As an ongoing special to Burgundy Rainbow, Nathan Chapman (@ncchapman15) has provided the latest installment of his draft rankings and profiles.
1. Andrei Svechnikov, RW Barrie Colts (OHL)
Svechnikov has a lethal shot and is dangerous from anywhere on the ice. He is also the most complete player in this draft as he loves to be physical and block shots almost as much as he loves to score. He is known for his shot but is a very good playmaker as well who isn’t as selfish as some might think. He isn’t afraid of going in the corners or in front of the net either and should be one of the games elite players in no time.
2. Filip Zadina, RW Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)
Zadina put the league on notice from his first game and hasn’t let up since. He also put on a show at the World Junior Championship for his native Czech Republic. Zadina, like Svechnikov, is a well rounded offensive player as he can score goals at will while also having eyes in the back of his head to playmake for his teammates. The major difference between the two though is while Zadina does a good job using his size to shield the puck he isn’t as physical as his counterpart and has some defensive flaws he’ll need to iron out. Like Hischier the year before, Zadina looks to be a one and done with the Mooseheads.
3. Ty Smith, D Spokane Chiefs (WHL)
Smith is a franchise defenseman who other than being a couple inches shorter than ideal has no holes in his game. When you look at his numbers and size you’d think he’s a one dimensional offensive defenseman but he’s more sound in his own end. He’s a very fluid skater who has elite hockey IQ and a shot that is dangerous even with him still filling out. Smith has a tremendous stick and is willing to do anything for his team to win. He’s been the captain for Canada at the Under 17 tournament, has an A for Spokane and was the Captain of Team Orr for the Top Prospects Game so he has a high character to boot. He didn’t have the best Under 18 tournament and that might cause him to drop for some teams who will regret it. Expect Smith to be the modern day Duncan Keith who is suited perfectly for today’s modern NHL.
4. Noah Dobson, D Acadie-Bathurst Titan (QMJHL)
Dobson is the biggest riser as the year progressed due to his impressive play. He has great size and while he isn’t the flashiest player he controls the game with his puck moving ability and smarts. He’s a good skater who can play at a fast pace but seems to prefer a slower more controlling game and waits for the ideal plays to develop. Dobson is still a fairly lanky kid but still likes to battle in the corners and will any become more of a force in time. He has a good shot and definitely likes to use it. He really played a complete game in the new year and has had a very strong playoffs to cement his status. Like Smith he has the potential to be a franchise defenseman.
5. Joe Veleno, C Drummondville Voltigeurs (QMJHL)
Veleno was the most recent player to get exceptional status and while he’s no McDavid he is still a great player in his own right. He’s a very smart two-way player who is the most advanced defensive forward in this draft and is a tremendous playmaker. He has an ok shot but his biggest weakness is putting the puck in the net and is the area of his game that needs the most work. While he might never be the franchise player that was expected of him a couple years ago, he should still be a very good NHL player who plays a very similar game to former fellow QMJHL player Sean Couturier.
6. Evan Bouchard, D London Knights (OHL)
Bouchard put up video game numbers on an abnormally weak London team. Bouchard has good size and has a huge shot that he loves to use. He also is a really good puck mover and likes to rush the puck. His biggest weakness is his skating as his feet are fairly clunky and can get turned at times. It has progressed this year though and isn’t as big of a weakness as last year. He’s a pretty smart player in his own end who doesn’t chase or get out of position much but his skating does hold him back in that area. Bouchard goes into the corners and clears the net well but still needs to gain strength. His junior numbers are inflated by how much he played, which, also got him into trouble defensively, but he should put up good numbers in pro as well.
7. Akil Thomas, C Niagara Ice Dogs (OHL)
Thomas is a fast skating exciting forward who has good intelligence and playmaking ability. His puck skills make defensemen look silly at times and he loves to be flashy. His shot is good but could use work and he needs to get stronger as he really struggles against size if he gets caught. He has a lot of untapped potential as he is still slight of frame but once he gets his man strength his main flaws shouldn’t be issues. Thomas probably will be a winger in the NHL but he doesn’t lack defensive awareness other than the odd mishap, which he progressed away from over the year. Thomas has the potential to be an elite winger in the NHL one day but might be tried out as a center first.
8. Barrett Hayton, C Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL)
Hayton is a smart player who is a decent skater and has good offensive instincts while really excelling in the defensive part of the game. Hayton plays the game very closely to current NHL player Ryan O’Reilly while having a little more edge to his game. Hayton’s shot is the most underrated part of his game as when he gets in his spot he can wire the puck. He’s also a good playmaker and is still developing his game on the offensive side as it’s still quite raw. He might be considered as a safer two-way player but there is a high ceiling for his offensive game with the right training and coaching. He continued his strong regular season with a good showing in the playoffs as well.
9. Ryan McLeod, C Mississauga Steelheads (OHL)
McLeod, like his older brother Mikey, is a great skater and has a very advanced two-way game. He has good size and can set up teammates at will but also like his brother the biggest question about his game is whether or not he’ll be able to put the puck in the net. And like his brother I believe his offense will translate well to the big show and be a perfect second line center who can take on the heavy minutes. He has a non-stop motor and loves to mix it up while going to the greasy areas of the ice.
10. Serron Noel, RW Oshawa Generals (OHL)
Noel is a mountain who can also skate like the wind and has a rocket of a shot. He is the son of former CFL player Dean Noel and has a very aggressive mindset. Noel has good puck skills and an underrated passing ability but is still a very raw player. His defensive game still needs some polish but has made strides forward from the start of the year. Noel also possess a very strong work ethic so if you were to bet on a raw player reaching his potential he’s the guy. He is a rather risky pick but if he hits the payoff will be as big as the player. He was one of the better players at the U18 as well.
11. Jett Woo, D Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL)
Ric Flair fans rejoice, you’ve got your guy. Woo is a complete defenseman who can be used in all situations. He is a good puck mover and has a dangerous shot but his true calling is in his own end. Woo is a rock who loves to battle it the corners, block shots and is great at taking away passing lanes. His offensive numbers slowed down as the year went on but that can be attributed to injuries and Clague coming in at the trade deadline. He’s aready a stocky kid who uses his size well and while his offense might never be elite he’s a good bet to be a rock in someone’s top four for a long time.
12. Ryan Merkley, D Guelph Storm (OHL)
Merkley is probably the most polarizing player in this year’s draft. He has a tremendous skillset that rivals Dahlin but his effort and coachability is a major concern. An elite skater who has unbelievable puck skills and a big time shot while being a pretty good defender when he wants to be, though he is more of a rover. Merkley’s interviews at the combine will have a major impact where he goes in the draft. If you want high event hockey he’s your guy.
13. Jared McIsaac, D Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)
McIsaac is a big physical shutdown defenseman who had a very up and down year in his draft year. McIsaac is a force along the boards and in front of his net who likes to make opponents pay for every chance they take. While he doesn’t have a huge offensive upside he does move the puck well and has a good shot. This isn’t a Chychrun situation where he was simply over scouted but has a consistency issue. He continued that at the U18’s as he had some good and bad moments there. Even with his warts he is someone who is the perfect fit to pair with a smaller offensive defenseman in someone’s top four in the NHL.
14. Ty Dellandrea, C Flint Firebirds (OHL)
Dellandrea is a big center who likes to play a physically engaging game. He is a good skater for his size and has a great skill set who really put his game together in early January. While he is physical, he could still get stronger to give him a real advantage over the opponents and to keep rounding out his defensive game. He is one of the biggest risers and had a very strong showing at the U18’s. He’s someone who could go higher than expected.
15. Calen Addison, D Lethbridge Hurricanes (WHL)
Addison is a very good puck moving defenseman who plays a very aggressive offensive game. He isn’t the biggest player at 5’9 but has a good shot and is a fairly bulky player who isn’t pushed around very easily. Like Merkley, his defensive game is good but at moments isn’t as responsible as he should be. While he does have warts to his game he is a coachable kid who strives to get better every day. He had a great playoffs and was a big reason for the Hurricanes’ long playoff run.
16. Cole Fonstad, C Prince Albert Raiders (WHL)
Fonstad is probably one of most underrated prospects in the draft this year. While not being the biggest player he doesn’t let it hold him back as he loves to go at the opposition. He has amazing hockey IQ and carried a rather weak Raiders club on his back into the playoffs. His calling card is his passing ability as he can find any passing lane and has a good shot for his size. He’s also a good defensive player who excels at stealing the puck from the opponent. He helped Prince Albert force a game 7 against Moose Jaw and played for Canada at the U18’s. He reminds me of former WHL alum Brayden Point.
17. Alexander Alexeyev, D Red Deer Rebels (WHL)
Alexeyev has a good combination of size and skating ability with a decent offensive game. He likes to rush the puck at times and does a good job moving the puck to go along with a pretty good shot. The best thing about his game is in his own end and how he handles opponents. He does a great job of using his size and reach to keep opponents away from the high danger areas. He also isn’t afraid to engage in the physical side of the game. He still has some rawness to his game but the future is bright for this guy.
18. Benoit-Olivier Groulx, C Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)
Groulx is the unheralded Moosehead in this years draft. While he’s not the flashiest player, he’s someone who just gets the job done. He is a good skater who is a great two-way player and has an underrated offensive game but is raw in that area. For him to put up offense in the next level he might have to be moved to wing but that might not be the worst thing for him. He’s an excellent penalty killer and throws his body in front of everything while being a force in the corners and along the boards.
19. Rasmus Sandin, D Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL)
Sandin is a smooth skating defenceman who can move the puck well and has a decent shot but has a limited upside. He put up good numbers in the Soo but they’re inflated by the team to a certain degree. While he doesn’t have a huge potential, he is a safe bet to be a solid NHL player in the relatively near future.
20. Chase Wouters, C Saskatoon Blades (WHL)
Wouters continued to improve as the year went on and climbed a lot throughout the year. Wouters plays a very physical game and loves to throw the body while he also possesses a high skill level. He has a really quick release and good passing ability. He loves to battle along the boards and in front of the net. Is a solid two-way player and is very versatile as he can play all three forward positions well but is suited for center perfectly fine. He improved his consistency as the year went on and finished the year by playing for Canada at the U18 which says a lot for how far he’s come. One of if not my favourite player in this draft.
21. Allan McShane, C Oshawa Generals (OHL)
McShane is a slightly smaller forward but plays best in a puck possession game and his size doesn’t really hold him back. McShane is a smart player with good puck skills and a shot that tends to trick goalies. McShane got off to a tremendous start to his draft year but cooled off as the year went along which will likely cause him to fall out of the first round. In his rookie year the same thing happened so it’s something worth monitoring with him. He did show well for Canada at the U18 which should keep him in the second round.
22. Kyle Topping, C Kelowna Rockets (WHL)
Topping went from a late 11th round pick to one of the WHL’s elite young players in a matter of months. Topping combines his vision and power to create a very dangerous offensive game while being a responsible two-way player as well. He’s not an overly flashy player but always finds himself in the correct position and has a dangerous shot. While not terrible, his skating is the biggest area he needs to improve. He should be a great value pick in the second to third rounds.
23. Cam Hillis, C Guelph Storm (OHL)
Hillis didn’t have the best start to his season but had a really strong second half which caused him to rise up lists quite a bit. Hillis is a skilled player with good hands and hockey sense. He is a good passer but is no slouch when it comes to shooting the puck either. Not the biggest player and needs to add strength to truly excel at the next level.
24. Philipp Kurashev, C Quebec Remparts (QMJHL)
Kurashev is a skilled forward who has always put up good numbers whether it be in the QMJHL or internationally. He has average size and a good shot with a quick release. He does a good job finding the soft spots in the attacking zone and can create some highlight reel moments. His defensive game is ok though he probably won’t be able to handle the center position at the next level but he should excel at wing. He is fairly strong on the puck and doesn’t give up in board battles that easily.
25. Liam Foudy, C London Knights (OHL)
Foudy was the main player to benefit from London trading away their older players. He went from being buried down the depth chart to exploding later on in the year. Foudy is a tremendous skater who does a great job with the puck and has a great shot. He has good playmaking ability as well. He does struggle with playing a consistent game and against bigger players however. He did pretty well at the U18 but where he goes in the draft will be whether teams believe in his showing in the second half and his skillset.
26. Milos Roman, C Vancouver Giants (WHL)
Roman is a solid all around player who competes hard and doesn’t take a shift off. While he doesn’t possess an elite skillset, he gets the most out of it with his compete level. His best skill is his playmaking ability as he does a good job setting up teammates and finding the dangerous areas in the attacking zone. He also has a solid defensive game and sticks to opponents by not giving them much time to do anything.
27. Nathan Dunkley, C London Knights (OHL)
Dunkley was part of a big trade and didn’t miss a beat with his new team. Dunkley is a high skilled player who has high end puck skills and is a pretty good skater. He shot is good and has great passing ability but the big issue in his game comes in his own end. He hasn’t shown the greatest consistency defensively but the good news is he has made some positive strides in the right direction.
28. Riley Sutter, RW Everett Silvertips (WHL)
Yes, another one. The Sutter clan has produced another hockey play this time by the name of Riley. Sutter is a very complete player whose specialty is the defensive and physical game. He is a good penalty killer and has a decent offensive game as well. He has a good shot and really likes to hover around the net for loose pucks and deflections. Doesn’t have top line upside but should be a very valuable and versatile depth player.
29. Nicolas Beaudin, D Drummondville Voltigeurs (QMJHL)
Beaudin is another lower upside player but he doesn’t have many if any weaknesses in his game. He’s a great passer and poer play QB who can also play the penalty kill pretty well. His shot can be dangerous but is a better passer and puck mover. He’s another safe bet to make it as a solid depth player in pro hockey.
30. Alexander Khovanov, C Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL)
Khovanov had a rough start to his draft year as he got hepatitis A which caused him to miss the bulk of the first half of the year. Khovanov is an alright skater but has a very high IQ and has good skills but struggles a bit because of his size. Could be a great sleeper pick but missed significant development time. Despite missing so much time he came back and played pretty well all things considered. He didn’t have the greatest showing in the playoffs but was a long year for him.
31. Anderson MacDonald, LW Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL)
MacDonald is a straight forward player who plays a very physical game and has a nose for the net. MacDonald is a decent skater with a good shot and has decent puck skills. He goes to the net and corners hard while being very tough to knock off of the puck. The biggest issue of his game is his play away from the puck as he doesn’t have the best conditioning and could be more engaged in the defensive game. He has the chance to fall into the mid rounds due to his flaws and while he still has a ways to go the skill set is there for a good top six power forward.
HM Erik Florchuk, LW Saskatoon Blades (WHL)
Florchuk was stuck in a numbers crunch in Victoria but was given a bigger role and opportunity after a trade to Saskatoon. Florchuk is a very skilled player and has a really quick release. He has good size but is still rather thin and will need to bulk up. Has a good skating stride and he already developed great chemistry with 2019 draft eligible wonder kid Kirby Dach, which should explode next year. Florchuk is another player who can be that mid round guy people wonder how he went so low.
HM Kody Clark, RW Ottawa 67’s (OHL)
Clark is the son of former NHLer Wendal Clark. He has a good combination of skill and physicality while being a very clutch player. His shot is the best part of his skills as he can rip it. He also has a very good defensive game and is a big kid. He can still add weight and strength for him to be that feared power forward. Skating is the area he needs to work on the most going forward.
HM Gabriel Fortier, W Baie-Comeau Drakkar (QMJHL)
Fortier is a swift footed smaller forward who has tremendous skill and despite his size is an aggressive player. He has a decent shot and playmaking ability but needs to improve his consistency for him to take the next step. As with his offensive game, his defensive game has flashes of good but isn’t consistently engaged.
HM Xavier Bouchard, D Baie-Comeau Drakkar (QMJHL)
Bouchard is a very good skater and moves the puck very well. He has a good shot but doesn’t use it as much as he should and has good puck skills but has struggled somewhat this year to put up the numbers expected of him. This is more of a case of the talent not matching up with the numbers but his draft stock will be effected by both that and where he plays. His father is Gilles Bouchard who is the coach of Rouyn-Noranda. Bouchard is very good in his own end and battles hard. He could benefit from putting on more weight though.
HM Luka Burzan, C Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)
Burzan is a high energy player with a non-stop motor. Burzan has a good shot and vision with a smooth skating stride that he makes look effortless. Burzan’s production wasn’t the greatest in Moose Jaw due to him being stuck down the depth chart but with the trade to Brandon he showed why many thought he’d have a big draft year. The one thing that benefitted from being stuck down the depth chart is his defensive game made good progress.
CHL Top 100 Ranking
1-Andrei Svechnikov, RW Barrie Colts(OHL)
2-Filip Zadina, RW Halifax Mooseheads(QMJHL)
3-Ty Smith, D Spokane Chiefs(WHL)
4-Noah Dobson, D Acadie-Bathurst Titan(QMJHL)
5-Joe Veleno, C Drummondville Voltigeurs(QMJHL)
6-Evan Bouchard, D London Knights(OHL)
7-Akil Thomas, C Niagara Ice Dogs(OHL)
8-Barrett Hayton, C Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds(OHL)
9-Ryan McLeod, C Mississauga Steelheads(OHL)
10-Serron Noel, RW Oshawa Generals(OHL)
11-Jett Woo, D Moose Jaw Warriors(WHL)
12-Ryan Merkley, D Guelph Storm(OHL)
13-Jared McIsaac, D Halifax Mooseheads(QMJHL)
14-Ty Dellandrea, C Flint Firebirds(OHL)
15-Calen Addison, D Lethbridge Hurricanes(WHL)
16-Cole Fonstad, C Prince Albert Raiders(WHL)
17-Alexander Alexeyev, D Red Deer Rebels(WHL)
18-Benoit-Olivier Groulx, C Halifax Mooseheads(QMJHL)
19-Rasmus Sandin, D Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds(OHL)
20-Chase Wouters, C Saskatoon Blades(WHL)
21-Allan McShane, C Oshawa Generals(OHL)
22- Kyle Topping, C Kelowna Rockets(WHL)
23-Cam Hillis, C Guelph Storm(OHL)
24-Philipp Kurashev, C Quebec Remparts(QMJHL)
25-Liam Foudy, C London Knights(OHL)
26-Milos Roman, C Vancouver Giants(WHL)
27-Nathan Dunkley, C London Knights(OHL)
28-Riley Sutter, RW Everett Silvertips(WHL)
29-Nicolas Beaudin, D Drummondville Voltigeurs(QMJHL)
30-Alexander Khovanov, C Moncton Wildcats(QMJHL)
31-Anderson MacDonald, LW Moncton Wildcats(QMJHL)
32-Olivier Rodrigue, G Drummondville Voltigeurs(QMJHL)
33-Eric Florchuk, LW Saskatoon Blades(WHL)
34-Aidan Dudas, C Owen Sound Attack(OHL)
35-Kody Clark, RW Ottawa 67’s(OHL)
36-Gabriel Fortier, W Baie-Comeau Drakkar(QMJHL)
37-Riley Stotts, C Calgary Hitmen(WHL)
38-Xavier Bouchard, D Baie-Comeau Drakkar(QMJHL)
39-Kevin Mandolese, G Cape Breton Screaming Eagles(QMJHL)
40-Kevin Bahl, D Ottawa 67’s(OHL)
41-Blade Jenkins, C Saginaw Spirit(OHL)
42-Xavier Bernard, D Drummondville Voltigeurs(QMJHL)
43-Luka Burzan, C Brandon Wheat Kings(WHL)
44-David Tendeck, G Vancouver Giants(WHL)
45-Vladislav Kotkov, RW Chicoutimi Sagueneens(QMJHL)
46-Alexis Gravel, G Halifax Mooseheads(QMJHL)
47-Curtis Douglas, C Windsor Spitfires(OHL)
48-Kirill Nizhnikov, RW Sudbury Wolves(OHL)
49-Dmitry Zavgorodniy, RW Rimouski Oceanic(QMJHL)
50-Jacob Ingham, G Mississauga Steelheads(OHL)
51-Adam McCormick, D Cape Breton Screaming Eagles(QMJHL)
52-Vladislav Mikhalchuk, RW Prince George Cougars(WHL)
53-Egor Sokolov, W Cape Breton Screaming Eagles(QMJHL)
54-Chase Hartje, D Brandon Wheat Kings(WHL)
55-David Levin, LW Sudbury Wolves(OHL)
56-Ryan Chyzowski, LW Medicine Hat Tigers(WHL)
57-Caleb Everett, D Saginaw Spirit(OHL)
58-Merrick Rippon, D Ottawa 67’s(OHL)
59-Justin Ducharme, LW Acadie-Bathurst Titan(QMJHL)
60-Alexis Girard, D Saint John Sea Dogs(QMJHL)
61-Owen Lalonde, D Guelph Storm(OHL)
62-Nico Gross, D Oshawa Generals(OHL)
63-Luke Henman, C Blainville-Boisbriand Armada(QMJHL)
64-Filip Kral, D Spokane Chiefs(WHL)
65-Jackson Leppard, LW Prince George Cougars(WHL)
66-Cedric Desruisseaux, C Drummondville Voltigeurs(QMJHL)
67-Giovanni Vallati, D Kitchener Rangers(OHL)
68-Wyatte Wylie, D Everett Silvertips(WHL)
69-Matthew Struthers, C North Bay Battalion(OHL)
70-Alexis Shank, G Chicoutimi Sagueneens(QMJHL)
71-Jordan Kooy, G London Knights(OHL)
72-Tristan Cote-Cazenave, G Victoriaville Tigres(QMJHL)
73-Pavel Gogolev, RW Peterborough Petes(OHL)
74-Dawson Barteaux, D Red Deer Rebels(WHL)
75-Roman Kalinichenko, D Tri-City Americans(WHL)
76-Eli Zummack, C Spokane Chiefs(WHL)
77-Joel Hofer, G Swift Current Broncos(WHL)
78-Matthew Grouchy, C Quebec Remparts(QMJHL)
79-Brodi Stuart, LW Kamloops Blazers(WHL)
80-Semyon Der-Arguchintsev, C Peterborough Petes(OHL)
81-Declan Chrisholm, D Peterborough Petes(OHL)
82-Adam Evanoff, G Moose Jaw Warriors(WHL)
83-Riley Damiani, C Kitchener Rangers(OHL)
84-Damien Giroux, C Saginaw Spirit(OHL)
85-Adam Liska, LW Kitchener Rangers(OHL)
86-Brett Kemp, C Edmonton Oil Kings(WHL)
87-Duncan McGovern, G Kootenay Ice(WHL)
88-Yegor Zamula, D Calgary Hitmen(WHL)
89-Alex Kannock-Leipert, D Vancouver Giants(WHL)
90-Max Golod, LW Erie Otters(OHL)
91-Michal Ivan, D Acadie-Bathurst Titan(QMJHL)
92-Conner Brugen-Cate, LW Kelowna Rockets(WHL)
93-Thomas Ethier, LW Blainville-Boisbriand Armada(QMJHL)
94-Carson Focht, C Calgary Hitmen(WHL)
95-Brady Hinz, RW Peterborough Petes(OHL)
96-Kaid Oliver, LW Victoria Royals(WHL)
97-Samuel Houde, C Chicoutimi Sagueneens(QMJHL)
98-Hunter Holmes, C Flint Firebirds(OHL)
99-Mathias Laferriere, C Cape Breton Screaming Eagles(QMJHL)
100-Connor Corcoran, D Windsor Spitfires(OHL)