Sneaking in at #17.5 is left wing Kieffer Bellows of Team USA’s U18 squad. Er…#17.5? Sooooo yeah, we compiled and averaged our draft ratings, and through the mysteries of modern math we carried a remainder or something and lost Kieffer Bellows.
First overall is phenom center Auston Matthews, currently skating for ZSC Lions in the top Swiss league, the NLA.
Matthews is reasonably big at 6’2″, and 216 pounds. He’s very strong on the puck and an incredibly agile skater. He can accelerate to top speed in a jiffy and make plays at a crazy pace, or he can slow the game down and be just as effective. Matthews is a complete offensive player – the kid’s got the whole package. He could use a little work defensively, but if you draft Auston Matthews, you are NOT worried about his defensive game one iota (what the fuck is an iota, anyway?). The kid is a gamebreaker, and a franchise player.
Should the Bruins draft him? Yes, everyone should draft him, but it’s not going to happen. He is very, very likely to be a Toronto Maple Leaf on Friday night; the hockey world will be shocked otherwise.
A high octane dynamo that thrives under the microscope, Auston Matthews is a complete offensive forward who consistently boasts quick hands, feet, and thinking at both ends of the ice. Naturally nimble skater who accelerates to top speed very quickly. An unwavering focus on fine tuning elements of his own game facilitates confidence and competence in his young, but mature, mind. Prolific goal scoring ability and doesn’t wait for opportunities to show themselves. He makes his own luck, so to speak, maximizing the use of his body and stick to gain leverage against the toughest of opponents. All-in-all, a generational talent who has the potential to develop into a top flight franchise center.
– See more at: http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=199898#sthash.bBP6EqTR.dpuf Auston Matthews highlights:
Sorry for the out of order picks. Things have been a little hectic for ol’ CB18
So you now know we’ve selected Auston Mathews as number one overall, so you also now know that our second selection is Patrik Laine. The best shooter in this draft, Patrik Laine draws comparisons to Alex Ovechkin in terms of his play. From Matias Strozyk of eliteprospects.com:
A natural scorer, Laine’s greatest asset is his intimidating shot. He’s not a speedy skater, but possesses power and a long stride, and protects the puck well with his large frame and longer stick. Overall, skating has been a minor issue through Laine’s development but has improved with some help from his ability to read the game. Laine has the hunger to create chances on his own from the wing and actively looks for and creates opportunities to use his shot. His elite wrist shot is notable for its quick release and his powerful one-timer from the top of the circle is a constant threat on the man-advantage
Other than Mathews or Puljujari, Laine is a likely choice to crack an NHL roster this year. Playing in the top league in Finland this year, Laine managed 28 points in 50 games (13g 15a), but what really got people excited was his playoff and tournament performances, Four goals, five assists in ten games for Karpat. At U18, he put up a 5-2-7 line in 4 games, then exploded at U20 for 5-12-17 in 7 games on route to a gold medal (his second this year).
Pick number 5 is Cape Breton Screaming Eagles center Pierre-Luc Dubois. Ranked number one by NHL Central Scouting (NA skaters), the Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, Quebec native put up a stat line of 42-57-99 in 62 games, along with of 7-5-12 in 12 playoff games as well. This could be the second time he’ll be drafted fifth overall, as his draft into the QMJHL also landed him at fifth in 2014. Continue reading →