puckbreak's 2018 mock draft
Below is the current NHL Draft standings, as well as the current list of top prospects. We take team dynamics into consideration while creating a grand list of weekly updated predictions for the outcome of the 2018 NHL Draft.
Scroll down to find out who your favourite team may be selecting.
Last Updated: February 4th, 2018
1. Arizona Coyotes
Rasmus Dahlin / D / LH / 6'2 / 183lbs
Near guaranteed to hear his name called first this June, Rasmus Dahlin is ready to dazzle any team with his talents. Expected to jump right to the NHL in the 2018/19 season, Dahlin brings offensive talent to the blue line. He's a quick, fluid skater with high hockey IQ, who can hold his own zone down while bringing a physical edge to his play. Dahlin impressed at the 2017 WJC, scoring 6 points in 7 games and bringing home a silver medal.
2. Buffalo sabres
ADAM BOQVIST / D / RH / 5'11 / 170lbs
Consider him an offensive, power play quarterback. Boqvist has arguably the hardest shot of all draft eligible defenders, and can create offence like nobody's business. With his lighting quick first step and his agility on the ice, he can be an elite puck moving defenceman. His only downside is that the majority of his great play only comes in the opposing half of the ice. Adam Boqvist needs to work on his defensive game, and build more upper body strength so he doesn't get knocked off the puck as easily. He is currently hovering around 1pt/game in the SuperElite, more than half of those points being goals.
3. ottawa senators
ANDREI SVECHNIKOV / RW / LH / 6'2 / 187lbs
After dominating the USHL at age 16, Andrei Svechnikov is now having an outstanding rookie season in the OHL. Andrei, younger brother to Detroit's Evgeny Svechnikov, is a big player who's speed equals his strength. He's got good foot speed, as well as a set of hands that help him create open ice for his team. He's got an elite release to his wrister, which has resulted in a 0.85G/game average. Svechnikov is currently scoring at a 1.3pts/game rate in the OHL.
4. vancouver canucks
filip zadina / lw / lh / 6'1 / 192lbs
A creative player on the ice, Filip Zadina is the type of worker bee you want in your top 6. He is a dangerous goal scorer who has a nifty backhand shot, who can also dig the puck out during his strong work along the boards. Zadina's hockey sense is right up there, and he is known for making smart passes in the offensive zone. He's got elite skating but needs to work on his consistency if he wants to contribute in NHL in the near future, but we don't think that will be an issue for long if he continues his 1.4pts/game average in the QMJHL this season.
5. Edmonton oilers
BRADY TKACHUK / LW / LH / 6'3 / 196lbs
Willing to play the entire 200ft ice surface, Tkachuk is poised to match his brother's early NHL success. Brady Tkachuk is able to control his zone entries as a master of the dump and chase, and make calculated passes to teammate to setup offence, though his game is centered around his defensive abilities. This strong power winger uses his body to knock other players off pucks and isn't afraid to get into the dirty areas to dig a puck out. He's a strong asset to any team's penalty kill.
6. Montreal Canadiens
noah dobson / d / rH / 6'3 / 179lbs
Defenceman for the Acadie-Bathurst Titan, Noah Dobson is probably one of the biggest risers in this years draft. Dobson currently leads the QMJHL in assists and he is a dynamic skater and oozes offensive talent when jumping up in the play. However, he has shown he can on the defensive side of the puck as well when he played for Team Canada at the Ivan Hlinka tournament where he was used as a shutdown defender. Fits the modern day NHL style perfectly.
7. Detroit Redwings
evan bouchard / D / rH / 6'2 / 181lbs
Just barley missing the cut off date for the 2017 draft, Bouchard has been lighting up the OHL this season. He has a polished offensive skillset, great wheels, and can make crisp passes up the ice. He’s got the stats to back his skills up as well, with the 2nd most shots in the entire league, and leading all defenceman in points this season in the OHL. Evan Bouchard also has a solid defensive game, playing with excellent positioning and cutting off passing lanes. He is one of the more complete defenders in this draft.
8. florida panthers
Quinn hughes / d / lH / 5'10 / 174lbs
The U of Michigan product is one of the better defencemen in this draft. Despite his smaller frame, Hughes is a fluid skater and has a great first pass breaking out of his own zone. A very hard and accurate shot, the thing that amazes the most about Hughes is his calmness in the game defending or with the puck on his stick. Born into a deep rooted hockey family, he has the toolkit and knowledge to be an excellent pro.
9. new york rangers
joel farabee / lw / lH / 5'11 / 161lbs
Farabee is a dangerous forward that can make plays seemingly out of nothing. Out of Cicero, New York, Farabee was the Captain of the US National U18 team where he lead with 36 points in only 32 games. Farabee has been a leader and an offensive catalyst for most of his young hockey career using his strong legs and vision to carry him up the draft standings. An incredible work motor and strong play in all 3 zones in the ice. One thing that sets him apart is that he can fit into any play style, whether it’s a rough and tumble game or a fast pace skill showcase. Farabee is currently playing for Boston University and should be lined up to lead for the Americans in next years World Juniors.
10. carolina hurricanes
oliver wahlstrom / c/lw / rh / 6'1 / 205lbs
Of Swedish descent and American born, Wahlstrom has elite puck handling skills, a quick and accurate shot that makes him lethal around the net. Any team with scoring woes will find the answer they are looking for come draft day with Wahlstrom on board. Great ability in all directions gets him past most defenders and with his high offensive IQ you can never leave him alone around the net, and to top it off, Wahlstrom is trusted in the first PK Unit.
11. chicago Blackhawks
ty smith / d / lH / 5'10 / 174lbs
The 1st overall pick in the WHL Bantam draft, Smith models todays game well. A smaller frame, standing at 5 foot 10, but has high hockey IQ and oozes offensive talent. Fluid skating mobility and great puck control has gave Smith almost a point a game for the Spokane Chiefs in his second year in the W. Any team needing a power play quarterback can circle Ty Smith’s name on the draft board, as he can unreal vision and strong desires to jump into the play. But the biggest asset to his game, is his skating. You will rarely see Smith out of position, or chasing down opponents.
12. new york islanders
barrett Hayton / c / lh / 6'1 / 185lbs
After an acceptable rookie season for the Sault St Marie Greyhounds last season on wing, Barrett Hayton is breaking out in his first full season as centre, scoring at just a touch below a point per game. He’s got great vision on the ice & the hands to go with it, as well as a deadly shot. At the Ivan Hlinka tournament this year he played top line & was relied upon both on the power play & the penalty kill. His performance improved his draft stock immensely.Write here…
13. philadelphia flyers
bode wilde / d / rH / 6'2 / 194lbs
2 way defender Bode Wild plays the complete 200ft game. This American who committed to the University of Michigan, has the size and strength to step into opponents and carries a booming slap shot on the power play. Wilde has a good offensive instincts which allows him to carry the puck in a transition game very well, as well as makes him able to complete a crisp first passes. Defensively, he uses his body to know opponents off the puck, and is very calm on the puck and uses his defensive positioning very well.
14. columbus blue jackets
rasmus kupari / c / rH / 6'1 / 183lbs
A perfect fit for the modern NHL, Rasmus Kupari uses his legs to play a fast, offensive game. He is a player who can control the puck and make plays at his top speed. Kupari's skating ability is elite, he has very good edge work, a fast first stride, and can finish off plays with his quick wrister. He is also defensively intelligent, and can take away passing lanes while maintaining his aggressiveness. He is signed until 2019 with Kärpät so don't expect him to step into the league right away.
15. anaheim ducks
akil thomas / c / rH / 6'1 / 183lbs
The centre for the Niagara IceDogs is currently at a 53% face-off percentage and over a point per game, which is a nice improvement over his rookie season which saw him at 47% and 0.79pts/g. Akil Thomas is known as pass first but isn’t afraid to pull clutch once and awhile, like his two shootout game winners already this season. He needs to bulk up and add size in order to become a more complete player but that will come with time. Currently, he has been improving his play away from the puck which has caused his draft stock to rise.
16. calgary flames
jared mcisaac / d / lH / 6'1 / 194lbs
The 6 foot 2 left handed defenseman for the Halifax Mooseheads is one of Canada’s top ranked defenseman in the draft. McIsaac is a smooth skated 2 way defender, that tends that cleans up his own zone with ease. Now he may not be the big flashy player that everyone looks for in the draft, but McIsaac is solid all around with no real concerning area of weakness. An area of strength for the Nova Scotian is a crisp first pass while breaking out of his own zone or the cannon of a shot from the blueline.
17. colorado avalanche
Joe veleno / c / LH / 6'1 / 194lbs
Tavares, Ekblad, McDavid, Veleno. All players who were granted exceptional status by Team Canada, Veleno, the first ever to be granted early access to the QMJHL. Though injuries and missed expectations have lowered his draft stock the last couple of seasons, Joe Veleno is still expected to go in the top half of the first round. An explosive skater with elite offensive ability, he can dance around the offensive zone with his strong puck handling skills. Veleno is a playmaker who creates offence for himself and his linemates, scoring at a point per game pace this season. He needs to work on his wrist shot and his defensive positioning.
18. pittsburgh penguins
Jesperi kotkaniemi / c / LH / 6'2 / 190lbs
On one hand, Jesperi Kotkaniemi is trusted in the dying seconds of a big game, or on his team’s penalty kill. On the other hand, he is currently the 2nd highest scoring player U20 in the SM-Liiga. Kotkaniemi has a great set of hands and a natural playmaking ability that allows him to be creative on the puck. He has become a power play staple for his team, Assat Pori, due to his offensive prowess and his dangerous shot with an excellent release. He is not a heavy physical player, but his large frame makes it hard to knock him off the puck.
19. minnesota wild
ryan merkley / d / rH / 5'11 / 170lbs
The 2016/17 OHL Rookie of the Year has kept getting better. Ryan Merkley is lighting up the OHL, constantly remaining in the top ranks of defensive point-getters. He has dynamic offensive ability paired with a top end acceleration and speed. He can quarterback a powerplay, but not a penalty kill. To succeed in the NHL he will need to work on his play without the puck and defensive abilities. Merkley has an extremely hard and accurate shot that forces goaltenders to give up big rebounds, which may be part of the reason he is within the top 5 of the OHL for assists.
20. los angeles kings
ryan mcleod / c / LH / 6'2 / 190lbs
One of the few centres in this year’s first round, Ryan McLeod hopes to make his NHL dream come true. He is the younger brother of Michael McLeod but they have different styles of play on the ice. Not as quick as Michael, Ryan uses his agile skating and his large frame to protect the puck and make plays. He is effective defensively and would be projected as more of a two way player than an offensive one, though he is putting up more than a point per game in his third OHL season. McLeod is good in the face off dot, averaging 53.4%, and sitting at 3rd in the entire OHL for face off wins.
21. new jersey devils
Jacob olofsson / c / lH / 6'2 / 185lbs
A true competitor who has be a part of Sweden’s national team at every level growing up, Jacob Olofsson is hoping to bring his game to North America. Currently playing in the second highest Swedish league, he brings excellent speed and an exciting play style to his game. Olofsson often beats his man on the rush and likes to cut to the net to create scoring chances. He also is able to create space on the ice with his quick stick handling and dekes which allows him to use his quick and accurate wrist shot. Defensively, he has good positioning and is always sure to back check.
22. dallas stars
benoit-oliver groulx / c / LH / 6'1 / 185lbs
Considered to be more of a two way player, Groulx is making a name for himself with the Halifax Mooseheads. He isn’t a flashy forward, he doesn’t have elite skating, but he can track the puck, dig it out of the corner, and has a surprisingly quick shot. He is among the QMJHL leaders for dangerous shot percentage, sitting at 65%. Groulx plays with grit and puts all his effort on the table in every zone. He knows where to be positionally, always back checks, and has a good defensive awareness. Though not projected to play an offensive top 6 role in the NHL, it will be interesting to see where his skillset takes him.
23. san jose sharks
isac lundestrom / c/lw / LH / 6'0 / 185lbs
Lundestorm has represented his home country of Sweden in international tournaments at every stage of his life including this years World Juniors where he took home a silver medal. He has top 6 potential as he is dynamic offensively. A very quick quick release and one of the better sets of hands in the draft. Lundestorm has great puck control even at moving at top speeds. On the powerplay he is a nightmare to cover as he has the ability to score all over the ice, whether it is in tight to the goaltender or ripping one off the circle. One thing that Lundestorm can certainly get you is goals.
24. toronto maple leafs
jack mcbain / c / lH / 6'3 / 196lbs
McBain chose the unorthodox route to the 2018 NHL draft playing Major Midget hockey for the Toronto Junior Canadiens instead of playing in the OHL for the Barrie Colts with the intention of going to Boston College. But McBain is a big (6 foot 3) centre that has the ability anchor the play at the both ends of the ice. Not afraid to ruffle up the feathers, McBain fares very well in a physical game and has an explosive first 3 strides to build up speed and create distance between him and defenders. However, his speed could use an improvement and it’s tough to judge a player that is playing weaker competition than the rest of his draft class and his ranking reflects that.
25. washington capitals
grigori denisenko / lw / rH / 5'10 / 165lbs
After a booming start to the World Junior A tournament with a 4 point night including a hattrick, Grigori Denisenko finished the tournament with 7 points in 9 games. He has a lightning fast acceleration and an incredible top speed. Denisenko creates his own offence due to his puck control ability and his agility around the ice. With shades of Johnny Hockey, he is one of the smaller players expect to go in the first round sitting at 5’10 and a mere 165lbs.
26. st. louis blues
jett woo / d / rH / 6'0 / 205lbs
The 6 foot smooth skating defenseman is also one of the better Canadian defenseman available for the draft. One thing that might surprise people about Woo is that the numbers that he is putting up for the Moose Jaw Warriors are very similar to a popular former Warrior, defenseman Morgan Rielly. Both of them put up 20 points in their first year in the WHL then jumped to almost a point per game in their second year with Reilly’s cut short due to an ACL tear. Jett Woo, has great puck control and knows where to find the open lane to rush the puck ice to create an offensive chance. Woo also breaks up plays in his own zone using his hockey smarts to read plays and his strong mobility.
27. nashville predators
serron noel / rw / rH / 6'5 / 201lbs
He is a big physical bruiser standing at 6’5, over 200 pounds, but that doesn’t mean he can’t play with finesse. Noel has a deceptively quick release on his shot that has helped him manage a 25% shooting average. Though that average will eventually go down, he doesn’t take nearly as many shots as the OHL’s top goal scorers so if he can manage to take more shots it could up his goal totals immensely. Sitting at 2nd in team goals for, only behind overager Kenny Huether, Serron Noel can utilize his size to win puck battles along the wall and use his long stride to create separation in the offensive zone.
28. boston bruins
Alexander khovanov / c / lH / 5'11 / 179lbs
One of the biggest risers of this entire draft, Alexander Khovanov has had one of the more interested draft years in recent history. He was selected 2nd overall in the 2017 CHL import draft, signed a 3 year KHL deal, then returned to the Moncton Wildcats in December only after recovering from Hepatitis A. At one point his draft stock dropped to the 4th or 5th round, but now that he has returned to North American hockey, he has only risen. Khovanov is an explosive skater who has an offensively minded skill set, though he needs to work on his defensive side of the game. Despite his size, he is hard to take off of the puck when cycling the offensive zone. He also knows when to shoot, as 65% of his shots so far this season are in what is considered the “danger zone”.
29. Winnipeg jets
Calen addison / d / rH / 5'10 / 179lbs
Calen Addison, the draft riser out of Brandon, Manitoba is one of the more offensively active D in the WHL this season. Sitting at the 4th most shots of all defenceman in the WHL this year and playing at more than a point per game. Addison, who has more points than Ty Smith who is expected to go in the mid first round, has a good and accurate wrist shot that he is not afraid to use while eating up top power play minutes for the Lethbridge Hurricanes.
30. vegas golden knights
rasmus sandin / d / lH / 5'11 / 190lbs
In his first year in the OHL, defender Rasmus Sandin is 3rd in OHL rookie PPG scoring, only behind RW Andrei Svechnikov and C Cam Hillis. Playing as more of 4/5th defenceman roll on a stacked Sault Ste. Marie team he isn’t getting big minutes or special teams, aside from penalty killing, though that hasn’t hurt him as two thirds of his points have come 5 on 5. The OHL rookie of the month for December 2017 is a calm, un-rushed skater with good laterals. He isn’t the most explosive skater on the ice but he is not slow. Who knows what Rasmus Sandin could do with more ice time.
31. Tampa bay lightning
mattias samuelsson / d / LH / 6'4 / 216lbs
Defender Mattias Samuelsson wears an American jersey, but his bloodline comes from Tingsryd Sweden. His father is fellow defenceman Kjell Samuelsson who played for the Rangers, Flyers, Penguins, & Lightning. Mattias has a two way style & uses his large body to bring a physical element to his game. His offence shouldn’t be expected to translate to the NHL but his physical style will. Saumelsson is a better skater than his father, & according to Craig Button, “he might be a Brady Skjei type.” Mattias Samuelsson is committed to played for the University of Michigan.