Now that the trade deadline has passed and all of the 2015 picks have been shuttled around, it's a good time to publish my first mock draft of the 2014-15 season.
• This is a projection of the first round, not my personal ranking of the players mentioned (which can be found here). This is meant to reflect the top 30 draft prospects as viewed by the industry.
• At this point, I'm not able to get a ton of information to pin players to teams outside the top five or six, as clubs outside that range do not tend to get a real finalized draft board until June; however, they do have a range of names they are considering now.
• Team tendencies, philosophies and depth charts are taken into account.
• While we'll probably see trades on draft night, I'm not projecting any in this mock.
Pay attention not only to the player your team is slotted to take in this projection, but also the players projected three picks above or below, as this range of prospects will probably be considered when a team is selecting. For example, the No. 15 team should take note of the Nos. 12 to 18 projected picks as part of the realistic scenarios for that team.
Draft order is as determined by the standings as of March 12.
Connor McDavid, C, Erie (OHL)
Age: 18 | GP: 42 | G: 40 | A: 69
McDavid continues to produce at an historic level, whether in the OHL or at the IIHF World Junior Championship for Team Canada. It doesn't matter who draws the No. 1 selection in the lottery, McDavid is extremely likely to be the first pick. He's a generational prospect who will change a franchise.
Jack Eichel, C, Boston University (Hockey East)
Age: 18 | GP: 32 | G: 18 | A: 37
Eichel's insane production -- he's the leading scorer in college hockey -- for a late-birth-date freshman is unheard of, and he's doing it while playing in arguably the NCAA's strongest conference. It's not McDavid-level insane, but it's not too far away. Eichel also seems realistic about where he'll end up given the draft lottery -- learning those probability calculations is why you send kids to college! A side note here: If Edmonton falls to third, I've heard it's heavily considering Mitch Marner and not the player who I've projected to the Coyotes.