The top 15 picks of the NHL Draft were decided a little bit over a month ago. With the NHL Draft less than a month away in Dallas, Texas, who will be the first 15 players selected in this year's NHL Draft?
1. Buffalo Sabres- Rasmus Dahlin, defenseman (Frolunda, Sweeden): Everyone has been talking about Dahlin being the consensus number one pick for months now. He is the best player in this draft and Buffalo needs all the help they can get right now because they are in a rebuilding phase. In 41 games with Frolunda HC (SweHL), Dahlin scored seven goals and recorded 13 assists. His plus/minus was 4.
2. Carolina Hurricanes- Andrei Svechnikov, right wing, (Barrie Colts): The Carolina Hurricanes have a good prospect pool. The Hurricanes are missing a true sniper on there roster and Svechnikov would be that pure goal scorer that Carolina needs for the next decade. In 44 games with the Barrie Colts (OHL), he scored 40 goals and recorded 32 assists. Svechnikov's plus/minus was 26.
3. Montreal Canadiens- Filip Zadina, left wing (Hailfax Mooseheads): The Canadiens are familiar with scouting players in the QMJHL. Filip Zadina could be the franchise changing player Montreal is looking for. The Canadiens lack offense and Zadina could boost it right away. In 57 games with the Hailfax Mooseheads (QMJHL), he scored 44 goals and recorded 38 assists. Zadina's plus/minus was 23.
4. Ottawa Senators- Brady Tkachuk, left wing (Boston University, NCAA): He is the brother of Calgary Flames player Matthew Tkachuk. Brady is more gritty and a better play maker. Brady will make his teammates better and that's what the Ottawa Senators are looking for. Tkachuk scored eight goals and recorded 23 assists in 40 games with Boston University. His plus/minus was 15.
5. Arizona Coyotes- Adam Boqvist, defenseman (Brynas, Sweeden): At just 17 years old, he could be one of the best offensive defenseman in this draft. Boqvist needs to get bigger and stronger. If he does that, Boqvist will be in contention for the Norris Trophy for years to come. In 25 games with the Brynas IF J20 (SuperElit), Boqvist has scored 14 goals and recorded 10 assists and his plus/minus was 6. In three-playoff games with them, he scored three goals and recorded two assists. Boqvist's plus/minus was 2.
6. Detroit Red Wings- Quinn Hughes, defenseman (University of Michigan, NCAA): Zach Werenski went to the University of Michigan and was an impact defenseman right away for the Columbus Blue Jackets. Hughes is the same kind of player Werenski is. A very good two-way defenseman, puck mover, and skater. In 37 games with the University of Michigan, he has scored five goals and recorded 24 assists. Hughes's plus/minus was 14.
7. Vancouver Canucks- Barrett Hayton, center (Sault St. Marie Greyhounds): The Sedin's retired and they depth at center for the future. Hayton would fit right in with the Canucks and he is a valuable two-way center. Hayton can also be an offensive juggernaut. In 63 games with the Sault St. Marie Greyhounds (OHL), he has scored 21 goals and recorded 39 assists, and his plus/minus was 24. Hayton has also played in 24-playoff games and he has scored eight goals and recorded 13 assists. His plus/minus was -2.
8. Chicago Blackhawks- Noah Dobson, defenseman (Acadie-Bathurst): Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook are getting older for the Blackhawks on the blue line and they don't really have a true back end guy for the future. He is really good on offense and defense. Dobson is a great passer and he will be the number one defenseman on the power play in the near future. In 67 games with Acadie-Bathurst Titan (QMJHL), Dobson scored 17 goals and recorded 52 assists. His plus/minus was 33. In 20-playoff games, he scored three goals and recorded 10 assists. His plus/minus was 9. Dobson was one of the main reasons why the Acadie-Bathurst Titan won their first Memorial Cup title in franchise history.
9. New York Rangers- Oliver Wahlstrom, right wing (US National Development Team): Wahlstrom is 17 years old and he has the potential to be an elite scorer for years to come. The Rangers have not had an elite goal scorer in years and this would be a golden opportunity to draft one. In 26 games with the U.S. National Under-18 team (USHL), he has scored 22 goals and recorded 23 assists. His plus/minus was 30.
10. Edmonton Oilers- Evan Bouchard, defenseman (London Knights): The Oilers have many problems on the blue line and Bouchard would fix some of those problems. He is an offensive defenseman and it would make the Oilers dangerous like that because they don't have one. In 67 games with the Londaon Knights, Bouchard scored 25 goals and recorded 62 assists, and his plus/minus was 23. In four-playoff games, he scored a goal and recorded four assists. His plus/minus was -5.
11. New York Islanders- Serron Noel, right wing (Oshawa Generals): With Lou Lamoriello in the front office now, he is looking for players with grit. Noel does play with some grit and he is also very good offensively. He could be a top-six forward for the Islanders one day. In 62 games played with the Oshawa Generals (OHL), Noel has scored 28 goals and recorded 25 assists. His plus/minus was -8. In five-playoff games, he recorded an assist and has an even plus/minus rating.
12. New York Islanders (from Calgary Flames)-Ty Smith, defenseman (Spokane Chiefs): The Islanders might have lead way with this pick because they could possible trade it for a talented player. But if they don't trade the pick away, defenseman Ty Smith would be a good choice with the 12th pick. The Islanders had one of the worst blue lines in hockey during the 2017-2018 season. He is a very talented two-way defenseman. In 69 games with the Spokane Chiefs (WHL), Smith has scored 14 goals and recorded 59 assists. His plus/minus was 44. In seven-playoff games, he has scored two goals and recorded five assists. His plus/minus was 5.
13. Dallas Stars- Joe Veleno, center, (Drummondville Voltiguers): The Dallas Stars have decent depth at center for now, but at some point they are going to need a young player down the middle. Veleno is a strong centerman. He could be a first line centerman one day, but most likely Veleno will be a second line centerman. He started the season with the Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL). In 31 games, he scored six goals and recorded 25 assists. His plus/minus was -10. Veleno was then traded mid-season to Drummondville. In 33 games with the Drummondville Voltiguers (QMJHL), he has scored 16 goals and recorded 32 assists. His plus/minus was 14. In 10-playoff games, Veleno has scored five goals and recorded six assists. His plus/minus was -1.
14. Philadelphia Flyers (from St. Louis Blues)- Joel Farabee, left wing (US National Development Team): The Flyers have a fountain of prospects, but they aren't exactly deep at left wing. Farabee is a very good two-way player and he has potential to be a top-six forward one day at the NHL level. In 26 games with the U.S. National Under-18 Team, he has scored 15 goals and recorded 25 assists. His plus/minus was 26.
15. Florida Panthers- Jesperi Kotkaniemi, center/wing (Liiga, Finland): Kotkaniemi is a versatile player. He has a lot of developing to do at age 17, but Kotkaniemi has a very high ceiling. In 57 games with Assat Pori (SM-Iiiga), he has scored 10 goals and recorded 17 assists. His plus/minus was -1. In seven-playoff games, Kotkaniemi recorded an assist. His plus/minus was -4.
This article was originally published on @gk18