NHL Mock Draft 2015: Toronto Maple Leafs Select….?

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NHL Mock Draft 2015: Picks 6-10

Jun 30, 2013; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils chairman Jeff Vanderbeek speaks before the 2013 NHL Draft at the Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

No. 6: New Jersey Devils- Pavel Zacha

Position: Center

Junior Team: Sarnia Sting

37 GP- 16 goals- 18 assists- 34 points

The Devils need size up the middle – at 6’3″, 210 pounds, Zacha gives them that. He has a good two-way game, but he will need further development in order to improve his offensive game.

Zacha has the skill and edge to his game. His hitting can be compared to Leo Komarov, and he has a wicked shot.

No. 7: Philadelphia Flyers- Ivan Provorov

Position: Defense

Junior Team: Brandon Wheat Kings

60 GP- 15 goals- 46 assists- 61 points

If there is a prospect that can challenge Hanifin for top defenceman in the draft, it is Provorov. He can quarterback the powerplay, play tough in his own end and has exceptional hockey IQ.

Some believe the Leafs could consider Provorov with the fourth overall pick, while other teams would trade up to select him. The Flyers need to make improvements on defense, and having a player like Provorov will help that immensely.

No. 8: Columbus Blue Jackets- Zach Werenski

Position: Defense

Junior Team: University of Michigan

35 GP- 9 goals- 16 assists- 25 points

Centre and defence are the two most coveted positions in the draft, and with good reason. That is why a player like Werenski will have his stock rise more than in previous years.

The Blue Jackets just lost Mike Reilly, and could look at Werenski as a player to replace him. He does not lack size at 6’2″, 214 pounds, and logged heavy minutes for Michigan last season.

His attention to defense made him a standout for scouts, but he does not neglect the offensive side of the game.  He could be a vital component of a top four pairing, and Columbus would be happy to take him if they are unable to land Provorov or Hanifin.

No. 9: San Jose Sharks-Lawson Crouse

Position: LW

Junior Team: Kingston Frontenacs

56 GP- 29 goals- 22 assists- 51 points

His nickname in junior was “the Sheriff” because of his play, which has been compared to former NHLers like Brendan Shanahan and beloved Leaf Wendel Clark. He has the Rick Nash mold with a 6’4″ 215 pound frame, and an ability to put up points.

However, some scouts are worried his size is making him rated higher then he should be. If he can produce at a consistent rate in the NHL while using his size, it would be difficult to contain him. Certainly, the Sharks could use another big body in their top six alongside Joe Thorntonto make life difficult for teams in the west.

No. 10: Colorado Avalanche- Mikko Rantanen

Position: RW

Junior Team: TPS Turku

56 GP- 9 goals- 19 assists- 28 points

The highest ranked International player is another big body skilled player, who brings in comparison to players like James van Riemsdyk. Rantanen is more of a playmaker, even though he has a great release.

He protects the puck very well, but like many big bodied players does not use his size to full advantage. Rantanen’s stats may not scream elite status, but playing in Europe with older players means it will not take long for him to mature into a solid NHL prospect. The Avalanche could use a player that can come in and replace an aging veteran like Jarome Iginla, something which Rantanen is capable of doing.

Next: Picks 11-15