This upcoming draft is shaping up to be terrific. After the top guys that everyone knows, like Barkov, Seth Jones, Monahan, Shinkaruk and of course MacKinnon, there are a lot of intriguing players.
Curtis Lazar of the Oil Kings. During their run last year in the playoffs, he broke out. He’s a terrific two-way player that’s drawn comparisons to Kesler, Mike Richards and Shane Doan. He does everything you want from a hockey player. Can win you a much needed faceoff, play hard in the corners, backcheck, play on the PK and score.
Jonathan Drouin. MacKinnon’s running mate. He’s been compared to Giroux/Datsyuk in the type of offensive talent he has. He just won the Q’s player of the week and in a few games has showcased some insane offensive ability. The guy’s hockey IQ is off the charts. Just a sublime playmaker. He sort of had issues with the Mooseheads last year and refused to play for them for almost half the season but they finally convinced him too. He could fall for size issues (he’s only 5’11) and for being a potential head case, or he could just as easily go top 10 if he keeps up his hot start.
Kerby Rychel of the Windsor Spitfires. The prototypical power forward. He plays big and he plays mean. He won’t go around you if your in his way, he’ll just go through you. He’s got some good offensive ability to go with his size and nastiness and is very adept at making room for linemates.
Zach Fucale. Another MacKinnon teammate, this time the goalie. Should compete with Adam Erne as the top goalie in this draft. He was very good for the Mooseheads last year.
Ryan Pulock a dman for the Wheat Kings. He was actually the third highest scoring dman in the WHL last year, outscoring Pittsburgh first rounder Pouliot. He’s got NHL size already at 6 foot 1 and 210 pounds. Physical too.
Valeri Nichushkin, a 6 foot 3 Russian center. Not only is he big, but he’s fast. He’s got some great offensive skill but also the Russian factor.
Ryan Kunjawinski. After leaving the Sarnia Sting last year, he broke out for 30 points in 30 games. He’s a big center, who using his body well and is physical. He’s raw but has high upside.
Bo Horvat. Everyone knows about Max Domi but Horvat is getting a little of the short stick. He’s not big, he doesn’t get top line minutes, but he sort of does everything, like Lazar, except doesn’t score as much. When given the opportunity, Horvat’s shown he can produce offensively, but being on such a deep offensive team in London, and excelling on the little things that every team needs (PK play, defensive play), he’s getting the Jordan Staal treatment.]]>