Welcome to our post trade deadline mock draft, the first of its kind at The Prospect Network. With lots of picks moving from team to team at the deadline, we figured now is a great time to do a mock draft, while teams and fans alike are starting to realize their team’s standing heading into the final stretch of the season. For this mock draft, we used the following considerations:
- 1st round only
- Based on current reverse standings in PTS% as of March 6th with playoff format considerations
- No lottery simulator was used
Please keep in mind this mock draft is based on what we think is going to happen at the draft and not what we think should happen. If you are looking for what we as a consolidated group at The Prospect Network, check out our latest rankings from January: January Top 62
Also, please note that the order of the picks may look a little different because we used PTS% instead of raw point totals.
The Lottery Picks
- Detroit Red Wings: Alexis Lafreniere, LW
- TPN Ranking (Jan): 1
- Rimouski, QMJHL
- 50 GP/35 G/74 A/109 P
With the first pick, Detroit grabs by far the best player available in the draft, turning their franchise around in an instant. There is absolutely no doubt about who Detroit or any team selecting first is picking. Its an obvious choice. Lafreniere is averaging 2.18 P/GP this season in the Q and should be an immediate impact player in the NHL. It’s not out of the question that he could be a point per game player as early as next season; Alexis is simply an all-round fantastic talent who would be revolutionary for Detroit.
2. Los Angeles Kings: Quinton Byfield, C
- TPN Ranking (Jan): 2
- 6’5″/214 lbs
- Sudbury, OHL
- 44 GP/32 G/49 A/81 P
The Kings opt for Quinton Byfield here, who has long been the consensus #2 in the draft. Byfield will be a top centre for the Kings one day, and even though they have lots of centre depth in their prospect pool, they don’t let that influence their decision here. Byfield is too good of a prospect to pass up on and can be converted to a winger if necessary. Byfield’s dynamic speed and size combination has scouts exhilarated at his potential. Watching him play, Evgeni Malkin is the obvious comparison that comes to mind; Byfield’s ceiling is about that. Still, Byfield has a lot of areas to improve before he is ready to be a great NHL player.
3. Ottawa Senators: Jamie Drysdale, D
- TPN Ranking (Jan): 8
- Erie, OHL
- 47 GP/9 G/36 A/45 P
With their first of two top-five picks, Ottawa selects D Jamie Drysdale, getting far and away the top defenseman in the draft. While we had Drysdale ranked a little lower at 8th in our last rankings, top defensemen who can skate do not last long in the draft. Ottawa takes him, fearing they won’t be able to get a d-man at #5 if they pass and take Stutzle instead. Drysdale’s skating is the best of any defenseman in the class and combining that with his hockey sense, you have a two-way defenseman who drives play. Drysdale may not be an incredible offensive threat at this stage of his career (he’s really good but not Hughes or Makar level) but the potential to be dominant offensively is absolutely present in his game.
4. Anaheim Ducks: Tim Stutzle, C
- TPN Ranking (Jan): 5
- Mannheim, DEL
- 40 GP/7 G/26 A/33 P
With Ottawa taking Drysdale, Anaheim is thrilled to select German star Tim Stutzle at number four. Stutzle has the potential to be a superstar forward with his dynamic skating, puckhandling and playmaking abilities. There’s a good chance Stutzle is in the NHL next season. If not, another pro season in either the AHL or DEL will help him develop even further. Stutzle has to add a lot of strength before he can really show how good he is. Once he does that, NHL defenders are going to have a tough time containing him. It’s not impossible that Stutzle ends up being the best offensive player in the draft. Check out this profile on Stutzle from earlier this season:
5. Ottawa Senators (from SJS): Marco Rossi, C
- TPN Ranking (Jan): 6
- Ottawa, OHL
- 53 GP/36 G/74 A/110 P
With their 2nd pick, the Ottawa Senators select Ottawa 67’s centre Marco Rossi, who currently has 110 points in 53 OHL games. Although we currently have Raymond and Lundell ranked higher than Rossi, we feel Ottawa will want to take a centre and Rossi is a more likely candidate to hear his name in the top five than Anton Lundell. The amazing talent that Rossi is has become especially prevalent this season. Rossi is a likely first line centre at the NHL level, which is rare to get with the 5th overall pick. Worst case scenario is that Rossi is a defensively responsible 2nd line centre.
6. New Jersey Devils: Lucas Raymond, RW
- TPN Ranking (Jan): 3
- Frolunda, SHL
- 31 GP/4 G/5 A/9 P
The Devils are thrilled to add Raymond at pick number 6, bolstering an impressive young group of forwards. Many still consider Raymond to be a top-3 player in the class. Raymond is a smooth-skating, intelligent forward who has been playing down the lineup on a deep Frolunda team this season. Despite not having the most fortunate season, Raymond’s NHL potential remains sky-high. He is likely one year out from playing in the NHL, where he could be a contributor from day one.
7. Buffalo Sabres: Alexander Holtz, RW
- TPN Ranking (Jan): 7
- Djurgardens, SHL
- 32 GP/9 G/7 A/16 P
The Sabres nab swedish sniper Alexander Holtz with the 7th pick. Holtz has been a heralded prospect in Sweden for many years now and this season he has found success playing in the SHL; his 0.50 SHL points per game is the most for a U18 player since 2003. Holtz has a wicked shot and will help Buffalo’s powerplay as soon as he steps into the NHL. He’s not an amazing skater but is one of the most skilled forwards in the draft. Getting Holtz at seven is an overall win for the Buffalo Sabres. Check out this profile on Holtz from early in the season:
8. Chicago Blackhawks: Cole Perfetti, LW
- TPN Ranking (Jan): 10
- Saginaw, OHL
- 59 GP/36 G/69 A/105 P
The Blackhawks are drawn to dazzling left-winger Cole Perfetti at pick number 8. Perfetti has continued to pile up points this year, now sitting at 105 in just 59 games. As one of the smartest players and one of the top shooters in the draft, Perfetti’s NHL potential is limitless. Real question marks exist with his lack of strength, speed and two-way game, but everything else from agility to puck control to shooting to hockey sense are all top 10 in the class. Perfetti needs at least one more season in Saginaw to work on his game. Check out this detailed look by Sam on Perfetti’s game from earlier this season:
9. Montreal Canadiens: Jake Sanderson, D
- TPN Ranking (Jan): 30
- USNTDP U18
- 45 GP/7 G/20 A/27 P
The Habs take Sanderson, who has emerged as the top left-handed defenseman in the draft class. We were pretty low on him in our January rankings compared to some other draft pundits and still maybe a little more skeptical on him than most. Nonetheless, Sanderson is a definite riser who teams will reach on. Rarely ever does the top 10 only have one defenseman selected and Sanderson seems to be slated as the type of player who will be the 2nd defender off the board. With his excellent skating and defensive abilities it’s not hard to see why he is rising up boards and getting top 10 discussion.
10. New Jersey (from ARI): Anton Lundell, C
- TPN Ranking (Jan): 4
- HIFK, Liiga
- 41 GP/9 G/17 A/26 P
New Jersey walks away with C Anton Lundell at #10, which is a steal for them. Lundell is an excellent two-way forward who has played a really sound game in the Liiga this season. At The Prospect Network, we had Lundell ranked 4th and Raymond 3rd. This might change in our upcoming rankings, but walking away with those two players at 6 and 10 is amazing value for New Jersey. Going forward with Hughes, Hischier, Raymond, and Lundell as a forward core certaintly isn’t a bad look for New Jersey.
11. Winnipeg Jets: Dylan Holloway, LW
- TPN Ranking (Jan): 12
- Wisconsin, NCAA
- 33 GP/7 G/9 A/16 P
Dylan Holloway seems like a fit for the Jets, who are in need of defense but feel they can get better value in a forward with the 11th pick. Holloway is a versatile, dynamic forward who has underwhelmed on the scoresheet this year but does everything you would want in a prospect and is a safe bet to be at least a solid NHL player. When he returns for his sophmore season to Wisconsin, look for Holloway to put up more than twice as many points he did this season. He may be NHL-ready after that.
12. Nashville Predators: Jack Quinn, RW
- TPN Ranking (Jan): 31
- Ottawa, OHL
- 59 GP/48 G/35 A/83 P
The Predators grab a much-needed offensive addition in right-winger Jack Quinn, who has been on fire the latter part of the season. He has emerged this season as one of the top goal-scorers in the draft and teams will jump all over that. Quinn does play with a lot of talent, but he has no shortage of talent himself. It’s not easy to score 48 goals in your draft year and Predators fans should be excited about Quinn.
13. Florida Panthers: Kaiden Guhle, D
- TPN Ranking (Jan): 60
- Prince Albert, WHL
- 62 GP/11 G/29 A/40 P
Although we are WAY lower on Guhle than most, we feel NHL teams are going to be drawn to his skating, size, defense, and physicality combination. Ultimately, it’s Florida selecting him at 13, where he is the third defenseman off the board. For his lack of game-breaking talent, Guhle does have a high floor when it comes to his NHL projection and should be at least a solid defenseman at the NHL level.
14. New York Rangers: Noel Gunler, RW
- TPN Ranking (Jan): 9
- Lulea, SHL
- 43 GP/4 G/9 A/13 P
You can count on the Rangers to take a skilled European forward with their 1st round pick, and that’s exactly what they do here, selecting Noel Gunler, our #8 ranked player. Though he only has 4 goals this season, Gunler has maybe the best shot in the entire draft. Gunler has left a lot of scouts divided for a variety of reasons, but ultimately a team like the Rangers won’t let him fall too far.
15. New York Rangers (from CAR): Connor Zary, C
- TPN Ranking (Jan): 15
- Kamloops, WHL
- 54 GP/37 G/44 A/81 P
Connor Zary is a relatively “safe” prospect and the Rangers select him with the 15th pick, their second of back-to-back selections. Zary may not be the most impressive skater, but he does everything well and plays a style of game that is hard to complain about. Though the Rangers are looking for more of a 1st line centre, they are still centre-deprived and Zary projects as a strong two-way middle six centre at his peak.
The Playoff Teams
16. Minnesota Wild: Seth Jarvis, RW
- TPN Ranking (Jan): 47
- Portland, WHL
- 56 GP/41 G/53 A/94 P
Seth Jarvis has been a revelation this season, and the Wild are happy to take him with the 16th pick. By the time the draft rolls around, I wouldn’t be surprised if Jarvis finds himself in even higher regard amongst NHL teams. However, right now, Jarvis is going 16th to the Wild. Thanks to his lightning-quick speed, Jarvis has some of the highest offensive potential in the whole draft.
17. New Jersey Devils(from TBL via VAN): Braden Schneider, D
- TPN Ranking (Jan): 46
- Brandon, WHL
- 59 GP/7 G/35 A/42 P
Braden Schneider is a strong two-way defender who will hear his name called relatively early in the draft. Where Schneider excels is in the defensive zone. He is probably the best defensive defenseman in the draft. However, although his offensive and puck-moving game is improving, it’s not at a 1st round level, and this is a serious concern for a defenseman in today’s game. Nonetheless, the Devils are getting a solid player with the 18th pick.
18. Calgary Flames: Yaroslav Askarov, G
- TPN Ranking (Jan): 11
- SKA-Neva, VHL
- 18 GP/.920 SV%
Askarov could go anywhere from 3 to 20, it really just depends when a team is willing to go all in on a goalie. In our mock draft, we have him falling to 18 an getting selected by the Flames. The Flames already have a good goaltender in David Rittich, but he’s not a long-term elite goalie for the Flames. Askarov is probably a few years of development away from the NHL, but he has a strong chance to be one of the best goalies in the league.
19. Carolina Hurricanes (from TOR): Jan Mysak, C
- TPN Ranking (Jan): 13
- Hamilton, OHL
- 21 GP/15 G/9 A/24 P
Mysak seems to be the player the Twitter scouting community and the mainstream/NHL scouts disagree on the most. Since coming to the Hamilton Bulldogs, he has played well enough to garner the attention of the more NA-based scouts. The Hurricanes leap on him at pick number 20, having showed in the past they aren’t afraid to make untraditional selections.
20. Columbus Blue Jackets: Dawson Mercer, RW
- TPN Ranking (Jan): 17
- Chicoutimi, QMJHL
- 42 GP/24 G/36 A/60 P
The Blue Jackets select F Dawson Mercer, who put his name on the map early in the season with a hot start, earning himself a spot on Team Canada’s World Junior team. He has cooled off since but remains a top 20 prospect with two-way potential. Mercer will be a welcomed addition in Columbus.
21. Edmonton Oilers: Rodion Amirov, LW
- TPN Ranking (Jan): 14
- Tolpar, MHL
- 17 GP/10 G/12 A/22 P
It really surprised me the Oilers decided to take another defenseman in Broberg last year instead of drafting a potential superstar winger like Caufield. This year, they do go for their winger and take Russian Rodion Amirov, who has bounced around between the KHL, VHL, and MHL this season. Amirov is a swift skater who has shown dominance against his peers. The Oilers are hoping he can convert that dominance to the pros.
22. Ottawa Senators (from NYI): Mavrik Bourque, C
- TPN Ranking (Jan): 24
- Shawinigan, QMJHL
- 49 GP/29 G/42 A/71 P
Mavrik Bourque has racked up the points in Shawinigan this season. Playing a well-refined offensive game, Bourque will have teams’ interest in the mid 1st round. Ultimately, Ottawa lands Bourque with the Islanders’ selection. Bourque has improved a lot over the past season and a half, specifically in his skating and shot. If he continues this progression and overcomes what I still would describe as average skating, he could be a real stud for Ottawa one day. Check out this recent profile on Bourque:
23. Dallas Stars: John-Jason Peterka, RW
- TPN Ranking (Jan): 21
- EHC Munchen, DEL
- 41 GP/7 G/4 A/11 P
Dallas takes German forward John-Jason Peterka with the 23rd pick. Peterka really put his name on the map with a strong showing at the World Juniors. He has showed all season in the DEL that he is a hard-working and also skilled forward who has a high floor when it comes to his NHL potential. With more opportunity next season, Peterka will put up a lot more points and will have Stars fans more excited than they are now.
24. Minnesota Wild (frm PIT): William Wallinder, D
- TPN Ranking (Jan): 32
- MODO, SuperElit
- 36 GP/5 G/19 A/24 P
The Minnesota Wild are no stranger to unorthodox picks, and this Wallinder one is no different. It’s not that this pick is a reach, it’s just that Wallinder is a unique player. He hasn’t put up great numbers in junior nor the pros, and he also isn’t an exceptional two-way player. So why he is so highly regarded? Simply put, Wallinder has improved leaps and bounds and possesses the NHL potential teams look for in defensemen; his skating, size and puck-moving is what the Wild will be gambling on here.
25. Philadelphia Flyers: Hendrix Lapierre, C
- TPN Ranking (Jan): 20
- Chicoutimi, QMJHL
- 19 GP/2 G/15 A/17 P
At the beginning of the season, Hendrix Lapierre was firmly in my personal top-10. His vision is off the charts plus his skating and puck handling both check boxes. Lapierre had some struggles early on in the season and has dealt with concussion issues. Nonetheless, the Flyers take a worthy flyer on him with the 25th pick. Lapierre could become one of the best pure playmakers in the NHL one day.
26. Colorado Avalanche: Lukas Reichel, LW
- TPN Ranking (Jan): 23
- Berlin, DEL
- 41 GP/12 G/12 A/24 P
Reichel was virtually unknown before the season began. Oh, how things have changed. Reichel is now found on many first round lists. Elite skating and a slick shot are the hallmarks of Reichel’s game. He has put up 24 points in 41 DEL games this season, a number that would be getting a lot more attention if it weren’t for Stutzle’s 32 points in 39 games. Overall, Reichel is a skilled forward who oozes potential and the Avalanche are thrilled to select him with the 26th pick.
27. San Jose Sharks (from TBL): Justin Barron, D
- TPN Ranking (Jan): 39
- Halifax, QMJHL
- 32 GP/4 G/15 A/19 P
Once projected to be a top-15 pick before early season struggles and injury issues, Barron still finds himself in the 1st round based on some key tools and raw potential. The Sharks need a big hit in their drafting if they want to sort out their future. Barron presents an opportunity to replace some of their aging players and provide a steady two-way presence from the back-end.
28. Vegas Golden Knights: Roni Hirvonen, C
- TPN Ranking (Jan): 22
- Assat, Liiga
- 51 GP/5 G/11 A/16 P
Hirvonen, being an undersized centre may not go quite as high as we’d like him to at The Prospect Network, but he likely still falls into the first round with his impressive pro season. Hirvonen is a smaller centre who’s good in every area but doesn’t stand in out in any particular category. His career at the same age is tracking similar to Sebastian Aho, which is the most Vegas can possibly hope for with this pick.
29. Washington Capitals: Helge Grans, D
- TPN Ranking (Jan): 33
- Malmo, SHL
- 20 GP/1 G/1 A/2 P
Helge Grans played very well in the SuperElit the first half of the season, and now he’s getting time to prove himself in the SHL. Grans is a solid player in almost every aspect, there’s just not anything that stands out as having high NHL potential. Grans fits into the mould of low-ceiling, high-floor type of player, which is really all the Capitals are looking for right now.
30. St. Louis Blues: Tyson Foertser, RW
- TPN Ranking (Jan): 38
- Barrie, OHL
- 60 GP/36 G/44 A/80 P
Foerster is a player who has impressed me over and over again this season. Rising all year long, we’re predicting Foerster hears his name called on day one in June. The Blues are already a team without any major weaknesses, but adding a skilled winger like Foerster certaintly won’t hurt their outlook. Foerster owns one of the best shots in the draft. I wrote a profile about him here from just over a week ago:
31. Anaheim Ducks (from BOS): Jeremie Poirier, D
- TPN Ranking (Jan): 19
- Saint John, QMJHL
- 63 GP/20 G/33 A/53 P
With the pick acquired in the Ondrej Kase trade, the Ducks select polarizing offensive defenseman Jeremie Poirier, who is phenomenal in some aspects and very weak in others. Poirier is an elite offensive defenseman in terms of his puck handling and shot and ability to rush the puck. However, Poirier’s skating is not elite and his defense is very poor. He is definitely a project for whatever team drafts him. Fortunately, for that team, which is the Anaheim Ducks here, the talent he already has is incredible.