Draft weekend is an exciting time for fantasy GMs, with all the trade talks and the drafting of future stars. Fantasy GMs are looking forward to seeing where their player will be drafted and wonder how that will affect their team. Here are the top 10 players from this year’s NHL Entry Draft based on a fantasy hockey potential.
1. John Tavares: Top offensive player in the draft and should be on an NHL roster come October. He oozes with scoring potential but can he handle the pressure as he struggled during the OHL playoffs. 50+ goals and 90+ point potential player who is working on his defensive skills.
2. Matt Duchene: Complete player being compared to Steve Yzerman and Joe Sakic. Fantastic skater with elite speed, probably best all-round player in the draft. NHL Director of Central Scouting calls Duchene a “pure sniper.”
3. Victor Hedman: This 6’6” Swedish monster is a defenseman you build your franchise around. Some scouts are calling him the Swedish Chris Pronger without the mean streak. For a big dman Hedman has explosive skating and speed and will take control of the game.
4. Magnus Svensson- Paajarvi: Strong finishing abilities and great skater. Had a great WJHC, 7 points in 6 games, leading Sweden to second straight silver. Very skilled player with positive attitude who has unlimited potential.
5. Jordan Schroeder: Clutch performer who has the 3 Elite S’s (speed, shot and skill). A dynamic two-way player with a strong wrist shot. Size may be a concern but is being compared to Brian Gionta.
6. Brayden Schenn: Hard worker in the Mike Richards mould, filled with character and leadership. Playmaker who puts in his fair share of goals.
7. Dmitry Kulikov: Kulikov led the QMJHL for defensemen scoring with 62 points in 57 games played. Kulikov is a solid all-round player who can skate, shoot and stick handle. Kulikov can handle the physical play of the North American style of hockey. He is NHL ready now.
8. Evander Kane: A power forward who drives hard to the net and loves scoring goals. Can control the puck with game breaking speed.
9.Nazem Kadri: Stepped up his game when it mattered in the playoffs, scoring 21 points in 14 games. A flashy playmaker that outplayed Tavares in the playoffs. Kadri has great reach and his stick handling abilities are similar to those of Lemieux or Lecavalier.
10.Ryan Ellis: Smooth skating defenseman with strong power play quarterback skills. His size will not be an issue in the new NHL, see Mark Streit. Gets the puck through to the net from the point on the PP and is not afraid to through his weight around. Strong one-timer NHL slap shot.