SCSU Prospects for the 2016 NHL Entry Draft

SCSU's Mikey Eyssimont (Photo WProut)

SCSU’s Mikey Eyssimont (Photo WProut)

 

The 2016 NHL Entry Draft will be held on June 24 and 25 at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, NY. This will be the 54th installment of the draft. Eligible players are those that are born between January 1, 1996 and September 15, 1998. Technically, the Huskies have seven players eligible for this years draft:

  • Jack Ahcan (5/18/97)
  • Jacob Benson (2/1/96)
  • Dennis Cholowski (2/15/98)
  • Zach Driscoll (2/25/97)
  • Mikey Eyssimont (9/9/96)
  • Robby Jackson (8/22/97)
  • Patrick Newell (1/18/96)
  • Jack Poehling (8/29/96)
  • Nick Poehling (8/29/96)

Since 1986, the Huskies have had 60 players selected in the draft. This includes NHLers:

  • Lenny Esau (1988 – 7/86)
  • Bret Hedican (1988 – 10/198)
  • Matt Cullen (1996 – 2/35)
  • Mark Parrish (1996 – 3/79)
  • Tyler Arnason (1998 – 7/183)
  • Ryan Malone (1999 – 4/115)
  • Jeff Finger (1999 – 8/240)
  • Matt Hendricks (2000 – 5/131)
  • Tim Conboy (2002 – 7/217)
  • Joe Jensen (2003 – 8/232)
  • Casey Borer (2004 – 3/69)
  • Andrew Gordon ( 2004 – 7/197)
  • Andreas Nodl (2006 – 2/39)
  • Ben Hanowski (2009 – 3/63)
  • Oliver Lauridsen (2009 – 7/196)
  • Nic Dowd (2009 7/198)
  • Kevin Gravel (2010 – 5/148)

The highest drafted player in SCSU hockey history was forward Matt Cullen who was drafted by Anaheim as the 35th selection in round two. The highest drafted defenseman was Josh DeWolf who was selected 41st in the second round by the New Jersey Devils in 1996.The most players selected in one year (excluding the supplemental draft) was in 1988 when the Huskies had five players selected.

It’s likely the Huskies could have three players selected in this years draft. The following is my prediction for the 2016 NHL Entry Draft:

Dennis Cholowski – All indications are that incoming first-year player, Dennis Cholowski will become the Huskies first ever first round draft choice. Cholowski was ranked #23 in the NHL’s Central Scouting final rankings and has had a meteoric rise in his draft standing for 2016. The 6’1″ 176 pound smooth-skating left-handed defenseman from Langley, BC played for Chilliwack of the British Columbia Junior Hockey League in 2015-16 and compiled 16-39-55 in games. With room to grow, Cholowski has the size, skating ability and hockey sense that NHL teams covet. Expect Cholowski to be a late first-round draft choice, possibly 20th or later with Arizona, Chicago, Winnipeg and Vancouver as teams that could select him.

Mikey Eyssimont  – The 5’11” 175 pound left-handed forward from Littleton,CO was by-passed in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft but continues to be eligible in 2016. After a slow start to the 2015-16 season, Eyssimont become one of the team’s most reliable scorers by year end with 33 points in 40 games including 14 goals. Eyssimont was particularly effective around the net positioning himself for backdoor goals and netted 5 power play goals during the season. He was also outstanding in  big games picking up 5 points in 2 North Star College Cup games and 5 points in the final 3 playoff games of the season. He finished the second half of the season strong compiling 29 points in 24 games. My prediction is that Eyssimont could be a 3rd or 4th round selection and don’t be surprised to see him selected by his home state Colorado Avalanche.

Jack Ahcan – This player has had to battle the stereo-type that he’s undersized as a defenseman yet continues to prove he can be successful in the position at 5’8″ and 170 pounds. A 10th round USHL draft choice, the left-handed defenseman from Savage, MN  had an outstanding first year for Cedar Rapids of the USHL. In 56 games, Ahcan had 14 goals and 30 assists for 44 points good for second in scoring as a defenseman. Additionally, he played the physical game well with 50 PIM while finishing the season +14. As a reward for his outstanding season, Ahcan was named the United States Hockey League’s top defenseman in 2015-16. It’s hard to predict who will be bold enough to select this undersized defenseman. However, I’m going out on a limb and predicting Ahcan will be a late round selection with teams Winnipeg, Colorado and New Jersey all possibilities.

Details to watch the 2016 NHL Entry Draft are below:

NHL Draft 2016: TV Schedule, Live Stream 

Where: First Niagara Center in Buffalo, New York

When: Friday, June 24 at 7 p.m. ET and Saturday, June 25 at 10 a.m. ET

Watch: NBC Sports Network (Friday) and NHL Network (Saturday)

Live Stream: NBC Sports Live Extra (Friday, no Saturday live stream)

 

 

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