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5/28/2016 9:12 am  #1

2016 CHL 3rd Round Mock Draft

45. Vancouver Canucks
LHD Lucas Johansen (Kelowna Rockets, WHL): Kelowna’s top defender who has excellent instincts and makes very good reads. What makes him stand out is that he understands the nuances of becoming a consistent three-zone player. Johansen is a very good skater who loves to jump into the attack and has even outskated his forwards in order to lend puck support. He can run a power play with efficiency, but he needs to fill into his 6’1 frame in order to be more consistent during chest-to-chest battles. Johansen has a very good shot and makes clean plays in tight spaces in the offensive zone.
46. Detroit Red WIngs
RHD Frederic Allard (Chicoutimi Sagueneens, QMJHL): The Red Wings’ blue line has been devoid of on-ice leadership for the last few seasons, and it’s clearly affecting them this season. Allard won’t provide immediate help, but the leadership qualities and minute-munching he displayed for an overachieving Chicoutimi squad should make him a no-brainer for the Wings. He has a very hard shot, and he doesn’t shy away from using it. His one-on-one play is among the QMJHL’s best, and he will do whatever it takes to win.
47. Florida Panthers
W/C Janne Kuokkanen (Karpat U20, Liiga Jrs): Tall, lean puck distributor who we expect to beef up when it’s time to make the jump to North America. Kuokkanen is a highly-cerebral player, using patience and precision passing to carve up any defensive scheme. He’s been a star for Finland in the international circuit, culminating with a superb performance and a gold medal at the U18 World championship. His instant chemistry with Jesse Puljujarvi is something to keep an eye on — both should play for Karpat if Puljujarvi decides to stay in Europe.
48. Philadelphia Flyers
RW Tage Thompson (Connecticut, Hockey East): A former member of the NTDP who starred as a freshman for UConn, Thompson is a sniper with an excellent shot whose development in terms of CHL readiness has a handful of years remaining. He’s pretty one-dimensional at this point — all but one of his 14 goals was scored on the power play. But 5-on-5 production will come in time, as will his ability to continue battling well after initial contact with an opponent. He’s got the kind of size (6’2) you’d love to see on your flank, but there’s some work left to do.
49. Chicago Blackhawks (via Washington Capitals)
RHD Andrew Peeke (Green Bay Gamblers, USHL): Labeling a defenseman as the “shut down” variety is not only cliché, but extremely subjective. Peeke however is in our view the draft’s best one-on-one defender, and it means something when you can impact a game’s complexion with this ability. He is big and mobile, using an active stick and mammoth wingspan to fix onrushing opponents into a failed decision. Peeke can also play the power play thanks to his wicked shot and ability to thread the needle. Add Peeke to the list of the growing number of Florida-born prospects with serious CHL upside.
50. Washington Capitals (via St. Louis Blues)
C/W Matt Filipe (Cedar Rapids Roughriders, USHL): The centerpiece of the Hockey East champion Huskies’ best recruiting class in years is actually a legacy who spent many an evening as a kid at Matthews Arena. Filipe, whose father Paul played at Northeastern in the early 1980’s, is a converted center that now plays a speed/power game from the wing. He was named to the USHL All-Rookie Team, and his instincts around the net are excellent. He’s already listed at 6’2, 200 pounds, so the defensemen in the college circuit should certainly have their hands full.
51. Anaheim Ducks
G Filip Gustavsson (Lulea, SHL): Ducks’ GM Jose Oliveira has every right to be apprehensive about drafting a goalie but the writing is on the wall for his organization, which faces the reality that incumbent starter Kari Lehtonen is not only pregnable, but is 32 years old. Gustavsson stylistically is a bit different from Lehtonen – the former is far more rigid, upright and textbook. Standing a CHL-appealing 6’2, Gustavsson is a good bet to go higher as one of the top-trained European netminders in his class.
52. Colorado Avalanche
C Trent Frederic (U.S. NTDP) The Aves will take a stab at drafting a bigger, quicker version of Mike Richards. We’re not saying Frédéric will be a big point producer, but he’ll certainly appeal to the Colorado faithful with his hutsle-and-bustle effort and an affinity for crease-crashing. He was Team USA’s top penalty killer and took the majority of late defensive-zone draws while centering their second line. Frederic is headed to the University of Wisconsin in the fall.
53. Florida Panthers (via Chicago Blackhawks)
LW Simon Stransky (Prince Albert Raiders, WHL): Stransky is a mature playmaker whose pass-first mentality masks his underrated shot and goal scoring capabilities. He started off red hot and earned a spot on the Czech national junior team before returning for a good, not great second half in Prince Albert. Nevertheless, he’s a puck hound who can stubbornly control the disc in order to wait for options to appear. The Panthers could use some skill on their depth lines, and Stransky is one of the best pure passers at this stage of the second round.
54. Toronto Maple Leafs
RHD Filip Hronek (Mountfield HK, Extraliga): Hronek delivered on some tough assignments as a teenager thanks to a fearless mentality and excellent breakout abilities. Whether with stick or skate, Hronek contributes towards consistently dictating the tempo and his mental agility and mobility makes us think the offense will quickly follow.
55.  Winnipeg Jets
G Evan Fitzpatrick (Sherbrooke Phoenix, QMJHL): With only a handful of early-roundish picks, the Jets would be foolish not to address an organizational need in net. Fitzpatrick is a classic butterfly goalie with an imposing silhouette who faced more rubber than most QMJHL goalies. Playing for a bad team has few perks, with one being able to assess his play under constant pressure.
56. Chicago Blawkhawks (via New York Rangers)
C/W Nathan Bastian (Mississauga Steelheads, OHL): Drafting all these skill players requires somebody to cover up for them every so often, and Bastian certainly comes reputable. He played alongside Mike McLeod and Alex Nylander for large chunks of the regular season, using physicality, net presence and constant hustle to make life easier for his linemates and allow them to do what they do best. He stands a whopping 6’4 and weighs in at 205, which is scary to think when assessing 18 year olds. Bastian won’t wow you with any particular skill, but he’s great to have both in the room and on the ice.
57. Anaheim Ducks (via Montreal Canadians)
C Cliff Pu (London Knights, OHL): If you’ve been following our rankings, you might be saying “Cliff Who” when noticing his meteoric rise from the near-bottom to the near-top. Take our word for it when he say he’s deserved every bit of the recent hype, delivering clutch play and two-way dominance for a London team almost anyone would have to scratch and claw their way to earn ice time. Why is he special? Pu’s big (6’2) fast and can fire off a very good shot. But the biggest eye opener was how he was able to produce in limited time and received next to nothing in offensive zone starts and/or on the power play. When London’s big names (Tkachuk, Dvorak, Marner etc.) were at the WJC, it was Pu and Max Jones who ran the offense.
58. Chicago Blackhawks (via New Jersey Devils)
LHD Ryan Lindgren (U.S. NTDP): This future Minnesota Gopher served as captain for Team USA, and you can certainly see why he was chosen. He’s a strong young man with very good offensive instincts, using his size (6’0, 200) and strength to lean on opponents as he separated them from the puck. He’s a very good skater with a keen eye for openings. Lindgren is a battler and a tough one-on-one matchup, and can be trusted to move the puck up the ice without it breaking into a million pieces.
59. Detroit Red Wings (via San Jose Sharks)
LHD Logan Stanley (Windsor Spitfires, OHL): A towering blueliner who is a huge project as he’s still learning the position. Stanley could go higher (and likely will), but he’s a project who should be kept on a short leash. The Wings like to go for the boom-or-bust types early, and the physical 6’7 Windsor defender has the potential to anchor a top pairing. That being said, he quite a ways away. He brings physicality and improved instincts within the offensive zone, which helps him get into position for his strong slap shot. Stanley is prone to make questionable decisions at inopportune times, but the right staff and environment should be able to work him through the tough times.
60. San Jose Sharks (via Dallas Stars)  
C Aapeli Rasanen (Tappara U20, Liiga Jrs): All signs point towards this special team’s dynamo becoming one of the better two-way players this draft produces. Not only does he do it all on the ice — playmaking, speed, escapability, tenacity, versatility — but he’s a student of the game who spends time honing his craft away from the rink. Rasanen clubbed the international circuit to a tune of almost a point per game, and he’s almost 200 pounds before turning 18 in June. The Sharks are in search of skill players, and Rasanen won’t disappoint them.
61. Winnipeg Jets (via Los Angeles Kings)
RW Joey Anderson (U.S. NTDP): Team USA’s “other” top-line forward who earned and held his role as a goal mouth-area maven, depositing rebound after rebound into the back of the cage while playing with heralded prospects Clayton Keller and Kieffer Bellows. Anderson sure knows how to pick his spots, which is important for a forward on a line with two shoot-happy linemates. He likely won’t develop into the kind of guy you can lean on above anyone else, but he’s fast and reliable enough to develop as a top-six power play specialist. The 5’11 Anderson will play for the University of Minnesota-Duluth in the fall.
62. Philadelphia Flyers (via Calgary Flames)
G Stephen Dhillon (Niagara Ice Dogs, OHL): There are a handful of reasons we are extremely high on this native Buffalonian, who bit the bullet for Niagara and assumed an understudy role to San Jose first rounder Alex Nedeljkovic. This kid has a ton of potential, and he’s one of the draft’s youngest eligible goalies — he is only a few days from being eligible for next year. Dhillon plays an aggressive butterfly, and the kinks we noticed at the Hlinka (form, net awareness) were quickly addressed, albeit in limited opportunities. His size-quickness combination is rare.
63. Boston Bruins  
RHD Jacob Cederholm (HV 71, SHL): The Bruins could use a steady, mobile defenders and Cederholm would be a nice addition to their burgeoning prospect pool. He’s got size and decent mobility thanks to a long stride, and he’ll even take the puck coast to coast on occasion. Cederholm’s most valuable asset is one-on-one play, specifically from the dots inward, but he also uses his noggin to make smart, subtle plays like timely pinches and gap-filling in the offensive zone. He won’t top out as a 40-point blueliner, but his skill and leadership traits will undoubtedly benefit Boston in the long run.
64. Washington Capitals (via Buffalo Sabres)
LHD Chad Krys (U.S. NTDP): Once considered a possible top-10 pick for 2016, Krys’s season with the NTDP was more plain than reassuring. He still maintained a top-four position and was a key cog in all situations, and you can’t blame him for teammate Adam Fox’s record-breaking campaign. We like the fact that he didn’t look out of place against older competition at the WJC’s, and there were periods when he played like the leader many expect him to become. The Boston University commit is mobile and an excellent stretch passer.
65. Edmonton Oilers  
C Otto Makinen (Tappara U20, Liiga Jrs): Finland is having one heck of a season on the international stage, where a puck-distributing pivot like Makinen made a name for himself. His play took off as early as the Hlinka, and you can argue he was his nation’s top draft-eligible forward immediately following Patrik Laine and Jesse Puljujärvi for quite some time. He’s a decent skater, but what Makinen can do best is stickhandle and make precision plays off zone entries. And don’t sleep on his finishing abilities – he has butter-soft hands and a quick release.
66. Florida Panthers (via Carolina Hurricanes)
C Henrik Borgstrom (HIFK U20, Liiga Jrs): Tall yet lanky skilled pivot who dominated Finland’s junior circuit in his second year of draft eligibility. Borgstrom is crossing the pond to suit up for the Denver Pioneers, so the college schedule will provide him plenty of time to fill into his 6’3 frame. He’s a dual-purpose threat from the middle, where he has a penchant for shooting first and asking questions later. Borgstrom can also be a quick-pass threat on the power play and stickhandle his way through dicey situations in order to open up lanes. You always have to be leery about overagers, but the Panthers can afford to take a flier and add him to their growing pool.


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