Prospect Impressions: Expected top three picks for NHL Draft feature in plays 6 thru 10

By David Hahn
Connor McDavid - Erie Otters

Photo: Erie Otters center and 2015 prospect Connor McDavid was recently awarded the Red Tilson Trophy as the CHL Player of the Year for 2014-15 (courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images)



For the past few months, Prospect Impressions has spotlighted the top plays performed by NHL prospects from around the globe. The top 10 features some of the best prospects available for the 2015 NHL Draft, including what is currently expected to be the first three skaters off the board.

10. Cooper Marody – Sioux Falls Stampede (USHL)

It has been a pretty good season for Sioux Falls Stampede forward Cooper Marody. He started off the season with the Muskegeon Lumberjacks, who simply were not a fit for his tenacious style of play. An early trade to the Stampede changed everything for Marody, who was immediately given top line minutes to help the Herd win the Clark Cup as USHL champions. Consequently, Marody repaid that faith by literally not giving up on any play, including this gem where Marody scored despite neither of his skates being on the ice.

9. Thatcher Demko – Boston College (Hockey East)

Thatcher Demko enjoyed the best collegiate season of his career, finishing with a 2.19 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage with Boston College. The Eagles’ season concluded earlier than they hoped, and Demko immediately had surgery on both hips so he would be prepared for the 2015-16 season. It’s likely that Demko opted for the surgery so he can continue to move laterally effectively, just like he did during this “Save of the Year” candidate.

8. Noah Hanifin – Boston College (Hockey East)

Playing in front of Demko on the BC blueline was Noah Hanifin, the consensus top defenseman eligible for the 2015 NHL Draft. Hanifin will likely be off the board within the first five picks, thanks in part to his capable defensive acumen and transitional play. However, an underrated part of Hanifin’s game is his ability to rush the puck and make something creative on his own. Take a look as Hanifin kicks off a stretch of the top draft-eigible skaters making an appearance within the Hockey’s Future top 10.

7. Jack Eichel – Boston University (Hockey East)

The list of NCAA accolades is just too long to comprehend for Jack Eichel, who surely cemented his place right behind Connor McDavid as the top draft-eligible player. The Hobey Baker Award winner dazzled against the NCAA, already a place where Eichel has to compete against players a few years ahead of him. After his college season ended, Eichel went off to the 2015 IIHF World Championship where he played against grown men for the United States, and he certainly didn’t look out of place. He finished with two goals and five assists during 10 games, with one of those assists coming in dazzling fashion.

6. Connor McDavid – Erie Otters (OHL)

Let’s face it, Connor McDavid could very well have his own top 10 highlight list here at Hockey’s Future. This surely won’t be his last appearance, either, as McDavid elevated his game in the playoffs, even in the OHL Championship series against the Oshawa Generals. He is capable of producing a goal strictly on his own, often cutting through the opposition to score a highlight-reel goal all by himself. On this occasion, McDavid did almost all the work, eventually opting to find Remi Elie for the goal.

Stay tuned as Prospect Impressions comes to a conclusion for the 2014-15 season with the top five NHL prospect Plays of the Year!

20 – 16 | 15 – 11 | 10 – 6 | 5 – 1

Follow Dave Hahn on Twitter via @DHahnHockey