2016 NHL Draft: No change at top of ISS draft rankings for November

By ISS
Matthew Tkachuk - London Knights

Photo: London Knights forward and 2016 prospect Matthew Tkachuk has made an easy transition to the OHL as he is currently ranked third in scoring for 2015-16 (courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images)

 

 

No news is good news for the players sitting atop ISS Hockey’s November ranking of the top 30 prospects available for the 2016 NHL Draft. There is no change among the top 5 players from last month’s ranking, with Auston Matthews standing steady as the top prospect.

The American-born Matthews has settled into Switzerland’s National League A quite well, where he currently sits 13th in scoring after 14 games with 10 goals and 16 points. He competes for the Zurich Lions, the league’s top team through the early going.

The top defenseman for the 2016 draft, and the player ranked second for the second straight month, is the Sarnia Sting’s Jakob Chychrun. The stocky defender is currently ranked 11th in scoring among OHL defensemen with three goals and 10 points in 14 games while leading the Sting with a +11 rating.

Two London Knights hold the third and fourth positions on the list once again, with left wing Max Jones sitting third and left wing Matthew Tkachuk again being ranked #4. Tkachuk is the leading scorer for the Knights with five goals and 24 points in 15 games, with his point total being good for third overall in the OHL. Jones has produced nine goals and 13 points in 13 games, but it seems that his overall game has been given the slight edge over Tkachuk’s by the ISS scouts.

The first European-born player in this month’s ranking sits in fifth place, as he did in October. Karpat Oulu right wing Jesse Puljujarvi has settled into Liiga, Finland’s top league, posting five goals and nine points in 19 games, just two points less than he produced in that league in 2014-15.

There has been some slight change in the order from last month’s ranking of the players in slots six through 10. Moving from ninth to sixth is Mississauga Steelheads center Michael McLeod. The Mississauga native has produced 16 points in 16 games, including four goals, for a Steelheads team that is currently second in the OHL’s Central Division.

McLeod is joined in the top 10 by teammate Alexander Nylander, who jumped from 11th last month to 7th in November. Nylander, brother of Toronto Maple Leafs prospect William Nylander, has gotten off to a hot start in the OHL after making the trek from Sweden. In 16 games, Nylander has produced 10 goals – some of the highlight reel variety – and 21 points, good for first on his team and eighth overall in the OHL.

Moving up two places to eighth is another OHL forward, Logan Brown of the Windsor Spitfires. The hulking center has played in 10 of his team’s 16 games, scoring two goals and 14 points to go along with a +9 rating.

Dropping down a couple of slots from his October ranking is Tappara right wing Patrik Laine, who stands at #9 in the ISS November rankings. Laine has appeared in 12 Liiga games for Tappara, notching four goals and seven points to date. Laine suffered a shoulder injury early in October, but he has now returned to action.

Another player that lost a little bit of ground from his October ranking is Val d’Or Foreurs right wing Julien Gauthier, who dropped from 7th to 10th in November. Another of the big bodies populating the top 10, the 6’4″, 224-pound Gauthier has produced 16 points in 19 QMJHL games, with all but one of those points being goals.

As was the case with this month’s ISS top 5, the remainder of this month’s top 30 did not see much in the way of significant change from the October rankings.

The two newcomers to this month’s list include Calgary Hitmen defenseman Jake Bean, who stands at 20th in the rankings, and center Mitchell Mattson of the USHL’s Bloomington Thunder. Bean has produced 15 points in 15 games for the Hitmen while Mattson has produced a goal in 12 games for the Thunder.

The top-ranked WHL prospect in November is Brandon Wheat Kings defenseman Kale Clague, who has six assists in 16 games for Brandon. Clague is ranked 15th this month, moving up one slot from his October ranking. The top Russian-born prospect is defenseman Mikhail Sergachev of the Windsor Spitfires. The Nizhnekamsk, Russia native has produced four goals and eight points along with a +6 rating in 16 games.        

The top goaltending prospect in November was the second-ranked one in October, as Sherbrooke Phoenix netminder Evan Fitzpatrick takes over the top spot this month. The 6’4″, 206-pound Fitzpatrick certainly fits the mold of large-bodied goaltenders that are currently in vogue in the NHL. Lulea HF junior goaltender Filip Gustavsson is ranked second by ISS in November.

Here are the top 30 prospects for the 2016 NHL Draft as ranked by ISS Hockey for November, 2015.

 

Rank

Player

Position

Birth

Shot

Height

Weight

Team

League

1

MATTHEWS, Auston

C

9/17/1997

L

6.01.5

194

Zurich ZSC

SuiA

2

CHYCHRUN, Jakob

LD

3/31/1998

L

6.02

215

Sarnia

OHL

3

JONES, Max

LW

2/17/1998

L

6.03

205

London

OHL

4

TKACHUK, Matthew

LW

12/11/1997

L

6.01.25

195

London

OHL

5

PULJUJARVI, Jesse

RW

5/7/1998

R

6.03

203

Karpat

FinE

6

MCLEOD, Michael

C

4/19/1998

R

6.02.25

188

Mississauga

OHL

7

NYLANDER, Alexander

C

10/15/1997

R

6.00.5

179

Mississauga

OHL

8

BROWN, Logan

C

6/20/1998

L

6.06

222

Windsor

OHL

9

LAINE, Patrik

RW

2/3/1998

R

6.04

209

Tappara

FinE

10

GAUTHIER, Julien

RW

3/5/1998

R

6.03.5

225

Val-d’Or

QMJHL

11

DUBOIS, Pierre-Luc

LW

3/2/1998

L

6.02.5

202

Cape Breton

QMJHL

12

SERGACHEV, Mikhail

RD

6/25/1998

L

6.02.5

206

Windsor

OHL

13

FABBRO, Dante

RD

6/24/1998

R

6.00.25

189

Penticton

BCHL

14

JUOLEVI, Olli

LD

4/14/1998

L

6.02.5

179

London

OHL

15

CLAGUE, Kale

LD

5/5/1998

L

5.11.75

177

Brandon

WHL

16

BENSON, Tyler

LW

6/5/1998

L

5.11.75

201

Vancouver

WHL

17

JOST, Tyson

C

3/15/1998

L

5.11

191

Penticton

BCHL

18

BELLOWS, Kieffer

LW

3/14/1998

L

6.00

196

NTDP USA Under-18

USHL

19

STEEL, Sam

C

6/10/1998

L

5.11

177

Regina

WHL

20

BEAN, Jake

LD

2/3/1998

L

5.11.75

173

Calgary

WHL

21

KELLER, Clayton

C

7/29/1998

L

5.09.5

168

NTDP USA Under-18

USHL

22

KNIERIM, William

RW

1/22/1998

R

6.02.5

207

Dubuque

USHL

23

MAKINEN, Otto

C

5/8/1998

L

6.00.5

178

Tappara

FinJrA

24

KRYS, Chad

LD

5/21/1998

L

5.11

185

NTDP USA Under-18

USHL

25

HOWDEN, Brett

C

4/10/1998

L

6.02.25

193

Moose Jaw

WHL

26

KUNIN, Luke

RW

3/29/1998

R

5.11.75

193

Wisconsin

BigTen

27

ASPLUND, Rasmus

C

12/4/1997

L

5.10.5

176

Farjestad

SweJE

28

ABRAMOV, Vitalii

LW

12/3/1997

L

5.08.75

172

Gatineau

QMJHL

29

MATTSON, Mitchell

C

2/4/1998

L

6.04

186

Bloomington

USHL

30

HAJEK, Libor

LD

2/4/1998

L

6.02

185

Saskatoon

WHL

         
         

Goalies

        
         

1

Fitzpatrick, Evan

G

1/28/1998

L

6.02.5

222

Sherbrooke

QMJHL

2

Gustavsson, Filip

G

6/7/1998

R

6.02

184

Lulea

SweJE