NHL Entry Draft – 2nd Round Rankings

By Bob Trask – Over the past fifteen years there have been some high quality players chosen in the 2nd round of the NHL entry draft. A team lucky enough to draft one of these gems immediately finds themselves at an advantage because they have (unexpectedly?) landed a first round quality player who becomes a solid contributor to their team.

On defense, names like Roman Josi, PK Subban, Justin Faulk, Damon Severenson, Brandon Montour, Erik Cernak, Rasmus Andersson and Vince Dunn were all second round picks. Forwards chosen in the second round include Ryan O’Reilly, Tomas Tatar, Tyler Toffoli, Calle Jarnkrok, Brandon Saad, Nikita Kucherov, Christian Dvorak, Sebastien Aho, Roope Hintz and Alex DeBrincat.

Montreal’s draft history of players chosen between picks 33 and 64 (equivalent of today’s 2nd round) is filled with its own success stories. The list includes Patrick Roy (51), Jyrki Lumme (57), Jose Theodore (44), Mike Ribeiro (45) and Artturi Lehkonen (55). Perhaps the best choices between #33 and #64 ever made by a team in one year was in 1987 when the Canadiens chose John LeClair (33), Eric Desjardins (38) and Mathieu Schneider (44).

When you look at these names it becomes apparent that the second round of the entry draft can bear fruit. Here’s our list of prospects that fall into that range:

  • 33 – Ryan Chesley: RD – 6’0 194
  • 34 – Gleb Trikozov: RW – 6’1 180
  • 35 – Jagger Firkus: RW – 5’10 154
  • 36 – Luca del bel Belluz: C – 6’0 180
  • 37 – Calle Odelius: LD – 6’0 185
  • 38 – Owen Beck: C – 6’0 190
  • 39 – Jack Hughes: C – 6’0 165
  • 40 – Lian Biscel: LD – 6’5 215
  • 41 – Filip Bystedt: C – 6’4 187
  • 42 – David Goyette: C – 5’11 174
  • 43 – Matt Poitras: C – 5’11 172
  • 44 – Danny Zhilkin: C – 6’2 183
  • 45 – Matyas Sapovaliv: LW – 6’4 190
  • 46 – Mats Lindgren: LD – 6’0 176
  • 47 – Rieger Lorenz: C – 6’2 185
  • 48 – Sam Rinzel: RD – 6’4 190
  • 49 – Adam Ingram: LW – 6’2 174
  • 50 – Lane Hutson: LD – 5’8 158
  • 51 – Bryce McConnell-Barker: C – 6’1 187
  • 52 – Maveric Lamoureux: RD – 6’7 196
  • 53 – Paul Ludwinksi: LW – 5’11 172
  • 54 – Simon Forsmark: LD – 6’2 194
  • 55 – Michael Fischer: RD – 6’3 194
  • 56 – Mattias Havelid: RD – 5’10 172
  • 57 – Jani Nyman: LW – 6’3 212
  • 58 – Vladimir Grudinin: LD – 5’10 160
  • 59 – Michael Buchinger: LD – 6’0 185
  • 60 – Hunter Haight: C – 5’10 172
  • 61 – Ludwig Person: C – 6’0 180
  • 62 – Ryan Greene: C – 6’1 174
  • 63 – Alex Kaskimaki: C – 6’0 180
  • 64 – Isaiah George: LW – 6’1 195

Canadiens Pick

The Canadiens will have the first pick in the 2nd round as a result of their last place finish in the regular season. A player currently ranked as one of our first round picks is sure to fall to the second round and would be a strong candidate for the Canadiens first pick in the 2nd round. If a player like Jiri Kulich, who had a strong U18 tournament was available he would be hard to pass up.

Ryan Chesley is our top ranked player in the second round and, coincidentally, helps strengthen the prospect pipeline at RD where the Canadiens’ organization is thin. Chesley also had a strong U18 tournament and could vault himself into a first round position. If he was available when the Calgary pick came around, Kent Hughes might jump at the chance.

One thing to keep in mind when making draft picks, is the league the player is drafted from. CHL players have to be signed within two years or their playing rights are forfeited. Players from junior A in Canada, highs school or junior leagues in the US, the NCAA or Europe don’t have to be offered contracts until four years after their draft year. It is something Hughes might consider when making his choices.

On the other hand, Russian born players like Gleb Trikozov may fall in the draft due to the unknown political situation in Russia. Other players who might interest the Canadiens with the 33rd overall pick might be Luca del bel Belluz, Owen Beck, Filip Bystedt and Sam Rinzel

Our top guesses are Ryan Chesley or Sam Rinzel.

Canadiens Pick from Edmonton

Depending on how far Edmonton advances in the playoffs, the 2nd round pick acquired in the Brett Kulak trade should fall into the 50 to 60 range. Adam Ingram and Ryan Greene both averaged about a point per game in the USHL last year and both are committed to playing in the NCAA this year. Bryce McConnell-Barker put up good numbers with the Soo Greyhounds while defenseman Michael Fisher, who is headed to Princeton in the fall, averaged nearly two points per game in US high school hockey.

Our top guesses are Bryce McConnell-Barkeer or Michael Fisher but we would be happily surprised if a higher ranked player dropped into this spot.

Other Options

As we look beyond the first round, the options for the Canadiens become more unclear but the small sample we have provided can give you some idea of the kinds of players available. Montreal could also use the second round pick from Edmonton, for example, and bundle it with another pick to move up in the draft to gain an additional early second round pick. Or they could trade that pick for one next year if they feel there is value in doing that.

Third Round Rankings

With three picks in the third round and some good talent potentially available, there is a reasonable chance the Canadiens could land a solid prospect with one of them. Check back for our rankings and compare them to other lists or to your own.

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