check and mate.

 

Based on mock drafts Strome is far more likely to go at #3 than to fall to us, but still the strong consensus is that he goes #4. There are those who seem to think Toronto wants Marner, so I guess we'll see, but the mock drafts don't agree as a rule.

 

I have heard a few scouts talk about A: guys with poor skating who were able to seriously work on their skating and improve it: John Tavares (who went #1 despite his poor skating), and B. Guys knocked for their skating who became NHL stars ie. Cory Perry. It is one guy but listening to propsect radio on XM at least one talent evaluator said something to the effect of "I worry least about the skating".

 

Marner: If we don't know by now that his only significant knock is size, then we've been on Mars. So...

 

People have taken note of the speed and physicality of teams and players that are still playing at this moment in the playoffs. Well Patrick Kane is right there with the big boys at #2 in playoff goals and #4 in playoff points. Kane is listed now, as a full grown man, at 5/11" 177. He is right at a ppg over 109 PLAYOFF games. The ones where you have to be big and tough? Is Marner the next Kane? No one knows any more than Hanfin is the next Scott Neidemeyer. My guess is he will be close. But that is the kind of guy you aim for at #5 or even as Kane went, #1.

 

So, to me, our move is to simply walk up there and pick whichever guy from this list is there. Then get very excited because while McEichel will steal the show, the next three are all "special" players.

Edited by remkin

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You can't get too wrapped up in the minutia of players moving up and down the pre-draft pecking order right now.  The writers/talking heads that are fighting for exposure can't just keep throwing the same stuff out there.  Some are just trying to be contrarian to get noticed.  It isn't interesting and doesn't get ratings or web hits.  At the same token, you have the players being critiqued to the level of "He has a slight mole on his right bicep that may affect his follow through".  This is when the scouts have to earn their pay.

Edited by super_dave_1

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It would be intersting, though I doubt anyone has the inclination to do it, to look at say the consensus central and open service scouting order for top 15, the mock draft consensus order for top 15 over say 10 years up to maybe 5 years ago (say 1995-2009). Then, A. The actual order picked. B. The incidences of guys going well out of order (drops and reaches), then finally C: on re ordering of drafts (doing the draft over) how often the team's scouts were right vs. the pre draft consensus of scouts and mock drafters.

 

In other words, once the draft order is predicted, do speific NHL teams outperform, or underperform the concensus when they go off the board?

 

examples: Skinner was a big reach. Yes, his is still TBD a bit, but the next four guys taken are nowhere near him now. So it can be argued that the Canes got that one right over the mock drafters and central scouts, but then, ironically, in the same draft, Cam Fowler, widely seen as the number 3 or 4 pick, dropped all the way to 12. Certainly the scouts and teams picking the next 4 guys after Skinner, who passed on Fowler, got it wrong, while the mock drafters and central type scouts got it right.

 

Are the team's scouts-GM axis that leads to picks really that much better than the central scouting and mock drafters as a group at predicting who to draft? Probably, and there are specific team needs that play in, but by no means is it a slam dunk, and I don't know if anyone knows for sure that as a group they are better.

Edited by remkin

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Two new mock drafts now make three in a row that slide Strome up to #3. One has us on Manrer, the other Hanifin.

The one constant seems to be the top 5.

 

Recent bleacher report speculating weather we'd take Hanifin if there. But the bottom line is yes.

 

If we do end up w/ Hanifin, Murphy will either be traded or have a very short window to really show something.

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Two new mock drafts now make three in a row that slide Strome up to #3. One has us on Manrer, the other Hanifin.

The one constant seems to be the top 5.

 

Recent bleacher report speculating weather we'd take Hanifin if there. But the bottom line is yes.

 

If we do end up w/ Hanifin, Murphy will either be traded or have a very short window to really show something.

 

I'm not so sure about that rem.  I can't see Murphy bringing back much in return right now. But he's still only 25yo, cheap ($832k NHL), and presumably on a 2-way contract. It might make more sense to keep him around and give him more of a chance to develop than give him away. Especially if we're not counting on rushing Hanifin and given our severe lack of depth on D.

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I don't follow the draft like a lot of you but if Hanifin falls to us I don't see how we can pass. Some, maybe most seem to think he is NHL ready and will be a presence on the blue line for some time. I'm not sure a Murphy trade is in the equation just because we choose Hanifin. Murphy may well be part of a trade but I think we still have hope he will develop into the Power Play quarterback.

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I'm not so sure about that rem.  I can't see Murphy bringing back much in return right now. But he's still only 25yo, cheap ($832k NHL), and presumably on a 2-way contract. It might make more sense to keep him around and give him more of a chance to develop than give him away. Especially if we're not counting on rushing Hanifin and given our severe lack of depth on D.

 

I was recounting what the author said, on that one (wasn't clear on it though). I agree on the trade part not likely to get the return we want, but I do think he has to show up in great shape and take big strides this year, particularly if we have Fleury and Hanifin in development.

Edited by remkin

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Murphy's only 22yrs old.  But I think drafting Hanifin would go a long ways towards solidifying our blueline, but we still need another Veteran Dman, like say Shattenkirk or Myers.  I'd love to do a Skinner/2nd rounder for Myers/Lemieux trade, that would solidify our blueline.

 

Hanifin/Faulk

Fleury/Myers

McKeown/Murphy

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I agree on the veteran D part. That has to be job one for Francis this offseason.

 

I think your D would be the d of the future, and a dang good one, but doubt Fleury or McKeown is ready next year.

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Fansided SI.com is having a mock draft where local bloggers make picks for their team in order. They just had us pick.

 

Our pick: Noah Hanifin.

 

Arizona took Strome, and Toronto Marner.

 

Hanifin: Basically big, skates like the wind and positioning and hockey IQ off the charts, offenisive upside. Future #1 dman for years to come.

 

 

Some points made on the other picks by their pickers:

 

Marner: 2.00 ppg was second only to McDavid, and better than many stars of today: John Tavares, Steven Stamkos, Taylor Hall, and Tyler Seguin among them. (BTW all of those except Seguin went #1 overall, and Seguin barely lost out at #2 to Hall).

 

Quotes Asst. GM Kyle Dubas as basically saying they aren't worried about size. Skill is harder to get and if you have it, you can always more easily trade it for size if you need to later. (This is NOT to reignite the size debate, but to suggest that Toronto won't pass on Marner due to size, which increases the chance that they very well might take him at #4).

 

Quotes a scouting report on McKeen's hockey about his off the charts offensive game from the beginning of this report:

 

http://www.mckeenshockey.com/prospects-blog/mitch-marner-offensive-gem-deep-draft/

 

But for those worried about his size I like this part of the quote:

 

"...he continues to grow and expand into his 5’11, 165 pound frame however his self-preservation and constant awareness to the developing play are sublime .. constantly peeks over his shoulder and knows where everyone is on the ice lends to him never being in a bad situation to get blindsided .. sky high potential as his game marries traits of both Jordan Eberle and even more, Claude Giroux – and will adapt well to the pro game despite size, and he is still growing."

 

 

Strome:

 

Competitive edge and grittiness. Driven. Strong instinct to go to the net. (Would please a lot of fans on these boards).

 

Some describe him as a "strong skater" (where I had hear otherwise). But the author of the pick admitted he needed to work on his skating, but would do that.

 

The Strome pick author listed Hanifin as very tempting but Arizona needs offense more.

 

 

 

 

Clearly these are just mocks, but it does seem a little more likely since each pick is made by a local guy following their team mainly. (Though our guy doesn't seem to be local, the more intersting thing was the way the dominos fell before our pick and they were all picked by local bloggers).

 

The one thing I keep coming away with is that no matter how you arrange them, the special guys after McEchel are the big next three of Hanifn, Strome, and Marner. I am increasingly of the opinion that that we should spend our time scouting that #35 pick, because the job at # 5 will be amazingly simple having been done for us by Arizona and Toronto. Whomever they leave of those three, we take. Simple. Just take them. No tricky business. No reaching. No trading down.

 

I will be genuinely giddy to have any piece of Stromarnifin.

Edited by remkin

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More mock draft action. This USA today mock was done by two scouts from Red Line Report:

 

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nhl/draft/2015/06/01/nhl-mock-draft-connor-mcdavid-jack-eichel-and-then/28302331/

 

3-5:

 

3. Arizona — Dylan Strome. This is a franchise that still needs to attract fans and it would help greatly if they could develop an exciting offensive game. The Coyotes barely averaged two goals per game, and we all know that people come to see their team score. So they have to ignore the talented defenseman sitting there. The 'Yotes need an exciting young center, and Strome fits the bill.

4. Toronto — Noah Hanifin. Word is that the Maple Leafs would prefer Strome to launch their rebuilding, but they will be very happy with Hanifin, who is a well-rounded defender. He has a strong offensive upside and has always been underappreciated as a defender.

5. Carolina — Mitch Marner. With the way Tyler Johnson has performed for Tampa Bay during the 2015 playoffs, there should be no concern about Marner being a smaller forward. He is a dynamic presence on the ice, and could be a Patrick Kane-style impact player.

 

2 other recently released mock drafts on DC sports have us on:

 

Hanifin and Marner.

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Craig Button has Hanifin ranked 12th in his final list. 

 

http://www.tsn.ca/talent/craig-s-list-final-ranking-1.294692

 

Button certainly isn't one for going with the flow, is he?

 

Some of his other surprising rankings (at least to me), both high and low:

Paval Zacha: 24

Mikko Rantanen: 16

Mathew Barzal: 15 

Kyle Connor: 6

Brock Boeser: 9

Nick Merkley: 11

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