Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2018 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Hockey Prospects is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! We have a complete listing of our draft articles here.
Last month, we released our NHL Draft Lottery edition of our 2018 NHL Mock Draft. With the Draft just days away, we release the second round.
For those who haven’t read the LWOH mock before here are the rules.
1) No trades except for those that have already been made by NHL teams.
2) A two-round Mock draft will be done in four parts. The second part comes out today. More parts will be added in time.
3) Clicking the Player’s name will bring you to a full scouting report.
4) For Picks 30 and 31, we will assume that the team with the home-ice advantage will win each of the three series. Mocks will be updated as each series end if that changes the draft order.
The first 15 picks of our mock draft are found here.
The next 16 picks of our mock draft are found here.
Second Round Part 1 is Found Here.
2018 NHL Mock Draft – 2nd Round Part Two
Previous Picks: Vitali Kravtsov
The Avalanche add centre depth with their first pick of the second round. McShane is more of a playmaker than a goal scorer. He is a smart player, very good at reading the play, anticipating which player will get open, and creating a scoring chance. He can make tape-to-tape passes through the smallest openings. McShane can also make effective saucer passes. On the power play, he quarterbacks things from the point, or from the half boards. McShane is not afraid to take a hit to make a play. He controls the puck well down low and makes plays in the cycle.
While his strength is his playmaking, McShane also has a strong, accurate wrist shot with a quick release. He can score with it from the top of the slot. He also has the hands to pounce on rebounds and score in tight to the net. His slap shot and one-timer could use more power. McShane has a knack for getting open without the puck and for finding the soft spots in the defence. He works hard to win battles on the boards. He is also a smart defensive player.
Previous Picks: Oliver Wahlstrom, K’Andre Miller, Serron Noel, Nils Lundkvist
With their fifth pick of the draft so far, the Rangers can afford to take a chance on a boom or bust prospect. Some, like this writer, believe that Khovanov would have been a first round pick if he was healthy the entire 2017-18 season.
Khovanov is an outstanding playmaker. He has the vision and the passing skills to put pucks through tight areas and on the tape of his linemates. He reads the play really well, slowing things down when necessary to give a teammate the opportunity to get open. Khovanov has soft hands and is a very good stick handler. He combines this with his skating ability to be a nightmare for defenders in one-on-one situations. He can either beat his man and cut to the net, or create a passing lane, or use his defender as a screen and take a shot on net. Overall he is a very smart offensive player.
Khovanov has a powerful and accurate wrist shot. However, his wind-up is a bit long at this point, and this takes away a bit of the element of surprise. It is not that bad, it just is a step below some of the other shooters in this class. He also has a strong snapshot and a very good backhand. Khovanov is a pass first player though. He could stand to shoot more often, which would also help to make him less predictable.
Previous Pick: Barrett Hayton
In Hillis, the Blue Jackets continue to prioritize depth down the middle. Hillis is a superb skater. He has outstanding speed and gets there in just a few strides. He can beat defenders off the rush, going wide and cutting to the net. The speed also allows Hillis to generate breakaways through the neutral zone, and to be quick to pressure defenders on the forecheck. He is light on his skates, with outstanding agility, and the ability to make quick cuts. Hillis needs to add lower body strength and improve his balance. He could stand to be stronger on the puck, as well as to win more battles along the boards and in front of the net.
Hillis is an excellent playmaker. He has very good vision, and the ability to make a pass to teammates through tight openings. His ability to change speeds and his shiftiness with the puck opens up passing lanes off the rush. He anticipates the movements of his teammates and can quarterback things on the half boards on the power play. Hillis also creates offence through the forecheck. He pressures defenders and causes turnovers. Once he gets the puck, he can find an open man cutting to the front of the net.
Previous Picks: Rasmus Kupari, Dominik Bokk
After going with forwards on their first two picks, the Flyers add a puck-moving defenceman to their prospect group. Beaudin is a very good stick handler and passer. He plays the role of power play quarterback, setting up teammates, and being creative at the blue line. He is very smart and anticipates the play, spotting open teammates and hitting them with tape-to-tape passes through tight openings. Beaudin is also very good on the rush. He protects the puck well and can skate the puck out of tight situations. He also is willing to rush the puck up the ice. Beaudin’s vision helps him to make a strong first pass, and to start the transition game for the Voltigeurs.
Beaudin could stand to add a little more power to his shot. His slap shot needs some work. He maximizes the effectiveness by getting it through to the net and keeping his shots low, encouraging his teammates to get rebounds and tip-ins. Beaudin is most effective when sneaking down from the line and using his wrist shot. His wrister is strong, accurate and features a quick release. Beaudin is always pushing the pace and looking to get involved offensively. He will need to pick his spots better at the next level.
51.) Los Angeles Kings – Filip Hallander, Centre/Left Wing, Timra IK, Allsvenskan
Previous Pick: Jared McIsaac
The Kings add a talented and versatile forward. Hallander is a powerful skater. He has a long stride and is strong on the puck. He generates power to fight through checks and get to the front of the net. Hallander has good balance. He wins battles along the boards and controls the puck in the cycle. Hallander establishes position in front of the net and is difficult to move. He could improve his speed. He can keep up with the play but lacks separation speed. Hallander could improve his first few steps and acceleration as well. This can be an issue in getting loose pucks. His agility and edgework allow him to be shifty on the rush and create passing lanes off the cycle.
Hallander’s wrist shot and snapshot are both powerful and accurate. His release is above average but could use more work. Hallander can score from the slot, or from the tops of the circles. He is also strong on the backhand, with the ability to elevate the puck in tight. His soft hands are good at deflections and at pouncing on rebounds. Hallander does not use his slap shot often. It could use some work, and he is more effective with the shorter wind-up. Hallander has good stickhandling and puck control but plays a simple game. He keeps the puck moving with quick, accurate passes to the open man. His strong work-ethic also extends to all three zones.
52.) Toronto Maple Leafs (from San Jose) – Jacob Bernard-Docker, Right Defence, Okotoks Oilers, AJHL
First Pick: Jacob Olofsson
The Leafs address their organizational depth at right defence in the second round. Bernard-Docker is an outstanding skater. He has very good speed in both directions. His first step and his acceleration are outstanding as he reaches that top speed in just a few strides. The stride itself is extremely smooth. He can appear to be gliding above the ice. Bernard-Docker also generates the power to fight through checks and be strong on the pucks. His agility and edgework are strong. He changes directions quickly and does this both going forward and backward. Bernard-Docker makes sharp, smooth pivots. He transitions quickly from offence to defence and vice-versa. The strong-skating ability is the key to every part of Bernard-Docker’s game. It is this foundation that allows him to be an excellent two-way defenceman.
A strong puck-moving defenceman who has put up points for the Oktoks Oilers, Bernard-Docker will need time to develop, especially with the jump from the AJHL to the pros. Expect to see him spend a couple of seasons at North Dakota before being ready for the pro game. As he faces higher competition and gets better coaching, his defensive game should improve. It is sometimes tough for a player who doesn’t face top competition to improve defensively as he is not challenged by strong opponents game in and game out. Bernard-Docker can also improve his strength.
With their first pick in the draft, the Penguins add a defenseman. Undrafted last year, Durzi had a monster season with the Owen Sound Attack, and will surely be picked in this draft. He has really improved his shot. While he is a defenceman who puts up a lot of goals, he does not do it with his slap shot. Instead, he loves to sneak in from point and let go a wirst shot or snapshot from the top of the circles. He has really improved his accuracy on those shots, as well as the release this season. Durzi is very good at pulling the puck in, and moving laterally to open up a shooting lane to get the puck on net.
Durzi is also a playmaker from the point. He has good vision, and the ability to get the puck through tight areas. On the rush, he is willing to join as the trailer, and wait for a pass from a teammate. He also makes a good first pass out of the zone. However, Durzi could stand to work on his stickhandling and puck protection. He is not as effective if asked to skate the puck out of his own end or to lead the rush moving up the ice.
Previous Pick: Grigori Denisenko
Lauko has a good release on his wrist shot and it is strong, but needs to be more accurate. He misses the net too often from further out. Lauko could also stand to use that shot a bit more, as he prefers to pass and waits a little too much for the perfect opportunity. Most of his goals come from using his size in tight to the net. He is good at tip-ins and banging in rebounds. As he gets stronger, he should be an effective net-front presence at the next level.
Lauko uses his size well to protect the puck down below the faceoff dots. He keeps his body between defenders and the puck and works the cycle game. He makes safe plays here, moving the puck to the open man, and keeping things going around the outside. Lauko is not the type to try and be too creative with his stickhandling but can cut to the net if he sees an opportunity. That said, his stickhandling and puck control are strong, to the point where he can sometimes afford to take a few more chances than he does. His passing and vision are good. He keeps his feet moving, both with and without the puck, and this high work ethic creates pressure on the forecheck. Lauko causes opposing defencemen to turn the puck over. He also is quick to pounce on loose pucks.
Previous Pick: Quinn Hughes
The Coyotes continue to stock up on defencemen. Most big defenders have skating issues. However, Bahl’s skating is actually above average. His first step and acceleration could use some work, but once he gets going he has good top end speed. He has the agility and edgework to walk the line in the offensive zone, opening up passing and shooting lanes. Bahl is also good at moving laterally while skating backwards, keeping opponents in front of him. His size is an advantage as he is tough to knock off the puck. He has good balance, winning battles in the corners and in front of the net.
Bahl’s bread and butter is his defensive game. His strong skating, agility, and long stick make him very hard to beat one-on-one. His long reach helps him take the puck off opponents with a poke check. He has good positioning and that reach cuts down lanes. Bahl is particularly effective down low on the penalty kill. He takes away plays around the goal line and slot.
Bahl is also not the biggest hitter. He is disciplined and does not get himself caught out of position to throw checks. This does not mean that he is not physical. He is a man beast on the boards, winning battles and clearing front of the net, allowing his goaltender to see shots and make saves. Bahl is not afraid to put his body on the line and block shots.
56.) Montreal Canadiens (from Toronto) – Scott Perunovich, Left Defence, Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs, NCAA – NCHC
Previous Picks: Filip Zadina, Ty Dellandrea, Jay O’Brien
The Habs need centres. However, they also need left-handed puck moving defencemen. Being just 5-foot-9, Perunovich uses his skating to overcome a lack of size. He is a dynamic skater in both directions. His first step and acceleration are strong. He reaches top speed in a few strides. While that top speed isn’t among the fastest in the draft class, it is very good. His lateral movement, agility and edgework are all top notch. He covers a lot of ice. Perunovich can pinch at the blue line or join the rush, and get back defensively. He also has quick pivots to transition quickly from defence to offence and vice-versa. His crossovers add power. Perunovich has a low centre of gravity making him tough to knock off the puck.
Perunovich creates offence through poise and creativity. His puck handling skills extend plays. He waits for teammates to get open. When they do, he makes tape-to-tape passes through tight areas. Perunovich has excellent vision and hockey IQ. He is a true power play quarterback. When he has the puck in his own zone, Perunovich has a variety of weapons. He can skate the puck out of danger and start the rush. He can also make a long home run pass to a streaking teammate. Perunovich can also headman the puck to a teammate and join the rush as a trailer.
The Bruins have a lot of young talent, and add another versatile forward to the mix. McLaughlin has an outstanding wrist shot and a quick release. He can beat goaltenders with his shot off the rush, and from the top of the faceoff circles. He also has an excellent one-timer. If there is a criticism though, he sometimes becomes overreliant on his shot, trying to force things from too far out or bad angles if his team is down. McLaughlin has the height and the hand-eye coordination to get to the front of the net and be a menace in tight but needs to work on his muscle mass. He can be pushed around a bit too much, and this will be an issue at higher levels.
McLaughlin also has strong vision and playmaking ability. He sees the openings and can get the pass-through tight areas. He isn’t the most creative stick handler and does not beat defenceman often one-on-one, but he can protect the puck and moves it very quickly and effectively to create passing and shooting lanes. McLaughlin is more creative in how he moves the puck, then in dangling a defenceman. He will make a saucer pass over multiple sticks, or throw a behind-the-back backhand right onto a teammates tape. McLaughlin needs to be more consistent. There were some viewings where he looked like the best player on the ice, and others where he was invisible.
58.) Colorado Avalanche (From Nashville) – Sampo Ranta, Left Wing/Right Wing, Sioux Falls Stampede, USHL
Previous Picks: Vitali Kravtsov, Allan McShane
After going for forwards with their first two picks, the Avalanche would love to pick a defenceman here but feel that it is just too much of reach to do so. They take the best player available. A highly skilled player, Ranta is a natural goal scorer. He has an outstanding wrist shot and a lightning-quick release. The same can be said about his snapshot. He also has an absolute bomb of a slap shot. Ranta can score from the slot and the top of the circles. If he gets a break on the defence, he also has the quick hands to beat a goaltender. Raanta can also play the role of playmaker. He has good vision and passing skills. His assist totals would be higher if his teammates were strong enough offensively to finish more plays.
However, Ranta seems to shy away from physical situations. He does not get to the front of the net often, preferring to play a perimeter game. While he protects the puck well on the cycle and can fight through checks, he does not involve himself enough physically in battles for loose pucks along the boards. He seems to shy away from high traffic areas, especially without the puck.
Steve Yzerman has never shied away from the Russian factor and is not about to start now. Shafigullin is a natural sniper. He is gifted with an excellent wrist shot, and very good snapshot. He varies his release points which can fool goaltenders. Shafigullin also has an excellent one-timer. He has very good hockey sense and the knack for finding open spaces on the ice. Shafigullin also has the soft hands to score in close to the net. He can beat goalies on a breakaway. He also has the hand-eye coordination to get deflections and bang in rebounds in tight. Shafigullin is not afraid to go to the net to score.
While mostly known for his goal-scoring, Shafigullin can also play the role of playmaker. He has good vision and passing skills. He is a good stick handler and his puck protection abilities can extend plays and wait for teammates to get open. His shiftiness can also create passing lanes. When a teammate is open, he can make a tape-to-tape pass through a small opening. Shafigullin reads the play extremely well, anticipating where defenders and teammates will go, and taking advantage of any open space that he can find. He could stand to get stronger, which will help him to control the boards and win battles.
The Jets step to the podium for the first time. While they would also like to go for a defenseman, there just isn’t one available at this point in the draft. Instead they go for the son of Ted Drury, and nephew of Chris Drury.
Drury has also really improved his wrist shot this season. He clearly spent the off-season adding power to his shot and getting it off with a quicker release. While there are still some strides to be made, he can now score with wrist and snapshots from the slot and the face-off dots. Drury is also willing to get to the front of the net, where he can tip-in shots and pounce on rebounds. He plays a simple, north-south game, generating offensive chances out of a strong forecheck, and from battling in the cycle game.
Drury is an even better playmaker than he is a sniper. He has the very good vision and makes the smart play with the puck. Drury can get the puck through tight spaces, whether it is a saucer pass, or putting the puck through the “triangle” on a defender. He is a smart player who anticipates where his teammates will get open and make a tape-to-tape pass when they do. He works hard in all three zones.
The Golden Knights step to the podium for the first time in 2018. Drafted in the second round, 38th overall, of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft by the Florida Panthers, left wing Adam Mascherin re-enters the draft after he did not sign with the team. Mascherin has had two big seasons since his draft year. In 2016-17, he scored 35 goals and 65 assists for 100 points in 65 games and was named to the OHL First All-Star Team. He finished third in assists and third in points in the league.
Mascherin will be 20 years old before draft day. Given that he is a little older than most NHL draftees, and has finished his OHL time, he is closer to NHL ready than most prospects in this range. Mascherin can go straight to the AHL, and while he still needs some development time, he could be NHL ready by 2019. He could be a top-six winger in the NHL if he can overcome the lack of size.
Previous Picks: Filip Zadina, Ty Dellandrea, Jay O’Brien, Scott Perunovich
Kurashev is a dynamic skater. He is lightning quick, with a great first step, top-notch acceleration, and incredible top speed. He can blow by the defence, creating breakaways and odd-man rushes. Kurashev takes defenders wide and cuts to the net. He is agile, weaving in and out of traffic. Kurashev has a powerful stride and good balance. He is tough to knock off the puck and can make plays off the cycle as well.
Kurashev marries his skating skill with good stickhandling. He can make a number of nice moves to get past a defenceman. However, there are times where he can move a bit too fast for his hands and lose the puck. His quickness also allows Kurashev to get in quickly on the forecheck. He is strong along the boards and wins battles to get the puck. Kurashev’s speed forces defenders to back off, and he takes advantage with a good release on his wrist shot. He generates a lot of shots and takes any opportunity to put the puck on net. Kurashev could use a bit more power on the shot.
Kurashev has good vision and can be a playmaker. He uses his quickness and ability to make quick cuts to open up passing lanes and find teammates. He can control the puck on the half boards on the power play and set up a scoring chance.