There is little debate as to who the top picks in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft will be. Conor McDavid and Jack Eichel are two of the most promising prospects of recent years, and will undoubtedly be selected back-to-back.However, once the two are off draft boards, who becomes the best overall prospect?
Dylan Strome might very well be the consolation prize for team’s missing out on the top two. Some experts have stated he could be the number one pick in any draft, except for this year.
Strome is a teammate of Conor McDavid with the OHL’s Erie Otters, and while the presence of his highly-regarded running mate looms high over his head, he was still able to win the OHL scoring title, amassing 129 points over the course of the OHL season.
Of course, many will say Strome is only note-worthy because he plays with someone as gifted as McDavid. However, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. The best evidence one can give to Strome’s excellence is what he did without McDavid in the lineup.
When McDavid went down with a hand injury, it was Strome that carried the Otters. Over the course of 21 games, Strome scored a whopping 35 points. The numbers speak for themselves, and any doubt as to whether he can be a game changer was put to rest.
McDavid had high praise for Strome during an interview, praising his teammate for the game changing ability he brings to the table.
“He’s an unbelievable player. Every time he’s on the ice, it feels like something is going to happen.”
While Strome gets a superior endorsement from the likely number one pick, he isn’t the only dynamic forward looking to be drafted in the top three. Mitch Marner finished second to Strome in the OHL points race, and many say he is the most dynamic scorer of the entire draft class.
He became the first London Knight to record 100 points in a season since New York Islanders center, John Tavares, accomplished the feat in 2008.
Like Strome, Marner did have quality talent around him. His London team featured two of the top prospects in the Arizona Coyotes farm system, Max Domi and Christian Dvorak. While neither of those names carry the same weight as being a teammate of McDavid, Marner has been able to find chemistry with two NHL ready prospects.
Bill Placzek of Draftsite.com is one of those that believe Marner could be a factor in the NHL.
“Marner is a hard worker who uses his gifts as a relentless fore-checker, attacker, and scorer.”
Marner and Strome are only two of the potential third overall pick possibilities. You can throw defenseman Noah Hanifin into the mix, along with 6’3 winger Lawson Crouse.
There is an abundance of talent in the 2015 NHL Draft Class, and even if you miss out on the top prizes you won’t go home empty-handed.