NHL mock draft: Final projections for every first-round pick

BUFFALO, NY - JANUARY 5: Rasmus Dahlin #8 of Sweden in play against Canada during the Gold medal game of the IIHF World Junior Championship at KeyBank Center on January 5, 2018 in Buffalo, New York. Canada beat Sweden 3-1. (Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NY - JANUARY 5: Rasmus Dahlin #8 of Sweden in play against Canada during the Gold medal game of the IIHF World Junior Championship at KeyBank Center on January 5, 2018 in Buffalo, New York. Canada beat Sweden 3-1. (Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images) /
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BUFFALO, NY – DECEMBER 28: Isac Lundestrom #20 of Sweden skates up ice with the puck in the third period against Czech Republic during the IIHF World Junior Championship at KeyBank Center on December 28, 2017 in Buffalo, New York. Sweden beat Czech Republic 3-1. (Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NY – DECEMBER 28: Isac Lundestrom #20 of Sweden skates up ice with the puck in the third period against Czech Republic during the IIHF World Junior Championship at KeyBank Center on December 28, 2017 in Buffalo, New York. Sweden beat Czech Republic 3-1. (Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images) /

21. San Jose Sharks – C Isac Lundestrom

The San Jose Sharks’ championship window is getting closer to closed. After another failed playoff campaign this season their core is not getting any fresher. Signing Evander Kane to a long term deal will help but there is not a very promising future to the team in forward prospects. The Sharks as an organization are in a fragile time. If they want to stay competitive and avoid a reset when the older players drop off they need to hit on these draft picks. When teams miss on their late first round picks it sets them back in the long term. The Sharks typically bring their young players along slowly, so do not expect to see Isac Lundestrom in the NHL any time soon.

Lundestrom is viewed as one of the safer picks in this entire draft. He has such a great baseline of talent that he does not need to worry about adding a lot to his game to be a pro. Lundestrom played against grown men this season in the SHL. He had 15 points in 42 games which is respectable for a teenager playing against adults. He will never be known for his point totals even when he hits the NHL, he is a consistent two-way forward. Lundestrom is great on the forecheck as well as the backcheck. It makes him very tempting for scouts everywhere. One of the biggest things that Lundestrom has going for him is how effective he already is in the face-off circle. That is something a lot of younger players struggle with.

In a worst-case scenario, Lundestrom can safely be slotted into the third line because of his steadiness. Assuming he hits the natural developmental curve Lundestrom can jump and become an elite number two center in the NHL. This high floor level is what makes him such a safe prospect.