David McKnight explains March mock draft choices

First Round

1. Buffalo (Ryan Wagman) – Connor McDavid, C, Erie (OHL)

2. Edmonton (Craig Smith) – Jack Eichel, C, Boston University (HE)

3. Phoenix – Noah Hanifin, D, Boston College (Hockey East)

The Coyotes add a high end defenceman to their stable of exciting, young players.  Great skater who can move the puck well and also takes care of business in his own end.

4. Toronto (Benoit Roy) – Dylan Strome, C, Erie (OHL)

5. Carolina (Ryan) – Mitchell Marner, C/RW, London (OHL)

6. Columbus (Craig) – Ivan Provorov, D, Brandon (WHL)

7. New Jersey – Zach Werenski, D, Michigan (Big 10)

The Devils love to build from the back end out and this will be a big addition to their rebuild.  Quick, puck moving defenceman with a good shot.  Future power play quarterback.

8. Philadelphia (Benoit) – Lawson Crouse, LW, Kingston (OHL)

9. Dallas (Ryan) – Mikko Rantanen, RW, TPS (Liiga)

10. Colorado (Craig) – Jakub Zboril, D, Saint John (QMJHL)

11. Florida – Pavel Zacha, C, Sarnia (OHL)

Smart player who has great offensive skills.  Hasn’t put up huge numbers in his first year in North America, but plays a solid, all-around game.

12. San Jose (Benoit) – Matthew Barzal, C, Seattle (WHL)

13. Ottawa (Ryan) – Kyle Connor, C, Youngstown (USHL)

14. Los Angeles (pick will go to Carolina if LA makes the playoffs) (Craig) – Travis Konecny, C, Ottawa (OHL)

15. Winnipeg – Timo Meier, RW, Halifax (QMJHL)

The Jets add another skilled player to their excellent stable of prospects.  Future power forward who has great skill with the puck.  Could be re-united with current teammate Nikolaj Ehlers in Winnipeg.

16. Calgary (Benoit) – Paul Bittner, LW, Portland (WHL)

17. Boston (Ryan) – Oliver Kylington, D, Farjestad (SHL)

18. Vancouver (Craig) – Thomas Chabot, D, Saint John (QMJHL)

19. Minnesota – Evgeny Svechnikov, LW, Cape Breton (QMJHL)

Very successful first year in North America on a team that hasn’t lived up to expectations.  Power forward type player who isn’t afraid to play physical and has a very good shot.

20. Washington (Benoit) – Joel Ek Eriksson, C, Farjestad JR (Swe-Jr)

21. Detroit (Ryan) – Nick Merkley, C, Kelowna (WHL)

22. Edmonton (from Pittsburgh) (Craig) – Jeremy Roy, D, Sherbrooke (QMJHL)

23. Arizona – Daniel Sprong, RW, Charlottetown (QMJHL)

Explosive offensive player who has the ability to take over a game.  Loves to have the puck on his stick and has the ability to make plays at high speed.

24. Buffalo (from NY Islanders) (Benoit) – Jansen Harkins, C, Prince George (WHL)

25. Philadelphia (from Tampa Bay) (Ryan) – Jeremy Bracco, C/RW – USNTDP (USHL)

26. Toronto (from Nashville) (Craig) – Anthony Beauvillier, LW/C, Shawinigan (QMJHL)

27. Winnipeg – Brandon Carlo, D, Tri-City (WHL)

Big defenceman with good mobility and speed who plays a shutdown game.  Still working on the offensive side of the game to become a more all-around defenceman.

28. Montreal (Benoit) – Colin White, RW, USNTDP (USHL)

29. Anaheim (Ryan) – Brock Boeser, RW, Waterloo (USHL)

30. Tampa Bay (from NY Rangers) (Craig) – Jacob Larsson, D, Frolunda Jr (Swe Jr)


Second Round

31. Buffalo – Filip Chlapik, C, Charlottetown (QMJHL)

Highly skilled forward has made a big impact in his first season in North America.  His excellent vision has made for a good combination with fellow draft prospect Daniel Sprong.

32. Edmonton (Benoit) – Jake DeBrusk, LW, Swift Current (WHL)

33. Arizona (Ryan) – Matthew Spencer, D, Peterborough (OHL)

34. Columbus (from Toronto via Los Angeles) (Craig) – Thomas Novak, C, Waterloo (USHL)

35. Carolina – Nicolas Meloche, D, Baie-Comeau (QMJHL)

Physical defenceman with good size.  Makes strong outlet passes and has a good shot from the point.  Out with an injury since late January and the Drakkar have struggled in his absence.

36. Columbus (Benoit) – Jens Looke, RW, Brynas (SHL)

37. New Jersey (Ryan) – Dennis Yan, LW, Shawinigan (QMJHL)

38. Boston (from Philadelphia via NY Islanders) (Craig) – Jordan Greenway, LW, USA-U18 (USHL)

39. Ottawa – Mitchell Vande Sompel, D, Oshawa (OHL)

Smooth skating, puck moving defencenman who has a plethora of offensive tools.  While not overly big or strong, he has a great shot and has future power play quarterback potential.

40. Colorado (Benoit) – Blake Speers, RW, Sault Ste Maire (OHL)

41. New Jersey (from Florida) (Ryan) – Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson, C, Omaha (USHL)

42. San Jose (Craig) – Andrew Mangiapane, RW/LW, Barrie (OHL)

43. Ottawa – Adam Musil, C, Red Deer (WHL)

Power forward who is often a handful for defenders to contain.  May not put up big offensive numbers, but is a hard worker who consistently plays with high intensity.

44. Los Angeles (from Los Angeles via Buffalo) (Benoit) – Ryan Pilon, D, Brandon (WHL)

45. Winnipeg (Ryan) – Jack Roslovic, C, USNTDP (USHL)

46. Calgary (Craig) – Nikita Korostelev, RW, Sarnia (OHL)

47. Tampa Bay – Erik Cernak, D, Kosice (Slovakia)

Big defenceman who may be a bit of a project, but has good upside.  Chipped in with two assists and was one of the few plus players on the bronze medal winning Slovakian squad at the World Juniors.

48. Calgary (from Vancouver) (Benoit)  – Travis Dermott, D, Erie (OHL)

49. Minnesota (Ryan) – Mackenzie Blackwood, G, Barrie (OHL)

50. Calgary (from Washington) (Craig) – Filip Ahl, LW, HV71 Jr (Swe Jr)

51. Dallas – Roope Hintz, LW, Ilves (Finland)

Very good skater and possesses a number of offensive tools.  Big, intelligent and by all accounts has more than held his own playing in the men’s pro league in Finland.

52. Pittsburgh (Benoit) – Gabriel Gagne, RW, Victoriaville (QMJHL)

53. Philadelphia (from Chicago) (Ryan) – Vince Dunn, D, Niagara (OHL)

54. Chicago (compensation for not signing Kevin Hayes) (Craig) – Parker Wotherspoon, D, Tri City (WHL)

55. Buffalo – Guillaume Brisebois, D, Acadie-Bathurst (QMJHL)

One of the few bright spots in a very forgettable season for the Titan.  Extremely smart defenceman who makes a lot of the simple plays in the course of a game.  Captain of his team at only 17.

56. NY Rangers (from Tampa Bay) (Benoit) – Zachary Senyshyn, RW, Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)

57. Nashville (Ryan) – Austin Wagner, LW, Regina (WHL)

58. St. Louis (Craig) – Nicholas Roy, C, Chicoutimi (QMJHL)

59. Edmonton – Graham Knott, LW, Niagara (OHL)

Good all-around player who plays a tenacious style of game.  Quick, accurate shot and is having a pretty good offensive season tied for second in goals on the IceDogs.

60. Columbus (from Anaheim) (Benoit)- Ryan Gropp, LW, Seattle (WHL)

61. Arizona (from NY Rangers) (Ryan) – Alexander Dergachyov, C, SKA St

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