Welcome back! Last time we looked at prospects 21-30 for next year’s NHL Entry Draft. Just as a recap, those picks were:
21. Nikolaj Ehlers
22. Shane Gersich
23. Nick Ritchie
24. Jack Ramsey
25. Kyle Jenkins
26. Sonny Milano
27. Josh Ho Sang
28. Jakub Vrana
29. Pierre Engvall
30. Spencer Watson
This time we’ll be taking a look at picks 11-20, starting at 20 and working down.
20. Jared McCann, C, Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)
6’0″, 174 lbs
64 GP, 21G, 23A, 44 pts, -6, 35 PIM
McCann is a big centreman who protects the puck well, has a good shot and great vision. Extra muscle will be expected, but that will come with time.
19. Ryan Falkenham, RW, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)
5’10”, 172 lbs
45 GP, 10G, 11A, 21 pts, +17, 14 PIM
Ryan Falkenham is a shorter, stocky forward who doesn’t have a problem heading to the dirty areas in front of the net and plays with a style similar to Brendan Gallagher of the Montreal Canadiens. Playing alongside Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin didn’t hurt his development, but it will be interesting to see how he plays without them this season.
18. Haydon Fleury, D, Red Deer (WHL)
6’3″, 203 lbs
66 GP, 4G, 19A, 21 pts, +4, 21 PIM
Fleury is a big bodied, hard-nosed blueliner with an offensive upside. He is a plus player on a minus team, has a howitzer of a shot and is disciplined in his own end. His agility may come into question, but defensemen take longer to develop and his skating should come around.
17. Daniel Muzito-Bagenda, LW, Modo J18 (Sweden)
6’1″, 198 lbs
20 GP, 16G, 16A, 32 pts, +30, 32 PIM
A hulking winger, Muzito-Bagenda is a big sniper who has no trouble finding the back of the net. Another Swede who plays a great defensive game, but will have to work on discipline, since almost a penalty per game average won’t be acceptable at the NHL level.
16. Tyson Baillie, C, Kelowna Rockets, (WHL)
5’11”, 190 lbs
67 GP, 26G, 30A, 56 pts, +36, 53 PIM
One of, if not the smallest player in the draft, Baillie lets his on-ice play do the talking for him. A Martin St. Louis-type forward, he is a passer first, but can still find the twine pretty often. Size will be a concern for sure, but if his point production stays consistent and he can put on some pounds, there will be a team that will feel lucky that this guy was still available.
15. Alex Nedeljkovic, G, Plymouth Whalers (OHL)
5’11”, 190 lbs
26 GP, 19-2-2, 2.28 GAA, .923 SV%, 2 SO
Nedeljkovic is the first and only goalie in the top 30, and he is here for a reason, backstopping his team to the conference finals before bowing out to eventual champions, the London Knights. Nedeljkovic’s Whalers led the OHL in goal differential, scoring 90 more times than they let in. He is not the tallest goalie, but is a big boy at 190 lbs. and has good movement in spite of that. Only 5 goalies had a better save percentage, 3 of whom have already been drafted by NHL teams (Malcon Subban, Boston; Jordan Binnington, St. Louis; John Gibson, Anaheim) and only 3 goalies had a better goals against average (Subban, Binnington and Kitchener’s Franky Palazzese). If Nedeljkovic can improve his puck handling and rebound control, he should be a solid starter one day.
14. Michael Dal Colle, C, Oshawa Generals (OHL)
6’2″, 170 lbs
63 GP, 15G, 33A, 48 pts, +19, 18 PIM
Michale Dal Colle is your typical big, power forward centreman. He can shoot, pass, hit and skate and plays just as well on the other side of the puck. He still needs to put on some weight, but once he fills out, he should turn out to be a number 1 or 2 centreman, depending on the team that drafts him.
13. Joni Tuulola, D, HPK U-18 (Finland)
6’1″, 165 lbs
41 GP, 10G, 21A, 31 pts, 26 PIM
Tuulola is a big offensive defenseman who has a hard shot and a good first pass out of his own zone. He can move opposing forwards away from his goaltender and takes few penalties. As many others, he will have to gain some weight before hitting his full potential, but should round out a top 4 nicely.
12. Chase De Leo, C, Portland Winterhawks (WHL)
5’7″, 130 lbs
71 GP, 18g, 38A, 56 pts, +28, 24 PIM
Chase De Leo is currently the smallest player who is draft eligible. At 5’7″, he will need to gain at least 30 pounds before he can safely play in the NHL. If he does, however, this kid will be dangerous. He uses his small size and speed to squeeze through defenders, essentially blazing a trail through other players. He has soft hands and good vision and should be a solid top 6 forward one day.
11. Leon Draisaitl, C/LW, Prince Albert Raiders (WHL)
6’2″, 198 lbs
64 GP, 21G, 37A, 58 pts, +22, 22 PIM
Draisaitl is another player in the growing trend of big power forwards at next year’s draft. The 6’2″, 198 lb versatile forward is the whole package. Soft hands, wicked shot, sees the ice well and plays well in his own zone. Needs to work on his speed a little but still an effective top 6 guy nonetheless.
That’s a wrap on picks 11-20. I feel some players in this third of the first round may climb a bit by the time the draft rolls around, but the surprise is part of the fun! Check back soon for picks 1-10; the good stuff!
As always, thanks for reading and, Cheers!