Rabid Habs

Rabid Habs’ 2015 NHL Mock Draft: Picks 21-30

NHL Entry Draft
  1. OTTAWA SENATORS: OLIVER KYLINGTON| D | Farjestad, SHL

LAST SEASON:  18 GP, 2 Goals & 3 Assists (5 PTS)

The Senators decide to take a risky pick on this one but they have a bias for Swedish defensemen. Kylington was ranked fairly high at the start of the season and I believe he’s worth the gamble. He’s got a fantastic shot, great skating and amazing offensive awareness. He’s a mess in his own end but the tools are there and if he develops, he could be a threat for years to come with Erik Karlsson on his right.

  1. WASHINGTON CAPITALS: DENIS GURYANOV | RW/LW | Ladia Togliatti, MHL

LAST SEASON: 23 GP, 15 Goals & 10 Assists (25 PTS)

The Capitals decide to take a Russian that would most likely go higher if he was from another country. After the Kuznetsov pick panning out for them, I can see the Caps rolling the dice on the big forward. Guryanov has good tools that make him projectable for the NHL.

He’s good at protecting the puck and cycling is one of his forte, has great speed for his size and has excellent vision. He’ll need to simplify his game at the next level and trust his teammates more since he’s a bit of a puck-hog but I’m certain that it’s not due to a lack of vision or hockey sense. He’s a project but not a big one due to his game that would make him a solid third liner even if he doesn’t develop as hoped.

 

  1. VANCOUVER CANUCKS: JANSEN HARKINS | RW/C | Prince George Cougars, WHL

LAST SEASON: 70 GP, 20 Goals & 59 Assists (79 PTS)

The Canucks pick the local kid at this spot in the draft. Vancouver is high on him enough that their GM, Jim Benning, has been seen to some of at Cougars’ games to see the center play. Harkins is one of the safest picks in the draft and already plays a mature game. He’s got a mercenary mentality and is willing to do anything to help his team win.

The problem with Harkins is that most of his offense comes from pure hard-work rather          than offensive skills which makes him a question mark at the next level. Does he have the hands or creativity to have an impact in the offensive zone or is he always going to be a good depth player and nothing more. He’ll also need to work on his speed since it’s not where it has to be for a guy of his size who’ll most likely never be an offensive force.

 

  1. TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS: DANIEL SPRONG | RW | Charlottetown Islanders, QMJHL

LAST SEASON: 68 GP, 39 Goals & 49 Assists (88 PTS)

The Leafs take one of the most puzzling player of the draft in Sprong. Sprong’s got high-end skills and vision but there are questions surrounding his character, similarly to Josh Ho-Sang last year. I think the Leafs can afford to take a gamble with one of the biggest boom-or-bust picks in this year’s draft. They’re rebuilding so there’s no rush or pressure on Sprong to develop into the player some hope he can become. With the assets they’ll most likely get for Phil Kessel, Dion Phaneuf and Jonathan Bernier, they can play Russian roulette with this pick.

With Babcock behind the bench, Sprong would be well surrounded and this is the kind of pick I would make if I were the Leafs, go big or go home. The talented forward has all the tools offensively to be a star and the payoff is bigger than with a guy like Brandon Carlo or Jansen Harkins.

 

  1. WINNIPEG JETS: JOEL ERIKSSON EK | C | Farjestad, SHL

LAST SEASON: 34 GP, 4 Goals & 2 Assists (6 PTS)

The Swedish forward sounds like the type of player that the Jets covet. He’s got excellent hockey sense and is good at tracking his man and reading the play unfolding in front of him. Has a good shot and is not afraid of going to the net. Defensively responsible and a good mix of speed and size (six foot two). Needs to add mass to his frame because he’s considerably weak along the boards and loses a majority of his battles.

 

  1. MONTREAL CANADIENS: THOMAS CHABOT | D | Saint John Sea Dogs, QMJHL

LAST SEASON: 66 GP, 12 Goals & 29 Assists (41 PTS)

The Canadiens pick a local kid at a position of weakness within the organization: LD. The Habs have Jeff Petry and PK Subban on defense for years to come but on the left side, that’s another story. There’s a 36 year old Andrei Markov and a still largely unproven Nathan Beaulieu. Then you have guys like Alexei Emelin and Jarred Tinordi who will never be anything more than fringe top 4 defensemen.

Chabot’s got excellent skating and is a riser in the draft after a solid second half with the Sea Dogs. He’s a puck moving defenseman who likes to skate up with the puck. Plays the game with poise and patience which are things the Canadiens brass are looking for in their defense. He never panics even when he’s in a bad situation. He’s very similar to Nathan Beaulieu in many facets.

He’s pretty raw both offensively and defensively but it’s evident that the tools are there and that he’s still in a learning process. He could also learn to utilize his frame more often and develop a little nastiness in his own end.

 

  1. ANAHEIM DUCKS: PAUL BITTNER | LW | Portland Winterhawks, WHL

LAST SEASON: 66 GP, 34 Goals & 37 Assists (71 PTS)

The Ducks take a gamble on another player who’s seen as a boom-or-bust pick. Bittner is a prospect with a drool-worthy package: size, skills and speed. The problem with Bittner is that he plays a bit too much of a perimeter game for a guy who’s six foot four and doesn’t use his size nearly enough. There are also red flags like this year being his third year and barely being above a point per game, playing with two of the best forwards in the WHL and the fact that he disappeared in the playoffs. He could be the next Corey Perry or Benoit Pouliot. The Ducks despite that have interest in the American since they have have had around five or six scouts at Winterhawks games this season.

 

  1. TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING: BROCK BOESER | RW | Waterloo Black Hawks, USHL

LAST SEASON: 57 GP, 35 Goals & 33 Assists (68 PTS)

The Tampa Bay with a prospect pool as complete as theirs, can afford to take a pure goal-scorer over potentially the BPA at this spot in the draft. Boeser is good at finding ways to get his shot on net and is excellent at puck protection. He will need to work on his agility and his skating to have an impact at the next level.

 

  1. PHILADELPHIA FLYERS: ILYA SAMSONOV | G | Stalnye Lisy Magnitogorsk, MHL

LAST SEASON: 18 GP, 2.66 GAA & .918

The Flyers take the BPA and a player that fills a need for them. I originally had Samsonov had the 21st spot before the trade that sent Robin Lehner to Buffalo. Samsonov is considered by some to be the best goalie prospect since Carey Price in 2005. The Flyers would definitely be happy of having a goalie of that caliber, especially considering their history between the pipes.

 

  1. ARIZONA COYOTES: NOAH JUULSEN | D | Everett Silvertips, WHL

LAST SEASON: 68 GP, 9 Goals & 43 Assists (52 PTS)

After passing on Noah Hanifin at the third spot, the Coyotes take a defenseman. Juulsen is a two way defender who is a jack of all trades. He likes to throw his body around, has above-average puck skills and has great mobility. Needs to find a better balance on when to be aggressive and when to be more passive since he has the tendency of taking himself out of position.


If you missed it, check out Rabid Habs’ 2015 NHL Mock Draft: Picks 1-10 & Picks 11-20.

Follow Antoine on Twitter @HabsoluteTruth.