2016 NHL First Round Mock Draft- Leafs Select Matthews and DeBrincat

With just under a month until the 2016 NHL draft, here is how I think the first round will look. The draft will be taking place on June 24th and 25th.

The Maple Leafs will have two first round selections in the 2016 NHL Draft. They currently have the first overall pick, and will pick between 27th and 30th. Their second selection will depend on how Pittsburgh finishes off this year’s playoffs.

With the first overall pick for the Leafs, I have them picking the consensus number 1 pick Auston Matthews. When I first saw that the Leafs had won the NHL draft lottery, I still wasn’t sure who I would like to see them take. After paying close attention to the World Championship’s and taking an even closer look at both Matthews and Laine. I feel that the Leafs should 100% go with Matthews. But, both players were very impressive and both players will be elite NHL hockey players in my opinion.

The main reason that I believe that the Leafs should select Matthews is, he fits the biggest need that the Leafs have. The Maple Leafs have been looking for a legit number 1 center for as long as I can remember. Matthews looks like he has the potential to be exactly what the Leafs need.

Another positive about Matthews is, the fact that he is seen to be the best available player for this upcoming draft. After watching the World Championships, I would have to agree with this. Matthews was an 18-year-old who was the triggerman on the American’s power play. Matthews finished the Championships with 6 goals and 3 assists in 10 games. He also played a strong two-way game, he looked like he could be the missing piece that the Leafs have been looking for.

With the Leafs second pick in the first round, I have them selecting Alex DeBrincat of the Erie Otters. DeBrincat is a smaller forward with elite goal scoring ability. Alex is listed at 5’7 and 161 pounds. So the obviously argument for most scouts against DeBrincat is, the fact that he is to small to be effective at the next level.

That has been the case for DeBrincat all throughout his career. DeBrincat was passed up in the 2013 OHL draft. The next year he was invited to the Erie Otters camp, and made the team out of camp. In that same season, DeBrincat was able to put up 51 goals and 104 points in 68 games. He also won the Rookie of the Year Award for both the OHL and CHL.

Some people would still argue that most of DeBrincat’s success was because he was playing with Connor McDavid. But, DeBrincat showed that he could get 50 again without McDavid. In the 2015-2016 season DeBrincat was able to get 51 goals again and 101 points in just 60 games.

It is extremely challenging to find elite goal scorers in any draft and that is exactly what Alex DeBrincat is. I believe that even though DeBrincat is small, he will be able to figure out a way to be an elite goal scorer in the NHL.

 

My Mock First Round of the 2016 NHL Draft

1. Auston Matthews (Toronto Maple Leafs)

2. Patrik Laine (Winnipeg Jets)

3. Jesse Puljujarvi (Columbus Blue Jackets)

4. Jakob Chychrun (Edmonton Oilers)

5. Pierre-Luc Dubois (Vancouver Canucks)

6. Matthew Tkachuk (Calgary Flames)

7. Alexander Nylander (Arizona Coyotes)

8. Olli Juolevi (Buffalo Sabres)

9. Tyson Jost (Montreal Canadiens)

10. Julien Gauthier (Colorado Avalanche)

11. Logan Brown (New Jersey Devils)

12. Clayton Keller (Ottawa Senators)

13. Michael Mcleod (Carolina Hurricanes)

14. Mikhail Sergachev (Boston Bruins)

15. Kieffer Bellows (Minnesota Wild)

16. Dante Fabbro (Detroit Red Wings)

17. Max Jones (Nashville Predators)

18. Jake Bean (Philadelphia Flyers)

19. Chad Krys (New York Islanders)

20. Logan Stanley (Arizona Coyotes)

21. Luke Kunin (Carolina Hurricanes)

22. German Rubtsov (Winnipeg Jets)

23. Charles McAvoy (Florida Panthers)

24. Rasmus Asplund (Anaheim Ducks)

25. Sam Steel (Dallas Stars)

26. Riley Tufte (Washington Capitals)

27. Markus Niemeläinen (Tampa Bay Lightning)

28. Taylor Raddysh (Boston Bruins)

29. Alex DeBrincat (Toronto Maple Leafs)

30. Kale Clague (St. Louis Blues)

 

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