2015 NHL Draft Early Players to Watch List

Youngstown's Kyle Connor is a potential first round pick in next year's draft - Shooting Star Photos

The 2015 NHL Draft year has begun

The 2014 Draft is now in the books, so it's time to wipe the slate clean and begin looking at some of the players that could be selected next summer at the 2015 NHL Draft.in Sunrise, Florida. It's become an annual tradition here to post our first draft watch list on the Monday after the NHL Draft. You can view the 2014 version of said list here. As you can see, for the most part the list holds true, with a handful of players rising or falling throughout the year, and many more working their way onto the list. Also, you can see that I just copied and pasted this opening paragraph from last year's story.

This list, as always, only encompasses players that I've actually seen play(mostly live, with a few elite international talents on video from events like the World U18s). 'A'-rated players are potential first round picks. 'B'-rated players are potential mid-round picks. 'C'-rated players are guys that could be draft picks with a good season. A few players will work their way into draft consideration, while most of the list probably drops out of consideration. All players are listed with their 2013-2014 team.

A Players

Nick Boka-D-NTDP U17

Boka was a bit overshadowed on the NTDP U17 team this past season by Noah Hanafin and Zach Werenski, but he's a big defenseman that moves well for his size. He's not as developed as the other two, but has a ton of upside.

Jeremy Bracco-F-NTDP U17

A smaller forward that is an absolute wizard with the puck. He could surpass the point totals put up by Jack Eichel and Sonny Milano at the NTDP this past year next season.

Kyle Connor-F-Youngstown(USHL)

Connor had an incredible year in the USHL, finishing as the league's second-leading scorer, and capped the year off with an incredible performance at the World U18s that solidified as a mid-first round draft pick heading into next season.

Lawson Crouse-F-Kingston(OHL)

A budding power forward with a quick, heavy shot that plays hard. Hasn't put up big offensive totals yet, but loads of potential.

Jack Eichel-F-NTDP U18

You may have heard of him. You'll probably hear about him some more between now and next June. Big and strong on the puck. Eichel is a dynamic talent in the mold of Ryan Getzlaf.

Jordan Greenway-F-NTDP U17

Greenway is a big power forward with smooth skating ability that hasn't quite put it all together yet, but he has tremendous upside if he ever does.

Noah Hanifin-D-NTDP U17

Hanifin is a big defenseman with tremendous offensive skills. Plays a Jack Johnson-like high-risk/high-reward game, but can do things with the puck few his age can.

Travis Konecny-F-Ottawa(OHL)

Top pick in the OHL draft two years ago. Konecny plays with an amazing compete level and backs it up with some high skill.

Mitch Marner-F-London(OHL)

Marner is a smaller forward, but supremely skilled and always dangerous when he has the puck.

Connor McDavid-F-Erie(OHL)

The odds on favorite to go first overall. McDavid has been a scoring phenom from a young age. He was granted exceptional status by the CHL

Aleksi Saarela-F-Luuko(FIN)

Saarela has already been playing against men in Finland's top pro league, and that experience has shown itself in international competition.

Jonas Siegenthaler-D-GC Kusnacht(SUI)

A big, smooth-skating defenseman out of Switzerland that plays in all situations.

Dylan Strome-F-Erie

Young brother of former top-five pick Ryan Strome, Dylan has a big frame with elite-level vision and play-making skills.

Zach Werenski-D-NTDP U17

It's still not clear if Werenski will be able to get his paperwork through to play at Michigan next season, or play in the OHL, but either way, he's a tremendous talent. Moves laterally with ease and takes away ice from attackers better than any defenseman in the draft.

Colin White-F-NTDP U17

A smart, responsible two-way centerman with great offensive upside.

B Players

Alec Baer-F-Vancouver(WHL)

Jared Bethune-F-Warroad(MN HS)

Paul Bittner-F-Portland(WHL)

Brock Boeser-F-Burnsville(MN HS)

Brandon Carlo-D-Tri-City(WHL)

Kevin Conley-F-Wausau West(WI HS)

Tory Dello-D-Tri-City(USHL)

Christian Fischer-F-NTDP U17

Casey Fitzgerald-D-NTDP U17

Caleb Jones-D-NTDP U17

Wyatt Kalynuk-D-Virden Oil Capitals(MJHL)

Denis Malgin-F-GC Kusnacht(SUI)

Cooper Marody-F-Muskegon(USHL)

Nathan Noel-F-Saint John(QMJHL)

Tom Novak-F-St Thomas Academy(MN HS)

Jarkko Parikka-D-Des Moines(USHL)

Chaz Reddekopp-D-Victoria(WHL)

Brendan Warren-F-NTDP U17

Dennis Yan-F-NTDP U17

Ryan Zuhlsdorf-D-Edina(MN HS)

C Players

Vaughan Ahrens-G-Wayzata(MN HS)

Tarek Baker-F-Omaha U16(NAPHL)

Jack Becker-F-Mahtomedi(MN HS)

Kris Carlson-G-Colorado U16(T1AAA)

Joseph Cecconi-D-Muskegon(USHL)

Zach Driscoll-G-Eastview(MN HS)

Christian Evers-D-NTDP U17

Sam Franta-D-Maple Grove(MN HS)

Matt Freytag-F-Wayzata(MN HS)

Jesse Gabrielle-F-Brandon(WHL)

Nick Heid-D-Omaha U16(NAPHL)

Ludvig Hoff-F-Lincoln(USHL)

Robby Jackson-F-Chicago(USHL)

Lukas Jaycox-D-Warroad(MN HS)

Tyler Jutting-D-Mankato West(MN HS)

Jordan Klehr-D-Shattuck-St. Marys

Jason Krych-D-Totino-Grace(MN HS)

Cam Lee-D-Northwood Prep

Joseph Masonius-D-NTDP U17

Jack McNeely-D-Lakeville North(MN HS)

Keith Muehlbauer-D-Eastview(MN HS)

Ryan Norman-F-Shattuck-St. Mary's

Jacob Olson-D-Hill-Murray(MN HS)

Donovan Ott-F-Selects Academy

Adam Parsells-D-Wausau West(WI HS)

Ty Pelton-Byce-F-Madison Memorial(WI HS)

Roy Radke-F-Shattuck-St. Mary's

Jack Roslovic-F-NTDP U17

Collin Saccoman-D-Shattuck-St. Mary's

Nolan Schaeffer-D-Team Illinois(HPHL)

Zach Sitarz-F-Andover(MN HS)

Brody Stevens-F-Victory Honda(T1AAA)

Tony Stillwell-D-Notre Dame Academy(WI HS)

Tanner Tweten-F-East Grand Forks(MN HS)

Jake Wahlin-F-White Bear Lake(MN HS)

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