21. Mavrik Bourque – C
What sets Bourque apart from the other prospects in this draft is certainly his his combinations of skill, grit, determination and speed. He continues to impress scouts and fans across the QMJHL every night with his dazzling dekes and his great top-end speed. Bourque as a very high-end skill style, but is on the smaller side. He is able to check and play a gritty game, which bodes well for his NHL career, but I think he has far more untapped potential as a goal-scorer than many let on.
22. Jacob Perreault – RW
Perreault has dazzled in the OHL this season for the Sarnia Sting, after following up on a rather impressive rookie campaign. Immediately what sticks out the most about his game is his heavy and accurate wrist shot. His shot has the ability to get off rather quickly with a quick and strong release, but, even if it doesn’t find twine, goaltenders have fits trying to control them because of the spin and power of his wrist shots. He’s a very underrated goal-scorer in this draft, having scored 30 goals last year and trending toward 45-50 goals this year.
23. Braden Schneider – RD
Schneider hits extremely hard and plays a very aggressive game in the defensive zone. He uses his great positional awareness to push his opponents to the outside of the offensive zone, before absolutely crushing them along the boards. The young D-man is also incredibly effective at moving the puck, especially out of the defensive zone, as he is able to make crisp outlet passes for zone-exits in all situations. Schneider has been called out for his decision-making under pressure, but, when Schneider keeps his game simple, he is very effective under pressure. He usually gets caught when he tries to do to much, as is the case with many young defensemen.
24. William Wallinder – LD
I was immediately impressed with just how well Wallinder moves for a youngster of his size; it was almost alarming to see how much ground he covered in such a short period of time. Wallinder’s skating, his long stick and his already impressive gap-control made him a solid add mid-way through the season for Modo. He could provide the stability and effectiveness on the backend that they haven’t had in years. Ultimately, Wallinder projects to be a stable and mobile top-4 defenseman with a penchant for moving the puck. I’ll take him on my team any day.
25. Lukas Cormier – LD
Cormier could realistically be the most underrated defenseman of this entire draft. Possessing good speed and great Hockey IQ, Cormier is, above all an exceptionally well-rounded defenseman capable of limiting the opposition as they enter the zone and box them out for an eventual turnover. Cormier is extremely agile as it pertains to puck retrieval and attacking the top of the slot. He can unleash his strong and incredibly deceptive wrist-shot at any moment, making him very deceptive.
26. Tyson Foerster – RW
Foerster has the classic look of a power forward. Standing at 6’2 and 194 lbs, Foerster is a physical specimen that uses his large frame to shield his opponents from the puck and extract lose pucks during board battles. His main skill is his deadly shot. Foerster showed great improvement going from 23 points in 64 games as a 16-year-old to putting up 36 goals and 44 assists for 80 points in just 62 games as a 17-year-old in the OHL. Many attribute his newfound success to his high Hockey-IQ and increased usage. His positioning and his deceptiveness in the offensive zone lead many to believe he could have a strong impact on a competitive top-9 in the NHL real soon.
27. Hendrix Lapierre – C
Hendrix Lapierre has the talent to be ranked 11th or 12th in anyone’s rankings. He has the vision and Hockey IQ to drive a line by himself, as he can attract double coverage towards him with his effective and mystifying stick-handling, before sending off a dish to a streaking forward for a zone exit or scoring chance. He has been extremely injury prone since the start of his QMJHL career and has suffered some pretty serious concussions at a very young age. This could seriously hamper his draft stock and potential NHL career long-term.
28. Martin Chromiak – LW
Having been a standout in his native Slovakia, the speedy winger made the jump to the OHL with the Kingston Frontenacs and immediately found chemistry with young Shane Wright (remember that name). He was able to use his solid possession and positioning to find the holes behind defenses, while also using his deceptive shot to fool goalies on the rush. His 11 goals and 22 assists for 33 points in just 28 games is very impressive for a rookie who joined mid-season. His speed, quickness, deceptive shot and willingness to attack the net will make him very hard to pass on at this point in the draft.
29. Helge Grans – RD
Grans is a really intriguing prospect for many reasons. He has ideal size (6’3) and is very strong at moving the puck up the ice. The young rearguard doesn’t possess blazing speed, but he has wide strong strides that allow him to cover ice quite well. Grans has very good vision and is able to man a powerplay quite well. Grans’ 4 goals and 23 assists for 27 points in as many games in the SuperElit legue for Malmö’s J-20 league was quite impressive and in his 21 games with Malmö’s main roster team, Grans put up 1 goal and 2 assists, which is respectable for a 17-year-old, he was able. He projects as a reliable top-4 D that can command the puck and move it in a hurry.
30. Jérémie Poirier – LD
Jeremie Poirier has the potential to be a Thomas Chabot-style player in the QMJHL for the Saint-John Sea Dogs. He has the raw skill, the great skating and powerful strides, as well as an exceptional array of shooting tools in his arsenal to become an exceptional D-man in the NHL. However, due to his penchant for the offensive, he does have the occasional brainfart that leaves many thinking he will be better suited for 2nd pair duty in the NHL, as he often fails to cover his man or limit high-danger scoring chances around his net.
31. Ozzy Wiesblatt – LW
Wiesblatt is an absolute rocket on the ice. The high-speed, high-intensity winger is a water-bug on the ice that loves to use his agility and vision to execute skilled plays that leave fans in awe. He’s a very shifty player on the ice and incredibly hard to cover in the neutral zone, making him one of the better forwards in this draft when it comes to zone entries. He needs to improve the strength on his shot in order to not become a one-trick pony at the next level, but has the playmaking ability to find success at the next level.