2015 NHL Draft: No surprises at the top of the ISS Hockey October rankings

Connor McDavid - Erie Otters

Photo: Erie Otters center Connor McDavid, the top prospect for the 2015 NHL Draft according to ISS Hockey, is wearing the captain’s “C” for the 2014-15 OHL season (courtesy Dennis Pajot/Getty Images)


The race to claim the mantle of first overall selection for the 2015 NHL Draft has officially begun in earnest with the start of the 2014-15 season. The main combatants for that honor, Erie Otters center Connor McDavid and Boston University forward Jack Eichel, have both seen game action within the past week and will be closely scrutinized by NHL scouts from now through April or May.

ISS Hockey, the largest independent scouting organization in North America, has just released their initial rankings for this year’s draft, with the names at the top being no surprise. McDavid, the odds-on favorite to be chosen first overall next June, is the top-ranked prospect in the ISS October rankings. Sitting in the second position is Eichel, who played in last week’s CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game and whose college playing schedule begins this coming weekend.

Rounding out the top three prospects in this first ranking of 2015 is Boston College defenseman Noah Hanifin. Hanifin also competed in last week’s USA prospects affair and will begin his college slate this weekend, as well.

Seattle Thunderbirds center Mathew Barzal sits in the fourth slot in the ISS rankings, while defenseman Oliver Kylington of Farjestad in Sweden comes in at fifth as the top-ranked European skater.

Finnish right winger Mikko Rantanen of TPS Turku is ranked sixth while U.S. NTDP forward Colin White is ranked seventh. A trio of OHL center prospects finishes off this first top 10 with the London Knights’ Mitchell Marner, the Erie Otters’ Dylan Strome, and the Sarnia Sting’s Pavel Zacha rounding out what should be a very strong upper third of the first round draft order.

A pair of NTDP players that impressed at the All-American Prospects Game last week are ranked among the top 30. Big forward Jordan Greenway, who notched a pair of assists for Team Grier last week, is ranked 13th by ISS. Forward Jeremy Bracco, a two-goal scorer for Team Grier, sits at #21 in the October rankings.

Two QMJHL players ranked among the 2015 top 30 also currently sit among the top 20 scorers in that league. Import right winger Evgeny Svechnikov, ranked 17th by ISS Hockey, has posted five goals and nine assists in seven games for the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, while Charlottetown Islanders right wing Daniel Sprong, the 19th-ranked prospect according to ISS, has collected four goals and five assists in eight games.

The top goaltenders at this early stage of the season according to ISS Hockey are both competing in Europe. Daniel Vladar, competing for Kladno in the Czech Republic junior league, is the top-ranked netminder, while Russian Ilya Samsonov of the Magnitogorsk juniors is ranked second.

Below is the October edition of the top 30 prospects for the 2015 NHL Draft according to ISS Hockey.


Rank PlayerPositionBirthShot HeightWeight Team League
 1Connor McDavid Center 1/13/1997 L 6.00 185 Erie OHL
 2Jack Eichel Center 10/28/1996 R 6.02 193 Boston Univ. HE
 3Noah Hanifin Left Defenseman 1/25/1997 L 6.03 185 Boston Coll. HE
 4Mathew Barzal Center 5/26/1997 R 5.11.25 175 Seattle WHL
 5Oliver Kylington Right Defenseman 5/19/1997 L 6.00 180 Farjestad SweJr
 6Mikko Rantanen Right Wing 10/29/1996 L 6.04 195 TPS Turku FinE
 7Colin White Right Wing 1/30/1997 R 5.11 170 US Under-18 NTDP
 8Mitchell Marner Center 5/5/1997 R 5.10.75 154 London OHL
 9Dylan Strome Center 3/7/1997 L 6.03 187 Erie OHL
 10Pavel Zacha Center 4/6/1997 L 6.02.75 200 Sarnia OHL
 11Zack Werenski Right Defenseman 7/19/1997 L 6.02 214 Michigan Big Ten
 12Travis Konecny Center 3/11/1997 R 5.09.75 173 Ottawa OHL
 13Jordan Greenway Left Wing 2/16/1997 L 6.04 189 US Under-18 NTDP
 14Lawson Crouse Left Wing 6/23/1997 L 6.04 211 Kingston OHL
 15Kyle Connor Center 12/9/1996 L 6.01 170 Youngstown USHL
 16Nicolas Roy Center 2/5/1997 R 6.04 199 Chicoutimi QMJHL
 17Evgeny Svechnikov Right Wing 10/31/1996 L 6.02 199 Cape Breton QMJHL
 18Paul Bittner Left Wing 11/4/1996 L 6.04 206 Portland WHL
 19Daniel Sprong Right Wing 3/17/1997 R 6.00 189 Charlottetown QMJHL
 20Ivan Provorov Left Defenseman 1/13/1997 L 6.00 191 Brandon WHL
 21Jeremy Bracco Right Wing 3/17/1997 R 5.09 154 US Under-18 NTDP
 22Gabriel Carlsson Left Defenseman 1/2/1997 L 6.04 183 Linkoping SweJE
 23Jeremy RoyRight Defenseman 5/14/1997 R 5.11.75 189 Sherbrooke QMJHL
 24Gustaf Franzen Left Wing 9/22/1996 R 5.11.5 165 Kitchener OHL
 25Matthew SpencerRight Defenseman 3/24/1997 R 6.01.5 200 Peterborough OHL
 26Jansen Harkins Center/Left Wing 5/23/1997 L 6.00.75 177Prince George WHL
 27Jakub Zboril Left Defenseman 2/21/1997 L 6.00.75 184 Saint John QMJHL
 28Ryan Gropp Left Wing 9/16/1996 L 6.02184 Seattle WHL
 29Graham Knott Left Wing 1/13/1997 L 6.03.5 192 Niagara OHL
 30Filip Chlapik Center 6/3/1997 L 6.00 194 Charlottetown QMJHL


In addition to providing a top 30 each month, ISS will also be providing Hockey’s Future with a top 10 for the 2016 NHL Draft and a top 5 for the 2017 NHL Draft.

Holding down the top postion among the 2016 hopefuls is Sarnia Sting defenseman, Jakob Chychrun. The 6’2″, 195-pound defender was the first overall selection by the Sting at the 2014 OHL Priority Selection. Chychrun, son of former NHL defenseman Jeff Chychrun, has notched two assists in two OHL games in the early going.

Luke Kirwan, an NTDP forward who has moved over to the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires for the 2014-15 season, is the second-ranked prospect for 2016 according to ISS. Kirwan has picked up an assist in two games to start the season.

Rounding out the top 3 is Finnish forward Jesse Puljujarvi. The 16-year-old, already competing in Finland‘s Liiga, has notched a goal and an assist in three games for Karpat this season.

Below is the top 10 for the 2016 NHL Draft according to ISS.


Player BirthdateTeam/LeaguePosition/Shot Height Weight
 Jakob Chychrun 03/31/98 Sarnia (OHL) LD / L 6.02 195
 Luke Kirwan 09/23/97 Windsor (OHL) LW / L 6.01 201
 Jesse Puljujarvi 05/07/98 Karpat (FinE) RW / R 6.02 179
 Max Jones 02/17/98 US Under-17 (NTDP) LW / L 6.02 190
 Auston Matthews 09/17/97 US Under-18 (NTDP) RW / L 6.00 192
 Sean Day 01/09/98 Mississauga (OHL) LD / L 6.02 220
 Adam Mascherin 06/06/98 Kitchener (OHL) C / L 5.09 197
 Logan Brown 03/05/98 Windsor (OHL) C / L 6.04.5 210
 Tyler Benson 03/15/98 Vancouver (WHL) LW / L 5..11.5 198
 Chad Krys 04/10/98 US Under-17 (NTDP) LD / L 6.02 195


Leading the pack for the 2017 draft is Nolan Patrick, a center/right wing who competes for the WHL‘s Brandon Wheat Kings. The 6’3″, 192-pound Patrick has picked up three assists in four games to go along with a +3 rating.

Below is the top 5 prospects for the 2017 NHL Draft according to ISS.


PlayerBirthdate Team/League Position/Shot Height Weight
 Nolan Patrick 09/19/98 Brandon (WHL) RW / R 6.01.5 188
 Max Gildon 05/17/99 Dallas Stars (T1 Min) LD / L 6.02 174
 Jordy Bellerive 05/02/99 OHA MPrep White (CSSMP) C / L 5.09 180
 Patrick Khodorenko 10/13/98 US Under-17 (NTDP) C / L 5.11 204
 Michael Pastujov 08/23/99 Honeybaked (HPMinM) Mich ’16V RW / L 5.11.5 193


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