SUNRISE, Fla. — The first round of the 2015 NHL Draft was held at BB&T Center on Friday.
As expected center Connor McDavid (OHL) was chosen first overall by the Edmonton Oilers, and defenceman Jack Eichel (Boston College) second, by Buffalo. Center Dylan Strome (OHL) was third third overall, picked by Phoenix.
Seventeen of the 30 first rounders played last season in the Canadian Hockey League (OHL – 7, QJMHL – 5, WHL – 5). However, four of these picks were Europeans, playing in the CHL, #6 Pavel Zacha (Czech), #7 Ivan Provorov (Russia), #13 Jacob Zaboril (Czech) and #19 Evgeny Svechnikov (Russia).
Five more Europeans, who played in Europe last season, were also elected in the first round: #10, Mikko Rantanen, #12 Denis Gurianov, #20 Joel Eriksson Ek, #22 Ilya Samsonov, #27 Jacob Larson.
Eichel was the first of three US College Top 10 first rounders. Fellow BU teammate and D-man Noah Hanifin was #5), and University of Michigan’s Zachary Werenski, another D was #8.
Four other first rounders played last year in the USHL and are bound to US colleges for the coming season.
Matthew Barzall, of Coquitlam (Spokane, BWC) at #16 was the top pick from BC.
Defenceman Noah Juulson (Everett, Abbotsford BA1), from Abbotsford was the next BC pick at #26.
Forward Nick Berkeley (Kelowna, Calgary Bisons) at #30 was the final Western Canadian first round pick.
The draft resumes Saturday with rounds 2-7 (10 a.m. ET; NHLN, TVA Sports).
Here is a pick-by-pick look at the first round:
By Mike G. Morreale – NHL.com Staff Writer
1) Edmonton Oilers
Connor McDavid, Center
NHL Central Scouting final ranking: 1
2014-15: Erie Otters (OHL); Stats: 47 games, 44-76-120
Summary: An exceptional skater capable of making split-second decisions on the fly. The projected generational-type player is effective on every shift in whatever role given. Named the Canadian Hockey League Sportsnet player of the year, McDavid had 97 goals, 285 points in 166 career regular season games (1.71 points-per game) in three seasons in the Ontario Hockey League.
2) Buffalo Sabres
Summary: The 2015 Hobey Baker Award winner scored the most points by a college freshman since Paul Kariya had 100 points at the University of Maine in 1992-93. Eichel (6-foot-2, 196 pounds) also led the NCAA with 45 assists, a plus-51 rating, 23 power-play points, a 1.12 assists-per-game average and a 1.77 points-per-game average. Eichel set a Hockey East tournament record with 11 points and also helped the Terriers reach the Frozen Four championship game. He finished in the top 10 in seven categories during fitness testing at the NHL Scouting Combine.
3) Arizona Coyotes
Dylan Strome, Center
NHL Central Scouting final ranking: 4
2014-15: Erie Otters (OHL); 68 games, 45-84-129
Summary: Strome (6-foot-3, 185 pounds) led the Ontario Hockey League in assists and points and was third in goals. The brother of New York Islanders forward Ryan Strome, he was awarded the William Hanley Trophy as the most sportsmanlike player in the OHL. He had 14 goals and 29 points in 20 games when Connor McDavid was out because of a hand injury, and he scored 10 goals and had 22 points in 20 playoff games.
4) Toronto Maple Leafs
Mitchell Marner, Center
NHL Central Scouting final ranking: 6
2014-15: London Knights (OHL); 63 games, 44-82-126
Summary: Marner (5-foot-11, 160 pounds) was second in the Ontario Hockey League in assists and points. He has 128 assists and 185 points in 127 career OHL games. Prior to sustaining an upper-body injury April 9, the right-hander had nine goals and 16 points in seven OHL playoff games. He’s often compared to former Knights player and current Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane.
5) Carolina Hurricanes
Noah Hanifin, Defenseman
NHL Central Scouting final ranking: 3
2014-15: Boston College (H-East); 37 games, 5-18-23
Summary: He possesses fantastic acceleration out of his own zone and can confidently lead the transition. Hanifin (6-foot-3, 203 pounds) is the most dynamic offensive defenseman of this draft class. The left-handed shot is rarely out of position and is a great distributor. He had 52 blocked shots in 37 games as a freshman with the Eagles, and he represented the United States at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.
6) New Jersey Devils
Pavel Zacha, Center
NHL Central Scouting final ranking: 8
2014-15: Sarnia Sting (OHL); 37 games, 16-18-34
Summary: The Czech Republic native is relentless on the puck and creates scoring chances for teammates with his strength and smart decisions. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound left-hander exhibits good puck control, a strong work ethic and a great shot. He represented the Czech Republic at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.
7) Philadelphia Flyers
Ivan Provorov, Defenseman
NHL Central Scouting final ranking: 7
2014-15: Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL); 60 games, 15-46-61
Summary: The 6-foot, 201-pound left-hander logs a lot of minutes, is good on specialty teams, and likes to play the body. He manned the blue line for silver medalist Russia at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship and as a rookie ranked fourth in points among Western Hockey League defensemen. He is regarded as one of the best passers in the Canadian Hockey League.
8) Columbus Blue Jackets
Zachary Werenski, Defenseman
NHL Central Scouting final ranking: 9
2014-15: University of Michigan (BIG10); 35 games, 9-16-25
Summary: The left-handed shot was the youngest player in NCAA hockey in 2014-15 but showed the poise of a four-year letter winner. He easily reads situations as they come and can assess on the fly, has a big shot, and exhibits confidence on the power play. He led Michigan defenders in points and tied for the lead with 59 blocked shots, and had 12 power-play points and a plus-9 rating.
9) San Jose Sharks
Timo Meier, Right wing
NHL Central Scouting final ranking: 10
2014-15: Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL); 61 games, 44-46-90
Summary: The versatile Meier (6-foot-1, 209 pounds) is strong with or without the puck. His 44 goals and 23 power-play goals led the Mooseheads in the regular season. He ranked in the top 10 in goals (10) and points (21) in 14 games in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League playoffs. Meier also has experience skating with top players; with Switzerland at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship, his linemate was Nashville Predators forward Kevin Fiala, in Halifax his linemate was Winnipeg Jets top prospect Nikolaj Ehlers, and at the 2015 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game he played on a line with Connor McDavid.
10) Colorado Avalanche
Mikko Rantanen, Right wing
NHL Central Scouting final ranking (European): 1
2014-15: TPS (FIN); 56 games, 9-19-28
Summary: Rantanen (6-foot-3, 211 pounds) played regular even-strength shifts and on the power play with TPS, averaging 16:14 of ice time per game. His four goals at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship were half of Finland’s total for the tournament. Regarded as a big, strong, mature, mobile two-way power forward who protects the puck well, he has a great reach and is very strong in battles along the boards and in the corners. He is considered by many to be the best prospect from Europe this season.
11) Florida Panthers
Lawson Crouse, Left wing
NHL Central Scouting final ranking: 5
2014-15: Kingston Frontenacs (OHL); 56 games, 29-22-51
Summary: Crouse (6-foot-4, 215 pounds) has a physically intimidating presence and is capable of fighting through checks and playing a power game. He has a very hard shot but may not have the skill set that some of the other top-rated forwards possess, perhaps because he prefers a north-south style to quickly get from point A to point B. He won a gold medal representing Canada at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.
12) Dallas Stars
Denis Gurianov, Right wing
NHL Central Scouting final ranking (European): 7
2014-15: Togliatti 2 (RUS-JR.); 23 games, 15-10-25
Summary: The 6-foot-2, 183-pound left-handed shooter is the complete package. He’s a big power forward who likes to use his physical strength and is gritty in all areas of the ice. Many scouts believe he has the hardest shot of this year’s draft class. Gurianov succeeded on his off wing much of the season and has been compared to Valeri Nichushkin, the Dallas Stars‘ 2013 first-round pick (No. 10).
13) Boston Bruins
Jakub Zboril, Defenseman
NHL Central Scouting final ranking: 12
2014-15: Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL); 44 games, 13-20-33
Summary: Named to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s rookie all-star team this season, the 6-foot-1, 184-pound Czech Republic native played on the power play and penalty kill. Regarded as a physical defenseman, Zboril can start a break out of the defensive zone and join the attack. He’s a good skater, has a good shot from the point, and shows good mobility.
14) Boston Bruins
Jake DeBrusk, Left wing
NHL Central Scouting final ranking: 19
2014-15: Swift Current Broncos (WHL); 72 games, 42-39-81
Summary: The son of former NHL enforcer Louie DeBrusk, he is a relentless worker. DeBrusk’s 42 goals, 81 points and 13 power-play goals led the Broncos. A 40-goal scorer in junior, he is capable of doing the dirty work in front of the net on the power play. DeBrusk (5-foot-11, 171 pounds) has good speed through the neutral zone and can create chances on the fly.
15) Boston Bruins
Zachary Senyshyn, Right wing
NHL Central Scouting final ranking: 38
2014-15: Sault Marie Greyhounds (OHL); 66 games, 26-19-45
Summary: The 6-foot-1, 192-pound forward is regarded for his speed and hockey sense. He creates time and space with the puck on his stick and can use his ability to beat defenders wide and drive to the net for scoring opportunities. When he gets the puck off the transition, he can explode down wing while commanding the attention of defenders. He had 26 goals this season but Sault Ste. Marie had a deep offense with seven 20-goal scorers.
16) New York Islanders
Mathew Barzal, Center
NHL Central Scouting final ranking: 11
2014-15: Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL); 44 games, 12-45-57
Summary: The right-hander missed nearly three months because of a fractured kneecap but returned and scored four goals in six Western Hockey League playoff games. In two seasons with the Thunderbirds, Barzal (5-foot-11, 175 pounds) had 85 assists and 111 points in 103 regular-season games. He offers great puck-handling skills and plays a solid two-way game.
Profile: Barzal bounces back from injury
17) Winnipeg Jets
Kyle Connor, Left wing
NHL Central Scouting final ranking: 13
2014-15: Youngstown Phantoms (USHL); 56 games, 34-46-80
Summary: The University of Michigan recruit was named the United States Hockey League Player of the Year and Forward of the Year after leading the league in 80 points, breaking his own record for the most points in a season by a Youngstown player. His greatest assets are his speed and relentless 200-foot game. His playmaking skills make players around him better, and he produces offensively. Connor (6-foot-1, 177 pounds) had 82 goals and 195 points in 174 games in the USHL.
18) Ottawa Senators
Thomas Chabot, Defenseman
NHL Central Scouting final ranking: 16
2014-15: Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL); 66 games, 12-29-41
Summary: Chabot led all Sea Dogs defenders in points in his second season with the team. The 6-foot-1, 180-pound left-shot defenseman has high-end skill and great mobility. He is a strong skater with good speed and mobility. He’s always looking to advance the puck under pressure and can lead the rush into the offensive zone.
19) Detroit Red Wings
Evgeny Svechnikov, Left wing
NHL Central Scouting final ranking: 17
2014-15: Cape Breton Screaming Eagles (QMJHL); 55 games, 32-46-78
Summary: The 6-foot-2, 199-pound left-hander from Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Russia, was second among rookie scorers in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League this season in points. He enjoys a physical game, doesn’t back away, and is aggressive on the forecheck. He has high-end puck skills, especially in traffic, and puts himself in proper position to receive a pass and make a play.
20) Minnesota Wild
Joel Eriksson Ek, Center
NHL Central Scouting final ranking (European): 4
2014-15: Farjestad (SWE); 34 games, 4-2-6
Summary: The 6-foot-2, 180-pound left-handed sniper began the season with Farjestad’s junior team but did surprisingly well when given an opportunity with Farjestad’s team in the Swedish Hockey League. NHL Director of European Scouting Goran Stubb called Eriksson one of the biggest surprises in Sweden this season. He’s considered a real competitive, mobile center who knows his defensive responsibilities.
21) Ottawa Senators
Colin White, Center
NHL Central Scouting final ranking: 29
2014-15: USA U-18 (USHL); 54 games, 23-32-55
Summary: The Boston College-bound right-hand shot has been compared to Patrice Bergeron for his preparedness and detail to every shift. White (6-foot, 183 pounds) is deceptive and hard to play against because of his smarts, speed and strength. He’s the type of player who will wear an opponent down over the course of a game.
22) Washington Capitals
Ilya Samsonov, Goaltender
NHL Central Scouting final ranking (European): 1
2014-15: Magnitogorsk 2 (RUS-JR.); 18 games, 2.66 goals-against average, .918 save percentage
Summary: Samsonov (6-foot-3, 200 pounds) played one game in the Kontinental Hockey League with Mettalurg Magnitogorsk under coach Mike Keenan. His size enables him to cover plenty of the net, and he has shown consistency. He is signed with Magnitogorsk through the 2016-17 season. He has a good glove, quick feet and a very mature game.
23) Vancouver Canucks
Brock Boeser, Right wing
NHL Central Scouting final ranking: 27
2014-15: Waterloo Black Hawks (USHL); 57 games, 35-33-68
Summary: His 35 goals and 32 power-play points tied for first in the United States Hockey League; he was third in total points. Boeser (6-foot, 191 pounds), who was named to the USHL’s first all-star and all-rookie teams, is a product of Burnsville High School in Minnesota. He’s committed to the University of North Dakota in 2015-16. He compares his two-way style of play to New York Islanders forward Kyle Okposo.
24) Philadelphia Flyers
Travis Konecny, Center
NHL Central Scouting final ranking: 14
2014-15: Ottawa 67’s (OHL); 60 games, 29-39-68
Summary: The right-hander, who can also play right wing, jumped 12 spots from the midterm rankings to No. 14 on Central Scouting’s final ranking of the top North American skaters. Konecny (5-foot-10, 175 pounds), the 2014 Ontario Hockey League Rookie of the Year, had 29 goals and 68 points in 60 regular-season games in 2014-15. “He’s a skilled forward who plays bigger than his size and is not afraid to get involved in traffic and puck battles,” NHL Director of Central Scouting Dan Marr said.
25) Winnipeg Jets
Jack Roslovic, Center
NHL Central Scouting final ranking: 39
2014-15: USA U-18 (USHL); 57 games, 21-46-67
Summary: The Miami University recruit has unbelievable hockey sense and takes great pride in making the safe play. He’s able to find open teammates and get the play moving, no matter the pressure he faces from the opposition. He’s not afraid to use his body and has a deceptive, quick shots. The 6-foot, 182-pound right-hander could one day be the first player born in Columbus, Ohio, to play in the NHL.
26) Montreal Canadiens
Noah Juulsen, Defenseman
NHL Central Scouting final ranking: 22
2014-15: Everett Silvertips (WHL); 68 games, 9-43-52
Summary: The right-shot defender went from a projected second-round pick on Central Scouting’s midterm ranking (No. 38) to a first-round projection. Juulsen (6-foot-1, 174 pounds), who had a plus-22 rating in 68 regular-season games, is a smart, two-way defender with good speed and mobility. He can create offense on the power play or off the rush. He is responsible and reliable in his own end.
27) Anaheim Ducks
Jacob Larsson, Defenseman
NHL Central Scouting final ranking (European): 3
2014-15: Frolunda Jr. (SWE-JR.); 30 games, 8-11-19
Summary: Larsson (6-foot-2, 191 pounds), a two-way defenseman, is a good, mobile skater who reads the game well and is effective with the puck. He is smart on the transition and has the ability to lead the offensive attack. He models his game after Arizona Coyotesdefenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson.
28) New York Islanders
Anthony Beauvillier, Left Wing
NHL Central Scouting final ranking: 33
2014-15: Shawinigan Cataractes (QMJHL); 67 games, 42-52-94
Summary: A strong two-way skater, the 5-foot-10, 173-pound forward plays with plenty of energy and emotion. Beauvillier ranked eighth in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in points and led Shawinigan in goals. He also led the team with a 58.7 percent faceoff efficiency and tied for the lead with 16 power-play goals. He was captain for Team Cherry at the 2015 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.
29) Columbus Blue Jackets
Gabriel Carlsson, Defenseman
NHL Central Scouting final ranking (European): 2
2014-15: Linkoping Jr. (SWE-JR.); 39 games, 0-7-7
Summary: The 6-foot-4, 183-pound shut-down defender moved up five spots from NHL Central Scouting’s midterm ranking to No. 2 on the final ranking of European skaters. He is known to play a safe game, is very reliable, and can use his size, strength and excellent reach in a smart way.
30) Arizona Coyotes
Nicholas Merkley, Right wing
NHL Central Scouting final ranking: 23
2014-15: Kelowna Rockets (WHL); 72 games, 20-70-90
Summary: Merkley (5-foot-10, 191 pounds) led the Rockets and finished sixth in the Western Hockey League in points and ranked first on the team in assists. He finished third in scoring in the WHL playoffs with 27 points (five goals, 22 assists), and added three goals and five points in five games at the Memorial Cup. He’s more of a playmaker, known for being tenacious on the puck, but he has the ability to score big goals at the most opportune times. He plays with an edge.