1. Edmonton Oilers – C Connor McDavid, Erie Otters (OHL)
Generational talent for a team in need of a spark, both on and off the ice. McDavid’s arrival in Edmonton could be as impactful as back when Mario Lemieux came to Pittsburgh. Expect McDavid to thrive under new coach McLellan, as well as making his future teammates Hall and Eberle even better.
Comparable: Mix between Sidney Crosby and Pavel Bure.
2. Buffalo Sabres – C Jack Eichel, Boston University (NCAA)
If GM Tim Murray had mixed feelings after losing on McDavid and Babcock, his staff should probably remind him that they’re getting the 2nd best prospect since Crosby here. Eichel has the potential to become the best American NHLer of this generation.
Comparable: Pavel Datsyuk
3. Arizona Coyotes – C Dylan Strome, Erie Otters (OHL)
While everybody would think Hanifin is the Coyotes pick, they’re in for a surprise. Arizona won’t pass on a perfect playmaking center to center Max Domi and Anthony Duclair. Even more, when they know the Toronto Maple Leafs are picking next.
Comparable: Ryan Johansen
4. Toronto Maple Leafs – C/RW Mitchell Marner, London Knights (OHL)
We can’t always get everything we want, but having won the Mike Babcock lottery is going to be the start of a true rebuilding of this franchise. Even though defense is a need for the Leafs, they can’t pass up on a potential franchise winger that actually comes from their backyard. Players with Marner’s talent don’t come very often.
Comparable: Claude Giroux
5. Carolina Hurricanes – C Kyle Connor, Youngstown Phantoms (USHL)
The Hurricanes had the 4th lowest number of goals scored in the league last year and lots of question marks surrounding the future of their captain Eric Staal and injury prone Jeff Skinner. Kyle Connor has dominated the USHL for the past 2 years and that shows how much of a talent he is. Might be a reach, but it will pay off in the long run.
Comparable: Jeff Carter