No. 16 Calgary Flames Select Jake Oettinger
The Flames are another team on the cusp of becoming a contender, and even though this may seem like an off-the-board selection, the Flames need goalies. Oettinger won’t be ready for the NHL next season, but he’s not far from being there. They’ll pass on the some of the other players that may be better for the sake of need here.
No. 17 Toronto Maple Leafs Select Klim Kostin
Klim Kostin is the No.1 ranked international skater, and he probably shouldn’t have fallen this far in the draft. The Maple Leafs will consider themselves lucky that he did, and take the big off-wing shooter here. The Leafs already sport a nice set of forwards, and probably need defense more, but with Klostin still available, they’ll find it hard to pass on his services.
No. 18 Boston Bruins Select Kristian Vesalainen
The Boston Bruins are in need of a left winger to play with their top guns. They struggled all year to find a complimentary piece for both of their centers, Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci, and will be happy to select another forward who fits the mold of their playing style. Vesalainen is a pure two-way forward who also has the skill necessary to playing in the top six. He’ll need some time to develop, but should still fit their window of playoff contention.
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No. 19 San Jose Sharks Select Kole Lind
This is a player that I’d also love to see the Avs select, but they’ve already made enough moves in the first round and found players they like, so he goes to the Sharks. Lind is a fun player with a lot of potential, but like most picks this late in the first round, he’ll need a couple years of development. However, when you’re a team like the Sharks, you have time for development. Plus, he’s going to get there sooner than other players at this point.
No. 20 St. Louis Blues Select Jason Robertson
I am baffled that most mock drafts don’t even have Robertson going in the first round. Sure, his skating needs some work, but he is clearly a top player in the making. He was the motor that made the Kingston Frontenacs work this season. He’s also still only 17 years old, and has an extremely high ceiling. The Blues will feel blessed to get another prospect this late in the first round who has the same type of ceiling Vladimir Tarasenko had in 2010 at No. 16 overall.