NHL Mock Draft Roundup: Who do the experts think the Sharks will select?
For an early preview of who the Sharks might select this evening, we turn to a compilation of mock drafts.
We're hours away from watching the 2015 NHL entry draft play out in earnest and finding out who the Sharks will take at 9th overall, assuming they keep the pick. But in the meantime, let's take a look at the slew of mock drafts that have swarmed the internet over the past month to find out who the experts believe the Sharks will snap up with their first rounder.
|TSN (Button)||Lawson Crouse||Ranked in the top five by Central Scouting and ISS, the big-bodied Kingston winger is a polarizing prospect lauded by scouts for his size and work ethic but possessing pedestrian offensive numbers that raise questions about his ultimate upside. We profiled him here.|
|ESPN (Pronman)||Evgeny Svechnikov||A bit of a reach at 9th overall, the big Russian winger nevertheless had a sterling debut season in North America this year, tallying 78 points in 55 games for Cape Breton in the QMJHL. Questions about his skating and the ever-present "Russian factor" will likely push him near the bottom of the first round.|
|Sportsnet (Cox)||Timo Meier||Meier would certainly add another piece to the Sharks' growing Swiss contingent that already includes Mirco Mueller and Noah Rod. Beyond that, Meier is a physical winger who led Halifax with 44 goals this season although there's no doubt he was the beneficiary of playing with Jets uber-prospect Nikolaj Ehlers.|
|Sportsnet (Joyce)||Mathew Barzal||Fast, talented, playmaking center who had his draft year somewhat derailed by injury but still managed to post one of the best points-per-game rates in the class. We profiled Barzal here.|
|NHL.com (Kimelman)||Zach Werenski||The youngest player in college hockey had a nearly unprecedented season in terms of NCAA production by a 17-year-old defenseman. There are still concerns about Werenski's play in his own end but his skating ability and offensive skillset are undeniable. We profiled him here.|
|NHL.com (Morreale)||Lawson Crouse||Another appearance for Crouse. As we said in the profile, he's a very good prospect and would be a nice pick closer to the middle of the first round but there are likely going to be better players available at 9th overall.|
|McKeen's (Wheeler)||Ivan Provorov||This is dream. We profiled Provorov here.|
|McKeen's (Ross)||Lawson Crouse||Crouse again.|
|USA Today Sports||Zach Werenski||Hopefully the Mike Reilly saga scares the Blue Jackets away from drafting another NCAA player. If that happens, there's a pretty good chance Werenski falls to San Jose.|
|My NHL Draft||Mathew Barzal||Barzal shows up again. If the Devils prefer Crouse or Pavel Zacha, there's a real chance he falls to 9th overall though it's unclear whether the Sharks would prefer him to some of the other options available.|
|The Hockey Writers||Pavel Zacha||After his rookie OHL season was severely shortened by suspension and injury, Zacha is pretty much all projection at this point but his toolkit is so impressive he's likely worth drafting in the top ten based on that projection alone. We took him in the SB Nation mock draft and wrote about that here.|
|Yahoo!||Mathew Barzal||Yes, defense is the bigger need, but a future forward corps built around Barzal, Goldobin, Hertl, Tierney, Nieto and Chartier would be all sorts of fun.|
|Bleacher Report||Mathew Barzal||Hey, the last Seattle Thunderbirds forward the Sharks drafted in the first round turned out pretty well.|
|The Cannon||Mikko Rantanen||One of the older players in this class, the 6'4" forward already has two and a half years of professional experience in Finland's top men's league. His offense this season wasn't quite high-end compared to what previous top Finnish prospects like Mikael Granlund and Teuvo Teravainen compiled in Liiga during their draft years but he's reportedly reliable at both ends of the ice.|
|The Leafs Nation||Zach Werenski||Sharks drafting "the next Jacob Trouba" might be the realistic best-case scenario tonight.|