16: Montreal Canadiens: RW – Seth Jarvis
The 5’10 172 Lbs offensive dynamo for the Portland Winterhawks has been on an absolute mission this season, posting 42 goals and 56 assists for 98 points in just 58 games. However, his rise is due primarily to his offensive production is the highest in all three Canadian junior leagues since January 1st. In his 37 games prior, Jarvis put up an impressive 49 points in 37 games and had many ranking him in the mid-to-late 1st round. However, as of January, the young man absolutely took off, scoring 22 goals and adding 27 assists in just 21 games. That’s a rate of over 2.3 points per game, and the highest in all of the CHL during this period of time!
Jarvis is dangerous because of his deception. He is able to keep defenders guessing, while using his strong edgework to shift directions in mid-stride to escape coverage and attack the net. The Canadiens need another high-octane winger capable of taking over games with his speed and skill. Most fans would prefer a player with more size, but you simply cannot pass up on that kind of talent at this rank.
So why would a team let Jarvis fall? Same reason Brayden Point fell in his draft year, despite being the best WHL scorer of his class: there are fears of players peaking out of nowhere (similarly to Jack Quinn) or concerns over his size, which has made many scouting agencies reluctant to give Jarvis true top-10 recognition. Even Bob MacKenzie stopped short of putting Jarvis in his top -10 in his Final Draft Rankings. Seeing 2-3 teams opt for defenseman and a goalie, similarly to 2019, could push talented players like he and Mercer down the pecking order, to the delight of Habs fans in this case.
17. Chicago Blackhawks: C/RW – Dawson Mercer
Mercer can play both centre, as well as RW. He has a strong, and always coveted, right-handed shot, and possesses really good Hockey IQ. Mercer was one of the more underrated prospects in this draft in my opinion because he does everything well, but doesn’t have the flash or top-speed of other prospects in this draft. Mercer knows where to be on the ice and constantly positions himself in the most optimal ways to break-up or start a play
Where I believe this is attractive for Chicago is that they view Mercer as a long-term solution at #2 C playing behind 2019 3rd overall pick Kirby Dach. Many people are throwing Patrice Bergeron comparisons at Dawson Mercer, due to his strong 200-foot game and his penchant for scoring big goals, and I believe it is warranted. I would go as far to say that, if Mercer is able to improve his skating and explosivity in a notably way, he could easily end of as a top-10 player in this draft 5 years from now. Exactly what the doctor ordered for Chicago.
18. New Jersey: C\LW – Dylan Holloway
Dylan Holloway is a good value pick for the New Jersey Devils here, whom many believe to be a little small at the moment. They addressed their need for size and scoring in the Blake Coleman trade (acquiring Vancouver’s 1st and prospect Nolan Foote) and this selection would help round out their top-9 moving forward with some big boys.
Dylan Holloway doesn’t necessarily play a physical game, but he can use his already very mature physique (6’1 203 lbs) to create space for himself. He is an adept playmaker, capable of using his long reach and strong centre of gravity to attract defensive players and create passing lanes for himself in tight. He also has very underrated speed and agility for a guy his size, making him increasingly hard to cover when at full speed, which forces defensemen to back off in order to reassess their coverage of him.
As a true freshman in the NCAA (only turned 18 a month into the season), Holloway quickly found himself in the top-6 of a young Wisconsin Badgers club and often played top-line centre duty with Montreal’s Cole Caufield. By the end of the season, Holloway had grown far more comfortable on the left wing, his likely position at the next level.
Dylan Holloway !! He's big and such a powerful skater, with silky hands and nice vision. He could very well jump in the NHL next year. Very complete and mature game. #Wisconsinbadgers #DylanHolloway #NHLDraft2020 pic.twitter.com/CWW4ldUjSm— Yannick St-Pierre (@DraftDynasty1) October 20, 2019
Although he put up a very respectable 8 goals and 9 assists for 17 points in 35 games, scouting circles question whether his lack of goal-scoring tools and penchant for passing might make him too predictable to be a strong offensive producer at the next level. I personally see a top-6 winger that will be able to compliment any line the Devils put him on, while providing a sounds tow-way game. No brainer at this point in the draft.
19. Calgary Flames: LW/RW – Noel Gunler
Noel Gunler is the type of player the Flames would be coveting at a time like this. He brings the pure skill and size they desperately want moving forward, while being known for his improving 2-way game. Many believe that Gunler is in the same category of talent as Alexander Holtz and Lucas Raymond, having played most of last season in the SHL. I would tend to agree with them, but believe that he has fallen mostly to do hearsay of tensions with coaches in the past.
Playing on the bottom-6 for Luleå of the SHL this past season, Gunler was still able to show off his great speed, strong puck possession, magic hands and killer shot. He is able to use his speed to create separation between himself and oppositional defenders, which allows him more time and space to dangle or snipe a shot. The strength of his wrist shot is very intriguing as a prospect, although it does require him an extra split-second to get it off, which is time he might not get at a higher level. Nonetheless, the power, precision and technique is great, and the speed of execution will come with time.
There are some justifiable knocks on Noel Gunler, but you cannot argue with his offensive awareness and that release is *chef kiss* pic.twitter.com/o3LjbWTMvp— /Cam Robinson/ (@Hockey_Robinson) May 28, 2020
His various offensive tools make him very deceptive, especially at high speed, and those skills are very likely to translate to the NHL. His shot, be it a wrist shot or a one-timer, is also lethal, and what is impressive is how his shot gains so velocity on impact, despite a very quick release. He’d fit right into the growing talented offensive pool the Flames have been putting together with Dube, Pelletier and more moving forward.
More To Come!
That’ll do it for the Mock Draft so far. I’ll be doing a full top-31 Mock Draft at the conclusion of the playoffs, as well as a top-62 Draft Day edition shortly. Until then, please let me know on Twitter what you’d like for us to cover in short articles in the meantime! Cheers.