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2016 NHL Entry Draft Top 30 Prospects (Late February Rankings)

I have looked at numerous scouting lists and breaking down the ranking of a variety of different list theses are the top 30 prospects I have come up with  for the 2016 NHL draft as of late February averaging out the differing ranking between each of the lists I compared. When you can’t physically scout every player yourself, I believe the best you can do is rely on information from other sources and combine it, so that’s what you’re getting with the list.

Stats as of end of the night February 20th, 2016

#1 – C Auston Matthews
6’2″ 194 lbs
Born: 1997-09-17 (USA)
2015-16 Stats
Zurich Lions (NLA) GP 32, G 23, A 15, PTS 38, PIM 6
USA (WJC) GP 7, G 7, A 4, PTS 11, PIM 2
Elite Prospects Link  – Player Profile on Zurich Lions Website – Player Profile on USA Hockey Website for 2015 U18
EP Scouting Report: A high octane dynamo that thrives under the microscope, Auston Matthews is a complete offensive forward who consistently boasts quick hands, feet, and thinking at both ends of the ice. Naturally nimble skater that accelerates to top speed very quickly. An unwavering focus on fine tuning elements of his own game facilitates confidence and competence in his young, but mature, mind. Prolific goal scoring ability and doesn’t wait for opportunities to show themselves. He makes his own luck, so to speak, maximizing the use of his body and stick to gain leverage against the toughest of opponents. All-in-all, a generational talent that has the potential to develop into a top flight franchise center. (Curtis Joe, EP 2016)

#2 – W Patrik Laine
6’4″ 207 lbs
Born: 1998-04-19 (Finland)
2015-16 Stats
Tappara Tampere (SM-Liiga) GP 38, G 15, A 15, PTS 30, PIM 2
Finland (WJC) GP 7, G 7, A 6, PTS 13, PIM 6
Elite Prospect Link  – Player Profile on Tappara Tampere Website
EP Scouting Report: Laine is a towering winger with a knack for scoring big goals. A good skater, albeit not the most agile forward in traffic. Has a set of soft hands combined with good vision, but prefers to use his swift and heavy shot. Able to find openings to use his shot. Likes to play physical, but doesn’t get carried away by hitting the opponents. Playing in pro ranks has matured his game considerably. (EP 2016)

#3 – RW Jesse Puljujarvi
6’3″ 201 lbs
Born: 1998-05-07 (Finland)
2015-16 Stats
Karpat (SM-Liiga) GP 46, G 11, A 14, PTS 25, PIM 20
Finland (WJC) GP 7, G 5, A 12, PTS 17, PIM 0
Elite Prospect Link  – Player Profile on Karpat Website
EP Scouting Report: Puljujärvi is a big winger who combines size, skating and skill. A strong skater who can blast past the opposition in full speed. Able to use his size, reach and stickhandling skills to retain the puck in speed. A smart player at both ends of the ice, both on and off the puck. Great work ethic and positive attitude. More of a playmaker than a scorer and could improve his shooting skills. Doesn’t shy away from physical play, but could use his size more to his benefit. (EP 2016)

#4 – LW Matthew Tkachuk
6’1″ 194 lbs
Born: 1997-12-11 (USA)
2015-16 Stats
London Knights (OHL) GP 45, G 22, A 64, PTS 86, PIM 74
USA (WJC) GP 7, G 4, A 7, PTS 11, PIM 6
Elite Prospect Link  – Player Profile on London Knights Website – Player Profile on USA Hockey Website for 2015 U18
Scouting Report: A multi-dimensional energy winger that plays a pro-style, adaptive game. Well-versed as a guy who can consistently put up points, but also as an agitator who plays with a little bit of bite and nastiness. Skates with excellent balance and speed, outclassing many in his age range. No lack of offensive instincts and knows how to score in many different ways. Confidence in his abilities and playing to the extent of his capabilities strengthens his work ethic and creativity. All-in-all, a unique and effective forward who defines his own limits and seeks to exceed them, along with all on-ice expectations. (Curtis Joe, EP 2016)
NHL Central Scouting’s David Gregory said. “He brings every element of the game that you need to bring, aside from the fact how skilled he is and what he brings with hockey sense. He’s got one of the best compete levels of anyone in this draft.” Retired NHL player Jeremy Roenick, who coached Tkachuk in the All-American Top Prospects Game, thought the son of U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame member Keith Tkachuk was the most impressive player in the game. “I thought his compete level and intelligence really stood out; he knew where to go, and at that age it’s rare to see kids like that knowing where to go with the puck before they get it,” Roenick said. (Mike G. Morreale, NHL.com article September 29th, 2015)
“[Tkachuk] has elite hockey IQ and vision,” NHL Central Scouting’s Matt Ryan said. “He makes the players around him better and has a very good scoring touch around the net. He plays inside the dots and is willing to go to the hard areas to score goals. He brings a physical element and is able to get under the skin of his opponents.” (Mike. F Morreale, NHL.com article November 24th, 2015)

#5 – D Jakub Chychrun
6’2″ 194 lbs
Born: 1998-03-31 (USA) Canadian Citizen
2015-16 Stats
Sarnia Sting (OHL) GP 53, G 9, A 30, PTS 39, PIM 36
Elite Prospect Link  – Player Profile on Sarnia Sting Website
Scouting Report: “Defenseman Jakob Chychrun brings size, speed, toughness and a cracking shot to the ice and really; you can’t ask for much more in a prospect. That’s why the Sarnia Sting sophomore will be the top 2016 draft hopeful to watch in North America this season and by far the most coveted defenseman.” (Ryan Kennedy, The Hockey News September 22, 2015)
“I saw Chychrun a lot last year before his injury, and again after he returned, and he has an all-around game,” Central Scouting’s Al Jensen said. “I haven’t seen a young defenseman with this type of skill set in his draft year since Scott Stevens. Jakob has that drive and determination, and when I look in his eyes you can see it. He’s almost NHL-ready right now.” “People will be very impressed with this kid; he’s got a phenomenal shot, he’s a leader and plays all situations, and his 1-on-1 coverage is great.” (Mike G. Morreale, NHL.com article September 29th, 2015)

#6 – W Alexander Nylander
6’0″ 176 lbs
Born: 1998-03-02 (Canada) Swedish Citizen
2015-16 Stats
Mississauga Steelheads (OHL) GP 48, G 28, A 41, PTS 69, PIM 8
Sweden (WJC) GP 7, G 3, A 5, PTS 9
Elite Prospect Link  – Player Profile on Mississauga Steelheads Website
Scouting Report: “Mississauga has been able to stockpile quite a collection of prospects for both the 2016 and 2017 NHL draft class,” Dan Marr, NHL Director of Central Scouting said. “Second-year players McLeod and Bastian continue to develop and contribute while establishing themselves as first-round considerations. Nylander is excelling on the smaller North American ice and the three of these players give Mississauga a uniqueness of having a line of first-round prospects.” (Mike. F Morreale, NHL.com article November 24th, 2015)
Talking to scouts working the Hlinka tournament, they inevitably use William as a measuring stick for Alexander. “Skilled like his big brother, shows a lot on the perimeter on the big ice,” one scout said of Nylander the younger. “Skates like William, same sort of size at the same stage, not physically mature, ” another said. Two scouts I talked to framed it the same way: “Not as flamboyant as his brother,” they said. That might be a comment on William even more than his little draft-eligible brother. “Flamboyant” isn’t a word that comes in many scouting reports. According to those at the tournament, Alexander was the best skater on the ice in any given shift he played in Sweden’s opening 4-3 victory over Switzerland, picking up a goal and assist.” (Gary Joyce, Sportsnet.com August 13th, 2015)

#7 – D Olli Juolevi
6’2″ 183 lbs
Born: 1998-05-05 (Finland)
2015-16 Stats
London Knights (OHL) GP 45, G 6, A 25, PTS 31, PIM 12
Finland (WJC) GP 7, G 0, A 9, PTS 9, PIM 4
Elite Prospect Link  – Player Profile on London Knights Website
Scouting Report: A competitive spark-plug, Olli Juolevi is a complete, all-around defenceman that can hem the opposition in their own end or make things difficult for the opposition at home; either way, he puts the pressure on and lays it on thick. A strong and balanced skater, he can rush the puck through the neutral zone with ease or backcheck with haste. Uses his size to his advantage, but knows his physical limits and plays within them. Instead of playing overly physical, he makes his presence felt by exhibiting his high-end playmaking ability and puck possession play. All-in-all, a well-rounded blueliner who thrives under pressure and can be trusted in all situations. (Curtis Joe, EP 2016)
NHL Central Scouting’s Matt Ryan said he feels Juolevi has proven to be very smart in his first OHL season.”He’s a smooth-skating defenseman with poise and composure,”Ryan also said. “He has the ability to play in every situation.” (Mike. F Morreale, NHL.com article November 24th, 2015)

#8 – C Michael McLeod
6’2″ 187 lbs
Born: 1998-02-03 (Canada)
2015-16 Stats
Mississauga Steelheads (OHL) GP 50, G 19, A 37, PTS 56, PIM 55
Elite Prospect Link  – Player Profile on Mississauga Steelheads Website
Scouting Report: Michael McLeod is a highly skilled power center that relies on nobody but himself to get the job done. His size and skating make him difficult to contain, and his competitiveness gives him an edge against other teams’ best. His deft puckhandling skills and control over his speed are the defining aspects of his offensive abilities. All-in-all, a top talent that is both dynamic and hard to play against. (Curtis Joe, EP 2015)
“Mississauga has been able to stockpile quite a collection of prospects for both the 2016 and 2017 NHL draft class,” Dan Marr, NHL Director of Central Scouting said. “Second-year players McLeod and Bastian continue to develop and contribute while establishing themselves as first-round considerations. Nylander is excelling on the smaller North American ice and the three of these players give Mississauga a uniqueness of having a line of first-round prospects.” (Mike. F Morreale, NHL.com article November 24th, 2015)

#9 – D Mikhail Sergachev
6’2″ 205 lbs
Born: 1998-06-25 (Russia)
2015-16 Stats
Windsor Spitfires (OHL) GP 55, G 14, A 29, PTS 43, PIM 46
Elite Prospect Link  – Roster Page on Windsor Spitfires Website
EP Scouting Report: A dominant two-way defenceman whose tenacity and competitiveness characterize his style of play. Plays with a poise and confidence that facilitates his creativity with the puck as well as split-second decision making. Naturally fluid skater who is always looking to be engaged, if not the center, of each unfolding play. All-in-all, a diligent two-way defenceman who excels at finding ways to be a difference-maker in games. (Curtis Joe, EP 2016)

#10 – W Pierre-Luc Dubois
6’3″ 201 lbs
Born: 1998-06-24 (Canada)
2015-16 Stats
Cape Breton Screaming Eagles (QMJHL) GP 55, G 35, A 47, PTS 82, PIM 91
Elite Prospect Link  – Player Profile on Cape Breton Screaming Eagles Website
Scouting Report: A dexterous and driven competitor that has all the makings of a dynamic two-way winger. Not the most electric skater, but is shifty and plays to the extent of his physical capabilities; he knows his limits and plays within them, which facilitates a student-like approach to the growth of his game. Possesses high hockey-IQ and is consistent in his efforts. Not the most physical player, but is when he needs to be. All-in-all, Dubois is an invaluable all-around player who plays in all situations and exceeds expectations when the opportunity arises. (Curtis Joe, EP 2016)
“[Dubois] is a big, skilled forward who plays a complete game,” Central Scouting’s Troy Dumville said. “He goes to traffic areas and plays with an edge, has good vision and very good hands in tight.” (Mike. F Morreale, NHL.com article November 24th, 2015)

#11 – C/LW Tyson Jost
6’0″ 194 lbs
Born: 1998-03-14 (Canada)
2015-16 Stats
Penticton Vees (BCHL) GP 45, G 39, A 56, PTS 95, PIM 39
Committed to University of North Dakota (NCAA) for 2016-17 Season
Elite Prospect Link  – Player Profile on Penticton Vees Website
EP Scouting Report: Tyson Jost is a crafty goal-scorer that carries out plays as quickly as he envisions them. As someone who thinks and plays at a fast tempo, it comes as no surprise that he creates a lot of energy as an offensive catalyst. He sees the ice very well and has the willingness and determination to win battles in the tough areas. All-in-all, a dynamic offensive forward with top-6 potential at the next level. (Curtis Joe, EP 2016)

#12 – RW Julien Gauthier
6’4″ 225 lbs
Born: 1997-10-15 (Canada)
2015-16 Stats
Val-d’Or Foreurs (QMJHL) GP 43, G 39, A 10, PTS 49
Canada (WJC) GP 5, G 0, A 2, PTS 2, PIM 0
Elite Prospect Link  – Player Profile on Val-d’Or Foreurs Website
Scouting Report: An explosive power forward who boasts an elite-level skill package. Takes nothing for granted and plays with hard-nosed work ethic. Tremendous vision and outstanding hockey sense; thrives under pressure and doesn’t stray from the high-percentage play. Willingness to play physical and win battles in his own end makes him a vital asset, stepping up at the game’s key moments. Exceptional skating ability allows him to stay with, if not ahead, of each unfolding play. Refined puckhandling skills allow him to maintain puck control at breakneck speeds. All-in-all, a prolific scorer whose attitude and innate abilities will constantly propel him into dominance. (Curtis Joe, EP 2016)
Julien Gauthier has drawn well-deserved comparisons to current NHLer Rick Nash. He has an imposing frame, dazzling puck skills, and the drive to win. Learns from his past mistakes and implements new strategies to counteract them. [EliteProspects 2016]
“Gauthier is the prototype power forward who skates well, plays with an edge and can score,” Dan Marr, NHL Director of Central Scouting said. “He’s continuing to grow as a player and has tremendous upside. It’s not often you have the combination of skating, skills and physical assets that are capable of finding ways to contribute.” (Mike. F Morreale, NHL.com article November 24th, 2015)

#13 – C Clayton Keller
5’10” 170 lbs
Born: 1998-07-29 (USA)
2015-16 Stats
US National U18 Team (USDP) GP 44, G 28, A 52, PTS 80, PIM 28
Commited to Boston University (NCAA) for 2016-17 Season
Elite Prospect Link  – Player Profile on USA Hockey Website for 2015 U18 – Player Profile on US National U18 Team Page
Scouting Report: “An offensive catalyst with USA’s national program, Keller is a world-class puck handler who blends his puck-on-a-string dangles with elite vision to confidently dissect opposing defences. His passing abilities are in a class of their own and he needs very little time and space to execute creative, highly difficult pass attempts. He mixes in deceptive fakes, stick misdirection and paralyzing agility to keep opposing teams guessing. In a similar mold as a Patrick Kane or Mitch Marner, Keller’s the type of player that teams run their offenses through due to their creativity and confidence under pressure. He’s not a one-trick pony either because his shooting abilities have dynamic elements as well.” (Kelly Friesen, Buzzing the Net, Yahoo.ca Article August 24, 2015)

#14 – LW Max Jones
6’3″ 201 lbs
Born: 1998-02-17 (USA)
2015-16 Stats
London Knights (OHL) GP 51, G 21, A 19, PTS 40, PIM 92
Elite Prospect Link  – Player Profile on London Knights Website
Scouting Report: Max Jones is a diligent and hard-working power forward capable of being an impact player every shift. He’s strong on the puck and routinely looks to create separation. He knows his game inside out and has a wide array of tools at his disposal. Strength and speed allow him to bull his way to the front of the net where he is relentless and creates havoc. Makes smart decisions with the puck and doesn’t give the opposition time and space. Possesses high-end finishing ability and “wills” the puck to the back of the net. All-in-all, a determined forward who puts tremendous pressure on his opponents when he’s on the ice. (Curtis Joe, EP 2016)
“[Jones] is a strong power forward who possesses great speed and acceleration, has a heavy shot and quick hands,” NHL Central Scouting’s Matt Ryan said. “He loves to drive the net and challenge defenders physically and is a nightmare for defenders below the hash marks in the offensive zone.” (Mike. F Morreale, NHL.com article November 24th, 2015)

#15 – D Charlie McAvoy
6’0″ 205 lbs
Born: 1997-12-21 (USA)
2015-16 Stats
Boston University Terriers (NCAA) GP 30, G 2, A 16, PTS 18, PIM 47
USA (WJC) GP 7, G 0, A 0, PTS 0, PIM 0
Elite Prospect Link  – Player Profile on USA Hockey Website for 2015 U18 – Player Profile on Boston University Terriers Website
Scouting Report: “We expect Charlie to make an immediate impact and play in all situations,” Boston University coach David Quinn said. “He’s got great skills and vision and he’s a big, strong kid that skates well. He’s one of the top freshman defensemen in college hockey.” (Mike G. Morreale, NHL.com article September 29th, 2015)
Playing very well as a freshman and was terrific at the world juniors on a power-play tandem with Zach Werenski. (Damien Cox, Sportsnet Draft Rankings, February 19th, 2016)

#16 – C/LW Kieffer Bellows
6’1″ 194 lbs
Born: 1998-06-10 (USA)
2015-16 Stats
US National U18 Team (USDP) GP 45, G 36, A 24, PTS 60, PIM 72
Elite Prospect Link  – Player Profile on US National U18 Team Page
EP Scouting Report: Kieffer Bellows is a skilled power forward that can dominate games. Possesses high end puckhandling ability as well as a crisp, accurate release on his shot. Proficient forechecker and loves to win puck battles, which stands out as a consistent part of his game. Strong skater that can bull through the opposition or go around them. Drives the net hard and is a decisive finisher. All-in-all, a competitor that punishes the opposition physically, as well as on the scoreboard. (Curtis Joe, EP 2016)
A pure sniper. He shoots from everywhere and is selfish in the way great goal-scorers need to be. (Damien Cox, Sportsnet Draft Rankings, February 19th, 2016)

#17 – D Dante Fabbro
6’1″ 185 lbs
Born: 1998-06-20 (Canada)
2015-16 Stats
Penticton Vees (BCHL) GP 42, G 14, A 49, PTS 63, PIM 28
Committed to Boston University (NCAA) for 2016-17 Season
Elite Prospect Link  – Player Profile on Penticton Vees Website
Scouting Report: Dante Fabbro is a dependable two-way defenseman with high offensive upside. He plays with poise and makes mature, high-percentage decisions under pressure. In his own end, he is proactive with both his body and stick, and does everything right to interrupt passing lanes and win back possession. With the puck on his stick, he is mobile at an elite level and can direct plays like a quarterback. He possesses a hard and accurate release on his shot, that he gets off quickly and on-net. All-in-all, a complete defenseman that plays a refined game at both ends of the ice. (Curtis Joe, EP 2015)
“Fabbro’s defensive tendencies and polished offensive game have often drawn comparisons to Tyson Barrie of the Colorado Avalanche. As a slick puck mover with excellent individual skill, Fabbro could become a huge difference maker at the next level.” [EP]
“Fabbro is a strong positional player with a very good read-and-react game,” Dan Marr, Director of NHL Central Scouting said. “He’s always in a good position to break up a play. He gets his point shot on the net; he was Canada’s best defenseman at 2015 Ivan Hlinka Memorial tournament.” (Mike G. Morreale, NHL.com article September 29th, 2015)

#18 – D Jake Bean
6’1″ 172 lbs
Born: 1998-09-06 (Canada)
2015-16 Stats
Calgary Hitmen (WHL) GP 57, G 22, A 31, PTS 53, PIM 24
Elite Prospect Link  – Player Profile on Calgary Hitmen Website
Scouting Report: A shifty and intelligent defenceman that plays with panache and poise. An excellent skater that is a good puck-carrier up the ice. Makes very good decisions with and without the puck, and plays strong positionally. Works hard and doesn’t give the opposition much to work with, but could stand to be a bit more assertive during high pressure situations. That being said, he is not a one dimentional player. He displays natural talent in the offensive end, but also plays a complete defensive game in his own end. He has a proactive stick and boxes the opposition out, limiting lanes. All-in-all, the type of all-around defenceman that you want to have on the ice as much as possible. (Curtis Joe, EP 2016)
It’s a down draft year for the ‘Dub,’ but Bean is one to watch. A whip-smart defenseman with an excellent stick, Bean is probably underrated defensively, where his positioning is excellent. When you put up 43 points in 46 games, that part can get overshadowed. (Ryan Kennedy, The Hockey News, January 26, 2016 Article)

#19 – C German Rubtsov
6’1″ 174 lbs
Born: 1998-06-27 (Russia)
2015-16 Stats
Team Russia U18 (MHL) GP 24, G 10, A 14, PTS 24, PIM 4
Elite Prospect Link  – Player Profile on Team Russia U18 Website
Scouting Report: Owns a projectable frame, great hands and plenty of skill. Also displays loads of two-way ability and is also an excellent playmaker from the center position.
Needs to add plenty of bulk and get physically stronger in order to maximize output at the National Hockey League level. Needs to prove he can produce on smaller ice. (The Hockey News Player Profile)
Impressed scouts with his play at World Junior Challenge in mid-December. (Damien Cox, Sportsnet Draft Rankings, February 19th, 2016)

#20 – C Logan Brown
6’6″ 218 lbs
Born: 1998-03-05 (USA) Canadian Citizen
2015-16 Stats
Windsor Spitfires (OHL) GP 47, G 11, A 41, PTS 52, PIM 34
Elite Prospect Link  – Roster Page on Windsor Spitfires Website
Scouting Report: “[Brown] is a typical case of bigger players requiring a little more time to develop and he had a slow start which was influenced by injury and suspension,” Dan Marr, NHL Director of Central Scouting said. “But now he is on top of his game and the results are showing. He moves deceptively well for his size and he knows how to utilize that size to dominate on the play and protect the puck. Logan has such good hands and puck skills for a big forward that he’s hard to stop when he’s driving to the net.” (Mike. F Morreale, NHL.com article November 24th, 2015)
Has good vision, thinks the game well and creates chances for teammates. Still growing, much to his chagrin. (Damien Cox, Sportsnet Draft Rankings, February 19th, 2016)

#21 – C Luke Kunin
6’0″ 196 lbs
Born: 1997-12-04
2015-16 Stats
University of Wisconsin Badgers (NCAA) GP 27, G 13, A 10, PTS 23, PIM 26
Elite Prospect Link  – Player Profile on University of Wisconsin Badgers Website
Scouting Report: A highly intelligent and offensively gifted forward. Has a keen eye for scoring opportunities and has shown flashes of elite-level finishing capability. Works hard and isn’t afraid to battle for puck possession. Good hands and puck skills, and has a really accurate release on his shot. Needs to work on his explosiveness, staying in motion with the play, and strength behind his shot. All-in-all, a gifted offensive force with the potential to blossom into a highlight reel player. (Curtis Joe, EP 2015)
Plays a simple, strong game and all three forward positions. Strong start at the U.S. Top Prospects Game last fall. (Damien Cox, Sportsnet Draft Rankings, February 19th, 2016)

#22 – LW Riley Tufte
6’5″ 190 lbs
Born: 1998-04-10 (USA)
2015-16 Stats
Blaine High (USHS) GP 25, G 47, A 31, PTS 78, PIM 53
Fargo Force (USHL) GP 12, G 5, A 1, PTS 6, PIM 8
Commited to University of Minnesota-Duluth (NCAA) for 2016-17 Season
Elite Prospect LinkPlayer Profile on USHL Website
Scouting Report: “The 2014 No. 1-overall pick in the USHL draft. Playing in high school now, headed to Minnesota-Duluth.” (Damien Cox, Sportsnet Draft Rankings, December 17, 2015)
“Will finish the year in the USHL with Fargo after his high school season ends this season. Drawing Nick Bjugstad comparisons.” (Damien Cox, Sportsnet Draft Rankings, February 19th, 2016)

#23 – D Logan Stanley
6’7″ 216 lbs
Born: 1998-05-26 (Canada)
2015-16 Stats
Windsor Spitfires (OHL) GP 53, G 5, A 11, PTS 16, PIM 97
Elite Prospect Link  – Roster Page on Windsor Spitfires Website
Scouting Report: One OHL exec says he’s the most improved player in the OHL. Has a mean streak and is very competitive. (Damien Cox, Sportsnet Draft Rankings, December 17, 2015)
“Plays tough against small players, tough against big players,” said one scout. Just keeps rising in the eyes of scouts. (Damien Cox, Sportsnet Draft Rankings, February 19th, 2016)

#24 – C Alex DeBrincat
5’7″ 161 lbs
Born: 1997-12-18 (USA)
2015-16 Stats
Erie Otters (OHL) GP 47, G 42, A 37, PTS 79, PIM 24
USA (WJC) GP 5, G 1, A 0, PTS 1, PIM 25
Elite Prospect Link  – Player Profile on Erie Otters Website
Scouting Report: “DeBrincat will be one of the more intriguing prospects scouted this year,” said Dan Marr, Director of NHL Central Scouting. “He has an obvious and unique skill set which combines well with his tenacity to score. While his size is not an asset, it’s not affected him from being able to consistently generate offence for his team.” (Mike G. Morreale, NHL.com article September 29th, 2015)

#25 – C/LW Rasmus Asplund
5’11” 176 lbs
Born: 1997-12-03 (Sweden)
2015-16 Stats
Farjestad KB (SHL) GP 39, G 4, A 7, PTS 11, PIM 12
Sweden (WJC) GP 7, G 3, A 2, PTS 5, PIM 6
Elite Prospect LinkPlayer Profile on Farjestad KB Website
Scouting Report: One of Sweden’s better players at the world juniors, Asplund centered the second line with Alexander Nylander (2016) and Dmytro Timashov (Toronto) on his wings. That unit played more like the first line, leading the Tre Kronor in scoring with 21 points in seven games. Coach Rikard Gronborg loved Asplund’s smarts and all-around game and despite being one of the youngest on the squad, Asplund almost made the team last year. Asplund is in his second SHL season with Farjestad and has already doubled his offensive output year over year. And while seven points in 31 games doesn’t sound like much, it’s good for top-12 amongst junior-aged players in Sweden’s best circuit. The top-rated Swede in Central Scouting’s mid-term rankings, Asplund will also be a crucial part of Sweden’s world junior squad next year, when the Tre Kronor try to erase consecutive fourth-place finishes. (Ryan Kennedy, The Hockey News, January 26, 2016 Article)

#26 – C/RW Tage Thompson
6’5″ 189 lbs
Born: 1997-10-30 (USA)
2015-16 Stats
University of Connecticut Huskies (NCAA) GP 32, G 12, A 16, PTS 28, PIM 10
Elite Prospect LinkPlayer Profile on USA Hockey Website for 2015 U18 – Player Profile on University of Connecticut Huskies Website
Scouting Report: Has a big shot and is scoring scoring as a freshman with the Huskies. Father Brent was a second-round pick by L.A. in ’89. He played 15 pro seasons. (Damien Cox, Sportsnet Draft Rankings, February 19th, 2016)

#27 – D Libor Hajek
6’2″ 196 lbs
Born: 1998-02-04 (Czech Rep.)
2015-16 Stats
Saskatoon Blades (WHL) GP 56, G 3, A 19, PTS 22, PIM 62
Elite Prospect LinkPlayer Profile on Saskatoon Blades Website
Scouting Report: “The second pick of 2015 the CHL Import Draft is a big, physical blueliner” (Damien Cox, Sportsnet Draft Rankings, October 15,2015)
“He’s a very good skater who offers lots of risk and reward.” (Damien Cox, Sportsnet Draft Rankings, November 18th, 2015)

#28 – LW Tyler Benson
6’0″ 201 lbs
Born: 1998-03-15 (Canada)
2015-16 Stats
Vancouver Giants (WHL) GP 28, G 8, A 18, PTS 26, PIM 40
Elite Prospect LinkPlayer Profile on Vancouver Giants Website
Scouting Report: “He reminds so much of Jamie Benn at the same age,” said Craig Button, the TSN commentator, former NHL GM in Calgary and scouting guru. “Tyler can make plays off the wing or score off the wing, and guys like him are rare. He thinks the game at such a high pace, and that translates when you can make plays, when everything around you is busy.” “For the most part, Tyler’s been our best player … you don’t like to say that about a 16-year-old, but he’s been that guy,” said Giants general manager Scott Bonner, “He kills penalties, he leads us in hits, and we have a guy doing Corsi and his puck-possession numbers are the best with those NHL stats,” said Bonner. “He’s more physically mature than most 16-year-olds.” “Tyler has huge legs and a huge trunk,” said Bonner. “He’s not a pretty skater, per se, but he’s quick and powerful.” (Jim Matheson, Edmonton Journal, Articlal, November 20th, 2014)

#29 – C Dillon Dube
5’10” 181 lbs
Born: 1998-07-20 (Canada)
2015-16 Stats
Kelowna Rockets (WHL) GP 53, G 22, A 34, PTS 56, PIM 46
Elite Prospect LinkPlayer Profile on Kelowna Rockets Website
Scouting Report: “Small, quick forward. Part of the Rockets’ Memorial Cup final squad last year.” (Damien Cox, Sportsnet Draft Rankings, October 15,2015)
“Some see him as a similar prospect to Travis Konecny.” (Damien Cox, Sportsnet Draft Rankings, November 18th, 2015)

#30 – F Nathan Bastian
6’4″ 207 lbs
Born: 1997-12-06 (Canada)
2015-16 Stats
Mississauga Steelheads (OHL) GP 53, G 18, A 34, PTS 52, PIM 46
Elite Prospect Link – Player Profile on Mississauga Steelheads Website
Scouting Report: “Mississauga has been able to stockpile quite a collection of prospects for both the 2016 and 2017 NHL draft class,” Dan Marr, NHL Director of Central Scouting said. “Second-year players McLeod and Bastian continue to develop and contribute while establishing themselves as first-round considerations. Nylander is excelling on the smaller North American ice and the three of these players give Mississauga a uniqueness of having a line of first-round prospects.” (Mike. F Morreale, NHL.com article November 24th, 2015)
“He’s going to have to work on different parts of his game. He’s going to have to get stronger physically. He’s going to have to improve his skating. He’s going to have to improve all facets of his game to be a pro. But he wants it. So his character will push him above some of those other guys.” Steelheads assistant coach James Richmond said. “He’s learning how and when to make certain plays.”  Bastian is the perfect sidekick for the scoring duo of Nylander and McLeod. “He’s the muscle for those two big guys” Richmond said of Bastian. Future Considerations Hockey director of scouting Dan Stewart says. “I really like the game that Bastian plays as he is that big, imposing winger that can complement skilled linemates well,” “Some are bred to play the piano and some are bred to move it. On that Steelheads top line with Nylander and McLeod, he is the piano mover.” Stewart counts Bastian’s offensive skills around the net, penalty-killing acumen and the decisions he makes on the ice as strengths. Becoming more reliable from shift to shift will only help his chances of reaching the NHL. “If he works on adding more strength and being more consistent in his efforts, he could be a real solid addition to an NHL roster a few seasons down the road.”  (Daniel Nugent-Bowman, Buzzing The Net, Yahoo.ca, January 27, 2016)

 
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