Officially my conspiracy theory of the draft. The Sharks’ German owner Hasso Plattner will relish the opportunity to draft one of his fellow countrymen.
Outside of the German connection, Bokk is a definite first rounder and would be a welcomed addition to a rather porous prospect pool. He is a two-way winger who reminds me a lot of current Shark Mikkel Boedker.
Assuming the Senators end up trading Karlsson at the draft, the Senators would likely take the top defensive prospect available with this pick. But for now, he’s still in the Nation’s Capital.
Kaut is the best player available here. He didn’t start the season as a first-round projection, but a strong World Juniors jump-started a second half that looks to have him as a lock at the back half of the round.
"“The eye test says he looks like a pro. Has good compete, rarely takes shifts off and plays an honest game in an underrated Czech league.” – Sam Cosentino, Sportsnet"
Cam Robinson of Dobber Prospects compared Kaut to fellow countrymen Martin Necas and Filip Chytil. Both made their respective NHL debuts after being selected in the first round last year.
Even if he doesn’t play in the NHL next season, Kaut is still ahead of most in this class as a late ’99 birthday. He has the ability to be a great pickup outside the top 20.
No team was exposed for their lack of depth at centre more than the Ducks last season, as they lost both Ryan Getzlaf and Ryan Kesler to injury. That put the team in a position where they had to play Rickard Rakell at centre and trade for Adam Henrique.
This why they should invest in a centre like McLeod, even though many say teams shouldn’t draft based on positional need.
Anaheim could use a speedy playmaker down the middle that would compliment 2016 first rounder Sam Steel, who should be graduating from the WHL. McLeod would be an ideal fit for the Ducks, as he checks off a lot of needs for them and they have a surplus of talent on the wing and on the backend.
First off, Dave greased me in taking McLeod. However, there’s no better consolation prize than Akil Thomas. Born in Florida but raised in Toronto, Thomas stood out as one of the more intriguing draft options this year.
He finished his second season in the OHL with 22 goals and 59 assists. Thomas’s skating and hands are two of the things that stand out about him as both contributed to his offensive heavy season. The way he handles and dishes out the puck has a true sense of ease to it but 9/10 times it hits its mark.
Dominic Tiano of OHL Writers had some uplifting things words about Thomas:
"Thomas possesses excellent puck handling skills, vision and passing abilities. He’s also a very good skater with very good speed and works his edges extremely well. When combined, he is difficult to contain in the o-zone, making him one of the better playmakers in the draft class."
The downside is his size and unwillingness at times to play at centre ice. Thomas will have to add some more muscle if he hopes to continue to play and be effective down the middle, as skating can only take you so far.
The versatile Wisconsin commit is the perfect fit for Kyle Dubas’s BPA philosophy. The former forward has successfully made the transition from offence to defence and is one of the top defenseman available in the 2018 draft.
Miller is an extremely raw two-way defenceman who has top-four pairing ability. Although he needs to improve defensively, look for Tony Granato to drastically improve his two-way game at Wisconsin.
Although Miller is raw, he possesses one of the best skill sets in the entire draft and could develop into a top-four defenceman.