While folks in the scouting community are excited about the elite top-end draft talent this year, there are plenty of good players just below the first round, too.
A team that can mine the midrounds for talent is going to help set itself up for a longer period of time. Some of it is luck, but this year I think teams have a better chance of landing a quality prospect in those middle rounds, particularly the second round, simply because of the depth of the class — despite the disparity among teams’ lists this year. This is a really good year to have picks in the first and second rounds.
Here’s a look at players who I view as potential second-round picks, sitting in the Nos. 41-60 range on my big board.
41. Ryan Merkley, D, Guelph (OHL)
Age: 17 | Shoot: R | Ht: 5-11 | Wt: 170
63 GP | 13 G | 54 A