Here are the players who are likely to be the top five picks in the NHL draft on June 27 in Philadelphia:
Hometown: Belle River, Ont.
Team: Barrie Colts of OHL
Scouting report: NHL-ready at the age of 18, Ekblad is mature beyond his years on and off the ice. Trying to follow in the path of Canadian Olympians Shea Weber and Alex Pietrangelo, Ekblad has an all-around game and shouldn’t have a steep learning curve ahead of him.
Hometown: Holland Landing, Ont.
Team: Kingston Frontenacs of OHL
Scouting report: Considered a “complete package” by NHL Central Scouting’s Dan Marr, Bennett is a consistent goal-scorer and playmaker. He couldn’t do a pull-up at the scouting combine, but upper-body strength will come in time and match his 180-foot game.
Team: Kootenay Ice of WHL
Scouting report: Lauded for his hockey sense and vision, Reinhart is still growing as a player. The third son of former NHL defenceman Paul Reinhart can still get quicker with his skating, but he thinks his adjustment to pro hockey will be quicker after practising with Team Canada’s world championship team this spring.
Hometown: Cologne, Germany
Team: Prince Albert Raiders of WHL
Scouting report: At six-foot-one and 208 pounds, Draisaitl is the most physically gifted of the top forwards available. The German who came to North America to develop has drawn comparisons to Jaromir Jagr for his ability to hold on to the puck under duress and get his shot off quickly.
Michael Dal Colle
Hometown: Vaughan, Ont.
Team: Oshawa Generals of OHL
Scouting report: Dal Colle is at the bottom of this top crop perhaps only because he’s a natural winger. His versatility is his biggest tool, though, considering he can kill penalties, play the point on the power play and score important but not flashy goals when called upon.
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