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Draft Day Reader: Get to know the players in the Leafs range at 25th overall

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Read up and then vote. (Or just vote.)

Pension Plan Puppets 2018 Draft Coverage Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

This is all the players from 19-28 on Bob McKenzie’s consensus draft list. It is the closest thing to a decent prediction of the order the players will actually go in. Of course, there might be someone who just keeps coming second to someone else as each team picks and who falls in the draft because of that. So higher ranked players may be available.

I have given you some resources for reading up on players. I’ve leaned on Canucks Army a bit because I respect their work. I used some Sportsnet profiles to mix it up with big media opinions, and there’s some highlights to give you a break from the analytical scouting.

Read up and vote!

Serron Noel

CANUCKSARMY’S 2018 NHL DRAFT PROFILES: #25 Serron Noel – Canucksarmy
There are some draft analytical tools that show that Noel is a great bet to be an NHL player and if he can put it all together, could be a great pick. From the qualitative side of scouting, Noel leaves you wanting more at times but then can wow you just a few shifts later.

2018 NHL Draft prospect: Serron Noel isn’t just another big body - Eyes On The Prize
Sometimes that imagination allows him to see plays that simply aren’t there. His attempts at playmaking often go awry. A cross-ice pass will be easily picked off by an opponent in the lane, or he’ll throw the puck to an area where he believes a teammate should be, with no one actually there to receive it.

Noel’s primary game is driving right to the front of the net to pounce on rebounds, create an option for a tap-in goal, or to serve as a screen when the puck makes its way back to the point. Those good hand skills allow him to tip pucks while blocking the view of the netminder, making his net-front game very effective.

Rasmus Kupari

Prospect Of Interest: The 411 on Rasmus Kupari - Sportsnet.ca
“I didn’t get too much ice time, so it was a little bit smaller role,” Kupari told Joe Yerdon of NHL.com at the World Junior Championship in January. “But they’re tight games and pretty big guys, so it’s hard to play there. It’s important to get ice time so sometimes I play with juniors or in the second-highest league in Finland.”

2018 NHL Draft Target: Meet Finnish Forward Rasmus Kupari - Pension Plan Puppets
Rasmus Kupari is falling in draft rankings. McKenzie placed him 13th on his list back in January, but he’s now fallen outside of his top 16. He was one of the leading scorers at the Ivan Hlinka tournament with seven points in just four games, and he just won a gold medal at the most recent U-18 tournament. He’s a quick and skilled forward with a chance to stick at centre, but he will need to get stronger before he’s NHL ready.

Kupari is a 6’0” forward who spent this season playing for Karpat in Liiga, posting 14 points in 39 games in this pro league. His scoring output fell short of fellow first round talent Jesperi Kotkaniemi by 0.15 points per game, but Kupari’s been just as noticeable on the international stage. Those with Kupari’s scoring production have carried an impressive success rate in recent years:

Isac Lundestrom

Isac Lundeström: 2018 NHL Draft Prospect Profile - All About The Jersey
This excerpt gets to the core of why Lundeström is a safe pick for the New Jersey Devils, or any other team that considers him. He’s not going to light the lamp like a top-line player (in part due to his pass-first nature) might be able to. He’s good for the defensive aspects of the game, and he is willing to use his body. His two-way ability might be able to make up for any offensive shortcomings his game might have. And if he doesn’t rise to his best-case outcome as a second line center, he might be able to play as a slightly-undersized checking center with capability as a depth scorer, with potential for contributions to a team’s penalty kill if he can continue to improve defensively.

Ryan McLeod

2018 NHL Entry Draft Prospect Profile: Ryan McLeod - Defending Big D
The skill set that McLeod brings to the table is certainly impressive. He possesses that desirable combination of size (at about 6’2” and 200 pounds) and skating ability that NHL teams covet. His skating stride is long and fluid, which allows him to conduct end-to-end rushes while skirting around defenders along the way. His lower-body strength is good enough to keep him upright, both when he fights off contact at high speeds and when trading paint with defenders in tight spaces.

CANUCKSARMY’S 2018 NHL DRAFT PROFILES: #19 Ryan McLeod – Canucksarmy
At the junior level, McLeod has shown signs of being an effective two-way player that keeps is play tidy in the defensive zone while being a creative play-maker on the attack.

He does feel like a player that hasn’t reached his ceiling yet and will round out his game even further as he develops. McLeod doesn’t blow you away with skillful plays that jump off the page but is subtly skilled with and without the puck.

Ty Dellandrea

2018 NHL Draft Prospects: Ty Dellandrea - Pension Plan Puppets
I know it's early to look at prospects for this year's draft but I was at the Bulldogs/Firebirds game yesterday and figured I'd share my thoughts on Ty Dellandrea, the top center on Flint and future 2018 draft pick. Dellandrea was ranked 27th in Future Considerations 2018 Fall Draft Rankings, was unranked in the newest edition of Craig's List, and unranked in Sportsnet's latest rankings. My guess is he's going to be drafted somewhere in the 2nd/3rd round area. [This is from a while back, and Dellandrea has risen considerably.]

2018 NHL Draft prospect profile: Ty Dellandrea is going to be a steal - Eyes On The Prize
The Flint Firebirds centreman didn’t have a great statistical season, and that didn’t help him get many first-round projections from scouting services. It is hard to place a prospect so far ahead of his peers if his play on the ice doesn’t translate as much on the scoreboard. He only recorded 59 points in 67 games. Of those 59, 27 were goals, but this production was not enough to be convinced of his talent at first look.

One thing that didn’t play into his favour was that the Firebirds are a bit of an infamous organization. This year they struggled again, finishing in the bottom of the OHL with an abysmal goal differential. As a result, Dellandrea didn’t have the same supporting cast — or the exposure — of a player like Barrett Hayton who played on the stacked Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds team that enjoyed a long playoff run after dominating in the regular season.

K’Andre Miller

CANUCKSARMY’S 2018 NHL DRAFT PROFILES: #34 K’Andre Miller – Canucksarmy
Originally regarded as a defensive defenceman to start the season, the Minnesota born defender excelled this season in a middle pairing role for the USNDTP showcasing a strong two way game with offensive upside, physicality, and good defensive play.

There is a lot of raw talent to his game and it won’t be surprising to see Miller taken in the latter parts of the first round in Dallas.

NHL Draft prospect: K'Andre Miller among top defencemen in 2018 class - Eyes On The Prize
Miller was used in all situations: power play, penalty kill, and against the best elements of the opposing teams. He performed very well under the demands, especially considering his uncommon development path.

As surprising as it may seem now, up until the 2015-16 season, Miller was playing forward. This season was then only his third year playing on the back end for a team. And something seems to have clicked for him.

With the U-18 team, he put up good numbers — 29 points in 58 games — but, most importantly, he distinguished himself as a very effective player on the defensive side of the puck.

Bode Wilde

2018 NHL Draft Profile: Bode Wilde has the skating and shot to be an offensive threat at the NHL level - Broad Street Hockey
Bode Wilde’s skating and shooting are easily the two most impressive aspects of his game. He has a great ability to join the rush knowing confidently he can get back in time to cover on defense, and push defenses back with his skating alone. With his speed and overall great skating ability, in addition to his size, Wilde makes for a possibly dynamic blueliner.

Jared McIsaac

Prospect Of Interest: The 411 on Jared McIsaac - Sportsnet.ca
McIsaac had to show he had the goods right from the start after being selected second overall by the Mooseheads in the QMJHL’s 2016 Draft.

He did not disappoint, winning Defensive Rookie of the Year honours and making the All-Rookie Team in 2017 after scoring 32 points in 59 games.

Jared McIsaac: 2018 NHL Entry Draft Prospect Profile - All About The Jersey
In his two seasons thus far with the Mooseheads, McIsaac has produced capably from the blue line, putting up 32 points in 59 games in his rookie season and following that up with 47 points in 65 games this past year heading into the draft. Those aren’t otherworldly numbers for a defenseman, but they’re solid enough. McIsaac’s strength isn’t necessarily top-end offense, but he definitely has skill as a puck mover and can contribute well on offense. To go along with that offensive game are his reportedly solid defensive instincts and an ability to transition well out of the defensive zone.

Rasmus Sandin

2018 NHL Draft Profile: Rasmus Sandin - Pension Plan Puppets
Sandin formed a strong top pairing with Adam Boqvist at the Hlinka, and was used on both the power play and the penalty kill. While he’s lacks Boqvist’s star potential, he’s responsible, mobile, and a fairly good puck mover. However, he is slightly undersized, not overly physical, and he lacks the offensive ceiling of a player like Boqvist, Ty Smith, or Ryan Merkley. I don’t see him as a top 15 prospect in this class, but he was one of Sweden’s best defenders thanks to his quickness, poise with the puck, and well-rounded style.

CANUCKSARMY’S 2018 NHL DRAFT PROFILES: #30 Rasmus Sandin – Canucksarmy
After appearing in five games for Rogle BK, Rasmus Sandin was loaned to the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds for this season and saw his draft stock raise because of his play in the OHL.

A well rounded defender who his the ground running for the Greyhounds, Sandin was firmly in their top four for the entire year as they made a push for an OHL title. They weren’t able to win that final game of the season to make the Memorial Cup Finals, but Sandin played very well in the post season and it’s likely the main reason why he has shot up draft boards to close out the season.

Akil Thomas

Prospect Of Interest: The 411 on Akil Thomas - Sportsnet.ca
A smallish player who skates well and is a superior playmaker with soft hands and great vision, Thomas is considered a hard worker and a strong leader on and off the ice. By all accounts, the team that drafts him will get a very mature player.

2018 NHL Draft prospect profile: Akil Thomas is an all-purpose player - Eyes On The Prize
The forward is characterized as a two-way player who can play effectively at both ends of the ice. Solid defensive play is of high importance to him. He is often seen directing teammates to maximize the team's efficiency in their own end, while also looking around to make sure he is himself in the right coverage position. He is very active in the defensive zone and relentless on opposing puck-carriers. After his work wins the puck back, Thomas is quick and intelligent in helping create effective breakouts.


Who do you want to see in Blue and White?

Poll

Who do you want the Leafs to draft with the 25th overall pick?

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    Serron Noel
    (24 votes)
  • 5%
    Rasmus Kupari
    (46 votes)
  • 3%
    Isac Lundestrom
    (28 votes)
  • 13%
    Ryan McLeod
    (110 votes)
  • 7%
    Ty Dellandrea
    (59 votes)
  • 10%
    K’Andre Miller
    (87 votes)
  • 12%
    Bode Wilde
    (100 votes)
  • 5%
    Jared McIsaac
    (43 votes)
  • 18%
    Rasmus Sandin
    (148 votes)
  • 7%
    Akil Thomas
    (61 votes)
  • 13%
    Someone Else
    (113 votes)
819 votes total Vote Now