TLN’s Official 2015 Mock Draft

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to TLN’s 2015 Mock Draft – surely the best mock draft on the internet. Last week, five of our writers came up with our consensus Top 30 Draft Prospects in this month’s NHL Draft. This week, those same five wannabe GMs took over the draft tables of the entire league, and called the shots as they saw fit. 

The rules were simple: Ryan won our draft lottery, so he would pick first. Jon would follow, then Bobby, myself and Shawn. After five picks we’d run through the order again, each of us taking control of the team that happened to be picking at the time. We then had to give a brief explanation as to why we drafted who we drafted, and we suspect that Jon did a lot of copy/pasting.

You’re going to love our mock draft below. You’re also probably going to hate it at times as well. Either way, let us know how right and/or wrong we are in the comments below.

And without further delay, the Edmonton Oilers are on the clock…

1. Connor McDavid to Edmonton

McDavid is going to turn the Oilers around. For real. No seriously, I mean it. – Ryan

2. Jack Eichel to Buffalo

Losing the lottery and still getting a generational talent, Eichel could be the steal of the draft. Buffalo is picking up a player who could help them win championships. – Jon

3. Dylan Strome to Arizona

Arizona has lots of talented forward prospects, but none that project as a top line centre. They address that instantly by taking Dylan Strome. – Bobby

4. Mitchell Marner to Toronto

There’s been a lot of talk around the Leafs potentially moving down or going a little “off the board”, but in the end it doesn’t happen. Marner is the consensus best available player here, the type of player the Leafs desperately need, and his relationship with Mark Hunter doesn’t hurt either. – Justin

5. Noah Hanifin to Carolina

Carolina happily takes the player that many consider the best in this draft after McDavid and Eichel. Potentially slides in nicely on a top pair with Justin Faulk down the road. – Shawn

6. Mathew Barzal to New Jersey

The Devils are old and not particularly strong in any area outside the crease. They need to take the best player available here, and that’s Barzal. – Ryan

7. Kyle Connor to Philadelphia

Connor is a high scoring Center who has flown under the radar playing in the USHL. With a few defensemen already in their system Philly can chase elite offence with a player who could be the steal of the draft. – Jon

8. Ivan Provorov to Columbus

Beyond Ryan Murray, Columbus is slim on the back-end. Drafting Ivan Provorov solves that, and they get arguably the best defenseman in the draft. – Bobby

9. Zach Werenski to San Jose

San Jose could use a little bit of everything in their prospect pool, so ‘organizational need’ doesn’t really play in here. It just comes down to Werenski being one of the best available defencemen on the board – an offensive stud on the blueline. – Justin

10. Pavel Zacha to Colorado

It’s not an easy call for Patrick Roy between Zacha, Crouse, and Rantanen, but with the possibility of Ryan O’Reilly being on the move you can never have too many good young centers with upside.  Zacha brings the size, two-way ability, and calculated offensive play that a coach (and GM) like Roy desires. – Shawn

11. Lawson Crouse to Florida

Florida gets praised as a team of riches when it comes to young players but their current forward group is still a mixed bag. Crouse is probably one of the more NHL-ready forwards based on a lot of scouts’ opinions, so the Panthers should grab him and hope he pushes Shawn Thornton down the lineup. – Ryan

12. Oliver Kylington to Dallas

Dallas certainly looks set for the foreseeable future up front so I have them chasing defense in this draft. Kylington was a highly rated player prior to this season and if he returns to that form he’ll be the steal of the draft. – Jon

Further Reading… First Round Targets: Oliver Kylington

13. Mikko Rantanen to Los Angeles

The uber-talented Rantanen falls into LA’s lap, and they take him without thinking. He scores 30 goals every year for eternity next to Anze Kopitar. – Bobby

14. Travis Konecny to Boston

He’s not big or bruising, but Travis Konecny works his tail off, and the Bruins love that kind of thing. It doesn’t hurt that his offensive skills are very good and, after a few years of seasoning, will help Boston score more goals. – Justin

Further Reading… First Round Targets: Travis Konecny

15. Timo Meier to Calgary

Defaulting to the player with the most brawn here just because of Brian Burke would be lazy.  That said, while known for his skill, Meier has some meat and potatoes to his game too and some compare him to another high first-round pick of Brian Burke’s – Bobby Ryan.  Meier is the best player available in this situation for Calgary and fits in well with what they are building. – Shawn

16. Jakub Zboril to Edmonton

The Oilers use their next pick to help their blue line, hoping Zboril becomes at least as effective as Jeff Petry in the coming years. – Ryan

Further Reading… First Round Targets: Jakub Zboril

17. Nick Merkley to Winnipeg

Winnipeg has done pretty well for themselves in recent years and I think they are doing pretty well here too. Merkley is a very highly regarded player who may have slid a bit in our mock. Winnipeg does it again with the steal of the draft. – Jon

Further Reading… First Round Targets: Nick Merkley

18. Evgeni Svechnikov to Ottawa

Ottawa is always looking for top 6 help, and Svechnikov projects as that and then some. A potential top-liner, he’s big, skilled, and can score at will. – Bobby

Further Reading… First Round Targets: Evgeni Svechnikov

19. Colin White to Detroit

Detroit looks like they hit a home run last year when they picked up Dylan Larkin. They’ll go the US Development route again with a two-way centre that plays that will fit well into Babcock’s sys… oh wait. – Justin

Further Reading… First Round Targets: Colin White

20. Joel Eriksson Ek to Minnesota

Minnesota has plenty of trust in their European scouts and they sure like Joel Eriksson Ek, who has been rising up draft boards rapidly since his stellar Five Nations Tournament in February.  He fits a bit of an organizational hole as well, since Mikko Koivu is aging and Minnesota has no meaningful center prospects in their system right now. – Shawn

Further Reading… First Round Targets: Joel Eriksson Ek

21. Jansen Harkins to Buffalo

Buffalo, another team weak at every position but glaringly so down the middle, make a somewhat safe pick and grab Harkins who could be a decent 2/3 guy. – Ryan

Further Reading… First Round Targets: Jansen Harkins

22. Jeremy Roy to Washington

Too good to pass up. That’s how I view Jeremy Roy. Initially I had Washington pegged for a forward but another draft day steal has presented itself and the Caps have to act. – Jon

Further Reading… First Round Targets: Jeremy Roy

23. Paul Bittner to Vancouver

Benning is all about physicality, and Vancouver needs help on the wing long-term. Bittner helps the Canucks with that. – Bobby

24. Daniel Sprong to Toronto

If I was allowed to, I’d probably trade down – there’s lots of nice pieces still on the board. That said, I’m staying put, and my goal is to aim for highest upside and “hit a home run”. There’s risk involved, but Daniel Sprong fits the bill. – Justin

Further Reading… First Round Targets: Daniel Sprong

25. Brock Boeser to Winnipeg

Fresh off a first-round sweep to a physical Anaheim Ducks team and already loaded with young defensemen, Kevin Cheveldayoff looks up front and drafts a forward that has a good combination of talent and muscle in Brock Boeser. – Shawn

Further Reading… First Round Targets: Brock Boeser

26. Nicholas Meloche to Montreal

The Canadiens are probably looking at turning over some of that blue line in the next couple years. They take the local kid at 26th. – Ryan

27. Jeremy Bracco to Anaheim

Size matters, but size matters a little less when your lineup already includes Getzlaf, Perry, and Kesler. If you are just looking for pure offence in the late part of the first round you are getting the steal of the draft with Bracco. – Jon

Further Reading… First Round Targets: Jeremy Bracco

28. Anthony Beauvillier to Tampa Bay

Tampa always takes skill guys, no matter their size. They have a debate between Beauvillier and Guryanov, but take the ultra-skilled Frenchman.– Bobby

Further Reading… First Round Targets: Anthony Beauvillier

29. Jake DeBrusk to Philadelphia

DeBrusk just seems like a good fit here. A 200-foot game, a little offensive pop, a little grit to his game. He’s the kind of player Philadelphia would be happy to land. – Justin

Further Reading… First Round Targets: Jake DeBrusk

30. Denis Guryanov to Arizona

Arizona is known for playing a more passive style, but Gurianov fits the bill of the more talented Coyotes team that Don Maloney is hoping to build. – Shawn

The Table

# Drafted By Player Position Team
1 Edmonton Connor McDavid C Erie (OHL)
2 Buffalo Jack Eichel C Boston U. (NCAA)
3 Arizona Dylan Strome C Erie (OHL)
4 Toronto Mitchell Marner C London (OHL)
5 Carolina Noah Hanifin D Boston C. (NCAA)
6 New Jersey Mathew Barzal C Seattle (WHL)
7 Philadelphia Kyle Connor W Youngstown (USHL)
8 Columbus Ivan Provorov D Brandon (WHL)
9 San Jose Zach Werenski D U. Michigan (NCAA
10 Colorado Pavel Zacha C Sarnia (OHL)
11 Florida Lawson Crouse W Kingston (OHL)
12 Dallas Oliver Kylington D AIK (Sweden)
13 Los Angeles Mikko Rantanen W TPS (Finland)
14 Boston Travis Konecny C Ottawa (OHL)
15 Calgary Timo Meier W Halifax (QMJHL)
16 Edmonton Jakub Zboril D Saint John (QMJHL)
17 Winnipeg Nick Merkley W Kelowna (WHL)
18 Ottawa Evgeni Svechnikov W Cape Breton (QMJHL)
19 Detroit Colin White C USNDTP (USHL)
20 Minnesota Joel Eriksson Ek C Farjestad (SHL)
21 Buffalo Jansen Harkins C Prince George (WHL)
22 Washington Jeremy Roy D Sherbrooke (QMJHL)
23 Vancouver Paul Bittner W Portland (WHL)
24 Toronto Daniel Sprong W Charlottetown (QMJHL)
25 Winnipeg Brock Boeser W Waterloo (USHL)
26 Montreal Nicholas Meloche D Baie-Comeau (QMJHL)
27 Anaheim Jeremy Bracco W US NDTP (USHL)
28 Tampa Bay Anthony Beauvillier W Shawinigan (QMJHL)
29 Philadelphia Jake DeBrusk W Swift Current (WHL)
30 Arizona Denis Guryanov W Lada Togliatti (KHL)

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  • FlareKnight

    For the Leafs I’m more than happy in this mock.

    Get two extremely skilled forwards to add to the prospect pool with Marner and Sprong. That’s a ton of your future offence right there and a great risk taking pick with the second first.

    Be more than fine with the Leafs going with Marner considering the pure skill at work there. You can count on that guy to produce.

      • CMpuck

        Because Jones is a billion times more valuable than Drouin and Sam Gagner blows.

        It’s cool that Marner gets the nod for car pooling with Mark Hunter though, great way to run a franchise.

          • CMpuck

            You’re assuming thy worst for him (Gagner) and the best for Hanifan (Jones) when in reality, we don’t know how they will end up developing. Your whole argument is hypothetical. Marner had production higher than guys like MacKinnon, Hall, Nuge, etc during his OHL stint last year. He’s producing like a first overall pick and is very clearly the BPA at pick 4.

          • That’s just not even close to true. Some of them do have Hanifin 3rd or 4th, but “every” scouting report out there certainly does not have him BPA at #4.

            ISS, Pronman, Hockey Prospectus… Many more independent scouts. All have Hanifin 5th (or lower).

          • Gary Empey

            Hanifin as BPA

            You stated “That’s just not even close to true.”
            I think it is at least close.

            NHL Central Scouting’s 2015 final rankings

            1 MCDAVID, CONNOR ERIE OHL C 6′ 0.75″ 195
            2 EICHEL, JACK BOSTON UNIVERSITY H-EAST C 6′ 2.0″ 196
            3 HANIFIN, NOAH BOSTON COLLEGE H-EAST D 6′ 2.75″ 203
            4 STROME, DYLAN ERIE OHL C 6′ 3.0″ 185
            5 CROUSE, LAWSON KINGSTON OHL LW 6′ 4.0″ 215
            6 MARNER, MITCHELL LONDON OHL C 5′ 11.0″ 160
            7 PROVOROV, IVAN BRANDON WHL D 6′ 0.5″ 201

            Damien Cox’s 2015 NHL Mock Draft
            3. Arizona Coyotes
            Noah Hanifin, D, Boston College (NCAA):
            McKenzie’s Final Ranking:
            3. Noah Hanifin, D, Boston College
            Your Pronman- Hanifin second best skater in the draft.

            For those that think drafting a star centers before building a defense….. Well who wouldn’t want these two centers on your team.—-Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin

            Pittsburgh Penguins: Goaltending sound. Just made the playoffs in eigth positiion. Went out in first round -in five games.
            Reason: Defense unable to get the puck out own end. Crosby and Malkin spent most shifts chasing down pucks in their own end. After finally getting puck they had to dump it in and head back to bench for line change.

            Oilers more of the same. Even with McDavid this year not too much is going to change way out there without some big help on defense.

            Strome vs Marner. Every interview and from tapes I seen – all say . ” It’s too close to call”

            Just seen your “every” in quotes. Sorry.

          • CMpuck

            Gagner had a much high PPG, .22 better (that’s where team Marner hangs their hat at the end of the right?), MacKinnon was bigger and was a center, centers >>> winger in terms of value (that matters btw).

            Am I assuming the worst in Gagner, there are a lot more busts than studs like Kane.

            The comparison to Kane, we’ll Kane had a .5 better ppg in junior, that’s a huge gap given the best you can hope from a winger is that he develops into a points monkey. Kane is well cast behind Toews Keith in the depth chart to do his thing.

            Next year’s draft is full of wingers and we already have Nylander in the system.

            Given we have the opportunity to possibly get a center in Strome and a stud blueliner in Hanifin or Provorov why opt for the luxury piece in Marner?

            IMO Marner is a bad investment given the other options available these Leaf Nation hot takes on guys like Kadri and Marner are equally painful to read.

          • Benjamin

            I don’t understand your Strome vs Marner argument.

            Your premise is centres >> wingers, right? So why are you comparing Marner (a winger) to Gagner (a centre)? Under your own premise, your only comparable becomes ridiculous.

            If ANYTHING, Gagner is actually the cautionary tale for Strome. Gagner’s numbers were clearly pumped by Kane and Kostitsyn in his draft year, much like Strome’s were by McDavid. Marner, on the other hand, absolutely drove the bus in London this year, ahead of a guy drafted 12th overall two years before and a guy drafted 58th overall the year before.

            If you’re going to continue to push the Strome>Marner line, you need to come up with something better.

          • CMpuck

            You don’t understand that center is a more valuable position? You don’t understand that choosing between elite prospects with relatively the same production and one has size and the other is undersized where the difference is value lies?

            You really don’t understand that point?

            Strome numbers were fine with McDavid out of the line up and Gagner’s game and size were comparable to Marner’s. Stick handling highlight reels that won’t get that time and space in a man’s game.

            I read that Domi kid Marner plays with is pretty good too.

            When you address the points I’ve made (say, position and size) rather than ignore them, I’ll take your point more seriously.

          • Benjamin

            I appreciate you agreeing that the only points you have in Strome’s favour are 1) position and 2) size.

            “You don’t understand that center is a more valuable position?”

            Yes, but only after ‘best player available’ has been completely covered. I understand that IF Marner and Strome were equivalent skill-wise, then you certainly go for Strome. But I haven’t read a single scouting report that placed Marner and Strome in the same category skill-wise. And Marner is better offensively according to every single statistical measure I can come up with. Also, by all accounts I’ve read, Marner is already one of the best two way players in the OHL. Not that Strome’s defensive play is bad, but its never brought up as a strength.

            Let me make this clear: by every possible measure I’ve come across, Marner is more talented in every aspect of the game.

            “[You don’t understand that when] one has size and the other is undersized where the difference is value lies”

            Now, when you say size do you mean height or weight? Because I know that Marner needs to add muscle and weight, just like every single other player in the draft. But if you think 5’11” is undersized, I don’t know what to tell you. I think that Marner putting on 15-20 lbs in the next few years isn’t exactly ludicrous.

            “I read that Domi kid Marner plays with is pretty good too.”

            That’s the gd point, Domi IS a great prospect. Marner is already a better hockey player at 18 than a 20 year old who was drafted 12th overall.

            Basically, if you truly believe that Strome > Marner, you probably would have believed that Gagner > Voracek as well.

          • Gary Empey

            As it should be. – CMpuck is 100 percent correct. No matter how hard you shake the trade tree you are never going to shake loose a Norris candidate.
            The only way you will get one is through the draft. Teams only have a few opportunities to pick high enough to get one. If you really expect to make it the big dance you must have at least one on your team.

          • CMpuck

            No one is 100% right, we don’t know who the best player will be, we can only ‘discuss’ the best prospect available. All I get if snark that most often not even clever as a counter punch.

            This site is the cult of Mitch Marner where Strome, Hanifin and Provorov get bashed as lesser prospects.

            Forgive me I don’t ignore the fact that if all else if equal size and position matter. We can’t have that discussion though because Crouse who is going somewhere from 8-11th is relevant to a top five discussion?

          • Spare me. I actually have Strome ahead of Marner, but I fully expect that he’ll be picked by Arizona, so it’s a non-starter. As for Hanifin and Provorov (and also Barzal), I have them all within a shade of each other. I give Marner a slight advantage because I believe he’s just that little bit of a better prospect. Marner is pretty much universally recognized as a top five pick, so I have no idea how slotting him in at fourth is such a damn travesty. And really, nobody here is ever “bashing” Hanifin and Provorov so you can stop banging that drum.

            What I take exception to is the fact that you compare Hanifin and Provorov to Jones, which is what I’d considered a ‘best case scenario’, then turn around and compare Marner to a) Drouin, as if he’s some sort of bust, even though he’s you know, barely 20 years old and b) Gagner, who I’d consider more along the lines of ‘worst case scenario’ (even if that’s a bit harsh). That’s just such a bogus line of thinking and reasoning.

            Size and position do matter, but like I said, I’m already big on Strome. As for taking a defenceman, the Leafs could do that – it wouldn’t be a bad choice, but there is pretty damning evidence that top-of-the-draft forwards tend to outperform top-of-the-draft defencemen.

            What I’m saying is, if you’re going to come out fists flying in the comments section, at least have some substance behind your best arguments.

          • CMpuck

            All year this site has been a koolaid dispenser for Mitch. Don’t give me this Strome over Marner bs when I’m the one defending Strome over Marner all season.

            And nearly every list has Marner behind either Strome, Hanifin and in a few cases Provorov. Mitch is the universal fifth pick to he gets a bump to four? Great logic.

            Drouin is a perfect example of taking a highlight undersized skilled winger over a consensus higher rated blueliner. Has Drouin’s value risen? Was Yakupov a franchiser builder? But Marner is Kane? That’s not equally shallow.

            I love that my arguments are sooooooo shallow yet you can’t even counter them. It’s pretty funny to be condescending to by some who yet again has nothing of substance to say.

            Whatever, argue semantics and ignore that

            1. Marner plays the wrong position

            2. He’s just not big enough

            3. Outside of Kane, they isn’t really a successful comparable to be hopeful of in the NHL

            4. Leafs already have Nylander, next year’s draft is stock with wingers

            5. Elite wingers are always available on the trade market if the Leafs for/if when the Leafs ever find themselves competitive


            Hanifin, Provorov, Strome BPA

            Address those points and I can respect your case though I expect that you say some dismissive and childish. Personally I can’t respect a position of ignorance.

          • CMpuck

            I’m referencing the exchange that has been a year long, for example the Strome vs Marner article where Marner gets the edge.

            Are we going to pretend it LFN doesn’t prefer Marner to Strome?

          • Ah yes, Strome vs. Marner… One article, written by one of our writers.

            I guess that makes us all guilty of being fanboys? Or are we glossing over the part where I mentioned before that I have Strome over Marner on my list?

      • CMpuck

        Under Carlyle the Leafs lead the league in scoring with elite scoring wingers and it was…. awesome?

        Rinse & repeat? Better yet whose emergence is more valuable to the rebuild Rielly or Nylander?

        Why don’t we put together a big package for Yakupov while we’re at it?

  • FlareKnight

    The Leafs are rebuilding and about to jettison most of the core…they need everything. This is the time you can most just draft a player who plays any position because in the future you will need it.

  • Gary Empey

    From everything I see from coaching changes to that recent trade, the direction this management is going in is young two way players with above average speed.

    Both of Justin’s picks fit into that category. I do expect the leafs to take a defenceman with one of their first rounders.

    Re- pizza. It is impossible to get a real pizza over here. One must make it themselves. Even then it is hard to get decent cheese. For sauce you must grow your own tomatoes. Pepperoni ? forget about it. Green peppers. I have them planted now.

    If you are ever going down Roger’s Road stop at Roundtrees Bakery. Best bread I ever tasted. Run by a nice Italian family. Try one of their veal sandwiches. OMG trust me you will be thinking about going back for months after.

    • Benjamin

      You mean the guy who put up better numbers than Erik Karlsson at the same age? Not just in their draft years, but the two before that as well.

      Kylington at 12th overall is at least within reason. Kylington falling to the second round? Ludicrous.

    • On my draft list I had Kylington as my highest defenseman at that point and figure that Dallas might heavily favour a defenseman even over the bpa. McKeens is high off their asses with their Kylington ranking but wouldn’t mind if teams share McKeens view so Kylington could slide to 24.