6. Detroit Red Wings – Adam Boqvist, D, Brynas Jr. (SWE-JR)
With comparison being made to Erik Karlsson, this skilled defenseman from Sweden may be hard to pass up, especially since Detroit has had success in the past with Swedish defenseman in guys like Nicklas Lidström. Boqvist has great on ice vision and awareness with a powerful shot. Detroit could use another high end defenseman and Boqvist could be the one to fill that role. He looks to play one season in Sweden’s top league against men.
7. Vancouver Canucks – Noah Dobson, D, Acadie-Bathurst (QMJHL)
At 6’3” Dobson is a hulking defenseman who helped lead Acadie-Bathurst to win the QMJHL Championship and to the CHL Memorial Cup. He also knows how contribute offensively boasting 17 goals and 52 assists for 69 points in 67 games. With a strong right handed shot, exceptional vision and skating ability, he could be ready very soon to play a big role on an NHL team and adding him to the core of young players the Canucks have in Boeser, Virtanen, Pettersson, and Juolevi could be huge.
8. Chicago Blackhawks – Jesperi Kotkaniemi, C, Assat (FIN)
This past season Kotkaniemi played in the Finnish professional league with men and did very well as a 17 year old scoring 10 goals and adding 19 assists for 29 points in 57 games. With NHL size at 6’2” 181 lbs., Kotkaniemi could be the jolt that Chicago’s offense needs to get them back to caliber team they were a few years ago. He has a high hockey IQ and a nose for the net this center, who is use to playing big minutes, could be a real force for any team.
9. New York Rangers – Quintin Hughes, D, Michigan (BIG10)
The Rangers could use some help on the backend and Hughes could very well be their guy. In his first season playing at the collegiate level Hughes made an impact as he dished out 5 goals and 24 assists for 29 points in 37 games. He may not be the biggest guy out there at 5’10” and 173 lbs., but the way he plays will make you look past any questions about his size and size isn’t everything. The offensive-defensman has spectacular puck control and skating ability and is rarely overpowered by player bigger then him. He will most-likely spend another at Michigan, but will be a big assist in helping the Rangers rebuild their back end.
10. Edmonton Oilers – Ty Smith, D, Spokane (WHL)
Like the Ranger, the Oilers could some more help on the backend as they are already fairly loaded with young forwards and defenseman would be a nice addition. In his second full WHL season Smith threw up 14 goals and 59 assists for 73 points in 69 games. With a both a strong offensive and defensive game, and an ability to adapt, Smith should fit in well to the Oiler’s roster in years to come.