After completing a re-draft of the past 10 first-round picks of the Montreal Canadiens, Richard Campbell, my colleague here at Fan Report Media Group, reached out to me wondering if we could do a complete re-draft of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. I figured why not, it’s something fun to do in our spare time, and I’m sure our fans would love to see what comes of it. So, without further ado, here is the re-drafted 2015 NHL Entry Draft.
Michael Vidakis: Odd-Numbered Picks
Richard Campbell: Even-Numbered Picks
Pick #1 – Edmonton: Connor McDavid
There’s no if’s, and’s, or but’s about this pick. McDavid is a generational talent. Period.
Pick #2 – Buffalo: Jack Eichel
The Buffalo Sabres select Jack Eichel. Where have I heard that before? Yes, Eichel has had his problems in northwestern New York but remember, the Sabres were entering a rebuild and needed a franchise centreman. Who was the best Center available? Jack Eichel
Pick #3 – Arizona: Mitch Marner
In this draft, instead of the Coyotes taking a chance on Dylan Strome, they take a chance on a speedy singer who has amazing vision and set-up skills. Could you imagine Marner feeding Clayton Keller and Phil Kessel?
Pick #4 – Toronto: Mathew Barzal
The Leafs entering the 2015 draft had their eyes set on a franchise centerman, mainly Dylan Strome. After the Coyotes selected him though they settled for Mitch Marner which is a blessing in disguise, in this draft, Mathew Barzal is exactly whom the Leafs were hoping Strome would be like and they snatch him up at fourth overall.
Pick #5 – Carolina: Sebastian Aho
The Hurricanes are lucky they were able to scoop this gem up in the 2nd round of the original draft, but I decided to make their lives easier and pick him at the fifth spot. Aho is Carolina’s center of the future and is a star in the making.
Pick #6 – New Jersey: Zach Werenski
Entering this draft the Devils were looking for a centerman and they landed on Pavel Zacha. If Sebastian Aho was still available he would go in this slot but since he isn’t the Devils select the best defenseman available in Zach Werenski to be paired with Adam Larsson as they kick start their rebuild from the back end up.
Pick #7 – Philadelphia: Mikko Rantanen
Mikko Rantanen is known for his ability to put the puck in the net in Colorado, but in this draft, it is the Flyers who steal him at the 7th spot. I absolutely love this pick and I think he would do amazing on a line with either Sean Couturier or Claude Giroux manning the center position.
Pick #8 – Columbus: Thomas Chabot
Columbus entered the 2015 draft having just acquired Seth Jones from Nashville but they were looking for a solid partner for him which they found in Zach Werenski . Since he was no longer available in this redraft they settle for a very similar type of offensive yet decent defensive defenseman in Thomas Chabot instead.
Pick #9 – San Jose: Kyle Connor
Instead of falling to the Jets later on in the round, Connor finds himself chosen by the only Californian team to not win a Stanley Cup. Could Connor have propelled the Sharks to a 2016 Stanley Cup win? Who knows- but his scoring touch would have definitely helped.
Pick #10 – Colorado: Kirill Kaprizov
The Colorado Avalanche 2014-15 was missing one key component after a disappointing season and that was a top-notch winger for the young and upcoming centerman in Nathan MacKinnon which they found in Mikko Rantanen. In this case, however, they go for the superstar winger who broke in the league last season who has the potential to be better than Artemi Panarin a top ten player. Rather a good consolation prize if I say for myself.
Pick #11 – Florida: Ivan Provorov
In this pick Florida finds the perfect D-Man to play alongside franchise stalwart Aaron Ekblad.
Pick #12 – Dallas: Brock Boeser
The Dallas Stars entering the 2015 draft was looking for one thing – a top-notch winger. They selected Denis Gurianov who is just starting to break out but they could’ve selected a top winger who was breaking out in the midst of Tyler Seguin’s and Jamie Benn’s prime. Boeser is a great bet for 30 goals and 70 points so more than a worthy pick at number 12 for a team looking for a top winger.
Pick #13 – Boston: Travis Konecny
Konecny’s play just screams Boston – tough, gritty, and able to score.
Pick #14 – Boston: Rasmus Andersson
Boston in 2015 was going through a transition phase of trying to move on to the next generation which is how they managed to get three consecutive picks including trading a young Dougie Hamilton. But in order to replace a young offensive juggernaut in Hamilton, they selected defensive Jakob Zboril who so far is looking like a bottom-six defensive defenseman. In this case, they don’t make that mistake again by selecting the top Flames defender Andersson who when he enters his prime is good for 35 plus points plus his strong defensive numbers . Great pickup.
Pick #15 – Boston: Noah Hanifin
Continuing to pick a prosperous defenceman, the Bruins select Noah Hanifin, who is an excellent skater and has a high hockey IQ. After losing Dougie Hamilton via trade in 2015, it would have been smart to choose two defencemen who could make up for the loss.
Pick #16 – NY Islanders: Joel Eriksson-Ek
The Islanders moved up to this pick to take Matthew Barzal but since he rightfully got picked earlier they settled for defensive centerman Eriksson-Ek to be their 2nd line Center after John Tavares. He also replaces the departing defensive number 2 center in Frans Nielsen as well as he left after the 15-16 season. Very good fit.
Pick #17 – Winnipeg: Anthony Beauvillier
Anthony Beauvillier is the Swiss-Army knife of the New York Islanders, able to do every and anything to help his team win. Oh yeah, and he can score. A great pick by the Winnipeg Jets at 17.
Pick #18 – Ottawa: MacKenzie Blackwood
The Senators could have gone a lot of different ways here. They selected offensive defender Thomas Chabot here which was the right choice here for them but this is a much more difficult decision and it basically came down to this: goalie to replace aging but still good Craig Anderson, a defenseman to man the second pairing, or offensive winger. The sens look to the future with this pick.
Pick #19 – Detroit: Anthony Cirelli
With Detroit rebuilding, why not draft a center to play behind Dylan Larkin. With this pick, the Red Wings have one of the nastiest 1-2 center duos in the NHL.
Pick #20 – Minnesota: Ilya Samsonov
Basically the same situation as the Senators at 18 except instead of an aging goalie they have one that wasn’t a confirmed case of a good goalie or just a flash in the pan. They take the safe pick here instead of going with a centerman which was initially picked here at 20.
Pick #21 – Ottawa: Jordan Greenway
Jordan Greenway is my type of player – big, strong, fast, could outmuscle anybody and has a howler of a shot. Could you imagine him and Tkachuk occupying the same line? Insane.
Pick #22 – Washington: Vince Dunn
The Washington Capitals in 14-15 were a transition team to retool from the 2013-14 team that missed the playoffs. In turn, they rebuilt their d corps and the 15-16 team was the last time offensive defenseman Mike Green played with the team so what better way to replace an offensive defender than draft an offensive defender.
Pick #23 – Vancouver: Travis Dermott
Vancouver in 2015 was in a transition phase and needed all the help on D that they could get. Dermott would have been a solid pick to develop and would have helped mentor the young Quinn Hughes as well.
Pick #24 – Philadelphia: Roope Hintz
The most underrated player in the league goes to Philly at number 24. Hintz is a speedy scorer who can help capitalize alongside a line with Giroux and Voracek in the late 2010s and he has the potential to hit 90 plus points as well. Shrewd pick by the Flyers.
Pick #25 – Winnipeg: Conor Garland
Conor Garland is just a smart offensive player so for that reason I love this pick for Winnipeg. He has a great net-front presence, great vision, and has an absolute rocket of a wrister. I could have seen him fitting in well with either Blake Wheeler or Mark Scheifele.
Pick #26 – Montreal: Andrew Mangiapane
The Habs love Brendan Gallagher so why not pick Gallagher 2.0? He has the same net-front presence, both are short but aggressive players and both can pile up points as well. Habs fans would love this move as they try to win in Carey Price’s prime.
Pick #27 – Anaheim: Jack Roslovic
Anaheim is arguably the team in this draft that needs the most help rebuilding. With aging vets such as Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry manning the first line, I chose Jack Roslovic to serve as a 2nd or 3rd line center and develop behind Getzlaf.
Pick #28 – NY Islanders: Timo Meier
The steal of the draft. Honestly, I was surprised that this consistent scorer was left over for the Islanders to pluck up but here we are. Instead of signing Andrew Ladd in 2016 to replace the fleeing Kyle Okposo, they draft Meier to be Tavares’s right-hand man. Good for 30 goals and 70 points on a good team.
Pick #29 – Columbus: Dylan Strome
Oh, how the mighty have fallen. All jokes aside, Dylan Strome is a solid player, he just never lived up to his 3rd overall expectations. He’d still be a solid player for the Columbus Blue Jackets and their slew of offensive talent.
Pick #30 – Arizona: Brandon Carlo
Defensive stalwart. Arizona in 2015 was in the midst of a rebuild and they selected Carlo to be alongside Ekman-Larsson to form a top d duo to propel the Yotes back into playoff contention. Carlo is very valuable to the Bruins and he would’ve been even more valuable towards the Yotes if they drafted him as they could be annual playoff contenders right now if they made the right draft decisions.
Dropping the Mike on ya. The View From the North
email@example.com Richard Campbell