2018 NHL Draft Predictions
With the draft coming up next week I finally got around to making my mock draft of the first round. I decided to not include the potential trades that may happen because those are too difficult to predict with a lot of moving parts. There are a lot of big names out there that could be traded which could make this the most exciting draft day yet.
1. Buffalo Sabres- Rasmus Dahlin, D
Sabres need defensive help, best player in the draft is a defenseman. Duh.
2. Carolina Hurricanes- Andrei Svechnikov, RW
Ranked number two by most scouts after scoring 40 goals in 44 games in the OHL. Hurricanes want to get bigger and tougher to play against, Svechnikov fits that bill and could step into the lineup next year.
3. Montreal Canadiens- Brady Tkachuk, LW
The Habs pass over the more skilled Zadina to try and add character to their lineup. With Max Pacioretty probably on the move, they hope Brady develops into the player his father was. Wouldn’t be surprised if they select Jesperi Kotkaniemi based on their need for center.
4. Ottawa Senators- Filip Zadina, RW
Senators happily select the potentially 30-40 goal scoring winger.
5. Arizona Coyotes- Adam Boqvist, D
With Ekman-Larsson rumored to have signed an eight-year deal bringing in the young Swedish offensive defensive men to ease the transition.
6. Detroit Red Wings- Quinn Hughes, D
The Red Wings need to upgrade their defensive men and how better then someone who was playing in their backyard.
7. Vancouver Canucks- Evan Bouchard, D
With Boeser and Horvat leading the youth movement up front, Bouchard will make a nice righty, lefty combo if Olli Juolevi pans out.
8. Chicago Blackhawks- Noah Dobson, D
Noah increased his draft stock with an excellent Memorial Cup, the Blackhawks need a future #1 defenseman.
9. New York Rangers- Jesperi Kotkaniemi, C
Strength down the middle of the ice. Kotkaniemi has risen the draft boards and The Rangers will be ecstatic if he falls to them.
10. Edmonton Oilers- Oliver Wahlstrom, RW
Winger for McDavid? Mission accomplished. It may take a few years but Wahlstrom is skilled enough to keep up with McDavid.
11. New York Islanders- Ty Smith, D
Islanders are in need of defenseman to move the puck to their skilled forwards.
12. New York Islanders (via Flames)- Barret Hayton, C
With the potential of Tavares leaving the Islanders need a two-way center to play behind Barzal.
13. Dallas Stars- Joseph Veleno, C
Hard-working talented playmaker will fit good behind Seguin in the long run.
14. Philadelphia Flyers (via Blues)- Serron Noel, RW
With talk of Wayne Simmonds being traded and due a hefty raise after next year, the 6’5” 204 lbs. Noel can fill that role.
15. Florida Panthers- Bode Wilde, D
With Hoffman in the mix and Tippett and Borgstrom recently drafted, time to add to the D core.
16. Colorado Avalanche- Joel Farabee, LW
Avs need some offensive depth behind MacKinnon and Rantanen
17. New Jersey Devils- Ryan McLeod, C
Brother Michael is already in the Devils system. Maybe some sibling chem in the future?
18. Columbus Blue Jackets- Grigori Denisenko, LW
Panarin future is clouded and the Blue Jackets have a lot of contracts to resign soon. Denisenko is dynamic offensive player who can help in a few years.
19. Philadelphia Flyers- Dominik Bokk, RW
Flyers have a lot of defensemen in the system, they need to add to the forward group.
20. Los Angeles Kings- Rasmus Kupari, C
Kopitar and Carter aren’t getting any younger, Kupari and Vilardi (#11, 2017) will need to be their replacement.
21. San Jose Sharks- K’Andre Miller, D
Sharks need to add some Defensive prospects to their system.
22. Ottawa Senators (via Penguins)- Ty Dellandrea, C
Senators need to draft the best available player with all their picks.
23. Anaheim Ducks- Isac Lundestrom, C
The forward core is getting older while the defensmen are on the young side.
24. Minnesota Wild- Akil Thomas, RW
Skill and hockey sense are vital to today’s game.
25. Toronto Maple Leafs- Rasmus Sandin, D
I could see the Leafs picking Ryan Merkley also in this spot because the focus is still adding to the defense.
26. New York Rangers (via Bruins)- Mattias Samuelsson, D
NHL bloodlines while being a steady, physical player.
27. Chicago Blackhawks (via Predators)- Vitali Kravtsov, LW
More offensive fire power up front.
28. New York Rangers (via Lightning)- Martin Kaut, RW
Speed and skill on the wing playing against men in the Czech Republic.
29. St. Louis Blues (via Jets)- Jett Woo, D
All around defensemen.
30. Detroit Red Wings (via Golden Knights)- Jacob Olofsson, C
Red Wings love their Swedes, playing against men.
31. Washington Capitals- Ryan Merkley, D
One of the most talented players in the draft, interesting to see where he goes.