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Craig Button

TSN Director of Scouting

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Get used to seeing Auston Matthews’ name at the top of this list all season long. An elite, complete centre, the young American will have his name called first at the 2016 NHL Draft. 

Three dynamic forwards find themselves in the second to fourth spots this month. The two Finnish wingers, Jesse Puljujarvi and Patrik Laine are high-end offensive players who generate a significant amount of scoring chances and have the skill to complete them.

London Knights forward Matthew Tkachuk has all the elements of a top-end winger. The son of former NHLer Keith is able to play in all situations and is comfortable playing any style of game. Exceptional hockey sense and competitiveness, plus a high skill level, make him a player all NHL teams would like in their lineup.

Jakob Chychrun of the OHL’s Sarnia Sting rounds out the top five. A well-rounded defenceman, the 6-foot-2, 215-pound Chychrun might not have elite offensive ability, but he does have all the elements teams look for in a steady number two defenceman.

What would a draft ranking be without a smaller, skilled forward? Clayton Keller of USA Hockey's under-18 team is a very gifted player with excellent hockey sense, great hands, terrific quickness and an agility and elusiveness that makes it extremely difficult for opponents to check him.

He’s only 5-foot-9 and 168 pounds, but Keller’s on-ice vision allows him to see all his options and create scoring chances. He had seven goals and 12 points in four games to help the United States win the recent Five Nations Tournament in Switzerland.

As a centre - and I have a bias towards centres over wingers when it’s close - he may be the second-best player in the draft. I will allow some more time for evaluation, but he’s certainly right in the discussion.

 

Craig's List - November Ranking

 
RK PLAYER TEAM POS HT WT GP G P
1  Auston Matthews Zurich (Suisse A) C 6'1½ 194 14 10 14
2 Jesse Puljujärvi Karpat (SM-Liiga) RW 6'3½ 203 19 5 9
3  Matthew Tkachuk London (OHL) LW 6'1 195 16 7 30
4  Patrik Laine Tappara (SM-Liiga) RW 6'4 206 12 4 7
5  Jakob Chychrun Sarnia (OHL) D 6'2 215 17 4 12
6  Clayton Keller USA NTDP (USHL) C 5'9½ 168 16 11 29
7  Alexander Nylander Mississuaga (OHL) RW 6'0½ 179 19 10 24
8  Dante Fabbro Penticton (BCHL) D 6'0 189 14 5 24
9  Pierre-Luc Dubois C. Breton (QMJHL) LW 6'2½ 202 23 13 28
10  Tyson Jost Penticton (BCHL) C 5'11 191 20 17 41
11  Kieffer Bellows USA NTDP (USHL) LW 6'0 196 16 15 22
12  Samuel Girard Shawinigan (QMJHL) D 5'9½ 160 22 3 30
13  Mikhail Sergachyov Windsor (OHL) D 6'2½ 206 19 4 8
14  Olli Juolevi London (OHL) D 6'2½ 179 16 3 12
15  Michael McLeod Mississuaga (OHL) C 6'2 188 19 5 19
16  Julien Gauthier Val d'Or (QMJHL) RW 6'3½ 225 21 18 22
17  German Rubtsov Russia U-18 (MHL) C 6'2 176 9 6 10
18  Charlie McAvoy Boston U (NCAA) D 6'0 208 8 1 5
19  Kale Clague Brandon (WHL) D 6'0 177 18 0 7
20  Dillon Dube Kelowna (WHL) LW 5'10 180 16 10 24
21  Jake Bean Calgary (WHL) D 6'0 173 18 7 15
22  Tyler Benson Vancouver (WHL) LW 6'0 201 7 1 2
23  Vitali Abramov Gatineau (QMJHL) LW/RW 5'9 172 21 11 30
24  Alex DeBrincat Erie (OHL) C/RW 5'7 163 15 22 32
25  Logan Brown Windsor (OHL) C 6'6 222 13 2 18
26  Riley Tufte Blaine (USHSW) LW 6'5 205 12 5 6
27  Brett Howden Moose Jaw (WHL) C 6'2 193 18 9 20
28 Logan Stanley Windsor (OHL) D 6'7 220 19 1 7
29  Taylor Raddysh Erie (OHL) RW 6'2 203 16 6 25
30  Max Jones London (OHL) LW 6'3 205 14 9 13
31  Libor Hájek Saskatoon (WHL) D 6'2 185 18 2 12
32 Luke Kunin Wisconsin (NCAA) C/RW 6'0 193 10 3 7
33  Markus Niemeläinen Saginaw (OHL) D 6'5 189 18 0 13
34  James Greenway USA NTDP (USHL) D 6'5 213 16 1 2
35  Mitchell Mattson G. Rapids (USHSW) C 6'4 186 14 1 1
36  Will Bitten Flint (OHL) C/RW 5'10 167 17 10 23
37  Filip Gustavsson Lulea (SWE J-20) G 6'1½ 184 10 3.41 0
38  Sam Steel Regina (WHL) C 5'11 177 16 5 15
39  Luke Green Saint John (QMJHL) D 6'0 189 17 2 10
40 Jacob Moverare HV 71 (SHL) D 6'2½ 198 13 4 9
41  Chad Krys USA NTDP (USHL) D 5'11 185 16 1 13
42 Vojtěch Budík  Prince Albert (WHL) D 6'1 189 19 1 4
43  Max Lajoie Swift Current (WHL) D 6'1 183 18 2 10
44  Keaton Middleton Saginaw (OHL) D 6'5½ 233 18 1 3
45  Janne Kuokkanen Karpat U20 (FIN Jr) LW 6'1 175 13 6 14
46  Dmitri Sokolov Sudbury (OHL) C 6'0 220 18 6 11
47  Carter Hart Everett (OHL) G 6'0½ 177 13 1.98 2
48  Dylan Wells Peterborough (OHL) G 6'1½ 187 8 4.31 0
49  Noah Gregor Moose Jaw (WHL) C 5'11 180 18 8 22
50 Otto Somppi Halifax (QMJHL) C 6'1 179 22 3 21
51  Otto Mäkinen Tappara (FIN Jr) C 6'1 178 14 2 6
52  Jacob Cederholm HV71 (SHL) D 6'3½ 187 9 0 0
53  Tarmo Reunanen TPS (FIN Jr) D 6'0 178 11 2 6
54 Maxime Fortier Halifax (QMJHL) RW 5'10 177 22 11 24
55  Andrew Peeke Green Bay (USHL) D 6'3 209 12 2 8
56 Jonathan Dahlén Timra IK (SWE-Als) C 5'11 176 18 5 7
57 Adam Mascherin Kitchener (OHL) LW 5'9½ 206 14 7 18
58  Trent Frederic USA NTDP (USHL) C 6'2 203 16 7 9
59  Carl Grundström Modo (SWE-SHL) RW 6'0 194 15 1 3
60 Lucas Johansen Kelowna (WHL) D 6'2 174 18 2 11
61  Joey Anderson USA NTDP (USHL) RW 5'11 192      
62  Rasmus Asplund Farjestad (SWE-SHL) C 5'11 176      
63 Brandon Gignac Shawinigan (QMJHL) C 5'11 173      
64  Connor Bunnaman Kitchener (OHL) C 6'1 207      
65 Boris Katchouk SS Marie (OHL) LW 6'1 181      
66 Cameron Morrison Youngstown (USHL) LW 6'2 205      
67  Tim Gettinger SS Marie (OHL) LW 6'5 206      
68  Cliff Pu London (OHL) C/RW 6'1½ 192      
69  Jesper Bratt AIK (SWE - Als) RW 5'10 171      
70  Keenan Suthers USA NTDP (USHL) LW 6'8 223      
71  Victor Mete London (OHL) D 5'10 174      
72  Ryan Lindgren USA NTDP (USHL) D 5'11½ 198      
73 Oliver Felixson Saint John (QMJHL) D 6'6 220      
74  Tage Thompson Connecticut (NCAA) C 6'5 185      
75 Nathan Bastian Mississauga (OHL) RW 6'4 208      
76  Frédéric Allard Chicoutimi (QMJHL) D 6'1 179      
77 David Quenneville Medicine Hat (WHL) D 5'8 182      
78  Sam Rossini Waterloo (USHL) D 6'3 197      
79 Jack Kopacka SS Marie (OHL) LW 6'2 190      
80  Linus Weissbach Frolunda (FIN Jr) LW 5'9 156      
81  Jonathan Ang Peterborough (OHL) C/RW 5'11 165      
82  Joshua Mahura Red Deer (WHL)  D 6'0 178      
83 William Knierim Dubuque (USHL) RW 6'2½ 207      
84  Alexander Yakovenko Russia U18 (MHL) D 5'11 172      
85  Evan Sarthou Tri-City (WHL) G 6'1 186      
86 Jordan Kyrou Sarnia (OHL) C/RW 6'0  178      
87 Brett Murray Carleton Pl. (CJHL) LW 6'4 190      
88 Ginvani Smith Guelph (OHL) RW 6'1 194      
89 Travis Barron Ottawa (OHL) LW 6'1 195      
90 Evan Cormier Saginaw (OHL) G 6'3 202      
91  Ondrej Vala Kamloops (WHL) D 6'4½ 207      
92 Sean Day Mississauga (OHL) D 6'2 244      
93 Simon Stransky Prince Albert (WHL) LW 6'0 171      
94 Veini Vehviläinen Jyvaskala (SM-Liiga) G 6'0½ 180      
95 Cam Dineen North Bay (OHL) D 5'11 183      
96 Brayden Burke Lethbridge (WHL) LW 5'10 160      
97 Trent Fox Hamilton (OHL) C 6'3 200      
98 Jake Kryski Kamloops (WHL) C/LW 5'11 175      
99 Cole Candella Hamilton (OHL) D 6'1  189      
100 Jalen Smereck Oshawa (OHL) D 6'0 185