Even though Nolan Patrick’s season was shortened several times because of injury the few games he did play and memories of past seasons have proven that he deserves the top spot. His effortless playing in previous seasons has impressed everyone, not to mention how he helped his Wheat Kings attain the WHL title in 2015. Patrick may not be another Connor McDavid, but he is nothing short of talented when his skates hit the ice. Any NHL team that selects this young man from Winnipeg will be lucky to have such a hidden talent on their roster.
2. Nico Hischier, Halifax Mooseheads
Nico Hischier may not be the biggest prospect out there but at this point in his career it is predicted that he is one of the best players to come out of Switzerland. Experts have compared his style of play to Pavel Datsyuk, which is very high praise considering everything that the Red Wings forward has accomplished. It has been mentioned time and time again that the young Swiss has amazing playmaking skills on the ice and can make anyone look good. While Hischier is predicted to go 2nd overall anything can happen on the stage in Chicago when it’s time for teams to make decisions. Look out for this Swiss and don’t take your eyes off of him, he’s bound to amaze.
3. Casey Mittelstadt, Green Bay Gamblers
This Minnesota native is likely one of less know prospects going into this year’s NHL Draft but his great speed and great playmaking is sure to get him noticed. While he took an unusual route to the draft his skill was showcased through all levels of his play, whether it be in the USHL or with his high school team. This centreman is sure to make an NHL team happy when draft day comes around at the end of the month.
4. Gabriel Vilardi, Windsor Spitfires
If people weren’t looking at Gabe Vilardi before, that has all changed now that he’s a Memorial Cup Champion with the Windsor Spitfires. While he has mostly been playing on the wing with the Spitfires this natural centreman has learned to use his bigger size to his advantage. He has been called a puck-possession workaholic with skilled hands and outstanding awareness making him a threat all around the ice. All in all his aggressive playing and NHL size will make him a hot commodity at this year’s draft in Chicago.
5. Michael Rasmussen, Tri-City Americans
This BC native looks like the perfect prospect for NHL teams with his big stature (6’5”) and no fear when it comes to going to the net in times of need. He may not be on everyone’s radar but there’s no doubt that Rasmussen has great passing skills and good vision on the ice. It can also be noted that Rasmussen knows how to use his size to his advantage when making plays or taking away the puck from opposing team players. With all these skills under his belt Rasmussen could make any NHL team happy and can be predicted to start hisNHL career sooner than others in this draft class. Keep your eyes peeled for this prospect ondraft day in the Windy City this month.