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Pierre McGuire looks ahead to the June 30 NHL draft, which is top-heavy with young talent
Nathan MacKinnon 17
The 5'11", 179-pound center for the Halifax Mooseheads is the most explosive skater in this year's class (28 goals, 41 assists). A Jeremy Roenick--type player, he loves the physical side of the game, and he has excellent skill and vision.
Jonathan Drouin 17
Another member of the Mooseheads, the 5'11" 176-pound wing has great passing vision and scoring touch (29 goals, 43 assists). He's elusive but will need to add speed when he reaches the NHL. He should turn out to be similar to Kings winger Simon Gagne.
Aleksander Barkov 17
The 6'2" 205-pounder is a skilled two-way center with Tappara in Finland. More playmaker than scorer (19 goals, 21 assists)—like the Sharks' Joe Thornton—he has great strength but needs to play with more urgency.
Sean Monahan 18
The Ottawa 67's 6'2", 193-pound center is a dynamic player and consistent scorer (23 goals, 39 assists) who also plays a shutdown role (think the Canucks' Ryan Kesler). His ice awareness makes him as much a lock as any player in the draft.
Elias Lindholm 18