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NAMES TO KNOW

June 29, 2015
June 29, 2015

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June 29, 2015

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NBA FINALS
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  • Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel are the big prizes this year, but there are a number of other prospects with franchise-altering potential in the class of 2015. Here are 10 names you need to know ahead of the June 26--27 draft

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NAMES TO KNOW

Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel are the big prizes this year, but there are a number of other prospects with franchise-altering potential in the class of 2015. Here are 10 names you need to know ahead of the June 26--27 draft

DYLAN STROME

This is an article from the June 29, 2015 issue

C

Erie Otters

6'3", 185 pounds

45-84--129, 68 games

Vision and hockey sense are this playmaker's key assets. The OHL's leading scorer doesn't control a game so much as react to it, taking advantage of what opponents give him.

NHL COMPARABLE

Eric Staal

IVAN PROVOROV

D

Brandon Wheat Kings

6 feet, 201 pounds

15-46--61, 60 games

A physical specimen whose hockey sense allows him to play calm and controlled; he's a master of the breakout, a key in today's possession-based systems.

NHL COMPARABLE

Roman Josi

MITCH MARNER

RW

London Knights

5'11", 160 pounds

44-82--126, 63 games

Overcomes his lack of size with elite possession skills—there's not a better dangler in the draft. A fast skater and a dazzling playmaker, he has superstar potential.

NHL COMPARABLE

Patrick Kane

NOAH HANIFIN

D

Boston College

6'3", 203 pounds

5-18--23, 37 games

A dynamic two-way player and a nifty skater. He's not a physical force in his own end, but he is positionally sound. And few blueliners are as effective in transition.

NHL COMPARABLE

Jay Bouwmeester

MATHEW BARZAL

C

Seattle Thunderbirds

5'11", 175 pounds

12-45--57, 44 games

He's breathtakingly fast, but it's his east-west movement and the way he uses it to create time and space that make him so dangerous. A gifted playmaker.

NHL COMPARABLE

Matt Duchene

ZACH WERENSKI

D

Michigan

6'2", 206 pounds

9-16--25, 35 games

One scout says he's a "next-gen" defenseman, praising his blend of awareness, positioning, passing and skating as the modern ideal for the position. Doesn't turn 18 until July 19.

NHL COMPARABLE

Ryan McDonagh

LAWSON CROUSE

LW

Kingston Frontenacs

6'4", 213 pounds

29-22--51, 56 games

The most divisive prospect of 2015 has the size and strength to create scoring chances. But does he also have the skill to finish? Could go third or could slide out of the top 10.

NHL COMPARABLE

Andrew Ladd

MIKKO RANTANEN

RW

TPS Turku (Finland)

6'4", 211 pounds

9-19--28, 56 games

The draft's highest-rated European skater has been a presence in Finland's top league since he was 16. He has the size of a power forward but the quickness of a much smaller player.

NHL COMPARABLE

James van Riemsdyk

PAVEL ZACHA

C

Sarnia Sting

6'3", 210 pounds

16-18--34, 37 games

Everything about his game is powerful: his build, his skating, his shot. He is at his best when he relies on his pure offensive gifts. His shoot-first style may work better on the wing.

NHL COMPARABLE

David Backes

ILYA SAMSONOV

G

Magnitogorsk (Russia)

6'4", 203 pounds

11-4-1, .918 save %

He impressed scouts with a 49-save effort in a 3--1 win over the U.S. at U-18 worlds in April. He also plays with flair, and will sometimes scramble to make an acrobatic stop.

NHL COMPARABLE

Sergei Bobrovsky

PHOTOCLAUS ANDERSEN/GETTY IMAGES (MARNER)PHOTOSTEVE RUSSELL/TORONTO STAR/GETTY IMAGES (RANTANEN)