Best players still available ahead of Round 2 of the 2018 NHL Draft

Credit: NBCPhiladelphia.com

So round one is in the books and man was that unpredictable.

Joe Veleno was two picks away of being top of this list of the best players still available going into round two, and some projected first rounders are still without an NHL team to call there’s.

So let’s take a look at some of the best guys still available before round 2 starts later today.

And as usual this is in no particular order.

Ryan McLeod – Mississauga Steelheads

I had McLeod going anywhere in the last five selections in the first round of this years draft but he’s still kicking tyres waiting for his name to be called. He’s not he most physical player in the draft which might explain why he’s available in the second, but he is a great playmaker who needs to refine his game before making the jump to pro. He should go early in round two.

Serron Noel – Oshawa Generals

A big winger at 6’5″, Noel wasn’t ever a sure thing to go in round one so not many are surprised he’s still here on day two. He’s a physical power forward who isn’t going to end up playing on your top line, but more a top 9 role using his size to dominant opponents physically, as well as his skill to be a point producer. He’ll have to wait a little for his name but probably not much later than the back end of the second/early third.

Calen Addison – Lethbridge Hurricanes

The first defenseman I’ve spoken about, he’s not the biggest guy at 5’10” and 179lbs, but once he grows a bit more he’ll be alright. He’s a high end puck mover with great vision to create plays, shown by 54 assists this season. He’s not just great at dishing the puck he has an under appreciated shot too, so could become an effective top 4 player in a couple of years time.

Bode Wilde – USA U18

Justin Berl/Getty Images

I initially had Wilde penned in as a guarantee in the first round but quickly changed my mind. He’s got a lot of upside and could be one of the best defensemen to come out of this draft. He can close you down going into his zone but also burst by you going into yours. He should be one of the first names called on day two.

Jett Woo – Moose Jaw Warriors

How could I not include one of the best names I’ve heard in a while and pass on an opportunity to make an awful joke.

He couldn’t quite “Woo” GMs into taking him in the first round but he still has a lot of potential to become an impact player down the line, and going in the second round is probably where he was always going to end up.

Mattias Samuelsson – USA U18

Another product from the US NDTP, Samuelsson is was so sure was going to Toronto yesterday but they even traded down to get Rasmus Sandin. He’s a huge body who can punish you physically if you’re not careful, he’ll be a big addition to a team today.

Jared McIsaac – Halifax Mooseheads

Credit: HalifaxMooseheads.ca

McIssac could’ve snuck into round one but he can’t be upset waiting a few hours to go on day two. Nothing really stands out about him, you can find similar players in every draft even this one, but that doesn’t make him a bad pick. He’ll end up a steady pro and a second round pick on this guy is good value.

Akil Thomas – Niagara Ice Dogs

Honestly I had no idea where Thomas would go so round two sounds about right. His small size may have been a reason why he’s still waiting but he brings high levels of offence that make him still a dynamic option in round two. He possesses a great shot but it’s his playmaking that will turn him into a good pro on someone’s second or third line.

Obviously there are plenty more we could talk about, we haven’t even touched on Jonatan Berggren, Niklas Nordgren or even Jesse Ylonen, but win rounds two to seven to go, do you really want to read about everything?

That’s our picks that we thought we’d share, but really here at CTP we’re waiting for the Brit Liam Kirk to be called in the later rounds.

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