2018 NHL Mock Draft: Latest Predictions for All 1st-Round Prospects

Franklin Steele@FranklinSteeleAnalyst IIJune 18, 2018

REGINA, SK - MAY 27:  Noah Dobson #53 of Acadie-Bathurst Titan warms up against the Regina Pats at Brandt Centre - Evraz Place on May 27, 2018 in Regina, Canada. (Photo by Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)
Marissa Baecker/Getty Images

The 2018 NHL draft could impact the league in numerous ways. Potential superstars Rasmus Dahlin and Andrei Svechnikov will likely be selected first and second overall, respectively, and that's worth getting excited about.

There's a ton of trade chatter as we near draft day on June 22, however, and we could see some big names changing hands over the course of the weekend.

Most of the attention will be going to the draft board, though, as organizations try to find future roster players no matter where they are picking. This year's class is particularly interesting because no one really knows what's going to happen after the Carolina Hurricanes pick second.

It would be a monster swerve for Dahlin and Svechnikov to flip-flop, but things really begin to open up after that. It's a draft that will be viewed in chunks in the immediate aftermath, and it'll be years before we can begin to identify true winners and losers.

MONTREAL, QC - JANUARY 05: Yakov Trenin #25 of Team Russia and Rasmus Dahlin #8 of Team Sweden chase after the puck during the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship bronze medal game at the Bell Centre on January 5, 2017 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Photo
Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

            

1. Buffalo Sabres: D Rasmus Dahlin, Frolunda (SHL)

2. Carolina Hurricanes: RW Andrei Svechnikov, Barrie (OHL)

3. Montreal CanadiensLW Filip Zadina, Halifax (QMJHL)

4. Ottawa SenatorsD Noah Dobson, A-Bathurst (QMJHL)

5. Arizona CoyotesLW Brady Tkachuk, Boston University

6. Detroit Red WingsD Quinton Hughes, US Under 18 

7. Vancouver CanucksD Adam Boqvist, Brynas (SHL)

8. Chicago BlackhawksRW Oliver Wahlstrom, US Under 18

9. New York RangersRW Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Assat Pori (SM-liiga)

10. Edmonton OilersD Evan Bouchard, London (OHL)

11. New York IslandersD Ty Smith, Spokane (WHL) 

12. New York Islanders (via Calgary Flames)C Barrett Hayton, Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)

13. Dallas StarsLW Joel Farabee, USNTDP (USHL)

14. Philadelphia Flyers (via St. Louis Blues)C Rasmus Kupari, Karpat Oulu (SM-liiga)

15. Florida Panthers: LW/RW Dominik Bokk, Vaxjo Lakers (SHL/SuperElit)

16. Colorado AvalancheD Ryan Merkley, Guelph (OHL)

17. New Jersey DevilsD Bode Wilde, US Under 18

18. Columbus Blue JacketsC Joe Veleno, Drummondville (QMJHL)

19. Philadelphia Flyers: RW Vitaly Kravtsov, Chelyabinsk (KHL)

20. Los Angeles KingsC Ryan McLeod, Mississauga (OHL) 

21. San Jose SharksC Isac Lundestrom, Lulea HF (SHL)

22. Ottawa Senators (via Pittsburgh Penguins)RW Serron Noel, Oshawa, (OHL)

23. Anaheim Ducks: D Rasmus Sandin, Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)

24. Minnesota WildC Jacob Olofsson, Timra IK (Allsvenskan)

25. Toronto Maple Leafs: D K’Andre Miller, US U18 (NTDP)

26. New York Rangers (via Boston Bruins)C/W Akil Thomas, Niagara (OHL) 

27. Chicago Blackhawks (via Nashville Predators): D Mattias Samuelsson, US U18 (NTDP)

28. New York Rangers (via Tampa Bay Lightning): D Alexander Alexeyev, Red Deer (WHL)

29. St. Louis Blues (via Winnipeg Jets)D Jonathan Tychonick, Penticton (BCHL)

30. Detroit Red Wings (via Vegas Golden Knights): C Bo Groulx, Halifax (QMJHL)

31. Washington CapitalsLW Grigori Denisenko, Loko Yaroslavl (MHL)

GATINEAU, CANADA - OCTOBER 18:  Noah Dobson #53 of the Acadie-Bathurst Titan skates against the Gatineau Olympiques on October 18, 2017 at Robert Guertin Arena in Gatineau, Quebec, Canada.  (Photo by Francois Laplante/FreestylePhoto/Getty Images)
Francois Laplante/FreestylePhoto/Getty Images

          

D Noah Dobson, A-Bathurst

In a draft class that is seemingly dominated by smaller, faster defenseman like Dahlin, Noah Dobson is cut from a more traditional cloth. Standing at 6'3" and weighing in at more than 180 pounds, he could become a minute-munching defenseman for whichever team drafts him.

While he doesn't have the offensive flair that some of his other proverbial classmates do, Dobson is more than capable of getting the puck up the ice when the need is there. The Summerside, PEI native notched 17 goals and 69 points in the QMJHL last season, finishing second in scoring on his team, proving that he can get it done in all three zones.

Dobson isn't just a puck-moving defenseman, however.

He is a physical blueliner who isn't afraid to play the body when possible. Moreover, the defender has shown he can step up in big games. His Acadia Bathurst Titans won the Memorial Cup this year, and Dobson was a big reason why.

            

LW Brady Tkachuk, Boston University

Earlier in the year, Brady Tkachuk was considered a third-tier prospect, behind the possible generational talents like Andrei Svechnikov and the handful of consolation prizes that will come after.

Not anymore.

The son of former NHL All-Star Keith Tkachuk and younger brother of current Calgary Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk, Brady has quite the pedigree. He's more than just bloodlines, though. He offers an intriguing combination of skill, grit and speed and should be able to jump to the pro level sooner rather than later.

Matthew has evolved into a solid player in Calgary, but Brady is considered to be the better prospect at this stage of his career. While he's not quite a slam dunk, there's a lot to like about the rugged winger who brings plenty of attitude and grit to the ice along with his considerable skills.

         

D Quinton Hughes, US Under 18

While Dobson is more of a traditional two-way defenseman, Quinton Hughes has oodles of talent. His offensive prowess isn't quite on Dahlin's level—and to be far, Dahlin is the best defensive prospect since Drew Doughty in 2008—he's an electric skater who has future powerplay quarterback written all over him.

The knock on him, of course, is that he's just 5'10" and 174 pounds. Yet there's no substitute for great hockey sense, and that's what Hughes has.

Not only is he quick on his feet, he has also proved capable of making the right choices at that high speed. There are plenty of so-so players who can skate like the wind but can't do the correct things with the puck when they are at top speed.

That isn't an issue for Hughes, who is a fantastic passer and creative rusher. 

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