7th Annual NHL Mock Draft: 2018, Round 4

2018 NHL Draft, 2018 NHL Mock Draft, Amir Miftakhov, Brandon Saigeon, Liam Kirk, Logan Hutsko, NHL Entry Draft, Previews and Predictions



I’m fairly comfortable — dare I say confident — with my mock to this point. I feel most of the names in my top 93, through three rounds, will be off the board by now. However, I also feel like I’m throwing darts from here on out, but that’s half the fun of doing a full seven-round mock, so let the tossing begin in the fourth round.

Fourth Round

94) Buffalo Sabres — Johnny Gruden (LW, USA, NTDP U18)

Height/Weight: 5-foot-11.75, 169 pounds (Combine Official)

Playoff Stats: NA

Regular Season Stats: 61 GP-28 G-32 A-60 PTS; 25 GP-15 G-19 A-34 PTS in USHL

Central Scouting: 46 NAS

THW Larry Fisher: 89

THW Ryan Pike: 56

ANALYSIS: Gruden is a high-skill player, an offensive catalyst who will probably find a way to put up numbers as a pro in the years to come. Whether his game will fully translate to the NHL remains to be seen. Gruden reminds me of Toronto prospect Jeremy Bracco (second round, 61st overall in 2015), both in good ways and bad, but I personally like Gruden and wouldn’t hesitate in picking him here. That said, the Sabres could also use this pick to address more of a positional need — perhaps a goalie?

95) Ottawa Senators — Curtis Douglas (C, Canada, Windsor OHL)

Height/Weight: 6-foot-8.5, 248 pounds (CO)

Playoff Stats: 6 GP-1 G-3 A-4 PTS with Windsor

Regular Season Stats: 28 GP-7 G-11 A-18 PTS with Barrie; 38 GP-15 G-13 A-28 PTS with Windsor

Central Scouting: 63 NAS

THW Larry Fisher: 85

THW Ryan Pike: 115

ANALYSIS: Big centres don’t grow on trees and Douglas is even bigger than Logan Brown — Ottawa’s 6-foot-6 first-rounder from 2016 (11th overall). Douglas doesn’t have the same high-end skill or offensive upside, but he could develop into an Adam Lowry type and that’s still a very serviceable player. The Senators would be set in terms of size down the middle with Douglas joining Brown in their prospect pool, but another team could definitely reach for Douglas in the third round.

96) Carolina Hurricanes (from Arizona) — Filip Kral (LHD, Czech Republic, Spokane WHL)

Height/Weight: 6-foot-0, 168 pounds (not measured at combine)

Playoff Stats: 5 GP-0 G-0 A-0 PTS

Regular Season Stats: 54 GP-9 G-26 A-35 PTS

Central Scouting: 54 NAS

THW Larry Fisher: 93

THW Ryan Pike: 86

ANALYSIS: Kral got plenty of exposure in his draft year as a teammate of Ty Smith, a fellow left-handed defenceman and top-10 candidate for 2018. Despite being overshadowed by Smith, Kral often stood out when watching Spokane and I’m sure a lot of NHL scouts were impressed with what they saw too. As a result, Kral could easily go in the third round and I doubt he would get past Carolina here. The Hurricanes would have scouted Kral while keeping tabs on their 2016 third-rounder Hudson Elynuik in Spokane.

97) Montreal Canadiens — Danila Galenyuk (LHD, Russia, SKA St. Petersburg KHL)

Height/Weight: 6-foot-1, 201 pounds (not measured at combine)

Playoff Stats: 6 GP-0 G-1 A-1 PT in MHL; 2 GP-0 G-0 A-0 PTS in KHL

Regular Season Stats: 20 GP-1 G-5 A-6 PTS in MHL; 3 GP-0 G-0 A-0 PTS in KHL

Central Scouting: 23 EUS

THW Larry Fisher: 78

THW Ryan Pike: Not Ranked (NR)

ANALYSIS: Marc Bergevin probably regrets trading away a stud Russian defenceman in Mikhail Sergachev and letting another return home to the KHL in Andrei Markov, so maybe Bergevin will try to make amends by drafting Galenyuk, who didn’t put up much for numbers in his draft year but looked dynamic at the U18s. Galenyuk is a kid that I’d love to see come over in the CHL import draft because I think that would be a stepping stone to a bright future in North America.

98) Detroit Red Wings —Albin Eriksson (LW, Sweden, Skelleftea J20)

Height/Weight: 6-foot-4, 205 pounds (not measured at combine)

Playoff Stats: 3 GP-0 G-6 A-6 PTS in SuperElit; 2 GP-0 G-0 A-0 PTS in SHL

Regular Season Stats: 38 GP-22 G-18 A-40 PTS in SuperElit; 17 GP-0 G-1 A-1 PT in SHL

Central Scouting: 22 EUS

THW Larry Fisher: 98

THW Ryan Pike: 99

ANALYSIS: Eriksson is a big Swedish winger that can score and may have a bit of The Mule in him — that being Johan Franzen, who had a stellar career with the Red Wings. Ken Holland will like the sounds of that and won’t pass on Eriksson if he’s still available at this spot, but Eriksson is another prospect that will garner third-round consideration based on his size and scoring ability.

99) Vegas Golden Knights (from Vancouver via Pittsburgh) — Luka Burzan (C, Canada, Brandon WHL)

Height/Weight: 6-foot-1, 181 pounds (not measured at combine)

Playoff Stats: 11 GP-5 G-2 A-7 PTS with Moose Jaw

Regular Season Stats: 42 GP-6 G-13 A-19 PTS with Moose Jaw; 30 GP-9 G-12 A-21 PTS with Brandon

Central Scouting: 91 NAS

THW Larry Fisher: 88

THW Ryan Pike: 109

ANALYSIS: Kelly McCrimmon didn’t draft Burzan into the WHL, he was traded to Brandon from Moose Jaw as the key piece in the Kale Clague blockbuster, but McCrimmon still owns the Wheat Kings and has a vested interest there. I’m sure McCrimmon had a say in that deal going down and Burzan didn’t disappoint in finishing strong through the playoffs. Burzan has the potential to really break out as a front-line player for Brandon next season and become a steal from this draft class — much the way Brayden Point has been for Tampa Bay as a 2014 third-rounder (79th overall). I see similarities between those two players, besides both developing in Moose Jaw, and Burzan would be a great gamble for Vegas at this spot.

100) Dallas Stars (from Chicago) — Amir Miftakhov (G, Russia, Irbis Kazan MHL)

Height/Weight: 6-foot-0, 159 pounds (not measured at combine)

Playoff Stats: 5 GP-3.22 GAA-.887 SaveP in MHL

Regular Season Stats: 26 GP-1.91 GAA-.934 SaveP in MHL; 1 GP-1.85 GAA-.941 SaveP in VHL

Central Scouting: 3 EUG

THW Larry Fisher: NR

THW Ryan Pike: NR

ANALYSIS: The Stars could really use a blue-chip goalie prospect and Miftakhov has a ton of upside. He may not get to the level of Andrei Vasilevskiy or Ilya Samsonov, but there have been a lot of quality Russian goaltenders coming out of the middle rounds in recent years. Ilya Sorokin of the Islanders (third round, 78th overall in 2014) and Igor Shesterkin of the Rangers (fourth round, 118th in 2014) immediately come to mind. Miftakhov has similar potential and shouldn’t slide any further than this. I like him as a top-100 pick.

101) New York Rangers — Jordan Harris (LHD, USA, Kimball Union High School)

Height/Weight: 5-foot-10.75, 179 pounds (CO)

Playoff Stats: NA

Regular Season Stats: 37 GP-6 G-29 A-35 PTS; 5 GP-0 G-1 A-1 PT with USHL Youngstown

Central Scouting: 44 NAS

THW Larry Fisher: 92

THW Ryan Pike: 93

ANALYSIS: Harris has a high ceiling, but he’s a few years away from making any sort of impact. The Rangers are committed to a rebuild and can take on a longer-term project with hopes that Harris will develop into a steal at this spot. That’s entirely possible, but the high-schoolers always seem like boom-or-bust types until they get to college — or at least the USHL — where we can get a better read on them. That said, I’m a fan of Harris and could see him being a surprise pick in the third round, or perhaps even in the second round — especially by a team, like the Rangers, with more than five picks in the top 100. If Jeff Gorton likes Harris, he could take him at No. 88 or No. 70.

102) Montreal Canadiens (from Edmonton) — Adam McCormick (LHD, Canada, Cape Breton QMJHL)

Height/Weight: 5-foot-11, 181 pounds (not measured at combine)

Playoff Stats: 5 GP-2 G-1 A-3 PTS

Regular Season Stats: 67 GP-7 G-30 A-37 PTS

Central Scouting: 156 NAS

THW Larry Fisher: NR

THW Ryan Pike: NR

ANALYSIS: Bergevin stays closer to home in grabbing another defenceman here, getting McCormick out of the Quebec junior league. One of my contacts out east, who watched McCormick closely in his draft year, pushed for him as a third-round pick — ahead of Xavier Bernard. McCormick had to overcome adversity and distractions, with his mom undergoing a double lung transplant, but his skill still shone through and he could prove to be another steal here. Worth noting, that QMJHL source was also high on Drake Batherson last year and I didn’t yield his advice — Batherson went undrafted in my 2017 mock and wound up as an honourable mention (in reality, Ottawa stole Batherson in the fourth round, 121st overall) — so I’m taking his word this time and hopping on the McCormick bandwagon, even if this spot is a little low for his liking. It is still a full round higher than I was envisioning McCormick, who I had ballparked around No. 150 in my final rankings.

103) New York Islanders — Axel Andersson (RHD, Sweden, Djugardens J20)

Height/Weight: 6-foot-0, 181 pounds (not measured at combine)

Playoff Stats: 3 GP-0 G-0 A-0 PTS in SuperElit; 5 GP-0 G-2 A-2 PTS in U18

Regular Season Stats: 42 GP-6 G-25 A-31 PTS

Central Scouting: 27 EUS

THW Larry Fisher: NR

THW Ryan Pike: NR

ANALYSIS: The Islanders keep going best player available because it’s been working wonders for them so far in my mock, and Andersson is another nice prospect at this spot. The Islanders snagged a Swedish defenceman in the fifth round last year who has already exceeded all expectations in Sebastian Aho (139th overall), so it would make sense to look for another gem in this range. Andersson may not be able to quarterback a power play like Aho, but he does appear to have some untapped offensive upside. If by some chance over-ager Simon Johansson was still available here — I have him going in the third round, 75th to Dallas — then he’d be another prime target for the Islanders.

104) Carolina Hurricanes — Linus Nyman (LW/RW, Finland, Kingston OHL, over-ager)

Height/Weight: 5-foot-10, 159 pounds (not measured at combine)

Playoff Stats: 16 GP-6 G-10 A-16 PTS

Regular Season Stats: 67 GP-39 G-46 A-85 PTS

Central Scouting: 89 NAS

THW Larry Fisher: NR

THW Ryan Pike: 100

ANALYSIS: I can’t imagine Nyman falling past Carolina here and he really should have been a top-100 pick last year — for the record, I had him slotted at 69th in my 2017 mock draft. He will almost certainly get selected at some point in 2018 after dominating the OHL, to the point that he has outgrown the junior game and plans on going home to Finland to further develop in the pro ranks next season. The Hurricanes like their Finns and Nyman is another good one in the making.

105) Calgary Flames — Riley Stotts (LW, Canada, Calgary WHL)

Height/Weight: 6-foot-0, 172 pounds (CO)

Playoff Stats: NA

Regular Season Stats: 22 GP-2 G-1 A-3 PTS with Swift Current; 47 GP-17 G-24 A-41 PTS with Calgary

Central Scouting: 51 NAS

THW Larry Fisher: NR

THW Ryan Pike: 72

ANALYSIS: Stotts finished his draft year in Calgary’s backyard with the Hitmen after coming over from Swift Current ahead of the WHL trade deadline. Stotts hit his stride there, in Calgary, and although I didn’t see him live with his new team, those who did are saying he’s emerged as a real riser among that league’s draft class. That change of scenery obviously sparked Stotts and the Flames surely took notice.

106) Dallas Stars — Chase Wouters (C, Canada, Saskatoon WHL)

Height/Weight: 6-foot-0, 176 pounds (not measured at combine)

Playoff Stats: NA

Regular Season Stats: 72 GP-18 G-33 A-51 PTS

Central Scouting: 92 NAS

THW Larry Fisher: 87

THW Ryan Pike: 74

ANALYSIS: Speaking of risers from the Western Hockey League, Wouters is definitely on that list thanks in part to a strong performance for Canada at the under-18 tournament. He’s a smart player who was really able to raise his level of play at that showcase under Don Hay. Wouters should also have a key role on a much-improved Saskatoon team next season. Dallas keeps good tabs on the WHL, where owner Tom Gaglardi and former coach Ken Hitchcock have their roots with Hay in Kamloops, so Wouters will certainly be on the Stars’ radar in this range.

107) St. Louis Blues — Michael Callahan (LHD, USA, Youngstown USHL)

Height/Weight: 6-foot-1.75, 191 pounds (CO)

Playoff Stats: 11 GP-0 G-2 A-2 PTS with Youngstown

Regular Season Stats: 37 GP-3 G-6 A-9 PTS with Central Illinois; 22 GP-0 G-9 A-9 PTS with Youngstown

Central Scouting: 145 NAS

THW Larry Fisher: NR

THW Ryan Pike: NR

ANALYSIS: The Blues’ bread and butter has been the OHL, but St. Louis also dedicates a fair bit of resources towards scouting the USHL, which is producing more and more talent with every passing year. My limited connections in the USHL have identified Callahan as a potential sleeper if he falls to the fourth round, though they tell me they’d be shocked if he doesn’t go in the top 100. Callahan strikes me as the type of under-the-radar defender that the Blues could run away with here at No. 107. Then again, Callahan had a long playoff run to the USHL final with Youngstown, falling short against Fargo, so perhaps he’s no longer under the radar and maybe he will be long gone by this spot.

108) Calgary Flames (from Florida) — Ryan Chyzowski (LW, Canada, Medicine Hat WHL)

Height/Weight: 6-foot-0, 190 pounds (not measured at combine)

Playoff Stats: 6 GP-4 G-1 A-5 PTS

Regular Season Stats: 72 GP-21 G-31 A-52 PTS

Central Scouting: 95 NAS

THW Larry Fisher: NR

THW Ryan Pike: 98

ANALYSIS: This would be three straight picks out of the WHL to start Calgary’s draft since I also had the Flames taking Riley Sutter with their first pick, at No. 74 in the third round. Chyzowski can really shoot the pill as the kids say and Medicine Hat should be a high-scoring team, if healthy, next season. So Chyzowski’s numbers could blow up again, having already gone from five goals and 12 points as a WHL rookie to 21 and 52 as a sophomore. He might flirt with the 40 and 80 ranges, and the Flames are going to need more scoring in their future.

109) Colorado Avalanche — Nathan Dunkley (C, Canada, London OHL)

Height/Weight: 5-foot-11, 185 pounds (not measured at combine)

Playoff Stats: 4 GP-0 G-1 A-1 PT with London

Regular Season Stats: 31 GP-13 G-20 A-33 PTS with Kingston; 29 GP-8 G-16 A-24 PTS with London

Central Scouting: 109 NAS

THW Larry Fisher: NR

THW Ryan Pike: 73

ANALYSIS: Colorado goes best player available here, getting Dunkley from another junior team that is trending up and should light it up next season. London is going to be good again after reloading this past season, getting Dunkley from Kingston in the process. Dunkley should hit the ground running in his draft-plus-one campaign and promises to be a contributor to London’s anticipated success. If the Knights become a winner, the Avs also win with this pick.

110) New Jersey Devils — Tyler Madden (C, USA, Tri-City USHL)

Height/Weight: 5-foot-10.75, 150 pounds (CO)

Playoff Stats: NA

Regular Season Stats: 18 GP-6 G-8 A-14 PTS with Central Illinois; 32 GP-9 G-11 A-20 PTS with Tri-City

Central Scouting: 39 NAS

THW Larry Fisher: 90

THW Ryan Pike: 87

ANALYSIS: The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree with Tyler Madden — the son of John Madden, who had a big hand in the Devils hoisting a couple Stanley Cups in 2000 and 2003. John was known as a shutdown centre in the NHL, but he was a prolific scorer in junior — producing two 100-point seasons for the Barrie Colts prior to their OHL days and then becoming a point-per-game player in college over his final three seasons at the University of Michigan. Tyler is just starting his journey, but he put up nice numbers for two different teams as a USHL rookie and is bound for Northeastern University (NCAA) in the fall. Given his bloodlines and his stat-lines, Madden could easily crack the top 100 and perhaps even the top 60, but I have him landing in the lap of his dad’s former team in New Jersey, which would be a no-brainer at this spot.

111) Nashville Predators (from Columbus) — Libor Zabransky (RHD, Czech Republic, Kelowna WHL)

Height/Weight: 6-foot-1, 187 pounds (not measured at combine)

Playoff Stats: 4 GP-0 G-0 A-0 PTS

Regular Season Stats: 72 GP-2 G-17 A-19 PTS

Central Scouting: 115 NAS

THW Larry Fisher: NR

THW Ryan Pike: NR

ANALYSIS: The Preds draft defencemen as well as anybody and may see something special in Zabransky despite the fact he endured his share of struggles in transitioning to the North American game this past season. It wasn’t the draft year that Zabransky had hoped for and his stock has plummeted as a result — many will have him ranked closer to 200 than 100 — but the upside is still there and he showed it again in captaining the Czech Republic at the under-18 tournament following his season in Kelowna. Zabransky needed to finish on a high note like that and it should also be a confidence-booster for returning to Kelowna, where the WHL’s Rockets have a reputation for developing some of the NHL’s best blueliners. Kelowna is often touted as a defence factory and something tells me Nashville won’t sleep on Zabransky, even if some see this as a reach.

112) Philadelphia Flyers — Tyler Tucker (LHD, Canada, Barrie OHL)

Height/Weight: 6-foot-1, 205 pounds (not measured at combine)

Playoff Stats: 12 GP-3 G-3 A-6 PTS

Regular Season Stats: 59 GP-3 G-20 A-23 PTS

Central Scouting: 171 NAS

THW Larry Fisher: NR

THW Ryan Pike: NR

ANALYSIS: Tucker hits like a truck, but he’s better at picking his spots and not as reckless as a guy like Radko Gudas. Tucker might be the hardest-hitter or the most frequent hitter in this year’s draft class, according to my OHL sources. They rave about him and tell me Tucker is worthy of going in the top 100 based on his unique skill-set. It sure sounds like that skill-set would fit in well on Broad Street, where the Flyers’ franchise is best known for toughness, physicality and intimidation. Tucker is a bit of a throwback to the days of Scott Stevens, albeit without the offence, but he skates well enough to make it in today’s game.

113) Los Angeles Kings — Brandon Saigeon (C, Canada, Hamilton, OHL, over-ager)

Height/Weight: 6-foot-2, 196 pounds (not measured at combine)

Playoff Stats: 21 GP-18 G-7 A-25 PTS; 4 GP-0 G-4 A-4 PTS at Memorial Cup

Regular Season Stats: 65 GP-35 G-35 A-70 PTS

Central Scouting: 147 NAS

THW Larry Fisher: NR

THW Ryan Pike: NR

ANALYSIS: Not to compare Saigeon to Tanner Pearson — they are quite different in their playing styles — but they both emerged as big scorers in the OHL after going undrafted in their first year of eligibility. The Kings picked Pearson in the first round (30th overall) in 2012 as an over-ager and some would say he’s since overachieved as a pro. Saigeon took a significant step this season in helping lead the Hamilton Bulldogs to a league championship and Memorial Cup berth. Watching Saigeon quite closely in that tournament, he was noticeable in a lot of good ways and you could see certain pro qualities in his game. A team looking for a forward who is closer to NHL-ready may select Saigeon in the third round, but if he’s here at this spot, Saigeon seems like a good fit for Los Angeles.

114) San Jose Sharks — Logan Hutsko (C/RW, USA, Boston College, over-ager)

Height/Weight: 5-foot-10, 172 pounds (not measured at combine)

Playoff Stats: NA

Regular Season Stats: 37 GP-12 G-19 A-31 PTS

Central Scouting: 66 NAS

THW Larry Fisher: NR

THW Ryan Pike: 119

ANALYSIS: Another over-ager who could go higher, Hutsko surprisingly led Boston College in scoring as a freshman ahead of Jacob Tortora, who I have going in the third round (83rd overall) to Toronto. Stats aren’t everything and don’t always tell the full story, but Hutsko’s numbers do jump off the page and undoubtedly got the attention of NHL teams as their draft year progressed. Some scouts probably went to watch Tortora and came away more impressed by Hutsko, which could result in them flip-flopping from my mocked spots. I could totally see the Sharks trading up to take Hutsko if he’s still on the board beyond No. 75. San Jose drafted Dylan Gambrell as an NCAA over-ager in 2016, selecting him at the end of the second round (60th overall), which makes me think Doug Wilson’s staff could have Hutsko’s name circled this time around.

115) Vegas Golden Knights (from Pittsburgh via Tampa Bay) — Liam Kirk (F, England, Sheffield EIHL)

Height/Weight: 6-foot-0.25, 161 pounds (CO)

Playoff Stats: NA

Regular Season Stats: 52 GP-9 G-7 A-16 PTS

Central Scouting: 65 EUS

THW Larry Fisher: NR

THW Ryan Pike: NR

ANALYSIS: The Golden Knights have a Frenchman in Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and they could add an English lad in the speedy Kirk. I’ll admit that Kirk has been tough to slot — even tougher than those two previous over-agers — since he played in a rarely scouted pro league. But Kirk did get a bit of extra exposure at the second division world championship this spring, where he helped Great Britain win gold and earn promotion to the top flight for the first time since 1994. Still, I have no idea where Kirk will go in the draft, but I’m assuming this spot won’t be far off. I’d be pretty surprised if he cracked the top 100, but time will tell. I could see Vegas taking a chance on Kirk here.

116) Anaheim Ducks — Luke Henman (C, Canada, Blainville-Boisbriand QMJHL)

Height/Weight: 5-foot-11.5, 150 pounds (CO)

Playoff Stats: 20 GP-6 G-8 A-14 PTS

Regular Season Stats: 61 GP-9 G-38 A-47 PTS

Central Scouting: 83 NAS

THW Larry Fisher: NR

THW Ryan Pike: 123

ANALYSIS: Henman could be a riser as a bit of a late-bloomer, being a QMJHL rookie in his draft year. He was a quick study at that level and came on strong thanks to his hockey sense — arguably his best asset. Scouts will certainly like the way Henman is able to think the game and some believe that will translate to more offensive upside in the years to come. Henman could be one of those prospects that becomes a better pro than a junior, or a more effective pro in a defined role that he can run with. The Ducks could use a utility centre down the road, especially if Ryan Kesler is done and ditto for Antoine Vermette, who might be a closer comparable for Henman.

117) Buffalo Sabres (from Minnesota) — Justus Annunen (G, Finland, Karpat Jr.)

Height/Weight: 6-foot-4, 207 pounds (not measured at combine)

Playoff Stats: 12 GP-1.83 GAA-.935 SaveP in U20

Regular Season Stats: 26 GP-2.31 GAA-.907 SaveP in U20; 1 GP-4.00 GAA-.892 SaveP in Liiga

Central Scouting: 4 EUG

THW Larry Fisher: NR

THW Ryan Pike: 120

ANALYSIS: Goaltending is a short- and long-term concern for Buffalo, with hopes of Linus Ullmark taking the crease at some point next season — when he’ll be 25 years old — and Ukko-Pekka Luukonen projected as the Sabres’ future starter. Problem is, Luukonen struggled mightily in his draft-plus-one season — especially at the World Juniors in Buffalo— so it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Sabres select another netminder fairly high in 2018. Annunen is another Finn, who backstopped his country to under-18 gold just like Luukonen did in 2016. A Finnish tandem of Luukonen and Annunen seems quite promising. If the Sabres are at all worried about Luukonen not panning out, they could jump at Annunen to start the fourth round, at No. 94, rather than waiting and hoping he’s still available here at No. 117.

118) Toronto Maple Leafs — Kody Clark (RW, Canada, Ottawa OHL)

Height/Weight: 6-foot-1, 179 pounds (CO)

Playoff Stats: 5 GP-0 G-0 A-0 PTS

Regular Season Stats: 56 GP-18 G-21 A-39 PTS

Central Scouting: 34 NAS

THW Larry Fisher: NR

THW Ryan Pike: 66

ANALYSIS: This is Wendel’s son and thus a sentimental pick of sorts, but a case can also be made for Clark as the best player available here — or at least one of the better players available at this spot. I don’t know if Clark’s name would necessarily be topping Kyle Dubas’ personal list, but perhaps this is a pick that Brendan Shanahan pushes for as a feel-good story — drafting a second-generation Leaf. Dubas was still in diapers during Wendel’s heyday — well, maybe not quite — but I don’t think the significance of selecting a legend’s son would be lost on him during his first draft as Toronto’s GM. Pass on Clark at your own peril, especially if he becomes a player. In saying that, this next prospect might have been a better fit for the Leafs.

119) Boston Bruins — Sean Durzi (RHD, Canada, Owen Sound OHL, over-ager)

Height/Weight: 6-foot-0, 188 pounds (CO)

Playoff Stats: 11 GP-4 G-12 A-16 PTS

Regular Season Stats: 40 GP-15 G-34 A-49 PTS

Central Scouting: 37 NAS

THW Larry Fisher: NR

THW Ryan Pike: 80

ANALYSIS: Durzi is another one of those over-agers that is difficult to slot in a mock. Some teams could have him in their top 100 and I know I’ve been debating Durzi for at least 20 picks already, but there’s little doubt that he fits the bill as best player available here for Boston — even if he doesn’t strike me as a typical Bruins pick. I strongly considered Durzi for Toronto since the Leafs have an organizational need for right-handed defencemen and he’s obviously a little further along in his development than the first-year eligible prospects, which could make Durzi more appealing to Dubas than Clark. However, I couldn’t pass up that storyline, and Don Sweeney may be sending me a ‘thank you’ card for that decision. Durzi is a good story in his own right and he definitely looked like a player this season after getting passed over last year when he only scored two goals in 60 games before breaking out for 15 goals and 49 points in just 40 games to garner plenty of draft attention this time around.

120) Chicago Blackhawks (from Nashville) — Anton Malyshev (RHD, Russia, Loko Yaroslavl MHL)

Height/Weight: 6-foot-0, 181 pounds (not measured at combine)

Playoff Stats: 8 GP-1 G-0 A-1 PT

Regular Season Stats: 31 GP-4 G-6 A-10 PTS

Central Scouting: 60 EUS

THW Larry Fisher: NR

THW Ryan Pike: NR

ANALYSIS: Malyshev captained Russia at the under-18 tournament and looked decent there, but I’m not going to pretend to be an expert on him. I do know our Russian insider here at THW, Alessandro Seren Rosso, is quite high on Malyshev and ranks him second among that country’s defence prospects behind Galenyuk, who I slotted at No. 97. I trust his judgment and I also know Chicago is keen on Russians, so Malyshev could be a logical option for the Blackhawks at this spot.

121) Tampa Bay Lightning — Riley Damiani (C/RW, Canada, Kitchener OHL)

Height/Weight: 5-foot-10, 161 pounds (not measured at combine)

Playoff Stats: 19 GP-5 G-7 A-12 PTS

Regular Season Stats: 64 GP-19 G-18 A-37 PTS

Central Scouting: 100 NAS

THW Larry Fisher: NR

THW Ryan Pike: 122

ANALYSIS: I do confide in a few of my THW colleagues, including Mark Scheig as an OHL correspondent. He’s credentialed to cover that league and has solid connections there, so when Scheig mentioned Damiani as a candidate for the steal of the draft — assuming he goes outside the top 100 — I immediately made a mental note. I already liked Damiani as a late-round pick, but now I’m thinking he could go higher than this spot — perhaps as high as the third round. You can bet Tampa Bay wouldn’t let Damiani fall any further than here since the Lightning excel at drafting out of the OHL.

122) Montreal Canadiens (from Winnipeg) — Joey Keane (RHD, USA, Barrie OHL, over-ager)

Height/Weight: 6-foot-0, 185 pounds (not measured at combine)

Playoff Stats: 12 GP-0 G-7 A-7 PTS

Regular Season Stats: 62 GP-12 G-32 A-44 PTS

Central Scouting: 111 NAS

THW Larry Fisher: NR

THW Ryan Pike: NR

ANALYSIS: Keane and Durzi, I’m happy to get them out of the way because I really had no idea where to slot them. They are over-agers, but they are also right-handed defencemen — a rare commodity in today’s NHL. So they could go in the top 100 — either or both of them — but I felt the fourth round was more fitting for my mock. I’m not in love with this pick for the Habs, just as I wasn’t with Durzi for the Bruins, but the placement seems about right. We shall see.

123) Florida Panthers (from Vegas) — Jachym Kondelik (C/W, Czech Republic, Muskegon USHL)

Height/Weight: 6-foot-7, 218 pounds (not measured at combine)

Playoff Stats: 3 GP-1 G-2 A-3 PTS

Regular Season Stats: 44 GP-16 G-18 A-34 PTS

Central Scouting: 48 NAS

THW Larry Fisher: NR

THW Ryan Pike: 69

ANALYSIS: Kondelik is a very intriguing prospect at his size and he took a nice jump statistically as a sophomore in the USHL, improving from seven goals and 15 points last year in his North American debut to 16 goals and 34 points — more than doubling his production there. That had me thinking Kondelik would rise into the top 100, but he strangely wasn’t among the 104 prospects invited to the scouting combine — an omission that seemed like a red flag, though there could have been other circumstances preventing him from attending. That’s too bad because I’m sure NHL scouts would have been eager to see Kondelik in the fitness testing, to get a better read on his physical development. Kondelik will be playing NCAA next season, at the University of Connecticut, which may remind the Panthers of the path taken by Henrik Borgstrom — their budding Finn who was a Hobey Baker finalist as the college player of the year coming out of Denver. Florida could certainly see potential in Kondelik, but Dale Tallon won’t be holding his breath for the big Czech centre to be available here.

124) Washington Capitals — Alexander Zhabreyev (C/W, Russia, Dynamo SPB MHL)

Height/Weight: 5-foot-7, 152 pounds (not measured at combine)

Playoff Stats: 8 GP-4 G-3 A-7 PTS

Regular Season Stats: 40 GP-11 G-19 A-30 PTS

Central Scouting: 63 EUS

THW Larry Fisher: NR

THW Ryan Pike: NR

ANALYSIS: I’d be surprised if Washington doesn’t pick at least a couple more Russians this year — 2018 is really strong draft class for Russia, in my opinion. Again, I’m not an expert on Zhabreyev, but I like what little I have seen and heard about him. I don’t want to compare Zhabreyev to Kirill Kaprizov, who Minnesota stole in the fifth round in 2015, but I could see this selection looking like a steal a few years from now. I already have the Capitals taking one small Russian forward in Ruslan Iskhakov at the end of the third round, but maybe they make it two in a row if Zhabreyev is still on the board here. Or if Iskhakov isn’t available at that spot, I could see the Capitals reaching for Zhabreyev a round earlier.


Recapping Fourth Round

94) Buffalo Sabres — Johnny Gruden (LW, USA, NTDP U18)

95) Ottawa Senators — Curtis Douglas (C, Canada, Windsor OHL)

96) Carolina Hurricanes (from Arizona) — Filip Kral (LHD, Czech Republic, Spokane WHL)

97) Montreal Canadiens — Danila Galenyuk (LHD, Russia, SKA St. Petersburg KHL)

98) Detroit Red Wings —Albin Eriksson (LW, Sweden, Skelleftea J20)

99) Vegas Golden Knights (from Vancouver via Pittsburgh) — Luka Burzan (C, Canada, Brandon WHL)

100) Dallas Stars (from Chicago) — Amir Miftakhov (G, Russia, Irbis Kazan MHL)

101) New York Rangers — Jordan Harris (LHD, USA, Kimball Union High School)

102) Montreal Canadiens (from Edmonton) — Adam McCormick (LHD, Canada, Cape Breton QMJHL)

103) New York Islanders — Axel Andersson (RHD, Sweden, Djugardens J20)

104) Carolina Hurricanes — Linus Nyman (LW/RW, Finland, Kingston OHL, over-ager)

105) Calgary Flames — Riley Stotts (LW, Canada, Calgary WHL)

106) Dallas Stars — Chase Wouters (C, Canada, Saskatoon WHL)

107) St. Louis Blues — Michael Callahan (LHD, USA, Youngstown USHL)

108) Calgary Flames (from Florida) — Ryan Chyzowski (LW, Canada, Medicine Hat WHL)

109) Colorado Avalanche — Nathan Dunkley (C, Canada, London OHL)

110) New Jersey Devils — Tyler Madden (C, USA, Tri-City USHL)

111) Nashville Predators (from Columbus) — Libor Zabransky (RHD, Czech Republic, Kelowna WHL)

112) Philadelphia Flyers — Tyler Tucker (LHD, Canada, Barrie OHL)

113) Los Angeles Kings — Brandon Saigeon (C, Canada, Hamilton, OHL, over-ager)

114) San Jose Sharks — Logan Hutsko (C/RW, USA, Boston College, over-ager)

115) Vegas Golden Knights (from Pittsburgh via Tampa Bay) — Liam Kirk (F, England, Sheffield EIHL)

116) Anaheim Ducks — Luke Henman (C, Canada, Blainville-Boisbriand QMJHL)

117) Buffalo Sabres (from Minnesota) — Justus Annunen (G, Finland, Karpat Jr.)

118) Toronto Maple Leafs — Kody Clark (RW, Canada, Ottawa OHL)

119) Boston Bruins — Sean Durzi (RHD, Canada, Owen Sound OHL, over-ager)

120) Chicago Blackhawks (from Nashville) — Anton Malyshev (RHD, Russia, Loko Yaroslavl MHL)

121) Tampa Bay Lightning — Riley Damiani (C/RW, Canada, Kitchener OHL)

122) Montreal Canadiens (from Winnipeg) — Joey Keane (RHD, USA, Barrie OHL, over-ager)

123) Florida Panthers (from Vegas) — Jachym Kondelik (C/W, Czech Republic, Muskegon USHL)

124) Washington Capitals — Alexander Zhabreyev (C/W, Russia, Dynamo SPB MHL)



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