1. Nathan MacKinnon, C, Canada: I’m extremely high on MacKinnon, maybe more than I should be. He has Crosby-esque talent that will shine bright at the NHL level. He can score, set up others, and even play defense. Whatever team gets this young all-around center will get a player who will be a superstar much sooner than later.
2. Seth Jones, D, United States: If MacKinnon is one, then Jones is 1A. Jones is a highly mobile, and complete, defenseman who can become a top pair player within one/two, if not right away. He’s very mature for such a young player, and has the makings of a future captain because of his leadership qualities.
3. Aleksander Barkov, C, Finland: Barkov’s stock has skyrocketed in the weeks leading up to the draft. His offensive ability is comparible to some of the best Finnish forwards to play in the NHL, most notably the Koivus (Saku and Mikko).
4. Jonathan Drouin, LW, Canada: Drouin is the flashiest player in the draft this year. His offensive prowess is unrivaled, and even with his small stature (5-8, 185), Drouin will succeed at the next level because of his pure skill.
5. Elias Lindholm, C, Sweden: After MacKinnon, Lindholm is the best two-way center/forward in this year’s draft class. He won’t wow you with his offensive skill, but he will produce points while staying responsible with his game. The word isn’t liked by pundits, but “safe” is what comes to mind what I think of Lindholm.
6. Darnell Nurse, D, Canada: Nurse is a big, rugged, and a great athlete. Just a tank on skates with a body that’s built for the football field. Funny, he’s the nephew of Donavan McNabb. His only issue is his habit of over-thinking the game. He needs to let the game come to him.
7. Sean Monahan, C, Canada: Not a “sexy” player by any stretch of the imagination, but, years from now, will be one of the top five players taken in this draft no matter where he goes. He’s a high-character guy, and a natural born leader. He also happens to be pretty good with the puck as well.
8. Bo Horvat, C, Canada: Horvat is a very underrated player. He was the MVP of the OHL playoffs, leading London to the OHL title, and a berth in the Memorial Cup. Has a high upside, and should be ready for the NHL after another season in Juniors.
9. Max Domi, C, Canada: The son of former enforcer Tie Domi, Max Domi has the strength and tenacity that made his dad famous for years. Unfortunately, he also has his dad’s height. At 5-10, Domi is one of the smallest in the draft, but his pure talent shouldn’t scare too many GMs off.
10. Robert Hagg, D, Sweden: The two-way defenseman has the potential to become a 20-plus minute-per-night player for whoever takes him. Definite captain material in the future.
11. Valeri Nichushkin, LW, Russia: A solid all-around player, Nichushkin is a big-bodied player that has many GMs intrigued with his potential. His consistency, and the fear of him have team’s worried about his future in the NHL. If he comes over, his presence will be felt by whoever he plays. Even though he will likely be a top 5-7 pick, the concern of him coming over dropped him on my board.
12. Ryan Pulock, D, Canada: A rocket of a shot, and a brilliant passer. Can become a powerplay quarterback at the next level. Still has to work on his over-commitment issues.
13. Nikita Zadorov, D, Russia: The big Russian defenseman has impressive size and is physically intimidating. He will impress many a GM when their pick comes in the first round.
14. Rasmus Ristolainen, D, Finland: This is a very deep defensemen draft. Ristolainen is one of the best two-way defenders in this draft, and should be one of near 10 defenseman that may be taken in the first round.
15. Adam Erne, LW, United States: Erne has vastly improved in his play over the past two years. Scored 55 points in 64 games as a rookie in ’11-’12; scored 72 in 68 games in ’12-’13. Sky is the limit for his potential.
16. Alexander Wennberg, C, Sweden: The more he plays, the better he gets. A fast riser in his game, and will surprise teams in a few years.
17. Curtis Lazar, C, Canada: Should be rated higher than the teens, but consistency issues plagued him all season. When on, he’s as good as anyone. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen enough.
18. Samuel Morin, D, Canada: An intriguing prospect, Morin is 6-7, 200lbs. Has to add on some weight if he is to become a dominant defenseman like many expect.
19. Kerby Rychel, LW, United States: He’s a big kid, but has a finesse game. That doesn’t mean, however, that he’s afraid to be physical when he has to be.
20. Joshua Morrissey, D, Canada: At 5-11, 182, team’s will undoubtedly be concerned about a defenseman being so undersized. That being said, he’s a very talented and coachable kid that will be given a chance to succeed
21. Anthony Mantha, LW, Canada: You want scoring, Mantha will give you scoring. One of only three junior players to reach the 50 goal mark last season.
22. Hunter Shinkaruk, C, Canada: When the opportunity arises, which is often, he doesn’t miss on putting the puck in the net. Eighty-six points in 64 games last season for Medicine Hat, proving he always knows where the puck is on offense. Just needs to learn to not be timid when playing away from the puck.
23. Frederik Gauthier, C, Canada: Won’t wow you offensively, but his size and defensive skill makes him the perfect defensive forward.
24. Zachary Fucale, G, Canada: The best goalie in a weak goaltender class. He’ll be a first round pick, but don’t be surprised if he isn’t.
25. Valentin Zykov, RW, Russia: Zykov has adapted to the North American version of the game much quicker than many expected. He’s a fine creator of offense, but has an issue with over-committing that will cost him at the next level.
26. Jason Dickinson, LW, Canada: A very talented two-way forward. He knows how to use his size when facing smaller players, but struggles against the bigger guys at the junior level. Shows improvement seemingly on a nightly basis.
27. Jacob De La Rose, C, Sweden: Will be a top-six forward in a few seasons. Always goes hard no matter the situation, and knows where the open ice is at all times.
28. Ian McCoshen, D, United States: Has pro-level passing abilities, and his very strong on the puck. Much smarter than a normal 17-year old, and should be ready for the pro game in a couple of years.
29. Michael McCarron, RW, United States: He knows how to use his size to his advantage. Still has a lot to work on in terms of his offensive game if he wants to be considered anything more than a potential 3rd/4th line grinder.
30. Ryan Hartman, RW, United States: Always does the little things the right way. Very responsible and safe when on the ice which allows him to be used in crucial in-game situations. Won’t wow you with anything he does, but he will be respected.
31. Justin Bailey, C, United States
32. Chris Bigras, D, Canada
33. Mirco Mueller, D, Switzerland
34. Shea Theodor, D, Canada
35. Nic Petan, C, Canada
36. Morgan Klimchuk, LW, Canada
37. J.T. Compher, C, United States
38. Madison Bowey, D, Canada
39. Eric Comrie, G, Canada
40. Artturi Lehkonen, LW, Finland
41.. Zach Nastasiuk, C, Canada
42. Connor Hurley, LW, United States
43. Dillon Heatherington, D, Canada
44. Emile Poirer, LW, Canada
45. Andre Kurakowsky, LW, Sweden
46. Tommy Vannelli, D, United States
47. Linus Arnesson, D, Sweden
48. Anthony Duclair, LW, Canada
49. Nick Sorensen, RW, Denmark
50. Marc-Olivier Roy, RW, Canada