Can you believe that we’re already made it to the 2016 Draft in our prospect countdown? This marks the ninth instalment of the prospect series where I take a look at the 7-15th overall picks from the past decade to see if there are any lessons to learn. As always, I’ve looked at the guys selected in that range and tracked when they broke into the league and how they’ve done since Draft day. As you can imagine, there has been a mixed bag of prospects in almost every year and it’s kinda making me believe that the Draft is voodoo. That said, there is work to be done and prospects to track and I intend on doing it.
With that in mind, we dive into the 2016 NHL Draft.
Clayton Keller (7) – C – Arizona Coyotes
Rookie Season (2017-18 w/ Arizona Coyotes): 82GP – 23G, 42A for 65 points
“Clayton Keller is an offense first forward who uses his high end skating and excellent puck control to be a dangerous player in the offensive zone. With exceptional on-ice vision, Keller has the ability to make defenders look foolish on a nightly basis with shifty dangles, a lethal wrist shot, and deadly accurate passing. He has excellent situational awareness which enables him to also play a sound two-way game and be used in all situations, including on the penalty kill. Diminutive in stature but not shy in traffic, Keller will need to grow into his body and show that he can withstand a long season against larger forwards before he can cement a job in the NHL.”
Alexander Nylander (8) – RW – Buffalo Sabres
2017-18 Season: AHL: 51GP – 8G, 19A for 27 points
Rookie Season: Hasn’t had one yet, only a cup of coffee
“Brother of William Nylander of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Alex is a similarly skilled offensive winger. He has fast hands, quick feet and a great shot. While slightly undersized by pro standards, he has begun showing signs of engaging in the physical side of the game but still needs to add some weight and strength. As he continues to develop physically and adjust to the North American game, expect his dynamic offensive skill set to continue to break through and for Nylander to dominate the OHL.”
Mikhail Sergachev (9) – D – Montreal Canadiens
Rookie Season (2017-18 w/ Tampa Bay Lightning): 79GP – 9G, 31A for 40 points
“Sergachev is seeing his draft status raise like Ivan Provorov and Travis Sanheim skyrocketed up the charts in the previous drafts. Sergachev is an attractive prospect to NHL scouts as he uses his size to his advantage in his defensive game. He is able to plow the front of his net effectively and separate the man from the puck with a hit. Offensively he shows good instincts and an ability to run a power play. He has a big shot and finds shooting lanes and makes quick, accurate and smart passes.”
|2017-18||Tampa Bay Lightning||NHL||79||9||31||40||38||11||17||2||3||5||12|
Tyson Jost (10) – C – Colorado Avalanche
Rookie Season (2017-18 w/ Colorado): 65GP – 12G, 10A for 22 points
“With elite hockey sense, top-end skating, and a competitiveness that is off of the charts, Jost can be counted on to play heavy minutes in every situation with effectiveness. Able to protect the puck from checkers, he is capable of controlling the play by utilizing exceptional anticipation and finding seams to generate offense. Combining a wicked wrist shot that he is liable to release from anywhere and at any time, with the ability to thread a cross-ice pass, Tyson is a dangerous offensive player whenever he steps on the ice.”
|2017-18||San Antonio Rampage||AHL||5||1||1||2||0||1|
Logan Brown (11) – C- Ottawa Senators
2017-18 Season: OHL: 32GP – 22G, 26A for 48 points
Rookie Season: Hasn’t happened yet, just a cup of coffee for the young lad.
“He boasts one of the best combinations of size and skill in the whole draft and has an impressive package of vision, stickhandling and elite playmaking ability. Add this all up and you get visions of Joe Thornton dancing in your head. The scariest thing about Brown, for opponents at least, is that he may be still growing. He grew half an inch this past season. The main knock against him is his strength but he worked to rectify this by cutting his body fat to get stronger and faster. With Colin White and now Logan Brown in the pipeline, Ottawa is starting to build some impressive prospect depth down the middle.”
Michael McLeod (12) – C – New Jersey Devils
2017-18 Season: OHL: 38GP – 16G, 28A for 44 points
Rookie Season: If he doesn’t get his rookie season in soon, just wait longer
“His stock has been steadily rising and he had a strong start to the OHL season. If he continues to shine he could push his ranking into the top five overall. McLeod has an impressive package of skill, skating, smarts and speed. McLeod possesses leadership qualities, is dominant on draws has excellent playmaking skills but his strongest asset is his acceleration and speed. While his offensive upside may never win him a scoring championship and he may not even lead his team in scoring, McLeod forecasts to be an extremely valuable player much like Jonathan Toews.”
Jake Bean (13) – D – Carolina Hurricanes
2017-18 Season: 57GP – 12G, 36A for 48 points
Rookie Season: One day, Bean. One day.
“Bean is a prolific offensive defenseman who combines fluid skating, deft passing and a strong, accurate point shot, and is able to play in all situations due to his excellent hockey sense. Jake is extremely effective in puck retrieval, though he could still improve the speed of his decision making, and is excellent at carrying the puck up the ice through traffic. While not physically imposing, Bean does not shy away from physical contact but he could stand to get stronger so as to match up against bigger forwards more effectively. His overall positioning is solid and he is able to close gaps on attackers due to excellent two-step quickness.”
Charlie McAvoy (14) – D – Boston Bruins
Rookie Season (2017-18 w/ Boston Bruins): 63GP – 7G, 25A for 32 points
“Having just completed his freshman year at Boston University, Charlie McAvoy is a fleet footed offensive defenseman who combines solid physical play and situational awareness. Merging a powerful yet agile skating stride with excellent hockey sense, McAvoy can lead the rush up ice and find seams through defenders when penetrating the zone with ease. McAvoy is superb in transition, able to retrieve the puck quickly, and can change the flow of play in an instant, but he can still be caught out of position trying to generate scoring chances. He has a hard and accurate slap shot from the point, and a nifty wrister, as well being capable of spotting teammates with laser precision passes right on the tape. Solidly built, McAvoy can also lay punishing hits along the boards as well as absorbing punishment for forecheckers. He has all the tools to be an all around defender in the NHL.”
Luke Kunin (15) – C – Minnesota Wild
2017-18 Season: AHL: 36GP – 10G, 9A for 19 points
Rookie Season (2017-18 w/ Minnesota Wild): Cup of coffee, not a full rookie season
“Kunin scored nearly a point per game pace in his draft year with Wisconsin and finished strong with nine goals in his final ten games. . He shows promise as a terrific source of secondary scoring but every so often will tease a phenomenal shot. He’s got a good motor whether he has the puck on his stick or if he’s engaging in a board battle. Blessed with skill, smarts and a work ethic to match Kunin is effective on both sides of the puck, brings leadership qualities and can get under opponents skin to boot. Kunin will return for another year of seasoning in the NCAA.”
Now that we’re getting to the more recent Drafts, it’s not overly surprising that some of the players listed still haven’t made the jump to the NHL yet. That said, there are a few guys that have made the jump and are already making waves in the show and that’s the business we’re looking for. I feel like with the 2016 Draft class, and the 2017 class that’s coming up tomorrow, it’s too early to make the call on whether or not the pick was good or not, but there are still lessons to be learned. What do you guys think?