2018 draft deep in talent
Rasmus Dahlin, 6-foot-2, 181 pounds, defenseman, Frolunda (Sweden):
The franchise-changing player in this draft. Nicklas Lidstrom said Dahlin is a better player at this age than Lidstrom was. Some team is going to be very fortunate.
Has size, speed, good at both ends, and plays with edge.
Filip Zadina, 6-foot-1, 196 pounds, right wing, Halifax:
One scout compared Zadina to Brendan Shanahan. A pure sniper, a goal-scorer who can pick his spot and place the puck. Zadina has some size, too, but it’s that accurate shot that will make him a high-end selection. Andrei Svechnikov, 6-foot-3, 186 pounds, right wing, Barrie:
The younger brother of Red Wings forward Evgeny Svechnikov. Andrei, though, will be drafted higher than Evgeny was (19th). Scouts feel this Svechnikov has the size and temperament to step right into the NHL.
Brady Tkachuk, 6-foot-3, 196 pounds, left wing, Boston University:
Son of former NHLer Keith Tkachuk, some scouts feel Brady is better than his older brother Matthew (Calgary Flames). He has more offensive skill than his older brother, but can irritate opponents just as well. That’s not a bad thing.
Adam Boqvist, 5-foot-11, 170 pounds, defenseman, Brynas Jr. (Sweden):
Not as big physically as Dahlin, but Boqvist is an elite skater, puck mover, and gets the puck to the net. Needs to get a little stronger, but his feel for the game is something that can’t be taught.
Noah Dobson, 6-foot-3, 180 pounds, defenseman, Acadie-Bathurst:
Dobson has been roaring up the draft charts, thanks to an explosive right-hand shot. Another right-handed shot who can skate the puck out of trouble, but he’s sound defensively, too.
Quinn Hughes, 5-foot-10, 174 pounds, defenseman, Michigan:
He isn’t the biggest player in this draft, but it doesn’t matter. Maybe no player is as good a skater, and Hughes has the creativity that has left talent evaluators impressed. Elite shot, and fine puck handler.
Evan Bouchard, 6-foot-2, 193 pounds, defenseman, London: Another elite defenseman available in the top end of this draft. A great puck mover, scouts also like Bouchard’s leadership qualities. Big, right-handed shot defensemen are difficult to find.
Oliver Wahlstrom, 6-foot-1, 205 pounds, right wing, USA-Under-18: A key offensive player on the USA national team, Wahlstrom has the size and skill level which likely will make him a top-10 pick. Can play in tight quarters, gets his shot off with a quick release, and has good strength.
Isac Lundestrom, 6-foot, 185 pounds, center, Lulea (Sweden): Lundestrom grades out high in many different areas. One scout compared him to Boston’s Patrice Bergeron. Not necessarily flashy, but should be a very good pro for a long time.
Barrett Hayton, 6-foot-1, 185 pounds, Sault Ste. Marie:
Focused, hard-working, single-minded, Hayton has many of the characteristics that scouts felt Michael Rasmussen, last year’s Red Wings’ top pick has. Does a lot of things well, though not spectacular in any one area. Rasmus Kupari, 6-foot-1, 163 pounds, center, Karpat (Finland): Speedy player who creates all sorts of
2009: Landon Ferraro, C, Red Deer (WHL), second round, No. 32 overall
2011: Tomas Jurco, LW, Saint John (QMJHL), second round, No. 35 overall
2015: Evgeny Svechnikov, RW, Cape Breton (QMJHL), first round, No. 19 overall
offense despite lack of size. Didn’t play a lot at the world championships, but has shown his offensive instincts and great hands often enough to convince scouts. Can also play on the wing.
Ty Smith, 5-foot-11, 176 pounds, defenseman, Spokane:
Like Michigan’s Hughes, not the biggest player in the draft, but it doesn’t matter, when you play with Smith’s type of speed. Smart player, too, and plays with a lot of poise. Has shown the ability to play a ton of minutes, too.
Joe Veleno, 6-foot-1, 195 pounds, center, Drummondville:
A sound two-way player who has shown the ability to create offense, but can keep the puck out of his net, too. Scouts like his work ethic and leadership ability.
Bode Wilde, 6-foot-3, 195 pounds, defensemen, USA-Under-18:
Top offensive defenseman on the national team, Wilde has a great shot. Needs to improve defensively, but plays with an edge, he likes to play physically. Fine skater who can skate the puck out of trouble.
Joel Farabee, 6-foot, 165 pounds, left wing, USA-Under-18: Continuing a trend of small, skilled players who are entering the NHL with the ability to dominate offensively. Don’t be hesitant about the size —Farabee has highend talent. Has a quick release shot and his instincts are off the chart.
Serron Noel, 6-foot-5, 201 pounds, right wing, Oshawa:
There’s always one guy like this in the draft. A big, raw winger who has improved the last couple of years, and has a way to go. Someone will gamble on his potential. Has great hands, and good enough speed.
Ryan Merkley, 5-foot-11, 170 pounds, defenseman, Guelph: Merkley probably has the offensive ability to be a top-10 selection. It’s the other end of the rink that Merkely’s game has plenty of room to improve. High-risk, high-reward type of guy.
Akil Thomas, 5-foot-11, 170 pounds, center, Niagara:
Made a big impression this season but there’s a lot of room yet to improve, a lot of potential to reach. Has a big motor, doesn’t let up. Thomas has elite level speed. A lot of scouts call him relentless.
Ryan McLeod, 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, center Mississauga:
A smooth playmaker who has good size but still raw in areas. Scouts like his vision on the ice and his ability in the face-off circle. Brother Michael was a first-round pick of New Jersey in 2016.
United States forward Brady Tkachuk is the son of former NHLer Keith Tkachuk. Some scouts feel Brady is better than his older brother Matthew (Calgary Flames).
Michigan freshman defenseman Quinn Hughes isn’t the biggest player in this draft, but talent evaluators like his creativity, elite shot, and puck handling.
London’s Evan Bouchard is another elite defenseman available in the top end of this draft. A great puck mover, scouts also like Bouchard’s leadership qualities.