We all know who will be the two top picks in the NHL Draft in a few week. They would be Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin. The question is who will go third overall. No one really knows who that will be, but we do you know it will most likely a defenseman.
Who are the contenders for that number three pick?
First, we will look at Taylor Hall's teammate Cam Fowler. He's been hyped since he committed to Notre Dame at the age of 15. Since then he has turned down the Kitchener Rangers, spent two years at the USA National Team Development Program, drafted and signed by the Windsor Spirfires.
He's an offensive minded defenseman and a lot of people expected him to light up the OHL this past season. While he just did that as he put up eight goals and 47 assists, people were expecting more from him. All the hype comes with a territory, people expect to see unprecedented numbers. When he didn't put up the Bobby Orr numbers, it seemed like the hype went down. I think he will be running a powerplay for the decade. He may have defensive issues, but he's only 18.
There's time for him to learn.
Erik Gudbranson plays for Kingston, made his move, just like in horse racing, down the stretch. The stay-at-home defenseman missed time due to injury. When he was on the ice not only did he show his physical ability, but also showed offensive flashes. He put up two goals and 21 assists in 43 games. Gudbranson had a chance to solidify his draft position at the Under-18's, but just like the rest of Team Canada, that didn't happen. The team had to fight off regulation. I don't he will be personally affected, but I can see him slipping to five.
The steady eddy of the defensemen is Moncton's Brandon Gormley. He might not bring the offense production that Fowler has, nor he will be that physical defensive-defenseman like Gudbranson, but he's little of both. Every team needs that two-way defenseman and Brandon Gormley looks like he will be a good one.
In his second season, Gormley had nine goals and 34 assists in 58 games. Moncton boasted the best defense in the QMJHL this season which helped him, but he could be the best out of the bunch. In his rookie season, he potted seven goals and 20 assists.
In the words of Pierre McGuire: “Team X get excited for this kid.”