TLN’s Top 30+1 for the 2016 NHL Draft

We’re about to hit the final 48-hour stretch before the Leafs are on the clock with the Matthews pick, so what better time to pass along our own final TLN pre-draft rankings?

Some of our writers have been hard at work trying to get prepped for what should be the one of the most important weekends for the Leafs in recent memory, and along the way we’ve established opinions on how we think the first round should shake out. 

With that in mind, I asked Jess Pincente, Ryan Hobart, and Shawn Reis to pass along their final rankings to go along with my own, and did some consolidating. Now here we are with 30 names, plus a bonus pick. Barring another deal, Toronto will be picking at 31st as it stands, so we needed to honour that. Plus, by next season the league will have 31 teams anyway, so we want to get the jump on it.

Close but didn’t make the cut

Here are some of the prospects who received top-31 votes from our participating writers, but didn’t get enough points to reach the final list: Dillon Dube, Dmitri Sokolov, Adam Fox, Jordan Kyrou, Brett Howden, Tage Thompson, Victor Mete, Cam Dineen, Boris Katchouk, Carl Grunstrom.

The List

Just a quick reminder that this isn’t a mock draft, and as such, players haven’t been slotted in with consideration team needs or anything like that. It’s just a consolidated ranking from lists our writers provided with which prospects they thought were the best in class.

tln top 31

A few notes

First off, you’ll notice we pushed Puljujarvi ahead of Laine for that number two spot, and we welcome the heat we’ll probably take for it. But I also have to note those two players actually tied in terms of tallied points when I put the lists together. Shawn and I used our “seniority” (we’re sorta big deals now) to break the tie, since we both voted Puljujarvi at two. It isn’t a knock on Laine, who will be a prime NHL talent, we just feel his ceiling isn’t quite as high. The top three still easily came in head and shoulders above the rest of this class, so no surprises there.

As you’ll see, the biggest range of opinion was on Vitali Abramov, who received a 16th place vote but also wasn’t rated on another list. Adam Mascherin and Alex DeBrincat proposed similar situations, both landing an 18th place nod but being left off elsewhere. 

Lastly, the group was high on Clayton Keller, who landed that spot just outside the big three. Many lists these days have Tkachuk occupying that selection, but Keller emerged despite his lack of size.

Let us hear it



If there’s someone in the list you’re not a fan of, or feel we’ve underrated a prospect for any reason, feel free to rip us in the comments for it. Actually, we encourage you to drop your own rankings in there if you have them. You can also let us know who you’d like to see the Leafs nab with that 31st pick.

  • Newleafs

    I hope the Leafs get DeBrincat another draft steal. Was leading the OHL in scoring over Marner and others at one point. He better not get taken with the 30th pick… As a coincidence he also played on Matthews line a bit with team USA. Ron Wilson said he looked a lot taller when he played with Matthews.

  • “First off, you’ll notice we pushed Puljujarvi ahead of Laine for that number two spot, and we welcome the heat we’ll probably take for it. But I also have to note those two players actually tied in terms of tallied points when I put the lists together. Shawn and I used our “seniority” (we’re sorta big deals now) to break the tie, since we both voted Puljujarvi at two.”

    ie clickbait

  • It’s interesting because you can tell that each one of you probably values skill over size. Abramov, Debrincat, Mascherin, Steel, Dahlen, Asplund over Tage Thompson and Riley Tufte. As well as Keller in top 5. And on defense, Clague and Girard over Stanley. I completely agree with that way of thinking, but I hope the other teams don’t all agree this year because I’m hoping to see some of these smaller guys drop to 31, 57, 62 and possibly beyond. I understand that these are just rankings, but I’m thinking there is no way Keller goes before Tkachuk and Dubois. Good list though!

  • CMpuck

    Tiny Kellar 4th , even in top 10 is silly, won’t happen, there’s consensus 9, plus jost and brown, maybe kellar 12th. Then kunin and macavoy, or bean or fabbro, anyways, mcleod no higher than 15th. Tiny Abramov, ahead of any one of consensus 21, is silly, only players with a chance are tufte or asplund. Giants Tutfe, Thompson and Stanley, maybe they are not BPA, but having none in top 30 is silly, won’t happen, minimum 2 of them. Puljujarvi ahead of laine is double silly, won’t happen. Howden, after playoffs and u18, will go top 25. The one good thing, I hope the Leafs/Hunter share your rank of scorers Mascherin at 24 and Dahlen at 29, and take one of them or Benson at 31, versus a d-man, etc.

  • Gary Empey

    If Jesse Puljujarvi goes second overall, I promise to fly over to Toronto from the Philippines and kiss your collective *sses, in front of that bronze statue Steve Dangle is always sitting beside.

      • Gary Empey

        I was thinking of including that in, along with free beer, but I was concerned people wouldn’t take me seriously.

        “Jumpin’ Jesus.” I wondered what would happen when they let Justin walk and gave the inmates their chance to run the blog.

        Re- “Shawn and I used our “seniority”

        Should read “Shawn and I having a senior moment.”

        Or if that is not the case then, someone should let them know they should wait more than 20 minutes before dropping another tab of acid. Sometimes the first one hasn’t kicking in yet.

        Even that door knob Damian Cox has Laine going 2nd overall. That should of give you a clue.

        No matter what.

        I think an annual “TLN Kiss My Ass Party” would turn out to be a “can’t miss” hockey event of the year.

        I wonder though how long before those professional ass kissers over at Sportsnet who call themselves writers crash, the party.