The following players just missed the cut for my top 31 rankings and could provide excellent value to teams in the second round and beyond. They are listed in no particular order as very little separates them outside of style and personal preference.
You can find my Top 31 rankings below.
TYSON FOERSTER RW – Barrie (OHL)
6’1” 194 lbs Shoots: R
A sniper who possesses a lethal shot and scoring touch. Turned heads at the CHL Top Prospects game where he was named MVP. Will need to improve skating mechanics and pace to have success at higher levels. Could be deadly on an NHL powerplay.
BRADEN SCHNEIDER D – Prince Albert(WHL)
6’2” 202 lbs Shoots: R
A big defender who is tough, mobile and keeps it simple. Won’t wow with skating or puck skills but makes good decisions and excels at the basics of defending. Lacks the dynamic qualities to play in the top four. Has a high floor and can become a reliable presence on the penalty-kill.
OZZY WIESBLATT RW – Prince Albert (WHL)
5’10” 183 lbs Shoots: R
Exceptionally fleet-of-foot with silky skill to match his competitiveness. Possesses a relentless attack mentality both with and without the puck. Will need to get bigger and stronger in order for his game to translate at the next level. His mixture of skill and tenacity are highly intriguing.
SAM COLANGELO C/RW – Chicago (USHL)
6’2” 205 lbs Shoots: R
A powerful winger who is a strong finisher. Uses strength, hands and a heavy release to score from dangerous areas. His size grants him an advantage over opponents in the USHL, but he will need to continue to grow stronger for his game to translate to higher levels. Upside is a middle-six scoring winger
RONI HIRVONEN C/RW – Assat (Liiga)
5’9” 163lbs Shoots: L
A high motor two-way forward who refuses to take his foot off the gas. Excellent hands and awareness have helped him stick in Finland’s top men’s league. Size could be an issue based on his playing style and level of skating. A versatile player who could slot throughout a lineup.
JÉRÉMIE POIRIER D – St John’s (QMJHL)
6’0” 196 lbs Shoots: L
Possesses potentially the best hands in the entire draft. A riverboat gambler who dances through opponents with surprising frequency. Defensive engagement is severely lacking. Either it all comes together and he is an offensive force or his deficiencies prevent him from coming close. The embodiment of a risk-reward player.
RIDLEY GRIEG C – Brandon (WHL)
5’11” 163 lbs Shoots: L
A relentless forechecker with a mean streak who plays bigger than his size. Loves to pressure opponents and can transition from sandpaper to finesse within the same shift. Led all WHL draft eligible players in penalty minutes. Will need to get stronger for his playing style to translate.
DANIIL GUSHCHIN RW – Muskegon (USHL)
5’8” 165 lbs Shoots: L
Highly mobile and elusive thanks to his electric skating. Excellent at handling the puck, shooting and making plays with his feet moving. He can get knocked off of pucks due to his size and will need to improve the structure of his overall game, especially his play without the puck. Plays an excitingly flashy game that screams top-six or bust.
JUSTIN SOURDIF RW – Vancouver (WHL)
5’11” 173 lbs Shoots: R
A tenacious winger that doesn’t shy away from contact and fights to get inside tough areas. Strong skating and soft hands allow him to make the plays that are available. Well-rounded game but lacks offensive creativity. Has struggled with inconsistency. Lower ceiling but a higher floor.
ALEXANDER PASHIN RW – Tolpar Ufa (MHL)
5’8” 154 lbs Shoots: L
Uses dynamic skating and high end skill to make up for a lack of size. Dangerous when close to the net thanks to excellent hands and explosive quickness. His stature impedes him when defending and he will need to get stronger and learn to use positioning and an active stick to defend at higher levels. Skill level and approach to the game is reminiscent of another undersized Russian winger who went undrafted and is now a Hart trophy candidate…..